Despite what other articles might tell you the PC game industry will be represented very well at the expo this year with a number of highly anticipated game titles due to be shown to the invited press (and there may very well be a few surprise announcements in store for E3 that we don't know about yet).
So what PC games are we most looking forward to seeing at E3 2008 next week? We've compiled a list of our top 25 picks and we will reveal our list over the next week (with an article on honorable mentions and wild card picks on Saturday). We wanted to make this list heavy on PC game exclusives or games that will have the PC as the lead or major platform if it also appears on game consoles.
Before we begin our countdown, we have a couples of note on this article. First, PC game publishers are notorious for changing their plans at the last minute for E3 so this list we have provided for you doesn't mean all these games will actually be at E3 2008. This is just our best guess as to what might be shown based on a variety of factors. And again, we could be surprised with new game announcements that we have not been privy to until next week..
The other note is that two of the biggest game publishers in the world, Activision and Vivendi Games (the latter of which which includes Blizzard) will not be officially attending E3 (they have also pulled their membership from E3's owner the Entertainment Software Association). However Activision is holding a press conference in LA on Tuesday, July 15 which is just a few days before the merger between Activision and Vivendi Games (to form Activision Blizzard) is supposed to be completed. We suspect that the press conference will showcase the combined publishers' games in some format but at the moment we just don't know what to expect from this press event. That's why you won't see any games from those companies on this particular list. However, we will put in our suspected Activision Blizzard titles in our wild cards article on Saturday.
With those caveats out of the way, let's begin to go through our list of our most anticipated PC games for E3 2008, starting with number 25:
25: Bionic Commando
Developer: GRIN Publisher: Capcom
The original side-scroller game gets a fresh look with this new third person action title that's actually designed as a sequel to the first Bionic Commando. The new game will feature the title character, Nathan Spencer, swinging via his arm implant from massive buildings and canyons and attacking enemies with his weapons and special bionic abilities. The game's storyline has Spencer going after terrorists who have destroyed the main setting of Ascension City so expect some butt-kicking to ensue. Developer GRIN has primarily been a PC developer in the past (they made the PC ports for Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter titles as an example) so we expect the PC version of Bionic Commando to get more attention than most multiplatform creations.
Gallery: Bionic Commando Screenshots
24: Dead Space
Developer: EA Redwood Shores: Publisher: Electronic Arts
Entering the survival horror game genre for the first time, EA's Dead Space is a bit of a departure from Resident Evil and Silent Hill in that it's a sci-fi themed game that gets the player on board an abandoned space ship. Once on board the player character has to fight invading alien creatures called Necromorphs that not only are nasty looking but can even sprout new limbs when the need fancies them (shades of John Carpenter's The Thing). There will also be environments in the game that takes place in the vacuum and weightlessness of space which should make moving around and fighting against the monsters interesting. Even though the game will also appear on the PS3 and Xbox 360 we expect the game to look the best on the PC version thanks to higher resolution features. EA plans to promote Dead Space to the hilt; a Image comic book series is already running and an original animated movie will also be released prior to the Halloween release date for the game itself.
Gallery: Dead Space
Developer: Netdevil Publisher: Codemasters
Netdevil's original space based MMO Jumpgate was one of the first games in the genre ever made (it was first released by the now defunct 3D0 way back in 2001) and is still active today. Now the developer is working on an all new revamp of the title with a new graphics engine, an emphasis on action combat and additional features like mining, trading and other additions. The title is currently schedule to launch this fall and it should be interesting to see if Jumpgate Evolution can compete with CCP's long running (and very popular) spaced based MMO EVE Online.
Gallery: Jumpgate Evolution Screenshots
Developer: Digital Illusions: Publisher: Electronic Arts
Digital Illusions has concentrated on creating games in its Battlefield multiplayer shooter series for several years now but the company is now expanding its reach with Mirror's Edge. This Unreal Engine 3 based title is a first person action game but it is not designed to be an FPS. Rather the sci-fi themed game will allow the player to do action moves inspired by the "free running" or "parkour" styles of sports (think of the movie District B13 as an example). In the storyline of the game, your player character, Faith, is trying to fight a totalitarian regime by running as a way to communicate with resistance fighters. The title looks like it will be a very different kind of sci-fi action title and we look forward to seeing what DICE has in store for their E3 2008 demo of the game.
Gallery: Mirror's Edge
21: Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway
Developer: Gearbox Software Publisher: Ubisoft
The latest game in the WWII tactical shooter series, the title should almost be ready for release by its E3 2008 demo (it's currently scheduled for release in late August). Based on the real life Operation Market Garden battle (depicted in the movie A Bridge Too Far) Gearbox has done a ton of historical
research for the game but the important part is gameplay. Hell's Highway is scheduled to have some impressive AI as well as seamless control of your team as the battle the Nazis. Gearbox's CEO Randy Pitchford has already told Big Download that the PC version of the game will be the best looking port so that should tell you that they still take PC game development very seriously.
Gallery: Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway
On Tuesday: We give our picks for the 20-16 most anticipated PC games of E3 2008, which include two MMO titles, two third person action titles and zombies....lots and lots of zombies.
Check out part 2 of our feature right now