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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

E3 2014 Was Basically a Preview of 2015

Posted on Tuesday, June 24 @ 16:00:00 Eastern by Joey_Davidson

My first demo at E3 this year was Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I loved it. The smooth gameplay, the open world, the graphics and the hilarity of the Fulton Recovery System put it on pace to be one of my favorite games of the week.

It held on to that claim, by the way. The Phantom Pain stands with the likes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dying Light, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, Rainbow Six Siege, Batman: Arkham Knight and… wait a minute… do you guys feel that?

Right, it’s the slow drag of 2014.

All of the games I just rattled off? They were at E3 in at least one form or another and they wound up generating a lot of justified hype. The problem? They aren’t coming out until 2015.

2014, Good God Ya’ll, What Is It Good For?

I’m not trying to suggest that 2014 is going to be a doldrum for gaming. That’s simply not the case. We have the likes of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Super Smash Bros., Far Cry 4 and Alien: Isolation to look forward to.

But, man, remember like four months ago when so much more was stacked for this annum? Heck, there are three games from my list above that slipped out of 2014 and into 2015 alone!

As I look back on my schedule from E3, in fact, I’m noticing that so much of my time going hands or eyes-on with games this year was done with titles that won’t be dropping until next. I may very well be playing a huge chunk of this year’s E3 games at next year’s E3 before they release!

2014 will undoubtedly be a good year for video games. A solid year, perhaps, but it won’t be a tremendous one. We’ll have some big names drop between now and year’s end, but I think next year is going to be stupid good.

I Blame It On The New Consoles

I place the blame for this whole thing squarely on the shoulders of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Except in the case of Nintendo, of course.

Nintendo’s a company that’s both finding its way with stuff like amiibo and whatever quality of life product they’re working on, and one that’s struggling to get out from below a rocky start for the Wii U. I’m not surprised that the things I’m most excited for from them won’t be coming out for another year. I look at Yoshi’s Wooly World, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and the new Legend of Zelda for examples of their slow recovery.

For Sony and Microsoft? I imagine developers are basically now passing their first year with the consoles in their possession. The games that we’ve seen so far have either been short first party forays or ports from the last generation to this one.

This generational straddlers seem like, mostly, “HD” touch-ups. The Master Chief Collection, The Last of Us Remastered and this year’s Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition all serve as evidence of this point.

We have developers and publishers working with two and three year dev-cycles for their software. Of course the stuff that we’re seeing now is either simplistic or little more than a port. Ports are great ways for companies to learn the ins and outs of coding for new hardware, and they yield relatively easy scratch.

That just means that we gamers are going to wait two or three years after launch until we see the real new generation of video games.

2014, especially after E3, seems like the heart of that waiting period. As DICE figures out Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge, as Naughty Dog works on Uncharted and as CD Projekt RED builds The Witcher 3, we’ll be waiting.

If E3 2014 showed me anything, it’s that 2015 is going to be one hell of a year.

Tags:   E3

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