The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2021 (E3) is now behind us. Even though we could not be there in person, as it was a completely digital event this year, we had a blast! Microsoft was definitely this year’s showstopper perhaps because of the lack of presence by Sony with PlayStation 5. We’ve seen some great things from Starfield, the hype is back for Halo Infinite and there was some fast-paced action from Forza Horizon 5. Also, Nintendo dropped some bombs with the announcement of Metroid Dread and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. And last but not least, we’ve got some hot takes on Elden Ring (yes, it exists!) as well as the pure historic epic battles in Age of Empires IV. Don’t forget Sony! despite their absence, they had their own shows around the same time as E3 so we’ve got some news for you. So buckle up and let’s get into it.
1. Showstopper Microsoft Parades Bethesda and Xbox With Pride
We can all agree that Microsoft stole the show this year at E3. Thanks to the massive announcements surrounding Xbox and their recently acquired game gem, Bethesda. They go above and beyond to explore space with Starfield, a game "25 years in the making". This new franchise (called an IP) is also referred to as "Skyrim in space". It was an epic moment when they showcased the new, mystical teaser trailer at E3. Even though the teaser did not give us many answers, it fuelled the hype train, that's for sure. Even Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind Death Stranding and the Metal Gear series tweeted about it (maybe the rumors are true about Kojima's cooperation with Microsoft after all).
Xbox, on the other hand, brought out the big guns this year. The long-awaited 6th main entry of the Halo franchise, Halo Infinite, is back with the boss, Masterchief itself. At the Xbox Series X Games event, we got a glimpse of the multiplayer mode, and were able to explore a huge Halo ring.
Then, there was the glorious trailer for the newest edition of the Forza series Forza Horizon 5. We knew it would be set in Mexico, but seeing the extremely gorgeous landscapes in 4K made everyone excited to explore the different areas - from lush jungles to silky sand to rocky hills. We can’t wait to go!
We also got a look at another FPS classic, the newest arrival of the Battlefield series, called Battlefield 2042. As the title suggests, we're in the not-too-distant future with new-age weaponry, bigger maps, better tactics, and more glorious pixels. The franchise is back and looks better than ever and we are more than ready for it.
2. Nintendo Bets on Reviving Old Classics
Like expected, Nintendo and their Nintendo Direct show were a blast! After 19 years of adventures in Metroid Fusion, the story continues with their classic 2D game Metroid Dread, finally seen in some gameplay footage. Like in the previous games, you play as the legendary sci-fi warrior, Samus, in a 2D platform action-adventure. We’ve seen this familiar gameplay in the game’s predecessor, Samus Returns (2017). She explores planet ZDR, with new elements as stealth. Not much more info about the story and no release date yet, but we can already tell, it’s going to be massive.
The next nameworthy game was WarioWare: Get It Together. For the first time in the franchise, multiplayer action is introduced. It looks like this game is full of wacky mini-games where you have to compete against your buddy, or if you don’t have any to play with, challenge the CPU.
And finally, what we all have been waiting for! A sneak peek of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. This is the sequel of the open-world, award-winning RPG, which often is said to be the best Nintendo Switch Game out there. Will BotW2 be better than its predecessor? The trailer was just a taste, so we’ve got to wait to find out!
3. The Rumors Are True! FromSoftware Sheds Light on Elden Ring
“Do you have enough souls?” Personally, for me, the biggest news from the event was the new IP from FromSoftware. With George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) playing a big role in its development, it is sure to be amazing. Hideyaka Miyazaki, the games creator, hired him to aid the world-building and the creation of the lore. How about that! And if you don't know this developer, you may be familiar with games he created: the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne. These types of games require enormous eye-hand coordination skills because the "normal" mode of the game is so hard, a lot of people just give up, so expect a challenge. Their new release called Elden Ring has been teased in a video a week before E3, and now we've finally had the chance to see the gameplay for a few brief moments.
It is really a miracle for many of us to see the game in its glory since last year there were even rumors that the game simply does not exist or had been cancelled, and fans only lived on hope and memes. But luckily that was not the case, and Elden Ring is looking to be an amazing next-gen game for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The action-RPG game with online elements will bring new additions to the souls-like games, like mounted fights, vast places to explore in an open-world environment, and summonable enemies to assist you. But there are also many familiarities you will recognize from the previous souls-like games: mystic story, spells, extremely cool-looking bosses, and the way you respawn after every death - which will most likely occur quite a lot.
And with a release date of January 2022, announced, we’ve got the perfect start to a new year on its way!
4. Sony, Missing in Action - Again?
One of the big players, Sony PlayStation was nowhere to be seen at the event, but rumor has it they're preparing for even a bigger bang than we had at their latest State of Play show. There, they introduced the sequel to the PlayStation exclusive, Horizon, called Horizon: Forbidden West. The new sequel picks up where the first game finished, with Aloy going to the (forbidden) west coast of the remaining world with a familiar face, Eren. We can expect new game elements, better, and upgraded weapons, badass robots and human enemies. We can’t wait to dive in this new adventure with Aloy, fighting for the world! There was also a shiny new trailer for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart in an earlier State of Play, which we can’t wait to get our hands on. You can find our review about it in our previous article from our Dundle Magazine.
5. Dinosaurs, Vampires, Zombies and Other Strategic Surprises at the PC Show
The PC Show at E3 is always something different. Out of several interesting, smaller games, we’ve picked out a few diamonds. If you love indie games, this show is for you. But we like to highlight the hits PC gamers are waiting for. Like Age of Empires IV, the new installment of the beloved series that takes you back in time with its historical gameplay. Microsoft is even bringing back a familiar fan-favorite from Age of Empires II, Joan of Arc. Gamers will fall in love with the series all over again with the addition of new campaigns. So, let’s go back to medieval times with epic historical battles - we’re excited to see more!
The Jurassic Park franchise dropped another strategy game for PC. In Jurassic World Evolution 2 we dive back into building your dinosaur park as safe and attractive as possible... or as dangerous as possible - it’s all up to you! The love for dinos will never fade!
And last but not least, let’s talk about the survival horror game Dying Light 2. It’s set 20 years after the first game and you begin with a new protagonist and a new arsenal of skills. It looks great and refreshing, and we can’t wait to parkour through the city. Grab a grappling hook and paraglider and avoid those zombies or face them head-on. More versatile gameplay? Yes please!
E3 Shows the Good Times for Gamers
And that’s a wrap! E3 is sadly over and now we just have to wait for the games to release. It is always a pleasure to follow this event. In the past, it was only open for the press, but since 2017, the public was able to join the Las Angeles-based event. In 2019, around 66,000 people attended the event! Sadly, due to COVID-19, E3 was held online this year without (that much) press. The atmosphere was great, with people audibly celebrating each time a new game was announced, but it was a little less spectacular than years prior. However, in the end, we’re here for the games and as you read the article, it’s gonna be good!
To summarize the event, it was awesome again to follow the press conferences each evening. There's clearly a lot of games coming this fall and winter and, even though it's still the middle of the summer, we can't help but think about the many amazing hours of gaming in our future.
There is much more to show, so we have some notable mentions you really should keep an eye out for: Back 4 Blood, a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead; Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, with a lot of recognizable humor; Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, finally a new game of the 2009 movie; and Chivalry 2, another game with hardcore medieval battles! But if you want to check everything out from E3 yourself, just rewatch the online event on the E3 website and get excited! Because the variety of games is huge and it’s a good time to be a gamer.