It’s nearly that time of year again — E3 is almost here, and the entire gaming industry is already gearing up for its biggest event of the year. Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, and Bethesda will all take the stage. Nintendo will likely host another live-stream event. EA is planning its third adjacent EA Play show. Perhaps most importantly, this will be the second year where E3 is open to the public, with even more fans likely to be there. It’s a brave new world.
For most of us, though, E3 is all about the games, right? We’re keeping a running list of games that might make an appearance, from those that publishers have confirmed will be there, to the games making the rounds in the rumor mill. We’ll keep updating this list regularly as more news and rumors come our way, so keep checking back regularly to stay up to date!
The games we know will be there
Bethesda officially announced Rage 2 with a short, live action teaser, followed by a gameplay trailer on May 15. The game builds on the mixture of first-person shooting and driving we saw in the 2011 original, but with a more irreverent and colorful style that fits its over-the-top action. It’s being developed by Avalanche Studios — the team behind the Mad Max game and the Just Cause series — along with original Rage studio Id Software. Rage 2 is planned for a spring 2019 release and Bethesda promises more gameplay will be shown at E3 during its press conference.
‘Ghost of Tsushima’
Revealed at Paris Games Week 2017, Ghost of Tsushima is quite the change of pace for Sony’s Sucker Punch Productions, which spent the better part of the past decade developing its superhero Infamous series. Set in 13th century Japan, you play as a samurai on the island of Tsushima. The game will see you learn the samurai ways and ward off the invading Mongol Empire. Sony recently announced that Ghost of Tsushima would be one of four games featured in its press conference.
Metal Gear auteur Hideo Kojima’s first independent project has had us scratching our head for several years’ worth of Sony E3 presentations now. Other than its stellar cast that includes Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen — and a lot of very strange imagery — we know very little about the game itself. Sony recently promised an “extended look” at the game during its E3 presentation, though it’s not clear whether that will include actual gameplay or just more enigmatic cut scenes, as we’ve seen over the past few years.
Here’s everything we know about Death Stranding.
Insomniac debuted its PS4-exclusive Spider-Man at E3 2016 during Sony’s presentation. This is the first licensed game from the studio, which is well-known for its original platformers like Ratchet & Clank and Spyro the Dragon. Sony confirmed that the game will heavily feature in its E3 press conference, and given that the game will hit stores September 7, 2018, we fully expect it to be playable at the show this year.
Here’s everything we know about Spider-Man.
‘The Last of Us: Part II’
The Last of Us: Part II, a sequel to one of the PlayStation 3’s very best games, will flip the script of the original to an extent. This time you play mainly as Ellie, rather than Joel, and instead of themes centered around love, it will largely focus on hate. The Last of Us 2 skipped E3 2017, but Sony treated us to a brutal cinematic trailer at Paris Games Week 2017. Director Neil Druckmann confirmed at the 2017 PlayStation Experience in December 2017 that TLOU 2 would be at E3 2018, and we hope to finally see some gameplay from this long-anticipated sequel. Here’s everything we know about TLOU 2.
‘The Division 2’
Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment have announced The Division 2, a sequel to their 2016 open-world online shooter that’s set in a near-future pandemic-ravaged New York City. The publisher has provided no details so far about the setting or gameplay, but promised it would have more to share at E3 2018. The Division 2 is on track to launch before the end of Ubisoft’s current fiscal year on March 31, 2019.
‘Skull and Bones’
Unveiled at E3 last year, Skull and Bones is the result of turning the ship combat from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag into a full-fledged naval warfare piracy sim. Developed by Ubisoft Singapore, the studio responsible for the Assassin’s Creed’s ship combat, Skull and Bones has a campaign for solo players but the main focus seems to be the shared world multiplayer setting. Crews of up to six players can commandeer ships and set sail on the Indian Ocean to engage in combat, acquire loot, and customize your ship along the way. Ubisoft recently announced it would hold Skull and Bones until its 2019 fiscal year, but confirmed the game will be on display this year.
We played Skull and Bones for the first time last year at E3 2017. Read our hands-on preview.
BioWare revealed Anthem, its next big franchise, at Electronic Arts’ 2017 EA Play press conference. Departing from the studio’s history of single-player RPGs like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, Anthem is a Destiny-style open-world, cooperative shooter set in a futuristic realm where “Freelancers” wearing powered armor suits called “Javelins” help protect a walled city against the horrible monsters encroaching from outside. EA has promised “an inside look” at Anthem at EA Play 2018, though with an “early 2019” launch window, it may not be playable at this phase.
Check out everything we know about Anthem here.
‘Super Smash Bros. for Switch’
With Zelda, Mario, and his Karts all squared away on the Switch, Nintendo fans have been eagerly awaiting news about the inevitable next chapter of its franchise-spanning Super Smash Bros. fighting game series. Nintendo confirmed the Switch iteration during its March, 2018 “Nintendo Direct” broadcast, with a teaser trailer suggesting that Splatoon‘s inklings will join the fray. The last game came out in 2014, so we are eager to see how the franchise will have evolved and what new characters will be in the mix. Nintendo’s E3 presence will be centered around Smash, with a Super Smash Bros. Invitational taking place on June 12.
‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’
The next entry in Square Enix’s hugely popular reboot of the Tomb Raider action-adventure franchise skipped E3 last year, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be on display this year. Lara’s third adventure looks to wrap up her origin story and from our hands-on time, it’s clear that this will be Lara’s darkest adventure yet. The game is scheduled to launch on September 14 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
Read our hands-on preview.
Developer DICE went back to basics in 2016 with Battlefield 1, which took the long-running shooter series to the trenches of World War I. EA has confirmed that the next entry in the series, Battlefield V, will be playable at EA Play. EA has not confirmed any details about the game’s setting or new mechanics, but reports suggest it will return to the franchise’s roots in World War II. We’ll learn for sure May 23 during a reveal event, with more to follow at E3.
‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘
Activision is ready to crank out another Call of Duty game from its well-oiled machine of three studios working in rotation. Treyarch is back in the saddle for 2018, now that Activision has confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 12. The game will be officially unveiled at a community event on May 17 , and we wholly expect it to have a large presence on the floor the following month at E3.
EA Sports’ annual FIFA football/soccer series doesn’t always get a lot of mainstream coverage, but it’s quietly one of the most popular video game franchises on the planet. For the past two years, the publisher has debuted its annual entry at its EA Play event just before E3, so we look forward to seeing the latest iteration in June.
The Madden football franchise is the backbone of EA Sports and one of the longest continuously running video game franchises of all time. History dictates that the upcoming entry will arrive in August, just ahead of the NFL season. We don’t know any details about the cover athlete or gameplay features yet, but expect to learn more at EA Play in June.