Games We Need To See At E3 – Part 2
© 2009 David Hilton – 2IC
Updated as info is revealed at E3. Updates will appear after game description below.
Earlier this month I brought you 12 games that have gone Missing In Action (MIA), and later updated a few with new information. Unfortunately the news wasn’t good for at least two of them.
I’ve managed to round up another bunch of games that were announced some time ago and have had very little new shown about them. These are games that must make an appearance at this year’s E3, or they will be presumed dead or dying. This time there are some sequels among the 10, and as always if you’ve seen new information about them, or have other missing games to add to the list, let us know in the comment section below.
1. Doom 4
Ahh Doom. It came at the dawn of the First Person Shooter (FPS) game, after Wolfenstein 3D, another Id Software creation for PC, in the early 1990s. We had a remake of sorts with Doom 3 last gen on Xbox and PC, but another was supposed to be coming. While Id has confirmed it is hard at work on another Wolfenstein for this gen as well as the new IP Rage, Doom 4 was announced a year ago and not much has been heard or seen since. This game was firmly MIA.
Then some news finally trickled out of GameSpot last month: it was still being planned with a new team, Id Software were still hiring, and it’s not a sequel or a reboot. Beyond that, nothing. E3 may bring us more on this title.
2. Halo Chronicles
Awhile back the idea of ‘episodic video games’ became popular, with games like Alone In The Dark doing “previously on…” TV-style recaps. Other titles decided to do episodic downloadable content instead. In 1997 Peter Jackson (of King Kong and Lord Of The Rings film fame) had his Wingnut Interactive start work on an episodic game (we think meaning an interactive film-game) using the Halo franchise called Halo Chronicles. Even in 2008 it was confirmed that people were being hired and Halo Chronicles was being produced, but this year rumours are that the game is on hold indefinitely.
I doubt with Microsoft wanting to get Halo fans in a frenzy about Halo: ODST that it will make an appearance at this year’s E3, so that leaves it not alive, but not quite dead yet either. What happened? Did Microsoft or Peter Jackson have problems with each other? Was it the global financial crisis that is claiming so many other new and creative titles? You decide…
3. Perfect Dark 2
Rare‘s Perfect Dark series began on the N64 console and Perfect Dark Zero was one of the first games made and released for the 360 console at launch. Though its look was overly ‘shiny’ the rebooted game was mostly a success because of its deep split-screen and online multiplayer. Not many other games have come close, even today, to the number of multiplayer gameplay options, except Halo 3. We’ve heard that the N64 titles may be coming to XBLA, but this is different.
This game wasn’t announced, so technically it isn’t MIA. However, there were rumours of it being made back in late 2007 and Rare‘s other games this gen, though creative and with a niche following, have not been the big successes that Microsoft would have liked. The next Perfect Dark (2) on 360 was said to be darker (of course), with a less shiny but more interactive environment, have moral choices with a variety of storylines, will avoid having cut scenes like the Half Life games, and be as big as Halo. Yet we’ve heard nothing solid since those rumours.
Microsoft has 4 big game announcements this E3 and this one could very well be one of them. I hope?
4. Star Wars Battlefront 3
As early as 2006 there were rumours that Star Wars Battlefront III was in development by Free Radical for LucasArts. However, Free Radical imploded after the failure of the PS3 exclusive title Haze and after LucasArts removed the Battlefront game from their hands. The company went into administration and half the staff were dumped and then finally Free Radical was bought by Crytek. Meanwhile, leaked images and promising footage of Battlefront III found their way onto the net before LucasArts did their best to shut them down.
Rumours then turned to the possibility that Pandemic (who made the recent Lord Of The Rings: Conquest game, which is similar in style) would be the next studio handed the game. This was denied by Pandemic.
So where does this leave the game? MIA, that’s where. We may see more of it at E3, and I doubt it will be completely canned as the previous games were big hits.
A year ago first footage of a new RPG fantasy game that promised to mix cinematic emotion, story and action called Venetica and developed by studio Deck 13 was revealed. The environments were an amazing colourful fantasy version of Venice, Italy, and certainly grabbed my interest.
In it you play Scarlett, the daughter of Death, who must grow her powers to save her father and defeat the evil necromancers. I never thought of Death as the good guy…but anyway. Then it went MIA and I feared that this was going to be yet another new IP from a smaller developer that would just disappear. After all, we now have Assassin’s Creed 2 that is re-creating Venice so perhaps they got a bit intimidated?
Good news is that the game is still kicking. Last week a new ‘behind the scenes’ video was revealed, but the footage still doesn’t show how far along the game is, though they still have ambitions of a Q3 2009 release for PC and Xbox 360. They need to show more at E3 for me to feel confident, but I really hope this one is released.
6. Age Of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
In 2008 the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) Age Of Conan was released on PC, a platform known for its online-only games. The thing is that it was also announced for the Xbox 360 and has yet to appear, almost exactly a year later.
Is there trouble porting it to the 360 or is the whole concept of a MMO game for a console just too uncertain? Are console gamers going to take to a game that is only played online the same way many PC gamers have? After all the Halo MMO and The Lord Of The Rings: White Council MMO games were either cancelled or put on ‘indefinite hold’.
Then there’s the issue of those who would be most excited by the game having already purchased it for PC, thinking it would be at its best there anyway (assuming they have a high-end PC). Still there may be more word on the game and maybe even other MMOs for the 360 at E3. Maybe…
7. Section 8
Section 8 means to be discharged by the military by being mentally unfit for service and I wonder if this game has gone MIA because it is unfit for service or if it has just ‘gone dark’ to surprise us at E3. To be honest another FPS based around gung-ho space marines (albeit with lots of armour) doesn’t really excite me.
To be fair the concept by TimeGate Studios (who are hirinig btw) is that you will be able to dynamically alter the flow of battles by calling for vehicles and ‘burn in’ wherever you want on the map, sort of like a faster futuristic version of the parachute jumps we did in Medal Of Honor: Airborne a few years back.
The game is announced for PC (which is apparently being beta tested soon), PS3 and 360 but not much has been shown, so E3 may flush this one out from cover.
Update 29/05/09: This game has indeed been rediscovered with three new E3 videos at Gametrailers.
Update 1/06/09: Atari announces “Section 8 the futuristic multiplayer FPS will be released in Q3 of 2009 for PC and Xbox 360″ (no PS3?).
8. Darkest Of Days
I really like the sound of this shooter, probably because history is a passion of mine. The concept behind this little known game announced way back in 2006 is that Darkest of Days puts you in a historically-based first-person shooter where you travel back and forth in time to experience some of history’s “darkest days” and fight through some of the most epic battles and events in history, including the eruption of Pompeii during Roman times, the U.S. Civil War, World War 1, World War 2 and more.
8Monkey Labs is working on it for all major consoles and PC, but besides saying it will be out in Fall 2009 for PC and Xbox 360 and having a video on their website that shows a bunch of gung-ho marines (yes them again) heading off on their ‘last best hope’ missions through time, there is little else known. I’m particularly curious about the scenes where you shoot Roman Centurions with a modern machine gun and about the Nazi concentration camp.
I hope we see it at E3 and that it gets the polish the idea deserves. History will tell…
9. Rainy Woods
Access Games is aiming for a Twin Peaks-type atmosphere with their PS3 and 360 game Rainy Woods, but not much is known about it and their site only has a page that says its coming in 2009, which is doubtful.
With that other mysterious missing game Alan Wake more likely to be seen at E3, and the exciting PS3 mysterious game Heavy Rain already looking fantastic, will there be enough room for a game about a young FBI agent, who happens to have an alternate personality, investigating a murder outside the fictional American town of Rainy Woods?
I love mysterious atmospheric games but this one may have gone MIA to stay away from these other two more famous atmospheric games. Will it be too afraid to show at E3? And what is it about rain and mystery anyway?
No, not Terminator Salvation, the game based on the upcoming film. This Salvation has a very interesting story, but not much has been seen since the basic video on the Salvation website. The game is being made by Black Wing Foundation and N-Game Studios.
The story goes something like this: it is the year 2026 and the world government has resorted to stem cells and gene engineering to stage the Judgment Day. They create a genetic replication of Christ and the Antichrist and destroy them to set forth severe fundamentalism on Earth.
• Check the Salvation Video out.
If you have any ‘wrong’ (heretical) thoughts you are killed or sent to Hell…a virtual environment where suffering is the go. Fundamentalism in video games = resistance fighters, so no prizes for guessing what sort of roles the player will take. It is classed as an ‘action-3rd person shooter-stealth-RPG’ game set in future Tokyo and London. So, yes, a bit confusing, but interesting.
And missing. It’s supposed to be released this year for PC and Xbox 360. Has this game had bad thoughts and been taken to virtual Hell to be tortured or killed? Maybe we’ll find out at E3?
To check out PART 1, with 12 more games gone MIA, click here.
© 2009 David Hilton – 2IC
Filed under: Console gaming, E3 2009, Editorial, Game Impressions, Game Industry News, New Game Information, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 3rd Party Games, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | "Age of conan", Access Games, alan wake, Darkest Of Days, Doom 4, E3, Halo, Halo chronicles, Microsoft games studio, n-game studios, Perfect Dark 2, Peter Jackson, Rainy Woods, Salvation, Section 8, Star Wars Battlefront 3, Star Wars Battlefront III, terminator salvation, The Age Of Conan Hyborian Adventures, Venetica, Xbox 360