Fact or fiction?
The biggest video game event of the year is nearly here! The Electronic Entertainment Expo gives developers and publishers a chance to show off their games for the coming year. While many of these titles have already been announced, we're always looking for more details on the top franchises and maybe some clues on the new IPs in the works for the next generation of consoles.
But who can be bothered to wait for hard info on these hot titles when we probably-maybe already know what we're going to say. How do we know? Well, how do you know the next Transformers movie is going to be terrible? Magic, and maybe a little intuition. Find out what games we're sure we'll set our eyes on, and get our predicted impressions on the following slides.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
What is it? The next installment in the Assassin's Creed series takes players on the high seas as Conner's pirate grandfather, giving players control over their own pirate ship and crew.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. Ubisoft has already revealed the game and we're sure they'll be bringing us new details at E3.
What we think we'll say about it: "The assassins' voyage away from city parkour is a fresh take on the series. Who wouldn't love living the pirate's life on their very own upgradable ship? The return of AC2's villa-style stronghold gives land lovers a fort to call their own as well."
What we likely won't say about it: "One thing we weren't expecting to see was the 50/50 gameplay ratio between the pirates of the past and the first-person shooting in the present day era."
Batman: Arkham Origins
What is it? Origins is the prequel to the Arkham stories, dropping you in the middle of Gotham City as you revisit some of the first encounters with Batman's most famous enemies.
Chances it'll be there: Somewhat likely. Warner Bros. wouldn't miss a chance give the Dark Knight a proper reveal, but the publisher hasn't confirmed that the game will have a presence.
What we think we'll say about it: "Batman: Arkham Origins opens up a world that is even bigger than Arkham City. Gotham's vast streets give Bats more freedom than ever before, and the inclusion of his trademark vehicles makes traversing the open-world even more of a thrill."
What we likely won't say about it: "The inclusion of a co-op storyline featuring Superman, Green Arrow, and the rest of the Justice League was completely unexpected."
What is it? Dice hasn't released its flagship Battlefield titles in such close proximity before, but here we are with a new sequel for the next generation consoles (and current-gen, too).
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. The game is announced, we've seen lengthy gameplay trailers, and it's one of the biggest shooters coming out this year. Plus, EA said Battlefield 4 will be there. So, it'll be there.
What we think we'll say about it: "The lights shining in our face, the dust blocking our view, and the dirt on our goggles all looked so real. It was unbelievable. With these intense, next-gen visuals, after all the expansion packs released, Battlefield 4 will be the shooter to be reckoned with."
What we likely won't say about it: "After playing through 30 minutes of the single-player campaign, we don't think we'll ever go back to the multiplayer."
What is it? The Wii U exclusive sequel to Platinum Games' action title, starring gaming's favorite, hairy witch.
Chances it'll be there: Somewhat likely. Even if Nintendo isn't doing a presser, you can expect the publisher to pull out the big guns and show off it's highly anticipated exclusive.
What we think we'll say about it: "The combat is as fast-paced as ever, and the touch screen gestures make it exceedingly simple to pull off Bayonetta's unique set of Torture Attack moves."
What we likely won't say about it: "Mapping the combat controls to Wii Remote gestures feels like a forced gimmick. And the optional peripherals that attach two additional Wii remotes to your feet is a bit much."
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
What is it? After years of wishy-washy development, 2K Marin finally lifted the curtain on its third-person, tactical shooter set in the '60s. Fight off the secret invasion of the Outsiders as Agent Carter from an up-close-and-personal perspective.
Chances it'll be there: Somewhat Likely. We've already gotten our hands on the game, and 2K should be eager to give players a chance to try it for themselves.
What we think we'll say about it: "The Bureau certainly had some big shoes to fill following the success of last year's Enemy Unknown, and it looks like real-time action isn't nearly the travesty everyone feared."
What we likely won't say about it: "It seems impossible that the gameplay has changed so dramatically since the last time we've seen the game, but dropping the tactical gameplay for all out action first-person shooting makes the game incredibly thrilling."
Call of Duty: Ghosts
What is it? Infinity Ward is ditching the Modern Warfare title in favor of a brand-new storyline and fresh characters. But of course, expect the return of its enormously popular multiplayer.
Chances it'll be there: Highly likely. Call of Duty:Ghosts is coming this holiday and E3 is the perfect time to release a tidal wave of info about the annual shooter.
What we think we'll say about it: "Ghosts is kicking the single-player shooter experience up a notch. The branching story paths are more expansive than Black Ops II's, but we're still waiting on the multiplayer details."
What we likely won't say about it: "Infinity Ward turned expectations on their head. Turns out the modern ghost squad in the trailer was a fake out. Future Warfare is here: space, lasers, and all!"
What is it? Halo creator Bungie's new shooter IP brings players into an open-world adventure in which you can meet up and interact with other players, embark on quests, and take on dungeons together.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. Bungie has already confirmed its attendance at E3, and you can bet they're bringing Destiny.
What we think we'll say about it: "When Bungie said it was making its next big shooter, the developer really meant big. Between adventuring with other players, crafting armor and weapons, and doing all of the other MMO-like activities, there is plenty of game to keep you occupied."
What we likely won't say about it: "After finally seeing the gameplay, we're not impressed with the MMO-style dice-roll gunplay."
Dragon Age III: Inquisition
What is it? Bioware's upcoming medieval fantasy RPG set in the world of Thedas. After the largely negative feedback from Dragon Age 2, the developers are rethinking the DA formula.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. Bioware has confirmed that Dragon Age III: Inquisition will be at E3.
What we think we'll say about it: "Bioware has taken the criticism it received from Dragon Age 2 and created a much broader adventure, allowing players to explore a vast open world. Once again, expect to see the political intrigue and fascinating characters the series is known for."
What we likely won't say about it: "We knew the developers were trying something different, but changing the combat to beat-em-up style action makes the game feel less like a Mass Effect-style RPG and more like a Golden Axe brawler."
Final Fantasy PS4
What is it? All we've seen of the game is somewhat of a tech demo/trailer that sort of looked like a Final Fantasy game. Then at Sony's PS4 announcement, Square Enix said a new Final Fantasy was coming. Your guess is as good as ours on this one.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. Final Fantasy brand director Shinji Hashimoto recently announced that the next Final Fantasy will debut at this year's E3.
What we think we'll say about it: "Excellent five-minute long, cinematic video--very beautiful."
What we likely won't say about it: "The one-hour, in-depth gameplay demo showed combat that took elements from Final Fantasy XIII and X. It will be interesting to see how intricate the battle system gets further along in the storyline."
The Legend of Zelda 3DS
What is it? The next 2D-style Zelda drops players in the world of the SNES's A Link to the Past, sporting a similar art style with up-to-date 3D visuals.
Chances it'll be there: Somewhat likely. Nintendo showed off the new game at the most recent Nintendo Direct event. While we're not sure if they will be showing anything new at E3, we have a strong feeling Links next adventure will make an appearance.
What we've said about it: "We've wanted a remake of the original SNES classic for a long time. Nintendo has struck a perfect balance between nostalgic gameplay and new elements using the 3DS's 3D visuals."
What we likely won't say about it: Despite how the first demo looked, we weren't prepared for the game to make such a dramatic change in perspective. Now, Link permanently stays in his 2D form on walls and adopts Zelda 2's challenging platforming."
Mario Kart Wii U
What is it? The game hasn't been officially revealed yet, but Nintendo has confirmed that a Wii U specific Mario Kart is on the horizon.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently revealed that Mario Kart Wii U will be revealed at E3 2013.
What we think we'll say about it: "With each iteration of Mario Kart, Nintendo finds new ways to innovate--and the Wii U version appears to be no different. With a robust level creation tool and some interesting new items, Mario Kart Wii U definitely has our attention."
What we likely won't say about it: "That said, we really don't know if we're interested in the hardcore violence. We like Road Rash as much as anyone, but watching Peach turned to bloody pulp on the asphalt? Too much."
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
What is it? It's still a bit difficult to tell what's happening from the early trailers, but Big Boss/Snake stars in the Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. The story probably centers around Snake's conflict with Major Zero, but we're sure the plot will be much more complicated than that.
Chances it'll be there: Highly likely. Konami has mentioned they will be pushing Metal Gear a E3 and series director Hideo Kojima love to make headlines at E3, so expect to see more soon.
What we think we'll say about it: "The Phantom Pain feels like a true Metal Gear title through and through. The tactical espionage action is back, and now Snake has even more sneaking and combat abilities thanks to his technologically advanced arm."
What we likely won't say about it: "Kojima has done it again! The Phantom Pain trailers were just a ruse. You won't play as Snake. Get ready to play the game training as the child soldier, Jack the Ripper."
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
What is it? The GameCube classic is getting a makeover with the improved graphics hardware in the Wii U. Now the beautifully cell-shaded visuals of the original game will be even more beautifully cell-shaded on Wii U.
Chances it'll be there: Somewhat likely. If Nintendo plans on releasing the remake anytime this year, this would be the time to get the hype train on the spirit tracks. If you catch our meaning.
What we think we'll say about it: "Wind Waker not only looks better than the original, but it also plays great, allowing the touch screen controls to make nautical navigation a breeze."
What we likely won't say about it: "Finally, with the Wii U's GamePad, the full functionality of the Tingle Tuner can be realized!"
Respawn Entertainment's game
What is it? We have absolutely no idea what Respawn has been hiding. Is it the Call of Duty killer? Is it even a shooter? We'll find out at E3.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. In a response to Jason West leaving Respawn, Vince Zampella mentioned the developer will be at E3 to show off the new game.
What we think we'll say about it: "Infinity Ward made its name on modern combat. What comes after the bullets, shrapnel, and nuclear missiles of Modern Warfare? Space and lasers of course."
What we likely won't say about it: "We're not too sure how successful Respawn's 'authentic warfare' approach will fare against the other, fast-paced shooters out there."
Saints Row IV
What is it? Saints Row is basically Grand Theft Auto on cocaine. Expect to once again take on the role of a Saint and wreak havoc on the city streets with fire trucks, super powers, and giant purple dildos.
Chances it'll be there: Somewhat likely. As far as we know, Deep Silver still plans on releasing the next Saints Row at the end of the year, and have said that it plans on having new info on the game soon. E3 sounds like a good time to do that.
What we think we'll say about it: "Saint's Row IV has become more City of Heroes than outrageous Grand Theft Auto. We will say that being the President of the United States and having superpowers is probably the absolute best person to be in an open-world sandbox."
What we likely won't say about it: "Surprisingly, the alien invasions and supernatural abilities make the gameplay more tame than previous titles."
Super Mario Wii U
What is it? All we know is that Nintendo is working on a Wii U 3D Super Mario title. Can it be the next Galaxy, or maybe even a new series? We'll have to wait and see.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. Nintendo has confirmed that it will be announcing the next game in the Mario series at E3.
What we think we'll say about it: "Mario returns in 3D, expanding upon Galaxy's gravity gameplay with a familiar item, Mario's magic cape, from Super Mario World."
What we likely won't say about it: "It's surprising to see the Mario series finally change its visual tone. The gritty realism of the strands of hair in Mario's mustache is simply breathtaking."
Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS
What is it? The fourth iteration in the Super Smash Bros. series, in which the mascots from Nintendo's most popular franchises battle it out in four-player matches.
Chances it'll be there: Highly likely. Nintendo revealed the game was being made for the Wii U and 3DS at last year's E3, so this year we're expecting to see the game in action.
What we think we'll say about it: "The new Smash Bros. roster has always had its surprises in the past, but adding characters like Mega Man--we didn't see that one coming."
What we likely won't say about it: "Although the Smash Bros. series has traditionally been a four-player party game, we can see why Nintendo decided to shift the series' focus to the Street Fighter-style fighter."
What is it? Ubisoft's new IP puts you in the shoes of hacker Aiden Pierce as he dishes out his own vigilante justice on streets of Chicago.
Chances it'll be there: Somewhat likely. Ubisoft hasn't shown much of their open-world shooter, but Watch Dogs just might take a backseat to make room for the developer's other announcements.
What we think we'll say about it: Aiden's Chicago combines the best of open-world games, tossing in a dash of Assassin's Creeds stealth mechanics with the mayhem of GTA.
What we likely won't say about it: "Ubisoft had mentioned that Aiden's actions in the game affected his world, but citizens patrolling the streets with torches and pitchforks seems like it's overkill."
What is it? There isn't much to know about this game yet, besides that it features Yoshi in the same aesthetic as Kirby's Epic Yarn.
Chances it'll be there: Highly likely. Nintendo has promised to show off a ton of upcoming Wii U games. With Yarn Yoshi already shown at a recent Nintendo Direct, we'd be surprised if we didn't get even more details at E3.
What we think we'll say about it: "We didn't think it was possible, but Yoshi is even more adorable than ever in yarn form."
What we likely won't say about it: "Despite the cute aesthetic, Yoshi has to be one of the most difficult Nintendo games in recent history. Those who thought Kirby's Epic Yarn was too easy are in for a surprise."
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
What is it: Geralt continues his story in a wide open-world that will take him to three distinctly different cities and many hostile environments in his personal journey to uncover his past.
How sure are we it'll be there: Somewhat likely. CD Projekt Red has mentioned they will be attending E3. That said, Wild Hunt isn't expected to arrive until 2014, and CD Projekt has said it does have other games in the pipeline.
What we think we'll say about it: "Now that Geralt is free to explore the open-world, the focus turns from his former political dealings to doing the things that witchers do, like hunting monsters and courting the ladies."
What we likely won't say about it: "While we enjoy the new, open world, we didn't expect the side-quests to involve this much drunken horseback riding."
Need for Speed (Next Gen)
What is it? Criterion is due for another installment in the Need for Speed series and dropping the arcady racer on next generation platforms is sure to turn some heads.
Chances it'll be there: Guaranteed. Along with several other popular gaming franchises, EA announced that the next title in the Need for Speed would be revealed at this year's E3.
What we think we'll say about it: "Need for Speed has consistently pushed the envelope with each of its racers; now with the fantastic damage physics made possible by the next-gen consoles, the realism has gone through the roof."
What we likely won't say about it: "Traditionally, Need for Speed has been car porn for racing gamers, but now Criterion has taken a turn for the worst with Need for Speed: Karting."
To be, or not to be...at E3
Those are some of the biggest games that may show up to this year's expo. Which games are you looking forward to learning more about? What games do you think will finally be revealed? Do you have any predictions on what you'll think of the upcoming titles? Let us know in the comments below.
While you wait for E3's doors to open, be sure to check out our article on The Top 7...Outstanding questions about the next Xbox and 25 upcoming 3DS games for 2013 and beyond and be sure to check back as we update this article with the latest developments on E3's biggest games.