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
‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was likely meant to be a surprise announcement for E3, but after French site Jeuxvideo posted an image of a promotional keychain for the game on May 31, Ubisoft made it official. The game appears to take players to Greece this time around, as both the keychain and a soldier in the game’s five-second teaser trailer show off a Spartan helmet.
‘Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!’ and ‘Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!’
The next core role-playing Pokémon game won’t arrive to the Switch until the latter half of 2019, but two other games are in the works that look just as exciting. Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! are fully 3D adventure games for the Switch, and they allow you to catch Kanto-region creatures and battle other trainers. The game features connectivity with Pokémon Go on mobile devices, and a special Pokéball Plus accessory can be used in place of a traditional Joy-Con controller. If you have a friend, you can both explore the world together and team up to catch more powerful monsters. Both titles are out November 16.
Bethesda delivered a surprise game announcement shortly before E3 when it revealed Fallout 76. Details on the game are scarce — we don’t know the genre or release window — but according to Kotaku, the game will feature online connectivity and is being developed by Bethesda Game Studios in both Maryland and Austin. If the official teaser trailer is anything to go by, the game could take place in 2076, before nuclear bombs destroyed much of Earth.
‘Mega Man 11’
Mega Man 11 is shaping up to be the classic Mega Man experience that lifelong fans have been waiting for, but with a new, modern visual style that is everything Might No. 9 wasn’t. Making use of a new “Double Gear” system, Mega Man can slow down time or power up his own Buster shots to get the drop on enemies and do some serious damage, and new bosses like Fuse Man pose an enormous challenge. The game arrives this October, so expect to see a good look at gameplay footage during E3.
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.
‘Starlink: Battle for Atlas’
Ubisoft’s attempt to evolve the toys-to-life genre, Starlink: Battle for Atlas lets players attach toy spaceships to their PS4, Xbox One, and Switch controllers. We haven’t heard much about the Ubisoft Toronto-developed space adventure since it was revealed at E3 last year, but it will be on hand at E3. It’s expected to launch later this year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Check out everything we know about Starlink: Battle for Atlas here.
Video games meet film in Transference, Ubisoft Montreal’s psychological thriller made in collaboration with production company Spectrevision. The game takes players through re-created memories of a man’s descent into madness, and features branching narrative rife with puzzles and secrets. Announced at E3 last year, Transference was originally slated for a spring launch. It obviously will miss that window, but Ubisoft will show off Transference at E3 again this year. Although the game seems to be designed with VR in mind (PSVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive), it’s also in development for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
‘Beyond Good and Evil 2’
Although Beyond Good and Evil 2 made an appearance at E3 2017 with a cinematic trailer, the prequel to the cult classic adventure game Beyond Good and Evil could very well still be years away. The original launched in 2003 and due to underwhelming sales, the planned trilogy was put on hold. The follow-up has resurfaced sporadically over the last decade only to go dark for extended periods. So far, we know the game will feature character customization, online co-op, and a much meatier experience than its predecessor. Considering the game is confirmed for E3, perhaps it’s further along in development than previously expected.
‘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, in addition to throwing sensible numbering conventions out the window, will be playable at EA Play. During a May 23 reveal event, EA confirmed rumors that the series would return to World War II in Battlefield V.
‘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.
‘Madden NFL 19’
The Madden football franchise is the backbone of EA Sports and one of the longest continuously running video game franchises of all time. Madden NFL 19 launches August 19 on PS4 and Xbox One. So far, we know former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens will be on the cover of the special edition, and updates have been made to the franchise and Ultimate Team modes. Madden NFL 19 will be on hand at EA Play, where we expect to learn more about this year’s iteration.
‘Just Cause 4’
Avalanche Studios hasn’t announced or even hinted at a fourth game in the Just Cause series, but the game popped up on the same Walmart Canada listing that included the new Splinter Cell game and Rage 2. A few weeks later, the game briefly popped up on as a Steam advertisement, so we fully expect to see it during the Square Enix conference on June 11.
Just Cause 3 was released in 2015 to mixed reviews, many of which mentioned technical issues, but the extra time with current-generation systems could lead to a more stable sequel.
Long featured on vaporware lists, Crackdown 3 was MIA for a while after Phil Spencer revealed the sequel, which was already anticipated at that point, at E3 2014. You play as super-powered, elite cops in a dystopian city in the future, taking down vicious crime syndicates and wrecking the game’s thoroughly destructible environments along the way. We tried it out at E3 2017.
Crackdown 3 was scheduled for a “Spring 2018” release after several delays, but Microsoft has since pushed it to February 2019. The publisher confirmed the game will appear at its E3 press conference on June 10.
Here’s everything we know about Crackdown 3.