2017 The Game Awards Predictions

2017 ended up being an amazing year for games, to the point it might even be considered the best of this generation. New and interesting games, old franchises making incredible comebacks whilst others established themselves. Like last year, let’s make some predictions about the possible winners of this year’s The Game Awards. What are your favorite choices, let’s talk in the comments.

And the nominees are:

Game of the Year

  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

If I had to guess

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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In a year with great nominees, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild really stood out. Personally, my game of the year would be Horizon Zero Damn, I still am enamored by the beauty of the world, the exciting combat, great lead character, Aloy may become as big as Nathan Drake, Master Chief. However, BoTW brought something new and changed the way open world games should work, allowing the player to access any region of the map. It also had interesting survival aspects, varied landscapes, and a real feeling of joy and discovery.

PS: I just can’t accept the fact that an early access title is nominated to game of the year, no matter how much it sold or how much people love it, it would be better to add a new category for that type of game.

Best Game Direction

  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames / Bethesda)

If I had to guess

Super Mario Odyssey

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I believe another Nintendo game takes the award, but instead of Zelda, Super Mario Odyssey will be the winner. They managed to completely change what we think of 3D platformers again, while games like Yooka-Laylee hold on to the glory days of the genre, Super Mario Odyssey has innovative mechanics, such as the ability to use a hat to transform into any character. And not only that, every part of the game feels that has a purpose, impressing with the variety of gameplay options, and the beautiful design.

Best Narrative

  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Tameem Antoniades, Elizabeth Ashman-Rowe / Ninja Theory)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (John Gonzalez / Ninja Theory)
  • Nier: Automata (Yoko Taro, Hana Kikuchi, Yoshiho Akabane / Platinum Games)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Ian Dallas / Giant Sparrow)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Jen Matthies, Tommy Tordsson Bjork / MachineGames)

If I had to guess

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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One of the biggest surprises of the year for me was how great the story of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was. The New Order was a very good game, but its sequel manages to turn a story that could just be silly into something unique, with crazy, charismatic and compelling characters. It has one of the most believable couples in games, and it goes to completely unexpected places without losing steam or feeling rushed. The other candidates also have great stories, like Hellblade touching important subjects, and Horizon, that created an enticing world and an incredible character like Aloy, What Remain of Edith Finch having a bizarre, unusual story. But none reached the same level of Wolfenstein II.

Best Art Direction

  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR Entertainment)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

If I had to guess

Cuphead

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Horizon’s creature design was impressive, Persona 5 has a style unlike any other game, BoTW showed that you don’t need a powerful machine to create a vast and breathtaking world, and Destiny 2 is just jaw-dropping. But Cuphead is a design feat, to see a small team recreating the look of 1930’s cartoons into a game is something to marvel at. It manages to bring something never seen before in the industry whilst feeling modern, and I think that it will resonate with voters. It is a design masterpiece.

Best Score / Music

  • Cuphead (Kristofer Maddigan)
  • Destiny 2 (Mike Salvatori, Skye Lewin, C Paul Johnson)
  • NieR: Automata (Keiichi Okabe, Keigo Hoashi)
  • Persona 5 (Shoji Meguro)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Naoto Kubo, Shiho Fujii, Koji Kondo)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Manaka Kataoka, Yasuaki Iwata)

If I had to guess

Destiny 2

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This may be my weirdest guess, but Destiny 2’s soundtrack was completely unexpected, especially after the departure of Marty O’Donnell, a drop in quality wouldn’t surprise anyone. But what we saw was a diverse soundtrack, with different sounds that you might see at a regular FPS. It created an amazing atmosphere throughout the entire campaign, enthralling the player from beginning to end.

Best Audio Design

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

If I had to guess

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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This will sound impartial, but if Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice doesn’t win the award, it will be an outrage. Hellblade’s sound is just perfect, powerful, an integral part of the experience, that without it would be lessened. Using binaural audio Ninja Theory made the gameplay a lot more tense, oppressive, nightmarish, putting the player in the head of Senua, as you hear the voices that guide, deceive, frighten, torment her. A game that must be played with headphones to be fully experienced, it goes beyond its competitors.

Best Performance

  • Ashly Burch, Horizon Zero Dawn (As Aloy)
  • Brian Bloom, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (as BJ Blazkowicz)
  • Claudia Black, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (as Chloe Frazer)
  • Laura Bailey, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (as Nadine Ross)
  • Melina Juergens, Hellblade (as Senua)

If I had to guess

Ashly Burch as Aloy – Horizon Zero Dawn

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Melina Juergens is also very deserving of the award, especially if we consider the fact that she wasn’t even an actress prior to playing Senua, as she made you feel every emotion she went through, the pain, the doubt, the misery. However, I think Ashly Burch will take it, as she performed Aloy in a way that perfectly displayed the various facets of character, her courage, her fear, her doubts, her hope, in such a charismatic, honest manner that she will become not only the face of PlayStation but of the industry as well.

Games for Impact

  • Bury Me, My Love (The Pixel Hunt / Figs / ARTE / Playdius)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm (Deck Nine / Square Enix)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Please Knock on My Door (Levall Games AB)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow / Annapurna Interactive)

If I had to guess

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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I love the Life is Strange series, even though Before the Storm doesn’t have the same level of quality as the original, and Night in the Woods deals with depression in a natural and genuine manner. Yet, Hellblade doesn’t only tackle mental issues in the story, but also in the gameplay, in the sounds and sights. It creates the entire experience around it, using advisers to assist on how to demonstrate the aspects of the disease. And the fact that we see that in a game with a bigger budget represents a bold and much-needed move by the developers, that throughout the story showed how it affected Senua, the struggles she went through and how she dealt with them.

Best Ongoing Game

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision)
  • Grand Theft Auto Online (Rockstar Games)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG. Corp)
  • Rainbow Six: Siege (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft)
  • Warframe (Digital Extremes)

If I had to guess

Overwatch

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My personal vote would go to Rainbow Six: Siege, simply because of the fact that not only they brought gamers back, but greatly increased the audience, reshaping the entire game with constant updates. But my bet would be on Overwatch, that consistently adds great characters, thematic events while maintaining an active audience that became so big it turned into an important part of Blizzcon.

Best Independent Game

  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR Entertainment)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Pyre (Supergiant Games)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow / Annapurna Interactive)

If I had to guess

Cuphead

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After several years of development, Cuphead was expected to be underwhelming, as it usually happens with games that are shown years ahead of release. Gladly that wasn’t the case, even the added platform moments felt amazing, it was as beautiful as expected and incredibly challenging, feeling like an old school game that fits perfectly in our current gaming landscape.

Best Action Game

  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR Entertainment)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision)
  • Nioh (Team Ninja / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Prey (Arkane Studios / Bethesda)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames / Bethesda)

If I had to guess

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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It is beautiful, bold, brash, crazy, the gameplay is frantic, explosive, visceral and it deserves this award. Wolfenstein II greatly enhanced aspects of the first game whilst adding new mechanics, new and surprisingly compelling characters, and turned “B.J.” Blazkowicz into one of the best characters of the year. The fact that they annoyed nazis was a plus.

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

If I had to guess

Horizon Zero Dawn

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Since I betted that Zelda would win game of the year, and award shows tend to prefer to spread the awards, I would bet on Horizon to take this category. And I really do believe that it is a better action game than Zelda, the characters are more well-developed, the variety of enemies is great, the world is mysterious and beautiful, and the combat is truly exciting and challenging. It made me tense like I wasn’t in a long time, as it requires you to think fast and adapt to enemies. The fact that it is one of the most beautiful games on any console also helps.

Best Role-Playing Game

  • Divinity: Original Sin II (Larian Studios)
  • Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix Business Division 2 / Square Enix)
  • NieR: Automata (Platinum Games / Square Enix)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Ubisoft San Francisco / Ubisoft)

If I had to guess

Persona 5

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a remarkable title, NieR: Automata is strangely amazing, Final Fantasy XV was a rebirth for the series. Persona 5 on the other hand, represents the epitome of the franchise, improving on every single level, with a refined combat system, time management mechanics, a wonderful cast, stunning visuals. Simply the best example of what JRPG’s can bring to the market, and why they are so loved.

Best Fighting Game

  • Arms (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Injustice 2 (NetherRealm Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Ent)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (Capcom)
  • Nidhogg 2 (Messhof Games)
  • Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco Studios / Bandai Namco Entertainment)

If I had to guess

Injustice 2

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The easiest category for me, mainly because Injustice 2 is not only the best fighting game of the year, especially after Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite’s disappointment, it is one of the best games of the year. When it comes to gameplay it still feels great, the graphics are flawless, with some of the best facial expressions we’ve ever seen, there’s a robust customization system. And let’s talk about the story, an example that the DCU should follow, by creating a serious story with huge stakes, but that doesn’t feel forced or dragged, it has light and dark moments, and it worked perfectly.

Best Family Game

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft Paris + Milan / Ubisoft)
  • Sonic Mania (PagodaWest Games, Headcannon / Sega)
  • Splatoon 2 (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)

If I had to guess

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

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Despite my impression that either Super Mario Odyssey or Splatoon 2 will win, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle caught people off guard. What many expected to be just this simple strategy game ended up becoming a lighter, more colorful version of XCOM, without the squad management, but as much fun and exciting to play.

Best Strategy Game

  • Halo Wars 2 (Creative Assembly, 343 Industries / Microsoft Studios)
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft Paris + Milan / Ubisoft)
  • Total War: Warhammer II (Creative Assembly / Sega)
  • Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (Firaxis Games / 2K)

If I had to guess

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

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This category I had some question before choosing. After all, Halo Wars 2 was good, but kind of a disappointment and I don’t believe that neither Total War: Warhammer 2 nor Tooth and Tail have the profile, the attention required to win. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen was well-received, however, it just an expansion and it didn’t get the level of adoration for that to happen. So I chose Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle to win another award, it had critical acclaim, it managed to reach a bigger market, and it really was a good strategy game.

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • FIFA 18 (EA Vancouver / EA)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 (Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft Studios)
  • Gran Turismo Sport (Polyphony Digital / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • NBA 2K18 (Visual Concepts / 2K Sports)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PES Productions / Konami)
  • Project Cars 2 (Slightly Mad Studios / Bandai Namco Entertainment)

If I had to guess

Forza Motorsport 7

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This one was based on elimination. Fifa 18 wasn’t a great evolution and has microtransactions issues. NBA 2K18 doesn’t deserve the award because of the microtransactions. Gran Turismo Sport was a letdown. Project Cars 2 was praised but didn’t seem to garner a lot of love or a huge audience. PES 2018 didn’t make any noise. Forza Motorsport enhanced some areas, changed some things, and still is a great addition to the series, known for its huge quality, so that’s why I think it will win.

Best Multiplayer

  • Call of Duty: WWII (Sledgehammer Games / Activision)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie / Activision)
  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo EAD / Nintendo)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)
  • Splatoon 2 (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

If I had to Guess

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

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This one is a lock, although I don’t agree with the game of the year nomination, there’s no denying PUBG’s huge impact this year for multiplayer games. It sold more than 20 million copies, reached more than 2 million concurrent players. The fact that they accomplished that without a major marketing budget, or a huge publisher behind speaks to the quality of the game, that became a phenomenon.

Most Anticipated Game

  • God of War (Santa Monica Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Monster Hunter World (Capcom)
  • Red Dead Redemption II (Rockstar Games)
  • The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

If I had to guess

Red Dead Redemption 2

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Rockstar has had a track record of winning The Game Awards and its previous iterations and not only that, but the other nominees end up competing with each other. Monster Hunter World doesn’t have the cache, the 3 others are PlayStation exclusives. God of War is just around the corner and we have already seen it for a long time, both Marvel’s Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part 2 might not even come out next year. Red Dead Redemption II has a release window and is a highly expected sequel from an adored game, just remember the commotion this picture caused last year.

Best Debut Indie Game

  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR Entertainment)
  • Golf Story (Sidebar Games)
  • Hollow Knight (Team Cherry)
  • Mr. Shifty (Team Shifty)
  • Slime Rancher (Monomi Park)

If I had to guess

Cuphead

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Again Cuphead, but it really is an accomplishment most notably coming from a debuting studio, that created a product that captured the imagination of gamers around the world. Slime Rancher and Golf Story have a big change to win as well, however, I put my chips on Cuphead.

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E3 Expectations: Sony

After last year’s stellar presentation, Sony is expected to show more of the games introduced in 2016 and bring new surprises hoping to keep the momentum going. In a year in which their biggest competitors have new hardware to show, and exciting games, they must bring their A game to keep customers interested. But what can we expect from Sony this year?

First-party

God of War

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Given the massive banner on a building near the conference area, we can be sure it will have a huge showing at the conference, as confirmed by a 1 hour presentation scheduled at E3 coliseum. The comeback of a beloved franchise, it feels like a soft reboot, changing the setting, gone are the Greek gods, in comes Nordic mythology. Kratos’ son will probably play a huge role on the story, looking similar to what Ellie did in The Last of Us.

It will be interesting to find out more about the dynamic between him and his son, especially due to his past, and what happened to his family before. Sounding like a departure from the angry character who would tear people apart for the joy of killing, we can hope to see a calmer Kratos, focusing on raising his son. We can expect to see a long gameplay demo on stage, showing more of the combat, the enemies, and a glimpse of the story. I’d bet it will be Sony’s main Fall game, coming out in October.

Spider-Man

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The first big project from Insomniac since the incredible Sunset Overdrive, and the suprising Ratchet & Clank remake, the exclusive Spider-Man game will make an appearance, as confirmed by the studio. We’ll hopefully see gameplay for the first time, after the interesting, but mainly empty trailer from last year.

After some low-quality titles in the past years, it’s nice to see this franchise in good hands again, especially if they adapt the fluid gameplay from Sunset Overdrive, that was its best feature. As God of War, this game will probably receive a major push, with more on the world, story, characters, villains. Since it isn’t connected to the MCU, it doesn’t have to come out this year, I’d guess it will be released in Fall 2018.

Days Gone

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After the attention received in last year’s conference, Days Gone must have another demo, this time focused on the characters and the world. Despite the great reception, some criticized the game for feeling formulaic, too similar to The Last of Us. Even though it was recognized by its beauty and the sheer impressive number of zombies on the screen, they’ll need to show more to keep the hype.

A very important project to Sony Bend, mainly because it took several years to be developed, Days Gone can represent a milestone for the studio. If it is a massive success, it can bring them to the first division of Sony’s studios, if it fails, it may be their doom. They need to highlight what makes it different in a market flooded with Zombie games, and here they’ll have the perfect opportunity to do that. I believe it will be released this year, as another Fall title, but if I were Sony, I’d do it Q1 2018, since we’re talking about a new IP that could use less competition.

New IP from Sucker Punch

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Since the release of Infamous Second Son, Sucker Punch has been completely quiet with no leaks regarding their new project. All we know is that Shuhei Yoshida has played a demo of it, but other than that, it’s a complete blackout. We can expect for them to completely leave Infamous behind.

There are talks about it being a third-person game with an open world, but I would love to see them follow Guerrilla and do something completely unexpected. From a hero to a horror, or a linear story-heavy game. Maybe a tease trailer will be shown, but a gameplay demo would be ideal. I think it may come out late 2018, early 2019.

Horizon DLC

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Announced after the astonishing success from the title, that has sold more than 3.4 million copies so far. No details were revealed, but it could be interesting to see more about Aloy and Rost’s relationship, the training for the Proving. Or a completely different take, showing more about Sylen’s past, or even Rost’s story making you play the situation that caused him to become an outcast.

The Last of Us Part 2

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Since the surprise announcement at PSX, with a strong and impactful trailer, not much has been said about The Last of Us: Part 2. Despite the remote chance of it appearing on this year’s conference, we may end up seeing a new trailer, maybe showing more about the new characters. Given Naughty Dog’s incredible capacity of creating games with great speed and quality, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw gameplay for the first time at PSX.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

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The Naughty Dog game that will probably get more attention this year, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy may have another demo, albeit a smaller one than at PSX, I believe. The surprise is that what we once thought out to be a small story, now looks like a substantial DLC, and a welcome addition to the Uncharted franchise.

GT Sport

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A real Mexican soap-opera, that’s how I define the release of every Gran Turismo game. Despite talking about innovations and how the franchise has meaningful iterations when compared to the competition, the series seems to have lost its title as the simulation king. Losing relevance, in part due to the long time between each title, and technical aspects that are inferior to the competition. They must have an impressive showing to regain some fans. I think it will come out in September or Q1 2018.

Detroit: Become Human

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Another E3 comes, and another Detroit: Become Human appearance is expected. A promising game that has everything to be a resounding success, but that has been demoed for so much time that it may suffer the same way the first Watch Dogs did. Taking so much time from announcement to release that people might lose their interest.

Quantic Dream’s track record can also bring some doubts, while Heavy Rain was acclaimed, Beyond: Two Souls was incredible underwhelming. Detroit: Become Human shows great promise, but it can’t come back next year, it must release within next year, my bet Q1/Q2 2018.

Death Stranding with Emma Stone Revealed

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Kojima confirmed that it won’t be at E3, however I can’t really trust him when it comes to announcements. After all, he’s the same man who created Moby Dick studios, and a bizarre campaign to announce The Phantom Pain. With rumors of Emma Stone’s involvement on the project being confirmed, it would become one of the biggest stories in the event. If she’s on stage, then that’s would bring the internet down.

Third-party

From Software

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Bloodborne 2 would be the easiest bet, as it was very successful commercially and received rave reviews, a comeback of that IP would make complete sense. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki has talked about wanting to work with different games, new ideas, and rumors about a new IP coming from them have surfaced. “Phantom Wail” would be the name, and it would have an Aztec aesthetic and a heavy focus on hand-to-hand combat. Whether it is Bloodborne 2 or a new IP, we should expect to see From Software make an appearance.

Crash

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The remake of the first three games was a great surprise last year, taking the world by storm, making fans go crazy around the world. Activision has promised to bring more news about the franchise. Maybe another remake with Crash Team Racing and Crash Bash, and if the reception was overwhelming, possibly a new game announcement. Other than that, we may not see much more about it, as the N’Sane trilogy is coming out soon after the event.

New Rocksteady Game

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Justice League, Batman Beyond, a lot has been talked about Rocksteady’s new project, and rumors have flood the internet about possibilities, from DC properties to Harry Potter. After 2 years from the release of Arkham Knight, it feels like it’s about time to reveal what’s next for them. Probably only a teaser trailer to entice the audience.

Call of Duty WW2

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As we see every year, COD will make an appearance showing more of its campaign, that as we’ve seen so far has received a level of attention we haven’t seen since Advanced Warfare. An extended gameplay is to be expected, and a beta announcement at Sony’s stage.

Destiny 2

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The sequel of the incredibly successful Destiny, Destiny 2 should have a major push at the conference, shedding light at the exclusive DLC content on the platform. And a strike or a quick mission gameplay is a real possibility.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

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It’s been a long time since we’ve known about the existence of this project, and nothing about it has surfaced, leaving fans wondering what Capcom would do. Take the Resident Evil Remake approach and only improve on the graphics, and some dialogue with new additions, or try to adapt it to the post Resident Evil 4 camera and gameplay. A trailer would be enough to calm their fans.

Bully 2

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This rumor came up when Game Informer added the game to their database, and the Rockstar store was updated with Bully products. Agent, the exclusive game from Rockstar that would come to PS3 looks dead, and they might be owing another game for Sony. It would be a huge win to have Bully 2 as an exclusive, but that seems unlikely, maybe only as a timed exclusive. If it really exists and is part of the conference, we’ll either see a teaser trailer or gameplay.

VR Games

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Even though PS VR has reached 1 million products sold, VR hasn’t taken off as expected, making a much smaller splash, still feeling like a gimmick that only has tech demos. That’s why it is an important year for the technology, and what we see in the conference will be proof of that. If Sony spends a significant amount of time talking about it, showing new games, then it may really be the future. If not, this may turn out to be another Kinect, a technology that would revolutionize the industry, but ended up being a gimmick.

Some Predictions and 1 Crazy Thing I’d Like to See:

  • Onimusha Reboot.
  • A new portable may be announced to fight the Nintendo Switch.
  • Spyro remastered.
  • PS1 games will be sold on the PS4.
  • Another obscure exclusive will be remastered to make the hardcore audience happy.
  • New Fumito Ueda game will get a teaser.
  • Shenmue III will get a trailer.

1 Crazy Thing I’d Like to See: Sony partnering up with a company like Ubisoft to create an EA Access like service, or just bring it to the PS4.

 

 

 

Are We Too Quick to Judge?

The video game industry is surrounded by a level of passion that is hard to be matched by any medium. Movies, books, music have passionate fans regarding franchises, bands, series, but few can accrue as much love or hate as the most prominent video game franchises.

And we have seen that with the yet unreleased Mass Effect Andromeda, the new entry in the beloved sci-fi franchise that became an icon in the industry. N7 jackets, cosplays, tattoos, regarding Commander Shepard and the world around him proliferate in conventions, and even in everyday life.

But like any major brand, as we see with Star Wars’ prequels, the same fans who adore the characters and the lore can feel betrayed, as what happened with the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3. And some of that hate has transferred against Mass Effect Andromeda, and I’m not defending the game, that is yet to be found out if it’s worthy of being considered as part of the franchise.

Yes, the animations truly look horrendous, sometimes worse than what we saw in the first entry, that came out in 2007, and far inferior to those in Dragon Age Inquisition, that came out in 2014, by the same studio. But it feels that everybody is going beyond that and considering the game a failure based on the impressions of the first few hours, that doesn’t give an amazing first impression, but neither did Mass Effect 1, and many other revered RPG’s.

With a game that has such a big scope, spanning through an entire galaxy, a new one, hundreds of characters, and dozens of hours of content, we can’t judge it based on its first hours. After all, a lot of story, character and gameplay developments will happen after that.

Hitman

Many other games were released with a negative impression, with problems that weren’t related to the visuals, but that was clouded by doubt and proved to be at least good games. Last year’s Hitman, was criticized by many for adopting the episodic business model and ended up becoming one of the biggest surprises of last year. It didn’t have an amazing story, but through brilliant level design and incredible replay value was voted by many as their game of the year.

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The outstanding Horizon Zero Dawn, that is a candidate for game of the year, previewed well but wasn’t deemed as an incredible game, with many journalists pointing to strange facial animations as a flaw, albeit they are not as bad as those in ME: A. And it had an amazing reception, being pointed as a new franchise for the PlayStation, possibly becoming a staple of the brand for the future.

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Final Fantasy XV also wasn’t unanimity among the media, with lackluster demos, characters that looked formulaic and uninteresting. All of that added to the morbid curiosity of seeing a project that took several years, and fundamental changes throughout the years to be released. And the final result proved to be positive, well-regarded by reviewers and fans alike, proving to also be a success when it comes to sales, that may never turn into a profit given the long development cycle and huge marketing effort behind it.

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And we can never forget, that looks may deceive, as we saw in The Order: 1886 and Mafia III. Both games were touted as possibly groundbreaking, due to its jaw dropping graphics in The Order and its story in Mafia III that tackled tough themes. Even though they managed to succeed in these areas, both were plagued by poor gameplay, and worlds that felt lifeless and underwhelming, being considered huge disappointments.

I’m not saying that Mass Effect Andromeda is going to be a great game, or that it shouldn’t be criticized based on its flaws. But at times we have judged a game before seeing the final product, and many times we were wrong. All I’m saying is that we should at least give it a chance to get a fair assessment, if indeed it really is a sub par entry, then it shall receive its share of reasonable criticism, but if it’s good then let’s all enjoy it.