With EA and Microsoft out of the way and Bethesda coming up in a few hours, E3 is well under way and many heavy hitting announcements have already made headlines. We unfortunately know that our enthusiasm for Rockstar's possible appearance needs to be severely curbed, but there are still plenty of games they could announce if they do show up.
With the immense success of GTA 5 mounting and the hype around Red Dead Redemption 2 being what it is, it's easy to forget that Rockstar has a whole lot of other IP to their name that could be taken off the ice after all these years. There are plenty of franchises in their lineup that fans would love to see new installments of, and we know that Rockstar's standard of quality would ensure that all of these titles would be fantastic games, if ever made. Too bad they won't.
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The Manhunt franchise is Rockstar's darkest. While GTA has plenty of dark humor, there is more emphasis on the humor and less on the dark, while Manhunt is the reverse of this. The two games in the series we have now mostly served to hammer home the point that human beings are horrible, horrible monsters, but there are a few satirical gags littered throughout.
A new Manhunt title could greatly benefit from the improvements in gaming hardware since the last game released, and Rockstar proved with the Slasher Adversary Mode in GTA that they could totally nail the gameplay.
Smuggler's Run 3
Alright, how many of you actually played any of the Smuggler's Run games? Renowned for their difficulty, these games had players use a wide variety of vehicles to deliver contraband cargo across massive open maps while evading enemies such as border patrol and the CIA. The second game introduced a number of other objectives as well.
Since the gaming industry is really hot on open worlds these days, this franchise would work perfectly. Online Co-op gameplay would be a nice addition, and the many improvements in graphics since 2001 could include realistic weather hazards such as storms. While an on-foot component could be used to expand gameplay, it would risk making the game feel too much like GTA. However the fact that Smuggler's Run almost exclusively takes place in the wilderness, and the lack of an urban area, might be enough to differentiate the two.
L.A. Noire 2
L.A. Noire was one of those games which the gaming community remembers as something where the good parts were really good, but the bad parts prevented it from truly being a great game. Rockstar really ought to give the IP a second chance, as it had a ton of potential.
That said, it's possible that a new take on L.A. Noire should be more bold, and Rockstar need not hold back on stripping away the bits that just didn't work. We could see a sequel - or reboot, even - where the game more resembles a Telltale title focusing entirely on the storyline elements with little by way of action or regular gameplay.
The Midnight Club
Forza, Gran Turismo and Need For Speed have spearheaded the racing scene for too long, and it's high time to expand things into a quadrumvirate with Rockstar's The Midnight Club. The universally praised street racing franchise is fondly remembered by all who played the games back in the day, and is one of the most frequently request revivals of old IP.
We see a new The Midnight Club game exploding onto the scene as the loveable underdog of the racing genre. Instead of blowing astronomical amounts of money on creating the most impressive photorealistic graphics, The Midnight Club could win the hearts of gamers by nailing the best gameplay experience on the market, as per Rockstar tradition.
While we started off this article saying that there are plenty of memorable IP other than GTA in Rockstar's bag, this is one that needs mentioning.
The 3D era saw a number of spin-off games following GTA 3, and GTA 4 was followed up by major expansions. The current exclusive focus on Online content is a bummer for long-standing fans of the franchise who love the detailed single player experience GTA titles have provided in the past.
Funnily enough, Shawn Fonteno and Ned Luke are currently pulling what may be another prank via Instagram, jokingly teasing collaborative work on new GTA content. One can always hope, right?
Unfortunately, there is almost zero chance that any of the games we listed will actually grab the show-floor at E3, leaving us with Red Dead Redemption 2 to wait for while we kill time with GTA Online, which is about to be expanded with the Gunrunning DLC.