Summer Game Fest has begun and it featured a deluge of news, trailers and snippets across its 90-minute run time. The Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live! stream hosted by Geoff Keighley and partnered with Amazon Prime Gaming, dropped a whole bunch of stuff that there was barely room to breathe. Here are some of the highlights.
The biggest news was saved for the end – the full gameplay trailer for Bandai Namco and FromSoftware‘s Elden Ring. The game was first announced way back at E3 2019 as a collaboration between game director Hidetaka Miyazaki – famed for Bloodborne and the Souls series – and author George R. R. Martin but had been largely silent ever since. It will release on January 21, 2022, across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X and PC platforms.
The D&D-themed Borderlands spinoff Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands was revealed at Summer Game Fest for early 2022. Ashley Burch – the voice of Tiny Tina – came onstage to talk more about it, describing the game as:
“A high fantasy take on a looter shooter. If you are a fan of Borderlands you will probably recognise some fantasy elements inspired by Assault on Dragon Keep, which was the Borderlands 2 DLC that was beloved by the devs. This kind of inspired Wonderlands.”
You will be able to cast spells and customise your character. The game will also feature the voices of Andy Samberg, Wanda Sykes, and Will Arnett.
Metal Slug got a surprise reimagining from SNK and Dotemu. The classic 1990s shoot-em-up franchise (which hasn’t had a new entry since 2009) is getting the tactical strategy treatment that looks like the lovechild of Advance Wars and Final Fantasy Tactics. No release date for Metal Slug Tactics was delivered, but the trailer looks very fun.
Hideo Kojima had an interview with Keighley. His most recent game, 2019’s Death Stranding, will get the Director’s Cut treatment. Kojima also revealed some interesting thoughts about lessons learned from Death Stranding and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected and influenced him,
“In the past about creating things, I was always thinking about what could happen in society in 5, 10, or 20 years. It was like predicting the future and adding the entertainment essence. And that’s how I always created. But this time it came much too soon. The reality came much too soon, especially on Death Stranding. So I’ve changed how I think and create now.
I’ve been really thinking about this. Because it’s entertainment, it has to be fun. I also want to give the player something to learn as well. But since the era is catching up so quickly, it’s really not just fiction anymore. So I’ve been re-thinking my creative process. I guess all creators are thinking the same way.
It’s almost similar to what happened after 9/11, considering which direction we should go as entertainment. I think that is a big assignment for us…we have to adapt and think about new ways of creating, as entertainment can’t fall behind. I have to think about what’s going to happen in the future.
If it was something like an alien coming into my game, it wouldn’t matter much about the current state of the world. We could just make up any concept or ideas. But I always want to put some societal elements as a base into the game to introduce the players to what’s happening and maybe they’ll think about it. Of course all the while still entertaining. With this speed of change, I need to really consider which prediction I make and which ways I introduce ideas to the player.”
Metal Gear Solid fans will enjoy the little pastiche in the Death Stranding: Director’s Cut teaser.
Jeff Goldblum showed up to introduce the sequel to Jurassic World: Evolution which is coming this year.
Amazon Prime Gaming is providing the Western release of Tripod Studio and Smilegate RPG’s Korean massively multiplayer action RPG Lost Ark. Originally released in December 2018 in South Korea, it received multiple Korean gaming awards the following year. It has yet to receive a full release outside its home country, but multiple betas have been done in other regions – including Japan. It will come out in Fall 2021 on Steam and Prime Games.
A new publisher and a new developer were formally announced at the event. Koch Media have announced that it has a new gaming label called Prime Matter, which will publish all games produced by the developers in its stable. Around 13 titles were listed in the launch trailer for the publisher, including sequels to Mount & Blade, King’s Bounty, and Payday. A new Painkiller game is also in the works. New developer Deviation Games formally announced its formation and that it will be partnering with Sony for a new IP.
Lots of indie games got a look in, such as Stray Bombay’s 4-player coop The Anacrusis, Ska Studios’ Salt & Sacrifice (a sequel to Salt & Sanctuary), and more.
A bumper start to the summer – and E3 hasn’t even started yet! The Beat will cover the biggest announcements as they’re made during the most exciting week in gaming.