The PC Gamer’s Guide to E3

With E3 2012 just around the corner, now’s the best time to catch up with the gaming industry’s upcoming releases. We’ve put together this handy guide for PC gamers, showcasing the games we expect to see featured at this year’s expo, along with some key information about them — such as whether or not they include a multiplayer component.

This list contains only confirmed titles that will release on PC. Browse through them all, or do a targeted search for your favorite series or developer.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Developer: Firaxis Games
Release date: October 9, 2012
Genre: Real-time strategy, turn-based tactics
Multiplayer: No

This re-imagining remake of the 1994 classic strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown promises to return to the roots of the X-COM series. While Sid Meier isn’t directly designing the game, he is serving as the director of creative development.

Borderlands 2

Developer: Gearbox Software
Release date: September 18, 2012
Genre: First-person shooter, action role-playing
Multiplayer: Yes

Building upon the gameplay elements of its predecessor, Borderlands 2 introduces a more expansive and customizable weapons system, reworked four-seat drift-able vehicles and vehicle physics elements, and dynamic quest systems.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Developer: Treyarch
Release date: November 13, 2012
Genre: First-person shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

The ninth title in the nine-year-old Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops II is the first game in the series to have a completely futuristic setting and feature future warfare technology. Zombies return in their very own campaign and 8-player co-op.

Prototype 2

Developer: Radical Entertainment
Release date: July 24, 2012
Genre: Action-adventure, Open world
Multiplayer: No

Initially released on console on April 24, 2012, this sequel features a new protagonist but more of the fun open-world gameplay from the original. The console versions scored in the high 70s on review aggregators, making the game’s reception on par with its predecessor’s.

Dishonored

Developer: Arkane Studios
Release date: October 9, 2012
Genre: Stealth, action-adventure
Multiplayer: No

Under publisher Bethesda, Dishonored is a Neo-Victorian steampunk that blends inspiration from BioShock, Assassin’s Creed, Deus Ex, and Thief. The game is presented in an open-world format with simulation elements — rather than have events like muggings “spawn” when a player arrives, the muggers exist in the world and can be defeated before they even commit their crime.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Release date: 2013
Genre: Open world MMORPG
Multiplayer: Yes

The first multiplayer installment of the Elder Scrolls franchise, the game will be set in familiar Tamriel — but a full millennium prior to the events of Skyrim. The entire continent will be playable, and players can join any of three factions: The Aldmeri Dominion, composed of Altmers, Bosmers and Khajits, the Daggerfall Covenant, composed of Bretons, Redguards and Orcs, and the Ebonheart Pact, composed of Dunmers, Nords and Argonians.

Arma 3

Developer: Bohemia Interactive Studio
Release date: Q4 2012
Genre: Military simulation, tactical shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

Set in the 2030s, Arma 3 takes place on Mediterranean islands and will feature photo-realistic terrain and water environments, with the largest game-world in the series. Players can visit over 50 villages with buildings that they can both enter and destroy.

Resident Evil 6

Developer: Capcom
Release date: October 2, 2012
Genre: Dramatic horror
Multiplayer: Yes

With its latest installment in its horror series, Capcom is aiming to “deliver the most impressive Resident Evil title ever both in terms of scope and production values,” and that the game will be “a giant stride forward in the evolution of the series.” Resident Evil 6′s two primary enemies will be familiar zombies and the new J’avo, who can coordinate with each other, use weapons, and heal.

DmC: Devil May Cry

Developer: Ninja Theory
Release date: 2013
Genre: Action, hack and slash
Multiplayer: No

DmC reboots the franchise and is the first game in the series not developed by Capcom. The game tells as story of teenager Dante and his journey through Limbo City, a dreary settlement that transforms into a twisted parody of itself with demons and other monstrosities.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

Developer: City Interactive
Release date: August 21, 2012
Genre: First-person shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

Powered by CryEngine 3, this sequel claims to be “the most authentic sniping experience to date in a video game.” Its predecessor was met with mixed feedback from critics, who praised the game’s sniping mechanics, but little else.

Command & Conquer: Generals 2

Developer: BioWare Victory
Release date: 2013
Genre: Real-time strategy
Multiplayer: Yes

A sequel nearly a decade in the making, C&C: Generals 2 is being built on the Frostbite 2 engine and will return to the roots of the series. The game’s overall tone will be more serious than Tiberian and Red Alert.

Crysis 3

Developer: Crytek Frankfurt
Release date: Q2 2013
Genre: First-person shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

This sequel was accidentally revealed by publisher Electronic Arts through its distribution platform and sees Prophet return to New York, which has been encased in a giant Nanodome. The dome contains seven distinct environments and is overgrown with vegetation, combining urban and jungle settings.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter

Developer: Danger Close
Release date: October 23, 2012
Genre: First-person shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

The fourteenth installment in the Medal of Honor series and sequel to the 2010 reboot, Warfighter is being built on the Frostbite 2 engine, but manages to distinguish itself in appearance from Battlefield 3.

SimCity

Developer: Maxis
Release date: 2013
Genre: Construction and management simulation, city-building
Multiplayer: Yes

This series reboot uses the new GlassBox engine, which, rather than first simulating high-level statistics and then creating graphic animations to represent that data like in previous games, replaces those statistics with “agents” that is directly linked to an animation. For instance, rather than displaying a traffic jam animation to represent a simulated traffic problem, traffic jams are produced dynamically by masses of “agents” that actually travel to and from work.

Dragon Commander

Developer: Larian Studios
Release date: 2012
Genre: Strategy/RPG/Action
Multiplayer: Yes

This ambitious game has you build and command armies, control dragons in aerial combat, all while including RPG elements. Players take on the role of a jetpack-wearing dragon that commands a flying fantasy-style mothership.

Star Trek

Developer: Digital Extremes
Release date: Q1 2013
Genre: Action-adventure, Third-person shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

Set between the 2009 Star Trek film and its upcoming sequel, this game follows Kirk and Spock as they try to thwart the efforts of an infamous enemy race from conquering the galaxy. As you may expect, the game is combat-focused, with two-player co-op and heavy on the action.

Neverwinter

Developer: Cryptic Studios
Release date: Late 2012
Genre: MMORPG
Multiplayer: Yes

Based in the fictional Dungeons & Dragons city of Neverwinter, this game is a standalone title and not part of the Neverwinter Nights series. Players can select between five classic Dungeons & Dragons classes and form a group of up to five, including other players or computer-controlled NPCs.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Developer: Gearbox Software
Release date: February 12, 2013
Genre: First-person shooter, Survival horror
Multiplayer: Yes

Players take on the role of a United States Colonial Marine and fight xenomorphs in a sans-Predator setting. The aliens’ AI will use the environment to set up sneak attacks, and group tactics to overwhelm the player.

PlanetSide 2

Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Release date: TBD
Genre: MMOFPS
Multiplayer: Yes

PlanetSide 2 revolves around the struggle of three factions as they fight for territorial control of the planet Auraxis. As a re-imagining of PlanetSide, it will feature territory control in an open-world, large battles featuring up to 2000 players on foot or in land/air vehicles.

Hitman Absolution

Developer: IO Interactive
Release date: November 20, 2012
Genre: Stealth, third-person shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

The fifth entry in the Hitman series, Absolution will feature different gameplay than previous installments, with a greater focus on action and gunplay. An “instinct mode” which will allow Agent 47 to predict enemy patrol routes, much like Splinter Cell: Conviction’s ‘visor mode.’

Quantum Conundrum

Developer: Airtight Games
Release date: Summer 2012
Genre: First-person action game
Multiplayer: No

Designed by former Portal lead designer Kim Swift, Quantum Conundrum sometimes contains puzzle elements reminiscent of the Portal series. The primary game mechanic is the Interdimensional Shift Device which allows the player to switch into one of four different dimensions.

Sleeping Dogs

Developer: United Front Games, Square Enix London Studios
Release date: August 14, 2012
Genre: Action, Open world
Multiplayer: No

The third installment and reboot of the True Crime series, Sleeping Dogs will take place in Hong Kong and focuses on an undercover operation to infiltrate the Triads. Previewers compared its free running aspect to Assassin’s Creed, melee combat system to Batman: Arkham City, slow-motion shooting to the May Payne series, vehicular combat to Just Cause 2, and mission structure to the GTA series.

Tomb Raider

Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Release date: Q1 2013
Genre: Open world, platform, action-adventure
Multiplayer: No

The ninth installment in the Tomb Raider series reboots the franchise, emphasizing the reconstructed origins of Lara Croft. A much larger emphasis will be placed on combat, with a manual free-aim mechanic rather than the lock-on aiming system seen in previous Tomb Raiders.

Darksiders II

Developer: Vigil Games
Release date: August 14 2012
Genre: Hack and slash, action-adventure
Multiplayer: No

This sequel has players control another of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Death, rather than his brother, War, and will feature the remaining two horsemen — Strife and Fury — in some capacity. The game’s maps will allegedly be double in cumulative size to that of its predecessor.

Company of Heroes 2

Developer: Relic Entertainment
Release date: 2013
Genre: RTS
Multiplayer: Yes

This long-awaited sequel will feature the USSR’s Red Army as a new faction and will take the player on various stages of the Eastern Front campaign, from Operation Barbarossa to the Battle of Berlin.

Metro: Last Light

Developer: 4A Games
Release date: Q1 2013
Genre: Survival horror, first-person shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

Previously announced as Metro 2034, this game is a sequel to Metro 2033. Author Dmitry Glukhovsky has apparently been working with the developers, but the game is unrelated to the book titled Metro 2034.

End of Nations

Developer: Petroglyph Games
Release date: 2012
Genre: MMORTS
Multiplayer: Yes

This title promises to combine the action and strategy of a traditional RTS with the persistence, progression and social features of an MMO. It will be released as a f title, but also have a traditional subscriber option.

Defiance

Developer: Trion
Release date: TBD
Genre: MMO open world shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

This game will be interconnected with a global television series by the Syfy network. Set on a transformed earth 30 years in the future, Defiance combines the action of a AAA console shooter, with the persistence, scale, and customization of an MMO.

Assassin’s Creed III

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release date: October 30, 2012
Genre: Action-adventure, open world, stealth
Multiplayer: Yes

The fifth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, this game promises to be bigger than any of its predecessors. Set in Colonial America during the American Revolution, Assassin’s Creed III features a new protagonist, Connor Kenway.

Brothers in Arms: Furious 4

Developer: Gearbox Software
Release date: Q3 2012
Genre: FPS
Multiplayer: Yes

This more casual sequel to the Brothers in Arms franchise follows four zany characters on their World War 2 hunt for Hitler. Reminiscent of Inglourious Basterds, Furious 4 can be described as a combination of Borderlands and Bulletstorm.

Far Cry 3

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release date: September 4, 2012
Genre: First-person shooter, open world
Multiplayer: Yes

Far Cry 3 takes players to a tropical island, where they must escape from crazed inhabitants. The story mode map will be around ten times larger than previous installments, and the map editor will be like “Far Cry 2′s map editor, but a lot bigger and a lot better.”

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release date: 2013
Genre: Tactical shooter
Multiplayer: Yes

This squad-based game has players fight a terrorist-like American populist group known as the ‘True Patriots.’ At least part of the action takes place in New York, and the terrorists are not above strapping explosives to people — and detonating them.

Natural Selection 2

Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Release date: Summer 2012
Genre: First-person shooter, Real-time strategy
Multiplayer: Yes

This sci-fi takes place a few years after its Half-Life 2 mod prequel, with physics support included in the multiplayer experience. Currently in beta, NS2 uses Steam as a distribution platform.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Developer: Valve, Hidden Path Entertainment
Release date: Summer 2012
Genre: FPS
Multiplayer: Yes

This latest installment in the Counter-Strike franchise will feature classic content, such as old maps, as well as brand new maps, characters and game modes. It will also support matchmaking and leaderboards.

Dota 2

Developer: Valve
Release date: 2012
Genre: Action RTS
Multiplayer: Yes

This stand-alone sequel to the popular Warcraft 3 mod will use a free-to-play business model and retains the aesthetics of the original Defense of the Ancients. The game’s lead designer, “IceFrog”, is the longest-serving and current developer of the Warcraft 3 mod.

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2 Comments on The PC Gamer’s Guide to E3

Sreiber

On May 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

I remember watching trough Microsoft and EA conference just to see Battlefield 3. :D
This year looks interesting too. Waiting for more Metro Last Light, Sniper Ghost Warrior 2, Crysis 3 and some other.

SXO

On May 28, 2012 at 8:06 am

Lots of good stuff to look forward to. ARMA 3, Borderlands 2 and Company of Heroes 2 already have a sale from me, I don’t even need to see anything new from them at this point. I hope Natural Selection 2 is awesome, that was a mod that should’ve made it big along with Day of Defeat. Valve dropped the ball with not picking up that team. On the MMO front, Planetside 2 looks incredible so far, and I’m very curious to see how End of Nations works out.

I hope some indie teams show up even if not in an official capacity (E3 booths aren’t cheap), perhaps showing some stuff to journalists from their hotel room or on a tablet/laptop while at the expo. For instance, I would like to see more of Ravaged.