E3 2021: The Games And Announcements We Really Want To See This Year
We’ve once again entered E3 season–that magical time of the year when the industry’s biggest companies and developers unveil their latest games. While this year’s festivities consist of digital-only events, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some exciting news coming. As we await what’s in store, the GameSpot team compiled their biggest predictions and wishes for E3 2021 and all its surrounding events. Below you can find what we dearly hope will get announced at the show, whether it’s realistic or a complete pipedream.
For more about the upcoming festivities, be sure to check out our E3 2021 schedule feature, which details when it’s happening, where to watch all the streams, and who’s participating this year. And stay tuned all month long for Play For All, GameSpot’s event that will feature coverage of E3, other summer events, and a charity effort to raise money for AbleGamers.
From Software Finally Shows Elden Ring
I don’t think I need to remind any From Software fan reading this about how long it’s been since we last had major Elden Ring news. (Nearly two years since it was announced, but who’s counting?) Since then, we’ve had virtually no news about the game… and that’s okay. Personally, I would far prefer a game be given the time it needs to be the best experience possible, and have fewer game-breaking bugs. Between Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, Hidetaka Miyazaki, at this point, has proven himself to be a true auteur of incredible gaming experiences–and that certainly deserves our patience and understanding. Well, from me, at least.
But as E3 2021 will mark two years since the first teaser trailer we saw, I feel like we can finally raise our hopes that we’ll actually hear something about this long-awaited game. And, personally, I couldn’t be more excited for that prospect. — Dave Klein, Video Producer
A Teaser For Spider-Man 2
Insomniac has built up some incredible momentum over the last few years. Jumping off the success of Marvel’s Spider-Man, it helped usher in the new generation with both a cross-gen Miles Morales spin-off and the upcoming PS5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. With the studio juggling so many projects, it’s probably too early to expect a full follow-up to the 2018 Spider-Man so soon, but now would be a great time to start teasing it.
The first game was too successful not to start production on a follow-up immediately, and the plot left enough lingering threads that I can’t wait to see what comes next. Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a nice way to revisit the world and establish Miles as his own hero who can fight alongside Peter Parker, but as a cross-gen game it could only push the limit so far. If what we’ve seen from Ratchet is any indication, Insomniac is capable of much more when dedicated to the new generation. Showing us a hint of what’s to come, even if not until holiday 2022, would be a big, bold move from Sony. — Steve Watts, Associate Editor
Confirmation Of An Indie-Packed Second Half Of 2021
2021 has seen some great indies so far–I’m currently obsessed with Knockout City, but games like Loop Hero, Good Lookin’ Home Cookin’, and Little Nightmares II have also stolen my heart. And I’m pretty sure these good times will keep on rollin’ since indie teams, given their traditionally small size and working-from-home setups, were able to weather the storm that was 2020 a little bit better than their AAA counterparts.
So throughout E3 2021, I predict that we’ll finally get some release dates for those upcoming indie games currently slated to come out “soon” or “2021.”
I’d love to finally see actual dates for 12 Minutes, Death’s Door, Dustborn, Gestalt: Steam & Cinder, Grime, Harold Halibut, Lake, Open Roads, The Outlast Trials, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, Road 96, Soup Pot, and Sifu (I could go on, but I’m being told these entries have a word limit).
Normally, I’d predict Hollow Knight: Silksong news, but Matthew Griffin (who handles marketing for Team Cherry) has already broken my heart by saying that . So yeah, E3, you can make this right by giving us more indie game release dates instead. — Jordan Ramée, Associate Editor
The Return Of Advance Wars
Advance Wars has been dormant for well over a decade now despite each entry on DS and GBA being a solid, well-received tactical strategy game. Aside from the references in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (which are nice but don’t count for much given how widely Nintendo cast that net), it’s been a rough period for fans of Intelligent Systems’ franchise.
At the time of this writing, we don’t yet know if Nintendo will even host an E3 press conference, but if it decides to make announcements in June, I’m hoping an Advance Wars revival is among them. A remastered collection of the existing games with online multiplayer would be nice, but I’m more interested in a brand-new entry that continues to build on the established framework. We’ve seen other games (like Wargroove) do a commendable job on this front in lieu of anything from Nintendo, but I’d welcome that Intelligent Systems touch–and a return of those catchy soundtracks. — Chris Pereira, Senior Editor
A New Splinter Cell Game That Doesn’t Use Every Ubisoft Trope
It has become something of a joke each E3–a sad, disheartening joke. I wait with bated breath as Ubisoft holds its yearly press conference, announcing new IP, the latest in series like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, and new expansions for long-running multiplayer games.
And no Splinter Cell.
2021 is the year that has to change. It has been nearly eight years since the last one, and though an Oculus-exclusive VR game is in the works, Ubisoft has to realize how much fans want a new, full-length Splinter Cell game. My only concern is that this game would fall victim to some of Ubisoft’s recent design tropes, including an exceedingly large world, needless RPG mechanics, and a focus on live-service or always-online elements. Sam Fisher doesn’t need to follow trends. He just needs to stay in the dark with his trusty trifocal goggles, karambit knife, and silenced Five-SeveN pistol. — Gabe Gurwin, Associate SEO Editor
Halo Infinite Brings The Goods
After a year-long delay, Halo Infinite is finally releasing this holiday, and E3 2021 should be a massive event for the game. Multiplayer is the bread and butter of Halo, and to date, we’ve seen precisely zero non-campaign gameplay footage. So I’m hoping to see 343 go big and offer a deep-dive look at Halo Infinite multiplayer across the standard, expected Slayer modes, as well as whatever exciting new innovations the studio no doubt has in the works. I’d also like to hear 343 talk about why Halo Infinite is going for free-to-play multiplayer this time and how the game will avoid becoming pay-to-win or bogged down by microtransactions.
On the campaign side, 343 needs to show everyone that last year’s poorly received campaign demo was a one-off. We need to see more of what makes the grappling hook exciting and new, and perhaps more notably, I’m hoping the game simply looks better to match those stunning PC screens that the studio shared earlier this year.
2021 is the 20th anniversary of Xbox and the Halo brand, and I’m hoping and expecting that Microsoft goes big to use E3 to showcase why the world should care about Halo once again. It’s never a good idea to bet against the Master Chief. — Eddie Makuch, Associate Editor
(Almost) Anything About Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2
After years of waiting, Final Fantasy VII Remake finally made its big appearance last year, and more than lived up to my expectations. Honestly, I was expecting to find a return to FF7 to be a cringey look back at my teen years as a devoted Squaresoft JRPG fan, but Remake did a phenomenal job of preserving what was great about FF7 and updating a lot of what wasn’t, and I wound up having a blast playing it. Now, however, we’re in the hangover fog of waiting for a huge game to slowly roll out in pieces, and it sucks. I’m excited for the upcoming Intergrade DLC, but let’s be honest–there’s no way that’ll do anything but remind me I’m stuck waiting for the next full part of FF7 Remake.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
So it would be very nice if Square Enix would at least do the courtesy of dropping some new Remake information during E3. Like some screenshots. Or a video. Or a release date. It’d really be nice not to have to wait years to hear more about how the story will continue, and more importantly, when it’ll continue–although given Square Enix’s past track record in that regard, I’m not exactly holding my breath in anticipation of much new information. — Phil Hornshaw, Editor
Remedy’s Next Thing
Alan Wake lives. It was clear in the vanilla version of Control that Remedy Entertainment’s cult classic novelist protagonist was not only linked to that world but potentially on his way to a comeback–and the AWE expansion released after the game’s launch removed all doubt. Control is a game that lives in my brain, sprouting out of my subconscious like an unknowable and possibly sentient office building hiding in the middle of New York, and I’m never far from stray thoughts about the weird and fascinating world Remedy has built. The world of Alan Wake is one I’ve wanted to see more of since it was released way back in 2010, and I love Remedy’s take on psychological and supernatural horror. That the two things could be the same place, and their best elements mixed together, sounds like something aimed directly at me personally.
So I am extremely keyed up to hear what Remedy is working on next. We’re now nearly two years out from Control’s launch, which means it might be about time to find out what’s next for Remedy. The studio is one of my favorites, and it has set the table for an incredibly intriguing continuation of two favorites. Hopefully it’s time for an appetizer that’ll let us know what’s coming next. — Phil Hornshaw, Editor
An Appearance From Metal Gear Solid
Nothing has hurt more than being a Metal Gear Solid fan these past several years. It’s a franchise I’ve adored for decades that’s effectively dead at the moment–a reality that’s honestly depressing. Seriously, how is it that publisher Konami can allow such renowned IP to be absent for so long? It astounds me, but I can’t help but be optimistic that Konami is planning something big to redeem these years of general inactivity.
Now’s the time for Metal Gear to come back!
After the drama of MGS developer Hideo Kojima’s departure, Konami took some big hits to its public image and has undergone massive internal changes. But with the games industry continually growing, I can’t imagine the company is genuinely staying its hand from AAA game development, especially when it’s sitting on a franchise as big as MGS alongside several other historically relevant IPs that garner immense passion from the gaming community. That much has been clear from its recent behavior, initially announcing that it would participate at E3 2021 to showcase its latest projects .
Despite not participating at E3 2021, I’m thinking Konami will still be using the occasion to let the world know its true intentions. In a bid to win back public approval and get back into making higher-profile games more consistently, I hope that Konami will announce that it’s bringing MGS back, but with the help of Sony. And my hope is that we’ll be told about this collaboration by Sony during its big summer PS5 press conference. Already there have been numerous floating around, which seems like a perfect way for Konami to bring back the series while also getting fans back on its side. There have also been rumors that on reviving an old franchise, so what better than MGS to start with? All this is hearsay at the moment, but I won’t let that stop me from dreaming!
I have a strong feeling that Konami intends to collaborate with Sony because I doubt it’s in a position to spearhead such a project alone. Konami has made good on supporting re-releases of its old back catalog in recent years, but when it comes to the herculean effort required to bring back MGS, Sony seems like the most likely candidate to help it do that. — Matt Espineli, Editor
Shin Megami Tensei V Gameplay And Release Date
I love Shin Megami Tensei. The mainline series’ surreal style and bleak, post-apocalyptic settings have always stuck with me more than the interpersonal drama of Persona. So that’s why I’m especially hoping that Atlus will use whatever Direct presentation that Nintendo plans around E3 2021 to debut gameplay for Shin Megami Tensei V and announce a release date.
In the past, we’ve only gotten cryptic trailers with brief glimpses of its main protagonist and the demonic forces that are pulling them into the conflict at hand. But I want to see how this game actually plays and what it’s like to explore its various locales. I want to learn more about its supporting cast and what exactly I’m up against this time around. If I can get even a sliver of raw, uninterrupted gameplay with a bit of story details, I’ll be happy.
Please, Atlus. Show us more SMT V, and tell us when it’s coming out. You owe it to us now that you’ve re-exposed the world to the brilliance of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Oh, and while you’re at it, please remaster the Raidou Kuzunoha Devil Summoner games! You know you want to! — Matt Espineli, Editor
A New Metroid Game For Switch
Although it doesn’t have the same mass-market appeal as the Legend of Zelda series, Metroid is also celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, and I’m hoping Nintendo will have some kind of Metroid-related announcement in store for E3 2021 to commemorate the occasion. After all, it’s been far too long since the company has released a new Metroid title; the last one to arrive was 2017’s Metroid: Samus Returns, and as excellent as that turned out to be, the fact that it was on 3DS rather than the more powerful Switch hardware was undoubtedly disappointing.
Of course, we know Metroid Prime 4 is on the way, but given that Nintendo completely restarted its development back in January 2019, that game is still likely quite a ways away from release. If Nintendo were to announce some other kind of Metroid game in the interim, such as a remaster of Metroid Prime Trilogy or a new 2D installment, it would make the wait for Metroid Prime 4 much more bearable. , so let’s make it happen, Nintendo! — Kevin Knezevic, Associate Editor
Nintendo Opens Up The N64 Vaults
As to whether or not Nintendo will do anything at E3–or its own separate Nintendo Direct–at this time is unknown. However, a manchild can dream, can’t he? And in my dreams, I imagine a world where Nintendo tells everyone to come on down and play some Nintendo 64 games. And what better place to bring them to than Nintendo Switch Online?
Whether people want to relive yelling “No Oddjob” at their friends during a game of GoldenEye or feeling the pure frustration of being hit by a car on Toad’s Turnpike in Mario 64, there’s been a demand to be able to replay N64 games for years. And now the time feels right–especially to boost what Nintendo Switch Online offers its subscribers. Recent additions to the NES and SNES collections have been less than ideal for some, and while it’s probably really out of the question in this dream scenario, I’d love to be able to replay the WCW and WWF THQ games again or even Shadows of the Empire. Those specific games, including GoldenEye, may be tough to bring to Switch Online because of rights but opening the door to N64 games for subscribers is something Switch owners are clamoring for. But mostly, give me those WCW/WWF games ASAP.– Mat Elfring, Entertainment News Editor
An Actual Good-Looking WWE Game
After the debacle known as WWE 2K20, 2K took a year off from the long-running series with a promise of coming back better than ever. Now, the marketing push for WWE 2K22 has begun. What we need, though, is concrete evidence that the new game will actually “hit different” like the . Even 2K19, arguably the best wrestling title of the last decade, felt stale due to the franchise’s unwillingness to evolve.
For me, WWE 2K22 is the series’ last chance to redeem itself.
Now, after a year off and upcoming competition from AEW, 2K needs to put its best foot forward, and there’s no better place to do it than E3. It’s time to start showing off some footage of a game that is genuinely a step forward for the franchise. Give fans who have lost confidence–like myself–the incentive to actually shell out money for yet another WWE title. It also wouldn’t hurt to announce it’ll be available on the current generation of consoles. — Chris E. Hayner, Entertainment Editor
Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ 2.0 Update
It’s been more than a year since Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched, and while we’ve been getting a steady stream of updates in that time, the most recent one left much to be desired. Rather than ushering the game’s second year in with new events or features to keep the experience fresh, the 1.10 update merely made some slight tweaks to last year’s events, which felt very underwhelming for those of us who’ve been playing since the beginning.
Of course, the fact that update was named version 1.10 rather than version 2.0 suggests Nintendo still has bigger changes in store for the game, and that would be the perfect thing to highlight if the company airs a new Nintendo Direct for E3 2021. As for what the 2.0 update would entail, that’s up in the air, but New Horizons is still missing many staple Animal Crossing features and characters. Brewster’s cafe is still MIA, for example, and we haven’t seen any glimpse of Kap’n or Gracie or even the fortune teller Katrina. Any of these would make a welcome return, and I’m hoping we see some of them–plus whatever other new game features Nintendo is working on–next month. — Kevin Knezevic, Associate Editor