10 Games to Watch at E3
Metal Gear Solid V. Image: Konami
The biggest entertainment show of the year is upon us. It's E3 2015, which means announcement after announcement regarding what's hot in the video game industry and the products we're going to see hitting shelves in the year to come. Bombshells will be dropped left and right. Classic franchises could make their triumphant return.
In fact, this year's E3 is all about making what's old new again. Nearly every big title on the horizon is either a reboot or a sequel to established franchises. It's understandable to go back to what works in a tumultuous industry where innovations (ahem, Kinect and PS Move motion controls of the last few years) seem to fizzle out not long after their birth. Why not give the people what works and stay safe while working out the kinks on more adventurous projects?
It makes sense, but there are still plenty of reasons to get hyped about this year's show. Here are 10 of the biggest, most exciting titles to keep an eye out for at E3 2015.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Hideo Kojima, former head of Konami Digital Entertainment and head of Kojima Productions, is famous for the Metal Gear Solid series, and the fifth entry in the series is heading our way in 2015—at least, we're hoping it will. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks to combine every single thing fans love about the franchise, from the epic cinematic touch Kojima lends to every inch of the production to the characters that we yearn to hear from again and again. If the near-perfect "Nuclear" trailer is any indication, this is going to be one of the most cryptic and engaging departures for the series, to hopefully tie up some loose ends we've had for quite some time. It's going to be a thrill ride from start to finish, but hopefully it won't break our hearts like Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots did. Or if it does, it's in a good way.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Doffing the traditional numbering sequence from the previous Mass Effect entries, BioWare's latest foray into the Mass Effect universe looks impressive from the trailer alone. After debuting at EA's press conference with an impressive trailer featuring none other than Johnny Cash and the reintroduction of the fan-favorite Mako vehicle, it's going to be a very special title to keep an eye out for, especially on the E3 floor. There's a bit of a dearth of information floating around on the title right now, but it'll be one to watch for sure.
Bethesda has set the world on fire with the reveal of Fallout 4, with an exciting and impressive showing at Sunday night's Bethesda Showcase. The full reveal showed off an in-game crafting system with customizable male or female characters, weapon parts and items you can combine for new items, and a context-sensitive system in which your canine companion can aid you with certain items throughout the world. There's a wealth of things to do in this pre-nuclear wasteland world (at the beginning of the game, at least) and a menagerie of reasons to return if you thought you were done with Fallout after New Vegas. It could very well be the biggest Fallout yet, especially with mod support and the real-world extension of the in-game Pip-Boy (your in-game "smartphone" of sorts, condensed into an in-game wristband) into real life with the special edition of the game as well.
The classic FPS makes an enormous splash this year at E3 with gobs of footage during Bethesda's showcase and enough Super Shotguns to take out a herd of elephants. The ultra-gory reboot with four-player co-op, online multiplayer, and a full campaign looks like it could be one of the first modern shooters to once more rekindle what it felt like to embark on id's bloody journey through Hell for the first time. And with a brand new generation of BFG (we don't have to tell you what that stands for) it should be a lucrative play for shooter fans around the globe.
Atlus' long-awaited installment in the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona franchise has been revealed one snippet at a time, with a video here and gorgeous crimson-hued screens here and there. It's rumored to be shown at E3 this year, likely during appointments behind closed doors with journalists, but any glimpse at the mature world of Persona would be appreciated, given what the series has accomplished over the years with Persona 3 and Persona 4. It's an exciting proposition to think that this is the first current-gen Persona on the map, so if nothing else it's worth following because of that. Especially if you're a part of the MegaTen faithful.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
The Black Ops trilogy will be coming to a screeching halt with this installment, and it's going to feature everything Call of Duty fans will have come to expect over the years. Big guns, big explosions, and a futuristic war setting are what's set to propel this over the edge for fans of Treyarch's explosive series, and Call of Duty veterans should find plenty to be excited for here. If nothing else, it'll pave the way for what's coming next for Call of Duty. Perhaps a return to World War II?
Guitar Hero Live
The music genre has been all but dead for the past few years, but it's about to make its triumphant return with a rebooted and re-energized Guitar Hero Live, which has eschewed the typical rendered band players for full-motion video footage that puts you right in the shoes of a band playing in front of a live crowd. It's more intimidating than ever, but you can also choose to play in front of a song's accompanying music video. A new guitar controller and a new set of songs ensure even veterans have something to look forward to, and this could very well herald the return of the peripheral-based music game. Either way, it's absolutely worth a look.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
This prequel to the unique and frenetic original follows Faith as she rises through the ranks to become the heroine seen in Mirror's Edge. We've been waiting quite a long time for news of an official addition to the series, and E3 2015 is finally the venue that's showing off a real-life demo of the game. No guns, just fast and frenetic action as Faith free-runs across the tops of skyscrapers, pulls herself up through vents, and scurries up ladders, all without missions, levels, or loading screens. Sound too impressive to be true? You'll have to get your hands on it to see.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Nintendo has a killer lineup for E3 already, but one of its biggest contenders has to be Xenoblade Chronicles X, an epic RPG that the West absolutely needs a translated version of. Nintendo has yet to announce anything official, but with dedicated audiences around the world, breathtaking graphics that have to be seen to be believed on the Wii U, and a sprawling narrative that'll doubtless act as one of the system's flagship games, it's practically a shoo-in at this point and one of E3's biggest contenders. That is, if it even makes an appearance.
Star Wars Battlefront
The Battlefront name is a familiar one for Star Wars fans, conjuring warm and fuzzy memories of big team battles with lightsabers and their favorite characters from the Star Wars universe. With EA behind the wheel, fans are in for a treat with updated graphics, expanded gameplay modes, and plenty more reasons to jump back in again and play, even if they burned up the battlefield back in the series' heyday. It's going to be an impressive return to form, and absolutely worth a trip to EA's booth on the floor.
These releases might be delving into the past and relying on nostalgia to build momentum, but refusing to remain mired in archaic convention will be their ticket to success.