E3 2015, which is only a week away, is shaping up to be the biggest show in recent memory. A whopping 7 press conferences will be held from Sunday through Tuesday. Looking at all the companies that are ready to go, in my eyes, there are only a select few that truly have the potential of delivering the best presser, and there are several reasons why.
To start off, the publisher I’m most anticipating is Bethesda. This is their first E3 press conference, well, ever, and that alone should be enough of an incentive to be at least a little intrigued. But beyond that, by the looks of things it’ll simply have a better line-up of games to show off than arguably anyone else attending the conference. The most prodigious title is none other than Fallout 4. Having already been announced with a lovely trailer a week back, teasing what players should expect while exploring the game’s setting in Boston, or as it is known in Fallout lore, The Commonwealth.
Whenever Bethesda Softworks, and its Game Director and Executive Producer Todd Howard announce a game and then release it, it becomes the title that is on everybody’s mind - for months and months. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim are all huge successes both critically and commercially. They’ve left a significant impact on open world design and on games in general, that it is quite challenging to not be excited with the thought of what Howard and his team are up to next. Fallout 4 will be the E3’s biggest game, no doubt about it. Plus, that’s not even to touch on Doom, and potentially Dishonored 2.
Square Enix is another publisher that I believe has the potential to really get people excited. Of course, it hasn’t been the same for years, and has been declining dramatically. The whole Final Fantasy XIII trilogy was a gargantuan misstep, and Versus XIII, or Final Fantasy XV, has been in development ever since it was announced back in 2006. That’s nearly an entire decade. But I still hold out hope for the company that delivered classics such as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6 and 7, and Kingdom Hearts. I believe it’s still capable of producing another great title, and there will be demand for that game. JRPGs have been on a steady decline in North America, just like Square Enix itself, but it’s now or never for the genre to finally pick up some steam and Square is the company, alongside Atlus, to kickstart that change.
A proper release date for FFXV, with a date no later than spring 2016, is simply a must. The mysterious new IP that the company has been teasing is also interesting. Square can introduce a new JRPG, thus attempting to create another major series apart from Final Fantasy, or it can be a completely different genre entirely. The reason why both possibilities are fascinating is because for one, Square Enix would indicate that it might be ready to move on from Final Fantasy after this 15th installment and many spin-offs, and will largely admit that the series has lost much of its mojo.
But I think the second option is more plausible, as it makes sense for the company to start developing something for the Western audience, and not just publishing games like that. Now let’s not forget Kingdom Hearts III. It’s probably likely there won’t be much news regarding the game, but if there is, say an actual release window and a gameplay demo, then Square would actually be competing with Fallout 4 when it comes to popularity.
Those are my only picks. I don’t believe Nintendo has anything significant to say this year, considering Zelda will be absent and the company will be focusing all of its efforts on its next system, the NX. Sony always has plenty of weapons at its disposal, but I think this is finally the year it messes up for a plethora of reasons. For one, Project Morpheus will most likely cannibalize the press conference’s time, and it’ll be a complete farce, as these things always are. Wonderbook anyone? Ubisoft might have some surprises, but almost all of its biggest new reveals always come 3 years after their initial E3 showing.
EA and Microsoft actually have a little bit more potential, but we pretty much know what they both will be showcasing next week. The new Mirror’s Edge game, Star Wars Battlefront, the new Gears of War, etc. They’re exciting titles to look forward to, but it feels a bit ad nauseam at this point. But if EA does spend plenty of time on Mass Effect 4, then we have ourselves another massive Western RPG to salivate over.
E3 2015 simply can’t come soon enough.