E3 2014 kicks off next week and it promises to be a bumper year of reveals and fresh information on the hottest new games. Dave Cook runs down our list of the top 28 most-anticipated games at the show.
We've converged in the VG247 orbital news strike platform and discussed the games we're most looking forward to at E3 2014. As we ranked each game using our hype-omiter there were tears, there were laughs, and someone even cried. Now here, for your reading pleasure, are our top 28 most-anticipated games of the show.
28. Sunset Overdrive
Last seen in: Sunset Overdrive’s guns look insane in this new trailer
It's a new Xbox One exclusive and a fresh IP. In a world filled with sequels that's surely a good thing, right? Insomniac's first new-gen title has made this list because it's not smothered by drab colours and stereotypical plot nonsense about rogue nations, terrorist plots or other familiar guff. It looks insane, funny, colourful, slick and more than a little bit like Jet Set Radio. We're not seeing a downside yet.
27. Fable: Legends
Fable games may have taken a dip in recent years, but we're liking the concept of having four human-controlled heroes working through a quest while another human controlled villain tries to make their life a living hell. Jokes about the cloud aside, this is a new form of co-op and PvP set within a universe that still manages to charm us with its British wit and morally-skewed backbone. We can't wait to kick those new-gen chickens.
26. Homefront: The Revolution
We first heard this one was coming about two years ago, but it's official; the next Homefront is going open-world thanks to Crytek UK, and it's coming to PS4, PC, Xbox One, Mac and Linux in 2015. It's set four years after North Korea assumed control of the US with its superior technology, and it's up to your band of rebels to take it back. We weren't too keen on the first game, but it's the open-world setting that appeals to us most. It could work.
25. Mortal Kombat X
The ninth Mortal Kombat game was a solid reboot that took the series' special blend of bone crunching, head decapitating madness to a new generation. It had a great combo system, tons of chunky characters, audacious Fatalities and a neat story mode. We're expecting more of the same with some new tricks, but with the added bonus of being on new-gen machines as well. This can only be a good thing, surely?
24. Resident Evil 7
It seems that Resident Evil 7 rumours appear every E3 season, but we're hopeful that Capcom will drop something in LA next week. What will the new game look like? Well, if the company has a lick of sense it'll ditch the over-emphasis on gunplay and truly, honestly take the series back to its roots like it's been promising for some time now. Chuck in some Barry Burton for good measure please Capcom. Ta!
Last seen in: Battlecry is Bethesda’s take on Team Fortress - trailer
This one took us by surprise recently, as it wasn't leaked ahead of time and because it's another new IP. Interestingly, Battlecry was designed by Half-Life 2 and Dishonored's Viktor Antonov, so that plants it firmly on our radar straight off the bat. It's a multiplayer combat game set in an interesting post-apocalyptic steampunk world with chunky character and even chunkier facial hair. Plus, watch that trailer, seriously.
Turtle Rock's spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead is feeling better each time we play or see it, and it's not hard to see why. The 4v1 multiplayer format demands strict teamwork in order to take the alien player down effectively, and there's an incredible amount of class diversity and skills to play with. We're big Left 4 Dead fans here at VG247, and in the absence of a third game out of Valve we're glad someone's keeping this blend for co-op alive and well.
21. Dragon Age: Inquisition
This is sounding mighty interesting. It might not be open-world as first rumoured, but BioWare is making Dragon Age bigger in this third instalment, with only you and your all-star Inquisition team standing between the Breach and the salvation of Thedas. It sounds like it'll go back to the roots of Origins, with plenty of moral consequence and tough decisions to be made as you assemble the team, and let's not forget that it's looking rather shiny on PC and the new-gens.
20. FIFA 15
I don't understand football. I think it involves feet and balls. Either way, FIFA 15 is going to be a big game for EA Sports thanks to the the arrival of PS4 and Xbox One. It's almost been a year since the 14th game dropped, which means the studio has had plenty of time to squeeze lots of new gloss out of the hardware. It'll be interesting to see what they do with that clout, but either way, you can guarantee this will be in the UK top ten chart this time next year. Football. Football never changes.
19. Super Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS
Last seen in: Super Smash Bros. Wii U gets Mario stage
Say what you will about Wii U, there's a certain brand of madness and local co-op joy that comes with Smash Bros. games that's hard to deny, especially after a few cans of beer on the couch. But above all that, just look at the image; it's Mega Man, getting ready to punch Mario. With plenty of stages and an impressive character roster, along with an emphasis on solid multiplayer, it looks like the new Smash Bros. might put bad memories of Brawl to rest.
18. Bayonetta 2
When Pat and I suggested this one, we were reminded that we were both grown men. We just replied that the first Bayonetta was "serious business." It really was, with a crushing difficulty level that treated you like an adult, a complex combat system and all the ingredients that made it - in some people's eyes - a better Devil May Cry game than Devil May Cry. We've played Bayonetta 2, and it's equally as hard and as insane as its predecessor.
17. Final Fantasy 15
Sure, this seems to be a full on action game, which essentially means turning its back on all the hallmarks of traditional, turn-based Final Fantasy games, but it's still looking great. That first re-reveal trailer was full of explosive battles and third-person action scenes that convinced us - for the time being - that Square could be on to something, perhaps even the evolution of its classic Active Time Battle format. Oh and the graphics. Just look at them.
16. Project Beast
Is it Demon's Souls 2 or is it just Dark Souls 2 DLC? Either way, From Software's RPG series has proven popular enough that more is on the way, and that can only be a good thing for fans. We're leaning towards this being the PS4 exclusive rumoured a few weeks back, thanks to the guy in the above image holding a shotgun. That's completely new to the franchise.
15. Tom Clancy's The Division
It's a no-brainer this one, seeing as our readers regularly flock to almost any story we publish about The Division. We reckon that's due to several factors; from the shooter's dark premise and painfully-detailed setting, to its suite of technical tricks and more. Although it may be delayed to 2015 on all formats, the Watch Dogs slip showed us that allowing space for polish can often pay off. Keep the faith people.
14. Tomb Raider 2
Last seen in: Is the next Tomb Raider out this year?
Crystal Dynamics hasn't made any attempt to hide the fact that Tomb Raider is getting a sequel that will continue Lara's character development after her reboot last year. We've recently heard rumours that the studio is launching one new game this year, and while it's probably a bit late in the day for the next core Tomb Raider to release in 2014, we're still confident that it'll be announced at E3 2014.
13. Super Mario Wii U
Last seen in: Little chance of Miyamoto working on next Mario game
Nintendo has said that this one is happening, but besides that we know nothing. You may not choose to acknowledge it, but Wii U hardware sales just had a considerable 666% sales boost in the UK this week thanks to the launch of Mario Kart 8, so it's clear that sometimes all it takes for those numbers to rise is the right game. A full, core Mario Bros. title on par with Super Mario Galaxy could be the next game to match that description. Don't forget that both Galaxy titles are two of the highest ever on Metacritic.
12. Next-gen Borderlands
I know right, we haven't even seen Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launch yet, but although it looks great fun it's what's often referred to as a seat-warmer. It's like when God of War: Ascension and Gears of War: Judgment launched to basically fill the gap between generations. The reveal of the proper Borderlands 3 is an outside bet, but we'd still like to see it happen. We're guessing that cel-shaded art style would look glorious on next-gen. Make it bigger - 'Borderworlds' or something, you know - and we're sold.
11. Battlefield: Hardline
It's not by DICE and it's not a traditional war shooter. You know what? Both of things just make us even more hyped for Battlefield: Hardline. That's not a dig at the studio or Battlefield 4, but it's often exciting to look at how a new team handles an established property. We're liking the cops vs robbers angle, the sound of those new multiplayer modes and the influence of shows and films like The Shield, Heat, The Town and Inside Man have 'game treatment' written all over them.
10. Far Cry 4
Last seen in: 8 things Far Cry 4 has to do better than Far Cry 3
We understand that Far Cry 3 was some-what popular. Nah just messing, of course it was, and with good reason too thanks to its grand scope, ace stealth play and the fact that it made you feel like a dangerous predator. Far Cry 4 will have the weight of the new-gens behind it, not to mention the wildly dark and insane streak that made the third game such a joy to behold. Just look at the artwork above. It's going to be nuts. Less dubstep though guys, yeah?
9. Assassin's Creed: Unity
Last seen in: Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s first DLC leaked
The first fully PC and next-gen Assassin's Creed game will launch this year, and that power bodes well for the series, particularly due to its sandbox focus. We've already seen how nice and organic these play-spaces can feel when rendered in new tech, thanks to inFamous: Second Son and Watch Dogs, but get the feeling that Ubisoft Montreal's rendition of Paris is going to sing on the hardware. Plus there's no more Desmond so you know, that's something.
8. God of War PS4
Last seen in: New God of War teased for E3 2014
God of War. On PS4. I don't think we have to really say much more to explain why gamers are going mad for this one already, but we're sensing that Sony Santa Monica really needs to do more than touch up the visuals and give us the same combat system and platforming tricks again. There really needs to be more to this one, but that's why we're excited, because if the studio has any sense - and we're guessing it does - then this will be something of a shake-up for the series.
It's not hard to see why people want to know what Bungie has been up to after Halo, and what we've seen of Destiny so far leads us to believe that it's a grand, ambitious project that could trigger a long-standing new IP. You've got all of the Milky Way to explore, plenty of co-op battles, loot to pick up from alien foes, and those massive Live Events to engage in. It may just be Guild Wars 2 in a shooter's clothing, but that's not exactly a weak premise.
6. Halo 5: Guardians
Last seen in: Halo 5: Guardians due on Xbox One fall 2015
The first next-gen Halo will run on a new engine and kick off 343 Industries' foray into Xbox One. The fourth game was no slouch, but the multiplayer changes left some gamers feeling cold. Say what you will about the team, but it knows how to listen and respond to its community, so we're guessing many people will get their wishes fulfilled in this one. Expect sparks to fly during the Microsoft conference.
5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
No, this isn't a mistake. It's the first proper next-gen Call of Duty created by a new team on a fresh engine. We like to give the benefit of the doubt around these parts, and after the stumble that was Ghosts, we're keen to see how the hungry new blood at Sledgehammer has applied its 'new IP' approach to Advanced Warfare. The campaign and multiplayer will benefit from the exo-suit's ability to hover, jump higher and grant super-human strength, which are small changes that should shake up the template considerably.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Last seen in: New Witcher 3 gameplay will be shown this week
It's just looking lovely, deep, engaging, atmospheric and challenging. This is one of our most-read games on the site, and we're guessing that's down to the sheer scope of it all, not to mention its studio's high quality bar. CD Projekt RED's ambition seems to be through the roof with The Witcher 3, and in the end all of us are going to benefit when it drops in 2015. We're looking forward to getting lost in its sprawling world when we play it at E3 next week.
3. The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Surprised to see Zelda riding so high on our list? Don't forget that these are some of the most expertly-designed action adventure games in existence, and consistently so (forgetting the CD-I train wrecks of course). We know this is coming, and we have a feeling it's going to drop during Nintendo's pre-E3 broadcast. We're looking for better visuals, some neat use of the GamePad and another game for us to all pump a silly amount of time into. Make it happen Iwata.
2. Uncharted 4
Naughty Dog has delivered some of the most enjoyable, engrossing and impeccably-written experiences we've absorbed across the previous generation, and we get the feeling many of you share that sentiment. We're not sure what, exactly, it will be about but Uncharted 4 is incoming, and there's little doubt that it's going to look and handle superbly on PS4 hardware. We just hope all of the studio's recent departures haven't damaged it any.
1. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
New Metal Gear Solid titles are always such a big event. Even the short prologue that was Ground Zeroes managed to sell crazy-units and remind many of us just how much we had missed the escapades of Snake and chums since the last core entry Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The Phantom Pain is at E3 2014 and it's going to be megaton big for several reasons.
It's open world for one, with plenty of bases out there in Africa just begging to be infiltrated, along with many vehicles, a day-night cycle and from the looks of it, an entire cast worth full of those typically bizarre and memorable characters. There's also horse-riding. That's very important of course. The game also looks superb on Kojima Productions' Fox Engine, as showcased in Ground Zeroes.
But perhaps the biggest reason we're hyped is that this looks like it'll close the loop on the whole series. We're excited to see if it all ends with a new-gen remake of Operation Intrude N313, the first mission of Solid Snake in the MSX original Metal Gear. That prospect promises to be the ultimate, emotional and explosive finale to a series that fans have followed for decades now. Just close your eyes and imagine it.