One of the most exciting prospects of a new console generation comes from the promise of all-new titles. As games with a number after them pile up and pile on the sales, developers are less likely to embrace new ideas and new IPs. Conversely, gamers become less likely to plunk down their cash on day one for sequels that aren’t significant upgrades (looking at you Resident Evil 6).
These are the top three developers with unannounced projects that we’re looking forward to and why. I’m not putting them in any particular order because what they have on offer is likely purely a matter of taste and not quality.
Now here’s an interesting set of non-information. Formerly Microsoft Vancouver, the newly minted Black Tusk Studios has high hopes. Their website says they are “dedicated to creating immersive, AAA games that push the limits of Microsoft’s entertainment platforms.” They have tasked themselves with creating the next Halo-like blockbuster for Xbox One.
You can bet that whatever title they are bringing to E3 will have some great multiplayer. If you’ve got the chops for it they are still hiring for talented co-op and multiplayer coders. So what can we infer? Will it be another big sci-fi FPS? Maybe they plan to leave that realm to Halo and make a third person shooter with an all-new setting. Whatever they bring it is hard to imagine it being something other than a shooter; that’s where the blockbuster sales numbers just happen to be. We always appreciate surprises though, and welcome whatever Black Tusk aims to bring to the Xbox One.
When you think of top-notch sandbox efforts your mind might flick to GTA first but somewhere near the top of your list, if not at the top, should be the Just Cause franchise by the ever-expanding Swedish developer. There seemed to be endless amounts of fun in Just Cause 2 and we can only imagine what might be in store for the third entry. But is JC3 definitely what we will hear about next? It could certainly rock E3 if that were the case. While it could arrive as a cross-gen title just imagine what Avalanche could create with all that extra power.
But Just Cause isn’t all they do. Renegade Ops was pretty well received and not too long ago we heard about a them shelving a big sandbox steampunk adventure that even came with a couple of blurry screen shots. Maybe that title got taken off the shelf already? Things happen fast in this business so you never know what they will show up with this year. All we know for certain is we want a peek at whatever it is they are doing that we don’t know about.
When considering the various phenomena of the current generation one would be remiss in not recalling the innovative and original LittleBigPlanet franchise. Since MM dropped the first game in 2009 it spawned four more games over three Playstation platforms. While satisfying both casual and hardcore gamers it also made amateur game developers out of us with its creation tools. As a result there are literally millions of levels online for free.
So what should we look for? It’s hard to say what the game itself might be. I fully expect the new game to continue the Play. Create. Share. mantra. The tech demo they showed off at the PS4 reveal implies that the motion technology will help remove most of the barriers between gamer and game when it comes to creation. The sky really is the limit here so I’m expecting to be blown away, not just by a new IP but by a whole new concept. We might see it at E3 but it could show up at the E3 alternative conference Horizon on June 13th as well.
Honorable mention: Capcom
While technically Capcom has announced Deep Down, the fact remains that we know almost nothing about it. Sure at first glance it appears to be a fantasy action game but the interspersed text and the suggestive message at the end implies there is something more to this project. Maybe that fantasy setting is more of a place where you are tested not unlike in Assassin’s Creed, or perhaps it will expand on the Pawn system and integrate with another Dragon’s Dogma. What we do know is it has a nice new engine and Deep Down is not the name, but it could suggest something more meta. In that sense the project is still largely an unknown quantity.