- The more often it is that games release in unfinished states, and the longer they have to exist in the shadow of past installments, the more it’s going to seem like every game is being made in response to its last entry. Much as studios would love nothing more than to tell you how awesome their latest game is going to be, some of E3 2015’s biggest titles had to first dig themselves out of the hole the last game in the series left them in.
In ways both direct and subtle, these 7 games are all clearly setting out to make up for past mistakes.
Assassin's Creed SyndicateWhat it’s apologizing for: Ubisoft’s apology tour for Assassin’s Creed Unity was about as lengthy and forced as the game’s actual marketing campaign. Between the hilarious, numerous, frightening bugs, and absent female co-op characters, Unity marks one of the biggest triple-A snafus in recent memory.
How it’ll do it: We’ll have to wait until it’s released to see whether we’re getting another insanely glitchy mess, but at least there won’t be an intrusive companion app gumming up the works this time. And with the player now splitting their time between twins Jacob and Evie Frye, at least the game’s gender politics might not be as restrictive as its Victorian setting’s.
Dark Souls IIIWhat it’s apologizing for: Dark Souls 2 is a really good game, but “really good” doesn’t cut it when you’re the sequel to one of the most revered games of a generation. What the sequel lacked was a harmonious design and world that many attributed to its director, Hidetaka Miyazaki.
How it’ll do it: The return of Miyazaki to the director’s chair is pretty much all From Software had to announce in order to convince players that Dark Souls III will be a return to form. Very little is confirmed about the game just yet, but if Dark Souls III can make its world feel as purposefully designed as the original’s Lordran, it’s already won half the battle.
Halo 5: GuardiansWhat it’s apologizing for: The first non-Bungie entry in the main Halo series was no slouch, but Halo 4’s lacklustre story and incremental innovation lead to a massive drop-off in reputation and online player count shortly after release.
How it’ll do it: Halo 5: Guardians is adding nerd cred thanks to the return of Nathan Fillion’s Buck, and the addition of squad mates to the campaign should bring back fond memories of Halo: Reach. Meanwhile, the MOBA-ish Warzone game mode looks to be the most significant multiplayer addition to the franchise since Firefight.
HitmanWhat it’s apologizing for: The six-year wait for a new Hitman game didn’t do Absolution any favors, but neither did its restrictive assassination options and save system. The best Hitman games encourage trial and error, but Absolution felt like a step back for fans won over by the franchise’s love of experimentation.
How it’ll do it: Hard to say, as the newly announced entry didn’t come with much in the way of details. It’s launching digitally December 8th, and a spiffy gameplay trailer is saying all the right things about variety and rewarding player ingenuity. It certainly looks like more Hitman, but we just hope that it’s the right Hitman.
Mass Effect: AndromedaWhat it’s apologizing for: Mass Effect is one of Bioware’s most popular franchises, but the third, and final chapter in the Shepard trilogy left a sour taste in the mouths of many drawn to the game’s expansive universe and impactful story choices.
How it’ll do it: A fresh start in a whole new galaxy is certainly the fastest way one can ditch any baggage or bad feelings lingering from Mass Effect 3. There’s a pioneer spirit to the reveal trailer that gives the game its Andromeda subtitle, so the slate is looking to be as blank as one can get for a franchise this steeped in its own history.
Mirror's Edge: CatalystWhat it’s apologizing for: When discussing the long-awaited follow-up to Mirror’s Edge, developer DICE has been fairly forthright in addressing where the first game stumbled. A parkour game that limited the player’s freedom of movement, and required shooting mechanics, didn’t seem true to the spirit of what Mirror’s Edge was supposed to be.
How it’ll do it: Mirror’s Edge has had a lot of time to think about what it did back in 2008. The press showing for Catalyst made a big fuss out of how protagonist Faith absolutely, 100% will not be using a gun again, and the move to free roaming environments should help realize the vision of fleet-footed player freedom the first game tried to achieve.
Ghost Recon WildlandsWhat it’s apologizing for: The Ghost Recon franchise had a favorable, if up and down reputation until 2012, when Future Soldier was released by Ubisoft to little fanfare. The series staked its claim to fame on tactical, precise combat, and Future Soldier dumbed things down far too significantly.
How it’ll do it: Ghost Recon Wildlands doesn’t look to be a return to the more nuanced gameplay of the old games, but it doesn’t have any pretensions about continuing it either. It’s clearly a more action-oriented open world shooter, one that will still try to give players plenty of avenues of attack while in the field. What Wildlands does have to make good on is the scope and scale the impressive reveal trailer is advertising.