It’s been so great to have this celebration of gaming return this year. There’s been a lot of fun stuff revealed and some good memories created. Much like in 2018 when Forza Horizon 4 was revealed, the reveal of Horizon 5 – even though it was very much expected – will be one I remember throughout the years. Sure, it might not be as groundbreaking as Metroid Dread’s return – and I say that as someone who has no investment in the Metroid franchise, but it was still a grand announcement.
As ever, I watched as much as I could live, and for the first time tuned in to see Devolver’s wackiness unfold live. It seemed a bit toned down this year, focused more upon endlessly poking fun at just one thing, but it was still a fun if not memorable time. And it made me hungry with the amount of hot dogs they were parading around during it.
Ubisoft’s Forward event had just two games that I was interested in – not counting the DLC for Watch Dogs Legion. Riders Republic is looking as good as it ever did, with a lovely looking world to be exploring. Along with the mountain bikes, skis, and snowboards, there’s rocket-powered wingsuits – which I’m sure will be a lot of fun. There’s a lot going on with this that I’m sure to be enjoying.
Then there was Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – the sequel to Kingdom Battle that’s expanding on what the first game provided by going into space. Pretty much a galaxy-hopping adventure. I had yet to play Kingdom Battle – until the trailer for the second game and E3 sale pushed me to check it out. I’m having fun with the strategy and humour of it, which I’m sure the second will provide a lot more of.
Holy smokes, Nintendo. You hit it out of the park with a variety of announcements within that Direct. A few returning franchises, such as a new WarioWare bringing its minigame mayhem to Switch, along with Metroid – which brings Dread back from the dead. That title was originally meant to release more than ten years ago, so to see it be revived is absolutely lovely. Even if it means little to me. But just because those two don’t, doesn’t mean nothing did.
Seems Nintendo is in a revival mood, which certainly felt like the tone of the entire Direct, as quite a few of the games featured were from series that haven’t seen much in the way of support on a Nintendo platform. Worms Rumble is finally coming to the Switch, having seen a release last year on PC and Playstation systems. I enjoyed my time on the open beta of the PC version, but I’m not sure I’ll be grabbing it on the Switch. Good for fans who do, though.
Cruis’n is another Nintendo franchise seeing a revival of sorts, by bringing Blast to the system. Having been released for arcades in 2017, a lot is being added for the series return to consoles. With 29 tracks in total – including the five from the arcade game, I’m ready to get into a Nintendo racer that isn’t Mario Kart. Over-the-top action – including racing on a unicorn – makes this a must have for me. A true arcade racer that’s not of the karting variety.
Microsoft had a real good showing at the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. There was plenty to see and not much in the way of anything that felt like padding. Starfield started things off, and I’m honestly interested to see how this one pans out. It’s a sci-fi styled game, so it holds a lot more pull for me than either Elder Scrolls or Fallout. It hopefully will offer the same sort of exploration as those series.
Bethesda started the show, and also ended it. After the greatest reveal from the showcase for me, Arkane’s new game Redfall got revealed. Another 2022 release, this one is pretty much Left 4 Dead but with vampires instead of zombies. I enjoyed the trailer for it, but I’m not entirely sure I can get invested with something that is exclusively co-op.
Something that was a pretty great surprise was a Disney crossover in Sea of Thieves. I mean, it was kind of inevitable something like it might have happened, but now it has. Pirates of the Caribbean brings Captain Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones into the world of Sea of Thieves for a new storyline that’s sure to be a lot of fun. I’ve yet to complete one of the tall tales of the game, which is what this new storyline will be told through, but they can be completed solo, so I’ll certainly be trying a few out in preparation for this.
June is here, meaning it’s time for E3 – which is happening as a digital event this year. It’s… kind of complicated, in a way, as it’s not just E3 this year. Summer Game Fest is also making itself known as a June event that intertwines with E3. In other words, June really does seem to be the celebration of gaming I’ve always thought of it as. The final words article needs a date set, so that will be the end of E3, either the 16th or 17th.
The usual suspects are here, with Microsoft having an Xbox and Bethesda showcase on the 13th, bringing 90 minutes full of announcements. Nintendo have confirmed their E3 Direct will be happening on the 15th, with three hours of Treehouse streams immediately after it ends. Ubisoft bring another of their Forward events on the 12th. While EA won’t be hosting their Play Live event until July, they’ll still be around – starting with the Battlefield reveal on the 9th. There are plenty of other conferences happening within those dates as well.
As for Summer Game Fest, the Kick Off Live event starts things off on the 10th. A Summer Game Fest event during the Netflix Geeked Week takes place on its last day of the 11th, talking video game films and series that are hitting the platform. Summer Game Fest will also be showing off a few of the E3 events, such as Microsoft and Ubisoft’s events. The Sonic Symphony Orchestra event announced during the recent Sonic Central will be the last event of June (unless more get announced throughout this month).