It’s E3 time. The time for games. Or the time when games are announced, at least. The good folks over at Waypoint call it “Gamer’s Christmas.” Their E3 coverage podcasts start with Christmas music and everything. It’s wonderful, you should listen. However, I prefer to think of E3 as Gamer’s Christmas Eve.
Perhaps this is not the way that people people with actualized lives approach whatever their big holiday for the year is (assuming they have one). But for me, Christmas Eve is when hope is at its highest; the moment when it’s most easy to believe that I will awake in the morning to family around the tree, snow on the ground and peace on the Earth. That’s E3: the moment that games are presented as their platonic ideal that will bring the fun to me that will warms my cold, dead heart. Christmas Eve is when you forget that you’re a recluse who lives in Arizona on a dying planet; much like how you forget the bad frame rate reporters report in the demo, the problematic things in the trailers, the weird Nintendo Being Weird and just the general rational understanding that what the game developers are promising is unlikely to be realized on the current hardware on the market.
I’m fine with that. Christmas Eve is what gets me through the year, not Christmas. Humans are engines that run on the tiniest droplets of hope, and for those of us who love games, E3 is that roadside service station.
These are the games that are my fuel for the year, in no particular order:
- Animal Crossing New Horizons – Did you hear that story of the grandmother who has 3500 hours on her New Leaf save? I ain’t quite got it like that. Still, I have been playing roughly a half hour or so every other day (with of course multi hour play-throughs here and there for holidays and fishing tournaments and the like) since the week of release. This actually makes me slightly ambivalent about the future Switch game, as I am unsure that I’m ready to leave my village behind. What they showed in the video, though, was certainly promising and looks to be a massive quality of life improvement on many fronts. My life dream is that will be able to bring my previous villagers with me into this world, or at the very least, my very best friend, Chief. If I die before the game is released I would like to be buried with my 3DS. Well so much for keeping each of these game entries short and light. That was something I was going to try to do for my writing on this site henceforth but it looks like that’s at least not happening in this article. Sorry.
- Final Fantasy VII – I’ll never be able to view Final Fantasy VII unobscured by nostalgia. The trailer of the remake looks like my imagination imagined the game looked. I am a bit nervous about things that don’t need to be changed being changed, as well as things that need to be changed not being changed, but for now I’m all in.
- Death Stranding – The game looks to be a bunch of unfiltered Kojima Bullshit, which is something I need as much of as possible in my life. Bridge Babies? Are they serious? Apparently.
- Pokémon Sword and Shield – My yearly Pokémon game awaits.
- Ghostwire – Things I love: Tokyo, ghosts, empty public spaces.
- The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening – I had some terrible Gamer Trauma over this game, but I am telling myself that it was mostly the Game Boy’s fault. Hopefully this game proves that true.
- Way to the Woods – I fucking love deer.
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps – No, I’m not going to wait two years to play this game again like I did with the first one.
- Atomicrops – I’m not 100% sold on the aesthetic, but the gameplay loop they’ve shown on various outlets looks fun.
- Watchdogs Legion – This could be good, this could be terrible. I don’t think it will fall in between.
- Doom Eternal – Doom 2016 was pretty cool. But I honestly felt like I was done by the time I was over. The extreme excitement of games people who I respect though has me willing to dip my toe back in to the bloody hell puddles of the Doomerverse.
- El Hijo – I don’t necessarily like stealth games but I like to see hispanic culture represented.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator – Only through this game may I properly attach a metaphor to the arc of my existence by barely taking off at the end of the runway, only to immediately crash to the ground
- One Night Stand – Only through this game may I properly attach a metaphor to the arc of my existence by barely taking off at the end of the runway, only to immediately crash to the ground.
- Rusthart – I wish I was a friend of a robot, I wish I was a tagger, I think this game looks good so I’ll call her.
- Cyberpunk – I like the genre so much and the gameplay displayed in the trailer so much that I can’t help but be curious. I just fucking wish that the developers didn’t immediately decide to be as shitty as cyber punk can sometimes be.
It surprised me how many things I’m looking forward to. Yes, truly it is E3 if any bit of optimism can penetrate my barren soul.