Up first for our E3 preview is the ‘Frozen’ category. Borderline is excited for the following games, but a combination of delays and dried-up news sources has us skeptical about their presence at E3 2017.
According to Media Molecule’s technical director, Alex Evans, Dreams – a game centered on user-generated content - is an attempt to “reinvent creativity.” Said by any other developer, we might be a bit skeptical on the likelihood of that goal being reached. But with the innovative titles LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway already under their belt, we like Media Molecule’s chances to deliver.
Dreams sees the player controlling a customizable ‘imp’ as their way to interact with the game world. So far, gameplay teasers have revolved around exploring and solving puzzles. By no means, though, is that all Dreams has to offer; players can create and share their own levels online. If that doesn’t strike you as a mic drop statement, pop over to YouTube and look at some of the insanity users have created in LittleBigPlanet. With their goal to “reinvent creativity”, there’s no doubt Media Molecule will provide plenty of fun and funky art supplies for budding level artists in Dreams. First teased in July 2014, we’re hoping to see new content given rumors floating around of a 2017 beta.
Dev: Media Molecule
Pub: Sony Computer Entertainment
The original Shenmue was nothing short of revolutionary. Large environments, attention to the tiniest details, and a variety of options to go about your adventure paved the way for other open-world titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Yakuza, Fallout 3, and more. The game garnered a cult following that’s still active to this day; evident by the staggering success the Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue III enjoyed. Despite the commercial failure of the first two games, clearly there’s fans clamoring for a continuation of the saga.
Demonstrations have been few and far between; we’re wondering how the third installment will attempt to recapture the magic of the first. With open-world elements almost expected in video games these days, one has to wonder if the current environment will be receptive to Shenmue III. You can’t doubt the director, Yu Suzuki, and his passion for his franchise, though. Shenmue III might get lost in the chaos of E3, but we’re optimistic to see what Suzuki and his team do with the current generation of hardware.
Do yourself a favor and Google Image search Below. Whether you’re a fan of rogue-likes or not, this title is absolutely gorgeous. If you aren’t familiar with rogue-likes, the basic gimmick is pretty simple. Brutal difficulty and perma-death. The designers of Below have made some cryptic promises about what makes their game different, such as “multiplayer aspects [that] are important in some of the world’s areas.”
Like Dreams, Below was first revealed years ago; at E3 2013, to be precise. The game was delayed due to shifting developer goals, but it is still very much alive. Borderline Entertainment is curious to see this charming, artsy title take flight and make the most of its unique presentation.
Dev: Capybara Games
Pub: Microsoft Studios
Final Fantasy VII Remake
“What’s your favorite Final Fantasy?”
“It’s gotta be 7.”
How many times do you think that exchange has happened in gaming circles over the years? For some, VII is the pinnacle of the series; and perhaps even the genre. Packed with memorable characters, engaging gameplay, breath-taking music, and heart-breaking moments, VII was a formative title for many gamers.
Side note: can you believe it came out TWENTY years ago? Am I an old man if I remember playing it before school?
This isn’t just a graphical upgrade. It’s a ‘remake’ in the true sense of the word. Footage shown at the 2015 Playstation Experience event suggests a departure from VII’s ‘Active Time Battle’ system and an embrace of combat similar to that of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV. The game will go the episodic route, releasing in multiple parts to ensure content doesn’t have to be cut out; in fact, Square Enix is promising to deliver new aspects to Cloud’s story.
Remaking a legendary classic is a tall order, even for an equally iconic developer. With support both for and against Square Enix’s decision to revisit Midgard, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for this timeless story.
Dev: Tetsuya Nomura
Pub: Square Enix Holdings
New Metroid Game(s?) On the Way?
This is the first E3 for the Nintendo Switch, and fans are buzzing at the possibility of many beloved series getting a modern upgrade. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has enjoyed record-breaking success on the Switch, so who’s to say a fresh take on Metroid wouldn’t fare equally as well?
The most recent entry into the series, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, was panned and met with negativity from fans that wanted a true end to Samus’ hiatus. Rumors have been floating around about not one, but two brand-new Metroid games to be previewed at E3 2017. More and more gamers are falling in love with the Switch seemingly every day, but the system has been lacking big-name titles. Here’s hoping we get at least a confirmation of Metroid Prime 4; and maybe this rumored second title will be a portable release to bolster the 3DS library.
Kingdom Hearts III
For years and years, Kingdom Hearts III was little more than a whisper in the wind. The development of Final Fantasy XV took precedence, and fans of the Disney/FF crossover series were left with nothing more than cryptic teaser trailers to meticulously pick apart and analyze.
Though it’s highly doubtful any of us will have the game in our hands by the end of this year, various reports have confirmed that work is continuing on the third entry. While we wait, we have plenty of hypotheticals to stew over. Is this the end of Sora’s story? Will we see a new type of foe standing alongside the Heartless and the Nobodies? What worlds can we expect? New additions such as Big Hero 6 and Tangled have already been announced, but will the developers make full use of the Disney family and bring in Star Wars or Marvel characters?
I mean, come on. How amazing would it be to have Thor as a summon, or to adventure through the criminal-ridden Mos Eisley? Though the wait is painful, we’ve been in it for the long haul already; take as much time as you need to bring us another visually stunning, addictive, and charming adventure, Square-Enix.
And make sure you get Utada Hikaru for the theme song, obviously.
Dev: Square Enix Holdings
Pub: Square Enix Holdings
Beyond Good & Evil II
Like the previously mentioned Shenmue series, the original Beyond Good & Evil failed to achieve commercial success, but carved out a passionate cult following. The unique blend of stealth, puzzle-solving, combat, and an intriguing take on the alien-invasion trope combined to create a memorable experience. Like most cult-favorite games, fans have been anxiously awaiting a sequel.
And, like most cult-favorite games, they’ve been waiting a long, long time.
It’s been 14 years since the release of Beyond Good & Evil. If it’s any consolation for fans, it’s been confirmed that a sequel is in the works; the only problem is, it’s being built from scratch and isn’t expected to release for “another few years at least”, according to director Michael Ancel in 2016.
Recently, Ancel announced on Instagram that the sequel wouldn’t be ‘re-revealed’ at E3 this year. But, even if it isn’t there in any official capacity, some fresh news might bubble to the surface as developers and journalists converge on the convention.