E3 2018 Special Edition

Well, E3 2018 is over but that doesn’t mean the excitement is! There were many announcements and conferences this year but I will not be recapping all that was said and done. If you want extensive coverage of all the festivities, I recommend checking out the YouTube channels over at ProJared, BeatEmUps, or Colin’s Last Stand: Side Quest. You can even check out the Gamespots and IGNs of the world too if you prefer that. No, my take will be a little different. Instead of regurgitating everything as it happened, I have taken the liberty of presenting you with a list of games. The games will be split into four categories: Games I’m excited for, Games others are excited for, Games to be aware of, and In case you missed it. Each category is pretty self-explanatory so let’s begin!

Games I’m excited for:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider- It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Tomb Raider reboot that began in 2013 (check out my Rise of the Tomb Raider review!). That’s why I’m glad we received an ample number of opportunities to see Shadow of the Tomb Raider in action. Lara is in Mexico this time around and it seems she will do whatever it takes to defeat Trinity. She’s even willing to set off the apocalypse, apparently. Although development has shifted from Crystal Dynamics to Eidos Montreal, I’m not too worried as Eidos Montreal was responsible for the wonderful Deus Ex reboot (more shameless promotion; check out my Deus Ex: Mankind Divided review!). I can’t wait to step into the jungles of southern Mexico this September 14th.

Super Smash Bros.: Ultimate- Nintendo caused quite a stir when they announced a new Super Smash Bros. at the last Nintendo Direct. Was it a new game? Was it an old game ported to the Switch? The answer is somewhere in the middle as they’ve combined all the content from the old Smash games into one…ultimate edition. Literally every single character who has appeared in previous titles is in this one: Ice Climbers, Fox, Snake, Wolf, Cloud, Bayonnetta, and so many more are in this game, it’s insane. Not only that but old levels will be making appearances too. I am most excited by the return of Captain Falcon’s Big Blue stage as it was always fun to fight other players all the while trying to stay on the stage at the same time. There will be an innumerable amount of changes to the game as well. I won’t recount them all here but it may be worth it to check out this video to get the full rundown.

Octopath Traveler- Once again I feel it necessary to mention this title. It is coming out July 13th and I couldn’t be more excited. Both Nintendo and Square Enix showed it off during their E3 events and it still looks and sounds as good as it did when I first played the demo last year. Speaking of the demo, there is a new one available that I’m downloading on the Switch as we speak. You can play the game for three hours and your progress made during the demo will carry over to the full game should you purchase it. For those of you who don’t know, Octopath Traveler is a turned-based JRPG that looks and feels like the JRPGs of old. You can select one of eight protagonists at the start and eventually you can meet and recruit all the other characters as well. There is even a way to witness each character’s story in one playthrough. I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

Cyberpunk 2077- I must be honest and say I hesitated to put this game on this list because we haven’t seen any gameplay for it. If you’re a member of the press (sadly I am not important enough to be included in this) you did get a chance to see the game in action. Rock Paper Shotgun had a nice write-up about what they saw, and I would highly recommend you check it out. The main reason I am excited for the game is that it is made by CD Projekt Red, the makers of the Witcher series of games and they have never let me down before. The game is in the first-person perspective, but CD Projekt Red assures us that although it will feature combat with guns it will mostly be an RPG affair. There will be a lot of exploring, talking, and customizing your character. I hope they don’t keep we the general public in the dark for too long but it sounds like they will. I personally don’t mind because it’s CD Projekt Red and they have always taken their time with their games and I have never been disappointed.

Ghost of Tsushima- This game has had my eye since it was first revealed back in December. It takes place on the isle of Tsushima in 1274 during the Mongol invasion of Japan. The game itself is absolutely beautiful and features samurai as they battle the invading Mongols. It seems to be heavily inspired by old films as we saw a lone samurai squaring off against a group of Mongol warriors. Just as one Mongol attacked, our samurai protagonist killed him in one sword blow and then engaged the other two in traditional third person action combat. The developers (Sucker Punch studios) have stated that the films of Akira Kurosawa inspired them and it definitely shows. If you haven’t seen the demo revealed at E3 then I definitely recommend you check it out as it is something to behold. If there was one game I wish I could have access to before a release date, it would be this one. Speaking of which, there is no release date so we may have to wait a while. I hope the full game lives up to what we have seen so far.

Games others are excited for:

Death Stranding- As the next game in Hideo Kojima’s storied career, Death Stranding has a lot to live up to. It has been in the reveal stage for the past year and a half and, as such, we really do not know much about it besides the fact it features many famous people in it. Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and Guillermo del Toro are three such people. Look, I like Hideo Kojima’s work as much as the next guy but I can’t get excited for what I cannot understand and I definitely do not understand Death Stranding. From what I can tell, you will do a lot of walking and carrying stuff around all the while avoiding invisible three-toed beings. Oh, and the women characters will sometimes make an appearance. That seems to be the gist of what has been shown so far. I personally think it will be a PS5 game but maybe I will be surprised.

Spiderman- I know most of you will be mad at me for saying this but I have never really been a fan of Spiderman. I don’t know most of the villains, I don’t know most of Spiderman’s backstory, and I really don’t care to learn. That being said, it seems everything will be in the upcoming PS4 exclusive Spiderman. From what I saw during E3, it promises to be a comic book adventure set in an open world video game. I’m sure fans will be pleased with it and it just so happens to be coming out very soon: September 7th in fact.

Resident Evil 2 Remake- Although Capcom alluded to its existence a few years back, this title’s appearance at E3 made quite a splash. Following the success of Resident Evil HD on modern platforms, Capcom seems committed to keeping the good times rolling. And with that we have Resident Evil 2 Remake. Capcom seems to have put a lot of effort into the remake. From what I have read and seen, the gameplay style has changed from fixed camera angles to a Resident Evil 4 style of game. Regardless of how it turns out, fans won’t have long to wait to step into the shoes of Leon Kennedy once again as it is coming out on January 25th of next year.

Beyond Good & Evil 2- This prequel (despite being numbered like a sequel) to the 2003 cult classic is finally seeing the light of day. The team behind this game is taking a vastly different approach than the first one. It will apparently feature a whole universe to explore and it is unclear whether this will be a single-player game or a more multiplayer experience. My money is on the latter as Ubisoft (the publisher) seems committed to the “Games as a Service” mantra of late. I will admit that the cutscenes and cinematics are quite beautiful but we have yet to see a lot of gameplay. From my perspective, Beyond Good & Evil 2 seems to be a far cry from what the first one was but many people seem excited for it so I will wait and see what happens. My money is on it being a next gen game.

Fallout 76- Speaking of single-player games turned multiplayer, Fallout 76 promises to let the player explore the wastelands of West Virginia with other real-life people. Its reveal a few weeks ago was the topic of much discussion as people heatedly argued about whether it would be multiplayer or single-player. Turns out it will be multiplayer but, to its credit, Bethesda has assured us all that it can be played in the traditional single-player format. I would like to believe, I really would, but, in my experience, when a game is both single-player and multiplayer, the focus is mostly on the multiplayer. Some aspects of it look really fun like meeting players and deciding to help or kill them, building outposts together, and finding different pieces of a nuclear launch code. Despite this I think I would prefer to keep my Fallout (and Elder Scrolls games for that matter) in the single-player realm. The game is launching on November 14th of this year and there will be a beta at some point so I guess we will see how it plays soon(ish) enough.

Games to look out for:

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice- From FromSoftware, the studio behind the Souls series, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice seems to carry on the tradition of tough combat and big bosses (not THE big boss but bosses that happen to be big). From what we’ve seen so far, our protagonist has a cool-looking skeleton arm of some sort and can use it like a whip to traverse the map. All of this seems very cool. As I have stated before, I like the Souls series but it does not like me but I may pick this one up (have to start somewhere). The only problem I have seen with the game is that Activision is the publisher so that makes me a little leery. It is coming sometime next year and I will be sure to keep an eye on it.

Metro: Exodus- As the long-awaited sequel to 2013’s Metro: Last Light, Metro: Exodus made another appearance at E3. Unlike the other games, this one seems to take place mostly above the surface in a train travelling through the Russian countryside. From the trailer, you will not only be fighting the mutated monsters you have come to expect from the series but you will also face challenges from human adversaries. The mission highlighted in the trailer shows series hero Artyom going up against a cult who has fortified a rail bridge across the Volga river. It looks like it will deliver more of the gameplay that the series is known for: which is a good thing in my book. Metro: Exodus will be coming out February 22, 2019.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses- Probably the most exciting reveal for me personally at E3 was Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I am a fan of the Fire Emblem series and I was glad we finally received more information regarding the mainline entry we were promised for the Switch. It appears to be coming out in Spring 2019 though that could easily change as I’m sure it will be pushed back. From what Nintendo showed during their E3 Direct, there seems to have been many changes to the standard Fire Emblem formula. You can see the battles from the normal overheard view but then zoom in to get a closer look at your units. It will not just be single units doing battle but whole squads fighting it out on a battlefield. In addition, free roam exploration was also teased during the trailer. I hope we get more definitive answers soon and I look forward to playing it myself next Spring.

Babylon’s Fall- I hesitated to even include this game here but it has my attention. It seems that, following the success of Nier: Automata, Square Enix and Platinum Games are teaming up once again. We didn’t get any gameplay but we did get a detailed look at the lore for the game and it is intriguing. I am mostly excited because it’s a Platinum Game and they have never let me down. I can only assume it will feature over the top action gameplay and, from the trailer, an involved story. I hope we see it in action within the year and maybe it will come to Xbox eventually, please?

Kingdom Hearts III- In case you missed it, Kingdom Hearts III was shown off three different times this E3. I guess it caused a bidding war between the console manufacturers as it was first shown at Microsoft’s press conference and then Sony followed it up with the fact that the whole saga is only available on PS4 (come on, Microsoft!). And just to be safe, it was shown again during Square Enix’s livestream. Regardless, it is supposedly coming out January 25, 2019 and will conclude the saga started way back in 2002. It will feature plenty of talk about “hearts” and “Roxas” and all that the series has come to be known for. Oh, and it will feature many of your favorite Disney worlds like Tangled, Frozen, and even Monster, Inc. and Toy Story. I hope it will live up to what has come before and close out the series nicely.

In case you missed it:

Nier: Automata: Become as Gods Edition- The absolutely fantastic Nier: Automata is finally coming to the Xbox One on June 26th. I cannot think of a better name for it, either. In case you missed out on it on PS4 or PC, now’s your chance to jump in. The only downside is that it appears it will only be available as a download and not as a physical release. Oh well, it is still a great game no mater how you get it!

Battletoads- One of the biggest surprises from Microsoft’s conference was that a new Battletoads game is on the way in 2019. It will be a 2.5D adventure with hand-drawn art and 3 player couch co-op. Development will mostly be handled by DLaLa Studios who have worked extensively with Microsoft before. Although we haven’t seen much of the game yet besides the teaser, I am actually confident Microsoft and DLaLa can pull it off given the success of other Microsoft published 2D games like Ori and Cuphead. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Gears Tactics- This one was certainly a surprise. I’m not the biggest fan of the Gears franchise but this caught my attention. Gears Tactics is a turn-based strategy game set within the Gears universe ten years before the first game. Unlike Halo Wars (which is an RTS), Gears Tactics seems to take its inspiration from the XCOM franchise. You will be able to outfit your own squad and fight gigantic bosses with them. It will also be “character-driven” so I’m always down with that. It will be PC exclusive but I hope they have a change of heart and bring it to Xbox One down the road. XCOM has proven that a game in that genre can be successful on consoles so why not Gears Tactics? Having said that, I hope they don’t dumb down the mechanics just to make it fit on Xbox.

 

Alright, that wraps up this post. What were you most excited about during E3 2018? Let me know in the comments or even tweet me @ThePretendGamer. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this Special Edition of the Pretend Gamer!

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