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Yes, We Can’t Have Nice Things: Amy Hennig’s Star Wars Project Is Effectively Dead As EA Shuts Down Visceral Games

A double whammy of terrible news, really. Classic EA!



Coming off the Star Wars: Battlefront II beta just a few days back, I was pretty optimistic at the future of the Star Wars franchise over at EA. Well the first Battlefront game left me disappointingly cold, the beta seemed to indicate a sequel that vastly improved over its predecessor, fixing all the problems the original had and delivering the truly exemplary Star Wars multiplayer of our dreams. If EA could make something this potentially good, then surely Star Wars was in the right hands, no?

Yes…the answer is indeed no. Because the most promising thing about this EA/Star Wars acquisition, Amy Hennig’s Uncharted-style Star Wars adventure, is pretty much no more. And the reason why seems to be the worst part of it all.

But, first, some background. This untitled Star Wars game was first announced to be in development from Visceral Games (of the Dead Space series) quite a while ago, way back when EA first got the Star Wars video game license in 2013. The involvement of the Visceral Games team alone was enough to get me excited, but shortly after, another fantastic cherry was thrown on top: the hiring of Uncharted creator and series creative Amy Hennig, who was recently ousted from Naughty Dog following a rough development period for Uncharted 4. Hennig was writing the script for the game alongside Todd Stashwick, and the project was said to be a single player focused, story driven adventure in the vein of Hennig’s work on the Uncharted franchise. So, basically, it sounded GREAT.

But the emphasis is sadly on the past tense now, as some sad times have befallen this long in development project. After months of radio silence on the game, EA announced today on their official blog that the game is set to be completely retooled, taken away from Visceral Games and now given to EA Vancouver. Visceral Games would be shut down in the wake of the transfer, which is bad news enough. But adding insult to injury was the blog post attached to the news, which rather condescendingly paints this whole thing as JUST THE BEST, and exactly what everyone wants! But when you actually read what EA is saying, none of it sounds all that promising. Some snippets:

Our industry is evolving faster and more dramatically than ever before. The games we want to play and spend time with, the experiences we want to have in those games, and the way we play…all those things are continually changing. So is the way games are made. In this fast-moving space, we are always focused on creating experiences that our players want to play…and today, that means we’re making a significant change with one of our upcoming titles.

That’s the opening paragraph, which right away assumes what games you would like to play, since there’s no way there’s ANY interest in a single player, story based, campaign focused experience, right? It just gets worse as the post shifts to this Star Wars game in particular:

Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design.

Once again, EA is blaming the consumer, saying “Oh, you don’t really want this!” even though, yeah, a lot of players REALLY want this. In fact, those players feel increasingly left behind in this world of Destiny and The Division and all these other multiplayer focused experiences, feeling like there love of playing games alone and experiencing a fantastic story are being completely ignored. I know, for I am one of them. But sush!, let Daddy EA explain what’s best for you.

We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.

This is of course extremely vague, with EA refusing to actually say what this game will be other than throwing out buzzwords like “variety,” “player agency,” and “greater depth and breadth to explore.” But it’s telling that the first thing EA wants to assure fans is that, hey, the visuals will be pretty! That’s what you nerds want anyways, right?

The world of single player, story based campaigns have been hit extremely hard this generation, and I can’t help but read EA’s entire statement on this debacle as a way of saying that, yes, this game is shifting away from a focus on story and a compelling, single player experience. And if that’s truly the case, then I’m not afraid to say that this game as it was originally conceived is now dead. The pieces remain, or at least we assume: Amy Hennig has yet to officially leave the project, with EA just saying that “We’re in discussions with Amy about her next move.” But I wouldn’t be surprised to hear her departure from the company coming very soon. That will of course be followed by a blog post by EA, claiming that the industry is moving on from developers anyways, so this is actually a good thing!

And in this whole mess, one other piece of sadness is getting the short shift: Visceral Games is dead, and that’s a massive lost. I LOVED the Dead Space series, warts and all, and clearly there was a very talented amount of people working at that studio. As I’ve said many times in the past, losing ANY AAA developer in this industry is always a sad thing, and Visceral is no exception. My sympathies go out to the people effected, and I can only hope their talents will be better utilized in the years to come.

As for this Star Wars project? I have lost all faith. I was more excited for this thing than pretty much anything else coming from this franchise (movies included,) and this “pivot” to me is the video game equivalent of the firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller from Solo: A Star Wars Story (recently titled, btw.) It’s likely that the assets used to build this game will still be there in some form, with whoever picks up the pieces making the bland, corporate project that EA is asking for. And, who knows, that bland, corporate project may end up being okay, at the end of the day. But it won’t be the project Amy Hennig and Visceral promised us…and that alone is alone is one hell of a bummer.

Also published on Medium.

Matthew Legarreta is the Editor and Owner of Freshly Popped Culture. A big ol' ball of movie, TV, and video game loving flesh, Matthew has been writing about pop culture for nearly a decade. Matthew also loves writing about himself in the third person, because it makes him feel important (or something.)



A Shot for Shot Breakdown of How Fucking Insane the Super Mario Odyssey Ending Is

I spent way too much time working on this ridiculous premise for an article, but it had to be done. It simply had. To be. Done.



First things first, let’s all watch this clip in the otherwise masterful Super Mario Odyssey and then I can break down why it is one of the most batshit insane things Nintendo has ever done. This cutscene was so impossibly stupid and crazy, that I had to talk about it and wonder out loud why more people are not talking about it.

This game is a master work, and it still somehow hampered by the laziest and most misogynist writing for children’s entertainment I’ve ever seen. Absorb this nonsense and then let’s dive in:

Okay, process that shitstorm, and just sit with it. Okay, now we can break it down part by part, added with commentary to make sense of the senseless trash that ends this wonderfully fun game. It’s mind boggling, but I spent an afternoon learning how to create many GIFs out of a YouTube video. The process has gotten easier over the years, but still, it was a lot of work for a gag.

So first off, you become Bowser in an earlier boss fight. You go to the moon, go through lava levels and stuff (which are not on the actual moon, but I’ll give that a pass). All without an oxygen helmet (less of a pass but okay, I’m still with this for now). The fight ends with you throwing the hat aka Cappy onto Bowser to become him, and fight your way out of danger with Peach to save her life. Again. But here is where things really get out of hand.

Bowser tries to marry Peach this whole game, and you and Peach are ready to be married right here and right now? What? Why haven’t you done that already you idiot, you saved her life a million times because Miyamoto can’t get his raging boner over cartoons from the ’30s. I’m surprised he didn’t steal blackface for these games but they really should have put an end to this troupe after Sunshine was about him getting arrested for graffiti. She was the star of her own game, and used her womanly emotions to fight off enemies! Jesus fucking Christ.

If you liked it you should have put a ring on it, but somehow here we are. Okay, so Mario shrugs after escaping the collapsing lava mountain or whatever. At this point things should just wrap up, a nice kiss, and a real wedding for this poor blonde woman. But no, that would be too easy.

Then their hat ghosts go to knock boots in a celestial dreamscape, sans their corporeal forms. As a symbol for Mario and Peach fucking? What the hell is this shit?

Mario, angry looking for some reason, after saving this helpless fool who I know for a fact isn’t, turns to her…

…the hats are waiting with baited breath making googly eyes…

…as he pimps walks up to her, doesn’t hear the gigantic and colossal dinosaur get up and run over to him????

He is a minimum of like 800 pounds, don’t tell me sound works in space and then use that as an excuse to mask his blindside shoulder hit Nintendo, that is garbage logic and you know it. So Bowser knocks his ass out, after being totally defeated and exhausted, and just finds the strength to wake back up. Yeah okay. Also we know that gravity is not normal, from like the gameplay and the jumping on the surface of the moon, but now it’s back to normal gravity? What gives? Did no one edit this before it went out to the public? Is there no editors or proofers or reviewers for stupidity in all of Japan? I know there are, hire them Nintendo, for the love of god.

Ok so Bowser, a gigantic monster who does nothing but kidnap royalty and race go-karts with strangers and enemies (the ones he made by being evil)  PROPOSES with piranha plant flowers, just magically ready to go, like WHAT you already tried the plan of stealing her for marriage and now you try asking her politely? AFTER? You KIDNAPPED HER what the fuck is this shit, those are living flowers who EAT PEOPLE she isn’t going to choose you right then and there.

So Mario freaks out as if she is going to say yes, like what dude? Why are you panicking? Why are you not finishing the job and murdering this sick creep? He runs over to her and shows her a different flower, the rocket one, in an attempt to win her heart in this sad pathetic competition? What? Uhhhhhhhhhhhh excuse me, you stole his idea and gave her weak ass flowers, not that you needed to, because to remind you my dude you SAVED HER LIFE and chose to NOT MURDER Bowser, he is right there!!!! So they feverishly and fruitlessly compete for her love and affection, scaring the ever living shit out of her, and she isn’t making a decision right after all of that shit, that is traumatic. How she ended up with these two after all of these years is beyond me, she deserves better or is just so damaged she can’t quit either. But that’s another column about her well being. Does she do anything as Princess? Who is the Queen? What are her responsibilities?

Is she confused, did she think Bowser saved her because Mario controlled his body? Why is Mario having to do this, and why can’t she decide, this makes no sense at all, it’s so obvious. Their motivations are all wrong, and logic has clearly stopped being an issue decades ago in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Okay so she gets pissed and storms off, lady you could have died. But maybe it’s just too much all at once and too ridiculous, okay, so just thank Mario he is right there, and leave to talk about it. She says something to the ghosts, what does she say to the ghosts, I don’t know, moving on, she’s walking to the ship wait what. You’re just leaving? Them behind? Excuse me? What the fuck is that, you’re just going to bounce like that? That’s not your ship lady, who said you could go on the Mario ship, with his logo, after he RESCUED YOU.

So Mario consoles Bowser LIKE THEY ARE FRIENDS or some shit, are you shitting me? This isn’t Mario Kart Double Dash, you can’t just team up all of a sudden, the entire length of the game you fought each other IN TUXEDOS AND TAILCOATS.

She fucking leaves them behind! On the moon! What an ungrateful bitch! You stole the ship to leave them to die! She waves goodbye, like this isn’t her abandoning them, a betrayal of the highest order.  And Mario has to leap and get to the ship, HIS OWN SHIP, in order to get off the moon with her. And so he ends the game by throwing his hat at the screen into a logo. That is the end of the game. Bounces off of Bowser’s head, who caught up to them by running? Isn’t he slower than Mario in every conceivable way?




what was that nintendo

that is how you end that game? really

give us the ending from super mario world, that was a real ending

im not even going to give you the decency of proper punctuation or grammar or capitalization, fuck you nintendo writers and copy editors and storytellers and narrative designers

luigi won a mansion in a fake contest through the mail

bowser jr thought peach was his mother

birdo is a poor soul trapped in a corporeal body and deserves the true form free from the social construct of a gender spectrum

the supreme court is stolen and illegitimate

im losing my mind

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E3 2018 Report Card: Grades for All the Giant Companies Who Held Corporately Mandated Press Conferences

If you wanna call some of these “press conferences”… *cough*SQUARE ENIX*cough



E3 is over, and I’ve never felt more distraught about NOT being able to play those games right fucking now. I’m so upset that we have to wait literally a lifetime, or several months, to start playing these games. Nothing is coming out until September, and most of the games on display this week are 2019 or later. What the hell gaming industry? You used to release demos and betas and downloads on the same day after an announcement, and the future should have been “play our shit in your home right now!” and instead I just have to imagine what Cyberpunk 2077 looks like. What is this, 2002, what kind of bullshit is that? Anyways, I graded the shows, just like I have for a decade (fuck I’m old,) so compare my report card to the one you wrote for your own blog — because if there’s one thing gamers love beyond writing their own commentaries is harassing others about theirs! Fuck having opinions, let’s get to some grades!

Electronic Arts: D-

Fucking useless. Next!

Alright I’ll say more. I love Vince Zampella and his coy trolling of the audience and the corporation who signs his checks while actually giving us the one genuine surprise of the show. I love Andrea Rene, I met her at a Comic-Con once and she is the nicest person ever, and she needs to host more things forever. But Anthem is the only thing worth talking about, I’m cautiously optimistic about that game and really shocked it’s coming out in the death month that is February 2019. I just don’t see how that game comes out and is perfect right out of the box without controversy, right? They should have showed way more of it without the Casey Hudson interview. Interview Juju Smith-Schuster about Anthem, that would be more worth our time. And give us a little tease of any PopCap game, PvZ Garden Warfare 3, something, anything. This show was fucking stupid otherwise, and they need to stop doing this trash because it has never sold a single extra copy of Madden, FIFA, or Battlefield. Spare me.

Microsoft: A (and winner of best showing at E3!)

How the fuck did they manage to pull this shit off? Congrats Phil Spencer! You did it. By process of elimination you had the actual best proper press conference of the entire week, and it was paced well, had no bullshit or downtime, featured genuinely interesting games throughout the entire presentation, had lots of surprises and a good range of recent and faraway releases. Their Games Pass is a legit beast now, they’re actually investing in their future, they seemed honest about the next generation and their game-plan going forward, and we got motherfucking Cuphead DLC. That’s all I need baby: fucking Cuphead, I drink that shit up all day. Not literally, because that would be murder; they are cup people and I’m sure drinking their blood is lethal.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is also the heroin I need, just inject it into my blood stream. This is the good stuff you need to start generating hype and building a narrative to springboard off of once you get going next year into the final hoorah for the Xbox One, and into the next console generation.

Now it’s one thing to judge a presser on the breadth of announcements and quality and quantity of their trailers, and it’s another to hold it against all the major publishers for featuring third party games to draw ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. Microsoft does not get to champion around Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice as an exclusive, and Sony doesn’t get to do the same for the Resident Evil 2 remake. The magical year Sony had with Kingdom Hearts 3 and Shenmue 3 and Final Fantasy VII Remake, those are all coming to Xbox and PC so you have to take it all with grains of salt. But the actual physical act of watching the Xbox show did not make my eyes bleed, and it made me smile and cheer, so they win E3 by sticking to a great formula and making Gears 5 and Halo: Infinite and Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3 look interesting, while pulling baller ass moves like purchasing Ninja Theory with cash money, straight up. Good on you Phil Spencer — now get to work on the Xbox Scarlet, since you brought it up.

Bethesda: B

A B for Bethesda, ha. The first 75% of this show was expected. That’s fine. That’s okay to get updates on the Elder Scrolls MMO and card game, and Quake, and yadda yadda. It’s totally expected and that gets a flat B-, so right off the bat Pete Hines and co. aren’t aiming for the moon. I respect all jokes made at this thing because they landed brilliantly, so that made me think about bringing the grade up to a B+. Then they trotted out Andrew W.K. for no reason to do a song to kill time, to mask Rage 2. Which looks kind of cool! But that dropped the grade again. Wolfenstein sequel with co-op is terrific, Doom Eternal is fantastic, Fallout 76 is intriguing, and Todd Howard is my dream husband if I needed to marry somebody. He crushed it, and I wish I could just personally pay him to come out and do the rest of the E3 briefings from now on, for all other companies besides Bethesda. They didn’t feel like beating around the bush with all the Kotaku leaks and Jason Schreier (fellow Jets fan) ruining their plans with solid reporting. Don’t blackball him for catching your trademarks Zenimax, that’s just petty. So I respect the honesty and upfront trailers for Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6! That’s bringing your A game to E3. And for that, you get a B. Don’t bring musical acts to a press conference about video games, that’s fucking poison, are you that naive, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Simple!

Give me Elder Scrolls: Blades on my phone now please thank you.

Square Enix: F

Image result for god of war ron swanson gif

Ubisoft: D+

This was sent immediately after we all couldn’t see the Beyond Good & Evil 2 pre-alpha gameplay because the camera pulled out and we missed it. Everything else that happened was either leaked or rumored or just had to be there like clockwork. Just Dance ✔ Trials ✔ Rainbow Six: Siege ✔ Skull and Bones ✔ For Honor ✔ Nintendo crossover and some DLC for Rabbids ✔Beyond Good & Evil not finished yet ✔ The Division 2 ✔new Assasin’s Creed ✔wow look I just filled out the checklist for being a Ubisoft executive, do I get some shares of stock now? There was no new IP to close the show, no Rayman, and no Prince of Persia.


Sony: C+

What in the fuck was that? Honestly, Sony, what were you thinking, honestly? Like, you really don’t have to try, but don’t make it look like you’re not trying at all. Remember the orchestra and God of War and Crash Bandicoot shadow thing and having a cohesive show that made sense? One designed for both the live audience AND the millions viewing at home? Somehow you managed to piss BOTH groups off with a head-scratching structure, start and stop opening and closing segments, pointless interviews with lackeys, awkward pauses, delays, horrible production quality, and piss poor video and audio. The issues that occurred while watching this live stream were literally and figuratively terrible, and the equivalent of a train wreck.

That being said, the games were stellar, the number of things to focus on were low, and you spent the time to dive into long gameplay demos. That was smart, but no release dates anywhere wasn’t, and neither was burying flops-to-be Days Gone and Dreams. You know that we know these are going to sell like duds, so why pretend they don’t exist? Really this all doesn’t matter because Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to outsell all other games combined, and Fallout 76 will clean up the rest of holiday sales. You won this generation and have more PS4s to sell somehow because everyone is buying them. Like, is it mandated that all citizens in all countries purchase one per day? Like a message was sent to all the villages and towns that if they don’t buy a PlayStation 4 the first born son of all families will die?

There is no denying though the sheer strength of Sony’s line-up. Death Stranding is a troll delivery game, Marvel’s Spider-Man looks unbelievable, The Last of Us Part II is an automatic write-in candidate for a 100 on Metacritic, and Nioh 2 was a trillion times more hype than whatever Ghost of Tsushima is.

Nintendo: Incomplete

When does their Direct actually start, because they showed Smash Bros. but like where is all the other stuff, for real? Did I miss the day, or get the time wrong, or

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The 18 Games I’m Looking Forward To Seeing The Most at E3 2018

With the biggest week in gaming set to kick off tomorrow, here are the 18 games I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing at the show.



Look, we got a lot of ground to cover here, so I’m not going to waste time here. You know what E3 is, right? You’re reading this article, so I’m assuming the answer is “yes.” Cool, cool. Since you know what the event is, I’m assuming I don’t have to explain to you how fun it is to see a bunch of new video games get shown off to the public, all in the attempt to wow as many gamers as possibly, build up them “HYPE!” points, etc. It’s an event I love to bear witness to each and every year, and even if it’s not as big a deal as it was, say, 10 years ago, the days of press conferences still occupy a soft spot in my heart. So I go into this year’s event excited — more excited than I thought, even. While my list was initially only going to be 10 games like last year, this year looked so promising, I quickly expanded it to 18 (which, coincidentally, seemed to cover about everything for me.)

But in expanding the list, I also expanded the parameters. While usually I try to make a majority of my list things that are CONFIRMED to make an appearance at the show, this year I went a little gung-ho with it, and included things that were merely rumored. Rest assured, though: I didn’t go completely crazy, and kept things in the realm of “speculated but unconfirmed” (sorry folks, no Half-Life 3 predictions here.) In any case, not all of these games are 100% going to appear during the event and, if I was a betting man, I would say there’s a good chance a few of them won’t. But, hey: it’s 2018. Let me dream a little, okay?

Here are the 18 games I’m looking foward to seeing the most at E3 2018, starting with…

18. Halo 6 or Halo: Genesis or Halo 6: Genisys or Whatever The Hell It Will Be

Ugh. It’s been nearly three years since the release of Halo 5: Guardians, and I’m still not really over it. The game is the Halo equivalent of The Phantom Menace, and I simply can’t believe how badly 343 Industries fucked up with it after releasing the surprisingly great Halo 4. Just thinking back on that awful campaign makes me mad, and no amount of competent multiplayer (Warzone is fun, sure) can make my memories of the game any better. That being said, a small part of me hopes 343 learned from the mistakes of Halo 5, and has something of a comeback with the next (and presumably final) installment of the Reclaimer Trilogy. At the very least, the reveal trailers for these games are always fun to witness, and though there’s no guaranteed Halo will even make Microsoft’s conference to begin with…c’mon. It’s been a long time for Microsoft to keep this brand dormant. If we don’t hear what is next for the universe on Sunday, by this point, it’s time to get worried. Well, more worried, at least.

17. The New Splinter Cell

Hey, cool, a new Splinter Cell game is pretty much guaranteed to be revealed on Monday. As a casual fan of that franchise: neat! Let’s hope Ubisoft won’t be able to turn it into yet another open world, multiplayer heavy “experience.” Lord knows the world of AAA gaming has enough of those already…

16. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch

It’s a new Smash Bros game – what, do you need a full paragraph of explanation or something? Its status on the list is guaranteed from the word “Smash,” c’mon now.

15. Rocksteady’s New Game

…Whatever it may be! All signs are pointing to a Superman thing, which would be a weird sort of challenge for the Arkham Asylum dev to tackle. Superman doesn’t naturally make a good video game character but, hey, so didn’t Batman, I guess. And they did an amazing job of bringing him to the medium. I mean, mostly. Arkham Knight was…disappointing? Mediocre? A whimper of a conclusion to one of the Caped Crusader’s finest stories? All of the above, sure. But if Rocksteady ends up popping up during a press conference this year (which is like 80% possible at this point), it will at least be nice to get a general idea of what they are doing.

14. Square Enix’s Avengers Game

Speaking of superhero properties: remember this? Marvel is working on a big AAA game with Square Enix, to be developed by Deus Ex developer Eidos Montreal and Tomb Raider dev Crystal Dynamics. It was something of a big fucking deal when it was first announced back at the start of 2017. At the time, Square said more details would be revealed about this Avengers projects come 2018 and, well, look at that: it’s the time known as “come 2018.” With Square’s press conference Monday morning, I would very much expect a closer look at this game. I doubt it will be anything too detailed (probably just a couple minute long CGI-rendered thing), but with The Avengers the biggest thing out there at the moment, I doubt Square will drop the chance to tease their potentially huge project.

13. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Blind Forest was one of the most beautiful game experiences I’ve had this generation, and last year’s reveal of its sequel was equally as charming. I doubt we’ll get much more than another trailer during Microsoft’s presser on Sunday (if even that), but I just want to see more from this game, in any capacity possible.

12. Beyond Good and Evil 2

Beyond Good and Evil 2 delivered in a big way last year, returning from its many years of silence with an entertaining, beautiful, instantly memorable reveal trailer. Of course, said trailer was only capable of presenting the atmosphere and FEELING of the game…what the game actually is, really, remains a mystery. Might we actually get a taste of actual gameplay for Beyond Good and Evil 2, confirmed for an appearance during Ubisoft’s press conference Monday afternoon? Let’s hope so. After nearly two decades of waiting, we’re going to need more than an (admittedly delightful) CGI trailer to stoke the flames of hype.

11. Ghost of Tsushima

I mean, it’s a huge AAA Sony production about motherfucking samurais. Please, sir, can I have some more? Because everything about this should end up being awesome. I hope this one manages to wow me in a God of War/Horizon type way when it gets its first big spotlight during Sony’s press conference. I mean, did you see that reveal trailer?! I’m already so in, you guys.

10. Fallout 76

Who knows what Fallout 76 actually is (well, everyone who reads Kotaku, I guess), but it’s a new Fallout experience of some sort, and there’s no way in hell I wouldn’t be looking forward to another one of those. Heck, it might even be enough to get me excited about a genre that, frankly, I’ve never given a damn about! Never doubt the power of the brand, folks.

9. Cyberpunk 2077

Everything about Cyberpunk 2077 looks right up my freaking alley, and lord knows the world could use more futuristic sci-fi set RPG’s semi-based on a tabletop board game, and developed by a bunch of independent-but-acclaimed Polish developers. What, it’s a perfectly cromulent niche! In any case, the brief teaser trailer first released by CD Projekt Red was INCREDIBLE, and I’m eager to see what the game actually is five years removed (yes, seriously, it’s been that long…can’t rush perfection, eh?) Well not 100% confirmed for the show, chances are high it will make an appearance in some capacity. If it’s even a tenth as amazing as that trailer looks, me feels like we’re going to be in for a treat.

8. Metroid Prime 4

I have no idea if Metroid Prime 4 will actually be shown off during Nintendo’s livestream this year, but I’m certainly hoping so. It’s been two years since the game was first announced with its literal nothing reveal trailer, and with only Smash on the horizon as Nintendo’s next big AAA game, another big franchise game has to be detailed, right? I doubt the game will be coming out until late 2019 at the earliest, but even a cinematic teaser trailer would go far here. Actual gameplay (even if it was as brief as Breath of the Wild’s first reveal) would be the cherry on top.

7. Kingdom Hearts 3

I didn’t have Kingdom Hearts 3 on my list last year, mostly because I didn’t think it would make the show. It did, but in a rather limited capacity, only showing off a “trailer” comprised of a random sequence from the game, and other random snippets. You might notice that has been a trend for Kingdom Hearts 3 so far, though, as most of the trailers Square Enix have released are just quick snippets of random action, completely subtitled in Japanese and with little rhyme or reason to their existence as a piece of promotion (Square just seemed to pull whatever piece of game footage looked decent, interstitched with some non-sensical cutscenes taken from random points in the game, and called it a day.)

Well, I say no more to that. If Kingdom Hearts 3 really is in the lead up to its actual release (BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT, FOLKS), than Square Enix better actually deliver details on the game, including what the fuck the actual story is, a trailer featuring ENGLISH dubbing, and details on all the new worlds, new gameplay features, etc. And give us the first release date, that way we can get the act of it being delayed into 2019 out of the way.

6. Battlefield V

I’ve said this in the past, but I feel it must be reiterated: for my money, Battlefield 1 is the best multiplayer shooter of the decade. Sure, it might not have created a whole new genre like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or be as massively popular as something like Overwatch, but Battlefield 1 was one of the most polished, atmospheric multiplayer shooters I’ve ever had the chance to play. And that’s coming from someone who, for years, placed himself in the Call of Duty camp, rather than the Battlefield one. But what can I say? Battlefield 1 is amazing, and really I’d be absolutely fine if DICE just kept everything the same about it, but with a WWII skin on top, for Battlefield V. Of course that’s likely not happening, which makes me extremely curious to see what the studio plans to do with the follow-up. Even putting aside the dual Star Wars: Battlefront debacles, I have faith in them to treat their star IP right. We shall see when the game gets its full, detailed unveiling during EA’s Play Conference tomorrow.

5. The Last of Us: Part II

As someone who was firmly against the idea of “franchising” The Last of Us (which perfectly works as a standalone story, thanks)…yeah, I do kinda want to see more from The Last of Us: Part II. I simply can’t doubt the abilities of Naughty Dog, and the brief looks at the game that they have given us so far looks, well, pretty damn intense. Whether or not the game can match the emotional and narrative power of the first is still VERY much up in the air, but I would like to at least see more of what Naughty Dog is aiming for here. Thankfully, we’ll probably be getting that in spades, as it is confirmed to be a big part of Sony’s E3 conference.

4. Marvel’s Spider-Man

I wrote at length last E3 about how amazing Insomniac’s new Spider-Man game looked and, for my money, it was game of the show in 2017. With launch only a few months away, I wouldn’t expect anything quite as amazing or revealing this time around, but just getting another look at a big set-piece from the game would be enough to get my hype engine going.

3. Death Stranding

I hope Death Stranding isn’t an actual video game. I hope it’s just a string of bizarre CGI trailers, each of which feature a notable presence from the world of TV and film (woah, Norman Reedus! Woah, Mads Mikkelsen! Woah…Guillermo del Toro? Okay, sure – woah Guillermo del Toro!) I hope it’s just an elaborate string of artistic short films, each more insane than the last, and showing off the Hideo Kojima we all know and love: mainly, an insane but brilliant motherfucker. Truly, I would be happy just watching these non-sensical CGI trailers year after year. But, alas, Death Stranding is (allegedly) a video game, and a video game towards the end of its promotional life cycle too. Which means that – finally – we’re probably going to get a look at actual gameplay from this strange little beast. Which is all well and good: Kojima is good at crafting that too, sure. But will extended gameplay, no matter how cool and unique, manage to top Norman Reedus with a baby up inside him? I don’t think so, folks. I expect we’ll learn a lot about what Death Stranding actually is come Monday night, but let’s hope that it will also present us with more disturbing visuals, cryptic symbolism, and atmospheric overload. I for one can’t get enough of it.

2. Anthem

Anthem was my favorite new game announced at E3 last year, as I absolutely loved the presentation that Bioware and EA put together for the game. It gave me the kind of reveal high that only a big E3 presentation can…and, frankly, can only do once. It’s a lot harder to wow gamers the second time around, and I’m not really sure if Anthem will be able to do it. Bioware has A LOT (arguably everything) riding on this game being a hit, and I hope that means they are doing everything in their power to make it one of their best ever gaming experiences. As someone who has Mass Effect 2 as his second favorite video game of all time, I truly want Bioware to deliver something incredible. And the promise of Anthem is overpowering. Then again, so was the promise of Destiny. I certainly want to see more from this game but, please, please be awesome. I can’t handle another Mass Effect: Andromeda from this company.

1. Starfield

Okay, yes: I’m putting all my speculative chips on the table here. There’s a HIGH chance that this game won’t even be at this year’s show…and yet, I still can’t help but be incredibly excited everytime I think about its mere existence, and be rather optimistic that now is FINALLY the time we get it confirmed.

After all, while not as long as the wait for games like Borderlands 3 (which, btw, won’t be making the show, sorry) or Kingdom Hearts 3, I feel like I’ve been looking out for the reveal of Bethesda’s new IP for a LONG time now. Making it worse is the fact that we don’t even know what that IP is, not really. The consistent leaks and rumors over the years have pegged it as some kind of big Fallout/Elder Scrolls RPG in a space setting (so, yes, dope), but with absolutely nothing to back it up, who the hell even knows? It may not even be called Starfield anymore, for Christ’s sake. But we do know the game exists, and that Bethesda’s main development group is in the process of creating it. Could 2018 FINALLY be the year they blow the door off their worst kept secret? I’m hoping that, by putting it on this list, that will be the case. Willful ignorance, don’t let me down now!

We’ll see if my anticipation for any of these titles were at all deserved when most of them (hopefully) get shown off at E3 2018, kicking off tomorrow with EA’s press conference at 2 PM Est. Stay tuned for more thoughts from us then!

Also published on Medium.

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