Next month, the madness of E3 returns.
There’s a scene in The Hunger Games, where Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) are sitting on a hillside, contemplating the looming event of the Reaping, where a boy and a girl from their District will be chosen to fight to the death.
“What if everyone just stopped watching?” “But they won’t, Gale.” “What if they did – what if we did?”
Every time an event like E3 comes ‘round, I can’t help but wonder why developers and publishers save all of their big gaming announcements for one week of the gaming year – most within an hour or two in their respective press conferences.
It’s a bit of a ridiculous escapade, when you think about it. If they announced their titles in their own time, they wouldn’t be competing with 10s, sometimes even hundreds, of other games, some of which may make more noise and drown out your title. Games like Call of Duty and Battlefield are often announced before the conferences anyway, just using their expo airtime for pyrotechnics and new trailers.
Cynicism aside – E3 is a wonderful time of year for gaming fans. All the biggest announcements for games coming out in the next 12 months happen in the same place – but you’ll mostly be hearing about games that will inevitably be delayed anyway and will show up again at E3 the following year.
In celebration of the events to come in a month or so, we’ve put together an anticipatory list; what’s been confirmed, what’s been rumoured, and what we’d love to see, all listed for your convenience by publisher.
What if one year we just stopped watching?
Certain: Rage 2
Hopeful: Elder Scrolls VI, Fallout 5, More TCGs, Another Wolfenstein/DOOM/Evil Within/Dishonored/Prey, Starfield, DLC, ESO
The only thing that Bethesda have confirmed for this year’s showcase is Rage 2, but you can bet your last caps that’s not all they’ve have. Rumours about a supposed new IP dubbed Starfield have been circulating for longer than the International Space Station, but for some reason many think this year is the year we’ll finally see it. We’ll probably get either a new Elder Scrolls or Fallout – but not both – and some chunky DLC for something like Prey or Wolfenstein II.
Certain: Spider-Man, Ghosts of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding
Hopeful: Days Gone, new IP, Gran Turismo, Dreams, WiLD, PlayLink, PSVR titles
Sony have come out and told us all that they’ll be focusing on four titles at their press conference this year – Ghosts of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, and Spider-Man. Aside from that, we don’t know if they’ll be showing any other third-party games at all, or if it actually will just be a closer look at those four titles. No complaints here either way.
Certain: FIFA 19, Battlefield V, Microtransactions, Anthem
Hopeful: Need For Speed, Titanfall
With another year comes another FIFA, so we’ll see FIFA 19 and the new Battlefield, which is rumoured to (like another shooting game I know) be taking it back to World War II. We’re also meant to be getting a closer look at Bioware’s upcoming Anthem. Maybe we’ll get a Need for Speed too?
Certain: Super Smash Bros., Mario Tennis Aces
Hopeful: Metroid Prime 4, New Mario Galaxy game, Donkey Kong, Pokemon Switch, Mario Kart, Fire Emblem, Star Fox, Fortnite, Kirby, Yoshi, Animal Crossing, Bayonetta 3, Labo, main Pokemon entry
The Switch has now had its Mario and Zelda outings, and demands more. Logically, next is Super Smash Bros., and with the tournament going on at E3 we’ll likely see more of the new game, perhaps even a release date. Mario Tennis Aces launches in the weeks following the expo, so expect a lot of racquet about that too.
Otherwise, it would be nice to see a new Mario game – give me Galaxy 3 right now – or even some DLC for Odyssey, and we also know Kirby and Yoshi are coming to the Switch, but we don’t know when. Also wouldn’t mind something as left-field as ARMS was, man that was a weird game. Don’t be surprised, too, if Nintendo announce more packs for Labo.
Certain: Back-compat Xbox games, Crackdown 3, Forza Horizon 4, Mixer
Hopeful: Dead Rising 5, Halo 6, Gears of War 5
Microsoft had 40-something games at their conference last year, so we’ll see if they decide to try and top that this year. We’ll presumably see Crackdown 3 after its delay, and we’re also due another Forza Horizon game. They’ll make some noise about Mixer, and tell us all the Xbox backward compatibility games that are on their way – and probably say something like ‘they’ll be available as soon as this press conference is over!!’
I’ve had my fingers crossed for Halo 6 ever since 5 got announced, so with any luck we’ll at least get confirmation that it exists. Another Gears of War would be nice, and we’re probably due for some more zombie slaying in Dead Rising, too.
Certain: New Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance 2019, The Division 2
Hopeful: Skull and Bones, Beyond Good & Evil 2, New IP, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Far Cry – something like Primal, Watch Dogs 3
Ubisoft will most likely announce another Assassin’s Creed, but whether it releases in 2018 is another thing. We’ll see The Division 2, and some celebrities spruiking Just Dance 2019, probably with a performer – I’m gonna guess Anne-Marie.
What I would like to see, though, is them come up with something just as weird as they did last year with Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – that still blows me away – and more on Beyond Good & Evil 2, and maybe even a weird Far Cry spin-off like they did with Primal.
There exists a strange no-man’s-land at E3 where developers that don’t have their own conferences will choose to unveil their trailers at other conferences, whether they’re third-party exclusives or just really highly-anticipated games that aren’t from first-party publishing houses but still deserve some spotlight.
Hopeful: Another Middle-Earth game, The Superman rocksteady game, LEGO DC Villains
Warner Bros have nothing confirmed for the show, but we might get another Middle-Earth game – maybe? Or is it too early? Could potentially also see the rumoured LEGO DC Villains game that’s reportedly next on the horizon after LEGO The Incredibles in the middle of June. I’m most excited to see if there’s any mention of this new Superman game that everyone thinks Rocksteady – creators of the Batman Arkham games – are working on. I’ll be happy to even find out that it exists.
Certain: Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 will probably be the biggest game of the year, if not of this console generation (the Crash trilogy is a close second). Everyone and their horse is looking forward to this one, and it will undoubtedly be making huge waves at E3. ‘Uge.
Square Enix/Bandai Namco
Certain: Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Cyberpunk 2077
Hopeful: Project CARS 3, Final Fantasy VII remake, Just Cause 4, Devil May Cry 4, Avengers game, Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XVI, Soul Calibur 6, Bloodborne 2
Lara will be around firing arrows left, right, and center, and we’re also hoping to see more of Cyberpunk 2077, since the last thing we saw from CD Projekt Red was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. If we’re lucky, we’ll get another Project CARS game (how much more realistic can they get, I hear you ask) and maybe even hear more about that Avengers game Square Enix have been whittling away at. Don’t forget that mysterious trailer they played at The Game Awards…
Certain: Call of Duty: Black Ops IV, Spyro trilogy
Hopeful: Destiny 3
Of course, we’ll see this year’s Call of Duty – Black Ops – in big force, but it will be interesting to see what Activision have in store for Destiny. It’s probably too soon to hear about Destiny 3, but what new DLC can we expect for 2?
Certain: Jurassic World Evolution, Strange Brigade
Hopeful: Call of Cthulu
Strange Brigade has intrigued me for a while now, so will be interesting to see the public’s reaction to it, and Fivestar will also have the new Jurassic World game on show – so, dinosaurs. Hopefully Call of Cthulu makes another updated appearance too with some hands-on.
Hopeful: NBA 2K19, Borderlands 3
Much like FIFA and Madden, NBA 2K comes back every year, so interested to see how they’re shaking it up this year. Rumours of a Borderlands threequel have also been floating around for ages – will 2018 be the year?
And the rest…
… has just been delayed to Q1 2019. We may or may not see it in some way, shape, or form at E3, likely considering this should be the last expo it’s at.
Apparently THQ Nordic will be skipping this year’s show, so we likely won’t see any of this adorable little RPG. One of my most anticipated since its announcement at Gamescom, I must admit.
Chances are we will see a bunch more titles released for PlayStation’s successful VR headset, but what can be said of Hololens? When it was first announced it looked spectacular, and now it’s just gone quiet. Hopefully it’ll resurface this year.
Could you actually imagine – Phil Spencer is delivering his address, he’s shown off Forza and Halo and Gears, and he says ‘now, for one last thing…..’ and the room goes dark and then you see in big letters KINECT 2.0 and it uses like USB-C or can like project stuff like hololens and comes with a pickaxe peripheral to use with Fortnite. Just imagine.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has already dropped the single-player campaign in favour of a battle royale mode, so don’t be surprised if other franchises follow suit and start including this as a game mode.
Mini-consoles and the nostalgia card
With every console getting the miniature treatment, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another wave of small consoles hitting shelves soon. Surely the N64 Mini is just around the corner…
A bunch of remasters
As with Microsoft being destined to announce more original Xbox backward compatible titles, more remasters of fan favourites will be revealed, once again drawing on that all-important nostalgia card. I’m gonna try and guess a couple based on years since release: the Mass Effect trilogy, the Protoype games (I would love that to be honest), and maybe even Crysis. Let’s see.