Saturday Morning Gaming: We Have Release Dates!
Okay. E3 was last week and everybody was yelling at everybody else. It’s difficult to separate the bluster from the reliable information but it might be possible to take SOME things at face value… like the release dates that were announced. It’s PROBABLE that these are not, in fact, complete and total lies.
Unlike, say, the screen shots.
Anyway, here’s what we know:
Gears of War 5: September 10, 2019
Outer Worlds: October 25, 2019
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order November 15, 2019
Doom Eternal: November 22, 2019
Final Fantasy VII: March 3, 2020
Marvel’s Avengers: A-Day: May 15, 2020
But those are all pretty much just filler before we get to the REAL reason we’re here:
Cyberpunk 2077: April 16, 2020
We don’t have release dates for the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel or Battletoads and all we know about Halo Infinite is that it’s due “Holiday 2020” but it’s good to know that they’re in the pipe too.
Gears was never my thing and I understand that Cliffy B is not involved with the title so I don’t really have a whole lot to say about that… Gears was never my thing. As it was never my thing, I think that it’s positioned pretty well. If it were to come out after those games, it’d probably be the Stir of Echoes to the other games’s Sixth Sense.
The Outer Worlds is going to be awesome. A throwback to what RPGs were like in the heady days of 2010. This is a day one purchase for me. If I didn’t have a rule against pre-orders, it’d be a pre-order for me. (We’ll see what the pre-order bonuses are.)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order appears to be more Assassin’s Creed than Old Republic, but playing a Jedi is playing a Jedi and if the only thing they do is give you force powers, Assassin’s Creed-tier level gameplay, and have a handful of choose light/dark narrative points, it’ll sell a jillion copies. (Heck, if it assumes that you’re a good guy, it’ll sell .9 jillion copies.)
Doom Eternal will be fun. The last Doom was fun. It wasn’t deep. It didn’t make you think about things. But, goodness, it was dumb fun. Doom Eternal looks like it’s going to be dumb fun.
Final Fantasy VII will be a throwback to 1997(!) and everyone will boggle at the amazing cutscenes and play it for two hours and say “I don’t remember it being this didactic… was the first one this didactic? I don’t remember the upgrade system being this clunky… was it this clunky in the original?” and so on. (I’m totally going to get it anyway.)
Marvel’s Avengers had me go into Wikipedia and see who made it… if it was the same team that made Spider-Man, for example, it’d be a Day One purchase. It was not Insomniac Games… but it was Squeenix. Which has me wonder if it won’t be pretty good in entirely different ways. The problem with playing Iron Man or Black Widow or any established superhero is that you really can’t upgrade them as you play… I mean, I guess you could take away all of the gadgeteer’s gadgets… that’s what they did in the Batman games, after all. Make Batman fight to get to the Batmobile so he can get some more of his gadgets and then have him visit an old backup Batcave so he can pick up another of his gadgets and then have Alfred airlift in some prototype that isn’t even tested yet at the beginning of the penultimate act. But how do you upgrade the Hulk? He beat Thanos. I doubt that wailing on some Hydra footsoldiers is really going to give him enough XP to upgrade a skill that wasn’t upgraded by, you know, saving the universe. Ah, but who cares. Gimme XP. Lemme upgrade my punches.
Out of all of those, I’d say that only Outer Worlds is a MUST BUY. It happens to share that lofty trait with Cyberpunk 2077. Which is, let’s face it, the reason we were holding our breath before E3 started.
But here’s where I’m worried: look at Cyberpunk 2077’s jobs page. Cinematic artist. Two environmental artists. Two gameplay animators. A level artist. A level DESIGNER. Three different producers: Animation, Junior, and Unadjectived. And programmers, programmers, programmers. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE me some CD Projekt Red and will not only be getting this game on Day One but I’m throwing my rule about pre-orders out the dang window. It gets released on a Thursday… I’m going to request that Thursday and Friday off… which is silly because look at that jobs page! That’s not a jobs page for a game that is coming out in 10 months. That’s a jobs page for a game that is coming out in 16 months.
But I am told that CD Projekt ain’t lying. I remain skeptical. But excitedly skeptical.
So… what games are your going to break your pre-order rules for?
(Featured image is “Nancy Dwyer” by rocor. Used under a creative commons license.)