E3 2017 is just over the horizon and as Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Bethesda, EA, and Ubisoft roll out their plans for each of their press conferences we’re starting to get a good framework for what games are most likely to grace the stage over the show’s opening three days. It wouldn’t be E3 without surprises, cringe-worthy moments, and unexpected news though, and our eyes and ears are just as open for those less-than-sure bets.
In anticipation of our favorite video game season, we’ve collected our picks for what to expect – and what we’re most excited for – from each of the heavy hitters this year at E3, in order of appearance.
EA (Saturday, June 10th)
Bioware’s New IP
Setting aside the lambasting of Mass Effect Andromeda after its launch earlier this spring, Bioware is a well-respected name in the industry, for good reason. The studio has been teasing a new action-adventure IP – albeit with next to no information to go on – for a couple years now, and considering how quickly EA likes to reveal their games, there’s a decent chance they’ll be bringing this new title to E3 (especially if it can reassure skeptical fans after the aforementioned Mass Effect debacle). Supposedly the game has a ‘live service’ component similar to online-focused games like Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Destiny, which would indicate EA and Bioware consider the game a big ticket project. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess, which is why we’re hoping to finally get some answers this year.
Visceral Games and Motive Studios’s Star Wars Games
This year EA can’t afford to play coy with these two highly anticipated games. Now that Star Wars: Battlefront has lost steam and the film franchise has returned to take over the globe, the license alone won’t be enough for EA to coast on much longer. Last year EA’s Star Wars ‘presentation‘ was pitiful, and if it weren’t for the pedigree behind Motive and Visceral’s games in development – ex-Ubisoft director Jade Raymond is the head of Motive on their game, and ex-Naughty Dog head writer/director Amy Hennig is working with Visceral on the other – fans probably would already have turned their attention elsewhere. This is the time to remind us how excited we were when Star Wars 1313 was still a thing and wow us with something great.
Microsoft (Sunday, June 11th)
Microsoft has the big hardware announcement this year and they cleverly got the specs out of the way already, which leaves a lot of time to talk about what Xbox plans to do with all that power. Perhaps it’s asking too much to hope for a new IP, but a new first party title would be a great way to show how pretty the Scorpio is in action. But then, who are we kidding? We’re ready to put money down on that slot being reserved for Forza Motorsport 7. Either way, we’re looking to Microsoft to put on a strong show.
Bethesda (Sunday, June 11th)
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
At last year’s Bethesda conference a quick image flashed by that included a list of Bethesda games, including Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, a title which didn’t yet exist. It’s natural that the wonderful Wolfenstein: The New Order should get a sequel, and considering we know Bethesda’s bringing two currently unannounced games to their presser this year, we are confident The New Colossus will be one of them. The other title could be anything but we have a feeling it just might be…
The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within was a divisive game for a lot of survival-horror fans, who in 2014 felt it was too action-heavy and lacked the impact a brand new Shinji Mikami-directed game warranted. But at the time of The Evil Within‘s development, the horror genre was much lower on the totem pole than it is right now, with Resident Evil 7 mutating its way into our hearts and games like Outlast II following suit. A second go at The Evil Within could prove to be something special, and we love the ephemeral, untethered nature of the first game.
Ubisoft (Monday, June 12th)
Assassin’s Creed Origins
True to Ubisoft form, the new Assassin’s Creed leaked prior to E3 so we think we know what to expect, at least broadly speaking, when it comes to Assassin’s Creed Origins. But Ubisoft surely understands how important the AC franchise is to their brand and appears to be making a lot of great course corrections to revitalize the series and earn back some lost attention. For those reasons our gut tells us that Assassin’s Creed Origins will have a spectacular showing on the Ubi stage. On top of that, this could be the first time in recent memory that Ubisoft waited a reasonable amount of time before trying to sell us a game-in-progress, meaning Origins might actually end up playing as advertised by the time we play it later this year.
Far Cry 5
At the time this article is written, Ubisoft has just officially confirmed the existence of Far Cry 5 and revealed an official logo, but beyond that, we have to rely on speculation and rumors that suggest the next installment of the Far Cry series could potentially go one of two ways. The game could try the Spaghetti Western thing, based on a survey Ubisoft passed out to fans previously wherein they asked if fans would be interested in seeing such a setting, among others, in a future game. The other possibility puts the game in the modern day, with the player acting as a cop in Montana. Either one sounds like a substantial departure from the previous exotic island motif of past Far Cry games. We’re generally pretty happy to follow the series wherever it wants as long as it maintains its reputation for chaotic, open-ended fun, so we’re ready to see the next game’s setting confirmed live.
Sony (Monday, June 12th)
God of War
Kratos had an exciting reintroduction at E3 2016, opening the show with a breathtaking gameplay demo that demonstrated a calmer, paternal God-Killer. Sony Santa Monica has indicated they want to innovate on the God of War series so this new story will keep up with more modern game design, and centering the game around Kratos at another stage of his life is a great way to reconcile that. And as much as we want to talk haughtily about evolving God of War and its characters, we’re also happy to participate in a testosterone-filled, ultra-violent blood quest through the ranks of Norse Mythology’s cast of characters. We can only guess what set-piece moment could lead in or out of a stage demo of the new God of War.
This is probably the biggest reach of our list, but we have to include it because of how magical the last two Death Stranding appearances have been. The game first appeared at Sony’s E3 presentation last year with an absolute mind-boggle of a debut, and it followed up on that at The Game Awards near the end of the year with another, even more confusing trailer that even featured film director Guillermo del Toro. Hideo Kojima has not made any promises on a projected release date for Death Stranding and we don’t expect to see it launch for at least another two years, but we’d be satisfied with another crazy, confusing trailer to obsess over.
We know that Insomniac is under no pressure from Marvel to release their web-slinging action game alongside Spider-Man: Homecoming, but we’re sure both Marvel and Insomniac realize they’d each benefit from having both projects buzzing online around the same time. We have no idea how far along the game is in development, but after the first look had such a positive reaction we’re hoping Sony’s bringing their Spider-Man project back with more gameplay in 2017.
Nintendo (Tuesday, June 13th)
Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is the only game confirmed to appear at Nintendo’s E3 presentation this year. and if it wasn’t for last year’s Nintendo show, we’d consider that a worrisome thing. But in 2016 Nintendo happily announced they’d basically only show The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at E3 and not only did the game more than satisfy attendees, the game eventually launched to worldwide acclaim. Odyssey is evidently the spiritual successor to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy, and so far it looks gorgeous and as much of a refinement to the long-lasting franchise as ever. We have a lot of questions about this next major foray into the Super Mario universe, namely: Is Donkey Kong truly returning to his original role as a Mario villain? What gives with the creepily realistic-looking humans? And can we play as Luigi (please)?
The Return of a Classic Franchise
We hate that we do this year after year, but we can’t help thinking just how great the timing is this year for Nintendo to bring back a long-slumbering classic series. The Nintendo Switch’s success blew expectations out of the water and it looks like the troubles with the Wii U could be behind us all. Now would be a great opportunity to solidify that by announcing a new, quality Metroid or F-Zero for the Switch. Maybe even another attempt at Star Fox? Dare I say it, but if a console-scale Pokemon adventure game were revealed at E3 this year, I don’t think there are enough cash registers in the world to handle those sales.
We can’t wait to find out which of our predictions and hopes are proven right and which turn out to be completely off-target. That’s half the fun of the whole show. Let us know what you’re most excited about this E3, and which games you’d love to see revealed live on stage. We’ll be binging all the conferences throughout the first three days, so stay tuned to GEEK for all the biggest stories to come.
Images: EA, Bethesda, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sony, Nintendo