As the gigantic E3 video game event approaches, Keith Stuart rounds up the big-hitters on the showfloor, from the latest in the multi-million selling Modern Warfare series to a new start for Tomb Raider.
Tomb Raider (Square Enix, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Lara Croft is not only back, but back to her early 20s in this intriguing series restart. Shipwrecked on a hostile tropical island, she must develop those well-known fighting and exploration skills to survive.
Modern Warfare 3 (Activision, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
This is the big one – the sequel to 2009’s 20-million-selling Modern Warfare 2 all over the world. The action kicks off minutes after the last title, featuring showdown battles in New York, London and Paris between Russian ultranationalists and US spec ops forces. Relentless cinematic destruction, here we come…
Battlefield 3 (EA, PC, PC3, Xbox 360)
The massively successful and highly respected online military shooter series returns, with a visually spectacular single-player campaign and agenda-setting multiplayer. The only serious competition to the Call of Duty behemoth.
Dead Island (Deep Silver, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
A free-roaming zombie apocalypse adventure set on a resort island suddenly over-run with the undead. A brilliant, devastating trailer piqued interested for this little known title earlier in the year, and the Walking Dead TV series has stoked interest in the undead.
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Deep Silver, PS3, Xbox 360)
This biblical combat adventure was a critical smash in its native Japan and could be the dark horse at this year’s E3, sporting amazing visuals by Masato Kimura and Sawaki Takeyasu, the genius talent behind offbeat classics Okami and Viewtiful Joe.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The latest epic in the critically acclaimed Elder Scrolls action RPG series is set 200 years after its predecessor, this features a new questing structure, vastly improved graphics and a conversation system to converse with dragons. With dragons!
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The final chapter in the engrossing space opera sees Commander Shepard making a final bid to save the galaxy from the dreaded Reapers. This has been one of the most critically revered adventure RPG series’ of the decade so will draw plenty of teary-eyed interest on the E3 showfloor.
Batman: Arkham City (Warner, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The sequel to 2009’s excellent Batman: Arkham Asylum sees the Dark Knight fighting a whole city of crooks in order to save Catwoman from execution at the hands of Two-Face. A tuned combat system and a more expansive environment are promised.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Sony, PlayStation 3)
The most important exclusive game series on PS3 continues with dashing hero Nathan Drake trotting around the globe getting into all sorts of action adventure hijinks. An improved combat system and extended multiplayer are set to add to the thrills – as is a 3D mode.
Gears of War 3 (Epic Games, Xbox 360)
Another muscular chunk of sci-fi blasting action, with the human race facing its final battle with the Locust forces. Expect meaty weapons, insane set-piece battles and pitch perfect multiplayer.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo, Wii)
The latest title in Nintendo’s much-loved action RPG series will feature intuitive swordplay courtesy of the Wii Motion Plus controller, as well as the usual sweeping fantasy narrative and lush visual design.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Ubisoft, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
The latest in the historical action adventure series will be the last to feature the raunchy Renaissance assassin, Ezio, as he travels to Constantinople and into the heart of another Templar conspiracy.
Metal Gear Solid Rising (Konami, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
A more action-orientated take on the stealth actions series, this time revolving around sword-swirling combatant Raiden in a plot that takes place between Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4. Expect sharp visuals, a sprawling narrative and gallons of cyberpunk style.
Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft, Xbox 360)
Microsoft’s blistering racing sim returns with a whole bunch of exotic new super cars and intriguing support for the Kinect motion control device.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare, PC)
The long-awaited massively multiplayer adventure game set in the Star Wars universe has been in development for four years and promises to revolutionalise the MMORPG sector. The exhausted Star Wars brand could do with a bit of good PR, too.