The Curious Case of Splinter Cell
For many Tom Clancy fans, Splinter Cell was the last true franchise resulting from the man himself before he passed away. It was stealth that reimagined the format when the first Splinter Cell arrived in 2002. After a shake up to the game’s mechanics, Ubisoft opting for a more cinematic experience, the last Splinter Cell we got was Blacklist which arrived in 2013. Since then, many fans have wondered just what happened to Sam Fisher as he suddenly dropped off the radar, presumably amidst the decline of the stealth genre itself, giving way to live service systems that seemed to have no room for it.
What makes it a strong possibility for this year’s E3 is what Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot has to say about it. In a Reddit AMA, he states "Splinter Cell is a brand we talk about a lot. It's also personally one of my favorite series. We don't have anything specific to share at the moment but teams are working on different things, so stay tuned for more… We are receiving lots of sketches and proposals around the brand, and we're going to pick one up," he said. "I think you will be able to see something, but you will have to wait for that." Ubisoft is clearly aware there is money yet to be made in the name of Sam Fisher and, after Walmart Canada’s leak, his words seem suddenly more prophetic.
The Enticing Case of Rage 2
Who remembers Rage? It released in 2012 and, like many games built off the iD engine it was visually ahead of its time. Prior to its release, the title enjoyed a lot of hype which quickly deflated once gamers got their hands on it. The open world that Bethesda boasted at the time did not turn out quite so open with players driving through the same areas time and again. Rage suffered from overly formulaic and sometimes unclear side missions, a world brimming with scope but suffocated by how small it turned out to be. What little world design was there was undeniably brilliant though, and the gunplay was every bit as solid as you would expect from an iD built title.
In the end, Rage had a weird attempt at a cliffhanger for its take on a Mad Max world and gamers all around would remember the game’s strong redeeming features, expecting there to be more on the way. In other words – it was clear there was plenty more work to do to make this awesome world into the game it deserved to be. It’s a strong possibility for E3 as, in the grand scheme of things, we only just got Wolfenstein II and it’s unlikely the third will be announced so soon. To bridge the gap for that audience, what better than to reintroduce the world of Rage in a hopefully more fleshed out sequel?
The Predictable Case of Gears 5
Let’s be brutally honest for a moment. Gears of War is this generation’s Halo for Xbox and it’s also one of Microsoft’s few successful exclusive franchises. After introducing a host of new characters in Gears 4, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Microsoft had a new trilogy on the cards to flesh out their story arcs.
While it may be a little early to be revealing the next chapter for the Gears story, Microsoft needs it like a desert survivor needs water. If it were in development, it would still be in very early stages so if we did get anything, it would likely be a pre rendered thirty second trailer. Who knows – perhaps Microsoft will finally give us a release date for Crackdown 3 this year?
Other Titles We Expect
The biggest title everybody is holding their breath for is Cyberpunk 2077. Since development wrapped up for the Witcher 3’s Blood And Wine DLC, CD Projekt Red have been working tirelessly on the steampunk title alleged to be three times larger than The Northern Realms. Halfway through last year, the studio took on around three hundred new members of staff to speed up production although, a portion of this influx would have likely gone to help in the Gwent department.
The original teaser trailer (to this day, still the only footage we have for the game) released way back in 2012, before we saw any footage for The Witcher 3. CD Projekt Red are smart marketers. They know how to handle customer expectation. With that in mind, there’s a very strong chance that, after announcing attendance at this year’s E3, we’ll finally see some footage for what will undoubtedly be their next RPG masterpiece.
Square Enix have also confirmed attendance in the form of a press conference of their own for the first time in four years. Although a lot of footage has released for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, including cinematic trailers and combat gameplay, it is widely alleged that the development team have suffered a state of flux over the years. Different members of staff and creative directors have come and gone in the game’s early phases. That said, there’s every chance the team has found a little synergy since then and we may get a more solid reveal this year. A release date is something else altogether.
After the second in the Adam Jensen trilogy, Mankind Divided, many Deus Ex fans were left hanging with a sudden end to the game that barely qualified as a cliffhanger. While it would be nice to theorise on footage for the third and final chapter, it is highly unlikely. With just three months to go until release, Eidos Montreal were slapped with a new task to create the monetised “Breach” mode. They were also informed to wrap up on storytelling as Square Enix wanted to turn Adam Jensen’s story into a trilogy.
Where the real knife in the back comes for fans is that, later, Square Enix would do a deal with Marvel to make an Avengers game. After the roaring success of Marvel’s latest film, the time is ripe for Square Enix to unveil what they’ve been doing with the license now that they have it.
E3 2018 is the twenty fourth Electronic Entertainment Expo and will be held from 12th – 14th June at the Los Angeles Convention Center. You can also check the schedule of what's confirmed so far on the official E3 2018 page