At the PC Gaming Show, we get to see what’s next for the future of games, and that future is apparently outer space. Anyway here’s some stuff that’s come up as we look at the most awkward attempt at humor in E3 so far. Powered by Mechwarrior 5.
As we reach the critical mass for battle royales, it’s at least neat to see 24 Entertainment do something different with the concept and push for an aesthetic beyond military fatigues and Rick Sanchez skins. After getting to get my hands on Chivalry II a week ago, I definitely welcome the chance to get up close and slash at some folks for kills on the board. The PC Gaming trailer also revealed the inclusion of a chainsaw, which honestly seems pretty fun.
My bias lies heavily in favor of games with cartoony art styles and Saturday morning cartoon vibes, so suffice to say Dodgeball Academia has me interested. Join young player Otto as he explores the ins and outs of his sporty institution in pursuit of becoming the greatest dodgeball player this academia has ever seen. With an action-RPG structure that focuses on team customization and spamming abilities at the right moment, this is surely a great addition to the fairly recent dodgeball wave that games like Stikbold! and Knockout City are helping to carve out. Dodgeball Academia is set to release later this year.
You ever wanna make a game where everyone looks like Swedish Chef’s buff cousin? You wanna make that game completely focused on team cooperation a la Splatoon and Rocket League? Well then Rawmen by TinyBuild is probably gonna be up your alley. Play with your friends in a variety of fun and quirky game modes that’ll have you chasing down meatballs and slinging some colorful broth so you can maneuver through maps like you were riding rails straight out of Sonic Adventure 2.
Dying Light 2
At this point I’d be lying if I said I had any interest in a post apocalyptic game with zombies in it. With a confirmed release for December 7th, narrative director Piotr Szymanek sits down with us to chat a little about this wacky and wild zombie world. Did you know these zombies are more half-alive than undead? Did you know this game is set in 2025? I sure didn’t, but if there’s one thing to take away from this whole setup it’s that main character Aiden will never “froget” the atrocities that happened to him and his sister. The fatigue is setting in.
This has been quite a week for SEGA and Amplitude’s venture in civilization builders as the trailer for Humankind gives more of what we’ve already been able to check out. The main highlight here is PC Gaming Show’s Frankie Ward showing off her own in-game appearance in what I can earnestly call the closest thing we’re gonna get to one of these hoity toity shows having a Vtuber on their presentation. With a release on August 17th and a closed beta that’s now live where you can play against Frankie, there’s plenty of time to figure out whether or not this will be a game that can give Civilization a run for its money.
They Always Run
Hey get a load of this fucking adrenaline boost! You got a homie in a sarape running, gunning, dodging, exploring, and making his coin in an otherworldly locale that’s sure to highlight how the rich get richer and how people in power abuse said power, as most things in this mesh of outer space cyberpunk often do. Alawar Premium’s new platformer is coming soon so be sure to wishlist this if you’re a fan of motherfuckers doing some parkour on other motherfuckers.
Orcs Must Die 3
I sure am always saying that “orcs must die 3” if I have to be honest. Robot Entertainment’s latest entry in the series delivers on its namesake by giving the player even more tools to mess around with when it comes to building Home Alone styled traps for your enemies. We also got to learn that the story will be set 25 years after the events of the last entry in Orcs Must Die, which means that we’ll get to see some new faces and even new game modes that will take us out into the battlefield as well. You can expect to find an assortment of new fun ways to mow down orc hordes when Orcs Must Die 3 comes out July 23rd.
Vampire The Masquerade: Swansong
With no confirmed release yet for Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, it’s interesting to see Swansong come up as the 5th game based on the TTRPG that’s also set for a tentative release later this year. Here you play a member of the house Malkavian who will go through her own trials and tribulations to try and reunite with her missing child. It’s dark, it’s gritty, main character Leysha wears a suit, and rocks an undercut.
If you liked games like War of the Monsters, then this is the game for you. Malaysian developer Passion Republic games gives us a party style brawler filled to the brim with tokusatsu-inspired friends and foes for you to control and wreak havoc with. Bash each other senselessly, level entire cities oceanside or conveniently placed next to volcanoes, and get to some good old fashioned roughhousing with friends later this year.
I, for one, can’t stop activating the Lemnis Gate. Ratloop Games Canada’s newest project presents an interesting gameplay structure as a first person shooter turn based strategy game. The game itself takes place within one 25 second time loop where repetitions of this loop back and forth between you and your opponent will ultimately lead to your victory or defeat based on whether you can outthink and outpace your opponent’s moves. Frankly, the one-upsmanship that builds a lot of this game’s core premise will hopefully bring FPS fans and tactics fans together if the pseudo space aesthetic doesn’t immediately spark interest. An open beta will be available this July and Lemnis Gate will be officially released on August 3rd.
Next Space Rebels
Hey, do you like Kerbal Space Program? Well, take that initial rocket building concept, surround it with a focus on social media expansion and getting cash for sick rocket videos, and you more or less have the conceit around Next Space Rebels. We see a blazered man boldly state that space is, in fact, for everyone, but that kinda rings hollow when the whole gameplay loop is being able to afford a workshop to do your fun science experiments and profit off people wanting to support you. Then again I lately find myself not really big on people with large amounts of money talking about how badly they want to go to space so that might be clouding my judgement here.
Areas of effect, top down RPG layouts, luscious forestry and peasantcore aesthetics, things of that nature. Shiro Games provides us with a new game that treads some much familiar territory when it comes to living in a post-plague society and having to rough it for your coin and keep. It looked pretty, and definitely seems to have stuff that can prolong gameplay if you’re someone who likes a slow burn. WarTales is currently available to wishlist on Steam and you can expect to make a war tale of your own later this year.
I’ve never felt so tired of startup culture before and it’s amazing that I got there just from a trailer. Kasedo Games sure sets up a hell of a preview for its new resource management game by giving us a Musk-like figure to loathe as he talks about the innovation of space and how badly we should go up there rather than, you know, try and fix the issues on Earth. Of course I’d absolutely hate it if I made this entire presentation of man’s next step towards the future and then the moon blows or something in my reveal, but that’s just me. Expect Ixion to make more announcements in the near future as it’s set for release in 2022.
Far: Changing Tides
Okomotive has a hell of a vision when it comes to its post-apocalyptic stories, and Far: Changing Tides is a pretty solid example of being able to take a long running concept and breathing some life into it by shaking the perspective up. A follow up to the original Far: Lone Sails, Lone Sails presents us with a bevy of flooded landscapes to explore and ruminate in. You can expect to chill out a little after the end of the world later this year.
I will always welcome games that come hard and fast with aesthetically pleasing art styles and Lakeburg Legacies is no exception. Ishtar Games has a medieval sim coming off hot on the success of Crusader Kings III that plays a little more fast and loose with the concept. Find the best jobs for your villagers, let them hook up and get married, create legacies, and earn that town prestige in the process. Create all the messy villager gossip you want when Lakeburg Legacies releases next year.
In complete contrast to the outer space theme of this godforsaken show we get to explore the horrors of the deep sea! Spiral Cirus has created a game that lets you plunge into a mysterious abyss full of mystery and wonder. While you’re only one explorer, there’s certainly something off about this journey since you get to soul shift into various creatures as you navigate the murky depths in what I can confidently call a welcome companion to the macabre atmosphere in games like Limbo and Hollow Knight. I certainly can’t wait to see more of Silt prior to its release in early 2022.
Hello Neighbor 2
So I hate that I could already tell what game this was just from looking at a motherfucker’s jaw shape. In what I can only call a lucky guess at the way streamer games got popular in the last few years, Hello Neighbor 2 is a continuation of TinyBuild’s confoundingly popular series that detail a fucked up dude that you can’t help but keep bothering. Here we play a guy that simply has nothing else better to do than try and force a Home Alone situation in Mr. Neighbor’s abandoned little house. You can mess with him, steal his little keys, and learn his little secrets all while attempting to not get grabbed by what may or may not be a ghoulie. Expect to see a lot more of this asshole’s face to show up in GameStop shelves (seriously how does this game have merchandise) when the game releases later this year.
I know game designers who use subtext, and they’re all cowards. Soulstice says this confidently by having its heroine, a mix between Guts and Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, crash through a stained glass window and immediately start turning enemies into clouds of blood. Personally, I’m already gonna buy this game because it’s telling me how much it loves Berserk. You get to do big combos with your greatsword that turns into a hammer because fuck off. If you played a video game in the last decade you’ll find something of interest in Soulstice even if it’s just wanting to get a figure of the protagonist to complete your collection of people who look like Guts.
Personally, I love to be a little birthday boy. Splashteam seems to be aware of this and have personally given me the chance to pursue this love through their latest game Tinykin. Control a horde of small alien creatures on a quest to return to your home planet and your original size. Very much inspired by Pikmin, I’m eager to see how this game takes its own spin on some tried and true gameplay and narrative mechanics to create something wholly all its own.
If you’re looking for something else to add to the now growing list of RPGs mixing 2D and 3D aesthetics, then Sacrifire might be on your radar. With a soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba, Pixelated Milk are taking note of this budding shakeup of the genre and putting their skin in the RPG game. While nothing immediately stood out to me, it is interesting to note another studio trying out a trend that Octopath Traveler has more or less founded at this point, for all the good and bad that comes with such a development.
Imagine landing on an alien planet that totally isn’t Earth armed with only a bow and immediate knowledge on how to build quaint houses. That’s more or less the crux of Icarus by developer RocketWerkz. Get together with friends and survive the dangers of foreign landscapes and very large bears armed with nothing but the dopest of archery skills you can muster. A lot of these resource management games start to bleed together over time, so hopefully Icarus can make a lasting impression when it releases later this summer on August 11th.
What’s better than this, a pixel art game about being poor in the wastelands surviving on scraps? Death Trash is the first commercial project by the studio Crafting Legends that really settles in on a grimy aesthetic. In this isometric action RPG you get to build your own character and navigate an unfamiliar world ravaged by the elements and filled with a sense of unease based on how you choose to align yourself with the various inhabitants of and outside this society you find yourself. The game hits Steam Early Access on August 5th.
Finally some good fucking space content! Citizen Sleeper is developer Jump Over The Age’s RPG focused on living, as the game says, in the ruins of interplanetary capitalism. You play a washed up worker who tries to make ends meet and navigate life in whatever remains in the debris floating through the ether. Make connections, live beyond the limitations of your organic form, and seek to liberate your community from the claws of an oppressive force that’s managed to outlive humanity and follow it into the void. Get ready to wake up when Citizen Sleeper releases next year in 2022.
I’ve come through the other side of the PC Gaming Show, a shell of my former self. I no longer seek an answer to the question of whether there exists more beyond our meager bespeckled marble in space. My morale shattered as the concept of space became less a playscape and more a means of planned development growth. I wish I were as lucky as host Sean Plott was to find solace in death at the hands of Devbot, who vowed to take vengeance on humankind in next year’s very much planned continuation to this gimmick. Also the blue Mechwarrior themed PC should’ve won the contest. Democracy has once again failed the gamers.