This is why we can't have nice things anymore. E3 is no longer one week of unexpected surprises and show-stopping announcements, but two weeks, with the first completely undermining the second by leaking every new game reveal possible.
After Rage 2 (opens in new tab), Hitman 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey (opens in new tab), Fortnite (opens in new tab) on Switch, and Gears of War 5, I didn't think we could have anything else spoiled for us before the press conferences, but no, Just Cause 4 (opens in new tab) has been unofficially revealed for the second time via a telling advertisement on Steam. Welp.
So what does the actual ad tell us? Well, it's called Just Cause 4, mainline protagonist Rico Rodriguez is returning (with his iconic grappling hook intact), and apparently he's caught up in some bad weather?
Given the emphasis on the stormy climate, my money's on the sequel being set on some tropical island in the Pacific, likely a fictional island in keeping with developer Avalanche Studio's tradition for imagining fake Banana Republics for Rodriguez to liberate.
Despite the "Pre-Purchase Now" tagline, clicking on through the ad just leads back to the Steam Store homepage (opens in new tab), so this was definitely an accidental slip-up that nevertheless confirms what we already suspected.
This leak comes after Walmart Canada (opens in new tab) also showed a listing for a Just Cause 3 (opens in new tab) sequel, but today's informal Steam reveal is rather more unfortunate in that Avalanche Studios only just announced its new IP, Generation Zero, yesterday. Now all of the limelight is going to be eaten up by Just Cause 4, which was probably awaiting a more official announcement during Square Enix's E3 conference on Monday.
This means Avalanche Studios has been a very busy bee indeed, working on three projects presumably all at once (it's co-developing Rage 2 with id Software), all of which are ambitious, big budget titles. The studio's acclaimed pedigree is strong, and it has multiple branches working across the world, but one wonders whether Avalanche is biting off more than it can chew with so many fingers in so many pies.
I hope my scepticism about that is proven wrong, and perhaps the inevitable reveal trailer for Just Cause 4 will help to alleviate some of those concerns, because I need more to go on than just an angry man staring at the thunder with murderous intent.