E3 2014’s Missing Games: The Notable PC Absentees
E3 2014 gave the PC player a whole lot of games to ponder. Enough games to fill up a Steam backlog twice over and still have enough left to flesh out a wishlist. In that kind of bountiful climate of plenty it seems a bit petulant to mention the titles which were notable by their absence, so naturally that is exactly what I’m about to do.
These aren’t all PC exclusives, but they’re all games where a PC version would be expected, if not borderline guaranteed. To differing degrees, they were all anticipated at this year’s E3 but (for whatever reason,) didn’t actually show up.
Deus Ex: Subtitle – It was revealed last October that Eidos Montreal would be working on a new, “next gen” Deus Ex game as part of some weird interconnected ‘Deus Ex Universe’ thing that nobody quite understands yet. Something to do with having lots of tie-in comics, probably. Anyway, the announcing blog post came with confirmation that most of the Human Revolution team would be involved, and a piece of concept art depicting “trans-humanism segregation.”
Then, in March, a trademark for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided showed up, which (if accurate) would kind of fit what little has been indicated about the direction of the narrative.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released in August 2011, meaning it’ll actually have been a refreshing amount of time between games by the time Deus Ex: Transhumanist Class Warfare shows up. I can’t imagine Assassin’s Creed ever leaving a four or five year gap between titles.
With E3 2014 being the first event of its kind after the launch of the PS4/Xbox One it seemed like this might be a good time for Eidos Montreal to reveal a bit more about Deus Ex: Safety Dance Central. Instead, Square Enix’s major cross-platform reveal was Rise of the Tomb Raider. Perhaps the publisher felt an additional Deus Ex spot would take attention away from Lara’s latest outing.
Sleeping Dogs: Triad Wars – This anticipated extension of the Sleeping Dogs series was also missing from Square Enix’s corner. Like Deus Ex, it too was revealed in October 2013. At the time, United Front Games said we’d be hearing more about the title in 2014. E3 2014, therefore, seemed like it might have been just the place to release more details.
As with Deus Ex though, that’s turned out not to be the case. We still don’t even really know what the game is, beyond “another game based in the Sleeping Dogs universe.” Will it even be another open world title? Is Wei Shen going to be there? These are the kinds of questions a small E3 slot could’ve answered.
Instead, all we have are job listings from January calling for multiplayer-proficient programmers and an official blurry camera phone shot (since deleted) of what might be some kind of work in progress.
Mad Max – Admittedly, we knew about this absentee ahead of time. Warner Bros. confirmed that the game revealed at E3 2013 would not be appearing at this one.
The most likely reason is that the publisher wanted to keep the focus on Batman: Arkham Knight (originally due out at the end of this year, although now delayed,) Shadow of Mordor (still out this year) and their big reveal, Mortal Kombat X.
Still, it can be considered a little bit strange that Avalanche’s game wasn’t even present in the form of a new trailer or the odd screenshot. Let’s pretend it’s because they’re too busy making Just Cause 3, shall we? Yes, let’s.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 – I know, right? Every year. There was a teaser trailer all the way back in 2008, followed by a kind of proof-of-concept gameplay slice in 2009, but since then we’ve had to rely on scraps. Things like half-whispered out of context quotes from Ubisoft PR people, or Michel Ancel holding up what may or may not have been recent concept art of Jade during a livestream.
Some may have taken that as a hint about E3, but if it really was a coded message it was of the “blinking SOS for help” kind because Beyond Good & Evil 2 was, once again, a no-show at the event.
Two years back, Ancel suggested that a new generation of consoles would be necessary to deal with whatever grand vision he now has for the title. Those consoles are now here (and the PC is as powerful as ever,) but Beyond Good & Evil 2 feels just as far away as ever. Boo.
Rainbow Six: Patriots – When I asked fellow IncGamers scribe Tim McDonald if he had any ideas for this piece, he typed the words Rainbow Six: Patriots followed by a textual expression of mirth.
It’s now very obvious why Patriots wasn’t at E3 2014, but prior to the event there were whisperings about a Rainbox Six title that Ubisoft were going to show. Patriots had been knocking about since 2011, churned through at least one creative team and didn’t have much to show for itself except an embarrassing early concept trailer. At E3 2013 the game was said to be still in active development, but was reportedly going to be re-started from scratch. On that basis it probably seemed like a likely candidate for a 2014 re-reveal.
Instead, the Rainbow Six title turned out to be Siege, and Ubisoft confirmed that Rainbow Six: Patriots is now officially dead. Having just re-watched the 2011 trailer, I can’t say that’s such a bad thing.
Cyberpunk 2077 – Since CD Projekt Red are in “all Witcher 3 all of the time” mode, it’s no huge shock that Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t get a look in. Even so, a small part of me was hoping that we’d get a sliver more information about the game.
Even if it was just another video of Mike Pondsmith talking about his own creation. That would’ve been fine.
Alas, it was not to be. Since Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t even due to come out until late 2015 (or even 2016,) next year’s E3 is a lot more likely.
Fallout 4 – He told you. Pete Hines told you all back in May that Bethesda Game Studios wouldn’t even be talking about its next game “for a long time.” But that didn’t stop the odd baseless Fallout 4 rumour popping up prior to E3.
Granted, Mr. Hines isn’t always the most trustworthy source of information where Bethesda games are concerned, but in this case it looks like he’s being pretty straightforward.
If you expected anything from Fallout 4 at E3 2014 in the first place you were an extremely optimistic soul.
Mass Effect: Subtitle – An honorary mention for the next Mass Effect game, which technically had a short video feature dedicated to it during the EA press conference but in reality revealed absolutely nothing. If you leave E3 not even knowing the name of the game that was supposedly discussed, then it wasn’t properly discussed in the first place.
BioWare’s talking heads gave us such gems of detail as “there’ll be some new characters.” Enlightening stuff. The impression I got through the whole thing was that the developer had been pressured into making some kind of presentation, despite having nothing to show. If so, that was a mistake. People were more disappointed by this non-reveal than they would’ve been with a genuine no-show.
Some of this year’s absentees were disheartening. Especially those, like Beyond Good & Evil 2, which have been repeatedly teased over the years. But if the Mass Effect non-showing had any value at all it was this: confirmation that sometimes it really is better not to say anything.