There and back again: the games returning to E3 this year

E3 has been around for nearly 20 years now. The annual trade show is a celebration of games, and each year, the biggest, most in-depth stories are about what's new in hardware and software from companies big and small.

But seeing a game at E3 is no guarantee that you'll find it on retail shelves or in digital marketplaces the same year. Or, in some cases, the next. As games get bigger, development timelines get longer, and some games make more than one appearance at E3. Here are the games we've seen before, set to return to on stages and booths this week in Los Angeles.

BAYONETTA 2

Bayonetta 2 has been around and unreleased for almost two years years. First revealed in September 2012, we learned last year at E3 that the Wii U exclusive is scheduled for a 2014 release with a two-player mode. We also went hands-on with the game at a pre-E3 event last year, so be sure to check out our impressions of Bayonetta 2, which is headed to Japan this summer.

BELOW

Microsoft and Capybara Games revealed Below at E3 2013. The first time we saw the top-down action game from the developer best known for Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and Super Time Force, Capy's Nathan Vella told us that, although it's not exactly a roguelike, Below will feature "brutal but fair combat." Once billed as an Xbox One exclusive, Capy later said that it will arrive on other platforms in time, including Windows PC. We went hands-on with Below at PAX East this April, so be sure to read our most recent coverage to learn more.

THE CREW

Ubisoft revealed The Crew, developer Ivory Tower's massively multiplayer open-world racing game, at E3 2013. Producer Tristan LeFranc told Polygon last August that the goal is to create a seamless, social online experience, and creative director Julian Gerighty told us in November about its asynchronous challenges. Originally slated for an early 2014 release, Ubisoft announced a delay and later clarified that it's set to be released this fall. exactly when the game will be released in 2014 is still in question.

DESTINY

Bungie spent the 2000s creating the Halo universe, becoming a subsidiary of Microsoft and releasing first-person shooters for Xbox consoles. In late 2007, Bungie became an independent company again. It released its last game in the series, Halo: Reach, in 2010. That same year, the developer announced a 10-year partnership with Activision. It would be another three years until Bungie officially revealed its post-Halo project, a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter called Destiny.

Headed to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Destiny combines the shooting of Halo with loot drops found in series like Borderlands and Diablo. Bungie President Harold Ryan told Polygon during E3 2013 why it decided to unveil a specific level and specific loot during Sony's press conference. We also went in-depth with its developers to learn how they created "a game of superlatives." For the first time, we went hands-on with Destiny in April. Its beta will arrive next month.

DIABLO 3 for PLAYSTATION 4 and XBOX ONE

Diablo 3 arrived on Mac and PC in 2012 to critical acclaim. By June 2013, developer Blizzard Entertainment announced a release date for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ports. We went hands-on with the then-unreleased PS3 version and its revamped controls, at a meeting where the developers were bullish on next-gen consoles. That same month, Blizzard made the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Diablo 3 official. Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, which includes the Reaper of Souls expansion, is set for an Aug. 19 release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

DYING LIGHT

Developer Techland revealed its free-running zombie survival game, Dying Light, in May 2013. Originally scheduled to be released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014, the developer announced a delay to February 2015 in May 2014. For more on the game, be sure to read Polygon's E3 2013 in-depth interview with its developers.

EA SPORTS UFC

EA Canada is bringing mixed martial arts to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One the week after E3 2014. THQ, the former owner of an exclusive video game license from the UFC sold the publishing rights to Electronic Arts just before at E3 2012. For more on EA Sports UFC, be sure to read Polygon's recent impressions.

THE EVIL WITHIN

Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami's studio Tango Gameworks revealed The Evil Within in April 2013. Originally scheduled for an Aug. 26 release, the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC game was recently delayed to Oct. 21. You can learn more about the game and its creator in our Shinji Mikami feature.

Halo 5: Guardians

Bonnie Ross, general manager of Halo developer 343 Industries, took the stage at E3 2013 to reveal that the next installment in the sci-fi first-person shooter franchise was bound for Xbox One. According to Ross, the unnamed game would take "full advantage" of the console and run at 60 frames per second. A report last month said that the first four numbered editions of the Halo franchise would be re-released in an Xbox One anthology called Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Shortly after that, Ross revealed that Halo 5: Guardians, the next installment in the Reclaimer Trilogy that began with Halo 4, is headed to Xbox One in 2015.

HOHOKUM

Developer Honeyslug's whimsical game about exploration and creativity just received an Aug. 12 release date on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It'll be on display at the Indiecade Showcase at E3 2104. For more on the game, be sure to read our interview with developers developers Richard Hogg and Ricky Haggett.

LORDS OF THE FALLEN

Developer Deck 13 Interactive revealed its fantasy-infused action role-playing game in May 2013. In development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, check out our impressions of a Lords of the Fallen demo to learn more.

METAL GEAR SOLID 5: THE PHANTOM PAIN

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, developer Kojima Productions upcoming stealth game, was first revealed in a teaser trailer, back when Kojima and company were pretending to be Moby Dick Studio. The PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One game will star Kiefer Sutherland as Snake. Not to be confused with its prequel, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, a trailer for The Phantom Pain running on Xbox One ran during Microsoft's press conference at E3 2013.

ODDWORLD: ABE'S ODDYSEE NEW N TASTY

Oddworld founder Lorne Lanning and developer Stewart Gilray first revealed the 2.5D remake platformer at the Eurogamer Expo in September 2012. Last year at E3, Sony announced that the new version of the of the 1997 game is headed to PS4.

THE ORDER: 1886

Ready at Dawn Studios' third-person shooter set in an alternate Victorian London made its debut at Sony's E3 press conference last year. Check out our impressions of The Order: 1886's first gameplay and interview with Ready at Dawn founder and CEO Ru Weerasuriya to learn more about the cover-based shooter's development. Originally scheduled for release in late 2014, Sony just announced a delay to 2015. We saw more of the game just ahead of that delay announcement, so be sure to read Polygon's more recent impressions.

SUPER SMASH BROS. for WII U and NINTENDO 3DS

Nintendo announced the upcoming fighting game back at E3 2011. During E3 last year, Nintendo revealed characters like Animal Crossing's Villager and Mega Man. Set for release this summer on Nintendo 3DS and this winter on Wii U, Nintendo will hold a Super Smash Bros. for Wii tournament at E3 2014.

TOM CLANCY'S THE DIVISION

Ubisoft unveiled Massive Entertainment's massively multiplayer role-playing game shooter for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC at its E3 2013 press conference. Massive announced a delay from 2014 to 2015 in May. For more on the game, which takes place in New York in the aftermath of a pandemic, be sure to read our E3 2013 in-depth interview with the developers of Tom Clancy's The Division.

THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT

Unveiled early last year, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the fantasy role-playing game's first foray into open-world territory. In development at CD Projekt Red for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, developers told us at various times that the RPG will have 36 different endings determined by player choice. Just last week, the developer announced that the game is slated for a Feb. 24, 2015 release.

THE WITNESS

Braid developer Jonathan Blow showed off The Witness the night Sony revealed the PlayStation 4. During a hands-off demo at E3 2013, Blow explained that The Witness is based on the belief that it can communicate non-verbally with players. Earlier this year, he explained why he decided to add virtual reality support to the Myst-like puzzle game. For more on The Witness, be sure to read our impression and interview from last November.

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