By Abhilash Pavuluri
With only days to go for the biggest gaming and entertainment showcase of the year, rumors are already strife about the possible new game releases that consumers can expect. While we certainly can’t expect a surprise Half Life 3 announcement (boo, Valve!), there are definitely some other titles that we think may be a pleasant surprise, and yet more titles that we already know a little about. Let’s talk about a few such games.
The Last Of Us 2
It’s no surprise, then, that The Last Of Us 2 is probably one of the most anticipated games this year at E3. With the only official statement from Naughty Dog being the reveal trailer that was published in December, it’s hard to gauge more about this game. What we do know is that this sequel takes place 5 years after the events of the original, with Ellie, now having turned 19 (and very angry with something, as shown in the trailer), along with Joel, who is now an old man. Little has been speculated about the game. It’s rumored (and quite strongly thanks to the trailer) that Ellie will be the main playable character this time around while Joel is the passive NPC, which is a bit of a surprise but a welcome one, since this was one thing fans missed out on in the first game.
There’s no release date yet, and also no confirmation whether we’ll actually be seeing more details about the game during E3 next week, but considering the amount of attention The Last Of Us 2 has, we’re sure that there’s going to be something about it.
The Last Of Us 2 is expected to release on Sony PS4 and PS4 Pro some time during the later half of this year.
Far Cry 5
Ubisoft’s back with the sixth iteration of the Far Cry series, and this time it’s taking the game to the wild neck of the woods around North-West America(think Montana), where religious fanatics are your new antagonists. The company released a full game trailer not less than a month ago, and we do have a few juicy details that might be of value. The first one-and what we feel is a welcome addition-airplanes have now been added to the list of playable vehicles in Far Cry 5. A trademark of any Far Cry game is exploration, which is more often than not done with a vehicle. We’ve progressed from jeeps and airboats in FC2 to hang gliders and even elephants in FC4, and now airplanes (with aerial combat!) in FC5.
Not much has been revealed about the protagonist and plot of Far Cry 5, but the trailer does reveal that there’s a religious cult that’s hatching some diabolical plan (as always), and a band of rebels trying hard to restore peace (as always).
Improved gameplay mechanics: this time around, you also have animals to help your little war with the enemies (similar to Beast Master in Far Cry:Primal). As always, there’s no word on whether the game will actually make an appearance this time at E3.
Far Cry 5 is to release across multiple platforms in Feb 2018.
God Of War
After all these years, we finally have a new entrant into the God Of War franchise. This time around, Kratos has a companion with him in the form of his own son, of all people. The gameplay trailer reveals the nature of Kratos and his son, Atreus’s relationship with each other. Atreus goes hunting for the first time in order to prove he’s ready. For what? “For a new beginning”, as Kratos mentions towards the end of the trailer. While Kratos is of course the main character, we see signs of Atreus being a playable character as well.
The game isn’t an open world game (despite what the vast Nordic landscape that’s showcased might lead us to believe), but there would be some aspects of non-linear gameplay used. We also see that Kratos must be taking anger management lessons (although he still unleashes Spartan Rage on a troll) and is a more controlled person, especially with his son.
The new God Of War is slated to be a more narrative-oriented game, although there will still be plenty of blood, gore and sweat(psst..there are dragons flying around in the trailer!). It is a PS4 exclusive and might release sometime in late 2017 or early 2018.
Super Mario Odyssey
Nintendo’s got their hands full this year at E3, with new game announcements for the Nintendo Switch console coming left, right and center. However, the most anticipated game of them all as of now (and a personal favorite of the author) has to be Super Mario Odyssey, marking the return of our favorite Italian plumber and his shenanigans to rescue Princess Peach...again. The game is a nostalgia trip of sorts, going back to Super Mario 64. Odyssey promises to build upon that nostalgia and is said to provide a similar but still unique experience this time around, with an open-world environment (that’s based in a strange version of New York to start with).
The single most important question everyone had upon seeing the trailer was, “Gee, Mario’s hat has come alive!”. And it certainly has. The very end of the trailer shows Mario’s hat becoming sentient and gazing down at Mario in wonder. And the hat figures a lot in the game this time; you can use it as a boomerang, as a small ledge to jump in midair, and so on. There are already a couple of fan theories, but we can only speculate.
Super Mario Odyssey releases on the Nintendo Switch sometime this year.
Need For Speed-Payback
The NFS saga continues from Electronic Arts, as they announce yet another game in the franchise called Payback. From what we saw in the trailer, the game has a serious Fast and Furious vibe to it: a racing group sets out to take revenge on a cartel known as The House that does general nasty mafia things. The rest of the game involves pretty much what you’ve already seen: high-intensity races, heists and so on.
You have the option of playing as one of three characters: Tyler, Mac and Jess. It remains to be seen whether these characters actually have different skillsets and features.
Payback is said to be an open-world, highly customisable game, and like the previous NFS titles, cars can be customised as well.
NFS-Payback is out for early access during November 2017.