Can you believe it’s almost that time of year again? The Electronic Entertainment Expo, the biggest event in the gaming industry, is set to begin on June 4. What started out as nothing more than a way for publishers to show retailers their upcoming products in an attempt to win shelf space for the upcoming year, has turned into a all-out spectacle full of big game announcements, non-stop trailers, opportunities to catch whatever flu is hot at the moment and booth babes. Lots and lots of booth babes.
I’ve been watching E3 for the past few years now and have gotten used to the routine of things. Let’s go through this year’s show. Microsoft will probably open with footage of Black Ops 2 being played, talk way too much about Kinect and then close their show with Halo 4. Sony will use about half of their conference time talking about Vita and how it’s in it for the long haul and then they’ll show off their Super Smash Bros. ripoff game, Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale, being played on the system. At some point during the Expo, no-brainer sequels like Dead Space 3 and Battlefield: Bad Company 3 (whose beta will be probably be bundled with Medal of Honor: Warfighter) will be announced. We’ll be seeing a lot of Resident Evil 6 and Assassin’s Creed 3 during the Expo and Nintendo will show off a Mario game for the Wii-U.
Still, I’ll be watching every second hoping that there will be a surprise game announcement, something few people actually saw coming. Even if it’s the smallest clip in a montage of trailers. That game exists. Those are the best and most exciting moments of E3 to me. Unfortunately, they are also becoming the rarest.
Here’s my list of games that I would love to see announced. Some are more likely than others but all would qualify as a top moment of E3 for me if they were to be shown.
Gears of War: The Pendulum Wars
With Gears 3 neatly wrapping up the story of the war between the COG and the Locust Horde, this prequel seems like the most obvious way for the Gears franchise to keep going. With Halo 4 releasing this year, Microsoft is going to need a blockbuster game to sell next fall. The seventy-nine year conflict between the Coalition of Ordered Governments and the Union of Independent Republics over imulsion would be perfect for another Gears trilogy. Now that Epic Games proper is working on Fortnite, maybe internal studio People Can Fly (who previously worked on Bulletstorm) could work on this prequel trilogy.
Likelihood of happening: 70%
Metroid Prime HD
This might not seem as that much of a surprise announcement to most but Nintendo doesn’t seem to be that confident in the Metroid franchise at the moment. There was that abomination of a game, Metroid Other M, so that might be expected but what about the lack of a 25th Anniversary rerelease of classic games in the franchise ala Mario and Kirby? There’s even rumors that the next Metroid game will be a mashup with the Star Fox series. That is disappointing. We know Retro Studios, the developers of the excellent Metroid Prime series, have been working on something since they finished work on Donkey Kong Country Returns. Hopefully, it is a glorious HD continuation of the Prime series on Wii-U. Imagine how great that would look with all the HUD clutter moved over to the Wii-U tablet controller. If Nintendo announces this, they can have my money for the Wii-U. But you never can tell what Nintendo is really up to.
Likelihood of happening: 50%
Left 4 Dead 3
Look, at this point I’m not going to even bring up Half-Life 3. Valve released Portal 2 last year and has to be working on something else besides DOTA 2. While some thought the one-year gap between Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 wasn’t long enough to warrant a complete sequel, I felt the fundamental gameplay differences between them did. It’s been over two years since L4D2 released and I’m ready for more. Maybe we’ll get six player co-op this time or even a PS3 version with Steam support. Maybe a combo pack of the original two games hitting PS3. Either way, anything on the Left 4 Dead franchise would be a welcome surprise to me.
Likelihood of happening: 30%
Mirror’s Edge 2
Dice can do so much more than just the Battlefield series. They really proved it when they released Mirror’s Edge. This first-person-running game, for lack of a better term, was the first game ever to actually get me motion sick but I loved it! It was completely unique and unlike anything I had ever played. While DICE was involved with the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor, it’s sequel Warfighter is being solely developed by Danger Close Studios. With Bad Company 3 probably set to release next fall, DICE could have a small team working on a sequel to Mirror’s Edge. The original sold over two million copies worldwide so there is some reason to be hopeful.
Likelihood of happening: 20%
You know that feeling you get when a favorite TV series of yours gets cancelled and doesn’t get a proper finale? That’s the feeling that Shenmue fans have been living with for quite a while now. We found those pesky sailors and forklifted like there was no tomorrow but never got our revenge on Lan Di. Now I realize this is the most unlikely game to get announced but I really don’t understand why. It’s not like Sega is just flooded with hit franchises at the moment. The original released on the Dreamcast and the sequel came out on the original Xbox here in North America. Those games would be perfect for HD remakes leading up to the release of the finale in the trilogy.
Likelihood of happening: 2%
So there you have it. If any of these games get announced at E3, it will most likely be a high-point of the expo for me. What about you guys? I would love to hear what games you hope get announced or what surprise game announcements you still remember from E3’s past. Just leave those thoughts in the comments and stay tuned to Talking About Games! for E3 coverage in the weeks to come.