E3 2016 Predictions – Hayden Waugh’s Picks

Every year, E3 is abuzz with rumours, announcements and more rumours. I’ll speak for myself when I say that I’m terrible at foreseeing anything E3-related. But today, I’m going to share what I’d like to see at E3 2016. Let’s hope I don’t make a fool of myself!

1. EA Sports Announces a Tennis Game

EA have consistently been the kings of playing it safe at E3. Aside from revealing Star Wars Battlefront and announcing one of their soon-to-be sleeper hits, Unravel, last year’s affair with EA was fairly stock-standard.

Grand Slam Tennis 2 Novak
I’m not a fan of Novak – all the more reason to wipe the court with him in a tennis game!

Without fail, their affiliate publisher, EA Sports, always reveals whatever ball-tracking tweaks or dynamic player animations they’ve been working on for the next wave of sports titles. As usual, it’s FIFA, Madden, NHL and, god forbid, further PGA Tour games. No doubt FIFA will look even better with the recently announced integration of the Frostbite engine, but that’s far from risky and unpredictable.

For my part, all will be forgiven if EA Sports has taken a stab at creating a tennis game. You can roll your eyes at me and groan all you want, saying: “Really? That’s what you want!?” Hell yeah, it’s what I want – I’ve had very little to cheer about from EA Sports since Top Spin 4. It’s what our readers want too, considering the popularity of our article pointing out the lack of tennis games for the XB1/PS4 consoles.

Whether it’s the next Virtua Tennis, Top Spin, Grand Slam Tennis or a completely new franchise, I’m not fussed. So, to EA Sports, get yourselves together and give the people what they want!

2. Borderlands 3 Announced

Borderlands Rhys Fiona
Could Rhys and Fiona be in the next main Borderlands title?

Playing it kind of safe here, but that’s all the more reason for me to finally say that I was right! With Battleborn out of the way and currently playing second fiddle to Overwatch, a teaser trailer for Borderlands 3 (or 4? Who knows?) with a 2017 release window seems likely.

Despite the amount of satisfaction and fun, frenetic pace of Borderlands and its cool character intros and boss battles, in particular, something about the finished product has always felt a bit ‘off’. Gearbox Software has been able to master the shoot-and-loot formula of this series but I think it’s the story-related gameplay that’s taken a back seat.

When it eventually gets announced, I’d love to see Gearbox integrate more role-playing components into the game. For instance, a morality system or unique dialogue choices would show the franchise is, in fact, trying something new and different to previous iterations. Riding the popularity of an episodic series, whether or not they’ll be integrating characters from Tales From the Borderlands by Telltale Games is another question, too.

3. Release Date For Inside

I really do hope we hear something from little Danish developer, Playdead. Their debut game, Limbo, was a smash hit on the Xbox Arcade and PSN Store and, aside from a short trailer sandwiched into an indie showcase at E3 2014 (with an early 2015 release window), we’ve heard virtually nothing from them since.

With a bit of luck, they’ve been able to make up for any lost time and polish the game towards an imminent release. If 2014’s trailer is anything to go by, Inside looks quite promising. Playdead has substituted Limbo’s 2D/black and grey structure for a bit of colour with a 3D perspective – plus, the game still manages to look pretty creepy. Fingers crossed.

4. 2017 Assassin’s Creed Revealed, Set in WW1

As an early adopter of this franchise, I loved the original game and loved ACII even more. But in my opinion, with each successive instalment, the Assassin’s Creed games have maintained a fairly linear structure. Thank goodness Ubisoft opted to give the franchise a rest, but I feel as though it’s just about time they pulled the pin on the whole series.

Assassin's Creed 2 Ezio
Assassin’s Creed in its prime – however many games ago.

I know this definitely won’t happen, as Assassin’s Creed always consistently sells fairly well. But most new iterations send players to a later time in history and I, for one, can’t help but be intrigued seeing what Ubisoft could do with a World War 1 setting. The announcement of Battlefield 1 has already shown there’s still a market out there for more games like this.

Not only that, but a later time period means we’d be edging towards the final confrontation – unless, out of nowhere, they send us back to the 1400s or something. It’d be a bold move, as WW1 (1914-1918) is a forgotten part of history in certain countries – often superceded by Hitler and Nazi Germany from World War 2 (1939-1945).

The shorter time frame would reflect a more in-depth narrative and there’s enough margin for error for Ubisoft to add their own little historical twists to certain events. The modern day storyline between the Assassins and Templars needs some love, too, so hopefully some Piece of Eden or other artefact from the era is enough to significantly escalate some conflict before the Creed train runs out of steam.

As far as predictions go, that’s my list. Leave a comment and tell us your hopes and dreams for this year’s E3. If we’re both wrong, at least we can all look forward to Watch Dogs 2 getting delayed as many times over as the first one!

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