11 games we’re excited to see at E3 2017

Super Mario Odyssey


 
We’ve only had the briefest of looks at what is by far Nintendo’s biggest Switch title announced so far, and as the game is all but confirmed for this year’s holiday season, we’re expecting to see a whole lot more of Super Mario Odyssey at E3, and for it to be playable on the show floor, too.
 
We’ve seen New Donk City in the reveal trailer, but what other worlds do we expect to travel through with Mario? And other than that crazy looking hat, what other fun power-ups will we get to use? All these questions and more should be answered, and make no mistake, Mario’s wide appeal means Odyssey could very well steal the show.


 
Star Wars Battlefront II


 
With the recent reveal showing protagonist (and devoted Imperial) Iden Versio and a flavor of the single player, it suddenly dawned on us that we’re actually getting two brand new Star Wars stories this year. Although little info has been released about the multiplayer, it’s at least looking like the game will feel more complete than the last entry did at launch, spanning literally the entire movie pantheon, rather than just being focused on the original trilogy. Which is great: say what you want about the original trilogy, but it sure had some great locations to explore, and some great shouts for new playable hero characters, too.
 
With excitement for the new movie set to reach fever pitch by the time the game’s released (it’s coming out less than eight weeks before The Last Jedi), the safe money’s on an extremely Star Wars-filled end to 2017.


 
Red Dead Redemption 2


 
This one’s kind of a long shot, and maybe more wishful thinking than anything else. The brief teaser Rockstar released last year was enough to set high expectations for a sequel to what many believe if still the developers’ magnum opus. And the sparse information hasn’t stopped the rumors flying either, with some believing that the new game with be a prequel to the events of the first, while others have clung to the idea that we’ll see an entirely different set of characters. The recent screenshots do nothing to give any more story details away but look stunning nonetheless.
 
So, why shouldn’t we expect to see Red Dead 2 at E3? Well, its release has just been pushed into Spring 2018, which could mean Rockstar aren’t quite ready to show their hand just yet. Plus they traditionally don’t show off gameplay for their games at the show, preferring to reveal details in the controlled environment of their own events. Here’s hoping this is the year they break that tradition.


 
Spider-man
 


Of course, we’re eager to see what Insomniac have been up to with their take on the Spider-Man franchise, and if the recent slip by a Marvel executive is to be believed, the game could even arrive in 2017.
 
If that is the case, E3 would be an absolute shoo-in for some gameplay footage to be shown, considering all we’ve seen of it so far is the cinematic teaser from last year’s Sony press conference.


 
Crackdown 3


 
There’s no denying that Microsoft desperately need a first-party game to do big business for them this year after they recently fell well behind Sony in that department. Not only that but with the impending release of the Scorpio (or whatever Xbox’s new, more powerful sibling winds up being called), a shiny new game that makes full use of the new mega-hardware is a must.
 
Step forward the long-gestating Crackdown 3, a game which has always been ambitious in scope, but also conspicuous by its absence for long periods of time. With the team boasting destructible terrain on an unprecedented scale, with a massive living city to explore in both single player and online, this really does seem the ideal Scorpio flagship. With the game’s team teasing it on social media consistently over the last few weeks, too, a fall/holiday release seems increasingly likely.


God of War


 
‘Dad of War’ was quite a big part of Sony’s E3 press conference last year, revealing a world based in Norse mythology and a very different, more contemplative feel, rather than the focus on bombastic, over-the-top combat of the previous games in the series. Was it a feint, or is God of War really a more narrative proposition that its predecessors?
 
This is almost guaranteed to have at least some presence at the show. It may even be playable.
 


New Assassin’s Creed
 


A year off from the franchise seems to have been the perfect tonic for the Assassin’s Creed, as the recent leaked screenshot (or should that be ‘leaked’—the supposedly accidental info drops for this series come along so regularly that it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain just how unintentional they really are), has caused quite a stir. It seems many are ready to jump back into what is still one of gaming’s most recognizable and successful franchises.
 
With the intriguing ancient Egyptian setting all but confirmed, along with the rumored title (the wholly uninspiring ‘Origins’), surely all that’s left is to show the game off and announce an impending fall/holiday release?
 


Sea of Thieves
 


Another Xbox exclusive that Microsoft really needs to be a success, everything we’ve so far seen of Rare’s co-op pirating simulator looks really fun, with the caveat that it’s still unclear what the game’s actual structure will be. Will we find ourselves in a completely freeform world? Will there by Left 4 Dead-style missions to be attempted together? Or what about a drop-in drop-out campaign?
 
However it’s shaping up, that 2017 launch isn’t getting any further away, so it’d be inconceivable for it to not make an appearance at this years show. Some positive hands-on impressions would do wonders for building the game’s buzz.
 


FarCry 5
 


Ubisoft’s recent release of the FarCry 5 logo, plus those enticing mini video snippets that tease the game’s new North American setting. The fictional location of Hope County, Montana has gotten many intrigued as to what direction the game will go in, especially when those teasers were so inescapably dark in tone.
 
There’s a reveal scheduled for before the show, and we’re expecting the same free-form craziness that has given the series its unique personality, but as for the rest, well, we’ll have to wait and see. Hands-ons are surely a must if it’s a 2017 game.
 

Image Credit: The Know on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4w_tMnHl6sw5VD93tVymGw

Image Credit: The Know on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4w_tMnHl6sw5VD93tVymGw


Pokemon Stars
 


Kind of a shot in the dark this one, but there’s been plenty of hype that, along with Mario, another of Nintendo’s big franchises will be announced for Switch. The name ‘Pokémon Stars’ has cropped up more than once in URLs for internal Nintendo websites, leading many to believe this might be the next game in the pocket monster battle-’em-up series, and that the logical place for it to end up would be the Switch.
 
Whether it would be an entirely new title or a combination of the recent 3DS titles Sun and Moon (which seems to be the most logical theory) remains to be seen, but either way, it’s entirely possible that the immensely popular franchise would make its way onto Nintendo’s wildly successful new console.
 
It would be kind of out of the blue, but Nintendo haven’t yet revealed all the titles they will be showing at E3, so there’s an outside chance we’ll be seeing more Pokémon this year. As for a release date, although 2017 is possible, 2018 is probably more likely. 
 


Metal Gear Survive
 


Call us masochistic, but we can’t help dwell on the catastrophe that was the Metal Gear Survive reveal last year. The video was endlessly down-voted, leading to many to decry the game’s very existence after series lead Hideo Kojima’s departure.
 
But there was no chance Konami would leave Metal Gear alone and isn’t it actually quite a shrewd move on their part to set the new game in another dimension and keep it away from the series’  key plotlines, at least for now? And what if it’s, you know…good? We’re genuinely interested to see what the gameplay has to offer, and won’t have to wait too long—a proper gameplay reveal should be present at this year’s E3.
 
 
What are you most looking forward to seeing at this years E3 show? Let us know in the comments!

5 Star Wars side characters we’d love to see in Battlefront 2

With Battlefront II freshly revealed, along with the exciting prospect of new playable heroes to control, we thought it’d be fun to think about how some of the Star Wars saga’s most memorable side characters would fit into the madness of multiplayer.

Jar Jar Binks

First appearance

Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace

Race

Gungan

Occupation

Bombad General; Gungan Representative to the Galactic Senate; Boob.

Weapons and abilities

Great swimmer, and can breathe underwater. Throws blue plasma balls with little skill but a surprisingly high chance of success. 

Why he should be in Battlefront II

Look, hear me out. Loathe him or hate him, Binks has an extremely significant role in the Star Wars universe. Let’s not forget that this tragic outcast rose from humble beginnings to become a general at the Battle of Naboo, and eventually, the Gungan Representative in the Galactic Senate. It’s an inspiring story, especially if you don’t mention the part where his deciding vote gives then-senator Palpatine the emergency executive powers he needs to raise an army, kick-start the Clone Wars and plunge the galaxy into darkness and tyranny.

Yes, he’s probably the least popular (and least racially sensitive) of the Star Wars saga’s side characters, but he could be a real lark to play as in Battlefront II. Think of it this way: is there a greater way to troll your opponents than beating them down using the most inept fool in the galaxy, clumsily flopping around and then ‘accidentally’ hitting them with one of those blue globules, then delivering the most humiliatingly gangly tea-bagging imaginable?

See, I knew you’d be on board.


Wicket W. Warrick

First Appearance

Star Wars: Episode VI Return Of The Jedi

Race

Ewok

Occupation

Warrior/scout

Weapons and abilities

Inherent cunning. Inquisitive nature. Handy with a spear. Employs guerrilla tactics, with the ability to set deadly traps for unsuspecting enemies.

Why he should be in Battlefront II

The first Ewok Leia encounters on Endor’s forest moon, this ‘jittery little thing’ ends up being instrumental in the Battle of Endor, despite being young at the time.

Probably the biggest effect Wicket has on the Star Wars saga is when he somehow decides not to skewer Leia to death after meeting her in Return Of The Jedi, despite her persistent condescending behavior towards him and insistence on treating him like a pet or small child the entire time. I mean, yes, he is small and he is cute. But how dare you just pick him up and sit him on that log like that! He’s a savage alien warrior, not your fluffy toy!

In Battlefront, Wicket would fit the flexible support hero class perfectly. A master of guerilla warfare, he could set traps for taking out unsuspecting stormtroopers and be especially effective against AT-STs, using swinging logs to squish them like they’re made of wet cardboard.


Mace Windu

First Appearance

Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace

Race

Human

Occupation

Jedi Master; Member Of The Jedi High Council.

Weapons and abilities

Grim demeanor. Badass saber-skills. Force powers. 

Why he should be in Battlefront II

Yes, he’s played by Samuel L. Jackson, so he’s automatically cool. But Windu is most notable for his lack of tolerance for the endless political scheming of the Senate. In fact, his BS-detector nearly saved the galaxy a lot of years of strife when he confronted Palpatine after figuring out he was actually Darth Sidious. Windu had the dark lord on the ropes too and probably would’ve finished him had it not been for the interference of the soon-to-be Emperor’s young apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. Bah!

Time for Master Windu to live again, and take revenge for his untimely demise. He’s known for his supreme dueling ability, even amongst the skilled ranks of the Jedi, so his hero in Battlefront 2 would have to be particularly handy with a laser sword. And maybe some secondary force powers are thrown in there too. Why not.


The Wampa

First appearance

Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back

Race

Er…wampa

Occupation

Vicious, carnivorous snow-predator.

Weapons and abilities

Huge claws and teeth. Tremendous strength. Hulking mass. Able to knock out and drag its prey away to its frosty ice-lair with ease.

Why he should be in Battlefront II

The great thing about the Wampa from The Empire Strikes Back (and, I guess wampas in general) is that it’s totally and utterly unconcerned with the Galactic Civil War, the Force, or any of that other nonsense. The Wampa serves to remind us that in a galaxy where an epic struggle between good and evil is continuously ongoing, there are still some pretty ferocious beasties just going about their business, unaffected by the grand machinations of the universe at large. Originally not much more than a disembodied claw, the Special Edition version of Empire gave the Wampa a suitably menacing form and a really memorable couple of scenes.

In the game, the Wampa’s bulky mass and thick hide would make it resistant to damage, and its huge claws and teeth would make it a great non-Jedi close combat specialist. And what about a special ability to immobilize an enemy and move them around wherever you please? Yes, it might be hard to justify why this animal would even be involved in the conflict, let alone decide which side to take. But hey, Battlefront’s multiplayer isn’t canon. Let’s go crazy.


General Grievous

First Appearance

Star Wars: Clone Wars

Race

Kaleesh/cyborg

Occupation

General; leader of the Droid Army of the Confederacy of Independent Systems

Weapons and abilities

Trained in the art of lightsaber combat. Carries multiple lightsabers. Has extensive cybernetic enhancements (including windmill arms!)

Why he should be in Battlefront II

A shrewd and triumphant leader; a cunning, ruthless strategist; a feared warrior who bested numerous Jedi in combat, taking their lightsabers as trophies. These facts, coupled with the fact that he chose to augment his fleshy Kaleesh body with killer cybernetics and a ludicrously menacing skull-shaped mask, mean General Grievous really should have been one of the Star Wars universe’s most enduring villains.

As it turned out, he was really just a pawn of Count Dooku (himself, Sidious’s pawn) who ended up meeting his end in a sadly uninspiring way, killed by his own blaster. In short, he was a disappointing waste of what was a pretty decent character design. At least the equally cool-looking Darth Maul got an epic fight scene before he bought the farm, contributing to that character’s enduring fan-favorite status.

Grievous’s inclusion in Battlefront 2 would be the sweetest form of redemption. He could finally live up to the promise of his fearsome appearance and spread melee chaos everywhere with his multiple lightsabers, slicing through infantry like warm butter in a nimble dance of death, before carefully slipping back under his cloak once the battle was over for a breather.

Honorable mentions:


Bib Fortuna; Admiral Ackbar; K2-SO; Mon Mothma


We’ve gone with canon-only choices, but there are plenty of Extended Universe characters that could make great Battlefront heroes. Let us know which of your favorites deserve the Battlefront hero treatment in the comments!