Festival season is upon us and while metalheads are looking forward to dusting off their tents and beer coolers for Download, Bloodstock and Stone Free, gamers are readying themselves for a summer of big shows showing off what they can expect to be playing on their platform of choice over the next year or so.
The first of the big summer games shows is E3. This is the mother of all games shows. Scheduled for June of every year the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it has become known is the show to watch for all of the biggest game announcements.
E3 takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center for almost a week with all of the big players in the games industry showing off what they hope will be the biggest games of the next 12 months. It’s not just a bunch of booths dedicated to gaming’s most exciting upcoming releases though. E3 hosts press conferences from all the names you’d expect like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony as well as Bethesda, EA and Ubisoft.
Each press conference lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and is crammed to the gunnels with the kind of big reveals that keep gamers guessing and hoping for when they’re not submerging themselves in their favourite game worlds.
It’s a fantastic and sleepless time with games journalists cramming themselves into sweaty theatres across LA to see the press conferences with more watching the shows being streamed live on the internet on each host’s own website and Twitch.tv.
There are some awesome surprises every year as well just to keep gamers guessing. Ubisoft, for instance, opened their show a few years back with Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains playing Man In A Box to showcase their guitar game Rocksmith to the world. He then jammed along with the game for a while before revealing that the band’s latest single, Stone, would feature as part of the latest Rocksmith’s track listing.
This year’s E3 is promising to be bristling with big announcements. Both Microsoft and Sony are rumoured to have new versions of their current home consoles to show off this year with extra power to support the latest VR and 4K technology that is entering the mainstream. Nintendo also has their new console, currently dubbed the NX, which may or may not make an appearance although they’re more likely to focus on Zelda for the Wii U.
It’s not just hardware though. Bethesda will be showing off big games like their new Dishonored title which is due out later this year as well as rumours that the studio behind Dishonored is also ready to show off what they have done with the Prey series that they are believed to have been working with.
EA will finally be unveiling Mass Effect: Andromeda which is one of their most eagerly-awaited games of the new console generation. This will show alongside their latest sports games like FIFA 17 and Madden 17. There’s also the WWI themed First Person Shooter Battlefield 1 and the debut Titanfall 2 gameplay footage to be expected. They also have two Star Wars games in development. The first at Visceral Games (aka the Dead Space Studio) under the watchful eye of former Uncharted director Amy Hennig. The second is being developed by Titanfall developer Respawn, led by God Of War 3 director Stig Assmussen. Either of these could make an appearance.
Ubisoft is a bit of a dark horse this year as they have no Assassin’s Creed game coming in 2016. There are strong indications that they will be announcing their hack ‘em up open world sequel Watch Dogs though as well as showing off more of the exceptionally intriguing Ghost Recon: Wildlands which was unveiled last year. Maybe we’ll see more of South Park: The Fractured But Whole too.
There are also big rumours that Rockstar has a big new announcements to make. They have a habit of appearing on Sony’s stage to announce big things like the PS4 (PC and Xbox One) version of GTA V and there’s a lot of buzz surrounding their Wild West Red Dead series. A sequel to the superb Red Dead Redemption would be warmly welcomed and could be the big surprise of this year’s E3.
Microsoft will probably be showing off Gears Of War 4 which they hope will make as big an impact on the Xbox One as the original games did on the Xbox 360 and the there’s the hope of a return to the stage of the much-loved Crackdown 3 which has been conspicuous by its absence. We can probably expect more Forza too.
Games-wise Sony has the beautiful looking title The Last Guardian which will probably show alongside Heavy Rain developers Quantic Dream’s new sci-fi game Detroit: Become Human. There’s also the possibility that they finally might be ready to show off a new game in the God Of War series. The Sony show will also play host to this year’s new Call Of Duty game Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfar, plus more content for Bungie’s Destiny.