E3 2011’s biggest no-shows

10 notable absences at an expo filled with awesome

To go to E3 is to experience total information overload. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, the coming year’s crop of games are huge, loud and practically screaming for your attention, all at once. Even with this year’s enormous showing, though, we couldn’t help but notice what wasn’t there. In fact, some of the games we were most looking forward to seeing were MIA, leaving us with no alternative but to lump them together in a list article about our over-entitled sense of disappointment.


1. The Last Guardian

We hate having to repeat ourselves, The Last Guardian, so why’d you have to go and make us? Just like at last year’s E3, the achingly beautiful story of a boy and his monster companion (recently delayed until 2012) was conspicuously absent from Sony’s press conference and show-floor booth. It wasn’t even revealed during any secret closed-door sessions, and apart from noticing that it wasn’t there, nobody really mentioned it.

We’ve known about Last Guardian since the striking 2009 trailer (above) leaked, and we’ve desperately wanted a crack at it ever since. Apart from a showing at last year’s Tokyo Game Show, though, new developments have been disappointingly scarce. How will it play? What’s its story about? And which one of the protagonists is the most likely to die at the end? We still don’t know.

True, Sony did do its best to tide us over; the upcoming Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection was playable, as was the decidedly Ico-esque Journey. None of those, however, involve feeding barrels to an adorable giant monster, so it just wasn’t the same. Looks like we’ll just have to hang on until developer Team Ico is finally ready to show this off – or until this year’s TGS, whichever comes first.

We’ve known about Last Guardian since the striking 2009 trailer (above) leaked, and we’ve desperately wanted a crack at it ever since. Apart from a showing at last year’s Tokyo Game Show, though, new developments have been disappointingly scarce. How will it play? What’s its story about? And which one of the protagonists is the most likely to die at the end? We still don’t know.

True, Sony did do its best to tide us over; the upcoming Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection was playable, as was the decidedly Ico-esque Journey. None of those, however, involve feeding barrels to an adorable giant monster, so it just wasn’t the same. Looks like we’ll just have to hang on until developer Team Ico is finally ready to show this off – or until this year’s TGS, whichever comes first.


2. Any news at all from Rockstar

This one wasn’t that big of a surprise, given that Rockstar doesn’t normally have an official presence at E3. However, that’s never stopped them from slipping in announcements and reveals during the show, such as the 2004 Game Informer reveal of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, or the announcements of GTA IV and Agent during the Microsoft and Sony press conferences (in 2006 and 2009, respectively).


Above: Confirmed or no, Max Payne didn’t make it to the show

With Max Payne 3 on the way, the announcement of 1970s spy thriller Agent already two years old, and the next GTA practically an open secret, we figured Rockstar would at least give us a taste of something. But no. The company kept silent, and we didn’t see so much as a shred of Max Payne 3 footage in a press-conference demo reel.

We probably should have seen this coming after Rockstar’s total absence from last year’s E3, but just the same, we never stopped hoping.


3. Metal Gear Solid: Rising

Though the bar was lowered by meandering Kinect demos, easily the best part of last year’s Microsoft press conference was Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima premiering gameplay from Metal Gear Rising after teasing the title at 2009’s E3. Metal Gear Rising, and Raiden’s return to the spotlight, are symbolically linked with E3, and yet this year (when we expected to see what else the game had on top of a very exacting sword-slicing mechanic), we got nothing. What should have been a chance for the once-reviled Raiden to shine is now turning into a fiasco.

Though Kojima said right before E3 that he wouldn’t be attending, and Konami didn’t mention Rising as part of their E3 showing, we held out hope for a shocking appearance at either Sony or Microsoft’s pressers. No dice. We were already concerned about the game’s progress, and now that it’s skipped the big show, suspicions that the game is on the brink of cancelation seem all but confirmed. If nothing is shown during September’s Tokyo game show, then we doubt Raiden will ever rise.


4. Beyond Good %26amp; Evil 2

Ever since it was first announced in 2008, the sequel to the critically beloved bomb Beyond Good & Evil has been shrouded in doubt. In the years since its announcement, we’ve seen a tiny trickle of news that’s included two videos, a rumor about its cancellation (which Ubisoft officially denied) and little else. For those of us with fond memories of the first game, it’s been a long wait – and it looks like it’s about to get longer.

Not only did BG&E2 not appear at E3 this year, but we got some surprising news: it won’t even appear at all during the current console generation. Delayed so that creator Michel Ancel could instead focus on Rayman Origins, the continuing adventures of alien-fighting photojournalist Jade and her pig-uncle Pey’j will be held back at least until the Wii U hits stores – or, more likely, until the next Xbox and PlayStation arrive, whenever that is. At least BG&E fans are used to waiting by now.

Not only did BG&E2 not appear at E3 this year, but we got some surprising news: it won’t even appear at all during the current console generation. Delayed so that creator Michel Ancel could instead focus on Rayman Origins, the continuing adventures of alien-fighting photojournalist Jade and her pig-uncle Pey’j will be held back at least until the Wii U hits stores – or, more likely, until the next Xbox and PlayStation arrive, whenever that is. At least BG&E fans are used to waiting by now.

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