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E3 Is Coming – Keep Your Expectations Low

Covid, strange working conditions, a general feeling of overhype – the first E3 since 2019 is going to be the same as all E3s, but with added barriers. That means a little bit underwhelming, and 2021 has so much more to take into account.

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That’s not to say it’ll be unwatchable. It’ll be the usual combination of okay trailers, seemingly random mid-tier games being advertised like they’re AAAA and moments of insanity both good and bad. But gamers are famously bad at dealing with disappointment. They’re also famously good at overhyping… well, everything.

The answer is simple. Don’t get overexcited. Avoid believing the mountain of “leaks” about Grand Theft Auto 20 being exclusive to Stadia. Try not to bet your life on Elden Rings even appearing.

Do all that and you might just come out of E3 happy.

E3 2021: Hype and Overhype

There has never been a time when E3 was worth overhyping. I’ve watched every one for as long as you’ve been able to watch them. This romantic idea of a perfect show doesn’t exist. Even the ones that finally revealed long-awaited titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Shenmue 3 and The Last Guardian also came with PlayStation Vue, World War Toons, and Disney Infinity 3.0.

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That doesn’t mean it’s ever been bad. There’s always been something worth getting excited about. This year will be no different. I’m predicting a host of titles to fall in love with, new features, aquisitions – the whole nine yards. Nothing¬† I’m going to burst into tears over and record to the reaction for YouTube, but maybe I’m just not that guy.

I am sufficiently hyped for E3 2021. You should be too. Despite everything, it’s going to be well worth watching. We’ll get some cool announcements and, even if Grand Theft Auto 6 isn’t shadow dropped, it’ll still be a good time.

The problem comes when people expect too much. They’re always going to be disappointed.

Already we’re seeing predictions involving major acquisitions of publishers, major games been announced – the kind of things that happen once or twice a generation. And yet, in the middle of a global pandemic that has all but decimated the new release section, people are putting their bets down on it being now.

That isn’t clever. If your prediction for the upcoming month involve anything that could sensibly be coming from 4chan, you know you’re off the deep end. Bring it down a touch. You’ll be happier for it.

Predicting the Predictable

So what can you expect? Over the next month or so, Sony will want to give a deep dive on Horizon, and possibly an update on God of War. Microsoft has Starfield to fill out, and not to mention a couple of unannounced but expected titles such as Forza Horizon 5 and Wolfenstein 3. EA will be garbage, despite probably showing a few interesting games. Ubisoft will be Ubisoft.

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If you’re expecting much more than that, you’ll be disappointed. But you don’t need more than that. Horizon and Starfield are set to be generation defining titles. The idea that they might go head-to-head is fascinating. As usual, it’s the multi-platform owners that end up happy.

 

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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott    Google Plus: matgrowcott