I’m still working out my thoughts about this year’s revamped E3; it came and went, was mostly fun but also predictable and underwhelming. Granted, the various crises we’ve all been weathering since early last year have taken their toll on the games industry, so it’s not terribly surprising that E3 2021 was more low key and less showy. As well, there’s a case to be made for the need of such events in our changing, online-favoring world, but I digress. I’m glad that I was able to watch most of E3 (combined with things from the Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest) and catch up on missed presentations after the fact. And I’m also happy that my time doing so wasn’t entirely wasted. I’ve been lax in keeping up with game news of late, so a few announcements came as nice surprises (even if none of them had anything to do with either Dragon Age 4 or Fable 4, ah well). With that, here are some of my favorite highlights from that which was E3 2021.
We’re getting a new 2D Metroid game!
Counting among “things I never expected,” Nintendo’s reveal of a new 2D metroid game, Metroid Dread, was pretty dang cool. While there are things in the trailer here that are clearly not in the game, the actual gameplay looks exciting, fast-paced, and intruiging. Touted as a sequel to the excellent and supposed end of the series, Metroid Fusion, I’m very curious to see how Samus’s story will continue in the new adventure.
Neverwinter‘s new bard class
Ignoring the generally annoying trend of “reveal trailers,” this isn’t exactly new news. The folks behind Neverwinter have been hinting at the addition of bards to the game for awhile. But, as far as it goes for me, this was the first time I saw them in action. There doesn’t seem to be an official date as to when the class will be added, but it’ll be the first new class for the game since 2016, which is…something. Don’t know if it’s the class for me, but I’m sure I’ll give battling with song and verse a try at some point.
Mario and Rabbids get spacey
Did I pick a good time to start Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, or what? Jokes aside, its sequel, Sparks of Hope, looks impressive. The game introduces aspects of Super Mario Galaxy (including a very sassy Rabbid Rosalina!) to the original game’s formula, and it appears that it might include a little more exploration in the mix. I can’t say that I got along very well with the original Super Mario Galaxy games, but maybe I’ll make up for that with this game.
Starfield revealed, I guess
Everyone knew that Bethesda was going to say something about Starfield at its much anticipated combined event with Xbox, and yes, they did say something via a pretty trailer…but not much. And, from one point of view, maybe that’s a good thing? We now know that the game has a release date (11/11/22), that it will apparently play like “Skyrim in space,” and that it will be an Xbox exclusive. All in all, it was a pretty middle-of-the-road announcement; the big wait now is for actual gameplay.
Playing Final Fantasy on your…phone?
As someone who’s long wanted to try out the original FF games but only ever got as far as conquering the third and fourth installments, the announcement that the the first six games were being remastered for PC and mobile was music to my ears. Frankly, it just might be impetus enough for me to obtain a new phone, because I’m not averse to the idea of classic RPGing on-the-go.
Maybe I’ll finally play some Danganronpa, too
The Danganronpa games have been recommended to me several times over, and with the Danganronpa Decadence compilation promised for the Switch, maybe I’ll finally get around to them! I have to admit that I am fully onboard with companies releasing compilations like this. It’s great to have the chance to embrace missed/overlooked series without the hassle of having to track down individual titles.
Guardians of the Galaxy are coming to a console near you
I sure hope that Bonnie Tyler is getting some gains from game companies using her song “Holding Out For a Hero” in their trailers, because boy oh boy, it is the song of the moment. Anyway, Did the new Guardians of the Galaxy game deserve the extensive time it got during the Square Enix conference? Eh, don’t know about that. But, I do like this ragtag bunch of tongue-in-cheek heroes, and the game looks fun and funny, nonetheless.
Speaking of tongue-in-cheek, how about that Outer Worlds 2 trailer?
Its send-up of game trailers/teasers was refreshingly entertaining. Plus, it’s nice to know that The Outer Worlds is getting a sequel. Reminds me that I should return to the first game, since I’ve yet to explore its new content. Hmm, a replay might just be in order there.
Expeditions are coming to Fallout 76
While it was cool to see more about Fallout 76‘s next expansion, Steel Reign, it was more exciting to learn that Bethesda’s long-standing promise to add expeditions to the game was going to come true (next year). The fact that players will get to travel to The Pitt (Pittsburgh, PA is a hop, skip, and a jump from the game’s region of Appalachia, so it makes sense) further reminded me that I have that expansion for Fallout 3 but never played it. Guess I should add more thing to my “to-play” list.
P. S. It was further revealed that Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics will be coming to Game Pass. Never played them but have long thought about doing so. This way, I soon can!
That’s enough of me talking; now it’s your turn! If you tuned into E3 2021, what were some of your favorite highlights?
Lede image featured Metroid Dread (© Nintendo) taken from presskit available through the Internet Games Database (igdb.com).