Nintendo is set to present at E3 next month, likely in a somewhat typical E3 Direct, and the possibilities have set our imaginations racing. While it would be wise to temper our expectations and have realistic expectations, it’s hard not to get excited. Prior to COVID, Nintendo conducted a fantastic E3 2019 Direct. Since then, announcements have slowed down as a result of the pandemic slowing down game development. Could that mean that Nintendo has saved up a backlog of bombshells for us, thus making this Nintendo E3 Direct one for the ages? Here are five surprises that we hope come to fruition at the Nintendo E3 2021 presentation.
(For some more conservative E3 predictions, check out our five predictions for the 2021 Nintendo E3 presentation.)
Metroid Prime 4 had an unfortunate false start. Following a surprise reveal back at Nintendo’s 2017 E3 Direct, development stagnated and eventually had to restart from scratch with a different developer, Retro Studios, developer of the original Prime games. While it might be too early to see the game in action, this is exactly what having E3 dreams is all about. Nintendo loves to surprise its fans, and giving them an early peek at what Metroid Prime 4 has in store would make quite a memorable E3 presentation. At the very least, it would be great to get a CG teaser to know the new direction that Retro Studios is taking the series in.
If there is nothing new on the Metroid Prime 4 front, perhaps the long-sought-after Metroid Prime Trilogy remaster could make an appearance instead. A recent rumor even suggests a brand new 2D Metroid is about to be revealed, though let’s wait and see if that comes to fruition. The series has been pretty quiet since Metroid: Samus Returns on Nintendo 3DS, so it would be great to know what’s next for the legendary bounty hunter.
Is it finally time for us to see Bayonetta 3 after its reveal all the way back in 2017? Will Hideki Kamiya ever stop blocking people on social media? Both of these things seem unlikely, but if there were ever a time, then E3 could be it. A complete lack of information on Bayonetta 3 has made fans anxious about potential development challenges at PlatinumGames, but Hideki Kamiya has repeatedly stated that development is proceeding smoothly. Back in January, Kamiya mentioned that fans would receive an update on the game later this year. While Bayonetta 3 would be a big headliner in any Nintendo Direct, it’s hard to deny the audience the game could have at one of the biggest game events of the year.
PlatinumGames has made a name for itself with its stylish, over-the-top action games. The Switch-exclusive Astral Chain showed just what the studio could do on Switch hardware. Considering both that and the pedigree behind the Bayonetta games as some of PlatinumGames’ most creative and high-profile work, anticipation is high for whenever and whatever it decides to show of Bayonetta 3. For fellow fans of character action games, let’s hope that E3 is the venue for it.
More Mario Kart
In all likelihood, Nintendo doesn’t need to make a new Mario Kart game. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still selling record numbers, so why would Nintendo feel the need to cannibalize its own sales with two competing Mario Kart titles on the market? Well, Nintendo is known to emphasize sequels that meaningfully add to a formula. It’s why Nintendo hasn’t made a new F-Zero in over 15 years. With that in mind, could the next logical evolution for Mario Kart be to go the Super Smash Bros. route?
If a “Nintendo Kart” has a surprise showing at Nintendo’s E3 Direct, then this could be the way to get even more people on board. A comprehensive roster of Nintendo characters, as well as third-party guests such as Banjo-Kazooie, could turn it into an even more explosive success for Nintendo. We’re almost at the seventh anniversary of Mario Kart 8’s original release, and we hope that Nintendo can clue us in on the future of its signature kart racer before that number grows much larger.
The next Super Mario game
Super Mario Odyssey is arguably one of the best 3D Super Mario games we’ve seen from Nintendo. This made the lack of any substantial DLC for the game truly surprising, especially since many of us anticipated that it meant Nintendo had gone straight to work on a sequel. However, it’s almost been four years already since the release of Super Mario Odyssey, so it’s hard not to wonder what Nintendo is up to with its signature mascot.
Has Nintendo been quietly chipping away at Super Mario Odyssey 2? Or are we about to be surprised by a brand new take on the 3D Super Mario formula? Perhaps Nintendo is even timing the announcement and release of the next Super Mario title to go hand in hand with the rumored Switch Pro. In any case, it’s long past due for Nintendo to let us know what’s next in store for the Italian plumber, and an E3 Direct would be just the way to rectify this.
Resident Evil Outrage
Resident Evil has been on a roll of consistent high-profile releases in the last couple of years, and there’s more on the way. One of the more intriguing rumors revolves around the development of a game allegedly once treated as Resident Evil Revelations 3, which now supposedly goes by the name Resident Evil Outrage. We’re choosing to take this rumor with a huge grain of salt, but that said, Capcom is no stranger to developing spin-off games for its franchises. Capcom also has familiarity with making an exclusive RE Engine title for Nintendo Switch with Monster Hunter Rise.
The rumor for Resident Evil Outrage indicates it will be a timed exclusive for Switch and feature Rebecca Chambers as the protagonist, amidst other returning characters. Resident Evil Revelations 2 is already an impressive-looking Switch game (gameplay issues aside), and if Resident Evil Outrage makes good use of Capcom’s fantastic RE Engine, then Switch owners could be in for a treat. With the current hype from Resident Evil Village and the ever-growing success of the Switch, Nintendo’s E3 presentation could be the perfect time to announce an exclusive Resident Evil title.
What surprises are you hoping for from the 2021 Nintendo E3 presentation?