Road to E3 2021 – What We Expect To See

E3 2021 is just around the corner, and as our team prepares for the big event, we’re discussing our expectations for this year’s show!

After missing out last year, we are back on the Road to E3! All month long we’ll be sharing articles related to the big gaming event, hosting streams, and other goodies right up to our extensive coverage of the digital event itself in June.

Earlier this month, our team shared their hopes (sometimes really wild ones) for this year’s E3. Today, however, we’re going to temper ourselves a little bit and take a moment to discuss what people should actually expect from the event. Based off our years working the industry and own experiences, we think these are some safe expectations to set for E3 2021:

Jordan

Release Dates – E3 has always been known for creating hype and revealing a bunch of things…not so much on the release date aspect. While we’ve had plenty of those over the years, getting dates to go along with the showcased titles is far from the norm. This year, however, I think we’ll see more than the usual amount of release dates. I suspect that many of the games which have been delayed due to the pandemic, will get fresh new release dates to (hopefully) look forward to.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 – It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything regarding the unexpected announcement of Breath of the Wild 2. Hell, E3 2019 was where it was announced, and pretty much the last time we heard anything about it! With E3 back this year, it’s a pretty perfect opportunity for Nintendo to pull the curtain back on the game and what players can expect from it. Hopefully this will include a release date.

Final Fantasy XVI – Square Enix hasn’t been shy about showing off the next Final Fantasy game, and have already given us a gorgeous trailer, and story/character details to pick apart. I can’t imagine they won’t give us another trailer/update on the upcoming game during E3. I’d love for a Final Fantasy VII Remake Part II update as well, but I’m more certain of seeing 16 than that.

Nintendo Switch Pro Games – We’ve heard a lot of the Nintendo Switch Pro even though it hasn’t been officially announced (at least at the time of publishing this). As others have reported, it makes sense Nintendo will announce the updated console ahead of E3 and will thus put the focus of their E3 showcase on the GAMES we’ll be playing on the system. I expect we’ll get some reveals/gameplay that will show off what’s different about the upgrade and why players will want to buy it.

Katy

Elder Scrolls 6 / Fallout 5 – Now that Microsoft and Bethesda have had time to honeymoon following the acquisition, I’m hoping we’ll see some news about significant developments for some of our favorite franchises like Elder Scrolls and Fallout (and not MMOs).

Animal Crossing Upcoming Features – I’d love to see Brewster and his coffee shop come back, maybe island visits with Tortimer, town ordinances or really… anything. Developers have been doing a great job keeping me interested, but the best way they could hook the more traditional Animal Crossing crowd would be to bring back some of the more iconic features of previous titles.

Matt

Final Fantasy XVI – I wrote in the E3 Hopes article that one of the things I most wanted to see from Square Enix was Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2. While there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding any further update, given the release of Intergrade just a few days prior to the event, one thing that I am certain of is that Final Fantasy will be there. Final Fantasy XVI that is.

Announced in 2020 with both cinematic and gameplay footage, it stands to reason that Final Fantasy XVI is not far from release. Therefore, it’s a no brainer that Square Enix will have it at E3 2021. I fully expect new gameplay footage to be shown with insane new landscapes, Elkons, and even more backstory surrounding Clive and his brother Joshua. What I really want, though, is a release date.

Halo Infinite Halo Infinite HAS to be at E3 2021. When the Xbox Series X released, it was supposed to have had the long-awaited Halo title as a launch title. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t ready and had to head back to development to make some major changes. We’re creeping up on about a year since the first footage of Halo Infinite was shown and we got to meet Craig. Halo Infinite needs to be either the main event of the opening game for Xbox this E3 season. It needs to show off a stellar story and gameplay. Doing that will go a long way to rebuilding hype for this game.

StarfieldStarfield was in the news last week as journalist Jeff Grubb and a few other insiders announced that Bethesda’s space epic will be an Xbox and PC exclusive, which for all intents and purposes makes sense. I mean you don’t spend $7.5 billion to release games on multiple platforms. It was also reported that Starfield would be shown at E3 2021. That’s incredibly exciting because all we’ve seen so far from this game is a very vague cinematic trailer in 2018. I have no idea what this game will really look like or even be about and I’m so ready to see more of it.

Forspoken – Just two months ago, Square Enix finally revealed the official title for their PlayStation 5 exclusive game from Luminous Productions, Forspoken (formerly Project Athia). With the name revealed, new gameplay shown, a lead in Ella Balinska, and a 2022 release window, Square Enix could simply feel like they’ve shown enough. However, I don’t think they’ll take that approach. I think Square Enix will double down with a new trailer for E3 2021. I expect Final Fantasy XVI will be the main event of the Square Enix event, but Forspoken will still wow and build hype ahead of 2022.

DC’s Suicide Squad & Gotham Knights – Warner Bros. Interactive will be at E3 2021. Aside from an update for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, I fully expect WB to deliver an update for Suicide Squad and Gotham Knights. Last year, WB showed off both games during DC FanDome. One was a cinematic trailer with Suicide Squad, while the other featured more gameplay in Gotham Knights.

Since then, Gotham Knights has been delayed while there’s been no update on Suicide Squad. I think Warner Bros will flip content and show off a cinematic trailer for Gotham Knights and gameplay footage for Suicide Squad this year. Both games could release in 2022, but now is the best time to generate the hype both games need. I expect they will next month.

Dustin

Overwatch 2 – Activision will most likely spend most of their time talking about Call of Duty and Warzone, but they are also going head on in a mobile based eco system. This means all their games will have some type of mobile component to them. In order to really show this off I believe they need to tie in more than COD, and most likely will show off a few Blizzard titles too. I expect a further update on Overwatch 2, and maybe Diablo as well. Overwatch is my favorite game so I really hope it is there.

Far Cry 6 – This will most likely be the big game for Ubisoft at this years E3, and I couldn’t be more excited. I love Far Cry and this was the first game I paid off for my PS5. I expect we will not only get lengthy gameplay demos, but also a new official release date which I hope is still within the year.

The Future of PS Now – Sony is once again skipping E3, which is lame, but they normally do some kind of State of Play in the time period to stay relevant. That being said it’s pretty obvious what route Microsoft/Xbox will be taking and that’s a bigger push into GamePass. I expect Microsoft to announce some pretty big titles will be heading to the service, along with a new line up of games so they will gain a lot of attention. Sony’s one shot to fight that is to announce a revamp to PS Now, or some type of service that will combat GamePass. Sony already hinted that something is in the works, so what is it? Potentially Sony could be showing off a video / game hybrid service, or partner with a streaming network to do so.

Starfield – I was debating between this and Elder Scrolls. My heart wants to see Elder Scrolls, but my mind is saying we still wont see it for a long time. I think Starfield is going to be the first big release that Microsoft holds to themselves with Bethesda, and it’ll be a big deal for sure. I think Elder Scrolls is a bit more tricky, it may be timed in some regard but Sony would be dumb to not pay up to work with that franchise, so I think that may be reason for delay. Heck Microsoft may be using Starfield to experiment on how future Bethesda releases go. The Bethesda showcase is going to be interesting for sure, especially with games like Doom and Wolfenstein which are massive titles that Microsoft could utilize to boost their library.

Becky

God of War: Ragnarok – I know I included this game in my wildest hopes for E3, but I really do think that we’re going to get some kind of reveal for this game at E3 next month. It might not be a very BIG reveal (or for all I know it could be a full gameplay demo) but I truly believe we will see SOMETHING related to the game revealed at E3.

An Update on LEGO Star Wars: Skywalker Saga – Yes I know the most recent thing we heard was that the game was delayed, but I’m hopeful that we’ll get an update of some kind on when the game can be expected, or at least a gameplay reveal of some kind to tide us over until the game CAN be released. I don’t mind waiting the extra amount of time because I’d like the game to be done properly, but I would like some hints of how they’ve changed the game up, because I know this isn’t merely a repackaging of the previous entries of the game.

SOLEB

Elden Ring – George R. R. Martin and FromSoftware have been working together on Elden Ring for a little bit of time, but we have been waiting for more news since E3 2019. Though I think the game won’t come out till next year, I do believe we will see a release date announcement and actual gameplay at this year’s showcase.

Bethesda/Xbox Steal the Show – I think a lot of people are still looking for Starfield to have a release date at the showcase and though I think we will see something from the game, I think some people are counting out all the other games that could be shown during this megaton of a showcase. I believe Starfield will have its first trailer released but no release date will be announced. I also think we will see a gameplay trailer for the upcoming exclusive Indiana Jones game Bethesda is making for Xbox.

Though Bethesda is owned by Xbox, we are for sure going to see trailers for the PS5 exclusive Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop as well. From my understanding, these games are only timed exclusives, so eventually we will see these games come to Xbox.

Lastly, with Zenimax, ID Software, and all the other studios under this umbrella I would be shocked if we didn’t see at least two or more unannounced games shown during this press event this year.

Battlefield 6 – This time of the year, there are always leaks, but boy have there been a ton for the upcoming DICE FPS title BATTLEFIELD 6. The game is still set to release this year and is looking to be the biggest game to date, this Call of Duty constantly running the market EA is looking to dethrone the juggernaut  with the best looking and largest Battlefield yet. Though we don’t know much about the game, the recent leaks make me excited for what is coming this year.

Skull and Bones – Recent reports have started that not only was the game pushed to a later release date, but that Ubisoft has restarted Skull & Bones development from scratch for a second time. This is a bit sad and scary for a game that we voted during E3 2018 for Best of Show, but I am going to stay hopeful that this game will be re-introduced to the gaming world this year and finally get around to releasing sometime next year.


Even if there aren’t a whole bunch of big surprises (though I’m guessing they’ll be plenty of those), there’s still an insane amount of awesome gaming stuff to expect during the virtual E3.

Be sure to keep it here on Cinelinx during the big event as we’ll be covering all the news and reveals.