With our inaugural trip to E3 mere weeks away, we at FleshEatingZipper are obviously excited about the scores of big titles that we’ll be able to get our hands on and report for you. Unfortunately, it’s just as big a disappointment to you as it us to us when companies announce that they’re not going to be bringing their games to the show. With that, let’s get all of our tears out of the way for those titles and move on. Be better together. Somehow…
The Obvious Stuff
There’s already been several announcements in the past two weeks which have been pre-emptive strikes on our anticipation. Valve says we won’t see Half-Life anything, which isn’t really a surprise at all. I recall their booth at E3 2004, a massive black cube with the familiar orange Half-Life 2 logo massive on several sides. The queue to see it was hours long and being my first trip to the show, I hadn’t scheduled any time to see it (or scheduled for anything at all, for that matter). Valve has had several presentations since then in various forms, but none of them quite like that. My wager: Valve isn’t even working on Half-Life 2: Episode 3 at all. And of course, Half-Life 3 is way out.
Ken Levine has already said that Bioshock: Infinite won’t be making the rounds in Los Angeles, either. They mentioned this in the same breath of their delay to February 2013, so requiring the team to make special builds to present at the trade show (or Gamescom in Germany a few months afterward) seems counter-productive and that’s how they see it, too. Still, missing out on a chance to check the game out before it releases next year is saddening. In typical Rockstar fashion, we also won’t have access to Grand Theft Auto V. When they did finally show up at E3 in 2005, they brought in a variety of painted trailers and fenced off the entire booth. My wager is that GTAV is going to be their major title for next May, much as Max Payne 3 is for this year. There’s a lot we don’t know about the game, so chances are most of the revealed content between now and its release will be trickled out as exclusives for major print and web sources. Weakness.
I’m still not 100% sold on this shooter-y reimagining of my beloved X-COM, but it looks like I won’t have the opportunity to be truly impressed until the game launches next year. After a mixed showing two years ago, XCOM had a big re-unveiling at last year’s show after a long bout of radio silence, but in the year since, the studio has been just as quiet. That it’s not going to be shown at this year’s show at all leads many to believe that even its reboot last year wasn’t enough to woo publisher Take Two. Is this game lost? Hopefully not, but we should still get full coverage on its sister strategy title XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a game that rings truer to the original X-COM than 2K Marin’s version.
Think what you will of the digital block game (I’ve obviously lost more than a few hours to it), but its massive sales – the recently released Xbox 360 version breaking every Xbox Live Arcade sales record imaginable – and regular updates make it an excellent title for the show. But it won’t be there because Notch is a jerk. Seriously. After the Entertainment Software Association (who runs E3) announced its support for the massive, internet-crippling SOPA legislation earlier this year, Notch announced that he would be protesting the show. But even after the ESA withdrew their support and other similarly protesting sites like ScrewAttack announced that they’d be coming to the show again, Notch and Mojang have still maintained their protesting stance. Why? I don’t know, but Notch is really being unfair about the matter.
This one’s been under the radar for a bit and there’s probably good reason. The first game developed by Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, after his departure from Tecmo in 2008, the third-person shooter Devil’s Third was snapped up by then-promising publisher THQ. But after several missteps, THQ is on the brink of collapse, and this action game is on the auction block, future unknown. We haven’t seen much of the title since its unveiling years ago, but while I’m confident they’ll get published based on the talent pool alone (mostly ex-Team Ninja devs with Itagaki) us being able to see it this year is not looking great. The game was originally scheduled for a 2013 release… in 2010. Let’s see how well that holds up.