E3 2021: Seven standout games from Day 2 of E3 weekend
Updated: Jun 20, 2021
32+ events, six days, hundreds of games, all the hype. E3 week means gaming announcements of all sizes and we're here to help you catch all the news at a glance.
If this year's E3 has shown us anything, it's that folks need games more than ever. A difficult year has brought developers and players alike a chance to process and escape through the artistry and emotion of video game storytelling. The additional 100+ games in today's E3 showcases offer proof that no matter your unique experiences or gameplay tastes, everyone has something waiting for them.
Amidst all of today's announcements — coming from Xbox and Bethesda, Square Enix, PC Gaming Show and Future Games Show — we wanted to make sure our top seven games had the chance to stand out. Some are entirely expected, some are surprising. We dug up all we could about each one to give you not only the lowdown on what was revealed during the showcases, but hopefully a few bonus details as well.
Find out why Somerville, Redfall, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dodgeball Academia, Lemnis Gate, Tinykin, and Immortality left a mark on the staff at VGG.
Somerville is a cinematic narrative platformer where a family finds themselves caught in the middle of a brutal alien invasion. Guided by the father, they've got to do all they can to stay whole amidst the chaos and make it out alive. Do you feel the INSIDE influences? I'm not surprised. The co-founder of INSIDE's dev team Playdead, Dino Patti, teamed up with the mind behind Somerville, Chris Olsen, to found and launch a new studio and bring Chris' vision to life. There are worse places to start when bringing your dream game to the finish line.
Redfall is the latest release in the Arkane library that needed just one trailer to hook us immediately. In this immersive open-world shooter set in the small town of Redfall, Massachusetts, you can team up with up to three other players to stand together as the last defense against occult beasts that have overtaken the town. The heroes only have magic, tech, and their diverse personalities to help them in their fight against the vampire legion fighting to block out the sun. I'll be honest. Any game from the team that brought us Dishonored and Prey would probably be near the top of our list. They don't have to work hard... and they still did.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum of needing to work hard to earn players' trust: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. After the critical mishap that was Marvel's Avengers, just about any Marvel property needed to prove its worth a little bit harder than before. So with how hard we dogged Square-Enix's last Marvel release, VGG is giving Eidos-Montreal and GotG an extra round of applause for the upcoming single-player action adventure game where you'll play as Star-Lord. Not only have they nailed the style folks have come to associate with the Guardians, but they genuinely presented some cool and unique ideas in its gameplay. You can count us in for space hijinks with the lovable cast of misfit heroes.
Throughout E3, the games that spoke to us had one thing in common: they sold us on a specific tone or novelty. Well, Lemnis Gate smacked us right in the face with one of the most intriguing gameplay hooks of the entire E3 weekend. It's a first-person shooter turn-based strategy game. Confused? Players will send out their operative for a 25-second period to set up a move and attempt to complete objectives, then their opponent does the same. Then, the time loop resets, and each player sends out a new operative who can then exploit the complexities of time travel on the increasingly operative-filled map. Rinse and repeat as you try to outwit and intercept your opponent. Consider us mind-bent... but intrigued and ready to play.
A growing trend in the indie space is the "if they don't make it, we will" mentality. For example: If Nintendo won't release a new Pikmin, we at Splashteam will make one! It might not be the true intention behind the scenes, but the inspiration is worn on their sleeve. Tinykin tells the story of Milo, a space-faring protagonist who finally returns home to Earth to not only find himself inexplicably tiny, but everyone's gone and he's stuck in 1991. With the help of the tinykins, Milo will explore the insect-filled cities hidden throughout the giant house he landed in. We love the look of Tinykin and the Chibi-Robo vibes we got from the house exploration.
Dodgeball is having a MOMENT. Dodgeball Academia represents two of VGG Editor-in-Chief Nate's deepest held loves. The sports RPG with a full story (a la Mario Tennis and Golf on Game Boy Color) and, more specifically, a game reminiscent of one of Nate's classic favorites, Super Dodge Ball. Drape all of that in a rad anime aesthetic and you've won his heart. Promising 8 full "episodes" of main quests, side quests, and goofy minigames, Dodgeball Academia might as well be a personal wish fulfillment. And it's all thanks to the developers at Pocket Trap for bringing this game into the world.
Everyone's got that creative person or team they'll follow into battle. That "whatever you make next: I'm in" relationship. Immortality's Sam Barlow is that guy for us on the VGG staff. The mastermind behind Her Story and Telling Lies, Barlow has perfected the mystery FMV game and looks to bring his newest one to the table in 2022. Immortality explores the disappearance of Melissa Marcel, an actress who starred in three films that were never released. The teaser advertised three unique writers (with legendary credits including Mr. Robot, Queen's Gambit, and David Lynch films Lost Highway and Wild at Heart) that we presume are each responsible for one of the three films in the game.
However you are meant to explore this mystery, expect to break out a notebook, a white board, and several cups of coffee. And uh, maybe a hand to hold. In a late 2020 blog post, Sam describes the game as such: "I am particularly interested in a kind of horror that exists on the periphery of your vision, one that once injected into your brain isn’t easily flushed out when you turn the screen off. For this to work the real horror has to take place in those dark places off screen, the places where I’ve been working diligently in Her Story and Telling Lies. This time when we prod your suspension of disbelief, it’s going to hurt."
And that wraps up Day 4 of our coverage of this year's E3. Our heads are still spinning at the incredible potential of these seven games. Did any of these speak to you? Did something not make our list that you just need to let us know about? Sound off in the comments!
Don't forget to visit us on Twitch for live reactions to this week's events. Help us summon a bunch of hype announcements at our next live reaction stream on June 15, starting at 9 a.m. PST with the highly anticipated Nintendo Direct!