I didn’t cover E3 this year, but that didn’t mean I didn’t watch it. About a week ago I put out a post explaining why I didn’t cover E3 this year and whatnot, but that isn’t the focus for this blog. This blog is all about the games I found interesting from all this.
Before I get into the list, I want to clarify a few things about my selections. For starters, I am considering all gaming events starting from June 5th with Guerrilla Collective and ending on June 15th with the end of E3. Sorry to the other events after this point like EA Play Live, but I’m not waiting for that. Second, the games I selected are ones I deemed as “new” when I selected them. These are games I thought were either first announced during this chunk of time, had meaningful content to show this time around (ex. gameplay and/or a release date), or ones that were new to me. So as much as I would like to put games like Sable on here, it already had its moment for me, and I want to focus on the new stuff. This is going to be an imperfect list, as I’m sure there are games that deserve to be on this list but I thought weren’t new or games that are on this list that don’t meet my criterium. But this year’s E3 was filled with a lot of older announcements, and I didn’t have the patience or the time this year to try and figure out if every game was a new announcement or not. Also, I fear that if I did start to dig into the list I have, then a lot of them wouldn’t meet the criterium, so think of if like this: I chose these games with the rules in mind, but now I’m not going to check if they are actual new announcements because if I do then this list will be way shorter. So just know that this is an imperfect, subjective list, and this isn’t every game I found interesting, only the ones I want to highlight for this year. What a mess.
El Paso, Elsewhere
Looks like a neat spiritual successor to Max Payne but with supernatural beings instead of humans. I also think the supernatural motel setting sounds cool. El Paso, Elsewhere is planned for a PC release in 2022.
Metal Slug Tactics
I love Metal Slug, and I love turn-based tactics games, so this games only makes sense for me. One thing that surprised me is how natural its shift from side-scrolling action platformer to isometric strategy looks. Also, I think both the in-game art and animated cutscenes look great. Metal Slug Tactics is planned for a PC release with no known release window.
There were a few notable indie rhythm games this year, and this is one of them. The art style and color palette is reminiscent of 90s VHS beach films, the exploration looks neat, and the rhythm gameplay looks like fast-paced arcade fun. The developers put out a small demo-like experience recently, but the actual game is planned for PC with (what I could find) a planned 2023 release date.
A Musical Story
Another rhythm game I found interesting is A Musical Story. Unlike the last game, this game’s aesthetic is of the 70s, and its art style and Jimi Hendrix-esque main character plays to that setting well. Its rhythm gameplay looks interesting, and I’m interested in seeing its visual storytelling. A Musical Story is planning on a PC, Switch, and Xbox One release in Summer 2021.
A Musical Story
Lamentum didn’t quite catch me at first, but I was hooked by the end of the trailer. It looks a lot like a top-down old school Resident Evil game with its puzzles and level design, and I dig its darker horror and its Classical time period. Lamentum is planned for release in Fall 2021 for the PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
I normally find games trying to be funny to miss more than hit, so this game’s trailer getting a chuckle out of me is already a good start. More than just laughs, though, is the gameplay, which is inspired by the early Metal Gear games. UnMetal is planned for release in the Summer of 2021 for all systems.
While not a new announcement, I do believe this year’s showing was significant enough to qualify for this list. My interest in Souls genre has been dwindling a bit over the past year or so, but I would still be interested in trying this one out mainly because it does look like a larger open-world compared to others. Elden Ring is planned to release on January 21st, 2022 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
I’m normally not into building/design games, but this one sounds neat. You slowly transform a laundromat into an arcade, and the arcade games are actually playable. Arcade Paradise has a planned 2021 release date for all systems.
While I’m waiting for Maximum Action to hit 1.0 and for El Paso, Elsewhere to release, I also got Severed Steel to look forward to. It’s a fast-paced FPS with parkour-like abilities, and it’s all about dispatching enemies as quickly and stylishly as possible. The game has no set release date and will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
I’m not big on slower-paced, non-action platformers, but White Shadows instantly grabbed me with its hazy, oppressive black-and-white setting. White Shadows is planning a PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC release in 2021.
I have yet to play a firefighter game, and this one looks like a cool game to start out with. Not only is it a platforming firefighting game with rogue-like elements and neat abilities, but it also has permanent progression in the form of rebuilding a fire station. Firegirl is planning an Autumn 2021 release for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
Trek to Yomi
Ghost of Tsushima created a little space for stylish samurai games, Trek to Yomi seems to be filling in the gap. Its 2D combat looks fun, and its black-and-white visuals and settings looks gorgeous. Trek to Yomi has a planned 2022 launch for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
Even though this game has been kicking around for some time, this year’s showing showed gameplay and a release date, which I think is significant. I have yet to play a Stalker game, but I do love the Metro games and I am interested in other similar games like Pioner and Chernobylite. Stalker 2 is planning a release for April 28th, 2022 for Xbox Series X/S and PC.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
I enjoyed the first game quite a bit for its touching story and rat-infested stealth gameplay, so of course I’m interested in a sequel, and I think that’s all that needs to be said. A Plague Tale: Requiem is planning a 2022 release for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and a cloud version for Switch.
Slime Rancher 2
I loved the first Slime Rancher for its addicting mix of light farming and exploration, so of course I’m interested in a second game. I wish this game or the first one would release on Switch, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess. Slime Rancher 2 is planning a 2022 release for Xbox Series X and PC.
What can I say? I have a thing for stylish 2D games. That isn’t entirely true, but Replaced certainly fits the criteria. Beyond its interesting setting and art style, I think its combat looks like a lot of fun. Replaced is planning a 2022 release for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.
I’m normally not into walking sims, but I found Spiral to be quite touching. It’s about an old man trying to relive his memories one last time despite declining cognitive abilities, and its story as well as its visual style and somber music seems quite touching in a way that grabbed me more than other games of similar nature. Episode 1 of Spiral is planning an early 2022 release for PC.
Tails of Iron
I’ve always wanted to play as a rat fighting frogs. That’s not true, but this game still looks neat. The combat looks like fun, the world and art style looks neat, and I’m interested in seeing some of its companion and exploration mechanics. Tails of Iron is planning a 2021 release for all systems.
Rainbow Six Extraction
I know people have mixed feelings about this game in regards to whether or not this should a separate, full-priced title or a smaller $30 add-on experience to Siege, and while I share similar concerns, I also think the game itself looks cool. I’m interested in seeing its perma-death progression mechanics, and I think the goo on the ground and missing operator missions sound cool. Rainbow Six Extraction is planning a September 16th, 2021 release for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
While I enjoyed the first game, I was fine living out the rest of my days never seeing the Rabbids ever again. Unfortunately, that dream flew away, and while I was ready to write this game off, I actually thought its gameplay looked cool. It’s a spin on traditional turn-based gameplay by allowing free movement within an area, and I’m interested in seeing how that plays out. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is planning a Switch release in 2022.
The big shtick of this game is that it’s a physical-only release, and while I want to write this game off as a dumb gimmick ripe for the scalping market, I actually thought its visuals and bullet-hell gameplay looked like a lot of fun. So, I guess I’ll have to wait in virtual lines or whatever when the game’s planned Switch release happens in 2022.
While not much is shown, The 70s jungle smuggling setting is already enough for me to fully invest into. It’s from the people who made Just Cause, and I enjoyed Just Cause 3 despite horrible framerates on the PS4, so I can’t wait to try this game out. The game is planned for a Xbox Series X/S and PC release sometime in the future.
I have yet to play a Playdead game, and while this game technically isn’t from the company, it is from the founder of the studio. I think the alien apocalyptic setting looks really cool, and while it doesn’t seem like there is much to the game in terms of gameplay, I think the atmospheric storytelling from the trailer shows that it will make up for this. Somerville is planning a 2022 release for Xbox and PC.
Speaking of Stalker-esque settings, Pioner looks to be another Russian-based post-apocalyptic FPS. I think its more arcade-like combat controls and gameplay loop between PvE and PvP areas sounds cool, and I’m interested in seeing this game’s take on the Chernobyl setting. Pioner is planning a PC release for late 2021-early 2022.
While it was weird to see this game announced with gameplay and a release date before Metroid Prime 4, I still have yet to try a Metroid game, and I think playing a modern 2D one sounds fun. I’m also interested in seeing its more horror-oriented gameplay and setting. Metroid Dread is planning a Switch release for October 8th, 2021.
WarioWare: Get it Together
Much like Metroid Dread and, well, really any Switch first-party title, WarioWare is also a series I haven’t tried out yet but now I can thanks to a new release on the Switch. I still don’t know what the game is other than just a large collection of micro-games, but people seem to love this series, so I guess I’ll check it out. The game is planning a Switch release for September 10th, 2021.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
Basically just copy and paste everything I said about WarioWare: Get it Together, and that is what I have to say about this game except for the fact that I do know what this game is and I love turn-based games so I’m excited to check it out. This game is planning a December 3rd, 2021 release for Switch.
This game barely makes it on my list because I think there are plenty of other co-op shooters to look forwards to, but the one thing this game has above the others is the studio, Arkane Austin, who is the studio behind Dishonored and Prey. Redfall is planning a Summer 2022 release for Xbox Series X/S and PC.
That is going to wrap up this year of E3 (at least for now, I’m well aware of the events spanning out until August). While I wasn’t a fan of the way it was structured and how a lot of companies felt this need to put on their own show despite not having a shows-worth of content, I think there were still some good games shown. In my opinion, Microsoft was the best show this year for both delivering a lot of great announcements as well as essentially scrapping the Bethesda show (a notorious time-waster show in years past in my opinion), but it was the indies that took home the cake. I can’t wait for these games and many more to release, and I hope next year’s E3 is organized a bit better.