E3 2021 has come and gone, and it’s been a mixed bag on all fronts. Some showcases went absolutely gangbusters, while others passed by with the quietest of whispers. Nintendo and Xbox brought their A-game to the table, and many of the indie shows revealed exciting gems.
But it was hard not to feel like something was missing at this year’s E3. It wasn’t just that everyone was cooped up inside, waiting until all hours of the morning for news. It was also that major heavy-hitters were few and far between.
We finally got insights into anticipated games like Starfield, but it came at the cost of hearing from other, longer-awaited titles. There are plenty of games we wish we’d seen at E3 2021, and plenty more that really should have put in an appearance.
From Bayonetta 3 to Hellblade 2, here’s every major game we felt was missing from E3 2021.
The next chapter in the Fable series was announced in mid-2020 with a gorgeous, cinematic teaser featuring a fairy being eaten by a frog. Did the trailer show anything else off? Not really. Is there still a lot of questions to answer about Fable? Absolutely. But it seems like Microsoft is currently satisfied with playing its cards well close to its chest.
It’s been nearly a year since that first teaser and there’s still no news on the Fable front. The dev team is clearly hard at work behind the scenes, but it would’ve been great to see something of the game between looks at Starfield and Sea of Thieves.
Then again, Fable fans have already waited an age — so maybe waiting a little while longer is just fine.
Bayonetta fans might be the most patient of us all, but sadly even E3 2021 had nothing for them. They’ve been waiting since 2017 for news of Bayonetta 3, with only a flashy teaser to show for it.
According to PlatinumGames, there will be more news on the game by the end of 2021, but it’s currently unclear what or when that will be. E3 would have been the perfect, flashy stage for Bayonetta to make her grand return but alas, she remains missing in action.
We should have a larger update on this title before the year’s up, but after a five year wait any news will do.
Splatoon 3 was announced in February 2021 with a lengthy, cinematic look at the game. But despite getting a headlining slot in the first Nintendo Direct of the year, the game hasn’t reappeared since.
We know it’s coming in 2022 and that it’ll build on the first two Splatoon games, but we really don’t know much else about it. Will it include a mini-campaign like Splatoon 2 before it? Will we see the return of Marina and Pearl?
Sadly, Nintendo gave us none of the answers at E3 2021. Instead, we’ll likely see this game in the next big Nintendo Direct.
Metroid Prime 4
In good news, a new Metroid was announced at E3 2021. In bad news, it’s not Metroid Prime 4.
This is one of the few lingering boogeymen of the modern era, with a slow trickle of rumours giving players hope the game is still coming. Like Bayonetta, Metroid Prime 4 was announced way back in 2017 — but there has been a bit more news along the way.
In 2019, the game was allegedly scrapped and restarted, for one thing.
We don’t know exactly what the means, but we do know the truncated development cycle for the game isn’t normal. This year felt right to hear more about how the project is going but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. All we heard from Nintendo was an acknowledgement the game was still in development.
We’ll be surprised if Metroid Prime 4 makes it to next year’s E3 at this stage.
Hellblade 2 was announced way back in December 2019 to hype up the release of the Xbox Series X. But November 2020 came and went, and there was no sign on Senua or her strange companions.
All we really know about the game is that it’s one of the few Xbox Series X/S exclusives, and it looks really, really cool.
Hellblade 2 could be shown off at the upcoming Xbox Games Showcase: Extended on June 18, but for now we don’t when its next appearance will be.
A new BioShock was confirmed to be in development in 2019, with reports claiming it had been at least four years since work had begun on the project. But despite this alleged development time, we still haven’t seen anything of it.
Instead of even teasing the project at this year’s E3, 2K Games chose not to comment and instead shared an admittedly-awesome look at Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a spin-off from the mainline Borderlands series.
It had a second chance to show off its wares at the highly anticipated Take Two Interactive conference, but this turned out to be a talking head presentation rather than the rapid-fire games showcase everybody expected (and wanted).
It means two years after the game’s existence was confirmed, we still don’t have a clear idea about what it is or how it’ll connect to the BioShock universe.
Grand Theft Auto 6
Gee, Take Two really likes to play with our feelings, doesn’t it?
Going into E3 2021 it was widely assumed the company’s showcase would include at least one game announcement — and given the immense popularity and fervour behind the next Grand Theft Auto, the game felt like a prime candidate to make a surprise appearance.
Fans waited, and then… nothing. The Take Two showcase came and went, and there was no mention of GTA 6.
It’s been eight long years since GTA V swept the globe and anticipation for the next game is hotter than ever, but there was nary a peep at this year’s E3. To be fair, this is the kind of game deserving of a much larger stage than an all-digital conference, but damn if it doesn’t hurt to see this one left on the shelf.
One day, we’ll hear more about GTA 6. Unfortunately, it won’t be any time soon.
What games did you miss most at E3 2021? Have any bold predictions for next year? Sound off in the comments below.
To catch up with all things E3, check out the Kotaku Australia hub for every announcement, showcase and game here.