The hype around E3 is almost a physical feeling. There are so many games that we want to be announced, and sometimes that hope pays off. Sometimes it doesn’t, and instead we end up with something we didn’t even know we wanted, but boy do we! The only problem is that games are being announced all the time, especially with many indie games soaking up the limelight in between the really big AAA releases, so it’s always a possibility that a game will fall through the cracks.
Whether it’s due to bad marketing, release dates constantly being pushed back, or bad publicity, we will always be surprised by at least one game that slips past our radar. And I don’t mean those small titles that no one has really heard of either; I mean the games that you liked the sound of when they were announced but since then have spared little to no thought about them.
So without further adieu, here are 10 games that will hopefully give you plenty of ‘oh, yeah, that game’ moments.
I realise that this one is a little bit of a cheap shot, but I’m still really looking forward to it. Microsoft made a deal with Crystal Dynamics for one year of exclusive rights to Rise of the Tomb Raider for the Xbox One and PC. While the Xbox One release was overshadowed by the release of Fallout 4, the game still did very well. It gained a solid 8/10 here at NZGamer and the rather deserved Writer's Guild of America award for Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing.
Its PC release, however, was a non-event, with very little advertising dedicated to it. I have surprised more than one person when I told them that it was already out on PC. As of this point, we’re looking at something similar for the PS4 release. The game is out already and it’s hard to build up hype when everyone already knows what to expect. We still haven't even got a confirmed month for release, though hopefully it won’t fall out the same day as another large game like it did last year with Fallout 4.
2K played it tight to the chest with Mafia III. Mentions of speculation can be found as early as 2012, but nothing was confirmed until a few years later. Mafia III was finally announced at Gamescom in 2015 and since then it’s been a little quiet. It’s not a bad thing, as the game won’t release until late October, and more than anything it seems like 2K is just biding their time. It will be Hanger 13’s debut game, and while it certainly looks to be heading in the right direction from the few screenshots and previews from Gamescom, we still have very little to go on.
There will be exploration into race and the Vietnam war in 1968 New Orleans, while recreating the previous game’s (and general pop culture’s) representation of the Italian mob. Frankly, it sounds like a really interesting game that’s working with a lot of really good ideas. While Mafia 2 received decent reviews, entering into the series at the third installment can be a daunting idea, especially when Mafia 2 is currently unavailable for sale on Steam.
The latest news, which came out only very recently however does give us both a date (October 7th) and information about various collectors and deluxe editions across different retailers.
There is often a lot of excitement for newly announced games at E3, but Metroid Prime: Federation Force was not one of those games. In fact, it had such a negative feedback that there have been petitions to have the game canceled, and liking or disliking has been disabled on some YouTube videos showing trailers for the game. You’d think that that much hate would make the game stick out in your mind, but this isn’t the case. Instead there was almost complete radio silence until a Nintendo Direct announcement in March 2016.
Federation Force is a cooperative first person shooter that doesn't feature a playable Samus, everyone’s favourite blaster-armed heroine. She will make an appearance, at least, but there was more to the negative reaction than just her.. The focus of first person shooter gameplay over the exploration boasted by other Metroid games is only one of many ways in which Federation Forced seems to only loosely be a Metroid game at all. While you can play with up to four friends, many other key Metroid Prime features such as touch controls and environmental scanning abilities seem to be mising. It does let you play space soccer in the form of Blast Ball, though.
If you were wondering where Federation Force went wrong, look to the fact that most of the minds behind the original Metroid Prime are over at Microsoft Studios working on ReCore. This game already has fanart, and we don’t even have a solid release date. You’d think that means that there are some very dedicated fans out there who are waiting very impatiently for this game, but the initial hype from E3 2015 seems to have died down and left us with a game that looks really awesome and unique (and slightly like the beginning of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) but not much else. Even the official website has been silent since the end of July 2015, only a month and a half it was first announced.
The latest word is that it will also be released on windows, but such news seems to hint at a later launch, especially since it was first announced to be released quarter two of this year. At this point it seems unlikely.
Adding Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst to this list smarts a bit for me. I’ll admit that there is some talk about it, but for some reason, it’s just not as popular in New Zealand as it is in other countries. I adored Mirror’s Edge and, along with everyone else, had hoped that the vague rumors of a sequel would turn out to be real. I was over the moon when they eventually did, but that was back in 2013 and while we have had information released to us since then it seemed like we’ve been drip-fed ever since – enough to pique your interest for a day or two, but after two years, that sort of thing has lost effectiveness.
What we do know is that it will be a prequel of the original Mirror’s Edge and will once again give us freerunning Faith to play with, though with much fewer loading screens and a full open world to explore. Not only that but it’s coming up quickly. It was delayed until June 9th, and I bet you haven't even heard about the collector’s edition. That’s because, for whatever reason, New Zealand hasn’t been offered it. A disappointing lack of almost any sort of advertising has meant that in New Zealand at least, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst will likely only gain any sort of momentum once it hits stores.
I’m so disappointed. The collector’s edition had temporary tattoos!
Homefront didn’t really make enough of an impact to warrant a sequel, but here we are. THQ grinded to a moneyless halt in 2012 and Crytek and Deep Silver picked the Homefront series up in a liquidation auction, which possibly explains why Homefront: The Revolution seems so different from the first installment.
Homefront: The Revolution boasts open-world cooperative gameplay for up to four players, and a separate single player game. The early multiplayer beta was released in February of 2016 to mixed reviews; while the underlying core of the game does seem to be solid, there was an echo from many players about how terrible the beta looked, sounded, and played. Shoddy controls, terrible graphics and really bad connection problems aside, come May 20th (yes, it’s coming out that soon) Homefront: The Revolution could be one of the most surprisingly good games of the year. Or it could fade further into obscurity.
In For Honor you get to play as either a samurai, a viking, or a knight. Each is fully customisable, and For Honor offers both single and multiplayer modes. While a melee-based game, much of it was inspired by shooters, fighting games, and strategy games. All of these are mixed together to make what will hopefully be a unique and fun experience.
The “Art of Battle” is a fancy way of saying dueling your opponents. Button mashing is a thing of the past with For Honor, as each duel will force you to read your opponent’s intentions and hopefully plan against them. If you defend right and they attack left you will get hit and vice versa. You must also decided the strength of your attack and watch out for friendly fire. You’ll needs skill, luck and a sound knowledge of the game to excel at it, by the looks of it.
Unlike ReCore, Ubisoft has actually kept their website up to date with art, cosplay guides and competitions to win trips to E3 (in America only, of course) yet somehow this game seems to have slipped from minds.
Dishonored 2 was one of many game announcement leaks that happened last year, though that was possibly for the best since Bethesda announced Fallout 4 at the same time. Lately, Bethesda has been focusing on their next-to-be-released title, Doom, and the next Fallout 4 DLC, both of which are due out in May. We don’t have a date for Dishonored 2 yet, but hopefully we will be hearing more soon.
What we know so far is minimal. You can play as either Emily Kaldwin, the Empress’ daughter who you saved in the first game (you did save her, right?) or Corvo, the bodyguard-turned-assassin with otherworldly powers. You’re not forced to choose between powers and weapons, however, as Emily is equally kitted out in neat time-bending, distance-destroying and generally human-destroying powers from the Outsider. Her’s are a little different, though, and will allow for variation in gameplay, as will your three different paths – lethal, non-lethal, and a third unknown path.
So far these all seem like good things. I guess we'll just have to wait and see, though.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior first came out in 2010 and was met with average scores at best. The second installment of the series wasn't much better. Still, both games had their good parts, and the hope is that Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 will have a production effort similar to that of a AAA title. The thing that makes Ghost Warrior 3 stand out, though, is its lack of multiplayer at this given time. Instead, production is meant to be devoted entirely to the open world singleplayer campaign. It is said to be a less linear game, as it gets that often sought-after open-world feature, including side missions.
CI Games is calling it “the best sniper experience” in recent years, though it will have to compete with Sniper Elite 3’s x-ray kill shots. As for release date, we’re meant to be looking at the first half of this year. With May fast approaching, however, when Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 releases is anyone’s guess.
Resident Evil is one of those long time franchises that people just know exist even if they don’t play the games or watch the movies. It’s always mildly interesting to hear a new game is coming out. You’re going to have to go looking for this one though.
Umbrella Corps is a third person survival horror shooter based after the fall of the Umbrella Corporation, that has you playing as a mercenary working for one of two companies trying to gain a bit of power by digging through the remains of Umbrella. In multiplayer mode, you team up in a 3v3 multiplayer game where the aim is to destroy the three opposing players while not being killed by zombies. The different maps are throwbacks to previous Resident Evil games with settings straight from Resident Evil 4 and other installments. There is also a single player mode, though very little has been said about it.
From early trailers and demos of the game it seems that the survival horror aspects may take second place to the shooter aspect. Steam even suggest various Call of Duty games as similar games. So, while perhaps not a horror game, it could be a decent shooter, especially at a cheaper but still unknown price for New Zealand. It will be rolling out June 21st digitally with a physical release in Asia, but not here.
At a lot of different things seem to contribute to games slipping into obscurity before they are even released. Whether it’s a hype train that ran out of fuel or a serious lack of information after the initial announcement, the result is the same. How can we be excited for a game we don’t even know about? Did I surprise you, or were you already looking forward (or even carefully staying away) from any of these games? Let us know your thoughts about which games have been forgotten this year.