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The 8 Ball 05.27.14: Top 8 E3 Predictions
Posted by Marc Morrison on 05.27.2014

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball. E3 will be upon us soon, so Liana and I decided to strike while the iron is not yet hot and offer some predictions about what is to come. Some of these picks might be obvious, but that's fine. The video game business has become fairly sequel driven at this point, and while new game IP's are coming, it's a lot of the same thing year after year. I think after E3, I might do a quick tally to see how right/wrong Liana and I were. Never the less, let's begin:

8. Prey 2/Mirror's Edge 2

 photo MirrorsEdge_zps8a67ef80.jpg

Both are longshots at this point, but why not? Both companies don't exactly have a lot going for them when it comes to first person shooters. EA will likely have Battlefield 5, or some other Battlefield offshoot, since no one gave a damn about Medal of Honor. But you have to imagine the guys at DICE are getting a tad sick of making yet another military shooter again. The prospects at Bethesda/Zenimax are a little more nebulous. They keep playing coy with showing off a Fallout 4 or not. I think if they do, it'll be a logo, or just a short teaser. Prey 2 has had an incredibly difficult production so far (mirroring Prey 1, to be honest), but if they showed the game off, and got people excited, who knows, maybe it might actually come out?

7. Both Assassin's Creed games shown

Ubisoft has already announced/trailered the next gen AC game (Unity) set in the French Revolution. This is the one for PS4/Xbone and PC. However, there is still another AC game being worked on for the PS3/360 (and PC, cause why not?) as well. Whether or not it'll tie into Unity is anyone's guess, but they are cranking out AC games with more and more frequency, and they like to tie the spin-offs together (see AC3 and Liberation), so who knows? I'll likely get both games, since both are probably hitting the PC, which only translates into me thinking that the best console is obviously the PC.

6. Persona 5 Details

 photo Persona5_zps305444c3.jpg

Atlus already announced a lot of Persona 5 games, Persona 5 itself, Persona 4 Ultimax, Persona Q, and Persona 4: Dancing All Night during their press event a few months back. However, Persona 5 is the one people care about, and the one they had almost no info about, save for it being on the PS3. I wouldn't expect a full-fledged trailer for the game, but more details on where it takes place, maybe some short character bios, or something in that vein would be fine. But I hope that more details are announced for this game, in any event.

5. Final Fantasy 15 video, but no date

 photo FF15_zps2c2469b9.jpg

Yep, we're back to Final Fantasy 15/Final Fantasy Versus 13 once again. This game has been in development since 2006, and really shows no sign of actually coming out. I'm sure Square will once again trot out another video of the game, essentially more content to the video already existing for the past few years, and some people will "ooh" and "ah" about it. The one thing it for damn sure won't have is a release date, however. Honestly, the game might be even more vaporware then Mirror's Edge 2, or Prey 2, but at least I have a hope those games will be released this decade. For FF 15, I don't have that hope.

4. Borderlands 3 Announcement

 photo Borderlands_zps2670639f.jpg

Like with Assassin's Creed, Borderlands is splitting the franchise up between "old" gen (360/PS3) and "current" gen (Xbone/PS4). The difference is that Assassin's Creed's game announcement was for the current gen, and Borderlands announcement for "The Pre-Sequel" was for the old gen. Considering that Gearbox isn't working on The Pre-Sequel, it frees them up to actually work on Borderlands 3, which you already know they are doing. I'm not sure if they'll announce a gameplay trailer or anything like that, but I do assume parts of The Pre-Sequel will tie into Borderlands 3. I'd put my guess on a minute long trailer or so of Claptrap talking, then the big Borderands 3 logo at the end. Oh who knows, maybe they'll announce another Duke Nukem game? Oh, who am I kidding?

3. Forza Horizon 2

 photo ForzaHorizon_zpsb9ad0649.jpg

I realize for probably everyone that Forza Horizon 2 won't be a system seller for the Xbox One. It probably won't even be for me. But it will make me damn interested in the console, if it does get announced, and is up to the high level of quality that the first game had. Forza 5 wasn't exactly well-liked on the Xbox One, it reviewed decently enough, but wasn't the critical darling the prior games were. Also, with there now being two Forza teams, one for Motorsport, and one for Horizon, it's the Horizon's time for their team to step it up. I'd most want just a new, expanded, possibly destructible environment to race in, in a Horizon 2 game, with more roads, and side activities to do. At this point, I'd rather take a Horizon 2 over a Motorsport 6

2. PS4 over Xbox One

 photo PS4_zpsd6a2d063.jpg

This isn't an announcement, per se, but more of a talking point. Expect whomever they have doing Sony's press conference (likely Adam Boyes) to crow a bit about the PS4 is currently beating the hell out of the Xbox One. Both systems are selling well, but it was the expensive price tag of the Xbox One, coupled with Kinect being a wash and the PS4 actually being a more powerful console, that has led to this development. I'll put it to you this way: Microsoft would not be removing the Kinect from the Xbox One, if the thing was either selling well, or people cared about it in the slightest. If the Xbox One was the dominant console, Microsoft would keep trying to ram the Kinect down people's throats. It isn't though, and given the sales figures Microsoft needs to make up a lot of ground in this new console war.

1. Resident Evil 7

 photo ResidentEvil_zpsb7fc47fd.jpg

There are already plenty of rumors about this game, almost to the level of a confirmation. This seems like an obvious choice, but that's fine. The Resident Evil franchise is in major need of repairs. Resident Evil 6 was basically a hugely expensive, bug-filled disaster of a game that no one really seemed to like. Capcom keeps trying to drive the Resident Evil series as some sort of action game now, but that isn't what fans like, and their increasingly desperate takes on the genre bear this out. Capcom needs to go back to what the genre was about, i.e. "survival horror", and focus on that. Also, cut out the partner bullshit please. I'd like to believe that if they do announce a Resident Evil 7, it might try to correct the recent mistakes, but frankly Capcom has no cache with me, and with a lot of any fans anymore, so it may end up being a fool's errand anyway.

The Better Half with Liana K

Top 8 E3 Predictions

It's that time of year again! Every year at about this time, journalists make predictions about E3, a show that's been notoriously difficult to predict. So it's a yearly exercise in being proven wrong. It builds character.

8: The latest Kingdom Hearts news will be underwhelming

Don't expect Kingdom Hearts 3 out in the next year. The trailer last E3 was bare bones. Square Enix is promising a Kingdom Hearts 3 release date but that doesn't mean it will be this year. Especially with Kingdom Hearts 2.5 being shown. I hate to be a downer about Kingdom Hearts and I know a lot of people are excited about it, but after the shredding that the latest Tomb Raider did of Lara Croft's character, I don't have a lot of faith in Square Enix's ability to do anything but great graphics.

7: Lots more new IPs

 photo QuantumBreak_zps90b461c8.jpg

Things have been pretty pathetic as far as new ideas are concerned for the last few years, with sequels dominating the late life cycle of the Xbox 360 and the PS3. But with both companies motivated to sell new hardware, expect to see next-gen exclusive titles by the truckload. There are a lot of "unannounced title" bookings coming down the pipe.

6: Nintendo will unveil something weird

 photo Nintendo_zpsd7afe7d5.jpg

To paraphrase Chris Rock, Nintendo needs another hit. Nintendo needs another hit like a crack addict needs another hit. The thing is, Nintendo hasn't exactly been visionary in the software department for years, so they're not going to try to go toe to toe with Xbox and Sony on the Triple A experience. But the PR reps have been very solicitous this year, so expect something out of left field.

5: Price drops, bundles, and other hardware incentives

 photo PS4_zpsd6a2d063.jpg

Based on store shelves, Xbox needs to step up its sales game after the initial surge. Playstation is likely expecting this, and is preparing a counter-initiative. Christmas is going to be another hardware battle, so expect some interesting bundles, system configurations, and special editions, to encourage the hesitant to invest in the next generation systems.

4: Way too much Halo everything

 photo Halo_Guardians_zpse1f5187b.jpg

Microsoft always overdoes the Halo stuff. However, with Halo 5 announced, and a TV show in the works, it's going to be an especially Halo-heavy Microsoft press conference. Furthermore, with Call of Duty plateauing and other exclusive properties being definite risks, expect a lot of Halo to buttress Microsoft's balance sheet against shocks.

3: CD Projekt RED apologizes for Witcher 2 being so rapey, says Witcher 3 will be better

 photo TheWitcher3_zps0cbd4e08.jpg

Okay, this one is just wishful thinking, because I am dreading the release of Witcher 3. Very few games have made me feel as sub-human for being female as the Witcher 2 did. At least the conquest cards in Witcher 1 were pretty art. The sexually predatory quality of the Witcher 2, the repeated rapes of Ves, and verbal abuse of Triss were just far too much. And Geralt was an asshole about all of it. Yes, I get he's a cynical protagonist, but Witcher 2 went too far. Hopefully the developers will take the feedback from the last game and make a next chapter that's more inclusive for female players. Because if Geralt actually catches up to his complex lost-love Yennifer, that could be a really great story. Also, please have Triss finally get scars, have Dandelion come out of the closet, and more drunk trolls please. Drunk trolls are the best.

2: Ubisoft will rock again

 photo Ubisoft_zps5ab8d1b0.jpg

Ubisoft reps were cagey about E3 at the Watch_Dogs launch, but you could see the twinkle in their eyes. Ubi has big stuff planned, and based on their recent output, it's going to be just as awesome. More and more, E3 has become Ubisoft's show to take, because their corporate structure has allowed them to take creative risks while other big companies produce predictable pap.

1: I will have an embarrassing fangirl moment over Dragon Age: Inquisition

 photo DragonAge_zps66d13d8d.jpg

I know it's gonna happen. When you get sleep deprived at E3, your emotions do weird things. A few years back I got teary-eyed at the concept art of Alderaan, because it wasn't blown up yet. Lame. I know. But nothing compares to the emotional connection I have with Dragon Age. And seeing the teaser trailers they've put up of late, Bioware is coming back swinging, and they're looking to swoop in and take E3... even though swooping is bad.

Complainer's Corner

No secondary list for this week, save for a possible Fallout 4 announcement. The only thing I can think of is that Beyond Good & Evil 2 might show up? But I really doubt it. Oh, and Half Life 3. I mean, the time is now! Right? Right…?

The General Roundup

I'm going to ignore the flame war that erupted in the comments and try to address the more level-headed ones. Regarding Vince's comment about Jak 2, wasn't that one decently liked by people? It did have the "Dark Jak" crap (which is admittedly lame) but was that the GTA-style game, or Jak 3? I also agree with GTA 4 to a large degree. All the nagging by people on your cell phone to hang out was annoying. I think I got decently far into it (picking a choice to kill which McReary brother), and I just lost interest. I also agree with the Soul Calibur point that someone brought up, about replacing characters. I *liked* using Taki in previous games, she was fun and tricky. It's lame they replaced her in SC5 because someone felt she was "too old" for the series. Yes, and a main character with two small watermelons for boobs makes sense? Please.

Next Issue

Top 8 Survival Games


Top 5 Wanted Movie Re-Releases

A Walk Among the Tombstones Review

This Is Where I Leave You Review

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