The 5 Big Announcements From E3 & Summer Game Fest 2021
Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live! and E3 2021 are officially in the books, and we got many great announcements and reveals from the showcases. For many, indie games stole the show overall but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some massive announcements from some of the industry’s biggest developers. Below are five of the biggest games shown, including titles that will appeal fans beyond those that typically follow E3 as well as titles that could help shape the industry as a whole going forward. Without further ado, let’s get to the games.
After two years of speculation, we finally have more details, including a release date, for the hotly anticipated Elden Ring. Initially revealed at the Xbox E3 2019 presentation, fans of developer FromSoftware have been clamouring for new information on Miyazaki’s latest project which was written in collaboration with Game of Thrones creator, George R. R. Martin.
For those unfamiliar with FromSoftware, they are the acclaimed developers of titles such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The studio and its director have gained a cult following amongst video game fans for their punishing gameplay and deep lore written into their games. Since its reveal in 2019, comment sections across video game content have been filled with “where’s Elden Ring” comments and now we finally know it will release in January 2022.
Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live! closed their show with the brand-new gameplay reveal trailer and set the internet ablaze in the process. The trailer showcases the games open world design as well as many of the weird and wonderful enemy designs that have become synonymous with FromSoftware titles.
While the gameplay style isn’t to everyone’s taste, there is no denying the quality to which previous FromSoftware games have been made and so this undeniably one to keep an eye on in 2022 and potentially a great jumping on point for those wishing to try the souls genre.
Release date: January 21st 2022
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
After the success of Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Marvel’s Avengers, we now have the latest project out of Marvel Games and this time it is in partnership with Eidos Montreal and Square Enix. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will see you take control of Starlord himself in a brand-new story inspired by the comic source material. Players will have access to all of Starlord’s now iconic weapons and gadgets including his pistols and jet boots. What’s more is that the game will feature iconic songs from the 1980’s in order to achieve that vibe Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have grown to love in the movies.
Where this game looks most intriguing is with how its approaching narrative. Players will of course be playing as Starlord and as the ‘leader’ of the Guardians, you will be tasked with making choices that will affect the team. Not only will dialogue alter in these situations but the other team members will react to your choices and even present options as the game progress that are dependent on your decisions. This level of choice carries over into battles too as you are able to direct and instruct your fellow Guardians mid-fight in order to utilise particular abilities and strength of your team.
Perhaps the most exciting element of this reveal was the games release date. Most AAA games get revealed well in advance of their release in order to start the marketing machine, but Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is releasing in only four months on October 26th. The game is also set to release across all major platforms, including a cloud version for the Nintendo Switch, so all Marvel fans will be able to experience this latest adventure for their favourite misfit team.
Release date: October 26th 2021
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
The box office phenomenon is being brought to video games by the talented Massive Entertainment at Ubisoft, with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Back in 2017 it was announced that Massive would be creating a game based on the world of Pandora however up until now, further details have been sparse. Now though, thanks to a debut trailer at the E3 Ubisoft forward, we have our first look at the game as well as some details on what to expect.
Having released in 2009, Avatar shattered box office records and, despite initially losing its crown to Avengers Endgame, has recently regained the box office throne thanks to a rerelease in China. While the overall brand of Avatar has waned since its megaton release, it could be set to dominate theatres once again with the long-awaited sequel set to finally release in December 2022.
While Massive Entertainments video game will take inspiration from James Cameron’s universe, it will apparently take place across a never-before-seen part of Pandora called the Western Frontier. What’s more is that the game will be from a 1st person perspective which was slightly unexpected, especially after the success the studio had with The Division franchise in recent years.
It isn’t fully clear what elements will represent gameplay and which are pre rendered scenes in order to convey the tone of the game, however if certain clips are representative of what fans will play, then we could be in store for one of the most visually stunning games we have seen so far. What is definitely exciting is the prospect of exploring the vibrant world of Pandora and how Massive Entertainment, who created an excellent game play experience with The Division, will put their spin on this diverse ecosystem.
Release date: 2022
The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A truly exceptional game that, in many ways, redefined what an open world experience could be. Releasing alongside the Nintendo Switch in March of 2017 the game went on to win countless game of the year awards across the industry and quickly established itself as one of the greatest video games of all time.
As you can imagine then, the announcement that a direct sequel was in development dominated every headline when Nintendo dropped the news at their E3 2019 Nintendo Direct. Since that cinematic trailer, Nintendo has been silent on more details regarding what fans have dubbed ‘Breath of the Wild 2‘, that is until their E3 2021 Nintendo Direct. Nintendo closed out their presentation with the first gameplay trailer of the sequel which caused the video game community to explode with excitement and questions in equal measures.
The debut trailer in 2019 lead fans to speculate that the game would explore below the Hyrule map we came to love in the original, however 2021 trailer shows that we will instead be exploring a range of floating islands above Hyrule, seemingly channelling the spirit of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (which just so happens to be getting a HD rerelease on the Nintendo Switch this July).
Beyond the obvious change in scenery, fans have also speculated we may be watching either two separate characters or perhaps two versions of Link, separated by time. This theory has come from the version of ‘Link’ exploring the sky islands having a distinctly different outfit and hairstyle when compared to the one found on the ground, which resembles more of the Link we know from the original game.
Nintendo has played around with time travel in previous Legend of Zelda games, so it is possible they explore this concept further. Knowing Nintendo though, things aren’t always what they seem, especially when it comes to their Zelda titles. I for one cannot wait to dive back into that world and see what they have created for us this time.
Release date: 2022
The acclaimed developers behind The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are set to release their first new IP in twenty years with the release of Starfield in 2022. The space epic will not only be the next game released by Bethesda Game Studios and industry legend, Todd Howard. It will be the first Bethesda Game Studios game released since the monumental acquisition of ZeniMax Media by Microsoft in March of 2021. Due to this acquisition, Starfield as well as many more Bethesda games will be exclusive to Xbox platforms and PC, signalling potential shift in power in the gaming industry.
While the teaser trailer may not offer much in terms of details regarding the game, it does give us our first look at in-engine footage and set the tone for what will surely be a space epic based on previous entries in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. Details beyond the trailer are still limited with Bethesda only stating “In this next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars, create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom. Harnessing the power of next-gen technology and built on the all-new Creation Engine 2, Starfield takes you on a journey through space as you strive to answer humanity’s greatest mystery.“
Going into E3 2021 many fans were expecting to see Starfield at the Xbox show, however Bethesda surprised many by putting a release date on the game. Alone this may not sound that surprising expect that the release date given was November 11th 2022. Almost eighteen months away this is possibly the furthest out release date any game has been given, at least in recent memory. Of course, release dates can shift, especially in the current climate, but if they do manage to stick to that date then fans could be in for a marketing journey over the coming year and a half.
Release date: November 11th 2022
Which of these announcements are you most excited about? Or is there another game from E3/Summer Game Fest that caught your attention the most? Let me know in the comments and be sure to check back for more information on 2021 games and beyond.