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E3 2021: Post-Apocalyptic Game Expectations and Predictions

Horizon Zero Dawn

One of the largest video game industry events in the world will be returning next month after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but E3 2021 will certainly not be the same.

Now called the Electronic Entertainment Experience (previously Electronic Entertainment Expo), E3 will still spotlight the latest computer hardware, software, and video game publishers, but none of it will be in person.

While that might sound like a bit of a bummer, the organizers are making up for it by offering the entire virtual event for free to the general public via its mobile app or online portal starting on June 3rd.

Of course, what we’re most interested in is the post-apocalyptic offerings from game companies this year, so I compiled a handy little guide to what to expect from our favorite genre at the expo… er, experience.

Atomic Heart

Atomic Heart

Already confirmed to debut at E3, Mundfish’s Atomic Heart is an open world FPS that takes place in an alternate, post-apocalyptic Soviet Union where machines have taken over. The release date has been announced as June 13, so we’re looking forward to a new trailer and more info on the game during the event.

Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2

Ten years after the original zombie-busting classic, we may see a solid announcement for the highly anticipated Dead Island 2 during the Koch Media showcase on June 11.

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2 was just confirmed for a December 7, 2021 release date this last week, but we’ll most likely see more details about the sequel during E3.

Horizon Zero Dawn


Horizon Forbidden West was shown off for the first time at Sony’s State of Play even earlier in May, and while Sony will not be announcing anything at (or even attending) E3 this year, we imagine a release date for the highly anticipated sequel will come during Geoff Keighley’s four-month-long Summer Game Fest event that will be running concurrent to both E3 and Gamescom.

It’s also slightly possible that the Last of Us remake will be announced during this time, as well. But that doesn’t seem like an actual thing at this point.



Since Microsoft bought ZeniMax — and subsequently Bethesda — earlier this year, we’re optimistic about some big announcements at Bethesda’s press conference on June 13. While additional content for Fallout 76 isn’t completely unheard of, we’re hoping that it’s much bigger than that. The ultimate dream is Fallout 5, but that’s not likely.

That brings us to Starfield. Bethesda fans have been awaiting this game for years (since E3 2018), but the studio has been very tight-lipped about the space RPG project. In the game’s only teaser trailer, we see a space vessel getting sucked up into some sort of black hole. But what that means exactly is still a mystery. We’re hoping to see much more about the game at E3, and we’re hoping it has some sort of intergalactic apocalypse aspect to it. Fingers crossed!

Halo Infinite is a bit more of a sure thing, and although it’s mildly post-apoc, it still counts in our books! The big deal with Infinite is that it was postponed in 2020 and will most likely see a release date announcement during E3. I’m guessing a launch date in time for the holiday season later this year.

What’d we miss? Is there anything else we should add to the list, or anything that you’d like to see announced at E3 this year? Let us know in the comments!

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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