It’s that time of year again – E3! What was once an industry-exclusive trade show has become North America’s biggest source of video game announcements and other game-related news for fans and professionals alike. We’ve condensed the best announcements into a daily highlight reel to really feature what we believe are the best games to come.
Today features a very full lineup, including four main events: Xbox and Bethesda’s Showcase, Square Enix Presents, PC Gaming Show, and Future Games Show. Yesterday I gave a shoutout to Ubisoft for adding hard subs to its presentation; today, I’d like to thank Xbox/Bethesda for its dedicated streams with audio descriptions and ASL. The more major players in the video game world add the accessible options, the more people can experience these events together. It almost makes me forget all the shooters it featured (and the spiders in Grounded). Almost.
Repeatedly play the same twelve minutes for hours
The unreleased gem in Xbox and Bethesda’s Showcase for me was undoubtedly Twelve Minutes. Yes, there was also an announcement that Hades is coming to PlayStation/Xbox. Yes, I did have a mild (or not) freak out regarding it. Still, Twelve Minutes is absolutely not to be overlooked despite getting a paltry 40 seconds of time featured. Set only in a small apartment, a man has just learned his wife is pregnant when a police officer appears, accusing her of murder. The game is set in a 12-minute time loop where the goal is to find the “best” outcome, whether the man learns the why of it all, or prevents her arrest, or does any number of other things. The voice acting cast is star-studded, and features James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe. Twelve Minutes was first revealed a whopping six years ago, so I was absolutely tickled pink when the Showcase revealed its launch date as August 19, 2021. It will be a console exclusive at launch, only available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. It will also launch for PC via Steam on the same day.
To view the entire Xbox and Bethesda Showcase on YouTube, click here.
You with the sad eyes, don’t be discouraged…
I will forever curse whoever decided the next Life Is Strange title should be “True Colors” yet have no Cyndi Lauper in sight. I will also repeatedly and immediately forgive them because the next Life Is Strange: True Colors looks like it’s got a strong concept. Developed by Deck Nine (Life Is Strange: Before the Storm) rather than the original series creator Dontnod (Life Is Strange, Life Is Strange 2), True Colors is a brand new story featuring Alex as she searches for the reason for her brother’s death in a small town. Square Enix took the time at E3 to discuss her power and its consequences. Alex has the power of Empathy, which allows her to focus on people’s auras to gain insight into their psyche. This can spark dialogue or events, as well as sometimes starting a chain reaction of consequences. To me, Alex is already a hero; emotions can be terrifying and she’s incredibly brave to run into them instead of away. Life Is Strange: True Colors will launch on September 10, all at once instead of episodes separated by weeks/months of waiting, for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Life Is Strange: True Colors’ Ultimate Edition includes Life Is Strange Remastered Collection (E3 trailer here), which launches on September 30.
How much Final Fantasy is too much Final Fantasy?
As far as I can tell, the answer is that there is no such thing as too much Final Fantasy. I’ve been trying very hard to shine a spotlight on one game per showcase, but Square Enix got me with this one! From Team Ninja (a division of Koei Tecmo that’s best known for Nioh, and also developed Dissidia Final Fantasy NT) comes Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. It is a brand new Final Fantasy game with all the hack-and-slash one could ever want. The Warriors of Light are seeking Chaos to kill it – and it turns out Chaos in, in fact, an actual being and not a concept. It certainly looks like a Final Fantasy title, mostly because of the oddly large sword hanging from our hero’s back. There is a free PlayStation 5 available for the next ten days if you fill out a survey here on the PlayStation website.
To view the entire Square Enix Presents Summer Showcase (what a mouthful!) on YouTube, click here.
Don’t just build a town – meddle with its inhabitants!
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the PC Gaming Show, because quite honestly the last time I was excited for anything to come from it was when it premiered Telling Lies and that was a full two years ago. And then, amongst approximately two thousand games set in space, came this shining little gem of a medieval management game called Lakeburg Legacies (developed by Ishtar Games). You’ll do the usual town management things, like choosing what buildings to put where. Aside from town management, the game features the ability to mess with everyone’s love life. By the end, you’ll know everyone by name. There are character classes (primary and secondary), with different classes behaving differently. You can match people based on anything you’d like, whether it be social status or what their hearts are telling them. Breed the perfect children for your master plans, or make everyone happy with their true loves, it’s up to you.
To view the entire PC Gaming Show on YouTube, click here.
Half Mermaid’s next title revealed, yet remains mostly hidden
I went into this knowing full well what I’d be covering from the Future Games Show, regardless of what else popped up. So here we are: the premiere of Half Mermaid’s next game. Half Mermaid, founded by Sam Barlow (Her Story), launched its first title last year with Telling Lies (yes, the same one I mentioned above). It has been teasing Project Ambrosio for months now, dropping very few hints for what to expect… not even a title. The reveal was saved for the very last of the show, so you know it’s something people are hyped for. There are two types of people in this world: the ones who have discovered the innovative games created by Sam Barlow (and now Half Mermaid), and those who should make that discovery. If you know, you know.
Half Mermaid’s next title, to be released sometime next year, is titled Immortality. It is about a film star named Marissa Marcel, who made three unreleased movies before disappearing. Note one of the three posters in the trailer: Ambrosio! At least two of the films are by this John Durick person, is he involved? And that’s about all there is to know. I’m picturing an FMV game featuring behind-the-scenes footage to piece her life and disappearance together, but really, anything is possible.
To view the entire Future Games Show on YouTube, click here.
– Lindsay M.