E3 2015: Games with the Most to Prove

Every game featured at E3 needs to leave a lasting impression, but some games have more on the line than others. Here are the games and platforms that have the most to prove at this year's Expo.

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E3 has always been a time for developers and publishers to show off their biggest and best games. But given the unusual number of disappointing high profile games that released in 2014, gamers are understandably skeptical of big game reveals. Here are some of the games being shown at this year's Expo that have a little more to prove than the rest.


Rise of the Tomb Raider

Lara Croft's big reboot is officially considered a big success. Now comes the big challenge: the follow-up. Sophomore sequels often have trouble living up to their predecessors, and we have yet to learn more about what Lara's new adventure will entail, except that it appears to take place on an icy mountaintop. What about her mental state after the events at Yamatai? Is she even psychologically fit to go on a new adventure? Why doesn't she have twin pistol holsters in the new trailer? There are so many unanswered questions. Also, the game's timed exclusivity could end up hurting the game at launch, if it can't pull its weight alongside other holiday season heavy hitters like Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, and the yet to be revealed Gears of War game. Lara will have a lot of weight on her shoulders this holidays. A great showing at E3 will be critical in easing it.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Eidos Montreal hit a high point when it released Deus Ex: Human Revolution in 2011, even though many complained of about the outsourced boss fights. However, the developer later worked to rectify that issue with the release of the Director's Cut, which addressed many of problems. The game has since been generally regarded as an excellent sci-fi action thriller by many fans. Then came the poorly received Thief sequel, and goodwill toward the studio started to really wane. Mankind Divided, the sequel to Human Revolution, is the studio's big chance to get back in the saddle again. The announcement trailer looks amazing, and the initial plot outline seems deep and complex, but we really need to see some gameplay at E3 before we're fully convinced that Deus Ex is back.


Star Wars: Battlefront

Coming out at around the same time the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, releases under the direction of the franchise's new owner, Disney - it's only appropriate that the new Star Wars Battlefront reboot the game series. The game will clearly feature stunning in-game graphics, along with some sweet X-wing vs TIE Fighter action, but 20v20 sounds a little low when it comes to epic sized battles. Also disappointing is how the game won't have space battles. So, the game has to make a good showing at E3 to show skeptics that there's a lot more to Battlefront than being Battlefield 4 set in the Star Wars universe.


Star Fox

Fans caught a short glimpse of the sixth Star Fox game at last year's E3, and there hasn't been a single peep about it since. Last year's early build demonstrated how an Arwing fighter could be steered using the Wii U GamePad's gyroscope. It's been a year, and the game is supposed to release this fall, so shouldn't we be seeing a lot more from this game? This year's E3 should be the perfect opportunity for Star Fox to make its big gameplay debut beyond simple steering. If it doesn't make a strong showing, then it will cast a big shadow of doubt on the game's future.


Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Assassin's Creed usually puts up a very impressive E3 demonstration, but many have started to learn to look past it thanks to last year's disappointing release of Unity. Now, with a whole new set of characters for fans to familiarize themselves with, along with a new setting and time period, this could be the fresh start the series needs. However, the game will need to supplement the presentation some hands-on time with the new combat and stealth system to help overcome wariness of the series.


Doom

Not much is known about the latest reboot of the legendary game, Doom. So far, we know that it'll be pretty gory, and that it'll seek to go back to the roots of series. Doom will try to recapture the classic sense of dread as each door opened to reveal new horrors behind it. Beyond that, this is the first Doom game that will not involve any of the founding members if Id Software, since John Carmack long ago moved to work on developing virtual reality with Oculus VR. Add on top of that the poor reception Id's previous game, Rage, received and you have a situation where the game has to make a huge impression or else it'll be lost under the flood of other shooter games being shown at E3.


Gears of War

How well will the Gears of War series continue now that it is completely out of the hands of Epic Games and in the sole hands of Microsoft and developer The Coalition (fomerly Black Tusk Studios)? Since it seems like Gears of War: Judgment was sort of a way for Epic to wash its hands of the series, fans are eager to see if The Coilition really has what it takes to revitalize series, or if this is another step toward driving the series into the ground.


Homefront 2: The Revolution

Of all the games passed on from THQ's old portfolio, Homefront has probably left the most number of casualties in its wake. The idea of having the United States occupied by a foreign power, and having the player struggle against it is an intriguing one with a lot of potential. However, the original game largely mishandled the balance between gameplay and storytelling. We'll have to find out if Crytek, which has been struggling with its own crisis lately, can help set the series on the right course. We're pretty certain that CryEngine will make the game look great. It's gameplay, characters, and story are another matter altogether.


Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Although there's no definite confirmation, it seems pretty clear that Hideo Kojima will be leaving Konami after the completion of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, and that there's some strange conspiracy going on to hide what's in plain sight. If that's the case, then The Phantom Pain will have to make a tremendous showing at E3, since it would essentially be Kojima's big opus before leaving the company. We already got a taste of Metal Gear Solid 5 gameplay with Ground Zeroes, and fans are eager for more. The E3 presentation will be the chance to show what the end of the Kojima's MGS era will look like.


Rock Band 4

There hasn't been a lot of detail about Rock Band 4's gameplay since its initial announcement. Mystery is nice for a while, but Harmonix has to start revealing specific details about its new game. Meanwhile, its rival Guitar Hero Live showed all its cards during a its big reveal event where a number of very ambitious plans were laid out. Has this battle of the bands ended before it has begun? Not only will Rock Band 4 have to make a good showing at E3, it has to prove to the world that's it's worth picking up over Guitar Hero Live. It also has to do it while its rival fights to hog all the spotlight.


Until Dawn

A game that challenges players to survive a slasher horror movie has its charm, especially when there is supposedly a lot of emphasis on player choice. The only question Until Dawn needs to answer is whether that charm can last beyond one or two "boo!" scares. We'll have to see if Until Dawn manages to survive the slaughter as dozens of other announced games threaten to bury it alive in obscurity.


SteamOS and Steam Machines

Between the official launch of Steam Machines, the Steam Controller, and Steam Link, not to mention joint projects like the HTC Vive, this could be a defining year for Steam as it uses SteamOS to move into the living room. Although it wants to be seen as a form of PC gaming, SteamOS is technically its own platform, which makes Steam Machines a rival brand of gaming console. Other have tried to enter into the console wars and failed, but none of them were Valve, wielding the immense power of Steam and its strong following, along with a dozen hardware manufacturers who are also looking to break into the living room space. But there are still a lot of unknowns, like whether or not SteamOS can match up against Windows 10, and if gamers will take to the Steam Controller's unique design. Steam Machines need to show why they're worth picking up above other systems.

On the bright side, even if SteamOS turns out to be a spectacular failure, players will have be able to wipe it from their consoles and install Windows.


Windows 10 x Xbox One

Is it that time again? Microsoft promises a more unified experience and connectivity between the Xbox console and Windows. Gamers have heard this promise many times before, and it has invariably fallen flat. Talk is cheap, Microsoft and a small handful of cross platform games and game streaming only covers the minimum requirement. The company will have to demonstrate something truly impressive at E3 before the idea will be taken seriously.

Managing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 9, 2015 2:00 PM

    Steven Wong posted a new article, E3 2015: Games with the Most to Prove

    • reply
      June 9, 2015 4:32 PM

      Got a feeling MGS5 is gonna do fine. Just hoping the supposed credits at the end of every "episode" are skipable.. if not entertaining.

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      June 9, 2015 5:45 PM

      Always been a fan of Doom (even Doom 3), so really looking forward to seeing what they've done with it. Hoping it's great.

      I'm not sure how to feel about Gears of War these days, though. I loved the first one, but the series suffers from what a lot of series do, whether video games, movies or whatever; a string of sequels only offering more of the same. (Haven't even played Judgement because my experience with 3 was "I feel like I've already played this game twice before".) At the very least I will be interested to see what the graphics look like. GoW was always a good looking game. (Not that this would actually affect my decision on whether or not to buy the game.)

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      June 9, 2015 5:50 PM

      [deleted]

      • reply
        June 9, 2015 5:52 PM

        Clicks are good for the site

    • reply
      June 9, 2015 5:51 PM

      Solid list I skimmed through.

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      June 9, 2015 6:01 PM

      lol, Homefront is getting a sequel?

      • rms
        reply
        June 10, 2015 8:07 AM

        I still don't get the hate for this game -- during my playthrough, it's occurred to me many times that this is the only title that had a half-life 2 vibe to it, as in what it would be like to be one of the City 17 underground fighters.