With just a few weeks left until the biggest game show of the year, the unthinkable has happened: A massive leak.
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The image below was taken from Walmart’s Canadian website, which accidentally posted placeholder artwork for just shy of 40 games.
Many of the games are known quantities, but a bundle of them were accidentally revealed by the listings – and at least one major surprise was already confirmed in an announcement, which lends a lot more weight to the rest of the listings.
Here’s everything new that was revealed:
First, some context:
Retail listings with placeholder artwork aren’t confirmation of anything, and it’s entirely possible that the list is nothing but guesswork.
But there’s at least one good reason why that’s unlikely in this particular case: “Rage 2.”
It’s been years since the first “Rage” came and went –seven years. “Rage” is far from a beloved franchise, nor is it a hated franchise. It’s more of a forgotten game than anything else. It had a relatively forgettable open-world, and a story to match. It sold well enough, but wasn’t a runaway success either.
In short: It’s not the kind of game that was demanding a sequel.
So when it showed up on Walmart’s Canadian site, it was held up as evidence that the list was false. Which is why it was so interesting when “Rage 2” was announced soon after – an apparent response to having been outed by Walmart – much to the surprise of people like myself.
If “Rage 2” is real, then the more obvious stuff in the leak is all the more likely to be true.
1. “Gears of War 5”
It’s been about two years since “Gears of War 4,” and a new entry in the series is a foregone conclusion.
Not only is “Gears of War” a marquee Xbox franchise directly produced by Microsoft’s own studios, but the previous game in the series introduced a whole new slew of protagonists. It would be more surprising if there wasn’t a follow-up to “Gears of War 4.”
Microsoft has yet to announce “Gears of War 5,” but it would be entirely unsurprising if it debuted on stage during Microsoft’s press briefing at E3 2018 in mid-June.
2. “Forza Horizon 4” (mislabeled as “Forza Horizons 5”)
Perhaps the only game more expected than “Gears of War 5” on this list of rumoured announcements is a new entry in the “Forza Horizon” series.
The “Forza” franchise operates on a rotating schedule. In 2016, “Forza Horizon 3” came out; in 2017, “Forza Motorsport 7” came out. The simulation-style racing series, “Forza Motorsport,” is the big highlight one year, and the arcade-style racing series “Forza Horizon” is the big highlight the next.
Thus, 2018 is the year for “Forza Horizon 4.”
The game is labelled in the leak as “Forza Horizons 5,” which would indeed be a big surprise – what a bizarre name change! I’m guessing that’s just an error, but who knows.
3. “Just Cause 4”
With just over two years since the last entry in the “Just Cause” series, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a new entry in the franchise show up at this year’s big game show.
The series has certainly grown in popularity over the years. Think of “Just Cause” like an extreme of something like “Grand Theft Auto” – a massive open world third-person action game, but instead of a focus on story it’s focused on chaos. Instead of heists, you’re flying a jet into another jet, leaping out just in time.
It’s the kind of franchise that lets you drive a car at full speed off a cliff, climb on top, and leap off wearing a wing suit.
4. “Splinter Cell”
A new “Splinter Cell” would be a surprise, no doubt. But, like “Just Cause 4,” a new “Splinter Cell” is a perfectly logical thing to happen.
The series has dedicated fans, and the last entry – “Splinter Cell: Blacklist” – wasn’t a failure. Moreover, the “Splinter Cell” franchise is one of Ubisoft’s longest running, stretching all the way back to the original Xbox in 2002. The question of a new entry in the franchise is less of an “if” than a “when.”
This one is also backed up by the recent addition of “Splinter Cell” characters in another Ubisoft game, “Ghost Recon: Wildlands.” So the logic goes: Why go to the trouble of paying the voice actor and referencing “Splinter Cell” without a new “Splinter Cell” on the way?
5. A new “Assassin’s Creed”
Wasn’t there just a major new “Assassin’s Creed” game last year, called “Assassin’s Creed Origins?” Wasn’t that game super long and impressive?
Yes, to all of that!
For several years, Ubisoft was issuing a new “Assassin’s Creed” game nearly every year – and the pace took its toll both on the franchise and on player interest. Given the recent release of “Assassin’s Creed Origins,” it’s genuinely surprising to see a placeholder for a new “Assassin’s Creed” game.
Yet, in a subsequent leak, the new “Assassin’s Creed” game was revealed to be named “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.” Soon after, Ubisoft revealed the game in a brief teaser:
See you at E3! pic.twitter.com/03NTPhCkCf
— Assassin's Creed (@assassinscreed) May 31, 2018
“Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” is set in Ancient Greece, and we don’t know much else about it. The game is getting a big reveal in mid-June at E3 2018.
6. Something new for “Destiny 2”
It’s no surprise that “Destiny 2” is getting a major update this fall – the game’s developers at Bungie Studios have openly talked about a major update, and some folks outside the company have even played it.
Based on the little bit that’s been said about the expansion officially, it sounds like an entirely new mode is coming to the game alongside any additional strikes, new areas, and other playable content. Comparisons are being made to the first game’s “Taken King” expansion – whether this will live up to that expectation remains to be seen.
7. “Lego DC Villains”
Finally, a game for the villains among us.
The Lego games are known for being silly, accessible, and rife with fan service. To that end, expect “Lego DC Villains” to offer dozens of DC Comics villains for you to play as, play against, and play with in what will assuredly be an irreverent jaunt through simplified, DC Comics-themed worlds.
This is another one of those titles on the list that adds credibility to the entire thing – an unannounced game that is entirely likely to exist. It also doesn’t hurt that there’ve been previous credible rumours of such a game.
8. “Dragon Quest Builders 2”
“Dragon Quest Builders 2” is actually an announced product, but it’s only an announced product for Japan thus far. That said, it’s entirely reasonable to expect that the game would head to North America and Europe – just like the previous game did – at some point in the future.
Like the first game, “Dragon Quest Builders 2” combines the role-playing world of “Dragon Quest” with a “Minecraft” inspired building mechanic. You’ll go on quests to gather resources which are then deployed to build various creations.
9. “Borderlands 3”
“Borderlands 3” is one of those open secret kinda things.
In the nearly six years since “Borderlands 2” launched, the question of “Where is ‘Borderlands 3’?” has been near constant. Though it hasn’t been officially announced, the man in charge of the studio that makes “Borderlands,” Randy Pitchford, has repeatedly talked about major work being done on just such a project.
He also refutes the notion that “Borderlands 3” will show up at E3 2018, for the record.
“‘Borderlands 3’ will not be at E3,” he wrote on Twitter as part of a longer story about how his denial could be misconstrued. “I love how important ‘Borderlands’ is to so many of you. The developers of Gearbox Software are working harder than we have ever worked in order to create new and exciting things in hopes of entertaining you. Your passion fuels us. Thank you! I love you!”
BONUS: A new Xbox One controller leaked as well. It’s pretty rad!
The Xbox One “Adaptive” gamepad is aimed squarely at accessibility – it’s a controller designed specifically to consider gamers who may not be able to use the default Xbox One gamepad.
It’s been officially announced at this point, but it initially leaked.
“By taking an inclusive design approach and considerations of gamers who might not be able to reach all the bumpers and triggers or hold a controller for an extended period of time, for example, we were able to design a controller that provides a way for more fans to enjoy gaming,” Microsoft wrote as an introduction to the new controller.
Check it out in action right here – it’s a really neat idea!
BONUS #2: “Fortnite” is coming to Nintendo Switch, it looks like.
“Fortnite” is available on nearly everything – PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and even iOS devices. It’s headed to Android this summer.
The one missing console: Nintendo Switch.
As expected, the game is apparently headed to the Switch. Better yet, “Fortnite” is seemingly on the cusp of launch on Switch – it was outed in a South Korean ratings board filing published on June 1. And ratings board filings are one of the final steps on the way to a game being published, so it stands to reason that we’ll be playing “Fortnite” on Switch in the not-so-distant future.
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