As what has effectively become the permanent E3 replacement, Summer Game Fest continues to grow year on year, this year offering up an even more hands-on IRL footprint, taking place in Downtown, LA. A number of games across a broad spectrum of Triple-A through to Indies was available to gawk at, and this year Geoff Keighley and co. voted on 15 of the most anticipated playable games at the event.
During Summer Game Fest we were invited to take part in a series of hands-on and off sessions for a number of games from Ubisoft as part of Ubisoft Forward. One of the games we got hands-on tie with was the freshly-revealed Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown -- a reset of the series overall and one brimming with style.
On top of playing, we also got to speak to the game's art-director, Jean-Christophe Alessandri for lots of insight into the game's lengthy dev cycle and what the team hopes it is achieving with this, essentially, reboot.
Diablo IV is here, and based on the game breaking sales records left, right, and center, odds are you're deep in your journey in Sanctuary with an army of skeletons, a fire dispensing staff, or a giant two-handed mace. It's no secret that Diablo is one of my all-time favourite franchises, and even though it has taken a minute to put together my thoughts after many hours, here's our full review.
So much so that developer CD Projekt Red notes that all of the updates will we be released to owners of the base game as a separate patch if they choose not to revisit Night City and the new district of Dogtown in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Described as a spy thriller, the latest trailer is impressive stuff.
But that's not bad, as the first-person RPG set in the Pillars of Eternity universe is all about story, characters, and companions. In fact based on interviews with the development team after the game's big Xbox Games Showcase reveal, companions aren't optional - in Avowed, it's all about exploring and adventuring as a tight-knit crew with swords, spells, and flintlock pistols in hand.
Announced a couple of years ago, Frostpunk 2, the sequel to brilliantly bleak city-builder, Frostpunk, is on track for a 2024 release on PC. Developer 11-bit studios announced the release window alongside the debut of a new cinematic trailer for the game. One that really captures the tone of the original, albeit in a more industrial-oil-fire-gone-wrong way.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora from Ubisoft's Massive Entertainment (The Division, Star Wars Outlaws) was announced a while ago, but with its release now confirmed for December 2, 2023 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, we've got a meaty in-game story trailer plus a gameplay breakdown. There's a lot to take in, and it's impressive - a Far Cry-like first-person open-world action-adventure game set on Pandora with guns, bows, space fauna, and giant blue aliens.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is out October 12, 2023 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, with Ubisoft describing the game as an "homage to the series." And that's visible in the extended look at gameplay, which is focused on stealth, parkour, jumping into haystacks, and assassinating key targets with the ol' Creed staple of jumping on top of them and stabbing them.
Out at Ubisoft Forward in pre-show access during Summer Games Fest we had a chance to go behind closed doors for an intimate look at the freshly-announced (and well received) Star Wars Outlaws with developer, Massive Entertainment. We got some great insight into the game alongside an extended look at it that still hasn't been wholly shared.
Following the already impressive Xbox Showcase, where we got closer looks at Fable, Avowed, and more, we got a gameplay deep dive on Bethesda's epic space RPG Starfield which is set to launch on Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 6, 2023. From planetary exploration to building your own ship and colonies to deep RPG character customisation the scope here is next level. And it looks amazing too. All 45 minutes of it.
Microsoft has been under the pump to showcase the fruits of its acquistional labour since it went on a big first-party spending spree, and at its annual Xbox Games Showcase it definitely delivered. One of the standouts was a new IP and title from We Happy Few developer, Compulsion Games, that delivered possibly the most striking video of the show for South of Midnight.
The slightly more budget version of Microsoft's new-gen machine, The Xbox Series S is getting a bit of a makeover, and a boost in storage. Revealed during the Xbox Games Showcase that took place during Summer Game Fest, the new console will be available to punters from September 1 for USD$349 (currently a bit over $500 in AUD).
During Microsoft's impressive Xbox Games Showcase at this year's Summer Game Fest, the much anticipated Star Wars title from Ubisoft Massive finally made an appearance in an impressive CG trailer. It was also revealed that a full gameplay walkthrough for Star Wars Outlaws would take place at Ubisoft Forward, which is taking place on Tuesday, June 13 at 3:00am AEST.
PlayStation 5 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has finally got a release date after its action-packed gameplay debut from a few weeks ago. It's coming October 20, and Sony has outlined what to expect with the Collector’s and Digital Deluxe Editions.
Remedy's Alan Wake 2 is out October 17, 2023, and sees the series dig into the survival horror genre with a look reminiscent of Capcom's excellent Resident Evil remakes. Earlier today, as part of Summer Game Fest, we got our first uninterrupted look at its survival horror gameplay. It looks very impressive, with moody visuals that make great use of lighting and environments and Remedy's Northlight Engine.
As part of Summer Game Fest Square Enix presented a new cinematic gameplay and story-driven trailer for the next chapter in its epic Final Fantasy VII remake project - Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. The good news is that we also got a release window of Early 2024 for PlayStation 5. Square Enix notes that this installment has been "developed specifically to leverage the power of the PS5 console."
Mortal Kombat 1 recently got announced, and its a reboot of sorts that sees fresh versions of Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub-zero, Raiden, Johnny Cage, and more take to the fighting arena in a new blood-soaked cinematic tale. Toiday's extended gameplay trailer is all kinds of awesome as it showcases plenty of actual gameplay, real-time cinematics, the new Kameo system, and of course - a couple of Fatalities.
The original Prince of Persia, from the 1980s, was a groundbreaking side-scrolling action game that made the franchise an instant overnight success. There have, of course, been many more titles over the years, but Ubisoft's latest Prince of Persia The Lost Crown, announced at Summer Game Fest, sees the series return to its roots in a stylised action side-scrolling platformer.
Just in case you needed a reminder, Diablo has always been one of the most popular gaming franchises ever. When Diablo III launched in 2012, it became the fastest-selling PC game of all time after selling over 3.5 million copies in 24 hours. It would become the best-selling PC game of 2012 and even the top 30 million copies sold by 2015.
And it is setting up to leave Early Access and arrive on PC and PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch this October. Featuring an incredibly unique art-style and presentation as well as a truly jarring story with a cosmic horror tone, World of Horror is one of those left-field Indie offerings you almost have to experience.