(Not) E3 2022: The Top 10 games of Day 4
Day 4 was the last FULL day of (Not) E3 this year, and as a result, this is the last of our daily recaps. We'll still have coverage about some of the biggest news to come this week — again, there's a weird hope that Nintendo shows up out of nowhere — but rest assured that you'll be able to take a breather soon!
As this strange E3-that-is-not-E3 comes to an end, we're sending it off properly with some focused highlights: Our top 10 favorite games from both of the day's shows.
Microsoft and Bethesda brought the big budget heat, focusing in on a batch of games all intended to make it into gamers' hands within the next 12 months. And the PC Gaming Show ditched the skits and focused on providing looks at all of the next big sims, management games, and strategy games you could possibly want.
So without further ado...
Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn
Kicking things off is Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn, a game with a haphazard mix of cultures and time periods, fluid action combat, and the most adorable little fox-like companion. In Flintlock's world, the gods have returned after abandoning humanity long ago, and their return opens up the door to the underworld. With a fascinating narrative hook and the smoothest looking action RPG gameplay that sits somewhere between the weight and difficulty of a Souls-like and the fluidity of something like Devil May Cry, Flintlock is one to watch.
Look. VGG loves a farming/life sim and you can't fault us for it. We love nurturing a plot of land and growing up some goodies, living out the fantasy that we're capable of keeping a plant alive... In Lightyear Frontier, players will be doing all of the above from the safety and security of a giant, well-equipped mech suit. With your gatling tools spinning to give you a pair of super-powered hoses, a terrain manipulating drill, a tree-pulling grappling hook, and more, you're more than proficient at taming the wilds of the planet you find yourself on. AND it's got multiplayer. I mean, come on.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox
Benedict Fox is bound to a demon — a demon who allows him to slide into decaying memories and fight back against the creepy forces who want to stop him from solving a murder. This stylish Metroidvania touts "Burton-esque" graphics and some incredibly fluid action gameplay. From what we've been shown, Benedict easily switches between his dagger, a pistol, and the demonic powers granted to him by his companion. We're beyond amazed at the variety of landscapes you can explore within the walls of this deeply haunted mansion, and we can't wait to see where Benedict's last case takes him.
There's lots to be said about Starfield and we'll be talking about it for a long, long while yet. Bethesda's latest RPG has sky-high ambition, promising the ability to explore hundreds of star systems and thousands of planets, all while telling a meaningful story. We have to wonder just how much of this game has the handcrafted touch that worlds like Fallout 4's Boston and Skyrim's... Skyrim have, but we're cautiously optimistic. We do appreciate the push toward more traditional RPG systems, with a dense skill system and player traits that both give your character personality and change your gameplay experience. Lots more to come.
The PC Gaming Show wasted no time in showing off something just for us. Just after their pre-show ended and mere minutes into the show proper, Klei announced a brand-new game, Rotwood. This incredibly stylish 2D four-player beat-em-up didn't have much to show yet, but what we did see was incredibly promising. Slick animation, cute character and enemy designs (we love fightin' little gourd monsters), and the pedigree of Klei's development team is more than enough to shoot this to the top of our 2023 most-anticipated list.
11 Bit Studios has to be one of the most... unflinching development teams in the industry. Their games approach dire situations and ask gamers to make some of the most difficult decisions in all of gaming. So knowing a lot of those same minds are bringing The Alters to life is HYPE. Then you watch this cinematic trailer that sells a compelling narrative hook about identical not-clones surviving together on a mobile wheel-shaped lab, and you're all in. We have no idea how this game will end up playing, but 11 Bit has earned blank check status from us, so consider us signed up from Day 1.
Junji Ito who? David Lynch what? Decarnation is a 2D pixel art adventure-horror game that puts players into the shoes of Gloria, a cabaret dancer desperately clinging to her career and sanity. Someone comes into her life, with an offer to revitalize her career, but it might not be all that it seems. Decarnation is all about the horrors of life, both internal and external. Gameplay manifests mainly as a variety of bespoke minigames that play out while Gloria tries to get through her day-to-day and fight demons both real and metaphorical. Look. We just love a game that's a little fucked up okay?
IMMORTALITY. SAM BARLOW. HALF MERMAID. We will write about this game until we're blue in the face because VGG is actually an unabashed Sam Barlow fan site. His past titles, Her Story and Telling Lies, are some of the most unique gaming experiences we've ever seen brought to life, and they're some of our favorite games ever. Half Mermaid could have given us another game using the exact same formula and we would have had a blast. But somehow, they came up with something even more fascinating.
Ditching the keyword searching function of the earlier two games for a unique new visual-matching gameplay system, Immortality has you combing through three lost films starring actress Marissa Marcel as you try to unravel the mystery on everyone's mind: What happened to her?
I don't know but I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT. I mean just look at how I reacted to this trailer when it showed up. I'm not that guy. I don't know that guy. But I do know that the whole damn crowd lost their minds in the best way when today's PC Gaming event revealed a release date of July 26, 2022.
Nivalis is a fascinating slice-of-life game that has you living out your cyberpunk dreams in the eponymous city that also happens to be the setting of 2020's indie hit Cloudpunk. Nivalis is pushing one of the most interesting twists on the life sim formula. You'll start your cyberpunk life running a food stall, furnishing it to your liking, growing food in the greenhouses near the docks, and slinging the perfect food and drinks to attract the right customers. You'll also decorate your apartment, explore the city and meet people... when you're not grinding to grow your business, that is. Keep going and one day you might own the block — and the nightlife.
Cloudpunk surprised us with its ability to morph a fairly simple gameplay hook — delivering packages — into a deeply engaging experience, and that's why we're certain that the team at Ion Lands can rise to Nivalis's ambitions. Just let us move in already! We're in.
Before the PC Gaming Show went live, PC Gamer previewed what the show might have in store. They talked about how, when putting the show together, they try to guess what game might be the next big thing. Valheim was one they called out when it was featured in 2020. Demonschool was apparently that game for them this year... and we can see why. This classic Persona-style tactics RPG puts you in the shoes of a band of misfit university students who just so happen to be demon hunters? You've got to balance school, friendship, and more as you fight off "weirdos" of all types on the game's island.
Backfirewall was, simply put, one of the most made-for-me games of the show. Meta-narrative? Check. Fourth wall breaking? Check. First-person puzzlin'? Check. An unreliable narrator? Check. We won't dive too much into this one, simply because it's hard to fully tell what's all going on here, but we recommend watching the trailer either way. It's a fun ride.
Our daily recaps might be done, but our (Not) E3 coverage isn't! We've got our hands-on impressions series coming in the next few weeks and a few (Not) E3 livestreams left, too. And as always, we'll be on standby, ready to cover any surprising news that may manifest in the days ahead.
Don't miss any of it — follow along on Twitter for all of our updates!