With the E3 2011 convention just around the corner, press and fans alike are discussing all the latest announcements and rumors surrounding the colossal event, preparing themselves for what is surely one of the largest entertainment & media press conferences in the U.S.
As a quick guide to E3 2011, we’ve compiled a list of hottest titles to keep an eye on during the event, along with preview information and media. As a reminder, the E3 Expo begins June 7 at the Los Angeles convention center, and ends June 9.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
In the latest entry to the Assassin’s Creed series, Revelations takes players on a dazzling new adventure through the City of Constantinople, playing as the legendary characters Altaïr, Ezio and Desmond.
The game continues Desmond’s story in the modern day following the events of Brotherhood, providing narrative-fueled puzzle sequences in a safe mode called “The Black Room.” In this area, players unlock personal lost memories of Desmond giving more back-story to the game. Those looking to test their skills online, Ubisoft promises improvements to the multiplayer, adding refined and expanded gameplay with more modes, more enthralling maps and new characters.
The addition of the hookblade, ziplines, and bomb crafting also add new variations of gameplay, giving Assassin’s Creed: Revelations high appeal for its showing during E3.
Batman: Arkham City
Rocksteady Studios impressed many fans with the Unreal Engine 3 powered Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, giving the DC Comic hero the gritty and dark style of game he deserved. In Batman: Arkum City, the developers have heightened their efforts, unleashing players into a world five times larger than its predecessor, full of new thugs, villains, and love interests.
This will be Mark Hamill’s last return as the voice of the Joker, with characters such as Two-Face, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Riddler, Harlequin, Hugo Strange and the Penguin making appearances as well. Among improvements to Batman’s skills and gadgets, RockSteady will be providing puzzles and clues through an enhanced “Detective Mode,” allowing players to perform forensic analysis of specific areas.
Developed by DICE and published by EA, Battlefield 3 is said to be a next gen game developed for current gen platforms. The game boasts some of the most realistic damage modeling, animation, and sound technology yet, DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine can depict a new level of warfare realism that has so far gone unmatched.
Pre-alpha gameplay footage has shown an entire seven story buildings diminish it to nothing but dust and debris, intuitive animation of soldiers running down market streets, and sharp sound to gunfire and explosions. DICE designers David Spinnier and Niklas Fegreaus have stated that major overhauls have been done to the multiplayer maps, especially the Back to Karkland DLC maps (free to those who pre-order Battlefield 3), adding extra “bling” to maps like Wake Island, Gulf of Oman, and Sharqi Peninsula.
It will be interesting to see if EA and DICE show off the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game during E3 as they’ve confirmed in the past that the game at its “core” will be the same across all three platforms. The largest difference will be in the games multiplayer, where the PC version will support 64 players versus the console ports only allowing 24.
“All of the core game systems (animation, destruction, rendering, audio etc.) are the same on all platforms so there will not be a difference when it comes to the general experience of the game,” said DICE executive producer Patrick Bach.
Devil May Cry
Known for Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, development studio Ninja Theory is taking a stab at rebooting Capcom’s Devil May Cry series through harnessing the power of the Unreal Engine 3. Capcom has stated that they were impressed with Ninja Theory’s gameplay mechanics in Heavenly Sword and how the developers drive sophisticated stories behind their characters.
DmC: Devil May Cry was announced last September, with some negative reception towards Dante’s new look. Ninja Theory is well known for their creativity in character development and art, so it will be worth seeing if the studio has kept the same style of look or if we’ll seeing some fresh at E3.
Elder Scroll V: Skyrim
Developed by Bethesda Softworks, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes players on an adventure to the mountainous northern regions of Tamriel where numerous dragons inhabit the world and beautiful castles stand as pillars among rocky cliffs and aspen forests.
The technology behind the vibrant landscapes and AI is impressive. Utilizing Bethesda’s proprietary Creation Engine, Skyrim is able to render vast draw distances, dynamic weather effects, and provide improved NPC interaction within the world. The game features more than 120 unique dungeons (from ice glaciers to caves), with over a 100 points of interest. Mammoth, wolves, and other creatures also roam the lands along with dragons flying the skies.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is making a return after a few years on hiatus, with Ubisoft expected to reveal a more solid release window for Ghost Recon: Future Solider.
Taking control of a four-man Ghost squad, players will strategize how to initiate in combat taking either a stealth approach or going in guns blazing. Squad teams will consist of a commando, a sniper, a reconnaissance expert, and an engineer. Details regarding the game’s multiplayer modes are still in shadow, however Ubisoft is expected to show or announce something during E3. With the game’s release date being delayed several times already, it’s unclear whether the game is having development trouble or if the studio is just taking their sweet time to polish it.
Hitman 5: Absolution
Square Enix has recently revealed IO Interactive’s upcoming title Hitman: Absolution, publishing teaser images and a video featuring Agent 47. According to the trailer, Square Enix plans on dishing out plenty of new information regarding Agent 47′s fifth outing at E3.
Until then, the assassin remains in the shadows.
Mass Effect 3
In a last hope scenario, Shepard must unite alien races from across the galaxy to bring a massive counter-attack to Earth and stop the Reaper onslaught. This is Bioware’s third entry to the Mass Effect series, with players traversing new star systems to distant homeworlds and planets such as Salarian, Asari, and Quarian, and Mars.