Wherefore art thou, Samus?
There’s certainly a bit of a numb feeling after the whole E3 show last week.
It’s hard to explain but it’s that peculiar sense of coming down from good news that suddenly doesn’t seem so amazing anymore. Sony didn’t need to do much; they just turned up and looked smug whilst Microsoft rammed their head into the wall repeatedly, and Nintendo stayed well clear of the blast zone (actually, considering the Microsoft implosion, that might not have been a bad idea all told). Still, perhaps it’s because for some of us, there are still games unaccounted for and we’re a little concerned and perplexed by their absence.
So here are ten games I expected to hear about at E3. And… we… didn’t.
10 – God of War (Sony)
I know, I know, the last God of War was terrible. But really it wasn’t the selling feature of the product; the multiplayer was, and the single player felt like reheated leftovers from three nights ago, a cheaply turned over project in order to justify the multiplayer component. Which is okay, so let’s be honest here Sony; where was PS4 Kratos?
I mean, shift the focus to a new pantheon of gods and a new hero and it could be an interesting take, that Kratos has many guises and forms. Or that the tale can be retold from multiple perspectives. Either way, God of War is still one of Sony’s more bankable titles, and it puzzles me that he was so absent from the proceedings. Sony had plenty to show off, but surely some time could have been made for the ancient Greek nutcase, eh?
9. Eternal Darkness (Nintendo)
Considering the bile aimed at that spin-off by Denis Dyack, you’d think at the very least Nintendo would be talking about an eShop re-release of this cult classic. But like the game world, there was nothing but the deathly silence, as though the old god had been silenced once and for all by forces malevolent and wicked from beyond the veil of our reality.
In reality, I suspect there’s some time to go before Nintendo commit to this as an HD Remake, because unlike Wind Waker which had a distinctive art style, Eternal Darkness would need more intensive and serious work to keep it from falling apart at the seams. But still, with Shadow of the Eternals now buried, we need some Lovecraftian madness to cling onto!
8. Fable (Microsoft)
Of course no-one was really paying attention at the Microsoft show, but for those of us that were, the absence of the brash and comical world of Albion was certainly a very noticeable one. Perhaps there is some sore points left after Peter Molyneux’s departure, or they’re only considering the HD remake of the first Fable (hardly ambitious, really…).
But if there’s a game that was meant for open-world lunacy, Albion is it, and Fable suffered terribly at the hands of a creator who could never quite grasp the amazing thing that he had come up with. The idea was far greater and had more potential than its originator could have dreamed of, and given the right funding and the right team, there’s no reason Fable cannot be an amazing title for the XBox One.
7. The Last Guardian (Sony)
We’ve been waiting years for the final project from Team ICO to come to fruition, of the mysterious and beautiful large griffon-like beast who is gentle and kind to burst onto our screens and make us all fall in love with him/her/it. It almost feels like it’ll never happen. It seems even Sony aren’t sure if it is still going to happen.
But we want it to happen, as few images have enthralled and entranced people quite as much as the scale of this ambitious project, and the magical creature that is at the heart of the game itself. Sony may have warned us not to get our hopes up, but unfortunately our hearts and minds are set on that adorable creature, and we simply MUST know more about it!
6. Banjo-Kazooie (Microsoft)
It seemed that aside one showing, the Microsoft show was devoid of much colour, so perhaps it wasn’t a big surprise to see Banjo-Kazooie being noticeably absent from the proceedings. But when you bring up Rare, you invariably invoke their past projects and out of any of them, Banjo-Kazooie is the sort of thing Microsoft kind of need right now.
It’s a charming and whimsical world of humour and warmth, and more than that it’s the sort of family entertainment product that it needs to be seeding more and more if it wants any chance of dominating a living room. If all the machine plays are daddies big sweary games, then it’s more relegated to the dads “personal space”, rather than the living room proper…
5. Metroid (Nintendo)
Nintendo were the most guilty of any party with not delivering what people wanted, but still, there is validity to the assumption that Metroid – the game that Nintendo Land made a very big deal of – was at the least in the works. And we all want to see a brand spanking new Metroid game, because… well, Metroid Prime. That’s why.
And more than that, there are few titles that really could do some novel stuff with the second screen. Metroid is one of them, and the whole notion of a new alien world to poke about in, in full 1080p and at 60FPS, is just the kind of marketing ploy Nintendo really could use more of right now. Wii U needs to be seen as being next-gen enough. Metroid is the game to help them with that task.
4. Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem (Nintendo)
There was a certain ripple of excitement earlier in the year when the whole notion of this crossover was made official, because you are talking about two very specific cult addictions being manifest into one glorious bit of indulgent fan-service. The ripple is still there, but sadly, the initial view on the actual product is not.
Of course, in the West, fans of both titles know patience and know the pain of waiting an obscenely long time in getting what they want, but that’s really no excuse. It’s very rare when a crossover has the potential to really market itself to two very distinct audiences, and that’s what we have here. Hopefully fans of both won’t have too much longer to wait for news…
3. Beyond Good and Evil 2 (UbiSoft)
Just to prove it’s not merely first-party titles that deserve our attention, UbiSoft cruelly taunted us before E3 with a wonderful new HD image of everyone’s favourite porky mechanic, Pey’j. And this obviously sent a tingle of excitement down everyone. Could it possibly be happening? After over a decade of waiting? Could it be…
No, it couldn’t. Nothing, and frankly, it felt like a massive let-down in that regard. Beyond Good and Evil is one of those things that the press is as eager for as the fans; it was rightly praised, twice over in fact as the HD version received glowing reviews. UbiSoft are clearly taking a risk with Watch_Dogs… but not with a franchise most people want back again. C’est la vie. Carlson and Peters…
2. Half Life 3 (Valve)
It’s almost every freaking year we hear some speculation that this is when Valve will reveal the fruits of its long and secretive labours, and like most years it would appear that such speculation was once again total rubbish in every single way. Not saying I believed it, as I didn’t, but another year without Half Life 3 (or even 2 Episode 3) feels somewhat hollow.
I mean, Valve. We love you. Let’s get this clear right now. Steam has grown into a fine young creature and we’re all rightly proud you did the right things in the end, but you do realise episodic content was meant to be smaller games, released close together and regularly right? Telltale can get out The Walking Dead in a year. We’re beginning to wonder what your excuse is…
1. The Legend of Zelda HD (Nintendo)
We know Nintendo are working on a brand new Zelda game. We know this. We’ve heard discussions about it and that there is still some hand-wringing over it. But seriously, everyone who saw that real-time game demo of The Legend of Zelda at E3 last year were in universal agreement; we just want more of that, thanks, and in spades if you can please.
Wind Waker HD is largely a stop-gap, we know this. Still, even just glimpses or a teaser of the raw potential that a new Zelda game could be tapping into would have been enough to send everyone into fits of glee. Nintendo’s biggest title won’t be Mario HD. It will be Zelda HD. And it’s going to have to realise we are hungry, every so hungry, to see it in action…
And that’s at least ten games I thought were missing.
Come on, where are you all? I want to give you money!