So E3 was pretty good. We had all kinds of major hitters coming out and looking really good, but spectators may have noticed that some of the players didn't quite make it onto the field. These are games that have been announced but inexplicably didn't show up at all or games that we're pretty sure are coming. Any way you slice it, it's a sad thing that we didn't see them. It's like adding pineapple to pizza. Just kidding, I like pineapple on pizza. It's like getting a bad Christmas gift. Actually it's the thought that counts. So really, I guess there's literally nothing worse than the fact that these games didn't appear at E3. Woe is us.
Almost a year ago, Microsoft announced that Age of Empires IV would be coming exclusively for Windows 10 as part of their gaming push on the platform. The series is beloved and it's been a decade since its last numbered entry, so gamers were understandably ecstatic. Doubly so when we learned that it would be helmed by Relic Entertainment, one of the most prolific RTS developers on the scene today. Its absence at the E3 PC Gaming Show can only mean one thing: the game is a long way off. That's disappointing, but after waiting a decade I guess we can wait another year or two.
Back in the early 2010s, Gearbox had a major hit in the form of the Borderlands series. These games combined humor, RPG loot grind and an FPS in a way no other game did. It was unique and promising, but Gearbox wanted more. So they decided to make a hero shooter instead, which ultimately brought us Battleborn. That didn't work out so well. In the meantime, Destiny entered the scene and became everything Borderlands could have been. Oops. So now Gearbox is playing catch-up and it's been over two years since Battleborn, so we all figured Borderlands 3 (which has been unofficially confirmed) would finally be revealed. I guess its absence only means it's just not ready. Perhaps we'll see it later this year at Gamescom when there are fewer games to share the stage with.
Respawn started as a spin-off of some of Infinity Ward's developers and they came up with Titanfall. As many of you know, this was an excellent multiplayer-only FPS that made a gigantic impact on the genre. Its sequel followed two years later in 2016 and many would agree with my belief that Titanfall 2 is the best single player FPS campaign ever made. EA seems to have been happy with the quality, so they put Respawn on both a Titanfall sequel and a new Star Wars title. There's a lot to look forward to, but despite the two-year gap since Titanfall 2 Respawn seems to have had nothing to show for it all. The only detail we got was the name of the Star Wars game during an informal interview with the studio head: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Cool, but that's not much to go on. They've got two games coming — where are they!?
The Avengers Project
Crystal Dynamics is the incredibly successful studio behind the Tomb Raider games, among others. Most recently, they rebooted Tomb Raider with Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, but since then they've been quiet (you might note that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is from a different studio). What are they working on? According to Square Enix, they're working on The Avengers Project, which is probably a working title. Rumors have swirled about what this game is — most likely, it's a Diablo-like kind of like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance if rumors are to believed. That would make sense after the license for Marvel Heroes Omega was dropped out of nowhere and the game subsequently canceled right after a big investment in consoles. But we don't know. It's been two years since Rise, so it's about time we find out more.
Is a new Fable game coming? Is a new Fable something we'd even want to see? To answer the first question, it seems unlikely Microsoft will let one of their biggest IPs sit at a time when they are investing heavily into first party games — so yes, Fable in some form is coming. There's a team that might have the pedigree and talent to pull it off — Playground Games. They were just picked up by Microsoft and also just expanded to form a second internal team of over 200 people to work on an RPG. Well that seems awfully suspicious. Can a racing developer switch gears and make a AAA RPG? For anyone else, I'd be skeptical. Considering how amazing the Forza Horizon games are, I can confidently say it's in good hands (if it's in their hands). So to answer that second question, hell yes we hoped to see a Playground-lead Fable. Maybe next year?
Let's be clear about one thing: Rockstar does their own thing. Their games are so monolithic that they frankly don't need the biggest gaming stage in the world. Why not? Because if they stepped up there, they'd have to share. Rockstar doesn't share. The developer almost always skips E3 regardless of what they're working on, so many expected this year might be the same. Still, Red Dead Redemption 2, for all its popularity, isn't Grand Theft Auto and with the game launching October 26th, we might have expected at least a teaser trailer just to remind people the game is coming. Since it didn't, you can no doubt expect it will get a stage all to itself in the near future.
We know Rocksteady is working on something, and rumors have been buzzing as to what that may be. A new Batman game? A try at Superman? Something totally unrelated to superheroes? We still have no idea because the studio was quietly absent from the show. There were some expectations they would be there, but like it is with some others on this list, it's probably our own fault for jumping the gun. Rocksteady came out of nowhere to amaze us with the Batman Arkham series, so they've earned our patience as they build what's next, even if we can only give them that patience somewhat grudgingly still.
The infamous Walmart leak was proven mostly correct, but a few games in particular were missing. Splinter Cell was one of those. Rumors have been swirling ever since some of Sam Fisher's gear was seen in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands and the Walmart lead made the internet almost certain the game was going to be a big premiere at E3. But it wasn't. Sam's last adventure, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, was very well received so a new Splinter Cell is pretty much just what the doctor ordered. My bet? Considering Ubisoft has a hole in their typical release schedule next spring, I'd put my money on Splinter Cell being Ubisoft's date to Gamescom this August.
There were of course others we hoped to see for other platforms. Metroid Prime 4 and Final Fantasy VII Remake come to mind. What were you hoping to see that just didn't make it?
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