You’ve read all about the big games that shone (or, in Sea Of Thieves’ case, sucked) during this week’s suite of E3 press conferences – but what about those you expected to hear more of, yet were absent entirely? From the already confirmed (hello again, Ryo Hazuki) to the forever rumoured (it’s beginning to feel like Beyond Good & Evil 2 is the single entity on this planet which will outlive the sun), these are the big-hitters that didn’t show up to LA’s star-studded super-show – and when you can expect to hear more from them, if at all.
Red Dead Redemption 2
There’ve been murmurs about a Rockstar cowboy sequel for months – nay, years – with the rumour taking on Moonshine-strong properties after an apparent in-game map leak in April. “It’ll be at the Sony conference” said, er, no-one with any actual links to Rockstar, which as a rule entirely ignores E3 and does what it wants when it wants, like a modern day Yul Brenner from Cool Runnings.
Sure enough RDR2 didn't show, and Sony VP Adam Boyes has rubbished talk that it was axed at the last minute – see tweet below. We don’t doubt that it’s coming, but much like GTA 5, it’ll almost certainly be announced with a trailer and little other fanfare, rather than attached to a mega-bucks industry event. So you can safely ignore any 'insider confirmation' of it being at Gamescom.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Bizarre things that made it into the mostly-quite-good Ubisoft conference: The Assassin’s Creed movie. Trials Of The Blood Dragon. Just Dance 2016, complete with dancing panda-man. (No, really.) Thing that didn’t: Beyond Good & Evil 2. It’s now been in development for a full decade – presumably Jade is married with two kids by this point – a passage of time in which the French publisher has seen fit to release absolute tosh like Pure Football, but still not spurred Michel Ancel into finishing his most time-consuming of pet projects.
The good-ish news: it’s still not been canned. "It's difficult to say [when it's coming]," big boss Yves Guillemot said in a Youtube Live At E3 broadcast. "Michel is working on it, but he's doing two games at the same time – he's doing Wild [too]. It's coming along, but he has to spend more time on it, so we can see it faster." 2029, on XStation 365-1, is our new predicted arrival time.
The Last Of Us 2
“I know they’re doing The Last Of Us 2,” said Naughty Dog favourite – and Mr Nathan Drake himself – Nolan North at a Metrocon Q&A panel this time last year, but since then there's been little to report from Sony’s most-renowned studio. Niet. Nada. Okay, other than a little game called Uncharted 4. Some had faint hopes it’d materialise as a Sony conference surprise, but instead we got Resident Evil 7, God Of War, a Spider-man game that strongly resembles inFamous… okay, we were spoilt, basically. And Days Gone is an open-world game that does look very Last-Of-Us-y.
All of which means that TLOU 2 is a fair old way off, as we kind of already told you back in April. "Our next focus is the single-player [Uncharted 4] DLC and then, once we have enough resources, [we'll] resurrect all those [The Last Of Us] prototypes: see where we're at, see where the teams at, what they’re excited for and go from there," creative director Neil Druckmann informed us. Best put those clicker-culling dreams to bed until E3 2017 at the earliest, people. Sorry.
His name is Ryo and he dances on the sand… er, sorry. Nothing to see of Hazuki-san at E3, but nothing to worry about either: creator Yu Suzuki and co-producer Cedric Biscay collectively revealed in March that Shenmue 3's story was 95% complete, but they had to plans to showcase anything in Los Angeles. (Although Biscay wasn’t impressed by N4G reiterating plans for it to skip the show at the back end of last week – see below tweet.) Anyway, the salient info is that it’s still due in December 2017, and should by all rights be damn good given that it’s being co-funded by Sony and 6.3million Kickstarter dollars.
Microsoft was expected to use its E3 conference to announce that the third open-world Crackdown game (first revealed at the same show, in 2014) was part of its Play Anywhere initiative, and therefore playable across both Xbox One and Windows 10… but didn’t. Instead, Reagent Games creative director Dave Jones took to the game’s official website to blog about a further delay, brought about by issues fine-tuning online play.
“Crackdown 3 is a game built for the future with a multiplayer experience that will redefine what it feels like to play games, and as we continue to work on this, it has become clear that our original timeline… would be challenging,” writes Jones. "Our top priority is to give gamers an experience they have never seen before at a scale never thought possible, and sticking to our original timeline would have compromised that goal. While we won’t be at E3, we cannot wait to show you the future of Crackdown soon.”
Soon means an unspecified point in 2017, but it has at least been confirmed that the game will indeed be part of the Play Anywhere program.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Much was expected of Square’s longed-for RPG remaster at E3: a release date, and/or more details of summons redesigns, and/or what the Final Fantasy 7 theme park ride opening in Dubai means for the game from which it takes its name, if anything. Yes, I said Final Fantasy 7 theme park ride. Instead we got a big bag of nothing. That’s likely because energies – at least from a PR standpoint – are focused on the release of Final Fantasy 15 in three months' time, while cosmetic surgery on Cloud, Tifa and friends is carried out away from prying, desperate eyes. We’d be shocked if it didn’t have a Honey-Bee-Inn-bright presence – alongside FF 15 – at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, on 16 and 17 September.
Hopeful gasps swept through the audience for a split-second when CD Projekt Red’s logo flashed up on screen during Microsoft's E3 conference – and were replaced, in the instant, with sighs when the trailer which followed was not for its android shooter Cyberpunk 2077, but Witcher spin-off card game Gwent. That reaction was a touch unfair – Gwent in fact looks great – and it’s not like we should have expected different; company co-founder Marcin Iwinski said last month that the game wouldn’t be there.
"It might happen that we will be at E3 and we will show something at E3, but I just want to make it clear it's not Cyberpunk," Iwinski told Eurogamer. "We still have a lot of work to do with Cyberpunk." Development, however, continues at the studio’s Polish HQ, with the dev insisting that it’ll be bigger than The Witcher 3 in every imaginable way, and on us long, long before real-life 2077.
Rendering the pre-show rumour mill as useless as fat-free mayonnaise, Bethesda didn’t announce the expected Wolfy sequel at E3 after all. Except, uh, maybe it did. At the very start of its Sunday night show, the publisher broadcast a pretend boot-up sequence listing a load of its games, and their release dates (both historical, and upcoming). In the middle of it all, following two Wolfenstein properties (2014 game the New Order, and 2015 expansion The Old Blood) – with a blank release date – was something called New Colossus – the name of a poem referenced by protagonist BJ Blazkowicz at New Order’s climax. Unless New Colossus is an entirely new IP, it appears Wolfenstein 2 was at the show after all. Now we wait for Gamescom in August to see whether Swedish dev Machine Games breaks cover with further info.
The Evil Within 2
A sequel to Shinji Mikami’s 2014 horror effort was also anticipated from the Bethesda conference – yet this time, unlike Wolfenstein, we didn’t get so much as a line of pretend C++ code. We know developer Tango Gameworks was hiring for a new project, apparently being made on the Unreal Engine 4, last June, but Mikami himself hasn’t discussed The Evil Within – or any potential sequel – for nearly two years. Like with Final Fantasy 7, cross everything for TGS. Or even better, don't, lest you're crushed by the disappointment of it evading that show too.
Tekken x Street Fighter X
A lot’s changed in six years. Ryu’s grown a beard, Bison’s hair went white, Charlie’s now half-made of bits… and still we don’t have the Bandai Namco developed cross-brawler announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010. We did get a Tekken game at E3, but it was Tekken 7, which is headed to PS4 and Xbox One early next year. And it’s unlikely you’ll see those aforementioned Street Fighter favourites infiltrating the Iron Fist tournament anytime soon, with Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada confirming that this one is taking an extended breather. “A good window in which to release Tekken X Street Fighter is something that's become difficult recently," he told Gamespot. “It's on hold for the moment." Round One… er, have a little lie down or summat.
In 2010, Activision spent $6million on a showcase E3 event for its games that also featured Eminem, Rihanna, Usher, deadmau5, Tony Hawk and a whole load of baffled journalists exclaiming ‘W T ACTUAL F?’ for five hours straight. I know – I was one of them. Six years later, it didn’t even have a conference, instead slotting new Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare footage into Sony’s show, and quietly (by its standards, anyway) dropping more info on the upcoming Rise Of Iron DLC, which hits on 20 September. You can nonetheless bet your bottom glimmer that Destiny 2 is definitely coming in 2017, but beyond that there’s nothing else to say about its launch right now. Other than it categorically won’t involve the man who inspired that Shred peripheral.