Pixel Judge E3 Predictions
Arguably gaming's biggest event of the year – E3 is right around the corner and is usually an exciting time for gamers as a torrent of news, trailers and hype seep out of the event. This year's show promises to be extra interesting with companies like Bethesda holding press conferences right alongside the more traditional participants like Microsoft and Ubisoft.
We decided to get in on the fun this time around and called on the Pixel Judge staff to throw their predictions into a hat. We then realised our terrible mistake and decided to talk about it for 2 hours and 40 minutes. Some of the topics are safe, some are outlandish, sometimes we forget who publishes a franchise and look like morons but it's all part of the fun. You can listen to the entire behemoth session above, or you can use the handy programme below to pick and choose which bits you listen to.
Bethesda's our opening topic (0:19). Though our rambling brings us to various Bethesda games, Elder Scrolls and Fallout are the main topics. Plenty of digressing here; we talk about completing games, game design and our love for, as yet neglected Elsweyr. Closing out those topics we talk about the AWOL DOOM (6:20), specifically the new teaser and the promised beta. RAGE pops up (7:14) along with the possibility of something new. We also go all amateur analyst talking about the possibility of a new idTech (8:39) engine.
Ubisoft's the next victim (10:42). Opening proceedings we talk about rumours and Watch_Dogs. Everyone's favourite Ubi showing, The Division (11:39) pops up next, with a discussion about release windows. Assassin's Creed (12:57) rears its hooded head just in time for us to sequel nicely into innovations and Rainbow Six: Siege (13:37) with Jordan providing us with cold hard facts when we're clueless. It wouldn't be an Ubi discussion without Splinter Cell (16:34) where we have hope but little faith (17:14). Cynicism HO!
The sands of time keep flowing though and it's not long before Prince of Persia (17:34) comes out of the blue. We're not entirely cynical though, Bobfish has a lot of hope for Beyond Good & Evil 2 (18:40) with us rapidly moving into talking about our love for the Ubi Arts studios (19:40). We also prove we're going a bit senile (20:29), a Far Cry from sanity but we do touch on innovation. We commend Ubi on their DLC (22:53) practices, which was all a bit surreal. Closing out we get a bit wishful (24:25) and talk about horror movies. If you're listening Ubi, you can have our Far Cry: Werewolf idea for free. Oh, we also get a bit unrelated and give Borderlands (25:38) the whip, Ubi don't escape (27:20) when we start talking about initial expectations for new franchises.
EA comes to the slaughter next (29:10) with us taking a shot at Star Wars Battlefront immediately, where our lack of faith is disturbing (30:47) but the lack of features mentioned earlier is more disturbing. The possibility of seeing the beta (32:15) is raised. Battlefield (33:22) is a long shot but we briefly touch on that before talking about release dates for Battlefront, it's almost like we're nerds. Nah (34:40). We move on to Sith Lords, Lightsabers and the black Stormtrooper (35:03).
Almost professionally we move on to Mass Effect 4 (36:10) and Need For Speed (37:01) where we can exercise our nostalgia. Cars manage to stick around (38:30) as we digress even further (39:15) by talking about The Crew and ambition.
With all our reflecting done, Mirror's Edge (41:15) pops up but talk of trailers (42:12) brings us back to Mass Effect 4 and our trailer predictions and personal wishes (42:58) for the future of the series.
Activision (44:10) usually have a strong, flashy E3 presence and provide me with a chance to gush over the new Call of Duty (44:20) while Bobfish is a bit more level-headed. It'd be criminal if we didn't talk Black Ops 3 (45:28), covering coop, map design, developer foresight, and finish up with story and multiplayer (46:47).
Guitar Hero (48:04) is a thing, but does it belong in the past? We discuss maturity and the changing music scene to try and decide. Folk music (49:44), chap hop and our personal wishes surface again. We're not sure what else Activision do (50:44) leading us to joke about Spider Man games before Jordan once again saves the day by mentioning Tony Hawk's games (51:08). Swiftly moving on I bring up Blur (52:03) but no one else seems as enthusiastic. Boo. Movie tie-ins (52:28) are an inevitability. After lengthy comic-movies talk I demand an explanation for Destiny (54:10) and butcher a joke about airline peanuts. We bounce about between talking about DLC and sequels before settling on PC (54:57) being a good fit for Destiny while discussing the merits of cross-platform play while touching on aiming (56:36) on consoles versus PC.
Microsoft (57:55) comes up, with us talking about Windows 10. The upgrade just became available at the time of writing. After taking a few digs at the Xbox we move on to DirectX 12 (59:00) and talk about a possible PC Halo exploiting this to sell the new OS. We're not all impressed by the Witch Chapter 0 [Cry] (1:01:00) tech demo that showcased DX12 and what it might mean for Final Fantasy 15 coming to PC. Console hardware (1:02:15) and performance becomes a talking point especially when we include its influence on the PC market and whether or not we'll see a technical leap (1:04:30) with newly invented 3D chips.
AMD and nVidia (1:05:22) give us an excuse to talk about the hardware we wish we could afford while talking about the difference between the two designers. Nvidia's naming policies (1:06:15) get called into question too, but we all get confused by what the names actually mean. As usual Jordan educates us plebian consumers. We turn to software next (1:08:35) discussing nVidia Hairworks, PhysX and whether they'll expand their physics simulation to other objects. Price (1:10:47) ends up getting mixed up with drivers and perhaps a bit of brand loyalty, oh dear.
VR (1:12:30) leads us to talking about release dates for Oculus Rift, Vive and prohibitively expensive costs. We can all agree we're not fans of Facebook (1:13:20) and predict a dystopian future for the Rift. Hardware bundles (1:15:20) between graphics cards and VR headsets raises questions about the future of VR as a mainstream peripheral. Returning to talking about graphics hardware (1:18:45) we touch on the benefits of Steam and the consoles on the mid-range PC market. Price is a sticking point for many gamers (1:20:22) and something we address.
What's this? Nintendo (1:22:54) in a PC-centric podcast? Bobfish talks about hardware becoming more uniform across platforms. Fortunately at the time of writing a rumour is floating around that Nintendo's new hardware will be Android based, lending some credence to our theories. I'm still not convinced we'll see Mario on PC (1:26:02) but we do salivate a little at the thought of a PC Animal Crossing. We briefly touch on the growing mobile market (1:27:01) and Nintendo's titanic share of the market in Japan, moving on to the benefits of the Japanese mobile market and convincing the west that mobile games don't have to suck.
There's not much more PC than the MMORPG (1:29:30) and I can't resist wishing for a western release of the Monster Hunter MMO and end up talking about tie-ins between hardcore PC games and mobile/tablet apps.
We still have lots to talk about (1:31:50) that isn't tied to any of the traditional E3 presences, namely Deep Silver. Rapidly shooting through some of our favourite games before settling on a new Saints Row (1:32:54) as a likely candidate for making an appearance this year while extolling the virtues of fun and beer (1:34:40) in the franchise. Homefront 2 (1:35:43) has a lot of promise, we're all living in hope of a quality sequel from Dambuster Studio. Money (1:37:05) is always an issue in game development, and one that might influence how Deep Silver's developers make quality experiences.
We touch on (1:38:19) Dead Island 2, I and quickly move on to Nordic Games who we all hope will give us a new Red Faction game. I admit to a bit of Wikipedia (1:39:49) cheating while we talk about possible future Warhammer games, of which there have recently been a glut of quality titles, with more promised in the near future. Deep Silver returns (1:41:00) when we remember the existence of the Metro games, while using our Sherlock-like intellect to delude ourselves into believing there's more coming. We hope there'll be a release date for indie darling Mighty No 9 (1:42:12).
Divinity (1:42:33) developers Larian will have something at E3, and our Lords Of The Fallen 2 prediction has already been validated, again at the time of writing. In this segment we also touch on why “clones” of a game can have an appeal all their own. Confusion (1:45:50) leads us to predicting seeing something about Tomb Raider this year.
Hellblade from Ninja Theory (1:46:20) might also make an appearance, though we're wary of hearing any PC news about the title. Larian (1:47:12) have already made the best PC RPG in recent years but we're not sure what we're going to see from them, hopefully a sequel but something original would be just as newsworthy.
Square Enix (1:48:35) has a strong PC presence with us predicting details on Just Cause 3, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Tomb Raider and (not) Thief. Hopefully we're not the only ones wishing for Final Fantasy 10 (1:49:20) making its way to PC, as well as touching on the virtues of foresight in relation to Final Fantasy 13. We then get confused again (1:51:03) about which games are even on PC, proving our qualifications to talk about this stuff. Wishful thinking continues (1:52:10) while we suggest PC ports of Final Fantasy 6 and Bravely Default 2, though we don't really believe it'll happen. Confident in our sexuality we admit to liking Final Fantasy X-2 (1:53:05) and tell everyone to watch this monstrosity:
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (1:54:37) is Square Enix's big PC title right now, sparking a discussion about what we've already seen leading us to predict Deus Ex might be Square Enix's focus this year.
On the day of recording we had a teaser for Advent (1:56:20) which has since been dug into by inquisitive minds and is almost certainly a new XCOM game. That doesn't stop us from getting plenty nerdy and predicting anything from Bioshock to a Syndicate style game. I do come rather close when I talk about the screenshots (1:57:32) looking like assets from a strategy game while I give a not so subtle shout out to Satellite Reign (1:58:00) before we ramble on quite a lot and even theorise an Advent Rising sequel. We eventually get to the XCOM thread thanks to Bobfish, but it's quickly dismissed. Oh how blind we were.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (2:01:07) will almost certainly feature dogs and boxes, maybe playable? Konami's stupidity (2:02:00) still entertains us with talk about Kojima and Hard Corps and their push for focus gaming while nuking PT from existence. It's not long before we're talking about Metal Gear Solid's multiplayer components (2:03:55) and how Metal Gear Solid 5 looks like it's learned from the past to create a more diverse experience. My fanboy might show through a bit on this topic, even getting excited about a horse taking a shit (2:06:25) amongst other things. Concerns are raised about the story (2:07:02) for newcomers while Bobfish has trouble making sense of it all throughout the lengthy discussion.
A switch of topics (2:11:05) moves the discussion to Mad Max which had just received a release date when we were recording. We predict a big showing at E3 and geek out about all the awesome cars (2:11:40). Half remembered information (2:12:32) leads us to talk about the Interceptor while Bobfish talks about the fire/car interface which leads us to talk about the design decisions that may or may not have been made. We talk about the dearth (2:14:17) of information in regards to story, multiplayer and gameplay, concluding that we just want to see Mad Max killing people.
Telltale Games (2:17:52) have a Marvel IP. We hope its Deadpool or The Punisher but manage to geek out about Marvel comics in general, suggesting Warlock, Cable and Wolverine too. I also manage to fumble talking about another comic while Bobfish keeps thing moving by suggesting Blade (2:21:19) and Jordan's incredulous reactions to Captain Britain are sure to amuse. Telltale manage to get us interested in series (2:23:00) despite not particularly liking the source materials. There's even a terrible impersonation (2:23:49) for you to laugh at. One thing's for sure, we'll be keeping our eyes open for info on this one.
Half Life 3 confirmed (2:24:07). We talk about Valve's possible offerings, mainly sequels to their best series; Portal 3 and Left 4 Dead 3. Rumours circulating for years have supposedly shown Source Engine 2 assets from Left 4 Dead 3 which we think lends some weight to our predictions. We also give Valve their digs (2:25:55) in relation to the number three as well as hoping for a new Orange Box (2:26:38) style release. Bobfish firmly believes (2:27:05) we'll see at least a small release from them this year. We can't forget the Valve controller (2:28:00) and SteamOS, though we're not all convinced of the controller's design decisions and Jordan and Bobfish attempt to explain haptic feedback to me. Oh dear. SteamOS meanwhile (2:30:25) has a lot of promise for the future of PC gaming and we discuss OpenGL and the stagnation of DirectX games development. Bobfish gets stuck in a loop (2:32:27) and we finish up by talking about making SteamOS a success for the average gamer.
Last minute predictions (2:34:15) reveal more Jordan knowledge with the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5 and a short discussion about Crytek's deal with Amazon as well as how well Crysis would fit the open world sandbox genre with more wishful thinking while Jordan talks about in-game abilities and how they can empower players. Just before wrapping up we rag on the Devil May Cry ports and predict a new Zone Of The Enders.
Thank you to everyone who listened to the podcast. We hope you had as much fun with it as we did. Our E3 coverage will be running alongside the event so stay tuned to find out what new exciting thing pops out of the industry next.