E3 might be a whole month away, but that hasn't stopped publishers from showing us their juiciest secrets.
In fact, this week alone saw four E3-caliber reveals—and while each of them amount to sequels from long-running series, the potential for excitement is high. But before you pre-order, read on to see which of these upcoming releases deserve your dollars, and which make for much ado about nothing.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
What is it? Hey, it's another Call of Duty game! (Surely you've heard of it by now.) This latest installment of the hugely popular FPS series is being developed by Infinity Ward, and will ship with a remastered version of 2007's Call of Duty 4—the sequel that made CoD a mega-hit on consoles. That's not a bad bonus.
Why should we be excited? With CoD sales having peaked with 2011's Modern Warfare 3, Activision is definitely looking to bring some new life to the series. Infinity Ward has promised this futuristic take on warfare will feature a much bigger scope than past installments, with battles taking place both on the ground and in outer space—meaning players will be able to zip around in their own aircrafts. Along with the aforementioned addition of Call of Duty 4 to the package, this will be the first Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty to feature the wildly popular zombies mode. All in all, Infinite Warfare is shaping up to be a pretty sizable experience.
What could go wrong? Well, Infinite Warfare's trailer has already earned a staggering amount of dislikes—354,000 as of this writing—indicating the faithful aren't pleased with Call of Duty's futuristic trajectory. Then again, fans can be especially prickly over trivial things (especially a trailer that's so innocuous), so this early bit of bad PR could be getting blown out of proportion. In any case, we won't know for sure until Infinite Warfare launches on November 4.
What is it? Another entry in EA DICE's long-running multiplayer FPS series. (You might be noticing a trend with these reveals.)
Why should we be excited? Last year's Battlefield Hardline made for a bit of a misstep—especially with the current cultural climate making the whole production seem more than a little tone-deaf. As is the case with big releases like Battlefield, all we have now is the date of the official reveal—May 6 at 1:00pm PT—and a whopping eight seconds of teaser footage helpfully marked "NOT ACTUAL GAMEPLAY." For what it's worth, though, there's been some buzz that Battlefield 5 will be returning to the series' World War II roots (or possibly even an earlier period of history). Given the backlash to Infinite Warfare, fans of military FPSes seem to be craving this once-overused setting.
What could go wrong? In recent history, Battlefield has had a history of poor launches and underwhelming single-player content. With any luck, EA DICE will use Battlefield 5 to correct these problems of the past and restore the series' reputation, but there's always the chance they could fall back into their old habits.
Dawn of War 3
What is it? The latest in Relic Entertainment's series of real-time strategy games based on the Warhammer universe. Seeing as the last installment (Dawn of War II: Retribution) released back in 2011, fans have been waiting on this one for a while.
Why should we be excited? Well, if you're a fan of real-time strategy, the Dawn of War games are absolutely phenomenal—so it's nice to know there'll be another one on the way soon. And this sequel will be developed by Relic, a developer that's essentially been making Company of Heroes and Dawn of War for their entire existence. They've had quite a while to work on Dawn of War III, as development started in 2011, but the shuttering of THQ sent the team in search of another publisher. Really, we don't know too much about this sequel, but the addition of larger units and weaponry could indicate Dawn of War III's battles will take place on a scale the series hasn't played with before.
What could go wrong? Honestly, things looks very good for Dawn of War III. Relic is essentially doing the thing they do best, and the extra time they've had to work on the final product definitely doesn't hurt. Seeing as part III will be the first numbered sequel in the series since 2009, Relic likely wants to make this one count.
What is it? The long, long, long-awaited sequel to 2008's Persona 4, part five will be the first mainline entry in nearly a decade. We've had plenty of deviations and enhanced ports since then, but the release of a true Persona sequel is a pretty big deal.
Why should we be excited? Even though it's been around for 20 years, Persona first caught on in America in the late aughts with parts 3 and 4, largely because these sequels refined and streamlined the series' complex mechanics—and added an addictive dating sim element. Granted, Atlus doesn't have much experience with HD development, but 2011's Catherine more than proved they could make a game look just like one of your Japanese animes—plus, the footage we've seen of Persona 5 so far has been absolutely gorgeous. If you're a fan of the series, each unfortunate delay has likely made you want part five even more.
What could go wrong? Well, Atlus is more than late to the party when it comes to delivering a proper Persona sequel, despite how well they've done with keeping the brand relevant with fighting games, rhythm games, and dungeon crawlers. These massive delays could indicate a major problem with development, or it could just be a case of Atlus wanting to make sure this one counts. Whatever happens, they're definitely doing the best they can to preserve the reputation of their main cash cow.