Coin-OpEd: Putting the 3 in E3

Between Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Max Payne 3, Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3, BioShock 3, Uncharted 3, Saints Row 3, Ninja Gaiden 3, Resistance 3, and Deus Ex 3, which sequel are you most looking forward to?

206 Comments

One nice thing about being opinionated is that you rarely ever get stuck on a single one for too long. Some may call that a lack of conviction. I'm going to call it an open mind. Here's what's going on in my head:

Not too long ago, I donned my Angry Man Hat and began casting about GameSpot HQ, hoping to find a sympathetic ear willing to endure my impotent fist-shaking at the State of the Industry. People gave me weird looks and a wide berth, of course, but I attribute this mostly to the fact that my Angry Man Hat is of the Royal Wedding kind.

My ire, though! The NPD Group had just released its monthly US retail sales report for April, and while, yes, money was made--to the tune of $961.2 million (+20%)--the best-seller chart was disgraceful. Of the top 10 games, nine were part of sprawling franchises, and the one original game--Ubisoft's Michael Jackson: The Experience--was, who are we kidding, a reskinned version of Just Dance 2.

The roof is on fire. Does this bother Nathan Drake? Of course not, what's the matter with you?
The roof is on fire. Does this bother Nathan Drake? Of course not, what's the matter with you?

"Why?!" I raged, to the cleaning lady. "Why is this industry so creatively bankrupt? And why do these, these, these people--why do these people insist on purchasing the same game over and over again?! Don't these people understand that purchasing a sequel marks their complicity in rewarding publishers for making safe bets and stagnating the game industry's growth?"

The cleaning lady then mumbled something about enjoyment and escape and that I should seriously not wear a hat inside. God, she's rude. But she's also right (not about the hat, obviously).

The thing is, when you're caught up in the day-to-day slog of reporting on the industry, it's easy to zero in on its vast and mighty flaws. It's easy to get bogged down in the incremental reveals, the non-information teases, the but-wait-there's-mores.

But every once in a while, an event like the Electronic Entertainment Expo rolls around, and to be perfectly honest, it makes me reflect on those vociferously delivered protestations. And I feel shame.

Occasionally we here at GameSpot put together something that's worth your time. I'd like to direct you to one such something: The Most Anticipated Games of E3. Please, peruse. Don't worry about me; I'll be here when you get back.

Here's what I've reconciled myself to: Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Max Payne 3, Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3, BioShock 3, Uncharted 3, Saints Row 3, Ninja Gaiden 3, Resistance 3, and Deus Ex 3. And then of course there's Forza 4, Elder Scrolls 5, and Final Fantasy XIII-2 (creative naming solution there, Square Enix--high fives, high fives). There have been so many installments in the Mario, Zelda, Star Wars, and Tomb Raider franchises that to be perfectly honest, I'm afraid to commit to a firm number for this year's installments.

Look at the detail work on that oozing alien goop!
Look at the detail work on that oozing alien goop!

The path to reconciliation: One thing I can say about the game industry is that unlike, say, the movie industry, the word sequel usually is not synonymous with the term cash-in. Looking at the above list, I can say with some measure of confidence that many of those games will be at least as entertaining as their predecessors.

One basic reason for why sequels aren't necessarily an awful thing in this case is that our industry remains young and dynamic, and it's constantly being infused with better, more powerful technology. Take Epic Games and the Gears of War franchise. The Unreal Engine 3 has come a long way in the five years since Epic released the original Gears in 2006, and the proof is in the viscera.

Naughty Dog's Uncharted series presents an equally compelling example, if you consider the degree of pissing and moaning surrounding the PS3's esoteric Cell processor back when that system launched in 2006. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Naughty Dog simply could not have done, from a logistical standpoint, Uncharted 2's acclaimed falling-building sequence in 2007.

Also, to a large degree, developers for the aforementioned games have proven, through consistently high review scores, that they can maintain or improve the quality in their franchises to justify more installments. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was excellent, and I sank more than 60 hours into Oblivion. If I said no to Skyrim, a court could legally rule me incompetent. No joke, that's a thing that could actually happen.

So for me, E3 acts as an exciting enema. While absolute hell to cover, I come out of the experience feeling refreshed, flushed of the dreariness of the day-to-day, and ready to absorb all the precious new morsels of information publishers dole out. I'm curious, dear readers, what does it mean for you all?

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Maisam2020

One and Only Max payneeee

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sideshowboots

Deus-Ex should get me through to arkum city, which should get me through to Skyrim, which should be the end of my life as I know it

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sideshowboots

@shadow-crow I could not agree with you more.

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DamacosG

Deus-EX Human Revolution 3.....................

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hotshot_

arma 3 but its a while to go and i will build a new pc when it comes out

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Hm1911

Max Payne 3 of course. I've been waiting for this game for centuries. Come on out already!

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gashoe13

so. many. threequels. I'm most excited for the RPGs of this year; Deus Ex 3 and Mass Effect 3 have my attention. Also, Skyrim.

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bramterris

it means that im screwed. im going to need a time machine to be able to play all these games.

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mcniller

MW3 anyone...only me oh well still love thier games ^^

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S0ulReav3r

SKYRIM !!!!!

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flooivo

mw3 is have demo or not

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gq_cjc

BF3 Not even a fan but that 12 min trailer grabbed my interest :P

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flooivo

is MW3 going to have demo

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warhawk-geeby

Stawrhawk! Bomph!

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rigzzsy

skyward sword

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Mackie_1986

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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devil_ds4

i just waiting for mw3 ! i think it will be the best on 2011 surly and after that gow3 and max payne3 and Battlefield 3 i thing these are the best in this year

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deathstream

@conrad3223 Infinity Ward is just a name that Activision is trying to capitalize on now. Almost everyone from the IW that made the first two MW games is at Respawn now. MW3 is basically Sledgehammer's first game with IW listed just to be deceptive.

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Stonecutters908

I've already pre-ordered the following: FIFA 12 Dark Souls Batman Arkum City Battlefield 3 Elder Scrolls 5 Assassins Creed Revelations Saints Row 3 Super Mario World 3DS Games I want to see more of at E3 but will also preorder: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Mass Effect 3 Bioshock Infinite Soul Caliber 5 Metal Gear Solid SE 3DS Mario Kart 3DS From October of 2011 through Spring of 2012 = CRAZY GOOD times for games. And then in the Summer the new Nintendo Console will drop. Ugghghghghh! It is all Too much...I'm becoming too happy just thinking about it, it is overwhelming, I must go cry tears of joy now.

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shadow-crow

I'd ask for a final fantasy 7 hd remake but im afraid squre'll mess it up

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nightrider505

@TH3WICK3D1 gow3 def the king of tps

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nightrider505

oh forgot about being able to kill splicers out of the ocean and into the sky...almost forgot about bioshock ;)

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nightrider505

I played the gow 3 beta and it was freaking amazin, a sequal to mass effect enough said and battlefield 3 maybe kicking mw3's (black ops to but zombies was pretyy good)homo gay uncreative reapeat of a games ass..hmmm tough choice ill have to go with battlefield3 kicking mw3's repetitive ass cuz something needs to...so les go battlefield 3

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FusionTactics

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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FusionTactics

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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capthappy8p

Battledield 3 (PC) Gears 3 (360) Ninja gaiden 3 (360) Mass effect 3 (PC) UNcharted 3 (PS3)

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Lunastra78

Games I already pre-ordered: - Uncharted 3 - Dark Souls - Deus Ex Games I hope to see: - Amnesia sequel or new game from Frictional Games. - Mirror's Edge 2 - Condemned 3 - More HD PSP to PS3 remasters, specifically Valkyria Chronicles 2&3 and the Patapon games. - Resident Evil 1-4 HD remasters

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ajleo

GoW 3!!

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conrad3223

is mw3 the underdog now? battlefield will be good, but infinity ward will proove them wrong. Uncharted will be really good for ps3 and Gears 3 will be amazing on the xbox.

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pie369

Who's looking forward to Modern Warfare 3? Anyone who hasn't played Uncharted yet.

Avatar image for deactivated-57b3d262cd2b9

Battlefield 3 and Uncharted 3

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Callail

I'm sorry, How could they not include Diablo III?

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jasonzilla11

@WackedWilly Yes, there is going to be battlefield 3 beta. If you got the MOH Limited Edition, and i think standard counts too, you will be able to play the BF3 beta. However, I don't know when the beta comes, but i'm thinking somewhere between august to october, nearer to the release of the full game.

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jasonzilla11

A TON OF THEM I'm looking forward too, but specifically, Uncharted 3, Battlefield 3, MW3, GOW3, and ME3. The others look fine, but just not my cup of tea.

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baal46

Battlefield 3 by FAR.

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iNiKharn

I'd like to see Ninja Gaiden 3. I wanna know if the franchise is gonna flop now that Itagaki is gone. If it turns into a "God of War" game(not that I don't like GoW), then I probably won't be getting it.

Avatar image for WackedWilly
WackedWilly

@Dpl420 It can't? what happened with fallout 3 then? It looked like Sh!t on the ps3 and the 360 version looked almost exactly like the PC version. In my opinon (from what i've seen) PS3 and Xbox just have games that look better for one or the other. I'm sad the Gears beta ended =(. Is there going to be a Battlefield 3 beta? So many good games are coming out soon can't wait.

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heroesfan261

Dpl420 Umm sorry. Gears is made by epic and Epic certainly knows how to optimize its own engine enough to get amazing quality graphics on it. Just look at the screenshots man.

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PoindeJ

Virtually all of those games are shooters. Creativity really is going out the window. A little variety never killed anyone.

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HungarianGamer

I don't want to put anyone one of them in the 1st place. I'm looking forward to E3, that's all :)

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COLDFIRE25

Gears, Battlefield and Bioshock.

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Dpl420

@heroesfan261 no way theyd be competing for graphics because the 360 cant touch the ps3 on graphics it just isnt possible it isnt built for that

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Dpl420

@Tharkun89 DAM that sucks for you i get the best performance on my ps3 for EVERYTHING except online play my 360 gets the job done on that

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Dpl420

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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Dpl420

Deus Ex nuff said

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nunes123

so many good games that im looking forward too

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vaibhavp

uncharted 3 multiplayer is looking unique. guess naughty dog is doing it their own way just like single player...

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ZiiiP

I'm looking for ArmA3 the most.

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Ladiesman17

Of course It's Max Payne 3 and Deus Ex 3 :) other titles (MW3, Gears 3, Uncharted 3, ME3.) just released not so long ago, and every aspects seems least significant. It looks like copy-carbon product(s). It'll be dissappointing just like recently InFamous 2. :roll:

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Nodashi

@Tharkun89 That's called "cheap azz port" The hardware IS better, but the fact that most games are made for Xbox then ported doesn't really help. I frankly don't care. I have a PS3, but usually just play stuff on my PC. 1680x1050 with all max USUALLY looks better than consoles.