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E3 2017: What to look for

With E3 2017 only a few weeks away (June 13th - 15th with EA, Microsoft and Bethesda holding pre-show conferences on the 10th and 11th) it's time I stuck my unwanted nose in to highlight all the wonderful Zombie games coming to the show. So, without any further explanation, let's get this Bulletstorm underway - Whip. Kick. BOOM!

Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2 won't look like this

© Polygon.com

This one's a definite in my books. Announced way back in 2014, this Zombie sequel to sleeper-hit Dead Island has been through development hell. Originally under the creative minds at Yager Development, publisher Deep Silver decided they just did not like the comedic Californian vibe to Yager's vision of the game, ultimately opting to hand the reigns over to UK development studio Sumo Digital instead. This happened in March 2016; since then, nothing. Recently however, Deep Silver did go on record to say that yes, the game is still in development and they are very pleased with how it is shaping up. This tells me that the direction of the game has changed significantly from its former self - no hints are offered as to what this new direction may be. However, a little over one year's development while at Sumo is not a long time for a big-budget title in, and I quote, "Deep Silver's most successful IP". For that reason, while I think there will be a "re-announcement" with brand new trailer, I can't see a release date being this year.

State of Decay 2

State of Decay goes "bigger, better and more badass"

© Gamespot

Another definite is Undead Labs' State of Decay 2. Announced at last year's E3, the sequel to State of Decay was set to be more or less the same as the original but bigger, better and more badass. It'll also, for the first time, take the series online by offering co-op play with up to three friends. Not much more has come out on the game news-o-pedia, other than the game coming jam-packed with three playable large-scale maps, as opposed to the original's poultry one. Expect to hear more news and see some gameplay footage at this year's E3, especially as this will be one of the flagship titles for Microsoft's beefy new console; Xbox Scorpio.

Days Gone

The Zombies come at you like a unstoppable sea in Days Gone

© International Business Times

When Days Gone was announced, again in last year's E3, it looked very nearly complete. After all, we were graced with an 11 minute gameplay trailer. Back then, there were mumblings that this epic Zombie tale featuring thousands of World War Z style undead would be released around Christmas 2016. Sadly, that date came and went with no release and only a vague "TBC 2017" date set by Sony, the game's publisher. This was extremely disappointing as there are just so many reasons to be excited for Days Gone; it is from the same studio who brought us the legendary Uncharted series, it looks like an unholy mash-up of Sons of Anarchy, World War Z and The Last of Us, it has extremely gorgeous graphics (just take a look at the gameplay demo!) and, finally, the developers seem to really understand Zombies, allowing the player to use the environment to channel the sea-like hordes of Zombies into easier encounters. However, rest assured, there is almost guaranteed to be an announcement of a release date at E3.

The Last of Us Part II

The fungal-infection returns to create more Zombies in The Last of Us Part II

© PlayStation.Blog

Not owning a PlayStation, mushroom-virus Zombie game The Last of Us basically passed me by. However, I am reliably informed that it was actually pretty good and now, with a sequel on the go, I should probably pay more attention. So far, only one trailer has been revealed - a jaw-droppingly gorgeous trailer but not one that showed any gameplay footage. It has also been confirmed by Naughty Dog, the developers of the series, that, when the game was revealed back in late 2016, it was in the very early stages of development. It's reasonably safe to assume we'll get something at E3 this year but don't bet on there being a release date attached.

Resident Evil 7 DLC: Not a Hero

Delayed but not forgotten

© tamindir

This may or may not make the cut; DLC (downloadable content that can be buckled onto an already bought game) is never really given the same hype as full games. However, seeing as this is DLC for Resident Evil 7, a game which saw the re-vitalisation of the original Survival Horror masterpiece, I think there is quite a good chance of some mention of it at the show. Originally, bound for a Spring 2017 release, development of the DLC was outsourced by Capcom to a third-party developer. Work was completed on time but when Capcom saw the results they pulled a Deep Silver; no, no, the DLC just was not up to their expectations. So, with the finished DLC pulled from production it was, presumably, back to the drawing board (or however games are made these days). No further information has come out of the tight-lipped Japanese fellows, not even any word on what the new adventure will actually be about, other than it involves series-mainstay, Chris Redfield in some way.

Overkill's The Walking Dead

With every year seeming to bring a new delay, will this title ever be released?

© GameInformer

Nope - I'm calling it right now, we are not going to see anything from this title in E3 2017. That's a pretty dismal outlook I know but - ever since this game was teased by none other than esteemed creator of The Walking Dead universe himself, Robert Kirkman - the world of development has not been kind to Overkill's Zombie game. First, the game was scheduled for release in 2016, then news followed that it had been delayed to 2017, then, a few months into this year, the news came that the game had been delayed again to the second half of 2018. With constant delays and the realisation that this is an action game set in The Walking Dead universe (remember The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct anyone?) makes it difficult for me to invoke any excitement about this game. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.

Surprises

Other games have been confirmed for E3 2017, some of them may well involve Zombies. Far Cry 5 has been confirmed by Ubisoft and, while this probably won't involve Zombies in the main game, I do think it possible that there will be some spin-off DLC set in a post-apocalyptic, Zombie-filled world, in the style of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (coincidently, a game I would love to see a sequel to) or Far Cry: Primal. The Evil Within 2, not yet confirmed by Bethesda but pretty solidly rumoured, is likely to involve Zombies in some way too. It is also entirely possible for Techland to announce Dying Light 2 - it is confirmed that the Poland-based development team are hard at work on two new titles. With the apparent "huge success" of original open-world, parkour, Zombie survival game, Dying Light, a sequel is almost certainly on the cards. Left 4 Dead 3, unannounced trequel to the hit Left 4 Dead series, is another Zombie game that has been rumoured to exist for some time - 2017 may be the year for its coming.

Most of the games written in this fine article were not even known about before E3 2016, it's almost certain that many new games will be announced. Will they be Zombie games? We can only hope. (Who knows, Nintendo - attending E3 for the first time in years - may announce a Zombie game for the Switch.)

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