“It’s the most wonderful time of the year“. It’s not Christmas, though, it’s time for E3! Yes, it’s the biggest event in the gaming calendar. It’s where we all learn what we will be playing later in the year and looking forward to next year. This is a big one for Xbox. As the only console manufacturer holding a press conference, there’s an open goal for them but also pressure to deliver. All of us at Enthusiast Towers are really excited about what we’re going to see. We’re getting prepared to bring you the best coverage. We have some boots on the ground and the rest of us will be bringing you all the big announcements.
We thought it would be fun to make some predictions of what we’ll see over the next few days. Most of the team are chipping in here and we’re each going to share a couple of predictions. So, without further ado, here . . . we . . . go!
Forza: My first prediction is that we won’t get Forza Motorsport 8 this year. Throughout the lifecycle of the Xbox One, we have had a new Forza game every year. With Forza Horizon 4 launching last year, it should be the turn of the Motorsport franchise. However, I think that they are going to hold that game back to launch alongside the new console next year. As this is a bit of a bland prediction, I’m going to take it a step further. In lieu of Forza Motorsport 8, I think that they will announce a new expansion pack for Forza Horizon 4. This will be the biggest in the franchise’s history. It could even be the rumoured LEGO team-up and possibly a standalone title.
Perfect Dark: My second prediction is a little more fanciful. I would love to get an announcement for a new Perfect Dark game. Joanna Dark has not had a great showing on Xbox. Perfect Dark Zero was a launch title for Xbox 360 and you could tell that it was rushed. It would be so good for Microsoft to give her the project that she deserves. It’s such a rich futuristic world that she inhabits, yet very different to those of Halo and Gears of War. A new Perfect Dark would produce one of those great jaw-dropping moments you sometimes get at E3.
Jet Force Gemini: When Microsoft acquired Rare in 2002, fans of the studio wondered what games would be developed for the Xbox. Despite original IPs like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Kameo: Elements of Power, and Sea of Thieves, there has been a negative stigma among gamers because of the Kinect Sports franchise. While Perfect Dark Zero and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts brought fan-favorite franchises to Xbox, I don’t think they were up to par with the studio’s standard. With such a rich plethora of IP in Microsoft’s wheelhouse, it would be smart to utilize a franchise the company owns. Jet Force Gemini’s sharp shooting, multiple protagonists, and exploration elements would provide gamers with an experience unlike anything in Microsoft’s current catalogue. While Rare is knee deep in Sea of Thieves content, another studio can masterfully take the reins, and reintroduce Juno, Vela, and Lupus to a new generation of gamers.
Marvel: Marvel has been making waves in the gaming industry recently. With the PlayStation 4 exclusive Spider-Man that launched last year and Nintendo getting ready to launch Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 later this year, Marvel clearly has no problem with exclusivity. Now that the other big two companies have an exclusive Marvel game, why can’t Xbox be blessed with a game all to itself? I think that Microsoft might shock gamers by bringing out the iconic comic company on stage to unveil an exclusive game. Will Captain Marvel soar onto Xbox? What about the grittiness of The Punisher’s universe? Marvel has a diverse selection of characters to choose from and if Microsoft secured a deal, a reveal on stage would certainly cause shockwaves among the industry.
Fight Night: All I want from E3 2019 is the return of one of my favorite game franchises. I long to hear the sound of hard hip-hop and rap twining with the faintly ringing sound of a ringside bell tolling. EA I’m calling you out. E3 2019 would be magical if we saw the 6th installment of their extremely popular boxing series. Fight Night 6 or Fight Night Legends would be freaking awesome. It’s been 8 years since the latest installment of the Fight Night series and with boxing enjoying a renaissance internationally combined with the series popularity it would be a cool surprise this week.
Diablo 4: With the cancellation of the Starcraft first-person-shooter Blizzard has drummed up some mixed PR just days before E3 proper. It would only seem right that in order to balance out the negative publicity of killing a game in development for 2 years, that we will see something to bring us hope from Blizzard-Activision this week. My guess is that we will see the first teaser footage of Diablo 4. The cult following around the series would immediately drown out any negativity towards the brand fans might be feeling. Additionally, it would make lots of sense to begin teasing out the next BIG projects coming from Blizzard.
Gears: I think a Gears 5 Beta will be announced with an imminent release for Xbox and PC. We typically get one or two “and it’s available now” moments at E3, and I think this could be one for Microsoft this year. The Beta testing periods did incredibly well for both Gears 3 and 4, showcasing a bunch of maps and modes for launch. The betas for previous series entries also did a lot to shape game balance and garner player feedback pre-release. I think the Coalition has been quiet on this topic to keep it a press conference surprise…
Viva Piñata: The time could well be right to bring Viva Piñata back to the gaming world. It’s been over 10 years since we saw an entry in a series that has reached cult status with Xbox fans. I know Rare has been hard at work with Sea of Thieves and its subsequent updates, but we’re sure to find out more about their next project very soon. With farming simulation games becoming incredibly popular recently, with the likes of Stardew Valley and My Time At Portia leading the charge, I reckon it could be time for Rare’s quirky take on the genre to return.
Crimson Skies: Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge was the reason I wanted an Xbox. Well, that and Halo of course. It had a fun campaign and dogfighting against opponents over Xbox Live was a blast. It was revealed as the first Xbox original backward compatible title at E3 2017 to a warm reception. With Microsoft acquiring a plethora of new studios, it’s time for a proper sequel or reboot of the series. Crimson Skies is the type of game Xbox needs to bolster their lineup going into next-gen.
Battletoads: Phil tweeted he was partial to the toads when asked what Rare should work on back in 2013. Teased us with a Battletoads t-shirt at E3 2015, with the characters later added to Shovel Knight and Killer Instinct, as well as the original game being part of Rare Replay. An actual game was teased last year. But E3 2019 is where Battletoads finally gets unveiled. Rather than a beat ‘em up, it will be a third-person action adventure game. Battletoads will serve as a gritty reboot of the series(think Gears of War gritty.) Battletoads will be a short game, though. With only three playable missions. Why so short? Because no one will be able to make it past the damn Turbo Tunnels.
Batman: Arkham Crisis: Since the recent news of Twilight-star Robert Pattinson’s casting in The Batman, the fandom could use a bit of comforting news. A rumored new Warner Bros. Montreal open-world game titled Batman: Arkham Crisis was meant to be announced in March 2019. While a clear announcement has yet to be made, I hold out hope that the WB has been holding out for an E3 announcement. Supposedly, the game will feature the Court of Owls, a longstanding cabal of Gotham’s elite. The Court is known for kidnapping child-performers from the circus and training them to become Talons, their own branded assassins. This could mean further exploration of Dick Grayson’s storyline, and perhaps even time played as the famed sidekick. Though the rumors are as thick as the mythos surrounding the Court, I’m holding out hope that this title features a trailer with a firm release date next week.
Wolfenstein III: It’s improbable we’ll be given anything concrete on the third installment. However, Bethesda has confirmed that a game is in the works. With a possible release date in late 2019, maybe we’ll be gifted with some clues. While Youngblood and Cyberpilot are billed as their main showcases, it would be nice to cap it off with a teaser. Might make up for Wolfenstein II’s poor sales.
Well, those are our predictions. Obviously, we’ll know pretty soon whether any of these will come true. What do you think of our predictions? What big announcements do you think we’ll see over the next few days? Which games would you love to see make a return? Do you think we’ll get much information about the next console generation? Share your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below.
Founding Xbox Enthusiast member and serious guitar player. Basically, Steve rocks. Need we say more?