It’s nearly that time of year again — E3 is still three months away, but the entire gaming industry is already gearing up for its biggest event of the year. Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, and Bethesda will all take the stage. Nintendo will likely host another live-stream event. EA is planning its third adjacent EA Play show. Perhaps most importantly, this will be the second year where E3 is open to the public, with even more fans likely to be there. It’s a brave new world.
For most of us, though, E3 is all about the games, right? We’re keeping a running list of games that might make an appearance, from those that publishers have confirmed will be there, to the games making the rounds in the rumor mill. We’ll keep updating this list regularly as more news and rumors come our way, so keep checking back regularly to stay up to date!
Bethesda officially announced Rage 2 with a short, live action teaser, followed by a gameplay trailer on May 15. The game builds on the mixture of first-person shooting and driving we saw in the 2011 original, but with a more irreverent and colorful style that fits its over-the-top action. It’s being developed by Avalanche Studios — the team behind the Mad Max game and the Just Cause series — along with original Rage studio Id Software. Rage 2 is planned for a spring 2019 release and Bethesda promises more gameplay will be shown at E3 during its press conference.
Revealed at Paris Games Week 2017, Ghost of Tsushima is quite the change of pace for Sony’s Sucker Punch Productions, which spent the better part of the past decade developing its superhero Infamous series. Set in 13th century Japan, you play as a samurai on the island of Tsushima. The game will see you learn the samurai ways and ward off the invading Mongol Empire. Sony recently announced thatGhost of Tsushimawould be one of four games featured in its press conference.
Metal Gear auteur Hideo Kojima’s first independent project has had us scratching our head for several years’ worth of Sony E3 presentations now. Other than its stellar cast that includes Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen — and a lot of very strange imagery — we know very little about the game itself. Sony recently promised an “extended look” at the game during its E3 presentation, though it’s not clear whether that will include actual gameplay or just more enigmatic cut scenes, as we’ve seen over the past few years.
Here’s everything we know aboutDeath Stranding.
Insomniac debuted its PS4-exclusiveSpider-Manat E3 2016 during Sony’s presentation. This is the first licensed game from the studio, which is well-known for its original platformers likeRatchet & Clank andSpyro the Dragon.Sony confirmed that the game will heavily feature in its E3 press conference, and given that the game will hit stores September 7, 2018, we fully expect it to be playable at the show this year.
Here’s everything we know aboutSpider-Man.
The Last of Us: Part II, a sequel to one of the PlayStation 3’s very best games, will flip the script of the original to an extent. This time you play mainly as Ellie, rather than Joel, and instead of themes centered around love, it will largely focus on hate. The Last of Us 2skipped E3 2017, but Sony treated us to a brutal cinematic trailer at Paris Games Week 2017. Director Neil Druckmann confirmed at the 2017 PlayStation Experience in December 2017 that TLOU 2 would be at E3 2018, and we hope to finally see some gameplay from this long-anticipated sequel.Here’s everything we knowaboutTLOU 2.
Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have announcedThe Division 2, a sequel to their2016 open-world online shooter that’s set in a near-future pandemic-ravaged New York City. The publisher has provided no details so far about the setting or gameplay, but promised it would have more to share at E3 2018. The Division 2 is on track to launch before the end of Ubisoft’s current fiscal year on March 31, 2019.
Unveiled at E3 last year, Skull and Bones is the result of turning the ship combat fromAssassin’s Creed IV: Black Flaginto a full-fledged naval warfare piracy sim. Developed by Ubisoft Singapore, the studio responsible for the Assassin’s Creed’s ship combat, Skull and Bones has a campaign for solo players but the main focus seems to be the shared world multiplayer setting. Crews of up to six players can commandeer ships and set sail on the Indian Ocean to engage in combat, acquire loot, and customize your ship along the way.Ubisoft recently announced it would holdSkull and Bonesuntil its 2019 fiscal year, but confirmed the game will be on display this year.
We played Skull and Bones for the first time last year at E3 2017. Readour hands-on preview.
BioWare revealedAnthem, its next big franchise, at Electronic Arts’ 2017 EA Play press conference. Departing from the studio’s history of single-player RPGs like Dragon Age and Mass Effect,Anthem is aDestiny-style open-world, cooperative shooter set in a futuristic realm where “Freelancers” wearing powered armor suits called “Javelins” help protect a walled city against the horrible monsters encroaching from outside. EA has promised “an inside look” atAnthem at EA Play 2018, though with an “early 2019” launch window, it may not be playable at this phase.
Check out everything we know aboutAnthem here.
With Zelda, Mario, and his Karts all squared away on the Switch, Nintendo fans have been eagerly awaiting news about the inevitable next chapter of its franchise-spanning Super Smash Bros. fighting game series. Nintendo confirmed the Switch iteration during its March, 2018 “Nintendo Direct” broadcast, with a teaser trailer suggesting thatSplatoon‘s inklings will join the fray. The last game came out in 2014, so we are eager to see how the franchise will have evolved and what new characters will be in the mix. Nintendo’s E3 presence will be centered around Smash, with a Super Smash Bros. Invitational taking place on June 12.
The next entry in Square Enix’s hugely popular reboot of the Tomb Raider action-adventure franchise skipped E3 last year, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be on display this year.Lara’s third adventure looks to wrap up her origin story and from our hands-on time, it’s clear that this will be Lara’s darkest adventure yet. The game is scheduled to launch on September 14 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
Read our hands-on preview.
Developer DICE went back to basics in 2016 with Battlefield 1, which took the long-running shooter series to the trenches of World War I. EA has confirmed that the next entry in the series,Battlefield V, will be playable at EA Play. EA has not confirmed any details about the game’s setting or new mechanics, but reports suggest it will return to the franchise’s roots in World War II. We’ll learn for sure May 23 during a reveal event, with more to follow at E3.
Activision is ready to crank out another Call of Duty game from its well-oiled machine of three studios working in rotation. Treyarch is back in the saddle for 2018, now that Activision has confirmed thatCall of Duty: Black Ops 4 is coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 12. The game will be officially unveiled at a community event on May 17 , and we wholly expect it to have a large presence on the floor the following month at E3.
EA Sports’ annual FIFA football/soccer series doesn’t always get a lot of mainstream coverage, but it’s quietly one of the most popular video game franchises on the planet. For the past two years, the publisher has debuted its annual entry at its EA Play event just before E3, so we look forward to seeing the latest iteration in June.
The Madden football franchise is the backbone of EA Sports and one of the longest continuously running video game franchises of all time. History dictates that the upcoming entry will arrive in August, just ahead of the NFL season. We don’t know any details about the cover athlete or gameplay features yet, but expect to learn more at EA Play in June.
Developer NetherRealm has been cranking out fighting games at a steady pace for nearly a decade now, and the smart money says it’s time for another entry in the Mortal Kombat series of notoriously gory 2D fighters. The last game,Mortal Kombat X, finished its full DLC life cycle with a completeXL version, and it’s been a whole year since the studio’s last big title,Injustice 2. Mortal Kombat series creator threw fuel onto the fire with a recent tweet, saying “You know what ELSE would be kool…” in response to someone asking for moreInjustice 2DLC. Based on NetherRealm’s publishing history, We expect the game, which we’ll assume is calledMK11, to make its debut at the show, likely in advance of a Spring, 2019, launch.
Although the Wii U hadMario Tennis: Ultra Smash, it was devoid of substantial content and largely forgettable. Nintendo aims to rectify that withMario Tennis Aces, coming to Switch on June 22. It will be the first in the series to include a single player campaign sinceMario Tennis: Power Tour for the Game Boy Advance. Since it’s coming out immediately after E3, we would be shocked if the game weren’t playable at Nintendo’s booth.
The grassroots comeback of 90’s-style JRPGs–fueled by ROMS andRPG Maker-crafted fan homages–has gone all the way back to the source, with Square Enix producing new games in the style of the classics. The latest isOctopath Traveller, a classic-style JRPG with eight different protagonists being developed by the studio behindBravely Default. It’s slated for a July 13 release, making its presence at Nintendo’s E3 booth almost a sure thing.
Long featured on vaporware lists,Crackdown 3 was MIA for a while after Phil Spencer revealed the sequel, which was already anticipated at that point, at E3 2014. You play as superpowered, elite cops in a dystopian city in the future, taking down vicious crime syndicates and wrecking the game’s thoroughly destructible environments along the way. We tried it out at E3 2017. It’s currently scheduled for a “Spring 2018” release after several delays, but Microsoft hasn’t specified a release date, so short of a surprise launch, we expect to see it make another appearance in Microsoft’s E3 presentation.
Here’s everything we know aboutCrackdown 3.
Ubisoft’s 2014 open-world racing gameThe Crew was notable for ambitiously allowing players to drive across the entire (somewhat compressed) United States continuously, though its story was more of a mixed bag. The upcoming sequel will focus on the open-world part that people loved, adding more types of vehicles for land, air, and sea, as well as a looser plot structure that will simply provide a framework to get you out and racing. The game launches on June 29, just a few weeks after E3, so we expect to see a good chunk of gameplay.
CD Projekt Red has been pretty quiet about their sci-fi follow-up toThe Witcher 3, which still holds up as one of the finest RPGs to date. Based on Mike Pondsmith’s seminal tabletop RPGCyberpunk 2020,2077 promises a dynamic world of a scope and richness surpassing evenThe Witcher 3. A recent “Beep” on the game’s Twitter feed was its first activity in more than four years, and Polish site GRYOnline claims that the game will be shown at E3 this year.
This PlayStation 4-exclusive survival horror game debuted at Sony’s 2016 E3 press conference, and we saw a hands-off demonstration last year. This third-person action game is set in the Pacific Northwest, where you play a biker trying to get by in the wilderness, several years after a zombie virus has turned much of the world population into “freakers.” Sony recently delayed the game from 2018 into 2019, but we still expect it to be playable at the show, given its appearances the last few years. Here’s everything we know aboutDays Gone.
LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule raised a lot of eyebrows with its E3 2015 reveal ofDreams, a surreal and open-ended game/creation tool that allows players to create and share elaborate, interactive, fully 3D creations. In the wake of impossibly ambitious games likeSpore andNo Man’s Sky, the promise of infinitely new gameplay and content should rightly trigger skepticism among gaming fans, but if anyone is qualified to make a good faith effort at this sort of creation platform game, it’s Media Molecule. The studio broke a long period of silence by showing the game at Paris Games Week and the PlayStation Experience in 2017, and said the game is on track for a 2018 release. As such, we anticipate finally getting our hands on it at the show this year to see whether it can live up to its hype.
A Final Fantasy/Disney crossover RPG, the Kingdom Hearts series certainly made a big impression when it debuted on PlayStation 2. The third mainline entry in the series (as opposed to various spinoffs) has been in development since E3 2013, and is finally slated to come out sometime in 2018.
Shenmue 3, the crowdfunded third entry in the cult classic action-adventure series was announced at E3 2015, and is slated to arrive in 2019, so we imagine it will be shown off. There’s also the matter of the possible remastered editions of the first two games that Sega itself has talked about. We wouldn’t be surprised for those to get some coverage as well.
Nintendo revealed a new Yoshi-centric Switch game at E3 2017. Its aesthetic follows fromYoshi’s Woolly World, expanding on that game’s handmade art style into worlds made out of cardboard, paper, and various craft materials. Nintendo has not released a firm title or release date, but it’s slated for 2018 and we’ve seen some gameplay, so we’d be shocked if it weren’t at the show.
Developer 4A Games has been quiet in recent months about the third entry in the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter franchise Metro. Metro: Exodus will be released in early 2019 on PS4, Xbox One — a shift from its original fall 2018 date — so it would be somewhat surprising if it isn’t shown. We sure hope so given that Exodus shined at E3 2017, giving us a glimpse of Metro’s world outside of the underground tunnels of Moscow. Exodus once again stars Artyom, but this time it’s a story of escape rather than preservation. The biggest entry in the franchise to date, Exodus features four self-contained sandbox areas comprising a mix of linear and non-linear objectives.
At E3 2017, Nintendo briefly teased another entry in its beloved GameCube Metroid Prime trilogy, which took the side-scrolling franchise into the first-person perspective. Nintendo has given no details about the upcoming game other than to say that original creator Retro Studios would not be returning for Metroid Prime4. Instead,recent rumors have suggested that Bandai Namco has stepped up to take on the project. With no details or gameplay available yet, a 2018 release seems optimistic, but we expect to learn something more tangible about the game at E3 at the very least.
Announced way back at E3 2013, Capybara Games’ top-down, rogue-like Belowhas suffered numerous delays, the most recent of which pushed it out of 2016. We loved ourbrief time with the gameat the Game Developers Conference (GDC) several years ago, but haven’t heard anything about it since. Nothing in particular suggests that the game will be present this year, but we certainly hope it’s not MIA for too much longer.
While From Software hasn’t come out and said which games it is currently developing (the studio reportedly has three it’s working on), one of them, according to an interview with Japanese publication 4Gamer, is an action RPG with a similar aesthetic of the Dark Souls franchise. Since the Dark Souls series is supposedly over now, the next logical conclusion would be a sequel to Bloodborne, the Souls-like PS4 exclusive that launched to rave reviews in 2015. Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa has reportedly been working on a new project since Bloodborne launched. From Software threw new fuel onto the rumors at The Game Awards 2017 with a brief teaser trailer that showed some bloody rope coiled around bone and the enigmatic phrase “Shadows die twice.” The trailer is vague and dark enough that it at least feels as though it could apply toBloodborne. In any case, whether it’sBloodborne 2 or something else entirely, we hope to get some taste of what From Software is up to next, since it’s been entirely too long sinceDark Souls 3 came out.
With proper Mario and Zelda games now available for the Switch, many fans are now eagerly awaiting a new, full entry in the Pokmon series. Nintendo confirmed at E3 2017 that Game Freak is working on a new, “main” Pokmon title, but we haven’t heard any details. There were also rumors about an enhanced port ofSun andMooncoming to Switch called Pokmon Stars, but that has failed to materialize as well, with Ultra Moon and Ultra Sun coming to the 3DS, instead.
In contrast to its gritty, realistic Battlefield series, EA’s Garden Warfare spinoff of PopCap’s popular Plants vs. Zombies tower-defense games have offered extremely lighthearted shooter experiences.Garden Warfare 2 came out in 2016, and an Amazon listing for a comic that bridges the gap between that and an apparent next game. Although no one has officially confirmed the game yet, we suspect it will make an appearance at E3 if its ancillary media is already in production.
The sequel to Rockstar’s 2010 open-world cowboy opus has been at the top of many gamers’ anticipated lists for years now. The game will be a prequel to the first entry, following a new outlaw protagonist in a frontier that hasn’t been quite as tamed. Developer Rockstar Games finally revealed that the game was coming in late 2016: After a couple of delays, the game is currently on track to launch October 26, 2018.
While Red Dead 2 and E3 2018 seem like a perfect match, there’s only an outside chance that the game makes an appearance at E3. Aside from a few notable appearances, Rockstar generally avoids making its presence known at E3. It’s possible Red Dead Redemption 2 makes an appearance in either Microsoft or Sony’s press conference, but even that is far from a guarantee.
We aren’t holding our breath waiting to see the Final Fantasy VII remake at E3 this year, as Square Enix scrapped plans to work with a third-party studio in favor of developing the project in-house just one year ago. However, the game was announced a few years ago and fans holding out hope of the game releasing in their lifetime need something to tide them over, even if it’s just another teaser trailer. As the game will be releasing episodically, it’s possible the first part could be ready long before the others, as well. A recent listing on Walmart Canada could point to the game releasing sooner than expected, as well, assuming it is accurate.
Bayonetta and its sequel are already available on the Switch, and Nintendo revealed in late 2017 that a third game would be coming to the platform as an exclusive, as well. Given the number of projects on developer PlatinumGames’ plate, we doubt that anything will actually be ready for Nintendo’s press event in June, but there is little doubt that it will be one of the best games on the Switch when it eventually comes out.
Capcom hasn’t even announced Devil May Cry 5, but the publisher has done just about everything in its power to let fans know the game is on the way. An HD collection of the first three games was just released for current-gen consoles and PC, and Devil May Cry 4 got a similar treatment in 2015. Longtime director Hideaki Itsuno revealed his current project was nearing completion a few months ago, and a leak rumored to detail the next Devil May Cry game claimed it would release between April 2018 and March 2019, making it a prime candidate for an E3 reveal… In theory.
Although Beyond Good and Evil 2 was shown off at E3 2017 with a cinematic trailer, the prequel to the cult classic adventure game Beyond Good and Evil could very well still be years away. The original launched in 2003 and due to underwhelming sales, the planned trilogy was put on hold. The follow-up has resurfaced sporadically over the last decade only to go dark for an extended period of time. So far, we know the game will feature character customization, online co-op, and a much meatier experience than its predecessor, and a recent listing on Walmart Canada could mean the game is coming together more quickly than we expected. Let’s hope series creator Michael Ancel and his team have more to show us during Ubisoft’s press conference.
Though unlikely to release soon given that Gears of War 4 came out less than two years ago, a Walmart Canada listing on May 9 included Gears of War 5 among its alleged upcoming games. With developer The Coalition dedicated to the series and the excellent multiplayer in the most recent game, we’d love to see a follow-up on Xbox One. Still, we’re willing to bet thatHalo 6 will be announced before the Fenix family’s next adventure.
In addition to showing up on the Walmart Canada listing, an untitled Splinter Cell game also briefly popped up on Amazon Canada back in March. Among the potential surprise announcements, this one seems a little more likely, as protagonist Sam Fisher made a recent guest appearance in Ghost Recon Wildlands with original voice actor Michael Ironside, and Ubisoft has said it is “not forgetting” the stealth franchise. Ubisoft has said that it will reveal a title in an ongoing series to be released in its current fiscal year at E3. That could very well be the next Splinter Cell.
With Ubisoft using a “live service” release model for Assassin’s Creed Origins to continuously update the game with new content, it’s very unlikely that a new Assassin’s Creed game will release in 2018. However, we could still get a taste of the game, as the Walmart Canada listing responsible forRage 2andGears of War 5rumors also mentioned an untitled Assassin’s Creed game.
We’ve heard rumors that a new piece of Destiny content is code named “Comet,” and — surprise, surprise — the game also popped up on Walmart Canada’s massive listing. We know from a recent earnings call that Activision is planning to release an expansion for Destiny 2 this fall, and that it will include a “new mode” with a “new style of play.” It’s likely that “Comet” and the expansion are one and the same, should the listing be accurate.
Avalanche Studios hasn’t announced or even hinted at a fourth game in the Just Cause series, but the game popped up on the same Walmart Canada listing that included the new Splinter Cell game and Rage 2. Just Cause 3 was released in 2015 to mixed reviews, many of which mentioned technical issues, but the extra time with current-generation systems could lead to a more stable sequel. As the studio has multiple development teams, a potential fourth game wouldn’t impede its ability to create Rage 2.
Darksiders 3, the first new entry in the Zelda-esque series to be developed by Gunfire Games, is slated to arrive in 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but it won’t be on display at E3 2018. Publisher THQ Nordic will skip the show this year in favor to “watch the World Cup” (yes, really). THQ Nordice said we’ll have to wait until August to learn more about Fury’s quest to thwart the Seven Deadly Sins at Gamescom. As of now, we know the game stars Fury, the whip-wielding sister of series’ protagonists War and Death, and the third of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Another E3 2018 casualty caused by the FIFA World Cup, Experiment 101’s Biomutant is also expected to launch in 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Set in a gorgeous open world filled with anthropomorphic rodents, Biomutant infuses kung fu melee combat with long range attacks. We had a chance to play Biomutant at Gamescom last year, and came away feeling cautiously optimistic. Although the story seems to be standard save-the-world fare, the world is a sight to behold and the combat is solid.
Readour hands-on preview.
Borderlands 2 first came out in 2012, giving fans of Gearbox’s wry, colorful shooter a long time to build up anticipation. Apart from a GDC tech demoshowing off how cool and stylized the game will be able to look in Unreal Engine 4, there have been no details released about it. A recent press releaselisted “a highly anticipated new title from one of 2K’s biggest franchises,” alongside Red Dead Redemption 2, as leading 2019 for the publisher. Civilization is midcycle with expansions ofCivilization VI and BioShock has been on the back burner since Ken Levine’s departure, leaving the smart money onBorderlands 3. The game popped up in a recent listing on Walmart Canada, suggesting it’s in the works, but Gearbox said it won’t be shown at E3 2018.
Here’s everything we know about Borderlands 3.
The last entry in the Deus Ex series, Mankind Divided, released back in 2016 to a somewhat lukewarm reception, and future games were put on hold as Square Enix and its development teams moved onto other projects. Speaking to PCGamesN, Eidos Montreal chief David Anfossi revealed that a future entry in the series is not currently in development, with his studio in charge of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Crystal Dynamics developing a game based on the Avengers.