E3 09: Where are the missing games?

So, E3 2009 then. Quite a lot of games, weren’t there? Not quite enough for our liking though. Although we’re giddy with excitement at all the surprises and reveals, there are a few absent titles we were absolutely positive would put in a showing.

Such as...

We were sure. We were so sure. We’ve had artwork. We’ve had teasing conversations with Valve themselves. It’s been nearly two years since Episode 2, so even by Valve’s leisurely standards we must be due a big reveal. But no. Not a bean. We cry.

Our explanation: Valve essentially operates outside of the standard industry model. With Steam, it's free to self-publish for PC on its own terms with presumably reduced overheads. It needs answer to no-one, except its devoted fanbase, and none of them want it to rush a thing. Plus Steam is as efficient a hype delivery system as any, so it could be argued that the House o’ Gabe doesn’t really need E3 anyway.

Possible reveal: Before the end of this year, via a big trailer released directly onto Steam. Valve looks after its fans, so while Microsoft got Left 4 Dead 2 this year, the next big Gordon Freeman announcement is likely to go to the community first.

It was Capcom’s worst-kept secret in years. Then it was its most unsurprising announcement. We got a brilliant trailer, and E3 was surely the time to show us more. But then…

Our explanation: Dead pigs. Capcom Japan got antsy about international travel following the swine flu panic and the zombies stayed in the east.

Possible reveal: Although Europe’s summer games shows are traditionally a case of “Previously on E3…”, the Tokyo Game Show (traditionally September or October) is surely too far away to be the site of the big reveal. Our money is on another, more in-depth trailer over the next month or so, then a proper showing at the new Cologne GamesCom event in late August. Provided the pig mortality rate is down by then.

The possibilities were many. With the 360 as full of Banjo as can be right now, we were expecting a new IP, or at the very least that much rumoured Perfect Dark XBLA remake. And maybe Killer Instinct 3 if the gods were smiling upon us.

Our explanation: Natal. Microsoft’s Shane Kim has come out and revealed that Rare is busily beavering away on applications for the 360’s new motion capture controller. Though perhaps worryingly, he also stated that “Rare is alive and well and really having a broader impact on the entire Xbox world than just doing the games they traditionally have in the past”.

Does that mean that Twycross’ finest are now relegated solely to the world of avatars, interfaces and casual applications? We certainly hope not.

Possible reveal: Given the tone of Kim’s words, Rare’s next project could be anything from a casual Natal game to a new Xbox Live feature. As such, we’re not expecting a big games show reveal. Something will probably just slip onto the ‘net as Natal and the next stage of Live upgrades come to fruition.

How long must we wait? How long, Ancel? After all these years of dedicated sequel requests, a reveal teaser at last year’s Ubidays and a supposed E3 video leak last month, we get nothing at the actual event itself.

Our explanation: We very much doubt that the Youtube footage was a homemade fake, but it did have a slight tang of pre-rendered target footage about it. So maybe the game just isn’t as ready to show as our fanboy excitement temps us to believe.

Possible reveal: Ubisoft always had a big presence at the now-defunct Leipzig Games Convention, so we’ll be holding out for something in Cologne. Again. If not, we’re going to stop trying to guess. At least for a couple of minutes.

It’s scheduled for the 2009 fiscal year. It’s still PS3 exclusive. Sony needed a bumper line-up this year. Surely we had to see more of Rockstar and Team Bondi’s deliciously atmospheric vision of ‘40s crime drama? Well no, as it happens.

Possible reason: Aside from the initial CG trailer, we’ve heard exactly bugger all about LA Noire aside from its delay two years ago. Not a promising sign at all. In fact we won’t be surprised if a canning is announced some time this year.

Possible reveal: Given the mention of Agent, a different Rockstar IP, at Sony’s E3 09 conference, we’re tempted to suspect never.

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  • GaMeRGuY1oh4 - June 11, 2009 10 p.m.

    Some things were missing, like Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, a new Kirby, F Zero, Star Fox, Earthbound, Zelda, lots more. Hopefully we will see this next year. reCAPTCHA: 13)National micky
  • Demonflare - June 9, 2009 1:52 p.m.

    Ive been waiting for my computer to load forever, for this article...? XP
  • jar-head - June 9, 2009 3 a.m.

    man i love gr, thier predictions should rather be just actaull answers and not opinions
  • NorwegianKingOfNames - June 8, 2009 5:28 p.m.

    I am the Norwegian King of Names! Though I'm disappointed at the no-showing of games that are long overdue (Episiode 3 and Hitman 5 most of all), I certainly don't blame companies for not wanting to do their big reveal at the exact time of year about 2 dozen other companies are revealing their games. Think of how little an impact Beyond Good and Evil 2 would have got if revealed on the same day as Fable 3, Kid Icarus and a new Zelda? Alas, knowing this still does not ease my longing...
  • MacGyver1138 - June 8, 2009 3:54 p.m.

    I'm with Mr. Tamborineman, I would love to know what is happening with Battlefront 3. Last I heard, they had quit work on it, but I would hope someone else picked it up to continue work.
  • Defguru7777 - June 8, 2009 1:40 a.m.

    Stupid swine flu. Gettin' in the way of Dead Rising 2 goodness. I don't have Left 4 Dead, but I really think Valve should have announced HL2: E3 before L4D2. I was really disappointed by the lack of Zelda. I wouldn't mind if they didn't have anything to show yet, but Miyamoto showed that artwork behind closed doors. The least Nintendo could do was say "hey, we're working on this right now." That's what they did for GTA: Chinatown Wars last year.
  • DrRock - June 6, 2009 8:16 p.m.

    I'm suprised there haven't been screens or videos from Bioshock 2. I want to see some videos of the multiplayer.
  • Mrtambourineman - June 6, 2009 7:29 p.m.

    I'm still desperatly waiting for more news on star wars battlefront 3 :P
  • monojono - June 6, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    You didnt mention kid icarus wii? Or has everyone just accepted non-announcements for that? @adertyoshock: sorry, duke nukem forever is dead. Its creators went bust.
  • PS360Rulez - June 6, 2009 5:10 a.m.

    oryandymackie you rly think that kind of thinking doesnt exist these days. Homesexuality is one of the biggest issues in the nation you moron. Especially with California recently upholding a ban on gay marrage.
  • assasin - June 6, 2009 5:09 a.m.

    Why does it say that i posted that comment 11 months and 30 days ago? I only posted it a few minutes ago. I think it means 11min and 30sec ago.
  • DrRock - June 6, 2009 2:43 a.m.

    Do we really another Kane/Lynch game. I think not. I can't believe we're getting another Army of Two Douchebags game. What, wasn't one fist pumping, homoerotic game enough for one generation we need another. This time we get to see how big of tools they actually look like. Maybe they'll have a mini game called "Dick Jenga".
  • RedOutlive10 - June 6, 2009 1:45 a.m.

    @CRYPTONiC: it's funny to hear that because Call of Duty games followed Half-Life's standard first-person-always perspective, even during storytelling. I was also expecting more info on Mafia II, but you guys hit the nail on the head with Wii Zelda and Rare games (Banjo Kazooie most likely).
  • RaIdEn - June 6, 2009 1:28 a.m.

    im very disapointed theres no sly 4. i waaaaaaaaant it!!!!!!!
  • iKOemos - June 6, 2009 1:08 a.m.

    I will wait for HL: EP3. As long as it turns out a masterpiece like the other games, I will be happy. And I trust Valve to do a bloody good job.
  • MechGyver - June 5, 2009 9:50 p.m.

    "Dude, whats wrong with your eye" - subtitle for the Dead Rising 2 pic...
  • CRYPTONiC - June 5, 2009 9:49 p.m.

    half life sucks all i care about is modern warfare 2
  • shadowless92 - June 5, 2009 8:48 p.m.

    yer i want a new half life its been way to long im guessing they will do half-life 3 cus it wouldnt take this long just to do another episode surely but i could be wrong
  • oryandymackie - June 5, 2009 6:38 p.m.

    Oh, and Jacob816, I think we're just a little bit past that kind of prejudice now. Maybe you should try the early 1900's?
  • Jacob816 - June 5, 2009 6:32 p.m.

    The inclusion of 'gay' in the title of the GTA pack wouldn't have anything to do with it not being at the MS presser would it? I hate to think that such a petty reason prevented it from showing, but I have a nagging feeling that if it had been called something else (even though it was the same content) it would have shown up.