E3 09: Where are the missing games?

We expected them. They snubbed us. Here's why that might be

We still haven’t seen a jot of the proper HD editions of Codemasters’ upcoming F1 game. Which is a shame, as it’s a ludicrously exciting prospect given their pedigree. With the Wii and PS2 versions already shown, we’re surely due a look soon.

Above: Screen from the Wii's F1 2009

Our explanation: Warner Bros. Interactive publish Codies’ output in the US, so it was they who went along to the show rather than the British outfit. With the game being developed in-house, we doubt Warners gets much say in when it’s shown.

Possible reveal: Germany again. Codemasters are always there. The only thing that would stop its appearance would be fear of a clash with Codies’ Dirt 2.

The Wii still hasn’t had its own Zelda game and Nintendo really had to please the hardcore this year. Iwata confirmed at E3 08 that the Zelda team is hard at work, so a trailer at E3 09 then? No. We got a vague piece of artwork instead.

Our explanation: A Zelda game that makes proper use of motion control will be a very complicated thing to design. Doubly so with WiiMotion Plus to consider now. Miyamoto rarely takes the obvious route and is notorious for “flipping the table” on projects he isn’t happy with. It’s coming, but it might take a while.

Possible reveal: The Tokyo Game Show. Forget Cologne. Nintendo didn’t even turn up to Leipzig last year.

Pikmin however, should be fairly straightforward to design for the Wiimote. Miyamoto mentioned it at E3 09. So where is it?

Above: Screen from the New Play Control Pikmin remake on Wii

Our explanation: It was probably held back to avoid conflicting with sales of the New Play Control remake of the original game.

Possible reveal: Probably TGS again.

The new GTA IV DLC add-on was revealed just before the show with naught but a logo and a vague scenario. Big E3 show-off for Microsoft? Not a peep of it.

Above: Screen from GTA IV: The Lost and Damned

Our explanation: GTA makes its own hype, as our rapid (and rather excellent, we must say) speculation piece proved, so a big push maybe isn't needed yet. Also, MS won’t want to shoot it’s exclusive GTA load too soon, so expect this one to be drawn out for a little while.

Possible reveal: Character trailers and previews are likely to star seeping through just after the summer, we reckon, with a release around November. Rockstar needs a big Christmas title, and a GTA IV + DLC box-set collection would be a perfect schedule filler, would it not?

Jonathon Ross seemed to blow the lid on this one after the BAFTA game awards, tweeting that Peter Molyneux had offered him a voicing role in Fable II’s follow-up. So where is it?

Above: Screen from Fable II

Our explanation: Ross’ “revelation” is massively unofficial at best, and the exchange in question supposedly took place at a showbiz party, so who can tell how booze-fuelled the offer may have been. Plus Lionhead is obviously very busy simulating small boys at the moment.

Possible reveal: To be fair, this one could be a very long way off. Given Molyneux’s ambitious nature, it will probably end up using Natal integration, or it could even turn up on the next Xbox, years down the line.

Eidos’ Ian Livingstone confirmed both of these to be in production as recently as May, even going so far as to tout a September release for Kane & Lynch 2. So no E3 appearance? Really?

Above: Screen from the original Kane & Lynch

Our explanation: Dev team IO’s resources are split three ways at the moment. Having these two games plus Mini Ninjas on the go probably means that things are moving along a little slower than usual. And given the original Kane & Lynch’s reception, would you really want to throw a sequel into the E3 whirlwind and just hope for the best?

Possible reveal: Hitman could be a good while. If it keeps to Livingstone’s projected release date, expect Kane & Lynch 2 to be shown once the E3 hubub has calmed down and Eidos can show it to us on its own terms.

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Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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