Summer Game Fest Kickoff: Full Recap Of Announcements (VIDEO)
Though not part of the main E3 proceedings, Summer Game Fest has quickly established itself as a formidable complement to the yearly gaming Expo, with the Geoff Keighley-produced event featuring the participation of several prominent game companies and delivering more than a few worthwhile announcements. It appears the showcase has only grown in time for 2021, with dozens of large-scale reveals making an appearance, all of which have been collected and recapped below.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
Having been the subject of rumors beforehand, Borderlands spin-off Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands was the debut “World Premiere” at Summer Game Fest, marking the first full game centered on the fan-favorite D&D-frequenter. Featuring a fantasy-influenced take on the traditional looter-shooter franchise, Tina’s adventure is set to bring the likes of magic, dragons, and an all-star cast of voice talent to PC and consoles early next year.
Metal Slug Tactics
The classic running-and-gunning Metal Slug franchise is set to be revived with an all-new entry title Metal Slug Tactics. While the reveal trailer invokes some spectacularly familiar retro visuals, it looks like the game itself is going for a more strategy-based RPG approach, encouraging players to utilize the environment, special skills, and (of course) various weapons to get the upper hand against enemies. Underway by Streets of Rage 4 developer Dotemu, Metal Slug Tactics is currently in development for PC.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut
Hideo Kojima is a sly, sly man. In revealing an inevitable Death Stranding Director’s Cut, the legendary game designer showcased a teaser evoking a whole host of themes from the Metal Gear franchise. While not exactly spelling out the name Solid Snake, the footage includes everything from a stealth atmosphere to the appearance of a certain cardboard box. Little is yet known about the new version of the 2019 release, though, the Director’s Cut is expected to release “soon” for the PlayStation 5.
Jurassic World Evolution 2
Creating and running one’s own Jurassic World with the narration stylings of Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic World Evolution was a tough-to-top park management sim when it released back in 2018. With that said, it looks like Frontier Developments is giving it a go with a sequel dubbed Jurassic World Evolution 2. Boasting a brand-new campaign and a variety of fresh game modes, dinos, and additional cast voices from the movies, the sequel is set to release for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in late 2021.
It’s no secret Amazon has had trouble breaking into game development, but it looks like the company has decidedly soldiered on with a handful of new projects in the works. As shown at Summer Game Fest, one of these upcoming titles is Lost Ark, a free-to-play RPG from Smilegate comprising action-heavy combat, a dark legion of enemies, layered player customization, as well as an admittedly lush-looking open world. As of now, the game doesn’t have a solid release date, but Lost Ark is scheduled to launch for PC in Fall 2021.
Among Us Roadmap
While new games front-ended Day 1 of Summer Game Fest, the proceedings also made time for already-released ones such as Innersloth’s Among Us. While we knew a little bit about the team’s approaching plans already, the game’s new roadmap also lists features like a Hide ‘n’ Seek mode, new roles, a fifth map, achievements, visor cosmetics, and “more” to be implemented in the future. As there isn’t a discernable timetable for these exciting features, it might be best not to expect these changes anytime soon.
Escape From Tarkov
Escape From Tarkov studio Battlestate Games has been working on its latest map for a little while (read: a big while) at this point, and though the content isn’t yet ready for the tactical online shooter, Summer Game Fest has offered fans the best look yet at future update 0.13. Dubbed ‘Streets of Tarkov,’ the urban-style map is set in a “business class residential complex” called Concordia, with the footage housing over two minutes of players engaging in tense firefights and generally raising hell within the locale.
Salt and Sacrifice
Following up the 2D Souls-like stylings of 2016’s Salt and Sanctuary, developer Ska Studios has formally presented a sequel entitled Salt and Sacrifice. The looming entry follows a new protagonist in the Marked Inquisitor, an indentured hunter tasked with tracking down and eliminating a particularly dastardly faction of Mages. Of course, the mission will undoubtedly prove to be challenging, encouraging players to collect weapons and upgrades, customize their own Marked Inquisitor, and even participate in online co-op play.
Salt and Sacrifice is set to release for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 in 2022.
Hyper Light Drifter dev Heart Machine has already shown a relatively decent amount of its trippy action-platform title Solar Ash. However, each new peek into its neon setpiece-filled locales inevitably offers that much more insight into what the scenery-skating experience is all about. While not very lengthy, the sequence shown at Summer Game Fest illustrates a pretty neat boss fight involving protagonist Rei as they take down a large flying creature. Though without a release date, Solar Ash is set to land on PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 later this year.
Two Point Campus
Channeling the classic simulator game Theme Hospital with 2018’s Two Point Hospital, developer Two Point Studios is now at it again with another business management sim. Stepping back from the field of medicine, the upcoming Two Point Campus will see players running their own college grounds, allowing them to shape the campus’ structures as well as the students’ various curriculum in Two Point’s signature style. As of now, Two Point Campus is set to release for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2022.
While plenty of the announcements at Summer Game Fest revolved around debuting releases, Koch Media alternatively took the occasion to unveil an all-new game developer to the world. Under the name Prime Matter, the collective will operate as a new publisher brand under the Koch umbrella and is already set to distribute quite a few new games in the next few years, including Starbreeze’s Payday 3, 1C Entertainment’s King’s Bounty II, as well as a revival of the 2004 shooter Painkiller with Saber Interactive.
There aren’t a whole lot of Left 4 Dead-like shooters set in the swinging 70s, and it appears studio Stray Bombay is aiming to remedy this oversight. Created by a team of former Valve devs, co-op shooter The Anacrusis sets up the general premise of four ordinary humans taking on a horde of hostile aliens that utilize a mix of Earthly and otherworldly weaponry in addition to some good old-fashioned teamwork to send the invaders packing. Set to debut this fall, The Anacrusis is confirmed to release for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Rocket League x Fast & Furious
Rocket League is currently in the midst of a particularly racer-influenced Season 3 and with the recent theatrical debut of the latest Fast & Furious movie, it looks like Psyonix is once again embracing the power of “family” with another high-octane collaboration. Available in the item shop between June 17th and June 30th, the new Fast & Furious 3-Car Bundle brings back the series’ iconic Nissan Skyline and Dodge Charger, as well as the rocket-propelled Pontiac Fiero from this year’s Fast 9. Those interested will have to pony up 2400 credits, or 1000 credits individually.
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodhunt
Bloodlines 2 may be on an indefinite hiatus, but it seems Vampire the Masquerade is headed in an interesting direction for its next video game adaptation. Revealed at Summer Game Fest, the series’ awaited battle royale project was officially awarded the title of Bloodhunt, with developer Sharkmob also debuting some new in-game alpha footage. Depicting a bloody feud between the red-ingesting creatures of the night, players are to utilize weapons, supernatural abilities, and “unholy alliances” to ultimately “dominate the night and restore the masquerade.”
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodhunt is scheduled to launch for PC in 2021, with a closed alpha test coming July 2nd.
Tales of Arise
Tales of Arise may have had a storied development as of late, but Bandai Namco appears to have locked down a solid release date set for this September. With the road all clear ahead of it, Summer Game Fest has provided another welcome opportunity for more footage of the vastly-anticipated RPG, showcasing several of the main players of Arise intercut with various instances of in-game interactions and combat. Several months from release, this trailer is already gorgeous to behold and likely increases the already high hopes for the final product.
Sky: Children of the Light
Journey-like open-world adventure Sky: Children of the Light has been in the works for Nintendo Switch for the better part of a year now, but, due to the complications of the pandemic, the mobile-only title had gone forward without a concrete debut for Big N’s hybrid console. However, that all changed at Summer Game Fest, as developer Thatgamecompany was able to confirm Sky would arrive on June 29th, just days ahead of its glorious The Little Prince seasonal event, which starts July 6th.
Planet of Lana
Following up one gorgeous indie title with another, Planet of Lana was also unveiled as a new puzzle platformer from Wishfully Studios. The game is in the same vein as Playdead’s Inside, though depicting a slightly more sci-fi premise. Following protagonist Lana and her critter companion Mui, the crafty duo enacts a rescue mission to save her sister, all while navigating, puzzle-solving, and platforming a strange, but lush, alien environment. Not much is confirmed yet, but Planet of Lana is set to release for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2022.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Ahead of the game’s big release next month, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin also received a new trailer at Summer Games Fest. Showcasing the next upcoming Monster Hunter title, the new trailer mainly gives prominence to the game’s story, which tells of a young Monster Rider who befriends a Rathalos and the world-ending consequences that may or may not result from it. For those interested to see if we make it, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin releases for PC and Nintendo Switch on July 9th.
Set in the same universe as the 4X Endless Space games before it, Endless Dungeon saw a new gameplay trailer premiere during the event, showing off a peek of its in-game offerings. The footage mainly runs through the game’s necessities for survival, seeming intent on establishing the title as a dungeon-crawling Diablo-like variant of the familiar “Endless” setting. No release date is available yet, but Endless Dungeon is currently set for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Fall Guys x Nier: Automata
The popularity of Fall Guys has yielded some truly memorable costumes for the game’s loveably fumbling beans, from the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog to the inevitable Among Us crossover. However, the next big collaboration will see another iconic franchise enter the arena in the form of 2B from Nier Automata. Yes, the blindfolded YoRHa protagonist will indeed feature as the latest oblong costume added to the battle royale title, arriving on PC and PlayStation 4 on June 18th.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 10, 2021
In between all the AAA game announcements, Sony also made a few smaller reveals of their own, mainly another new partnership with developer Deviation Games. Enacted as a means to create “a brand-new original intellectual property” for Sony Interactive Entertainment, the undisclosed project is said to be currently underway by the team at Deviation. Though, the studio concludes it’s still “really early” to share any further details on the project, with more information promised to arrive sometime in the future.
Evil Dead: The Game
Ash Williams’ mighty boomstick is in the business of killing Deadites in the new Evil Dead: The Game trailer and business appears to be booming. While Bruce Campbell is the chainsaw-limbed star of Saber Interactive and developer Boss Team Games’ PvP experience, the chainsaw-limbed character has also enlisted several allies from the Evil Dead movies as well as the TV show Ash vs. Evil Dead. On the other hand, those who don’t mind being on Ash’s bad side can also inhabit the role of the Deadites or even the soul-swallowing Kandarian Demon itself.
Evil Dead: The Game has no release date but is confirmed for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Finally, the time has come. Quite possibly the entire reason for this year’s Summer Game Fest kickoff show, George R. R. Martin and From Software’s Elden Ring was finally revealed with a stunning gameplay showcase, highlighting the Souls-like’s incredibly detailed presentation and fascinating fantasy world, while also dropping hints regarding the narrative of the awaited action-packed experience. In addition to re-affirming the game’s existence, a release date of January 21st, 2022 was confirmed for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
While E3 2021 is readying a similarly grand premise, Summer Game Fest is set to continue with a variety of different showcases through to the ending weeks of June. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day!
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.