In one week, E3 will reveal just about every major game you will be able to play in the next year. For shooter fans, these are the big ones expected at the big show:
Bioshock 2 - The sequel to one of the most acclaimed and respected games of this generation is getting both a narrative twist (you are the Big Daddy) but also some new shooter mechanics (dual-wielding of plasmids and dynamic firefights triggered when you send adopted Little Sisters to harvest Adam). Plus maybe they'll show us the new multiplayer. (PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Preview here.)
Singularity - Development studio Raven Software mixes an FPS with the ability to age and de-age barrels, boats, bad guys and more. (Xbox 360, PS3)
Modern Warfare 2 - Infinity Ward gets its feet snowy with a sequel to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. " Last time Infinity Ward showed a trailer at E3 it upstaged a new Halo. Again this year? (PC, PS3, Xbox 360.)
Halo 3: ODST - Indie gaming development studio Bungie has a Halo expansion/sequel to its first three Halo games. And this one has stealth. How? (Xbox 360)
Dead Space Extraction - Few E3 projects are as fraught with the potential to disappoint at the show then this Wii prequel. And that's considering the fact that this on-rails Wii game could be superb. It's challenge is impressing fans who were wowed by the graphics of its predecessor on far more powerful systems. So beloved was the first Dead Space that it compelled people to talk trash about Resident Evil. (Wii, Preview here.)
Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles - Capcom's light-gun sequel covering more Resident Evil lore. (Wii)
The Conduit - High Voltage's must-hyped hardcore FPS for the Wii (Wii)
Section 8 - Timegate's Tribes-style multiplayer shooter with a high-altitude aerial drop strategic gimmick. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Preview here.)
Borderlands - This game's gimmick last year was that it could randomly generate thousands of weapons to wield in its vast open environments. This year it adds its "hand-shaded" graphical makeover. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
MAG - The game that can support 256 player matches is likely to be pushed hard by Sony as it is the first PS3 outing from the makers of SOCOM (PS3)
Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time - No matter how much story gets added to these games, they always make their guns the stars. Insomniac gets to be one of the first studios — the only? — to debut a fifth PS3 exclusive, suggesting they should demonstrate some comfort with that architecture. (PS3)
Lost Planet 2 - In from the cold, Capcom goes tropical with a heavy focus on three player co-op. And with giant bosses to scale. (PC, Xbox 360. Preview here.)
Dark Void - Capcom adds a jetpack to the Gears of War formula of third-person cover combat. Kinks are still being worked out. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360. Preview here.)
APB - Essentially a Grand Theft Auto MMO, APB's E3 showing is expected to be good. On what platforms it will be for is the mystery.
Aliens vs Predator - Not included in Sega's official E3 2009 line-up, it could still show up. (CORRECTION: It is in the official line-up. It will be there. And Aliens will fight Predators.)
Quantum Theory - Tecmo's take on Gears of War. (PS3)
Rage - Id's big shooter with racing elements. It will have the tech, but will the gameplay be there? And will the game even show at E3? (PC, PX3, Xbox 360, we think.)
Wolfenstien - id Software and Raven Software's revival of the classic Wolfenstein series, and one of very few shooters this year that will have Nazis. That's unusual. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360. Preview here.)
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - A company as big as EA shoukd have a go-to shooter franchise on consoles. They haven't since the glory days of Medal of Honor. A second Bad Company is the latest candidate for a comeback. (PC, PS3, Xbox360. Preview here.)
Something From Valve - Pick something they make that you like. Guess with me. Cross fingers.
UPDATE of two games I forgot:
Army of Two: The 40th Day - EA's co-op sequel wowed our own Michael McWhertor at a recent EA press event, with its streamlined co-op and hints of some sort of morality system. (PS3, Xbox 360. Preview here.)
Brink - It's from Bethesda and Splash Damage and it's... who knows?? We're guessing it has lots of shooting, given Spash Damage's development history. (PC, PS3, Xbox 360. Teaser trailer here.)
What's the trend here?
There are piles of shooters. That's no trend, though. That's a gaming constant. Most are set up to push graphics; most have a strong multiplayer hook. And all of them star dudes.
(NOTE: If you don't see the shooter you're anticipating for E3 listed here, I either forgot it, thought it was to low profile or think it has enough of a storyline to go into the next preview that will cover action-adventures. And also, check out our E3 2009 Racing Game preview.)