The Fallout franchise is the quintessential postapocalyptic gaming experience, and for good reason. The series puts players in the shoes of a character who, from birth, grows up in a nuclear bomb shelter and sets out to explore the world, in unfettered wanderings that present grim choices.
Now, five years after the last Fallout installment -- New Vegas -- Bethesda Softworks is back with a new tale set in Boston. Last week, the company released the first trailer and whipped the Internet into a frenzy. Expect more from Bethesda's Sunday press conference.
Published:Caption:Nick StattPhoto:Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release date: TBD
The sequel to 2011's popular Deus Ex: Human Revolution, new title Mankind Divided follows protagonist Adam Jensen as he navigates worldwide conspiracies revolving around the proliferation of cybernetics and the advancement of the human race.
Heavy stuff, for sure, but the franchise has always succeeded because it's been as thought-provoking as the sci-fi classics it borrows from, namely "Ghost in the Shell" and "The Matrix."
A sleek, action-heavy cinematic trailer was released in April, prompting eager fans to wonder whether the game will stay true to or depart from its stealth-meets-RPG formula. Square Enix has confirmed it will be showing official gameplay at E3 next week.
It wouldn't be the holiday season without another installment of Activision's Call of Duty franchise.
The long-running and wildly successful first-person-shooter series puts players in the shoes of soldiers from all eras, including in the future. This year's installment, Black Ops 3, revives developer Treyarch's take on clandestine wartime operations, this time in the year 2065. Expect more jetpacks and exoskeletons, of course.
Like Call of Duty, French game maker Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise is well known for returning every year with a new iteration.
Last year's installment of the stealth adventure game, Unity, received mixed marks from critics and was crippled by launch-day bugs and other issues, signaling perhaps that the franchise had been worn too thin over the years.
However, Ubisoft is back again with Assassin's Creed Syndicate, promising a new environment -- London in 1868 -- and the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution to tell the tale of twins Jacob and Evie Frye. For the first time, players will be able to switch at any time between a male and female protagonist.
Arkane Studios' Dishonored was one of 2012's most refreshing titles. Not only was it an original game in a sea of large, established franchises, but its intricate story and stealth-meets-superpower gameplay also combined the best of titles like Bioshock and Assassin's Creed.
For Microsoft, this year's E3 marks the moment it can flaunt one the biggest strengths of the Xbox One: Halo.
Guardians marks the second major Halo installment from 343 Industries, the in-house studio Microsoft created to shepherd Halo along after Bungie split from the company to work on its next game, Destiny.
Halo 5 will feature a new playable protagonist named Jameson Locke -- who doubles also as an antagonist from the perspective of franchise main character Master Chief. The two dueling storylines have been the focus of a large-scale marketing campaign dubbed "Hunt the Truth," and Microsoft will certainly play up the narrative's many mysteries at its E3 press conference next Monday.
There's not much known about Dark Souls 3 save what we can glean from the trove of reportedly leaked material obtained by YouTube channel The Know. It's unclear how far along the title may be in development, considering studio From Software has been busy with its latest release, Bloodborne.
The Dark Souls series inspires love and hate from its fan base for offering some of the most challenging gaming experiences out there. And Dark Souls 3 will undoubtedly bring more of the same, but if the leaks are to be believed, it will come with a new art style and a bevy of other advancements to keep the series fresh.
Keep an eye out for more on this during Sony's PlayStation 4 press conference, where last year we saw the first Bloodborne teaser.
No indie game in recent memory has garnered as much praise, hype and anticipation as No Man's Sky. From British studio Hello Games, the title promises players a near-infinite universe to explore thanks to the clever use of so-called procedural generation -- in other words, algorithms that populate the game world using large strings of numbers.
No Many's Sky will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive (with a PC release later on) thanks to a deal with Sony, which, in a rare break from tradition, went so far as to bring Hello Games co-founder Sean Murray onstage at its E3 press conference last year. Expect more details about No Man's Sky, which remains shrouded in mystery, next week.
Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Siege is poised to be one of the most tense and interesting competitive multiplayer games of the year.
The game revolves around pitting two teams -- one group of hostage holders and one group of SWAT police -- against each other in destructible environments, asking players to think of creative ways to breach rooms and take out enemies in intense and collaborative skirmishes. Expect more details about Rainbow Six Siege at Ubisoft's press conference next Monday.
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot in 2014 that brought a new look and backstory to Lara Croft proved to be the most successful game in the iconic franchise's history. Now the studio is back with Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was first revealed at Microsoft's E3 press conference last year. The title will again take center stage next Monday at the company's Xbox event.
The revival of the much-beloved Star Wars Battlefront series couldn't come at a better time. EA will be releasing the large-scale war game that lets you pilot ships and play as famous Jedi just one month before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters.
There are even confirmed tie-ins between the game and the movie. Electronic Arts announced that the first free downloadable add-on for the game, known as "Battle of Jakku," will let players experience firsthand the skirmish that leaves the planet shown in "The Force Awakens" trailer scarred and covered in wreckage.
Expect extensive gameplay showings for Battlefront at EA's Monday press conference next week.
The Division, part of the storied Tom Clancy's video game brand acquired by Ubisoft back in 2000, is a game perhaps most well known for being delayed -- twice.
Originally slated for 2014, the game has been delayed by Ubisoft till 2016 to ensure it doesn't follow in the footsteps of a number of other high-profile releases from Ubisoft and others, including its most recent Assassin's Creed title.
At Ubisoft's E3 press conference Monday, we can expect to see just how much work has been accomplished on The Division with the extra time. The game centers on a secretive group of agents who must work together to rebuild society after a pandemic causes its collapse.
Uncharted 4 was the surprise final reveal of Sony's E3 press conference last year. Since then, we haven't heard much from Sony subsidiary and Uncharted creator Naughty Dog.
Some personnel shakeups, including the departure of series writer and Creative Director Amy Hennig and Game Director Justin Richmond, haven't derailed the project. The game is now in the hands of The Last of Us game directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley.
Druckmann did offer up one clue for the franchise's fate, noting that protagonist Nathan Drake was "looking mighty good for his last E3" in a promotional poster earlier this week. The conclusion of the series or the potential death of Drake would not be too much of a surprise. After all, the game is called A Thief's End.
The reboot of classic horror shooting game Doom, which kicked off gaming's love affair with the first-person shooter, has been in the works for years. It's reportedly been plagued by what some inside the industry have considered "development hell" -- fitting for a game where players must stave off demons escaping from the gates of the underworld.
After reworking the title from the inside out, Doom creator Id Software appears to have found its focus. The game is no longer being billed as Doom 4, but rather simply Doom, and a bunch of teasers and trailers have confirmed that the game is moving along the development pipeline.
Look out for more concrete details on the Doom reboot at Bethesda Softworks' Sunday press conference.
Published:Caption:Nick StattPhoto:Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release date: September 1, 2015
It's hard not to associate the upcoming Metal Gear Solid with the turmoil at publisher Konami, which is reportedly in a power struggle with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, who has overseen the development of the espionage game franchise for its entirety. Here's a handy timeline from CNET sister site GameSpot.
Still, The Phantom Pain is a colossal, open-world take on the traditional Metal Gear style, set during one of the most pivotal and unexplored time periods in the game's timeline. Drama aside, The Phantom Pain has the potential to be one of the most ambitious games of the current console generation, and Kojima has made an effort to assure fans that he's still seeing the project through to completion. (In rare form, the title is also coming to PC two weeks after its console release.)
It's unclear how much we'll hear from Konami or Kojima, given the tumultuous news of late, but if there are any new details, next week at E3 is when we'll find out.
Nintendo is well known for taking its time with its beloved core franchises. Like Super Mario and Zelda, space shooting game Star Fox is in the Japanese game maker's upper echelon of titles and a reboot is currently in development for the Wii U console.
Billed as a reboot of the popular 2008 free-running adventure game, Mirror's Edge Catalyst received its new name just this week ahead of Electronic Arts' E3 press conference next Monday. (Before that, it was simply Mirror's Edge 2.)
The game will focus on protagonist Faith's past and is expected to feature many of the core elements of the original Mirror's Edge that made it such a departure for first-person games. That includes an absence of the heads-up display feature in most shooting games and a focus on parkour-style movements that incorporate fluid traversing of dense, urban environments.
Camcom's Street Fighter is the world's most iconic fighting-game series. Despite its commitment to traditional, classic mechanics and a 2D art style, Street Fighter has remained popular worldwide as a real-world tournament title and living room (and dorm room) favorite.
Street Fighter V, originally revealed in December of last year, is the franchise's next big installment, where it will see a PlayStation-only release on consoles.
Expect to see more at Sony's E3 press conference next week. Capcom will also be bringing back its tournament stage at the show for Street Fighter fans to duke it out live.