Top 10 Under the Radar E3 2012 Games.
Space Penguin #1 : Zombie Curse on the Planet Spastica, out Wednesday 23rd of May, 6pm BST/1pm EDT.
My E3 Predictions Blog will be released next week, hopefully along with a review of Metro 2033 as well.
Before we start this off, I suppose I should explain what I mean by "Under the Radar." I don't mean strictly independent, never before heard of games, I mean games that have been announced to little fanfare, or been announced last year or the year before and have since slipped into obscurity. So you won't be seeing Call of Duty, Halo, Assassin's Creed, Mario or Zelda on this list, but that doesn't necessarily mean some big franchises won't show up. Okay? Well, let's get this party started!
10. Lego Lord of the Rings.
What's that? You've never heard of this game? Well that's because it hasn't been officially announced yet. How do I know it exists? Well because it's advertised on the back of the Lego sets it's inspired by! Yes, in a tradition that spans back to the days when I myself used to buy Lego, a video game has been leaked preemptively by a toy. Lego have a history of doing this, going so far as to advertise a Bionicle game that never came to be. Anyhoo, Lego Lord of the Rings was practically a given anyway considering the trilogy layout that they so like to use as well as the popularity of the brand both as a film series and a game franchise. If it's going to be announced soon you can bet it will either be at E3 or slightly before, and I for one cannot wait to see it. Just make a Lego Avengers game and you can have all my moneys Lego!
9. Battleblock Theater.
For the third year in a row this game graces an E3 anticipation list of mine. Like the best indie games this is taking its sweet ass time to come out and there's not even any solid proof it'll be at E3 anyway. So why is it on the list? BECAUSE I'M A DREAMER DAMMIT! Whilst The Behemoth are unlikely to have a stand at E3 itself, if the game is to be released this year you can be damn sure Microsoft will want to plug it. Why? Because Castle Crashers was the first big hit of XBLA and continues to stay in the monthly Top 20 charts 5 years after its release! If Microsoft is talking about Arcade titles this year, and Battleblock Theater is coming out, then you can be damn well sure it'll be there. The game keeps looking better and better every year I make this list...who knows, maybe this year will be the year we finally get it!
Announced two years ago at the 2010 VGA's, we haven't heard a peep out of Guillermo del Toro's first foray into gaming since. And I'm thinking that this E3 will be the time inSANE finally steps into the spotlight. Promising a unique and chilling survival horror experience from the twisted mind that brought you Pans Labyrinth, you'd be forgiven for being hyped for this game already despite having only seen a 40 second teaser that provided no clue as to the style of the game beyond what will clearly be a gruesome and spine-tingling atmosphere. Now we know that THQ won't have a booth this year due to their continued financial troubles but with a tentative 2013 release date, if we don't see some kind of trailer for the game this year it will probably be time to start assuming the worst.
7. Respawn's first game.
Now I can't find a source to back me up on this, but I'm pretty sure that EA confirmed we'd get our first look at newly formed studio Respawn's first game at E3 this year. Having been in the works for 2 years and with 2 blurry teases already released thus far it would come as a great surprise to me if we didn't get our first glimpse of the game at EA's annual conference. What is it about? What type of game is it? I don't know, but with the brains behind the Modern Warfare games free to create a new I.P without the nazi style control of Activision gripped around them, I really want to know.
6. Splinter Cell 6.
Another unconfirmed but practically inevitable reveal, we've known a new Splinter Cell has been coming for over a year now, and we had the above leak before last year's E3 to confirm it (I went so far as to predict its reveal last year, but it didn't happen) this year we must be in for at least a teaser trailer during Ubisoft's Conference if not a full gameplay reveal. Nowadays companies like Ubisoft try their best to release franchise titles on an annual basis, it's been 2 years since Conviction, so it's highly unlikely we won't get our first look at E3. What will the plot be? Will Sam Fisher still be the main character? Who knows, but here's hoping it's just as good as the brilliant Conviction if not even better.
5. Epic Mickey : Power of Illusion.
So, now that we know Epic Mickey 2 will be a musical, I must admit my interest has waned. Personally I'm not big on musicals, even Disney ones (Campy and fun as they may be) so I can't say I'll be first in line to give the main game a go. The 3DS spin-off on the other hand? Yes please! Whilst I don't yet know enough to get super excited for the 2D sidescroller, It certainly has my interest with its good looks and promise of retro Disney goodness. I'm hoping that E3 will give me a more in depth look at the title as so far the only in-game footage we've had is what you see above. I'm prepared to be disappointed, after all it's a Disney licensed handheld game, but more surprising things have happened, right?
4. Tomb Raider.
Okay so this isn't exactly "under the radar" in the strictest sense but we've literally heard fuck all about the long in development 2nd reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise since last E3, where it wasn't even playable. Considering it's supposed to be coming out this Winter, I'd say they've been very under the radar with this game. Having officially been announced 3 years ago, and having been known about for another year before that, it's about time we got a proper look at this game really. So far all we've had is a, admittedly impressive but no less short gameplay walkthrough and a very impressive CGI trailer to wet out appetites. This E3 will be the one where we see this game properly...but I'm thinking we won't actually get the game until 2013 regardless.
3. The Amazing Spider-Man.
Yeah, I know, an odd choice for something so high up but I've always held a special place in my heart for the web-head, particularly the endlessly enjoyable Spider-Man 2 Game. When you have what is essentially a spiritual sequel to that game (My words not there's) in the cards and it looks as good as it does...you'll forgive me for getting a tad excited. Now, I seem to be the only one really excited for the upcoming film, it looks fantastic! But I'm sure there's a lot of people hoping and praying that it's video game sequel (That comes out before the film...which makes no sense) will be as good if not better than Spider-Man 2. That said, we have yet to see any proper gameplay from it, which should really have caused alarm bells to start ringing in my head. Which is why I'm looking to E3 and Activision's inevitable booth presence to quell my fears, or confirm my worst fears. The game looks great, and can you really go wrong with a sandbox Spidey game? We'll find out this E3...
2. Bungie's next game.
Now this is a tricky one to talk about. We don't even know if it's going to be revealed at all, although we can heavily presume it will be. Bungie, now free from the reigns of Microsoft and in the....urrr...regins of Activision are working on an all new I.P, and when you consider that these guys created the Halo franchise, one of the biggest series' in gaming, you've got reason to be very excited indeed. It's highly amusing, at least to me that we've got two big studios in the way of EA and Activision both once again competing, EA poached some of the talent behind Call of Duty...so what did Activision do? Poach the talent from Microsoft, someone they often partner with. Which leaves me to wonder at whom's conference this will be announced. Will it be a surprise Wii U exclusive? No, no it won't.
1. Lego City Stories.
It's a Lego sandwich! Yes, I know, once again it's an odd choice for number 1 but as a kid who grew up with the Lego Island games, the promise of a next-gen Lego sandbox game is too exciting to ignore! I'd imagine most of you forgot about this very peculiar reveal at Nintendo's E3 Conference last year, keeping mum on all but one of their Wii U exclusives, which happened to be a Lego game, but we didn't see anything more than a few screenshots, which looked to me like proof of concept rather than actual in-game shots. We've heard fuck all since, but if it still exists it will be at E3, and it will be on display as part of Nintendo's much anticipated Wii U reveal. I know I'm probably the only one excited for this but I can't help it. Blame nostalgia! Who knows, it might be amazing! IT MIGHT! DON'T SAY IT WON'T! HOW COULD YOOOOOU! *Sobs*