It's that time of year again. The weather's getting warmer, summer break is upon us, and E3 is happening right now. This year, several new games were announced, from franchise continuations to brand new IPs. Take a look at some of our favorites below, and learn more about each title on the game's wiki.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Mass Effect 3's ending was one of the most talked about video game moments of last generation. When Bioware dropped the mic on the franchise, it left one of the most interesting and important role playing game franchises floating in the void of possibility. If there even would be another entry in the series, what would it possibly look like? At EA's E3 2016 press conference, we finally got an answer.
A derivative of the same universe, but not a direct sequel, Mass Effect: Andromeda has a few key features tying it to the originals. Players will assume the role of a male of female soldier-esque character, and a customizable Mako land rover will be your trusty steed when traversing planet surfaces. In overall tone, the game looks to appeal to our inner Lois & Clarks. The Andromeda galaxy is a wild, unexplored frontier, with secrets long hidden just waiting to be discovered. That is, if you can survive this brave new star system.
It's expected to hit retail in Q1 of 2017 for Windows 10, PS4, and Xbox One.
Electronic Arts has fully committed to the idea concept of using its publishing might to reach out into the indies and possibly find the next great indie darling. Unraveled was the first of these so called EA Originals, and Fe is the next.
Zoink Games, a Sweedish developer with games like Zombie Vikings and Stick it to the Man under its belt, will bring a moody and dark world to gamers in an adventure/platformer that has a distinct focus on the protagonist and it's relationship with the natural world around it. Executive Vice President of EA Studios, Patrick Söderlund, described it as "...a wordless celebration of our longing to be one with world around us. It’s a story that reminds us that everything in this world is connected, living in a delicate balance that is constantly under threat. It’s a game full of discovery, conflict, and relationships." By the very elemental and almost primal ways the young Fe interacts with the creatures and environments, I'd say he's on to something
Agents of Mayhem
When IGN blew the lid off of Deep Silver and Volition's next big project, what was revealed was both surprising and pretty typical of the studio. The trailer shows off everything we know about Volition's style of game - action packed, funny, potty mouthed. But even if Agents of Mayhem is technically rooted in the Saint's Row franchise (complete with not-so-subtle name drop and flour de lis-shaped logo), this reeks of hero shooter, a la Overwatch or Battleborn. The blend promises to be something new and compelling, like a multiplayer Crackdown or Mercenaries with more outrageous superpowers.
Agents of Mayhem will turn up the madness on your PC, Xbox One, and PS4 sometime next year.
Bethesda plans to bring the renaissance of old school arcadey shooters full circle with Quake Champions. A blend of the fast paced, in-your-face gunplay of yesteryear and the eSports-centric hero shooting of now, Quake Champions looks to tap into the ever-growing market of competitive multiplayer. The Maryland based developer/publisher has worked miracles in the past with old id Software franchises, DOOM and Wolfenstein, and with Tim Willits (designer of the original Quake) on board to see the development though, it looking very promising for this reboot.
Quake Champions will come to PC, but when is still up in the air. More is promised to be revealed at this year's Quakecon.
The biggest testament to how great the original Prey was is how well people still regard the franchise even with all of the crazy development turmoil surrounding it's doomed sequel. After it's on again, off again development and eventual cancellation, Prey seemed to be like a property that we'd never see again. So imagne the life convention goers' (and millions streaming and home's) surprize when the mysterious trailer for what will be the next game in the series blasted onto the screen.
The incredibly trippy trailer is stuffed full sci-fi intrigue, and as there is plenty more to learn about the game, there is enough here to start a conversation about the possibilities.
Gears of War 4
25 years after Marcus Fenix lead his small group of soldiers into a no win situation, ended the Imulsion-fueled dominance of the Locust, and secure humanities chance at survival on Sera, the world has gotten a bit more complecated. With fossil fuels being an unforseen casualty of the Imulsion Countermeasure detonation, the few hundred thousand humans left on Sera have had to learn how to survive in this new world of martial law and mega storms. When a new, more urgent and dangerous threat arises, JD and his crew meet the challenge, head on. Did I mention JD was Marcus's son?
Gears of War 4 will bring the series signature two-player co-op back in full force, as well as overhauled multiplayer and some new twists on old features. It hits Xbox One and PC October 11th, 2016
Mages of Mystralia
When Zia is exhiled from her homeland after some event involving her magical abilities, she is forced to travel the world of Mystralia in search of ways to hone and control her gifts. In her travels, she will find runes and elements that will be integral to her creating and controlling her own spells, and meet other exhiled mages on a similar path.
A lot like Magicka, Mages of Mystralia has a heavy emphasis on do-it-yourself spell creation. The particular details of how this happens is unclear, but Montreal developer, Borealys, promises "millions of different possibilities." With a story by best-selling author Ed Greenwood (of Dungeon and Dragons fame), Mages of Mystralia has all the potential to be as captavating narratively as it does mechanically.
Layers of Fear developers Bloober Team go full The Cell in their next title, >Observer_. Playing the role of a special detective in a police unit that hack into the minds of subjects, this horror title promises high level creep with a sci-fi spin. It takes that old cyberpunk brain hacking trope to the next level of weird, which makes it all that much more intriguing.
It's coming to PC and PS4, but there is no timeframe for it's launch, yet.
Oxygen Not Included
In the tradition of Fallout Shelter and Dungeon Keeper, Oxygen Not Included is a colony simulator that tasks players to raise a successful space settlement in the cold, unflinching vacuum of space. That's pretty much all there is to know at this point, except that Klei (Don't Starve, Invisible Inc., Mark of the Ninja) is a very good developer that can pretty much always be trusted to deliver the goods.
The Steam page says May 2017 as a release date, with no other platform but PC listed for now. But if it's like other Klei games, it will move to consoles eventually.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
It didn't take very long for VR to catch on before a Star Trek game jumped into the mix. As one of the most popular early science fiction advocates of virtual reality that regularly featured characters escaping to the holodeck for some downtime, its pretty meta to have a game where you slip on a head set and pretend to be one of these very crewmen. It also may be one of the first local multiplayer VR games, which asks you and up to four buddies to take control of one of four bridge positions in order to keep your starship sailing smooth.
You should be able to climb into the virtual Captain's chair this fall with your Oculus, Vive, and PSVR.
Ubisoft is looking to tap deep into those lost 1080 Snowboarding and SSX cravings you used to have as a kid, while dressing up the extreme sport in the classic Ubi sheen. Steep takes extreme winter sports like skiing and wingsuit gliding and unshackles them from the old track based trappings of the genre thus far. As a completely open world experience, players can glide around and drop onto premade slopes, or carve their own path down one of the assorted mountains of these digital renditions of the Alps and Alaska. Your runs can be turned into challenges for passersby on the fly, and with Steep's robust replay tools, you can see every cool trick and brutal wipeout from every angle, and even nearby stranger's perspectives.
Steep is set to debut in December 2016 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
Only a couple of short years after a mystery pandemic ends civilization as we know it, the survivors are left to reinterpret and redefine the future of the human race. With most humans dead, and many twisted into grotesque feral creatures, players take the role of Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter who does whatever he has to do to make it to the next day in the harsh world. He and his outlawed gang of bikers will travel this deadly open environment in search of stability and hope at the end of the world.
As it is developed by Sony-owned studio, Bend, it is exclusive to PS4.
Highbrow film-inspired cinematography? Check! Creepy and moody and somewhat Biblical imagery? Check! Hollywood actor in the center of it all (this time, in the form of Walking Dead and Boondock Saint's Norman Reedus)? Check! Must be a Hideo Kojima trailer.
When he left Konami under unknown - yet conspicuously dubious - circumstances, this was what he left to make. There has been a megaton of buzz surrounding his next product, and even though this trailer doesn't reveal much in the way of story or gameplay, it's chockful of talking points. Weird grease babies, floating stone guys, plague level fish beaching; there's a lot going on here. There is no release date in sight and I wouldn't hold my breath for on any time soon, but its all but guarenteed to be a PS4 exclusive.
God of War
One of Sony's seminal franchises ended what was assumed to be decisively in God of War 3. As with Bioware and Mass Effect, Santa Monica Studios realized that the Greek mythos was only a small piece of a greater universe that could easily have stories to tell in it. When it was leaked earlier this year that the next God of War would be set in Norse myth, it didn't surprize too many people, as it's filled to the brim with the sort of barbarism that would easily hold up a God of War title. When the trailer debuted at Sony's press conference at 2016's E3, I don't know if anyone expected to see players thrust back into Kratos sandals again. Maybe some rebooted version of him, but not THE Kratos.
The gameplay showed of a more slow paced, Dark Souls-y sort of take on combat. That didn't make it any less brutal though, and by the slaying of the giant troll at the end, we were all reminded of what Kratos is capable of. But why is he here? Who is this child? What's up with the beard? All questions we'll have to await answers for patiently, as there is no release date announced. It will, however, be a PS4 exclusive.
What other E3 games are you excited about? Let us know if the comments below. If we haven't created a wiki for your favorite game yet, click the orange "Suggest a Wiki" button on Gamepedia's homepage here.