- Over 50+ games announced at PC Gamer’s PC Gaming Show – Lots of “more of the same” titles – Survival/crafting, farming/life simulators, retro shooters
- Want to play: Persona 4 Golden (out now!), Carto, Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy, Potionomics, Paradise Killer, Haven, Weird West, Twin Mirror
- Interesting: In Sound Mind, Icarus, Rogue Lords, Blightbound
- Especially bad: Amazon’s New World (see cover image)
Day 2 of E3’s online shindig was the “PC Gaming Show”. After watching God-knows-how-many-trailers during this two-hour show, I’m here…but not all here.
My theme for this show, and PC gaming in general, was “more of the same”. I’m not sure if I’m just an old, jaded gamer but it felt like the majority of games announced here were – kind of like the movie industry – “safe” bets that were essentially clones of existing games with a new mechanic or different art style.
The survival/crafting clones. The farming/life simulator clones. The retro shooter clones.
Also: EPIC GAME STORE EPIC GAME STORE EPIC GAME STORE…
To start with, I appreciated host Day and co-host Frankie Ward’s heroic efforts on the stream to keep things upbeat, interesting and professional. I would’ve mentally checked out twenty minutes in. Day’s interview questions at least weren’t the typical talking head stuff.
Since the scale of today’s event is way bigger than the E3 Day 1 PS5 game announcements (we’re talking 50+ games here, which was repeatedly emphasized), I won’t be posting a bunch of trailers, but instead just writing my impressions on what I saw, good or bad.
Want to Play
PERSONA 4 GOLDEN – Not a huge surprise given the leaks, but anything Persona for me now is a guaranteed buy. I just hope that Persona 5 Royal’s PC release doesn’t come at the start of the NEXT console generation.
CARTO – art style reminds me of Night in the Woods. Looks good despite all the scenes just showing a girl going around doing random stuff (and a mechanic where you can rotate areas of a map to explore new areas?)
UNEXPLORED 2: THE WAYFARER’S LEGACY – nice minimalistic style rogue-like. Didn’t get to see any combat or anything else other than the main character walking around.
POTIONOMICS – While running a store and selling to adventurers isn’t a new genre, it’s pretty niche and I respect Potionomics’ unique take on it (sales are done via card-based battles where you try to win over your customer). I like it. The 3D character models look like something out of a DS game though.
PARADISE KILLER – Lol, I don’t know what to make of this game. Very over-the-top, but I’d say in a good way. The end of the trailer labels it as an open-world murder mystery. Okay, I’m intrigued at least.
HAVEN – A two-player RPG adventure about “love and freedom” by the developers of Furi. You can play single player and control both of the main characters, but you can also have a friend drop-in at any point. Interested.
WEIRD WEST – It’s a top-down RPG developed by WolfEye Studios. I’ve never heard of WolfEye, but it seems the founders originally left Arkane (Dishonored). Game looks good. Sort of like a Wild Wild West Fallout.
TWIN MIRROR – I’m not sure I understand why the environments look super detailed while character models look like they haven’t changed since the original Life is Strange, but I have to give DONTNOD the benefit of the doubt here. They’ve churned out nothing but quality games.
Interesting for some reason
IN SOUND MIND – Okay, a new psychological horror game. That’s good. Unfortunately, it’s kind of implied that some of it is just in your head. That’s one of my pet peeves when it comes to horror games. Did so-and-so event actually happen or is it just my character’s imagination? Otherwise, looks solid.
ICARUS – New game by Dean Hall (DayZ). It looks impressive graphically but I’m not sure if I see the draw – you land on the planet, do stuff, and then you gotta get back to your ship otherwise you die and lose everything? Also, Dean Hall is way older than I expected.
ROGUE LORDS – Tim Burton meets the rogue-like genre. Cool art style and there’s definitely potential there. They made a Big Deal about a feature called “devil mode” which seems like an emergency cheat system – in the video they highlighted using it to lower the enemy’s health during a battle gone awry.
BLIGHTBOUND – Okay, so the co-op dungeon brawler genre is one where I’m always on the lookout for new games. (aside: if you’re interested in the genre, get best-in-slot Tower of Doom and Shadows Over Mystara on Steam, it’s a combo pack OR you can play it on MAME or a CPS2 emulator) With that said, I’m not 100% sold on Blightbound for a stupid reason: I can’t stand modular animation. It always looks whack as hell. Otherwise the game seems solid.
Valheim – The opening act for the PC Gaming Show. I’m not sure why. It looks like a minecraft-meets-vikings survival/crafting game. Animations look janky as hell, character models look ten-years-old. Not a fan.
Ooblets – This is exactly the shit that I’m talking about when it comes to “more of the same”. After the success of Stardew Valley, everybody and their mother is getting into the farming and life simulator business. This is Stardew Valley meets cutesy low-polygon graphics.
Torchlight 3 – Not much to say, Torchlight has been around for awhile. I’ve always been more of a Diablo 2/Path of Exile player but it’s nice to see more competition in this space. Path of Exile especially has been pissing me off lately.
Odyssey: Elite Dangerous – Looks good, I like the idea of “being able to do anything in space” but I’m waiting for a VR release. It wasn’t ruled out (just at launch) so I’m hopeful.
Airborne Kingdom – This might be the worst trailer I’ve ever seen. Told me absolutely nothing about the game. I knew there was going to be a goddamn city in the clouds, that’s the title of the game. It doesn’t look bad but jesus, at least give us a hint of what the game’s about.
Dwarfheim – A co-op RTS for up to three players? Looks so much like Warcraft with updated 3D models.
Bunch of games from New Blood Interactive – edgy retro shooter, edgy retro shooter, edgy retro shooter, etc. Edgy interview. No interest in the genre.
Humankind – “community-driven game development” (this can’t go wrong). Looks like they’re recruiting members for the dev team?
Evil Genius 2: World Domination – Never played the first, but it sounds like a Simcity for secret agents? Not bad.
Godfall – It’s funny how this game looks so much better now without the edginess and whole “heavy metal” vibe of the PS5 event trailer. I don’t see anything really innovative though, looks like your standard third-person melee action game. I guess the looter aspect?
Prodeus – retro shooter
Fae Tactics – pixel-art isometric tactics game. Alright, I haven’t played a tactical RPG since Disgaea 4 so I can’t offer much here.
Project Wingman – combat flight simulator that also supports VR. I really wish LucasArts (if they’re still around) would make another X-Wing/TIE Fighter game with VR support.
Blankos Block Party – looks like Second Life mixed with Funko pops. Not excited about this one.
Everspace 2 – Okay, we have our modern Descent game. Looks good though a little surprised the trailer didn’t really show much of the combat, just your ship flying around different environments.
Inkulinati – Kickstarter game that showed a turn-based battle system with these 2D “inked” sprites. And a ram attacking with some sort fart move? Not interested.
Total War Saga: Troy – Never played the Total War games.
Mafia Remake – Looks amazing, except…”NOT ACTUAL GAMEPLAY”. That’s a tough one. What does the game actually look like?
Dauntless Call of the Void – Looks like a bunch of Kassadins facing off against Baron (League of Legends). The trailer didn’t show much at all.
Among Trees – here’s the trailer text: EXPLORE BUILD SURVIVE. Yep, you guessed it: it’s another survival crafting game! The difference? First-person and low-poly (kind of like Firewatch).
Mortal Shell – So I saw this game mentioned during the Playstation event (or was it a side event?). Third-person melee fighter except you can possess (certain? all?) monsters you come across. Each monster controls differently and has access to other moves. The event featured a trailer (okay) and another clip of a boss battle where two guys just repeatedly hack at each other with swords. I’m not sure what the point of this was.
Shadow Man Remastered – Third-person Hexen? Graphically it looks ancient. Further research indicates that this was an N64 game released in 1999 (oddly enough, I remember the box cover but not the name) and now remastered for PC. Hmm.
Shadows of Doubt – I remember seeing this on Reddit several months ago and my opinion on it hasn’t changed: I like everything about it EXCEPT THE PIXELATED ART STYLE.
The Forgotten City – really confused with this title. It’s a game based on a mod? And the mod won a National Guild Writers’ Award?
Cartel Tycoon – these tycoon games aren’t really my thing. No comment.
Trash Sailors – this is, graphically, my worst nightname. EVERYTHING is modularly animated. Sorry…I just can’t.
Cris Tales – I mean, I’m not sure what the actual game looks like because this just seems like a series of random cutscenes.
Alaloth Champions of the Four Kingdoms – new action RPG. The settings look interesting, but the battle animations are kind of a turn-off.
Story of Seasons Friends of Mineral Town – “the original farming simulation series sprouts on Windows PC!” I’m out. Actually, I’m back in for a second. This is a port of the original Harvest Moon game (Natsume has the rights to the Harvest Moon name). And with that, I’m out again.
New World – Okay, here we go. Amazon’s second crack at PC gaming and…………..it’s super dark and I can’t tell wtf is going on. The environments look awful. There are no shadows underneath any of the characters. I’m gonna call it: this game is donezo.
Metal Hellsinger – not sure if this qualifies as a retro shooter, so let’s go with Heavy Metal Shooter.
Dungeons of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos – snippet of conversation from the game: “You, again? I’d expected your asses to be turned into lampshades by now!” I mean, the little bit of the combat that we actually see gives me heavy Divinity 2 vibes, but man – what’s the story? Is it coop?
Red Sails – So this is a game where you pilot a red-sailed boat that travels on sand. And rescue people. It’s also a game where the graphics and animation remind me of Out of This World (1992). Not sure what to say about this one but I found it funny that one clip cut just before it looked like the ship was about to crash into some wooden poles.
Surgeon Simulator 2 – I’ve never played any Surgeon Simulator games, but this title is so wildly over-the-top that I’m not even sure what the point of it even is. It can’t be surgery, right? Surgery doesn’t have crafting and customization and popping heads off bodies and dropping donuts into patients’ rib cages.
Escape from Tarkov – good-looking shooter, but unbelievable bad trailer that literally shows a sniper walking around opening doors.
Outlast Trials – co-op horror game? All we could really see is just running around from bad guys so I’ll have to reserve opinions on it. I would love to see more players in this space though.