My E3 Wishlist 2019

It’s that wonderful time of year again, when videogames are announced, gameplay is shown, and the words “no loot boxes” are plastered across oversized displays as if it wasn’t being stated by the very same people who popularised the money-making scheme in the first place. This is the blog post I use to predict and mostly just live in hope, and if last year’s post is any indication, I’ll get about half of it right. Keep in mind that this is based largely off of what I personally want to see and not stuff that I’ve done buckets of research into, though I do follow gaming news enough to know of some things already are or are not appearing at the show.

I’m currently clicking on every gameplay video I see of Super Mario Maker 2, World of Warcraft Classic, and Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fuelled, so I’m more than happy for some new announcements to come out of the blue and give me something else to focus on while I twiddle my thumbs for those titles.

Just so we’re clear, I’m considering ‘E3’ to comprise of all gaming announcement related shows and streams taking place during this time period, such as EA Play and Nintendo Direct, although I’ve been reading that Sony won’t be doing any adjacent E3 stuff at all. They did just drop a gameplay trailer for Death Stranding though, so I’m going to go ahead and guess that we’ll see a Playstation Direct I mean uhhhhh State of Play livestream in the week before or after E3.


The Sony Playstation

Likelihood: Well, they’ve been leaking details about the Playstation 5 for a while now…

The PS5! It’s a bold prediction I’m coming out of the gates with, but the next generation of consoles looms upon us. But I don’t think it’s actually going to be called the PS5. As much as I loathe modern naming conventions that go against traditional numbering systems, the idea of a ‘Playstation 5’ might seem a little long in the tooth to some marketing-minded manager types. Not just that, but the rise of game streaming services threatens to make actual hardware obsolete. I’m not a huge fan of the idea, but it is the future. The fact that minimal hardware is required to stream cutting-edge gameplay means that making new, more powerful consoles won’t be a thing in the future, and if the timeline on game streaming is progressing as fast as developers want it to, we could see it emerge as the dominant method of gaming towards the typical end of the next console life cycle. So it might make sense to name the Playstation 5 simply the Playstation, if it does indeed transcend the necessity for a successor. Which leads me to…

The Xbox Elite

Likelihood: If Playstation 5 details are already leaking, Microsoft are going to want to get ahead in console news.

So, the Xbox One was already supposed to succeed in some of the philosophies I just pitched for the Playstation – not for streaming games, but for being an all-in-one platform that you kinda… kept. But things didn’t work out that way, and with the less-than-perfect history of the Xbox One, I can see Microsoft wanting to move away from that console. I think the Elite (they love that word so why not) will be similar to the Playstation in that it will adopt the idea of being the final, definitive version of the console. I also think there will be some more synergy with PCs and some sort of Microsoft native VR, with all the right buzzwords.

Hey, maybe the Xbox Elite will be able to play Epic Games Store games now. Har har, exclusives har.

Update: Moments after writing this Xbox announced Game Pass for PC and more Xbox games on Steam. Lol.

The Nintendo Switch Lite

Likelihood: As Thanos once said, “I am… inevitable.”

There’s already a lot of rumours going around for this one, and if you look at Nintendo’s history regarding consoles, it makes a lot of sense. Plus, with Pokemon Sword and Shield coming out this winter, a franchise which is historically a system seller, Nintendo are going to want to double down on the sales effort and make the entry point to those games more accessible for lower-income families. People speculate that the Lite would replace the modular design of the console with an all-in-one design to save on cost, with some going as far as saying that it’ll be handheld only to replace the 3DS, though I can’t see them removing every single thing about the Switch that makes it unique.

People also think a Switch Pro is coming, but all signs point to that being further down the pipeline. Maybe they’ll still announce it, but the release date will just be later. A theoretical Switch Pro would have higher specs and a higher selling price.

Nintendo Switch Online: SNES Games

Likelihood: Man, I don’t know anymore…

In some Nintendo executive’s desk drawer, there sits a machine. It’s a money printing machine, and it is labelled, “Virtual Console.” For whatever goddamn reason, that machine is remaining in that drawer. And man, does that make me sad. NSO comes with a library of NES games as an incentive for single-player gamers to subscribe to the service, with new titles being added each month. Which is nice. It’s better than nothing. And when Nintendo spoke about how they want to incentivise an NSO membership even more, a lot of us got excited about a potential SNES library. Personally, I wish it went all the way up through N64 and Gamecube, too. Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time on Switch? Y E S P L E A S E. But we got Tetris 99. Which is, you know, fun. But man. As someone who skipped the Wii U and was only introduced to Nintendo in 2004, I sure would love some Virtual Console in my life.

Animal Crossing Switch

Likelihood: I’ll probably cry if it’s not shown.

Last year, Nintendo announced Animal Crossing for the Switch shortly after a cheeky fakeout which announced Isabelle for Smash Bros. (I appreciate the reassurance, Nintendo.) Since then, nothing. And that’s, you know, fine. Take your time, polish that world, I’ll be living in it for years. But E3 this fated Nintendo Direct would be the perfect time to hear about it, and what’s nuts is that what originally seemed like it would take up most of the Direct, that being Super Mario Maker 2 and Pokemon Sword and Shield, were each moved to their own Directs. So what does that leave for the E3 Direct? ANIMAL CROSSING THAT’S WHO. And, uh, Switch Lite. They’d pair quite well, actually.

Metroid Prime Trilogy Remastered

Likelihood: Rumours, rumours.

Franchises which I’ve missed growing up: Most of Nintendo’s IPs. I’m educating myself on the Legend of Zelda. I’d like to educate myself on Metroid, too, please! I know virtually nothing about the series bar that it helped to spawn an entire subgenre of platformers. And I quite like that subgenre! Metroid Prime 4’s development got restarted a little while back, so it’d be nice for Metroid fans to have something to tide them over, too.

Super Mario 3D World on Switch

Likelihood: Literally nothing implies this will exist

Okay, now I’m just being greedy. I didn’t know how much I wanted an original 3D Mario game on Switch, until Odyssey blew me away. Then, I hungered for New Super Mario Bros U for the Switch, as I liked the DS and Wii ones – and it arrived! But what I really wanted was Super Mario Maker for the Switch. And boy it’s a-comin’! So really, I should be sated. We even got Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. But you know what? 3D World looks pretty neat! If they gave it a port – or a sequel – Nintendo can have my money. In the meantime, I could probably dust off my 3DS and play some more 3D Land, because I didn’t really touch that game…

More Legend of Zelda Ports and Remakes

Likelihood: Yeah, right.

Speaking of greed, hello, Link’s Awakening looks awesome, can I have more please? Because I never got to play, say, A Link to the Past, which I saw rumoured as a remake, or Wind Waker or Twilight Princess, which I saw rumoured as ports. I don’t really believe these rumours, but they sure would be nice.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Gameplay

Likelihood: Lowkey confirmed

I’ve yet to play a Star Wars game which has really grabbed me. I recognised the scope and authenticity of Knights of the Old Republic when I tried it, but it had already aged to a point by the time I got round to it, so I sort of bounced off of it. I’ve also never really been invested in a spin-off Star Wars story outside of the novels anyway, so Fallen Order will have to be something else to really grab my attention, but who knows, it might be cool.

LEGO Star Wars: The Ultimate Saga

Likelihood: Well, they’re making more LEGO Star Wars, but we don’t know in what form.

The LEGO Star Wars games are my favourite LEGO games of all time, and they were sort of my introduction to the Star Wars franchise when I was a kid. The idea of an Ultimate Saga game which combines Episodes I – IX into one package with ten thousand achievements is mouth watering! Out of all the rumours I’ve heard for this E3 season, I really hope that this one is true. I’m not sure it’s the kind of game which would be announced during a main stage presentation, though.

Halo Infinite

Likelihood: Decently likely? Overdue, at the very least!

This is a weird one for me, because with the announcement of the Master Chief Collection finally coming to PC, I’m suddenly wary of spoilers. Not just that, but it turns my reaction to a Halo Infinite deep dive from a “huh, neat” to an “oh man I can’t wait to play that… eventually.” Still, it’d be nice to bring Halo into mainstream relevance again, for the very least.

Prey 2

Likelihood: Well, it only makes sense.

Prey is visually stunning, narratively intriguing, and published by Bethesda. That is everything I know about that game. But I do own it! And I watched a friend stream some of it, which prompted the aforementioned purchase. It’s one of those games that I’m saving for when I really have time to give it all of my attention. So Prey 2 would be nice.

DOOM Eternal

Likelihood: Well, duh.

I recently learned that the Doom’s title isn’t supposed to be in all caps, that’s just the way it’s stylised in the logo. Ah well.

DOOM Eternal looks dope as hell, and I sit enraptured by it whenever they show new gameplay. I don’t know that they can show much more without getting too much into the meat of the game that the player will want to experience for themselves, but I doubt they’ll omit it. Maybe they’ll show off a new weapon or area, and a release date. Wait, it doesn’t have a solid release date yet?

Morrowind or Oblivion Remake

Likelihood: ednakrabappelha.gif

This is never going to happen. But damnit, I want it to! Not just a nip-and-tuck to the graphics (though you know I’d shit out coins for that too), but a decent overhaul to combat systems and graphical fidelity. Something that a separate team or studio could work on to keep fans happy while Bethesda plugs away at Elder Scrolls VI, and Starfield before it. Both of which have been confirmed not to appear at E3, by the way. Ah well.

Assassin’s Creed: Rome

Likelihood: We’ll see Assassin’s Creed. It won’t be Rome.

The favourite rumour for the next Assassin’s Creed setting is Vikings, but I would fucking love a trip to Ancient Rome. It’s perhaps one of the most famous and interesting eras of history, and it would feel like a natural bow to tie together a trilogy of ancient history Assassin’s Creed RPGs. But it’ll probably be Vikings, because Ubisoft are worried that Ancient Rome is too similar to Ancient Greece. And it’ll probably be cool as hell… whatever I guess… mutter mutter grumble grumble.

More Rayman!

Likelihood: Unlikely, but it’d be one of those reveals that has people going ohhhh yeahhh, nice!

It’s been a hot second since we thought about Rayman. The last Rayman game was Rayman Legends! So maybe another sequel in a similar vein. And you know what? I’d take a remaster trilogy of the older Raymans, too! Though the first game creeps me the hell out for reasons I can’t quite understand.

Dragon Quest Classics

Likelihood: Hey, remasters are all the rage nowadays…

I played some of the old Dragon Quests on my DS, and you know what? I’d play them some more on PC! Or Switch! Final Fantasy has been getting some remasters, remakes and ports – why not Dragon Quest? Though Dragon Quest XI is getting some love with Dragon Quest XI S.


Let’s call it there.

I’m probably forgetting something obvious, but for now that’s everything that I’m hoping to see from E3 2019! And, you know, EA Play and all of that bollocks. Shut up, companies, it’s E3.

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World of Warcraft as a Single Player Game

BlizzCon is fast approaching, and it seems highly likely that Blizzard are about to announce the eighth expansion to their almost thirteen year old MMO. The game is old enough that it’s possible for couples to have met in Azeroth and had a child by now who could raid the Tomb of Sargeras with them. And yet, with Legion being the most popular expansion since Wrath of the Lich King, development shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. But all good things must come to an end, and WoW’s end – be it a year or a decade from now – is as inevitable as the sun blinking out forever someday.

The end of WoW is a possibility that’s surely never far from player’s minds, especially those who live and breathe for their Azerothian alter egos. I know people who have max level characters across every class, who throw themselves into raids every week and have sunk tens of thousands of hours into the game. And I’m no part-timer myself. So the prospect of interest in the game dwindling enough to lead to servers closing down is cause for worry and speculation, especially as the game shows more and more signs of aging. Sure, they continue to graphically update the game and introduce new mechanics, but some things can’t be fixed in an expansion. World of Warcraft will always be limited to the foundations the game was built on, which in itself is a bastardisation of the Warcraft 3 game engine, as far as I understand it.

The way I see it, though, it’s no cause for worry. As the MMO as a genre grows older its interesting to see the various ways in which some of the games stay alive after their discontinuation. Many close down for good. Some, like Everquest and Guild Wars, move onto sequels whilst keeping the original game alive with a smaller development team for those dedicated few. In Runescape’s case, Jagex came to realised that the game had transformed so much that they needed to bring back an older edition as a separate game to keep a portion of their audience happy. But some games, like Wurm Online and The Secret World, have opted to modify the game to become available for offline play.

Now, Wurm Online is still going, but the developers opted to create an edition called Wurm Unlimited that’s purchasable on Steam for players who want to run their own servers or play by themselves with customisable rulesets, such as changing the amount of time it takes to harvest a resource. And while I haven’t played it myself, PC Gamer’s Secret World: Legends review portrays the game’s move to single-player as being a slightly awkward but somewhat successful shift, concluding that “The more that you want to play it as an MMO, the more you’re likely to chafe at this reboot’s restrictions, especially in terms of loot. For more solo or narrative-focused players, however, it’s a great second chance to see what it has to offer, as well as the Secret World’s best chance in years to expand its reach and continue telling its story.”

MMO’s aren’t, as a rule, built to be played offline. World of Warcraft especially stands out as an MMO that has enjoyed iteration upon iteration within its lifetime, and most recently has gained functions in the world that encourages and requires player co-operation, such as particular world quest bosses and rare mobs. This, I think, would be the biggest issue in turning World of Warcraft into a single-player experience. As for dungeons and raids… well, just because the game isn’t an MMO doesn’t mean it has to be single-player entirely. I can’t picture Blizzard being comfortable with handing the reigns of server administration and hosting over to players such as with Wurm Unlimited. However, I can see them dedicating some server space for hosting online parties to go dungeon delving or raiding, though I can’t guess as to how much demand there’d be for raiding in a static world.

As for the gameplay side of things, I don’t think WoW would prosper as a single-player game if it were transformed in the state it’s in today. The entire world’s questing and story was overhauled back in Cataclysm, but the time period between the Cataclysm overhaul and now is greater than between the original game and Cataclysm. Blizzard recently reviewed the 1-40 levelling experience and re-balanced the amount of damage it takes to kill enemies, as low level players were wiping the floor with bosses without so much as a second thought. There’s still a lot of work to be done though, and with each patch and expansion the cohesion of the overall game slips more and more in favour of the last ten levels being the sole focus of enjoyable content. You typically won’t find any challenging or gripping content gameplay-wise until you’re playing through the most recent expansion, and that’s hundreds of hours of dedication which most players aren’t going to be willing to dedicate.

All hope is not lost, though. Talk among the WoW playerbase seems to be mostly unanimous on the front of the old levelling experience needing a new touch of paint, and with the new level-scaling system and world questing system, there’s a decent chance that Azeroth is going to get the modernisation it needs to bring it up to speed with the modern day expansions. Blizzard themselves have acknowledged the need for this in Q&A’s, so I’m definitely interested to see what’s in store as BlizzCon approaches. But while I hope that this update would lay the groundwork for a single-player World of Warcraft, I hope even more that the day when it’s needed is still far in the future. And besides, I’m sure that when Blizzard does finally call it a day for WoW or releases a sequel, they’ll keep the servers for the original game up for many years afterwards.