Yesterday’s Summer Game Fest was Geoff Keighley’s unofficial E3 kickoff event. With everything being digital this year, there’s no real way of knowing whether an event is part of E3 or its own thing.
Last year, the Summer of Gaming lasted longer than the entire summer. There were just way too many announcements. Game announcements are always great because world premieres are dope and game trailers look insanely good these days. It’s just there were so many events and games that it was hard to keep track of everything.
Last year was sort of like binging a show on Netflix vs watching a weekly series on Disney+. Which one do you remember better — Stranger Things or Wanda Vision?
With other gaming sites providing instant coverage of each E3 (and unofficial E3) event, I thought I would do it a little differently. For every conference I watch I will create a list of that presentation’s Top Five announcements. I may also include a few of the other announcements as “honorable mentions.”
Here are the Top Five Summer Games Fest moments brought to us by Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest:
1. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
The show started off strong with this one. A new game set in the Borderlands universe?
It’s nice to see a new Borderlands game that isn’t another Borderlands game. Although I love Borderlands 2, something about Borderlands 3 just didn’t catch my attention. I found myself overwhelmed with all of the weapons, gear, items and loot you can pick up in the game — especially when my pockets were too full. I know it’s called a looter shooter, but there’s just too much loot in the game.
The writing in Borderlands 3 just wasn’t hitting like the older games. I found myself not paying attention during cutscenes. Maybe I’m just too old for that stuff now. I did love my character, FL4K though, he was pretty cool.
Tiny Tina has always been my favorite part of the Borderlands games. I will do any side mission for Tiny Tina. Ashly Burch does an amazing job and I’m happy to see her character be the star of a game (she also plays Aloy in Horizon: Zero Dawn & the upcoming Horizon: Forbidden West). Wonderlands will also feature Andy Sandberg, Wanda Sykes, Will Arnett and the Butt Stallion — who I’m not so familiar with, but I learned is from specific missions in the Borderlands games.
Ashly Burch mentioned that this game will feel familiar to fans of the Borderlands franchise, but will not follow the same Borderlands genre and that excites me after not really caring for Borderlands 3. I do plan to jump back into Borderlands 3 on my PlayStation 5 one day, just to see how it looks and feels.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is expected in Early 2022.
2. Hideo Kojima Presents Death Stranding: Director’s Cut
First off let me say that Kojima did mention 9/11 quite a few times during his presentation. He also spoke about how he’s approaching his upcoming game much differently. “Games are entertainment, but also a way to teach the audience something.”
Although I’ve never really been much into Kojima’s games I do understand that he is some kind of genius and I’m always watching to see what he does next. After playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for a few hours I thought it would be a better game for me if I watched someone who knew what they were doing play. I ended up taking it back to my friend, who I borrowed it from and watching him play quite a bit — it was like some “Live Twitch Streaming.”
I still have not played Death Stranding so I have no idea what is going on in this gameplay video. I’m also not so familiar with the Metal Gear Solid games, but I know the whole box thing has something to do with that game from Smash Bros and the little MGS that I have played. I did end up beating MGS: Ground Zeroes finally, after giving it a few tries.
Death Stranding: Director’s Cut is coming soon to PlayStation 5 (and I bet PlayStation 4).
3. Planet of Lana
Planet of Lana is a beautiful off-Earth odyssey. The opening of this trailer gave me some serious Studio Ghibli vibes and I don’t know if it was the hand painted style or the little creature. This game makes me wish I had that Xbox Series X or S but I’m waiting for Sunday’s Xbox + Bethesda conference to see if that’s something I end up doing in the next year.
This game looks like the type of game that I could spend most of my time taking screenshots while playing through the story. The world, landscapes and creatures are all wonderfully designed. It also just seems like a pretty chill game to play, sort of like Ori and the Will of the Wisps during those non-stressful parts of gameplay.
Planet of Lana is expected to come to Xbox consoles in 2022.
4. Evil Dead: The Game
I had a few different ideas for my number four slot, but Evil Dead: The Game ended up hear because I love Ash Williams (aka Bruce Campbell). It wasn’t until a few years ago, before watching Ash vs the Evil Dead the show that I decided to watch all of the Evil Dead (Bruce Campbell) movies. I became a huge Ash fan over one Halloween weekend.
This game looks just as gory, bloody and brutal as the show Ash vs the Evil Dead. The game also features the Evil Dead cam and tons of evil monsters from the Necronomicon. During the gameplay trailer Bruce mentioned you could play as a bad guy too, “If you want to be a d*ck.”
The house and forest and many of the areas in this game look just like the movie and show locations. It sort of gives me Friday the 13th: The Game vibes, although I think it will be more like Left 4 Dead and Back 4 Blood, where you team up with a few friends and go after the Evil Dead.
Evil Dead: The Game is coming later this year.
5. Elden Ring
Back in 2019, we got our first look at Elden Ring announcing that there was a game being made by Hidetaka Miyazaki (Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice) and George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones book series). This was twoard the end of the Game of Thrones HBO series hype wave for George R.R. Martin.
That first trailer revealed some beautiful cinematic video, but nothing showing off any real gameplay. From there Elden Ring went completely silent. Elden Ring predictions became sort of a joke, and many thought it wasn’t real any longer.
Yesterday, we were given a mix of gameplay and cutscenes and it all looked excellent . Elden Ring is a FromSoftware game like Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Dark Souls — three brutally hard games that I’ve never gotten into. I tried out Bloodborne a few times and plan to jump back in once it receives some sort of Next Gen upgrade.
I’m excited to see and hear more about Elden Ring to see if it’s for me — I really hope it is. George R. R. Martin being attached to this game already makes me want to play it. Although I never got into the Souls-Borne games I still respect and admire what they’re doing. I’m a big fan of some games that took inspiration from them, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Nioh.
I don’t think anyone expected a release date for Elden Ring but we got one — January 21, 2022.
There were plenty of other great moments during Geoff Keighley’s presentation. Of course there were musical performances by Japanese Breakfast, Weezer and a special sneak peek of the upcoming Sonic Symphony. We also saw some celebrity appearances: Jeff Goldblum, Ryan Reynolds, Hannibal Burress and Ember Moon.
We saw lots of crossover game events including Nier from Nier: Automata coming to Fall Guys, Stranger Things coming to SMITE and some Fast & Furious cars coming to Rocket League. We saw some updates coming to Call of Duty (new season), Escape from Tarkov (new map) and Among Us (new mode).
Below I posted some other cool trailers: