E3 2011: Activision, What's Going Down?

By Adam Ma on May 26, 2011, 2:34AM EDT

Activision is in a strange place right now, one which we haven't really seen it in before. Having sworn off making music games for a while in addition to slowing down the release of their famous skateboarding franchise, this may be one of the few years in recent gaming history where the publisher hasn't swarmed the industry with sequels and spin-offs. It's a strange feeling knowing that this year we won't have six or so Guitar Heroes to look forward to "” or that at the very least I won't have another DJ Hero to sit down and enjoy, but good things come to those who wait and fans should still have a lot to look forward to this year. Some of what they have to show will be pretty obvious, but it would be pretty painful to let an E3 go by without at least showcasing some upcoming projects right? Activision has felt that way in the past, so I seriously doubt they'll get stingy on us this year.

First and foremost is Modern Warfare 3. Suffice to say it had best be there in some form. Even though multiplayer is the series' trump card, it's still rather doubtful we'll be seeing any gameplay from an online perspective, but that's only to be expected as we're still quite far from the projected release date this year. I imagine Activision would take the time to do a few things that are absolutely pinnacle to the success of the title, introducing their brand new development team Sledgehammer Games while at the same time highlighting some of the changes that have been brought forth in the single player campaign.

Fans of the series would take note that many, if not all, of the features in the Modern Warfare 2's campaign mode made their way into multiplayer, so it's only fair to assume that things will work the same way for the last instalment of the trilogy. It's a nice way of dropping hints at multiplayer changes without actually showcasing any multiplayer footage. There's no doubt it will also encourage the thought that the games three development teams are working quite well together.

Also in the Call of Duty franchise would be Beachhead's contribution to the series, which up until this point has been pretty cryptic. We know so far it will be online, innovative, and signature to the series; which in the gaming world is the equivalent of saying 'it will be a sandwich which features bread, filling, and good tasting things.' Generic press release statements aside, it would be fair enough to assume that the title will be online, but most likely not a major console release. Free-to-play PC option is certainly viable, as their major competitor EA already has quite a bit of success with their Battlefield Heroes and Play4Free. It's also equally fair to assume that the publisher may finally be looking to solidifying something in the handheld/mobile sector. If nothing else, it would certainly give gamers a different way to experience the CoD franchise "” sitting at work with a chopper gunner from your iPhone may not be the worst way to be distracted at your job.

Outside of CoD, Activision have been a little more unreadable, but that's not to say that they don't have things to announce. We've already confirmed this year a few franchise titles like Transformers: Dark of The Moon, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, and X-Men: Destiny, but to say any of those games would be given floor time is a little iffy. Though it's fair to say that X-Men: Destiny has done a great job promoting itself and that the last Spider-Man game did do quite a good job of generating buzz at last year's E3, so anything is possible.

It's far more reasonable to expect some information regarding Prototype 2 though, particularly since it's been a while since we've heard anything about the series. Gameplay trailers would be fantastic and may help quell some of the unrest that the game will be no different than the first, if not better. With an extremely recent trailer for Prototype's out-of-game nemesis, inFamous 2, E3 would be the perfect time to show off all of those fantastic mutilations and ultra-violent kills that made the first Prototype memorable.

Though Bungie won't be at Activision in force, there's still a slim chance of seeing a trailer to begin to hype over their new collaborative game. It would be nice to at least get a better direction of what they're working on, but then again Bungie is a large enough studio that they can call their own shots; very similar in fact to Blizzard who will likely hold off on any major announcements until their own convention, Blizzcon. It all winds up to being a rather slim year for Activision, but that doesn't mean that they may have any surprises in store for us. Who knows, maybe they'll take this E3 to announce some previously unmentioned titles, or maybe a new Black Ops map pack. The sky's the limit, as they say.

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