A Look Back at E3 2011's Biggest Disappearing Acts

We cast our gaze on a few notable games that have gone radio silent over the past 12 months.

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You can always count on E3 to deliver an onslaught of flashy game demos and new game announcements, but whether or not those games arrive on store shelves within the next 12 months is a different story. Sometimes publishers don't like the reaction a game gets at E3 and decide to spend some time tweaking it, while in other cases a game has just been announced too soon and there's nothing much to show of it until the following year. Whatever the case, there are always a handful of games that completely fall off the map after E3. Let's explore a few such titles from 2011:

Tomb Raider

How it looked: The demo Crystal Dynamics used to introduce the world to the new Tomb Raider was an interesting departure from the series' roots. A young Lara Croft is captured in a dank cave and sets out on a desperate attempt to flee her terrifying confines. The resulting adventure was a slick, cinematic journey through the cave's winding tunnels and caverns. While exciting to watch, it was a journey dominated by quick-time events and tight scripting--hardly the same free-form platforming that made the series a household name in the '90s.

The reaction: Not everyone was a fan of the abundance of predetermined "wow" moments. As GameSpot user node1011 commented in our first-look preview, "Timed events? Scripted button press gameplay? So far this title is not sounding good. I get the impression that the story came first and the gameplay was molded around the story."

What now?: Gazing into our crystal ball, we expect to see a slightly reworked Tomb Raider that still emphasizes the tension and spectacle of young Lara's journey, but with that tight scripting we saw last year loosened up a bit. The premise of the game and its sense of style were great to begin with; it just needed to remember that not every game has to be Uncharted to succeed.

Ryse

How it looked: While Microsoft and Crytek didn't show any gameplay footage of this upcoming gladiator combat game, the CG trailer released during E3 was certainly enough to grab our attention. Besides being developed by the shop that brought us Crysis, Ryse looked like the polar opposite of every other Kinect title: grim, bloody, and not for the squeamish. It was, in other words, one of the most intriguing case studies for the Kinect as a platform for hardcore action games.

The reaction: "Cautiously optimistic" would be one way of describing the response to Ryse. Fans seemed eager for a Kinect game that would offer something besides dancing, fitness, or tiger-petting. As GameSpot user burnettajj commented, "If they can pull this off, this game could be darn good. I am going to keep watch on this one."

What now?: Poor burnettaj never got the chance to keep watch on anything, because Ryse promptly went into hiding for the next year. One of the dominant rumors suggested that Ryse has been moved to the next-generation Xbox, skipping the current Xbox 360 hardware in favor of a more powerful platform.

If that's the case, we won't be seeing anything else about Ryse until the next Xbox becomes official. Will that be at E3 this year? It seems more and more unlikely by the day, but it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility. But one thing's for certain: the Kinect still hasn't established itself as a destination for hardcore action games, making Ryse's absence that much more pronounced.

Brothers in Arms: Furious 4

How it looked: Last year showed that Gearbox is ready for a tongue-in-cheek World War II game. Furious 4 was revealed as a bloody, stylized, and deeply unserious co-op shooter. As our own Jane Douglas wrote in her preview last year, "Though it may not feel much like the Brothers in Arms series with which players are familiar, those who weren't hoping for more of the same from the series may get a kick out of Furious 4's irreverent bravado."

The reaction: While there were plenty of Gearbox fans itching for more Borderlands-style silliness, many fans were left confused as to why this game bore the Brothers in Arms moniker. GameSpot user chopsticksoup took a very pragmatic stance in the comments of the aforementioned preview: "They shouldn't use the Brothers in Arms brand, since it's not a Brothers in Arms game. Its Inglorious Basterds: The Game. And that is f@%king sweet."

What now?: As Borderlands showed, Gearbox is a studio that knows how to do ridiculous, over-the-top shooters. But a lot of people were put off by the Brothers in Arms branding attached to it. After the recent trademark snafu, we wouldn't be surprised to see this game reintroduced to the public under a new name, perhaps something as simple as "The Furious 4."

Prey 2

How it looked: We really liked what we saw of Prey 2 last year. The E3 demo revealed a dark and stylish first-person shooter set in a cyberpunk world of criminals and bounty hunters. It had a lot of things going for it: a gorgeous art design, an open world with the freedom to take on missions at your own leisure, and a focus on first-person platforming reminiscent of Mirror's Edge. While all of the above have certainly been seen in other games before it, Prey 2 looked to be a game that combined all those disparate elements into one slick package.

The reaction: The original Prey was never a massive critical or commercial success, so while there was certainly an outcry from those who wanted something more in line with the first Prey, that type of response seemed to be the minority. GameSpot user tefaPS3 summed it up thusly: "Completely different from my expectations, but I think it's a good thing. I liked the original, but I think this will be better."

What now?: Oh dear. This is where it gets complicated. Prey 2 was originally rumored to be canceled by publisher Bethesda, but it was later revealed that the game would be delayed beyond 2012 due to "quality concerns." Yes, the same company that published Rogue Warrior now had cold feet.

Is this a case of Bethesda developing a newfound sense of quality standards, or did Prey 2 really stall that badly in development? Most likely, it's some combination of the two. We're just hoping that this game maintains what we liked so much about it at E3 last year--the open-world setting, the sci-fi noir aesthetic--while still being commercially viable enough for Bethesda to avoid canceling it. Who knows what sort of changes that might entail, but we've got our fingers crossed for the best.

The Last Guardian

How it looked The Last Guardian looked great at E3 last year, except for one small problem: it wasn't at E3 last year.

The reaction: The sound of gentle sobbing from millions of PlayStation 3 owners.

What now?: Anything, Sony. Anything at all.

What games caught your eye at E3 last year that went totally silent after the show? Let us know in the comments!

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Discussion

296 comments
solidsnakehd
solidsnakehd

what about the ff versus?what are thay donig?its been maoe than 6 six years.

FashionFreak
FashionFreak

At this point, Last Guardian is vaporware a la Duke Nukem Forever.

chechak7
chechak7

E3 2012 for me  Tomb Raider  and Half-Life 3 ...can't wait !!

ruvenD
ruvenD

People need to remember this new Tomb Raider is a reboot and that Lara is incredibly unexperienced here. I think timed events and wow moments are needed... That is, if we need to create the illusion that she's completely unexperienced and getting stronger. Also... who are we kidding? Tomb Raider was always my all time favourite game because it was the first game I've ever played on a computer... but I have to admit the series were barely able to keep itself alive. I just hope this new game helps it returning to the glory Lara deserves.

rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

I don't know what ppl are saying about Tomb Raider the reboot but i certainly like what i see so far!To begin with i have never played Uncharted before so i dunno what this fuss about copying it is all about.All i know is that the new Lara approach is extremely intriguing and genuine , visual and premise of the game are spectacular and i am sure that the quick time fest was probably an initial stage thing or something.Even if it wasn't they will surely make it more free form.Verdict is that i Love Tomb Raider games and Lara Croft and i am definitely gonna grab this game as a genuine fan and as i true believer of this reboot!

the_pharaoh
the_pharaoh

I have high hopes for Prey 2, the game looks amazing, hope they will go through with it

Blanny123
Blanny123

No mention of Aliens: Colonial Marines, the Starcraft 2 expansion, Bioshock Infinite or South Park?

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I do hope the last Guardian makes an appeareance at E3. A very unusual game which could be great.

Gruug
Gruug

I follow a lot of what goes on at E3 and NONE of the above were even on my radar after E3 2011. I guess it is just a personal choice thing but none impressed me that much.

VooDooPC
VooDooPC

I don't know how long you've been putting user comments right into your articles but it's a brilliant way to make the community involved.

chopsticksoup
chopsticksoup

Mentioned in a Gamespot article... My life is now complete.

GillyR69
GillyR69

I'm hoping for a successful reboot of the Tomb Raider series starting with a young Lara that's still hot, but does not look like Jolie. Not dissing Jolie, just feel it's time to re-boot and try something fresh. Sort of how the movie industry successfully re-booted the Batman movie series. This may mean trying a Tomb Raider game that plays a bit different and includes lots of quick-time events. I think too many people complain that they want something new, than complain when the game doesn't play exactly like the last few.

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

the last guardian and ffvs13 don't exist they are just myths lmao. legends that will be spun to our children some day lol :/

aiggs
aiggs

whatvever happened to Luigi's Mansion 2? I haven't heard anything since last e3

spinoff
spinoff

The media really needs to get over their Last Guardian obsession. At this point we've seen just as much from BG&E2, which is to say nothing beyond a trailer or two. Spend time on games we'll actually have a good chance of playing within the next two years, not possible vaporware we know nothing about beyond the identity of the development team who no longer has their leader at the helm.

AnGiTheGamer
AnGiTheGamer

I stil hear the crowd sobbing for "Last Gaurdian" and i'm still waiting for Tomb Raider, dying actually, and what ever happened to Versus 13? (I think I've lost all hope for that one.) It's kind of annoying when they don't appear, but hey, you get more hope for it and in the end, you enjoy the game so much more. I guess it wouldn't hurt if some games go missing in E3, but it still gets annoying.

CANT WAIT FOR TOMB RAIDER!!!

(Better show up this year or i'll lose hope for this game too.)

Petnos
Petnos

yeah... I can't wait for Prey 2, wasn't a fan of Prey, but 2 looks pretty cool. But I can wait.

And what ever happened to the Last Guardian? It looked like it could flower into a beautiful adventure game.

MichaeltheCM
MichaeltheCM

cannot wait for Prey 2. i was looking forward to that game coming out this year so bad but at least they didn't scrap it

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

The game I'm wondering about that completely dropped off the radar is Overstrike. Insomniac needs to come up off some info!!!

Llednar7
Llednar7

Last 12 months...? How about the last 6 years?!?!? Yeah, where's Final Fantasy Versus XIII? 

therealgamer_jr
therealgamer_jr

man this tomb raider is a survival game.......cant wait

Schiltron
Schiltron

With the exception of Tomb Raider: vapourware. The lot. Sad about Last Guardian being so, but the rest I can live without.

Emoboii93
Emoboii93

Why is  The Last Guardian so praised ? i know nothing about it .  And who else thinks tomb raider should be canned? .... lol.

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

The last Guardian :( where are you!!!!! Ya I wasn't even very excited for that Brothers in Arms game.... and I'm like the biggest fan ever.... I love the series for it's realism.... we don't need anymore unrealistic ww2 shooters.."cough" COD.... no offence

killered3
killered3

I predict a good first game and just crap going downhill from there. That is- if Crystal Dynamics is still headed that way.

say0cheese
say0cheese

versus XIII.... been watching the same trailer over and over for the past year......

Iffy350
Iffy350

The new TR doesn't even look like a TR game. Its changed too much.

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

I like to try this new Tomb Rider looks so cool! and also don't know what happened to Prey 2!

Slinqy
Slinqy

GTAV, AC3, FarCry3, Hitman Absolution, Black Ops 2,

 

AND NOTHIN ELSE MATTTTTEEERRRRSSSSS!!!!!!!!

lmaocarrots
lmaocarrots

I have my hopes up! I want to see some new on The Last Guardian or Agent this year! I've been dying ever since the announcement trailer of The Last Guardian in 2009.

lucasc130
lucasc130

Half-Life 3 is a myth right?

Toonzbery
Toonzbery

FF versus XIII???

when the last time i heard that name before?

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

I'm STILL waiting for FF VII The Remake (with Advent Children type of graphics). :-P

benmaney1
benmaney1

Not that i'm that excited about it, but what about Epic's new game?  Wasn't it revealed at E3?

dark_being
dark_being

 @SavoyPrime I was just about to mention that game. It looked kinda nice, in a goofy why, but we haven't heard anything about since last year!

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

 @uglypinkmoose

 The World War CoD games were pretty good and realistic, the first two primarily.

killered3
killered3

 @Iffy350

 I agree but I guess I don't blame CD for trying since Drake came to the picture. But that was Uncharted and this is Tomb Raider.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

 @Slinqy

 Think you misspelled Borderlands 2 after Hitman Absolution.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

 @benmaney1

 Nope, Spike VGA was when Fortnite was announced. And that was just a teaser trailer, so there might be something about it at E3.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

 @dark_being Yeah, the look of it gives me a Pixar vibe. The trailer certainly looked like the game could be fun. 4-player online co-op and Insomniac's crazy weaponry...I was already good to go lol