The 6 video games we can't wait to see at the Electronic Entertainment Expo
From 'The Last of Us Part II' to 'Spider-Man,' these are the upcoming video games we're eager to throw the spotlight on.
The 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo – the world's largest event dedicated to computer and video game hardware and software, held in Los Angeles – will shortly usher in a new wave of interactive adventures, action-thrillers and horror titles. In what's become a time-honored tradition in media circles, we've gathered up some of the games we're most excited to score new glimpses of. In addition, what surprises will Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo offer? We'll be keeping our eyes peeled during the event's run from June 13-15, so stay tuned!
'The Last of Us Part II'
Israeli-American Neil Druckmann and studio Naughty Dog will reportedly show off a bit more of their highly anticipated sequel "The Last of Us Part II" at Sony's press conference on June 10. The title, considered the crown jewel in Sony's upcoming release of exclusives, will once again return players to a post-apocalyptic world lurking with zombies.
According to Druckmann, who credits his celebrated storytelling to playing classic adventure games as a child in Israel, the characters of Joel and Ellie will once again be the focus.
"I played with so many ideas that had different characters and it never felt right," he explained at the Playstation Experience conference last December. "'The Last of Us' is about these two characters specifically. So yes, the 'Part II' is saying this is a complementary story to the first game, but the two together are going to tell this larger tale. All I ask is that fans of the first one put faith in us and trust us. We're going to do right by you."
As Naughty Dog has declined in recent years to promise games by certain release dates, it's currently unclear when "The Last of Us Part II" might bow. Current speculation puts the game making an undead shuffle onto retail shelves somewhere between December 2018 and May 2019. And perhaps its release may even coincide with the movie adaptation of Naughty Dog's "Uncharted" franchise.
'Super Mario Odyssey'
One of the most highly anticipated games for the fledgling Nintendo Switch, "Super Mario Odyssey" will make its debut at E3 as a fully playable title. According to Japanese creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the new title will return the series to its roots, with action that's a "little more on the core side."
"So we've been making Mario games for over 30 years, and through that process, we've made changes to the games. Some games tended to be a little bit harder, and a little bit harder to play, and then so we teeter back to make it accessible to all kinds of gamers, and then we go back the other way," Miyamoto explained during a livestream event last year. "It's been kind of a give-and-take in that way."
What's still to be determined is if Nintendo will show off more of the varied environments previewed in the trailer or limit on-the-floor players to one timed level. Either way, the hands-on previews will likely only add to the hype ahead of the game's release later this year.
Arguably one of the most difficult games in recent memory, "Bloodborne" is a horror action-adventure title set in a Victorian era city besieged by a mysterious disease. Created by Japanese firm FromSoftware, the title earned several Game of the Year honors on its way to selling more than 2 million copies in 2015. True to the genre, it also featured more than a few moments that scared gamers out of their skins.
Ahead of E3, rumors are swirling that FromSoftware is prepping a "Bloodborne" successor to show off during Sony's press conference. The first hint came from an industry insider in early May by way of German game designer Thomas Mahler. In a post on the game forum NeoGAF, Mahler (best known for creating the hit "Ori and the Blind Forest" with Israeli Gennadiy Korol) revealed that he was "99% certain" that it would make an appearance at E3.
In recent days, the "Bloodborne 2" hints have been coming more regularly, with a recent tweet even showing off a potentially leaked screenshot of the start screen. While others have suggested that FromSoftware may skip a sequel in favor of a new original title, the demand for a return to the Gothic dread of "Bloodborne" is heavy throughout the industry. Here's hoping the nightmare continues!
While it's been nearly a year since its debut at E3 2016, fans are still eagerly awaiting whatever gameplay footage Insomniac Games delivers of its "Spider-Man" title comes with a solid release date. The beautiful open-world environment featured in last year's trailer played second fiddle to the smooth and seemingly realistic control of the famed web slinger. Regardless of when we get our hands on it, we're happy to see Insomniac taking its time to perfect what Marvel Studios hopes is the first of many "epic games."
"We are absolutely obsessed about [quality]," Jay Ong, Marvel's vice president of games, told Polygon. "That is our North Star. We always say 'Great is not good enough. We're going for truly epic.'"
Based on what we know from interviews over the last year, the title will feature an older, experienced Spider-Man who is masterful at fighting crime in New York City. Despite its intentional detachment from the cinematic storyline in the Marvel films, the game does take some inspiration from the upcoming "Spider-Man: Homecoming." For instance, the mechanical eyes from the high-tech suit will be present, as will the homemade web shooters. Beyond that, however, fans can expect a whole new Spider-Man experience.
“Spider-Man's costume in the game, for instance, is original, it's neither the theatrical costume nor is it from the comic books," Ong told Gamespot. "The white spider design is totally original."
About a month before American director Rian Johnson and his producing partner, Israeli Ram Bergman, unleash the next "Star Wars" episode into theaters, EA Games will gift fans of the storied film franchise yet another new interactive way to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe.
While the open-world multiplayer that defined the original is back, the game also features a much-requested single player game. According to director Mark Thompson, the story will follow a female stormtrooper named Iden over the course of three decades between the end of "Return of the Jedi" and the beginning of "The Force Awakens." Along the way, players will see the conflict through the eyes of those fighting for the Galactic Empire.
"I think that you relate to a character when you understand where she’s coming from, and this is the perspective with the single-player story," Canadian producer Paola Jouyaux said in an interview. "The Empire thinks they are in the right, and what they are doing is making the galaxy a better place, and that the Rebellion is actually the enemy that is bringing chaos. That’s how they’ve been born and raised, and so by giving you more insight into their lives and their perspective, you kind of understand where they’re coming from."
"Star Wars: Battlefront II" is slated to launch on Nov. 17. And since it's never too early to speculate, we can likely expect "Battlefront III" to land just before "Star Wars: Episode IX" hits theaters in May 2019.
'Red Dead Redemption 2'
The original "Red Dead Redemption" easily made our list of best action-adventure video games and we're beyond thrilled to continue to adventure in 2018. Rockstar Games' open world western set the bar for storytelling in gaming in 2010 and has largely influenced many of the award-winning games that have followed. The sequel was originally scheduled to be released this year, but has been bumped to April 2018 to allow the developers more time to hone the quality of the experience.
“While we don’t take these things lightly, Rockstar feels more time is required to deliver the excellence that they’re hoping for – the excellence that consumers expect – and we respect their views," Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of games distributor Take-Two Interactive, said in a statement. "It’s a choice that’s occasionally been made in the past, and it’s a choice that’s always paid off."
While Rockstar has mentioned that "RD2" will not make a showing at E3, we're still hopeful for a surprise peek of some kind. At the very least, the studio has said it will give fans a bit more to chew on later this summer.
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