Can you believe E3 2021 has come and gone already? It feels like one of those “blink and you miss it” moments we gamers get once or twice a year.
Earlier this past month, between the 12th and 15th of June, the video game industry’s most recognized and well-known developers, producers, and characters came together for the annual showcase of upcoming titles. And this year did not disappoint. Well, not for most of us, anyway.
But just in case you missed any of the most headline-worthy news to come out of this year’s E3 conference, I wanted to cover my pick of the top 10 moments that made us sigh with relief, squeal with glee, and even cry tears of joy (ok, maybe that last one was just me).
Keep reading below to see which 10 moments from E3 2021 made the list!
10. Capcom Unveils New Content for “Resident Evil” and “Monster Hunter” Franchises
After debuting the eight installment in their Resident Evil franchise earlier this year, Resident Evil VIII: Village, as well as the latest installment in their Monster Hunter franchise, Monster Hunter Rise, it’s safe to say that Capcom has already had a solid year.
During Capcom’s E3 presentation, the company also teased new content for both franchises: a new multiplayer game, entitled RE: Verse, and a fresh DLC for “Village,” along with a teaser trailer for Monster Hunter Stories 2 and the announcement of a new palamute for the action-adventure title.
9. Bandai Namco Showcases “House of Ashes” for October 2021
While there was another title that Bandai Namco’s fans were awaiting news of at this year’s E3, the developer dedicated most of their showcase to unveiling House of Ashes, the third installment in Supermassive Game’s Dark Pictures Anthology.
“Ashes” is a hybrid adventure-narrative horror game taking place after the Iraq War where a platoon of soldiers stumble upon an ancient labyrinth of subterranean catacombs. Like the other games in the Anthology, “Ashes” is meant to be replayed – rather than reloaded – to deliver a truly unique and immersive gaming experience.
8. Mario Party Superstars Hits Shelves This October
Even though the last time I picked up a Mario Party game was some 15 years ago, the nostalgia I have for the series never dried up. Unlike the friendships that the series’s minigames can rapidly dissolve, that is.
The kicker with Nintendo’s latest installment in the franchise is that, this time, we finally get online multiplayer. It may have taken the better part of 20 years, but we made it fam. I call Donkey Kong, you get Wario, no take-backsies.
7. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” Finally Get to Gaming
After Square Enix dropped the ball on more than a handful of technical issues with their 2020 Marvel’s Avengers game, fans have been wondering how game studios could pick up the superhero genre and revive it to its former glory. This was accomplished almost immediately by Sony’s release of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on the PS4, but Square Enix – ever the persistent one – opted to pick up the torch once more with this year’s E3 showcase.
This time, however, the hit seems to have landed on a cosmic scale. The studio announced the third-person action adventure title that sees players take on the role of Galaxy Guardian Star Lord, accompanied by a trailer that showed the Guardians truer to their comic renditions than those made famous by Marvel’s cinematic universe, wit and banter fully included. The game will be available later this October for Xbox, Playstation, and PC.
6. Move Over, Call of Duty – Enter: Battlefield 2042
It isn’t really an E3 conference unless at least one game is unveiled that, when you look at it, makes you go, “what are they going to call this ‘Call of Duty’ game?” Only to find out that it’s not a Call of Duty game at all.
Keeping with this tradition, Electronic Arts’s DICE showcased their newest iteration of the Battlefield first-person shooter franchise, Battlefield 2042. Even though I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of first-person shooter titles, 2042 looked good. Like, really good. Allowing players to customize their in-game loadouts without having to back out to a menu is also a major step forward. It really is the little things, sometimes.
5. More Xbox Exclusive Titles Starting with “Halo Infinite”
Despite my swapping out from an Xbox console to a PS4 with the advent of Bloodborne (#sorrynotsorry), I can still sympathize with my Microsoft-devoted peers on the lack of console exclusive titles they have been granted in recent years. But since acquiring Bethesda Softworks and ZeniMax Media for the humble price of some $7.5 billion, Xbox fans expected this to change sooner rather than later. And change it did.
Xbox was easily the “winner” of E3 in the conference’s first few days, unveiling three new console-exclusive titles:
Starfield, a fresh science-fiction RPG title from Bethesda
Redfall, an action-based vampire-hunting title from Arkane Studios
4. No “Metroid Prime 4” Oh, Dread
Sometimes, a game studio teases a new title in a beloved franchise and then says nothing about it while allowing it to quietly perish, whimpering in a dark corner. Sometimes, they’ll scrap a title and archive it in the hopes of revisiting it later in the future. And sometimes – just sometimes – they’ll do both.
While fans of Nintendo’s famous “Metroid” series were awaiting news about the fourth installment to their 2002 I-can’t-believe-they-pulled-this-off title, Metroid Prime, they were simply told that the title is still in the works. However, they were given their fix for video games’ first lady Samus with the announcement of a resurrected title, Metroid Dread.
The thing is, “Dread” was originally planned for Nintendo’s handheld DS console during the mid-2000s but was cancelled due to technical limitations (much like “Prime” nearly was). With the success of their hybrid-handheld Switch console, however, it seems Nintendo thought “better now than never” and decided to give fans of the series a wholesome surprise with the announcement of “Dread.”
3. Tekken’s Kazuya Announced for Super Smash Bros.
I know I’ve already placed Nintendo on this list twice. It’s not my fault if they absolutely crushed their E3 showcase this year. Speaking of which, did anyone else notice the complete power move Nintendo pulled by starting their showcase with the reveal of a new character for Super Smash Bros.? UbiSoft, put your head back down and take notes.
While Nintendo’s most recent iteration of the “Smash” franchise boasts a roster of pixelated fighters so large that reading the characters’ names on some smaller screens is inadvisable by most optometrists, it has continually proven that, sometimes, more is more. And adding the bare-chested brawler Kazuya of the “Tekken” franchise seems to be just what players wanted to see.
Though the reveal was brief, Nintendo plans to share updated details in a separate video this coming Monday, June 28th, around 10:00 am EST. Stay tuned!
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s Sequel Finally Gets A Release Date
Ok, I promise this one really is the final entry Nintendo has on this list, but can you blame me? When Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW) way back in 2017, fans were almost immediately itching for a sequel.
So, when Nintendo simply announced in 2019 that BotW’s sequel was indeed in development, Zelda fans (myself included) ricocheted around the room in anticipation and excitement that slowly curdled into more of a slow, passive rocking motion over the last two years. Fast forward from 2019 to last week and Nintendo is acting like they’re ready to wrap up their E3 2021 showcase.
Until, they gave fans what they really wanted: a new look at some gameplay, settings, and characters from BotW’s highly-anticipated sequel followed by the simple announcement of “2022.” If starting their showcase with a new “Smash” character wasn’t a power move enough, closing it with this one just reaffirmed that Nintendo still knows how to give fans precisely what they want.
1. Elden Ring’s Gameplay Reveal Trailer (Wasn’t Even At E3)
“Ugh, another ‘Souls’ game in the #1 spot,” you ask? “Just another ‘From’ edgelord,” you say? Well, anonymous reader, I am a diehard Soulsborne edgelord who remains nothing if not predictable. Much unlike the writing of George R. R. Martin of “Game of Thrones” fame, that is.
Speaking of, do you remember that game title Martin had been hand-plucked to co-create with FromSoftware lead, Hidetaka Miyazaki, at the same time that BotW’s sequel was announced? Like the “Zelda” sequel, fans of Martin, Miyazaki, and the Soulsborne game franchise alike heard little-to-nothing about the new title, Elden Ring, for nearly two full years that felt like lifetimes for other reasons besides just the game.
Last week, fans across the globe cheered and exhaled when we were finally given a new look at Elden Ring’s gameplay. The trailer showcased an array of new lands, enemies, and locations structured by Martin and Miyazaki in a way that represents the true open-world feel of Miyazaki’s original “Souls” game.
Here’s the kicker, though. Elden Ring’s gameplay trailer reveal wasn’t even a part of the E3 showcase. Rather, it was hosted through Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest. The only reason Elden Ring is grouped together with E3 news is that the two events had a slight overlap, and well…just Google “Elden Ring E3.” Those SEO results speak for themselves.
All aboard the hype train for 2022!