E3 2012 is just around the corner, and promises to spill the usual gamut of gaming guts all over LA’s gargantuan convention centre. This year the hardware news is all a bit up in the air. No one know what’s going to happen in terms of PS4s and Xbox 720s, but we do know that the developers have plenty of games in store to make up for it.
So what’s going to be best in show? It’s anyone’s guess at this stage, but we do have several inklings. Want to know which titles to look out for above all others? Here’s our pick of the year’s best upcoming games…
Super Mario Wii U
Earlier in the year, Nintendo registered the domain SuperMario4.com, which caused a bit of a stir. So far, Nintendo’s not shown anything Mario-related running on the Wii U, but with the next-gen consoles launch pinned down for just before Christmas, you’ve got to imagine Shigeru Miyamoto is hard at work getting the plumber’s next big outing sorted. All eyes will be on Ninty for a more concrete Wii U games line-up, and Mario simply has to star.
Although the Tomb Raider reboot has slipped back into 2013 from its original late-2012 launch date, there should still be plenty of new stuff for developer Crystal Dynamics to show off at E3. So far all we’ve been privy to is a couple of polished and pre-rendered trailers explaining how the new-look Lara ends up marooned, alongside the above ‘Cavern’ demo. We’re expecting more playable demos at this year’s show, and we’re expecting big things: the delay is to ensure the best quality game possible.
Bungie, the team who dreamed up the Halo universe and created the first few games in the series, has recently signed a deal with Activision for a new franchise named Destiny. Even if it’s nothing more than a teaser trailer, you can expect to see something of this epic franchise-in-waiting to show up at E3. The Destiny story will unfold over four games, all pencilled in for launch between 2013 and 2019, which means Activision’s clearly very confident about its potential.
It wouldn’t be a year at E3 without the EA Sports stand proudly demoing the next in the FIFA series. We already know about some of the game’s key improvements, like more intelligent runs from strikers, errant first touches and a tighter, more skilled approach to dribbling, but that’s the limit of our knowledge. EA’s likely to announce the release date, as well as let all and sundry have a go at its stand.
The Amazing Spiderman
Spider-Man 2 was the best Spider-man game ever made, and we won’t hear of anyone saying otherwise. The free-roaming, free-swinging Manhattan Island action had a huge amount of content, but it was just being able to gracefully swing for hours on end that made it. The tie-in game for the new movie is adopting the same approach, and looks like it could be this generation’s best Spidey game by far.
Praise be! Maxis’ full reboot of the SimCity series is shaping up to be everything the old legion would want in their favourite city-crafting strategy series. Alongside a proper 3D makeover that makes your city’s problems all the more glaring, there’s also online play that links your metropolis to the next. Oh yeah, and (wait for it)… Curved roads.
Metal Gear Solid 5
Whether this will make an appearance at E3 is the subject of debate at the minute, but it’s fairly reasonable to assume that Kojima and Co have started hammering together a true sequel to the Metal Gear Solid series, rather than what’s being shown in Metal Gear: Rising. How come? Because we’ve already seen some stills of the horrifically realistic next-gen Fox Engine. No prizes for guessing what that’s going to be put to use on.
Rockstar’s a bit like Apple, in that it doesn’t really stick to the same schedules as everyone else, and will only reveal what it wants to reveal, exactly when it wants to. The trailer we’ve got for GTA 5 has enough in it to give everyone a feel of what’s to come, but there could always be more. We wouldn’t expect anything playable at E3, but a fresh GTA 5 trailer would go down a storm.
We’ve been waiting for this one for quite a while now. The next step in the Agent 47 series is pencilled in for a November release date after a long time in the conceptual and development stages. With that launch not far off, we’d expect far more to be on show than the one-level trailer we’ve seen so far. Publisher Square Enix says the title will be more action-based than the stealthier predecessors, but hopefully the balance will mean there’s enough of both to retain its rank as the thinking man’s hunty-killy game.
Gran Turismo 6
Mark this one down under ‘hopeful’ – Polyphony Digital workers were spotted as recently as March this year scanning and photographing new tracks, which says to us that the development of the officially announced sequel is still in its infancy. That said, you never know. If Sony does decide to unveil the PS4, we’d put money on a teaser for Gran Turismo 6 being one of the ways it’d show off what it can do.
Any more games you’re itching to see at E3 2012? Let us know your thoughts below.