It’s not an E3 without a few surprises. Well, it’s not a classic E3, anyway. The show is changing more and more every year, and sometimes it feels like we've seen it all. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get caught off guard when Hideo Kojima descends from a hot air balloon and announces that he’s got Tilda Swinton playing an undead military colonel—who’s also a dog.
OK, this list is a little more straightforward than that, but you get the idea. The highlights of E3 are always the unexpected announcements and reveals you can’t believe they kept under wraps all that time. Here are 10 games that we think could surprise us at E3 this year.
If you don't want to miss out on anything from this year's show, here's our E3 2019 press conference schedule. And head over to this page for all our E3 2019 stories.
Square Enix's Avengers Project
At this rate, Square Enix’s take on the famous supergroup is going to take as long as the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe did to reach Endgame. Even more curious, Square said their Avengers game is part of a multi-game partnership with Marvel, with Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal (Tomb Raider and Deus Ex) listed as the development teams behind at least the first game. Maybe they’re still lost in licensing agreement discussions, or an alternate world where Captain America goes back in time to yell at them to hurry up before marrying Peggy Carter. We finally heard that it's coming to E3 this year, so maybe it'll surprise us by showing up nearly finished and knock our socks off.
Some of you reading this have kids younger than when Bethesda last popped out an original series. For 25 years, the developer has been living off The Elder Scrolls (and then Fallout), but now we’re supposedly going to space. E3 won’t be a terribly sparse one for Bethesda this year. We’ll likely get some Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Doom Eternal footage, and they may make a hail mary pass on Fallout 76 with a major update announcement, and Elder Scrolls Blades and Online are rolling along, but none of those are something you end a show with. I’d settle for another CG trailer of a satellite. You could even set it to John Denver for all I care.
Dragon Age 4
I don’t even know what to make of Dragon Age 4 thus far. There was a perfectly average announcement trailer at the Game Awards, full of close-ups of CG skulls and whatnot, some ominous dialogue, and then…”#TheDreadWolfRises.” It’s just really... peculiar how EA has decided to launch their marketing campaign with a hashtag instead of letting the world of Dragon Age (and its ravenous fanbase) do its own hyping.
Then couple that with Kotaku’s extensive reporting on the troubled development of Anthem. The Dragon Age 4 team found itself without leadership when creative director Mike Laidlaw left to join Ubisoft and executive producer Mark Darrah was forced to take the wheel on Anthem. Development on Dragon Age 4 was outright canceled, then rebooted with a smaller team. Just a right old mess, as you can imagine.
Still, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t get a small glimpse of the Tevinter Empirium or Solas’ camp. The Trespasser DLC for Inquisition gave us quite the cliffhanger, so we’re eager for more info on what that elf is up to.
Ninja Theory's "Bleeding Edge"
There’s nothing quite like trademark filings to give us plenty to gossip about. “Bleeding Edge” has been rumored as a sci-fi game, and there’s reason to think it may be the result of a previous project, Razer, which never really saw daylight outside of a blog post from the Hellblade team. Surprisingly, instead of a solo experience, Ninja Theory said at the time it was being built as a “massively co-op” game where supposedly thousands of players would work to take down a massive alien threat.
Of course, Bleeding Edge could be something else entirely, but it sure would be cool to see a melee-focused take on the Destiny/Anthem/Warframe space. You can read what we do know from last year.
Playground's Fable game
Playground Games is primarily known for its work on the Forza Horizon series, but Microsoft reportedly saw fit to gift the Fable series over to the team, who at the time had recently secured a new 200-person office space. That news broke in January 2018, so it seems we're about due for a teaser trailer. Who knows what Microsoft’s directive for Fable has been since it shut down original Fable studio Lionhead and canceled Fable Legends. Fable co-creator Simon Carter certainly had some feelings, which he shared with Eurogamer. In any case, Playgrounds and Microsoft will be eager to prove that Albion is in good hands.
Dino Crisis Remake/Reboot
Capcom is clearly in a mood to remake some of its franchises, what with Onimusha Warlords getting remastered and doing just fine and then Resident Evil 2 straight up smashing the door in like Mr. X. What better way to honor their legacy than by rebooting the only dinosaur shooting franchise that really matters? The original Dino Crisis pretty much copied the Resident Evil room-by-room exploration formula, and Capcom clearly knows how to rebuild such an experience in a way that feels fresh and reverent of its predecessor. Imagine a T-Rex stalking the halls of a space station or research outpost like the Tyrant, then imagine what hellish mods people will replace it with.
WB Montreal's rumored Batman: Court of Owls game
In recent Batman comics, nothing beats the Court of Owls, written by the Eisner Award-winning Scott Snyder, who also penned the excellent American Vampire comics. Instead of Batman outclassing his arch-enemies with detective work and fisticuffs, ol’ Bruce is kidnapped and dragged before a secret illuminati group that evidently runs every facet of Gotham, and maybe the world. For the first time in a long time, Batman is brought to the edge of sanity and death, and it’s a great read.
Back in late 2018, a Warner Bros. Montreal production coordinator tweeted out a picture of herself wearing a shirt with the Court of Owls logo, and made a very specific point to redact the name of the game.
[Redacted], best. DevTeam. EVAR. pic.twitter.com/fUV8WCkDnINovember 16, 2018
WB Montreal is responsible for Arkham Origins, which we were pretty “meh” on, while Rocksteady was working on Arkham City and Arkham Knight. Nothing is officially confirmed yet, but if you wanted a great comic arc to adapt, this is the place to start.
Rocksteady's next game
If you believe the rumors, Rocksteady is either working on a Justice League game or a “Destiny-like Suicide Squad game.” You know, considering the plots of both Suicide Squad and Destiny are equally incomprehensible, I’m not going to knock it. It sure would be fun to see how you monetize Captain Boomerang skins, though. Maybe get Viola Davis as a robot companion.
Last we heard, which is to say September 2018, Rocksteady was still hiring for some core positions on a “highly anticipated AAA” game. No offense to Deadshot and the gang, but a killer Justice League game seems like the safer bet.
Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: The Game
Envision this, dear reader: The big screen at some E3 press conference goes dark, an ominous orchestra swells, and a cryptic voice slowly fades in. "Uhhhhh...meeeooooowwwwww.”
Look, at this rate, the only 2019 Sonic games will be a racing game and another Olympics crossover. The particularly nice Sonic Mania and the unsurprisingly trash Sonic Forces were both released in 2017, and instead of forcing the movie animators to crunch a new Sonic design into existence, why not just spend that money and labor on a new game? All you have to do is avoid putting teeth on the poor guy and people will love it just by (dis)association. At least when that human princess had to kiss him in 2006, he didn’t bite her lips off.
If that doesn’t satisfy you, I can only resort to this: Eggman Mech Tactics.
The next Splinter Cell
Alright, I know this one is a longshot. Ubisoft has been quiet for like six years, and ol’ Sam Fisher isn’t as hot as he...I’m sorry, what? Like...just now? I worked on this list for a week and he just...tweeted it out...
Twitter joke or no, it's about time Sam Fisher made a comeback.