With E3 coming up there are a large amount of games I am really looking forward to seeing. Some of these are new properties and others are ones that are further installments in current franchises. So, without any further adieu here are the five games I am looking forward to seeing once E3 rolls around.
1. Dragon Age III: Inquisition
2009′s Dragon Age Origins is without a doubt one of my favorite role-playing games, if not one of my favorite games of all time. I had days where I’d be playing Dragon Age for nearly 12 hours at a time. Sure, it’s unhealthy to do that but I didn’t care because I was engrossed in this world and was in love with these characters and the history of the land of Fereldan. Whether it was the formation of the Grey Wardens, the occupation by Orlais, or even the fourth blight that occurred over 400 years before the events of the first game that nearly destroyed the land of Thedas with the Chantry’s exalted march against the Tevinter Imperium, the darkspawn overrunning Antiva, and the ending of the fourth blight as Garahel slayed the archdemon Andoral. Events like these led to me staying up into the wee hours of the morning reading the Dragon Age wiki like it was the bible. Not only that but it felt like a love letter to fantasy books like George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” for one.
Unfortunately, this was at or near the same time as Mass Effect 2. The first game was a traditional RPG but had the gunplay of a game like Gears of War. Once the sequel was released, there was a complete overhaul that made the game feel more like a shooter and less than an RPG. As Mass Effect 2 sold like gangbusters, BioWare would overhaul the Dragon Age sequel as they did with Mass Effect. So once Dragon Age II was released it completely abandoned the overall feel of the first game that made it the game of the year contender that it was. Like Mass Effect you could only play as one character, either a female or male. Also, the infamous “dialogue wheel” that worked in Mass Effect was implemented into Dragon Age II and no longer felt like an RPG but more of an PG. Not only that but you were extremely limited in your travels as you were essentially confined to a city and the areas surrounding it unlike the first game where you trekked across the entire land of Fereldan gathering allies and fighting monsters and villains alike. Regardless of this I am very excited to see if BioWare can redeem itself with Dragon Age 3. After the events of Dragon Age II the world has been plunged into chaos following the open rebellion from the Mages of Kirkwall and the utter collapse of the Chantry. Even the endgame of Dragon Age II featured the choice to align yourself with the Mages, who want their freedom, or the Templars, who want to protect the world from the danger of Mages who have either rebelled or, turned to Blood Magic and as a result have become maleficarum in the eyes of the Templars. The chaos in Kirkwall even caught the attention of Empress Celene I of Orlais. Since the rumored setting of Dragon Age III is Orlais I am excited to see where BioWare takes us.
2. Batman: Arkham Origins
Sure, it isn’t Batman Arkham 3, but I have a genuine interest in the prequel to the infamous Batman Arkham Asylum. I mean, it doesn’t have Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, or even Paul Dini for that matter but my interest is piqued. This is not the Batman you have come to love in the two Arkham games but a Batman who is still very green, a la Batman: Year One. The story is that Black Mask has put a bounty on the caped crusader and the eight best assassins in the world have come to collect. This includes perhaps the two most lethal assassins in the DC universe: Deathstroke the Terminator, and the infamous Deadshot. Other characters that are slated to appear in the game range from the psychotic clown the Joker to crime boss Alberto Falcone. The latter seen in Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb’s Batman: The Long Halloween. What makes me interested is the fact that since the Arkham City prison has not been constructed, the older parts of Gotham are no longer sealed off and can be entered by the Bats. Most interesting is the appearance of Penguin in this game and his ship the “Final Offer.” On the Final Offer are casinos, fighting pits, and a weapon sales area. The other intriguing fact is the Batman Year One inspiration and characters. As with Year One, the police confidant of Batman(Jim Gordon) is wary of the masked vigilante and corrupt Commissioner Loeb and GCPD Swat Team leader Branden make Batman’s life a living hell by covering up crimes in Gotham and hunting him all the while. Even though I am concerned with the creative team (Corey May who is famous for writing the Assassin’s Creed series, and Eric Holmes who is famous for his time with Radical Entertainment and work on games such as Prototype and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.) I am however happy that comic god Geoff Johns is involved with this project. After reading Batman: Earth One I know that Geoff Johns can get the job done.
3. Dying Light
This one is more of a choice of intrigue than anything else. Dying Light is a zombie game from Techland who is known for the Call of Juarez series and most recently the Dead Island series. Apparently this game is part Dead Island, part Mirror’s Edge, and part DayZ. Like Dead Island, Dying Light will feature a crafting system and will most likely be first person as well. The game features a day and night cycle as well and along with the free-running aspect, makes me extremely excited for this game. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that Techland will have two zombie games and with Dead Island being Dead Island I am a bit worried. But hopefully I am wrong with this and Dying Light takes the best of each of the games it takes its aspects from. This game’s appearance at E3 will hopefully answer my concerns.
4. Saints Row 4
I am a HUGE fanboy of the Saints Row series. Dating all the way back to the original Saints Row back in 2006. Then again, in the past seven-ish years Saints Row has become wackier and more cartoony much like the campus of Greendale Community College. After the pure insanity that was Saints Row the Third I didn’t think they could go any higher on their rocketpack of crazy. Boy was I wrong. The plot of Saints Row 4 involves an alien invasion that somehow results in the leader of the Third Street Saints becoming president because every single other person in the line of succession for one reason or another doesn’t want the presidency. The next part of Saints Row 4 is the introduction of super-powers. Before you call shenanigans, the meat of Saints Row 4 is in a simulation, a la Assassins Creed, so there is no way they are jumping the shark here. They are simply riding the shark like a horse, or a dragon. This isn’t the first time there have been superpowers in Saints Row however. In the Trouble With Clones DLC for Saints Row the Third your character is given basic super powers like super-speed, super-strength, and the ability to throw Ryu fireballs that can destroy practically anything in your general direction so it is not surprising for them to tease this in the previous game. My only concern is that since it has only been a year and a half since Saints Row 3 there won’t be as much time and care put in as opposed to the three year gap between two and three. With E3 only a short time away, I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
5. Untitled Respawn Entertainment Game
Word has it that Respawn Entertainment, the folks who left Infinity Ward and more importantly Activision and caused an exodus in their wake, will have their first game under their new studio at E3 in one form or another. Personally, I couldn’t care less about Call of Duty these days but for a brief time in late 2007 all I played was Call of Duty 4. But once the West and Zampella incident happened I lost all faith in Activision claiming to “never buy a game by Activision ever again.” Well, I’m a hypocrite since I’ve played virtually every Call of Duty since COD 4 and a lot of Activision games some good (Walking Dead Survival Instinct) and some atrocious (Spider Man Edge of Time) but still, I want to see what Respawn Entertainment has been doing for the last three or so years. Since they are the team behind the original Medal of Honor and Call of Duty I have faith in them once E3 rolls around.
There you have it. Those are the five games I am anticipating to see once E3 rolls around. But it’s going to be a long two weeks til E3.