E3 2021: Predictions and Hopes

Any video game enthusiast probably knows that E3 starts soon. Really soon. Tomorrow soon. It’s a huge gaming event every year in which developers show off their upcoming stuff and players set their expectations way too high and leave with a bit of excitement but ultimately, disappointment. Nevertheless, it’s a big event.

I wish I could say I wasn’t one of the people who gets their hopes too high, but I can’t help it. That doesn’t mean some of my wishes won’t be answered though. The trick is to distinguish predictions and hopes, so I’ll discuss a bit of both. Now, I don’t claim to be an industry expert or anything. These predictions are pretty amateur ones, but I hope to get one or two right.

Predictions

Starfield and Lack of The Elder Scrolls VI

With the acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft, as well as the heavy emphasis on the publisher during Microsoft’s showcase this year, we’re bound to get some big news. We know Starfield is the next big game from Bethesda, and its release probably isn’t far off. I’m guessing we’ll see a proper trailer, and maybe even gameplay, the same way they went all out with Fallout 4’s reveal.

As for The Elder Scrolls VI, I doubt we will see any mention of it. They will want to keep the focus on Starfield. If we do see anything, it will probably be a title reveal and not much more, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Breath of the Wild 2

The announcement of a Breath of the Wild sequel surprised and delighted everyone two years ago. Since then, the only mention of it has basically been Nintendo saying “we aren’t ready to show it yet.” However, we haven’t heard any of those expectation-quelling statements recently. I’m willing to bet we see a trailer and gameplay.

Metroid Prime 4

The simplicity of the image is emblematic of the amount of information we have regarding this game. It was announced years ago, and we haven’t heard a peep about it since. Even at its announcement, we literally only got a logo reveal. I think we will see a trailer of sorts here, but we probably won’t get gameplay or a release date.

I admit I have never been super into the Metroid games, but I know this is a big deal. Here’s to hoping the fans get an update!

Halo Infinite

I am so damn excited for Halo Infinite. This isn’t a prediction that it will be shown. We already know it will. This is more a prediction of what we’re going to see. The above image was released days ago, and it clearly isn’t Master Chief. The reveal will have a heavy emphasis on multiplayer. We’ll get the standard game mode reveals like Slayer and CTF, but I think we’ll see some other surprises. Given 343’s willingness to satisfy classic Halo fans, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a proper return to Firefight, with some kind of cosmetic monetization included. If that’s not the case, there will be some other large-scale game mode reveal.

Last year’s campaign reveal led to a good amount of ridicule and ultimately a delay (it was supposed to release with the Series X). With that in mind, I think we might get a glimpse at campaign, just to show that it’s improved significantly in terms of visuals.

Gears 6

This one is purely based on release history. There were three years between Gears 4 and 5, and the first trailer for the latter was released at E3 the year before it was released. I loved Gears 5, and can’t wait to see what happens following that ending. Without spoiling a big decision from the campaign, I hope to see which one is canon.

Hellblade 2 Trailer

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a masterpiece. A short fantasy adventure with heavy themes revolving around psychosis, it’s a gorgeously crafted piece of entertainment. A sequel has been announced, but aside from that teaser, we haven’t seen anything else. This would be the perfect opportunity for Ninja Theory to show off the game.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen

We already have a title for the next Destiny 2 expansion. We also know it’s been delayed to early next year. Fans even got a teaser for it in-game recently. Taking all that into account, we haven’t had a full reveal yet. This could be a great opportunity to change that. At the same time, Destiny 2 has always had a frustrating deal with Sony around timed exclusive content. Since Sony won’t be at the show, D2 may not be, either. I just have a feeling…

Game Pass Surprises

Microsoft has pulled a bunch of Game Pass surprises straight out of their asses at E3 in years past, so this one is a pretty safe bet. We’ll probably see “available now” or “coming soon” announcements for beloved games, as well as a bigger announcement that a highly anticipated title will be on the service day one. And MS will probably throw in a couple of Game Pass Ultimate perks for good measure.

Xbox Controllers

Not gonna lie. I love all the cool controllers Xbox releases for their consoles. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Design Lab was announced at E3. I think we’ll see the next generation of that, or at least a few new premade controller designs.

Hopes

Perfect Dark

As far as I know, the Perfect Dark revival isn’t that far into development, so I’m not getting my hopes up for this one. That said, I wouldn’t mind if we got an update on the game in the form of a new trailer and maybe even a release window. I loved the original game, but it wasn’t without its flaws. I’m excited to see how they bring Joanna Dark into the current generation of gaming!

Twilight Princess for the Switch

I really really doubt this will happen, seeing as Nintendo is gearing up to release Skyward Sword HD on the Switch next month. But a guy can dream, can’t he? Twilight Princess, even with its pacing problems, is an amazing game, and I would throw money at a Switch port without hesitation.

Dragon Age 4

It’s been seven years since Inquisition released, and fans are itching for any scraps of information regarding the fourth installment in BioWare’s fantasy series. We know it involves the Dread Wolf and will take place in Tevintor, a location that has been referenced plenty of times, but never been accessible. If we see anything, it will probably only be a cinematic teaser. Following a recent shift in development philosophy at EA (hopefully for the better), it looks like DA4’s planned online features are being scrapped. My guess is this shift has delayed the game so the team can focus on making a solely single player game. But damn, I want more Dragon Age.

Banjo Kazooie 3

Yeah, there’s about a two percent chance this ever happens, much less at E3 this year, but I would be so excited if we got another proper Banjo Kazooie game. Nuts N Bolts was a good game, but it just wasn’t what Banjo fans wanted. Yooka Laylee scratched the itch, but not nearly well enough. Give us another proper bird and bear platformer. I want to gather Jiggies and save some more Jinjos!

A Dead Space Revival

I still can’t forgive EA for shutting down Visceral Games. Dead Space remains one of my favorite horror series ever, so thinking about how it was abandoned still stings. My hope is that people have been working behind the scenes to revive it. I know there are a good number of people who share my hopes, so please, EA… find a way to bring back Dead Space. It doesn’t just suck that it was left to die. It sucks that it was left to die after such a huge cliffhanger at the end of DS3’s expansion.

Ninja Gaiden 4

Before the Soulsborne games existed, you could argue that Ninja Gaiden was the go-to series for punishing difficulty. Enemies were thrown at you constantly, and surviving all of them required quick fingers and an even quicker mind. The first two entries in the series were fantastic. The original release of Ninja Gaiden 3, however, was a disaster. It pretty much got rid of everything people loved about the series.

Luckily, Team Ninja course corrected with a redo of sorts in the form of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. It added a bunch of weapons and other welcome progression mechanics, as well as restored the difficulty people had initially expected. This, combined with the high regard the first two games are held in, has resulted in a loyal fanbase that hopes to see a sequel someday. I’m not holding out hope for a reveal, but it would be a damn welcome surprise. I do know that the developers are more concerned with Nioh and there has been talk of a Soulslike in the Final Fantasy universe that they may be working on…

The Next Tomb Raider

The recent Tomb Raider reboot trilogy is a wonderful collection of games, but I’m in the “bring back classic Lara” crowd. It’s not because of OG Croft’s huge boobies, either. It’s because the new Lara just doesn’t have the badass personality people loved. She doesn’t do flips and dual-wield pistols. She shows signs of confidence here and there, but not nearly as much as her previous incarnation.

Luckily, Square Enix has said that the next game will be a combination of new and classic Lara. How exactly they pull this off remains to be seen. Will it be another reboot? A new art style? Who knows, but it’s been long enough since Shadow of the Tomb Raider that they may be ready to show something off. Fingers crossed!

Titanfall 3

I’ll start by saying I highly doubt this will happen. Respawn is heavily focused on Apex Legends right now, and given the success of Jedi Fallen Order, I’m guessing they are putting efforts towards the future of that series. That said, Titanfall 2 had some of the best first-person multiplayer of the last console generation. Having a release window a mere week after Battlefield 1 (and with a CoD title following closely) was kind of the final nail in the series’ coffin. I’m just hoping it rises from the dead, because damn, it deserves another shot.

Though respawn has said they aren’t working on on, things can change. An announcement of a third game would be a massive and welcome surprise.

Splinter Cell, for Fuck’s Sake

Seriously.

Splinter Cell Blacklist released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in August of 2013. Though sales weren’t fantastic, it got impressive reviews, and seemed like a return to form for the series. But we haven’t seen a proper game since. Instead, Ubisoft seems content to slap fans directly in the face by doing as many crossovers (that nobody asked for) as possible. Sam Fisher has appeared in Ghost Recon Wildlands. He’s now an operator in Rainbow 6 Siege. Hell, there’s even a Splinter Cell Netflix series on the way. Don’t get your hopes up about that one. It’s animated.

As of a few days ago, there are rumors swirling that a free-to-play game is in the works that combines a bunch of Ubi properties. Fisher will presumably be included in that. Despite all of this, there is no word of an actual Splinter Cell game. Why? Because they can’t find a way to monetize it post-launch. It’s sad, and I get it from a business standpoint. I just hate that this is the business model Ubi has adopted at the expense of what used to make their games so good.

At this point, another game would shock me more than anything else on this list. It would be a welcome shock, of course, and also one that would put the publisher back in the good graces of countless gamers.

In Closing…

I know a lot of my predictions (and even fewer of my hopes) won’t come true. Nevertheless, I am excited for the next few days. It’s a huge event in the gaming world, and I hope every gamer sees something that gets them excited for the future.

What are you looking forward to at E3 2021?

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