Written By Jospeh Flores
E3 finally made it’s return this year after cancelling it’s 2020 show due to the pandemic. This year though, they went with an all digital format supporting many publishers’ own smaller, individual presentations. There were still some heavy hitters doing a more traditional E3 presentation though, such as Xbox/Bethesda (who combined their presentation) and Nintendo. Alongside E3, video game personality Geoff Keighley put on a separate show going head to head with E3 called “The Summer Games Fest”. This all digital format with so many individual live streams and presentations may have been a bit jarring and unorganized but nonetheless, it was definitely cool to get a look at new games that are on the horizon. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the stuff that was shown.
The Xbox and Bethesda presentation delivered us new reveals and updates on their upcoming game releases. They showed 30 games (27 of those games will be on Xbox’s Gamepass subscription).
Opening the show was the highly anticipated new IP from Bethesda Games Studios called “Starfield”. The reveal was accompanied with an in-engine cinematic trailer and capped with a release date of November 11th 2022.
The next big reveal was the newest installment in the Halo franchise, “Halo Infinite”. The game was supposed to accompany the launch of the Xbox Series X/S last holiday season but eventually got delayed. The game was presented with a cinematic trailer for the game’s single player campaign and a gameplay trailer for the game’s new multiplayer. They continued the presentation by revealing that the multiplayer component of “Halo Infinite” will be a standalone Free-to-Play experience with a single purchase battlepass. They did make it a point to note that all microtransactions will be cosmetic only and have no impact on performance of the game.
Many other games were announced such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2, 12 Minutes, Replaced, Outer Worlds 2, Forza Horizon 5, Arkane Studio’s Redfall, Psychonauts 2, and so much more.
Square featured a much smaller show but did have a few new things to reveal. The show opened with a really big look at Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy game. Guardian’s is a story focused single player game coming to ALL platforms. You take control of Starlord and he is also able to call on the rest of the Guardians to string in the middle of combos. The game seems to have dialogue choices that affect the story. The game is set to release on October 26 2021.
The other big reveal at this event was Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins. The trailer features a protagonist that seems to REALLY hate a character named Chaos. He wants to kill Chaos, which he states repeatedly over this trailer about 7 or 8 times. Other than the hilarious trailer, the game is kind of a souls-like game with story connections to the very first Final Fantasy.
In true Nintendo fashion, they came to E3 with a “Nintendo Direct”. The Direct featured games such as Shin Megami Tensei V, Advanced Wars 1+2 Reboot Camp, Warioware Get it Together, and a Zelda themed Game and Watch device.
One of the big announcements from this event though is Metroid Dread. Metroid Dread is a classic style 2D Metroid game (i.e. Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion). Seems like instead of aliens, Sammus is going to be up against these sentient robot creatures called EMMIs. Nintendo also made it a point to let us know that Metroid Prime 4 is still in development but did not provide any other information.
The other big announcement was at the tail end of the Direct. Nintendo revealed another look at the highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. This trailer featured a mix of in game cinematics and gameplay in the BOTW world. The game looks beautiful and it seems in addition to the game world from the first entry, Link will have to explore new Sky Islands hovering above Hyrule. No type of release date was announced but Nintendo did come out and say that they are shooting for 2022.
The Ubisoft show was another one of those smaller events but they did provide a look at several games. Of course they revealed their 2021 installment of their Just Dance series, a new entry in the Mario + Rabbids series and they also gave us a look at Rider’s Republic, an action sports shared world game.
Rainbow 6: Extraction, which was previously known as Rainbow 6: Quarantine (name changed for obvious reasons) was shown. It’s a cooperative shooter kinda based on a R6: Siege event from a few years ago where you fight off waves of zombie-like creatures. The game features characters from the Siege universe and will be set to launch on September 16th, 2021.
Ubisoft also gave a new look at Farcry 6. The presentation gave a new look at Giancarlo Esposito’s villain in the game and some new wild looking gameplay that the Farcry series is known for. They also announced a season pass with a game mode that features the villains from past Farcry entries. The game comes out October 7th, 2021.
They closed the show with a reveal of a completely new title set in the Avatar universe. The game is called Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The game was shown with an in-engine cinematic trailer but no actual release date was shown. The game is being developed by Massive, who are known for The Division series of games.
Summer Games Fest
Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest went first out of all the conferences and featured a look at a wide selection of games. Geoff checked in with his good friend Hideo Kojima to see how he was doing and talk about 9/11 a little bit? It was definitely a strange exchange but Kojima did leave us with something before he signed off. Death Stranding: Director’s Cut was shown off with a trailer featuring some super heavy references to Kojima’s previous series Metal Gear Solid. No date was shown for this new edition but it was revealed that there would be more information on this game in the coming weeks.
The announcement that everybody seemed to be waiting for though was Fromsoftware’s Elden Ring. The game has been in development for a long time and seems to be getting story and lore written by George R.R. Martin. Elden Ring seems to be building on the very popular Dark Souls formula but adding a complete open world to the mix. Your character also has a summonable horse at their disposal and a jumping ability absent from previous Dark Souls entries. The game was also given a release date of January 21st, 2022.
E3 this year was definitely interesting with it’s new format. There were many other presentations from the likes of Capcom, Bandai Namco, Devolver Digital and more. Playstation opted out of being present for E3, as they did last year but we can only assume that they will have something planned in the near future. EA will be hosting an event in July to showcase their lineup of games which will include Battlefield 2042, Madden 22, and they recently announced that they will be reviving one of their old IP’s (please be Dead Space). That does it for E3, it’s always good to learn about new and awesome video games on the horizon.
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A Review From Jeremy Miller
When it comes to video games, the big thing right now is “Battle Royales”. Whether you prefer to play solo or with a squad, there is no shortage of options. Fortnite and PUBG have been two of the most popular for well over a year, and the bigger developers have taken notice and even came out with their own versions of the popular genre. Respawn Entertainment, the creators of the Titanfall game franchise, have created a BR called ‘Apex Legends’. It feels as if all I have played in the last year are “Battle Royales”, so I was a little skeptical when I first played it, thinking that it would feel the same as the others with just with different cosmetics. Man was I wrong, and I’m glad I was.
‘Apex Legends’ is a class based shooter, meaning each character has abilities and specials that only they can use. For instance, Lifeline is a Combat Medic. She can deploy a healing drone and drop a care package for her team to get defensive and healing supplies. Bangalore is a combat specialist, or DPS, character. She can throw out smoke grenades and when her special is ready, can drop Rolling Thunder, an artillery strike. With each character having their own strengths and abilities, the game kinda forces players to play with a team first mentality, rather than running off on your own. And that alone separates ‘Apex Legends’ from the other BR games at the moment.
‘Apex Legends’ is a beautiful game. The graphics are amazing and if it weren’t for other players trying to shoot my head off, I’d probably have time to snap more screenshots. The only game mode is Trios, meaning that if you don’t have a friend or two in your party, the game will match you with randoms. The game will randomly select who picks their character first, then second and third. The other new thing that was added, is called a Jumpmaster, who is also selected at random. The Jumpmaster is the one who can select a spot and jump out of the flying vehicle to land at that position. The game does give the option for a player to break away from the group and go off on their own. Once your team has landed, the mission to survive begins. There is plenty of loot laying around for everyone to have 2 weapons of their choice with a couple of attachments. Which in turn makes it extremely interesting if there are other groups that landed with you.
Not only is Apex Legends a beautiful designed game with great mechanics, it’s also free on PC, XBox and PlayStation. I can’t wait to see what new characters Respawn has in store for us. I have yet been able to secure a victory, but that doesn’t matter. I like to play games because I have fun, especially if it’s with friends. But I would be lying if I told you I don’t have a competitive side. I will get that win one day. And I’ll brag about it to my cat.
Overall I would have to rate this game a solid 9/10.
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A Review From Hidai Moya
With ‘Forza Horizon 4’, Microsoft/Xbox continues to prove that it owns the flagship car/racing series of the 8th generation. Not only does it breathe new life into this decades old genre but it also takes a racing game to unprecedented heights it’s literally never been to before.
The developers had the ingenious idea of introducing a dynamic open world whose environment would change with every annual season. Allowing players to have a fully shared open world with other drivers is also a gleefully whimsical feature that ensures a unique experience every time you play.
On a technical level this game also looks impeccable in native 4K & on the XBox One X.
As of launch, it has also become the highest rated AAA racing game of the last 14 years.