Each year, video game fans develop a mental wish list of announcements they hope to see at E3, the biggest yearly video game conference in the world. During the show, developers and publishers unveil what they’re working on, after which gamers either come away happy or disheartened, based on which items they can cross off their wish list.
E3 2015 is now over, and although it’s widely regarded as the best conference in years, there’s plenty of disappointment to go around. Here are five letdowns from this year’s show.
1. Metroid Prime: Federation Force
With Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Nintendo is making a game no one seems to want. Seriously, I don’t know what Nintendo was thinking when it green-lighted this disaster.
For years fans have been clamoring for a new Metroid game in the same vein as classics like the side-scrolling Super Metroid or the first-person shooter Metroid Prime. While those are different kinds of games, they’re true to the series’ roots of putting players on an alien planet and having them puzzle their way through complex environments and fend off deadly aliens.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force is something else entirely. It’s a multiplayer-focused affair for 3DS that’s composed of two parts. In one, you play through four-player co-op missions based in the Metroid Prime universe. In the other, you play competitively in three-vs.-three matches of a sci-fi sport called Blast Ball.
This is not what Metroid fans wanted, and they’ve not taken the news well. The most outspoken of the disappointed fans have taken to social media to decry the existence of Federation Force, and have even begun a petition on Change.org to have the game canceled.
What good would come of canceling it now is anyone’s guess, but the petition is nearly 20,000 signatures strong at the time of this writing, which goes to show that even a decent chunk of big Metroid fans don’t want to play this game.
2. No new Mario
Ever since the release of 2013’s Super Mario 3D World, fans of the plump plumber have been hoping for a huge Mario game similar to the Wii’s instant-classic Mario Galaxy series. If the lack of a big Mario announcement at E3 is any indication, that doesn’t seem likely any time soon. We’ll get Super Mario Maker in September, but we may have to wait a few years for a big new core Mario game.
What this really means, however, is that Nintendo has probably pulled its key developers from making games for the doomed Wii U console and shifted their focus to the next console, the NX (of which Nintendo promises we’ll hear more in 2016). That’s bad news for Mario fans, but probably a smart move for Nintendo.
3. No Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay shown
The sci-fi role-playing saga Mass Effect is sure to go down in history as one of the crowning achievements of the Xbox 360/PS3 era. Ever since Commander Shepherd’s tale came to a close with Mass Effect 3, fans have been hoping for a big, gorgeous new installment on Xbox One and PS4.
We are going to get it, developer Electronic Arts has assured us, but it might not be very soon. We can infer that because the trailer EA showed for the game was bereft of any clips of actual gameplay (you can watch it above). EA did reveal the final title for the game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, which indicates we’ll be transported to another galaxy for the game. But the lack of any gameplay footage at this E3 still smarts.
4. Where’s Project Morpheus?
Supposedly Sony is putting a lot of effort into Project Morpheus, the virtual reality headset that will work with PS4 when it launches sometime next year. You wouldn’t be able to tell by watching Sony’s press conference, though.
The total time Sony devoted to Project Morpheus at the E3 press conference was a montage of games that lasted a mere two minutes and 20 seconds. If Sony wants to get gamers on board with this newfangled way of playing games, it will have to work a lot harder than that.
I realize that it’s hard to show off what’s special about VR without users actually donning a headset, but that’s a hurdle Sony will have to overcome if it wants anyone to actually buy the thing. Let’s hope we hear more about it in the conferences leading up to its release.
5. Vita gets snubbed again
Pity the PS Vita owners, for they get no love from Sony. It’s happened many times before, so it’s no surprise that it happened again at this year’s E3.
With such little talk about the Vita, don’t expect to see many first-party games for the device in the future. Thankfully, the Vita still gets lots of indie games thanks to Sony’s Cross-Buy feature, and Japanese developers still give it love, since the Vita remains fairly popular in Japan.
What about Microsoft?
We’ve been somewhat hard on Nintendo and Sony in this article, so why does Microsoft gets off scot-free? It’s because Microsoft didn’t have any obvious misfires this E3 (as opposed to years past). Sure, the Xbox One’s Elite controller is overpriced at $150, and Gears of War fans deserve a remastered trilogy instead of a single remastered version of the first installment, but overall Microsoft failed to let us down in any major way.