Almost no one seems particularly pleased with this year’s E3 (probably because there were more updates to known games than announcements), but that just made it easier to find the best bits and present them to you without hours of publisher spin.
The Last Night
The Last Night gave a short announcement on the Microsoft stage Sunday night, and it was quickly praised for its visual style and the obvious nods to cyberpunk platformer Flashback. But minutes after it was announced, Milkshake Duck’s Law kicked in. A trove of acidic tweetstorms from lead designer Tim Soret was discovered, starting with a headstrong defense of Gamer Gate and eventually ending in attacks on Bill Nye the Science Guy. Knowing this about Soret, the idea of the Last Night’s “socialist dystopia,” where universal income kills creativity has a clear origin.
Publisher Raw Fury Games tried to smooth things over, saying “A lot can change in three years, including viewpoints, and Tim has assured us that the Last Night does not spout a message steeped in regressive stances. We trust Tim and know that he is an advocate for progression both in and outside of our industry, and we hope that this will be apparent moving forward.”
Hard to say when we’ll know that for sure as this Xbox exclusive still has no release date.
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
The war against Advent can be won if the human resistance can unite. In War of the Chosen, it’s up to the Commander to settle differences between the Templars, Skirmishers, and Reapers and build a significant fighting force. In addition to the new campaign in this expansion, players will have access to new combat options, bolstered training facilities, and increase bonds between soldiers to form a more effective unit.
Players will get a chance to unite against their alien overlords with a bigger fighting force on August 29, 2017.
Chaos in the city. It’s been seven years since the Agency has put the Cell and the roaming Freaks in their place, but the super cops of tomorrow are back, leaping off buildings, consuming orbs, and showing of order in glorious in 4k. Changes in Crackdown 3 include a map that’s more than double the size of the original, an overhaul of destructive environments, and cloud-based multiplayer platform for more stable PVP. And if that’s not enough to excite you, you can have Terry Crews shout until your ears bleed by playing as Commander Jaxon or teaming up with him in campaign co-op.
Crackdown 3 will be launching as an exclusive alongside the Xbox One X on November 7, 2017. Sorry Sony gamers. No orbs for you.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds
Aloy’s not done hunting down the truth. Embarking on a journey that takes her even further from home, she sets out to confront an evil residing atop a snowy mountain. It’s unclear if the Frozen Wilds will feature new robotic wildlife but we’ll be able to find out when Horizon Zero Dawn’s first expansion releases later this year. Read our review of the original game here.
Certainly not the first time going public with his love for games, but now Elijah Wood is making them. Along with his development studio Spectrevision, Wood has teamed up with Ubisoft to executive-produce Transference. It’s a psychological horror game based on mind-uploading. Details are scant but we do know it will be available for VR and consoles in early 2018.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Bethesda is letting Wolfenstein fans get back to doing what they do best: killing Nazis. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus picks up Blazkowicz’s alternate history adventures right where they ended in the New Order and ships him off to the former USA, which is now controlled by Nazi cyborgs and massive robot dogs.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human’s machine revolution finally showed the other side of the android divide with a small insurrectionist cell led by Jesse Williams. Liberating androids from Cyberlife stores can be accomplished in a number of ways, and, in keeping with Quantic Dream’s style, it can shape how the world perceives this AI uprising. While there is a lot that will seem familiar to Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain fans, there is a more complex investigate system and flagged dialogue options seem to branch in more directions than ever before.
While there’s no committed release date announced, extensive gameplay demos were shown to Playstation and David Cage has given one of his longer interviews on the inspiration for Detroit, the androids who live there, and how this was the longest script he’s ever written for a game. All that says we’re in for much more information very soon. Maybe at Gamescon?
Beyond Good and Evil 2
The surprise announcement of the week came, surprisingly, from Ubisoft. They’re better known for their try-hard failures and love of dance games (there was plenty of that this year) but the announcement of Beyond Good and Evil 2 was something no one had expected. Nearly 15 years since the original, and eight since any official word about its development, we’ve finally got confirmation the sequel to a much-beloved classic is well underway. While details aren’t readily available, Gabrielle Shrager, narrative director for Ubisoft Montpellier, said that Shani and Knox are teaming up in a prequel, taking place before the birth of Jade, the protagonist of the first game.
For now, all we know is players will be able to buddy-up or go it alone while cruising through System 3 in the middle of a fight for freedom. Systems and dates for Beyond Good and Evil 2 have yet to be announced.
Devolver Digital: Tomorrow’s Unethical Business Practices Today
While Ubisoft arguably won E3 by giving gamers exactly what they didn’t know they wanted, Devolver Digital had the most standout conference this year. Or any year. We got to see a little more of the top-down, cyberpunk hack-n-slash Ruiner (slated for later this year), but the publisher of Hotline Miami and Serious Sam used their stage for an anti-E3 conference that berates the audience for their rampant consumerism and the gaming industry’s systematic abuse of the masses that financially support them in a way that burrows so deep into your brain I’m going to stop spoiling it so you can appreciate its beauty as intended.
As I watch it again I can’t help but smile. I’m crying and I’m smiling.