…and that’s a wrap for E3 2021! It was a strange year for annual sports screenings, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, meant there were no physical, in-person shows, and instead a series of publisher-run streams.
The lack of a physical presence meant that some of the major players, not least EA and Sony PlayStation, opted to skip E3 in favor of their own events, while each publisher that was notable enough to display in turn. There were fewer major titles. This is an understandable side effect of a period of time where routine, collaborative work practices have been disrupted by illness, travel restrictions and newly established work from home standards.
The show still had some big hitters – Starfield appeared out of the black hole, for example, as did The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. But some games we would have thought were dead-certs for making one. Splash failed to materialize at all.
Collected here are the games we missed the most at E3 2021, a show at the convention we’re desperate to learn more about.
- E3 2021: Everything announced, trailer, news and more
- New Games 2021: Game release date for consoles and PC
Given that we only learned that a new Fable game was due to arrive in 2020, it’s not too surprising that the beloved adventure RPG wasn’t ready to be shown at E3. The game is also being handled by Forza Horizon 5 developer Playground Games, so it’s unclear how much resources have gone into the next entry in the fable series at this stage. Hopefully we’ll find out more at next year’s E3 conference.
Metroid Prime 4
Metroid Prime 4 was first announced six years ago, and it looks like Nintendo still isn’t ready to show off the game. During Nintendo’s Direct, the company confirmed that the company is “working hard on the Metroid Prime 4”. Meanwhile, Samus Aran fans are eager to play the role of Metroid: Dread, which will release on October 8.
Hellblade 2: Senua’s Sacrifice
Remember that disturbing Hellblade 2 reveal trailer? Well, this is the last time we saw the follow-up to Ninja Theory’s 2017 hit. The game was first showcased at The Game Awards 2019 with the Xbox Series X reveal, but information on the ground has been thin since then. Ninja Theory has been slowly sharing development updates on the game, such as how it’s using the new cloud technology, but we’re impatient to learn more.
It’s been 11 years since the last Perfect Dark game, and it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer until we find out when we can get our hands on Joanna Dark’s next adventure. Perfect Dark was teased during the Game Awards 2020 and is being developed by The Initiative – hopefully we’ll get an update during next year’s E3.
Rare hasn’t seen a brand new IP since its initial appearance at Microsoft’s X019 event, and its release date is a few years away. With the news that the game recently got a new creative director, don’t expect to hear a lot about Everwild anytime soon. Rare revealed that Sea of Thieves is getting an impressive new Pirates of the Caribbean crossover, however, it wasn’t all bad news for fans of the studio.
Publisher Warner Bros. revealed at the start of this E3 season that its only game on the show would be zombie shooter Back 4 Blood. Which is a shame, as Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming Harry Potter RPG, seems to be coming along quite nicely from the early footage we’ve seen. Still, we have no idea what impact COVID-19 has had on the development team at Avalanche Software, and with the line-up of 2022 launch window, there’s still plenty of time to see where it ends.
Obsidian’s Skyrim-esque first-person RPG was not part of Microsoft’s Xbox and Bethesda showcase, but head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed that the game is still in development. The studio announced that it’s working on The Outer Worlds 2 and releasing more updates for Grounded, but we can’t say we weren’t a little disappointed that Aveed was absent from E3.
BioShock 4 (or whatever it will be called) is officially in development at 2K Games’ new studio Cloud Chamber. Given that it’s been two years since the new BioShock was announced, we were hoping we’d get our first look at the next entry in the retrofuturistic series during E3 2021, along with an official name and release window – but no such luck .
skull and Bones
It’s a little worrying that Skull and Bones didn’t make an appearance at Ubisoft’s E3 showcase. After having a troubled development over several years, we were expecting some news on the game, which is said to have undergone a production reboot and change of direction in the intervening years since its 2017 unveiling. But it wasn’t a show — a concern that currently has its March 2022 release window in pencil. Maybe it’s come full circle — starting life as an Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag spin-off, maybe it’ll be more closely tied to the series again?
God of War: Ragnarok
Sony recently revealed that God of War: Ragnarok (or God of War 2) is set to release sometime in 2022. The game will also be available on PS4, which was a surprise to many. Since Sony was not present at this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo, it made sense that the No God of War: Ragnarok news was shared. Still, you can’t blame us for being optimistic.
Gran Turismo 7
Sony opted to leave E3 to run for a second year, never showing the likes of Gran Turismo. We can expect a state of play event in the future that will focus entirely on Polyphony Digital’s upcoming racing sim, which is coming to PS5 and PS4.
With EA set to host its own event outside of E3, called EA Play Live, it wasn’t too surprising that FIFA 22 didn’t make an appearance. However, it’s almost a guarantee that we’ll be taking a closer look at EA’s annual soccer sim on July 22.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
After missing several release dates, we were hoping the next Lego Star Wars adventure would show up at E3. It didn’t. The next big opportunity will be at the inaugural Lego Con on Saturday, June 26.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
We don’t know a whole lot about Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League yet, and E3 2021 didn’t see that change. We were hoping Warner Bros. would give us an update on Rocksteady’s next outing, which is set to be released in 2022, but instead the publisher used its showcase to focus on Back 4 Blood. We can wait until this year’s DC Fandome in October to find out more.
Like Suicide Squad, we were hoping Warner Bros. would share some more details on Gotham Knights at E3 2021, but the new Batman game was no show. Unlike Suicide Squad, we know few details about Gotham Knights, but a release date still eludes us. The last update we got on Gotham Knights revealed that the open-world, action RPG was delayed from a 2021 release to 2022. It’s likely that we’ll get a solid Gotham Knights update at the DC fandom in October.
The Elder Scrolls 6
We may have finally been given a release date for Starfield, but Bethesda’s other highly anticipated title was only mentioned at the end of Microsoft’s Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. It’s unclear when we’ll hear more about the game, but it seems a sure bet that the game will be an Xbox exclusive.
After seeing only a teaser trailer for Indy’s return to gaming in January 2021, suggesting that development was still a lot in progress, seeing Indiana Jones at E3 2021 would have been a bit of a stretch. With a new, fifth Indiana Jones film scheduled for release in July 2022, don’t be surprised if we see a tie with it, and a full reveal in late 2021 or early 2022.
beyond good and evil 2
We’re getting big ‘vaporware’ vibes from Beyond Good & Evil 2. First revealed in 2017, it looked like a lot of ambitious, promising vibrant cities to explore in a colorful sci-fi galaxy – and all the space between you and the ships you need to reach them. It seems a little more possible now in the world of No Man’s Sky, but with four years of radio silence and original director Michael Ansel now leaving the project, we’re starting to think it’s dead, sadly. is.
Well, that was probably a long shot, considering that EA just announced a new Sims 4 expansion pack — and that developer Maxis was only in the pre-production stage in early 2020. But we were naively hoping that EA would give. We’ve got an update about the next generation of The Sims, which is confirmed to be in the works. It’s likely that it will take a few years to get concrete details on The Sims 5, but that doesn’t stop us from getting excited or hoping that it will show up at the EA Play Showcase on July 22nd. However, we are not holding our breath.
Final Fantasy 16
There was a lot of final fantasy during Square Enix’s E3 2021 showcase, from classic 2D remasters to the ‘normcore’ spin-off Stranger of Paradise final fantasy origins. We’d love to see more of the main line entry Final Fantasy 16 set to offer a return to the high-fantasy genre of earlier Final Fantasy games. However, as it gears up to be a timed exclusive for PlayStation 5, it could be another game held back by Sony for its final post-E3 State of Play showcase.
Platinum Games’ stylish beat ’em up Bayonetta failed to show up during E3, which means it’s been over three years since we last got the update. Nintendo hasn’t provided any new screenshots, trailers, or even general status checks on the game, so who knows when we might see it again.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
Indie darling Hollow Knight, Team Cherry’s much-anticipated follow-up to Nintendo’s E3 presentation, didn’t appear during Nintendo’s E3 presentation, which was a bit of a surprise. The…