E3 2021: Day Two Roundup - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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E3 2021: Day Two Roundup

Hannah's back with a round-up of day two highlights from this year's E3.

Welcome back to our E3 Daily round-up. I really wanted to talk about E3’s online portal features at this point but seeing as it hasn’t managed to load for me one single time since it opened, I guess that I can’t. I understand that an all-digital event produces extra issues that you wouldn’t normally have to worry about and from what I’ve heard, I’m not missing out on much not being able to access the portal. But don’t make a big deal about an ‘interactive experience’ that will make you ‘feel like you’re actually at an E3 event’ if it flat out doesn’t work for some people and is buggy for everyone who does manage to access it. But anyway, rant over. On to the news:

Xbox and Bethesda Showcase

Since Microsoft bought out Bethesda, it makes absolute sense that these two powerhouses would choose to do a combined showcase, but I must admit something: there wasn’t enough Todd Howard. Yes, he got to introduce an update for Starfield which I understand is a huge deal for Bethesda and fans, but Todd Howard is usually the highlight of E3, without him it just seems to be lacking something… Anyway, Starfield looks awesome, it’s not my kind of game which is a blessing in disguise as it’s going to be an Xbox exclusive, but I’m hyped that Bethesda are making good on another great IP.

Talking about Xbox Exclusives, I was really hoping to get some sort of confirmation on whether all future Bethesda titles would be exclusive to the Xbox, but unless I missed it, they didn’t really touch on that. Lots of talk of big releases coming straight to Gamepass though which is pretty awesome if you’re already paying for it and almost makes me contemplate buying the much cheaper Xbox Series S so I too can have Back 4 Blood and Contraband at my disposal on launch.

My highlights from this presentation though come in the form of S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 and Psychonauts 2. Both these franchises are extremely near and dear to my heart and I’m excited that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series is finally getting the console release it deserves. Likewise, Psychonauts 2 has been long overdue a sequel and this particular sequel has been delayed numerous times, so it was nice to finally have a definitive release date announced, even if that August 25th date is a time Xbox exclusive.

It’s hard to cover everything Xbox and Bethesda announced here, so I’m quickly going to blast through some highlights: Sea of Thieves is getting the Disney treatment with an original Pirates of The Caribbean expansion coming on June 22nd. Pre-Alpha footage of Battlefield 2042 shows the first glimpse of this massive first-person shooter franchise. Twelve Minutes – An awesome indie developed game with a seriously incredible voice cast (We’re talking James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Defoe) - explores the idea of changing fates and is out August 19th. Halo Infinite finally had a tenuous release date set of ‘Holiday 2021’ and we got to see some of the multiplayer action. Outer Worlds 2 was announced with a fitting ‘honest trailer’ and we finally got to see Forza Horizon 5. I don’t care if you’re not into racing games, watch the reveal trailer for this game, it looks absolutely stunning.

Square Enix Showcase

Holy Mother of… They’ve done it! The game I’ve been waiting for nearly 15 years, Guardians of the Galaxy. Releasing on October 26th, Starlord and the gang are finally getting the triple A treatment and it looks awesome! They even got Dan Abnett to talk about how he helped develop the game and keep it true to the comics. With subtle nods to the TellTale Guardians game, it seems like you will have to make choices in-game that will affect how your team feel about you as well as provided all the blasting, jet-booting action you might need.

Square Enix also announced Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster which is bringing FFI through VI to your mobile along with a NieR mobile game entitled NieR Reincarnation. If you’re a fan of Life Is Strange though, keep an eye out on the Ultimate Edition of True Colours which will come bundled with remastered editions of the first two Life is Strange games.

It’s not an E3 showcase, however, if you don’t have an encore reveal and boy did Square pull it out of the bag. A Dark Souls Final Fantasy game is coming! Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is being developed in collaboration with Team Ninja (The team behind Nioh), so we can expect it to be punishing and rewarding in equal parts. It looks absolutely stunning and I’m not sure I can wait another year for its release.

PC Gaming Show

As stated previously, I’m not really a PC gamer. The only reason behind this is I’ve never been able to afford a decent rig. However, my roots are in PC gaming, back before consoles were an affordable priority in my life, I spent hours playing Doom, Duke Nukem, Unreal Tournament and Diablo on my home PC. What I’m trying to say is that every year I watch the PC Gaming Show and weep at the beautiful things I cannot have. The good news is that this year, the only thing I was really weeping over is fully attainable: Dying Light 2. It’s finally coming and it’s looking good. Arriving on PC and all current consoles on December 7th, just in time for Christmas.

Besides this we saw Lemnis Gate, a revolutionary turn-based FPS which takes place during a 25 second loop. Jurassic World Evolution 2 which will take place after the event of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Soulstice which appears to be another game taking inspiration from the Dark Souls series. Arboria looks like a fantastic new entry into the dungeon crawler genre and Lumberhill, a party game that sees you and your friends playing as Lumberjacks fighting with nature. That’s out now if you’re interested.

Future Gaming Show

With Troy Baker co-hosting this segment, I have to admit that I struggled to pay attention. This guy is one of my gaming heroes. He’s been in everything. I’m going to do an incredibly quick run down of things I’m excited for that were announced in this segment and then I’m signing off, I promise not to bore you with my idolization of Troy Baker…much.

Instinction! Releasing in 2022, this dino shooter looks like the game to fill that Dino Crisis hole we all have. Grow: Song of the Evertree, a sandbox adventure with life sim elements is on my list of uplifting games released in 2021. Hell Let Loose – a 100 player World War Two shooter is coming out of early access on July 27th. Red Solstice 2: Survivors is what you’d get if XCOM allowed 8 player co-op. Lake – ever wanted to be a Postwoman in the 1980’s? Now you can! Severed Steel – A superfast stunt shooter where you’re awarded for aerial acrobatics and destroying the scenery.

Finally, we saw Immortality. A game from the creator of Her Story and Telling Lies, Immortality focuses on the disappearance of a beloved film star. With Allan Scott (The Queen’s Gambit), Amelia Gray (Mr Robot) and Barry Gifford (Lost Highway) on board as writers, it’s clear that this game is going to be one hell of an experience. Currently set for a 2022 release, I’m already keeping my eyes out for updates.

Preferring the company of fictional characters to living, breathing people; it should come as no surprise that Hannah is a connoisseur of all things geek. Whilst their body resides in the capital of Wales, their heart resides in Middle-Earth and their mind remains firmly lodged in the memory of that embarrassing thing they did when they were eight.

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