The cancellation of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, has forced many developers and publishers to change their plans. Most of them have decided to host their own events or partner up with Microsoft, Sony or big outlets that have decided to help replace the famous expo with their own special happenings. Still, not having specific dates to look forward to seems to have made many of you quite restless, so I've decided to calm you down by talking about some of the great reveals we can look forward to in the near future.
Just mentioning games everyone knows about wouldn't be especially fun or interesting, so let's instead talk about unannounced games. Obviously, these are games that haven't been officially unveiled yet, so take the list with a grain of salt if you want to, but don't think I'd put myself in the crosshair if I wasn't confident about the information I have. Just remember that Covid-19 and the BLM uproar have and will continue to push the schedule a bit, so some of these reveals might happen later than expected. With that in mind, let's start with a game that has been all but confirmed.
Warner Bros. Montreal's Batman
It's been more than eight months since Warner Bros. Montreal, the developers of Batman: Arkham Origins and co-developers of Batman: Arkham Knight, started teasing that they're working on a new game where we'll get to play as The Dark Knight. The first ones seemed to indicate that the Court of Owls will be involved, which got many fans quite excited. Unfortunately, Covid-19 forced WB to stop its plan to gradually build hype before a full reveal at the company's first-ever E3 conference, but that doesn't mean we won't see the game this summer.
The plan is apparently still to show us the game within the next couple of months, and I doubt the pandemic and/or Black Lives Matter movement will change that, as the game is slated to release sooner than you might think.
Demon's Souls Remake
Bluepoint hasn't made an original game for eight years, so why is it that the name sounds familiar? Because this is the studio that has made some of the best remasters and remakes in the industry. It started fairly simple with games like God of War, Shadow of the Colossus and the Metal Gear Solid, but the studio didn't quite get the recognition it deserves until it remade Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 4 two years ago. Instead of just polishing the graphics and sound a bit, Team Ico's project was pretty much rebuilt from the ground up, and the results were amazing. That's nothing compared to what Bluepoint is working on now, however. While the only official details we know is that it'll be the studio's most ambitious and launch on the PlayStation 5, the fact that it's a remake of Demon's Souls has been an open secret among those who have their ears close to the ground in the industry.
Considering that this was the first PlayStation 5 game Sony teased, it would be very surprising if it wasn't one of the first to be shown off as well, so expect to see it in one of the first State of Play streams this summer.
Ten years! This October, it'll be ten years since we got the last real Fable game: Fable III. Anniversaries like that just have to be celebrated, and it definitely seems like that's the plan. Playground Games, the developer of the Forza Horizon series, created a second team to make a "AAA open-world game" back in 2017. Interesting timing, considering Phil Spencer had said the Fable series wasn't dead a few months before. And no, he wasn't talking about Fable Fortune! Job listings, vague answers from both Playground and Xbox when asked about it, and alleged leaks have made it very clear that a new Fable has been in development for years now.
Microsoft has heard fans begging for more Fable for close to a decade now, and it's time to put us out of our collective misery. Playground became a part of Xbox Game Studios two years ago, and we know the focus will be entirely on first-party games in July's Inside Xbox Show. Is it possible that we won't see Playground and Fable there, especially after disappointing many gamers with May's show? I highly doubt it.
Far Cry 6
Ubisoft has been one of the most predictable game companies in the last few years, as it relies heavily on big franchises: Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Ghost Recon, Just Dance, and Rainbow Six. That's why you don't have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to have some idea of what awaits after we were told that the French company has five AAA games set to be released before April. The only confirmed games back then were Watch Dogs Legion, Gods & Monsters and Rainbow Six: Quarantine, while the two others were to be revealed at a later date. Assassin's Creed Valhalla was unveiled shortly after, which leaves us with one secret. That doesn't leave many big franchises, so what's the last one? Not Splinter Cell or Prince of Persia, unfortunately, as they'll come later. I have good news for those of you wanting more first-person shooting in exotic locations, though.
The final game set to launch before April (unless Ubisoft decides that this is the game that has to be delayed because of Covid-19 and there being too many AAA releases in a fairly short window) is another Far Cry. I'm not going to ruin all of Ubisoft's plans by giving you all the information, but it's safe to say that those of you who didn't like Far Cry 5's North American setting will probably find this one a bit more interesting when it gets officially unveiled in Ubisoft Forward on July 12 - or leaked if the company decides to save it for later.
Batman isn't the only exciting game that Warner Bros. was supposed to show at E3. The Harry Potter game we got some leaked footage of back in 2018 was also supposed to be there, and it has come a long way since then. The only question now is how long we have to wait and which comes first: Harry Potter or Rocksteady's super-secret project? My guess is that they won't be far apart in the next couple of months.
Horizon: Zero Dawn 2
It didn't take long before it was obvious that Horizon: Zero Dawn was a giant success for Guerrilla and Sony, so it was quite clear what the Dutch studio was up to when it staffed up a few months after the game launched and even more after the Frozen Wilds expansion. Sure, they're working on another project as well, but Janina Gavankar all but confirmed that a sequel was well into development fourteen months ago when she told a fan: "Just wait until you see the sequel. You're gonna die. I know some secrets. You're gonna die!" at Star Wars Celebration.
Top that off with the fact that several Guerrilla employees suddenly deleted their retweets of the PlayStation 5 stream that was supposed to be on June 4 and you can be fairly sure that we were supposed to see some more robot-creatures this summer. Time will tell if plans have changed or not with the PC version of the original probably getting a slight delay as well, but it's definitely close.
Mass Effect Trilogy Remastered
At the start of this generation, EA said that didn't see the appeal of making remasters, but that changed a while back when some of its biggest franchises failed to live up to expectations. That, and the success of games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and Crash Bandicoot: Nsane Trilogy, changed some minds, and the development of several remasters got started. The company even confirmed this change during its investors call last October when we were told that several remasters are set to launch before April 2021. Some of these are even from the same franchise, and that's in addition to Command & Conquer.
That's right. The rumoured remasters of the Mass Effect Trilogy are real, and the last update I got about it a few weeks ago still had the collection slated for this fall to take the place of the company's usual blockbusters: Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront. Bioware's social media channels have been teasing it for months by sharing beloved music from the trilogy, so I wouldn't be surprised if we get to see our favourite remasters on the Citadel at EA Play Live at 1 AM CEST/12 AM BST on June 19.
Resident Evil 8
Shinji Mikami's beloved franchise returned from what many a fan considered the dead with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in 2017, and the success of both Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 didn't exactly make Capcom less eager to make more games in the franchise. The somewhat polarising remake of Resident Evil 4 will have to wait a few years, however, as a completely new horror experience awaits in 2021.
While the project started out as a spin-off, it showed so much potential that the Japanese company decided to plant the Resident Evil 8 name on it. As I rarely bother asking about final titles since they have a tendency to change several times and at the last minute, the rumoured Resident Evil Village name makes sense considering what I've heard about it. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long to see if it's true or not, as I highly doubt that Capcom will repeat the Resident Evil 3 formula by unveiling the game in December with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X still having most of the attention at that time. The game is supposed to be ready by "Early 2021", so it's more likely that we'll see a repeat of the RE2 method by gifting Sony the reveal during the first PS5 State of Play, or the one set for August at the time of writing.
The very talented Finnish studio has always had a great relationship with Sony, and this continues into the new decade. Stormdivers, the studio's experimental battle royale game, was put on hold earlier this year to focus on the "biggest and most ambitious" game they've ever made with "amazing support from our yet-to-be-announced partner". I'll let you guess who that partner is... That's right, it's Sony. And one of the reasons why Stormdivers had to be left behind? Because Housemarque hopes to have the non-arcady game ready for the PlayStation 5 launch and making an "all-time first" for the studio requires all hands on deck. That effort, and the fact that Resogun was one of the best games on the PS4 at launch, should earn them a place at one of this summer's State of Play streams.
I shared what I'd heard about the rumoured Silent Hill "reboot" for PlayStation 5 back in March, but some of you might have forgotten about it after Konami seemingly denied it. You might want to take a closer look at that "denial" though. Notice that the representative never specifies which rumour he or she actually denies and doesn't bother responding when asked for clarification? There's a reason for that. Also, this is the same company that said Hideo Kojima just was on vacation when we knew for a fact that he had left the company back in October 2015.
Unveiling both Resident Evil 8 and Silent Hill at the same event seems kind of foolish, but it sounds like the latter has come far enough into development to at least confirm its existence so it would be wise to reveal it properly it before someone leaks some real details.