Around this time last year, I was squished in between two rather large men and surrounded by blinking, chattering electronics.
It was hot — well over 100 degrees outside — and the L.A. Convention Center wasn’t much cooler. The main stages were cool enough, but the rows of Xbox Ones and PlayStation 4s can get extremely sweaty — especially the aisles with popular games.
This paradise was the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014. I was there — alone, outgunned and dehydrated — covering various gaming odds and ends for The Bee and GamesBeat. I swam through a sea of nearly 50,000 other media and game industry professionals to play all the latest games and celebrate all the newest announcements.
I won’t be doing that this year. It isn’t possible for me to miss basically all of my third week as a full-time metro reporter to chat with developers and sweat on the machines with my peers.
And that’s really too bad, because this year’s E3 has a much more impressive list of rumors and confirmed announcements swirling around it.
Although I am not going, the media teams at the various publishers have been funneling information on what’s to come to me through email all week. Here are the biggest and brightest announcements and updates that I am expecting from E3 2015.
This is it. This is the Alpha and the Omega of E3 showcases — the one we’ve been waiting four years for.
I thought for sure it was coming last year. I actually wrote a piece in November 2013 about the rumors — a Bethesda location scout at MIT in Boston, the tweets of a voice actor. I went to my Bethesda appointment and gave them my saddest puppy dog eyes. Nothing.
But it’s here.
We have already seen an absolutely breathtaking trailer. Sure, the graphics were terrible. The game looks like it was made two or three years ago. Heck, maybe it was.
I don’t care. It’s Fallout. It is without question one of the last franchises that I and everyone else even remotely interested in mature sci-fi action games should trust unconditionally regardless of any red flags.
I want more. And Bethesda has implicitly told the world that more is coming at next week’s event. There are even rumors that it will be ready to go before the end of the year. We’ll see.
Halo 5: Guardians
Like “Fallout 4,” we know for sure that more details surrounding the latest entry in Microsoft’s flagship shooter are coming at E3 2015.
Developer 343 Industries released information this week on the plot of “Halo 5: Guardians.”
Players will control Spartan Locke and Master Chief, protagonists from earlier in the franchise, as they work together to defeat some space-age menace. Each commander will lead a team of three apparently playable soldiers. Expect some sort of team-based combat angle to be massaged in with the traditional blast-all-bugs combat we know and love.
I am looking for Microsoft and 343 to show us as much gameplay footage as possible. Their 2014 release, “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” was filled with all of the wrong kind of bugs.
We have faith in the series, but it was shaken. Another buggy release could crumble one of the most popular and successful franchises in video game history.
Gamers need to see a polished, working gem next week.
No Man’s Sky
I am not sure if we will get anything concrete on the breathtaking sci-fi space explorer “No Man’s Sky,” but I hope we do.
We have seen the visuals. We know the sheer scale of explorable space is far beyond the comprehension of most mortals — and even some computers, I’d venture.
What we need is a release date and a little more explanation of the game’s story.
It seems as if the plot is quite intentionally an afterthought; the point of “No Man’s Sky” is to explore unique, colorful worlds and spot dinosaurs. But I think a little bit more information on what the “point” of the game is would do many players a world of good.
Mass Effect 4
This is where I delve into the “maybe” pile.
BioWare has confirmed that it is working on “Mass Effect 4.” Most leaks about video games in development come from voice actors and other contracted labor who come in for a short time, do some work and leave. BioWare seems to have kept a pretty tight lid on these people, so we really don’t know much about it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it is pretty far along — maybe even primed for a 2015 release.
Regardless, many of us will wait with baited breath to see if EA or BioWare release any details about one of the last living single player role-playing franchises.
Finally, the announcement of a new Metroid game is my long-shot offering.
There’s no real evidence to support Samus Aran making her grand entrance onto the Wii U, but I believe it is possible.
We haven’t had a Metroid in nearly five years, so we’re about due. The second and most important reason to hope for a Metroid is simple: Nintendo is fighting a losing battle in the console wars, and it needs to call in one of its finest soldiers to take up the fight.