E3 2009 is returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center on a new date, June 1, and is planned to fill out the South and West Halls just like it used to, with huge booths, lots of noise, and plenty of new games to show. As usual, GameSpot will be on hand to cover the show, the games, the developers, and the discussions. Like always, we'll also have a live stage show going all three days to host live demonstrations of all the exciting new games. Be sure to join us on GameSpot in June at http://e3.gamespot.com. In the meantime, our editors discuss the games they're most looking forward to seeing. Have a look at our thoughts and let us know which games you're most anticipating. We'll see you in June.
Ricardo TorresEditor in Chief
This year's E3 has definitely got me excited. There's a good energy crackling along as we speed towards the show. There's a nice bit of old-school anticipation and excitement that I haven't seen in years. This year I'm excited for a bunch of different stuff. Let's start with the big three.
Nintendo: I'm always excited to see what Mario's people are going to announce, and this year promises some very cool stuff. There should be a mix of old and new business for Wii and DS that will walk the line Nintendo's been treading between core and casual games. Given that Nintendo might have dipped a little too much on the casual side at last year's show, I think it's a safe bet that we'll see them swing more towards hardcore games, which is fine by me.
Sony: Obviously I'm curious about just how this new PSP stuff is going to play out. And Sony had best announce a price cut…so I'm looking forward to both of those things. Whether or not they happen…we'll see. As for software, I'll be hunting down God of War III, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, PixelJunk 1-4, and LittleBigPlanet on PSP. Sounds like there might also be a new PS3 game announced at the show.
Microsoft: You know E3 is set for fun when you get all sorts of leaks leading up to it. I'll be anxious to see just what this camera/motion-control thing turns out to be. Could be cool, could be a facepalm moment in the making. Hoping for cool. On the game side, I'm looking forward to seeing Alan Wake, the new Lionhead thing that Mr. Molyneux's been teasing, and some neat stuff for XBLA.
Otherwise, there's tons of stuff to be excited about. Too much to mention, really, but off the top of my head, and in no specific order, my list Modern Warfare 2, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, BioShock 2, a new Capcom game you'll be hearing about on GameSpot later this month, The Beatles: Rock Band, Bayonetta, Tekken 6, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny for PSP and a new Lucasarts game you'll also be hearing about on GameSpot soon. So yeah, lots to keep an eye out for at E3. Haven't been this excited in years.
Andrew ParkManaging Editor
E3 is back, and it's planned to be "the preeminent North American gaming show" of 2009; dozens of game companies will have their new and upcoming games to show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. And there are two games in particular that I'm most interested to see in motion.
The first is Supreme Commander 2 from Gas Powered Games, published by (wait for it) Square Enix, the Japanese publisher best known for producing the Final Fantasy series. Yes, you read that right. Regardless of who's published what, the first Supreme Commander was a great real-time strategy game that took place on an awesome scale, on gigantic 3D maps that could be zoomed in to direct tactical maneuvers and zoomed way, way out, in real time, to give more strategic orders.
The other game I definitely plan on seeing at E3 is Star Wars: The Old Republic. This is the massively multiplayer game from BioWare that's being designed to have all the plot, character-driven stories, and hack-and-slash battles of the best of BioWare's single-player games, such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I have no idea how a massively multiplayer game will offer all of the content of a single-player game but also have all the open-endedness of an online game, but I'm very interested in finding out.
I'm glad I'm attending this year's E3. In fact, the very thought of possibly not attending an E3 makes me a very sad panda, especially when this year's show is supposed to return to the glitz and glamour of E3s past. And though all the flashy lights, shiny objects, and cranium-pounding bass are undoubtedly going to be a source of distraction, or epilepsy, I'm more than happy to be covering the show this year for a couple of obvious reasons.
After all, how could I possibly think of missing out on the first public unveiling of the sequel to one of my favorite games from 2007? Yes, I mean Assassin's Creed 2. And yes, I was on the side of "loved it" when it came to the divisive Assassin's Creed. The setting, the combat, and even the premise of the oft-maligned story were all aces in my book. Although I wouldn't have minded a return to the Crusader era--there's lots of unexplored history there--Renaissance-era Italy is an equally enticing fit, and one that should allow for new gameplay mechanics that weren't possible with the first game. Plus, hanging with Leonardo da Vinci would be really cool in a Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure sort of way.
Although I find myself a bit cautious about it, BioShock 2 also ranks high on the list of games I'm dying to see. The original BioShock was one of the few games that I found myself playing over and over simply because Rapture is just an amazing location and one of the few that manages to tell an entire story in a single room or through something as simple as a poster. I'm not completely sold on the idea of multiplayer because the original didn't need it or even warrant it, but I'll give 2K and Digital Extremes the benefit of the doubt.
Sophia TongAssistant Previews Editor
E3 is supposed to make a triumphant return this year, so I'm hoping there's going to be a ton of new announcements and exciting games to play. There are several games that I'm looking forward to, but below are just a couple that are on the top of my list.
I've been waiting for Final Fantasy XIII since XII came out, and that was a while ago. Although I don't mind that the development team is taking its time to hopefully make the game perfect, I would like to be able to get some hands-on time with it, and preferably in English. In XIII, the battle system has apparently returned to the "active time bar" setup, but there are some other changes that I hope will make the fights interesting. The series has always been known for its epic storylines and beautiful CG animation, so I'm curious to see how this one will unfold.
Heavy Rain: The Origami Killer is the other game that I'm really looking forward to because I absolutely love story-driven games. The ability to pick multiple paths in this game is what intrigues me the most, because it seems like playing the game will be an interactive choose-your-own-adventure book. Developer Quantic Dream is keeping the details on the story to itself, considering that that's the most important aspect of the game, but I understand that a new in-game scene will be revealed at E3.
Chris WattersAssociate Editor
Just a few weeks away, E3 looms large with the potential to rewrite the list of games I expect to play this year. As my gaming future hangs in the balance, I'm particularly eager to see (and hopefully play) more of the games on my "most anticipated" list.
I'm really hoping to get some hands-on time with Borderlands, Gearbox's "role-playing shooter." So far, we've seen only demonstrations, and even those didn't fully showcase the new cel-shaded look that was revealed earlier this year. I'd love to hop in one of the fast, Mad Max-style vehicles and tear around Pandora's desolate surface, gleefully gunning down aliens and bandits with reckless abandon. Ideally I'd have a buddy riding shotgun (in the true sense of the word), but that might be tough to do on the hectic show floor at E3.
In keeping with the futuristic theme, I'm also looking forward to a more in-depth look at Mass Effect 2. I absolutely loved the characters and epic scope of the original, and I'd love to get a peek at what the sequel has in store. A Mass Effect 2 teaser video seemed to show Commander Shepard dead at the hands of a Geth trooper, so I'm hoping to get a glimpse of the new protagonist (if there is one) and an idea for what sort of dire circumstances he or she will be dealing with.
Andre SegersGame Guides Editor
Maybe it's ironic that the year E3 makes its triumphant return is also the year with the smallest number of announced games I'm actually looking forward to. However, this is likely due to the major players holding their cards close to their chests for a major blowout at E3, which actually leaves me more excited for what potentially hasn't been announced yet. For instance, I'm eager to find out if either Microsoft or Sony unveil anything related to the motion-control rumors that have flooded the Web these past few weeks. And more importantly, what games may be announced to support those devices.
That said, there are a few announced games I'm excited for, with the first being Wii Sports Resort. Sure, we saw it last year--with a mere three minigames on display--but Nintendo's been completely silent on the subject since. So I'm curious as to how the game has been expanded since, and in what capacity Wii MotionPlus is being used. Plus, the original Wii Sports is one of the few games my entire family can enjoy, so this should offer another reason to whip out the Wii at family gatherings…and waste them in sword dueling.
Halo: TLDR...err, make that Halo 3: ODST, is another game I'm really intrigued by, given that we know virtually nothing about it, except that Master Chief will not have a prominent role. I'm hoping this enables the developer to offer something a bit different than what we usually get from Halo games, while still taking place in the same compelling universe.
Finally, I'm praying that Ubisoft shows us more of Beyond Good & Evil 2, a sequel to one of my favorite games of all time. I'm a bit concerned about the direction it's taking, if the leaked trailer is indicative at all of the final game. But with Michel Ancel at the helm, I'm stoked to see what he comes up with.
Kevin VanOrdAssociate Editor
Apparently, I'm into conspiracy theories, which brings me to the game that I will be rushing to check out the minute I hit the show floor.
Assassin's Creed 2. The original Assassin's Creed is one of my favorite games in the last few years, an atmospheric and joyous experience that made the simple act of moving from one location to another an absolute delight. Just the mere idea of Assassin's Creed 2 makes me feel a little giddy, and I am anxious to explore the sights and sounds of Florence and Venice from the new protagonist's view. This Ezio guy looks like a complete badass; I mean, he's got two hidden blades at the ready, making him look like, in the words of my esteemed colleague Shaun McInnis, a "medieval Italian pimp."
Brian EkbergSenior Editor
It's a familiar refrain for me, but my first thought when E3 comes around is usually about racing games. The genre is undergoing a shake-up of late, with traditional hardcore-racing developers going in a more arcade-focused direction--as with Black Rock Studios' Split/Second and Bizarre Creations' Blur. Although both games have some appeal, I'm more curious about the mainstay racing sims.
We've seen lots of rumors about both Forza Motorsport 3 and the long-delayed Gran Turismo 5 making appearances at E3 2009, and I'm champing at the bit to see what Turn 10 Studios and Polyphony Digital have in store for racing fans. High-quality, challenging simulation racing isn't dead, after all; it's just been wounded for the past few years.
Here's hoping the revival begins with E3 2009...
Shaun McInnisAssociate Editor
In the three months following E3 last year, I went on to cover San Diego Comic-Con, the Games Convention in Leipzig, and Tokyo Game Show--three fun events that absolutely dwarfed last year's show floor at E3. So what I'm really looking forward to most is the sheer size and spectacle of previous years making a return. Will it be a triumphant return? Who knows? Who cares! It'll be entertaining just the same.
But the show is still all about games, and number one on my list is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The first game is still my favorite PS3 game, and everything I've seen about the sequel has me giddy with anticipation for more free-spirited adventures and slick platforming. I'm most excited to see what those snowy areas are going to be like. Another sequel that's much more of a mystery is Assassin's Creed 2. What's that new protagonist going to be like? How will they use Renaissance-era technology? It's an answer I'm excited to see.
Rounding out my list are Forza Motorsport 3, Modern Warfare 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, and Dragon Age: Origins (which we've seen plenty of, but I'm eager to find out what the console versions look like). There'll be a lot of games to cover, and I'm already looking forward to my complete lack of sleep during that first week of June.