This year E3 was completely showcased online due to the length of the pandemic that we are still recovering from. With it came a number of challenges, not only for game developers but for companies showcasing new games they’ve been able to work on during the last few years. In this article, I’m going to cover many of the E3 announcements this year, as well as some of my most anticipated.
Out of the Nintendo Showcase came a number of titles being ported to the Nintendo Switch like Worms Rumble and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2. Both of these titles I’m excited to see on the Switch because I played a bunch of both Worms and Tony Hawk games many years ago, so it’s on account of nostalgia. I’m also personally excited for some more Legend of Zelda because Breath of the Wild 2 was announced! Again, while I haven’t played all of the Zelda series, it holds a special place in my heart, meaning I will not miss this title when we get it in 2022.
Metroid fans can rejoice because a new game was announced titled ‘Metroid Dread‘ which puts players in the role of Samus Aran. This is the fifth installment of the Metroid series and fans of the side-scrolling action can finally look forward to this latest addition.
Beloved Shin Megami Tensei V is slated for launch in November 2021 which will make plenty of fans of the role-playing title happy. The game is designed to be a hybrid between Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei IV, so expect to be raising and fusing demons along with other new mechanics. I’ve never tried this series, but I do know that many people in my circle are hyped for this one!
Dear Villagers is publishing a JRPG this year titled Astria Ascending and it looks fantastic. I’m not too familiar with this title but knowing that it’s being published by Dear Villagers who brought titles like Hover, Edge of Eternity, and The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos, I’m interested to watch some of Astria’s gameplay.
There were a few more titles announced which are: WarioWare: Get it Together, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, Mario Party Superstars, Cruis’n Blast, Danganronpa Decadence, and Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Remaster.
So we all know about my love for Dontnod’s Life is Strange series, yes? Well good news for people like me! Life is Strange is being remastered and I have to say that the graphics do appear to be much better than the original (Although, I’m not sure that the games will be worthwhile to purchase again, but we’ll see.) Anyways, we also saw a more in-depth trailer for Life is Strange: True Colors where players get to be Alex, a woman who feels the emotions of others. This is a must buy for me in September of this year!
Strangely I’ve missed any news about the Hitman series since the third game was released as the final installment, but Square Enix surprised us with a mobile, free to play title called Hitman Sniper: The Shadows. The mobile market has gained a lot of traction over the last couple of years and it shouldn’t be a surprise that studios are jumping on the band wagon, so who knows? This game could be good. I may give it a shot. (Terrible, I know.)
I love a good Final Fantasy game and Square Enix hit us with a trailer for Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. This title is an action role-playing game and is a spin-off of the main Final Fantasy series. Although, based on the trailer, I can’t say I have high hopes for it right now. The trailer repeats the protagonist’s need to kill someone named Chaos and if that is the sole motivation for the story, UGH. Square, I hope for your sake and for Final Fantasy fan’s sake that there is more to the game than that. Just saying…
Finally, Square Enix showcased a new Guardians of the Galaxy game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I am often skeptical of movie-to-video game renditions. I’m especially worried about it because of the terrible Fast and Furious video game. While it would be awesome to ride with the Guardians and maybe attempt to stop Thanos before oblivion happens, I don’t have high hopes for a video game. I especially don’t tend to have high expectations given that the showcase for it was needlessly long. I want this to be good, but I don’t know yet. We’ll see.
Xbox and Bethesda
Out of all the game announcements from this year’s E3, there is only one that I shrieked over. That would be for more SLIMESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Yes. That’s right. We are getting a Slime Rancher 2 and I’m over the moon. I played a ton of the first game on stream and absolutely loved every minute of it. I will get this game and play a TON of it, because it’s just that good. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.
Technically, there was a second title I would have been really excited about. For reasons I’m not going to go into here, I happen to love Top Gun (and yes, this does mean I will be watching Maverick in Theatres when it releases very close to my birthday. It’s tradition. Top Gun can never be a quiet movie. NEVER.) Now, if this Top Gun trailer was a standalone game, I’d be ALL OVER IT. Alas, no. Top Gun is merely a DLC for Microsoft Flight Simulator. You almost had it. ALMOST. *Grumbles*
There’s another title in the Xbox line-up that has peaked my interest and that is The Ascent which looks to be a cross between Cyberpunk and XCOM. It is definitely a third person game and players seem to be able to have a squad, but I am not yet sure if this is a single player or multiplayer title. Either way, it looks neat and I’m totally down for more tactical games especially if they are in the vein of Cyberpunk. Check out the trailer here.
A couple other intriguing games are Redfall – a vampire game which can be played solo or multiplayer, Psychonauts 2 – a cute platformer which was developed by Double Fine, Starfield – a first person action-adventure game, Twelve Minutes – an interactive thriller by Annapurna, Aragami 2 – a ninja stealth game developed by Lince Works,
Other titles announced during the Xbox showcase were:
- Shredders – Developer Foam Punch announced this snowboarding game
- Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising & Hundred Heroes – A JRPG that was successfully Kickstarted and launches in 2022
- Forza Horizon 5 – Playground Games returns to the stage with this popular driving title
- Party Animals – This is a physics-based brawler which looks like Gang Beasts but with animals
- Replaced – A side-scrolling steampunk action game coming out in 2022
- Somerville – By Jumpship comes a sci-fi adventure where players try to make their family whole again
- Battlefield 2042 – The iconic first person shooter by DICE and published by EA is releasing the seventeenth installment in the series
- Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl – Sequel to Shadow of Chernobyl, Stalker 2 is a first person survival shooter from GSC Games
Devolver Digital always has an interesting showcase where I often don’t think the games are real until I look them up. As history shows, the studio doesn’t have many games to show off, but what they do announce tends to be different than others. One of those titles is Death’s Door which is classified as adventure, shooter, action roleplaying, and fighting game. Players take the form of a crow who reaps the souls of the dead. It sounds strange because it is.
Another title announced by Devolver Digital is a game called Inscryption which is a card-based deck building roguelike mixed with some escape room puzzles and psychological horror. As I said, they announce games that are off the wall, and this one is no different. Check out the Inscryption trailer here.
Coming to the App Store and Google Play later this year comes the title ‘Tumble Time’. This game is so strange that I don’t even know what to say for it. If you’re brave enough to think that your head won’t explode, check out the trailer here.
The final three titles that were announced at E3 this year are Demon Throttle, Trek to Yomi, and Wizard with a Gun .(Not gonna lie, I kinda want this even though I know I would SUCK HORRIBLY at it.). Feel free to check out all the trailers for those to get more information about them.
Is it really E3 if we don’t have a Just Dance announcement? Probably not. Normally we have some embarrassing demonstration or performance that makes the dancer in me roll over in my future grave. As much as I love the Just Dance series because it is a fun game, the marketing kills me every year. Please, I beg you. Find another way to market the game because this travesty needs to end. I BEG YOU.
Just when I thought the face-rolling was done, Ubisoft announced Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Don’t get me wrong, at the time the Avatar movie came out, it was a cinematic marvel. But movies that become video games are very much hit and miss. Some of the good ones include Mortal Kombat, Golden Eye, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek Bridge Crew. It’s not to say that the Avatar game can’t be good, it’s that I don’t have particularly high hopes for it. (Also, I wasn’t super enthralled with the movie like most people were.)
I know a lot of people who are extremely excited for Rainbow Six Extraction, but I’ve never been much of a shooter kind of player. It doesn’t help that the developers felt the need to change the original name from quarantine. The word is not bad or malicious and I don’t see why the change was necessary. Anyways, I’m sure the fans of Rainbow Six Siege will be excited for another title but to me it’s just another shooter.
There are two titles that grabbed my attention during E3 and those are Riders Republic – a first person cross between the Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Steep, and The Trials series – and Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Riders Republic has a lot of potential replayability with the different modes while Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a tactical strategy game like the first one of its kind. And honestly, I really loved the first one.
From Koch Media we saw a trailer for King’s Bounty 2 which is an upcoming turn-based tactical RPG. While I never played the first game, this title is a fantasy based game that I’m interested in looking at. We also saw a trailer for Encased: C.R.O.N.U.S. which is a sci-fi RPG with what seem to be factions. Another sci-fi RPG that also combines horror elements is a game titled Dolmen which will be available on the PS4 and PS4 in 2022.
There were several other games that were showcased during the Koch Media presentation. Some of those titles can be see in the YouTube video below:
E3 Final Thoughts
Overall, I found that this year’s E3 presentation was lacking something for me. I think because of the pandemic I wasn’t as excited for it this time around. It has nothing to do with the games presented or the developers who worked tirelessly from home to present upcoming games to the public. That said, I’m glad that E3 even happened because most other events delayed their in person shows to 2022. While I wasn’t as hyped up this year, a few presentations impressed me with their upcoming releases.