Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
First announced: June 2009
Since then, we’ve seen: Some gameplay footage of Raiden chopping shit up with a katana, followed by a handful of screens and trailers.
Why we won’t see it: To put it bluntly, Raiden’s cyberninja side-story adventure has been stuck in development hell for some time, and we didn’t quite realize it until the recent announcement that it had been handed over to Bayonetta developer Platinum Games. Platinum has a history of being able to turn great games around quickly (having released four during 2009-2010), but Rising isn’t entirely the studio’s own – and the project was reportedly aimless before creator Hideo Kojima asked Platinum to swoop in and take over. It’s likely Platinum has a lot of work ahead of it, and when you take into account the fan expectations and Metal Gear legacy that are riding on the project (not to mention Platinum’s still-in-the-works Anarchy Reigns, due in July for Sega), we can imagine they’ll want to take their time and really nail this one before they send it out into the wild.
Best-case scenario (if we’re wrong): As we said above, Platinum’s no stranger to releasing two games a year; in fact, every year it’s released games, it’s released two. First came MadWorld and Infinite Space in 2009, then Bayonetta and Vanquish in 2010. With that in mind, it doesn’t seem outside the studio’s capabilities to follow up Anarchy Reigns in short order with Revengeance, although we can’t see that happening before the winter holidays – and even then, we have to wonder if it could even come close to Metal Gear’s usual standards after such a quick turnaround.
Grand Theft Auto 5
First announced: October 2011
Since then, we’ve seen: A logo and our second-favorite trailer of 2011 (after Dead Island's).
Why we won’t see it: We can’t really call this one a “delay,” since GTA 5 hasn’t actually gotten a firm release date, but we’re still willing to bet it won’t hit stores in the next 12 months. While it’s not unheard of for Rockstar to release more than one game a year, hyping GTA 5’s release while Max Payne 3 is on shelves might steal the latter’s thunder, and seeing them both appear in the same 12-month span seems like a stretch. Also, consider that GTA 4’s first trailer debuted in March 2007, just over a year before the game’s release (although it was originally slated to hit stores that October). If past precedent is anything to go by, GTA 5 looks far likelier for next spring, especially considering that, since the success of GTA 4’s spring release, Rockstar’s made a habit of putting out its biggest games (Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire and now Max Payne 3) during the March-May window.
Best-case scenario (if we’re wrong): Rockstar loves surprising its fans (and by extension us), so as unlikely as it seems, a fall or holiday release for GTA 5 isn’t completely out of the question. If Rockstar were to announce a 2012 release date, though, we’d expect it to happen shortly after the March release of Max Payne 3 – again, so as not to distract from Max’s big comeback.
The Last Guardian
First announced: May 2009
Since then, we’ve seen: Screens, hands-off gameplay demos and a handful of trailers, at least one of which still manages to tug at the heartstrings.
Why we won’t see it: Honestly, we’re just putting this one on the list in the hopes of being proven wrong. The Last Guardian has been delayed for years now, and while it kept resurfacing early on to taunt us with new, achingly beautiful scenes of boy-and-monster adventure, but we haven’t seen it in a long time, and it was a complete no-show at E3 last year. A Shadow of the Colossus-like release during the twilight of the PS3’s lifespan appears to be increasingly likely, but creator Fumito Ueda’s recent departure from Sony has cast a pall over the game’s production (although he’s reportedly still under contract to complete it). If it doesn’t happen this year, we’re worried it might not happen at all (and not just because of the Mayan apocalypse or whatever).
Best-case scenario (if we’re wrong): Given the size and importance of a project like The Last Guardian, we don’t foresee Sony making this a surprise spring release, considering that it gave the title little to no fanfare throughout 2011. A big, grandiose comeback at Sony’s E3 press conference seems much likelier, followed by a release in summer or fall. Keep your fingers crossed.