Best Case - You know how Borderlands sort of works because shooting and random loot and light RPG mechanics are a good combination? Imagine if all the parts being combined were actually good.
Worst Case - Mad with power after firing longtime composer Marty O'Donnell, Bungie becomes self-aware and terminates all employees, sarcastically wishing them luck in their future endeavors. The shipped game isn't even a disc, but a pink slip. You're fired and you don't even know it yet.
Most Likely - A very slick and enjoyable co-op game in which you stop every few moments and think "Isn't that a Star Wars character?"
Batman: Arkham Knight
Best Case - They were kidding about this being an even bigger (Why???) Arkham game with driving. It's actually a Silver Age game with a strong, colorful art style and streets populated with citizens. A larger game in terms of content density and player expression, not the size of the map.
Worst Case - They weren't kidding.
Most Likely - Another enjoyable Arkham game with way too many collectables.
Civilization: Beyond Earth
Best Case - Wonder and discovery distilled into video game form. Battles that play out like XCOM: Enemy Unknown. When you win, Sid Meier shows up at your house and shakes your hand, telling you that he's proud of you, and always has been.
Worst Case - It's Sword of the Stars 2 with a different title screen.
Most Likely - An engaging strategy game with a great user interface and the most elusive quality in its genre: Atmosphere. Civilization veterans will find a few quirks in the high level mechanics and gripe about them on forums, telling newcomers who would enjoy the game to skip it in favor of Civ 4 or Alpha Centauri.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Best Case - Like Dragon Age: Origins in structure, variety, and tactical depth. Like Baldur's Gate 2 in quality of writing. When the pre-release videos compared the game's combat to Dark Souls, they weren't dressing up "You can technically move your guy around and block" to draw comparisons to a hugely popular game.
Worst Case - It's another game from the BioWare we've come to expect since the post-Mass Effect 2 decline, where streamlining at all costs seems to be the guiding philosophy. How much work can we avoid while still reminding people of the good games we used to make? Can we make this plywood look like a house from the front?
Most Likely - Tender video game character model humping.
The Sims 4
Best Case - Showering and urinating doesn't take an hour. Sims actually go about interesting lives when left alone, not falling into predictable patterns. A built-in alarm goes off when the character creation for your lesbian house takes too long and starts getting creepy.
Worst Case - The design philosophy of Sim City had any impact whatsoever on The Sims team. The upper management and marketing behind Sim City have any influence of the direction of The Sims 4.
Most Likely - It's a game from Maxis and EA. There will be a technical disaster at launch, and as time goes on the amount of expansions/DLC will make the game increasingly offputting to normal people. In six years there will be a sale on Origin where you can buy the base game and all twelve expansions for just $300.
Best Case - A setting that's interesting enough to make us forget we're playing the same open-world mechanics that all 23 of Ubisoft's studios have been cramming into every game for the last four years. Maybe a handful of novel situations where hacking feels inspired, like remotely powering off a Segway as it's crossing train tracks.
Worst Case - It's not even a game. The disc contains ten gigabytes of NSA trojans. If you buy the special edition, a black ops strike team will hold you down and weld a Google Glass to your head.
Most Likely - The same old Ubisoft open-world mechanics. A very limited number of hacking options that get old quickly in a world that's nowhere near as dynamic as the early footage indicated. Tailing missions for days. Another story that gives itself way too much credit, ending with a twist like "The internet is a mass hallucination and you've been a caveman the whole time". Can't wait for the sequel to explain nothing!
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare promises to up the ante on Kevin Spacey's face in a video game.
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