Lasting Impressions from a Big Week for Games

June 6th to the 14th was a big week for games. In lieu of E3, fans of video games received a plethora of different gaming panels, events, and reveals via various streams, from the familiar Summer Game Fest event hosted by the familiar Geoff Keighley, to the wild and crazy antics of Devolver Digital, to the highly anticipated Xbox & Bethesda Showcase. The week-plus brought about more than a few surprises. Though I was not able to check off my personal “it’s not E3 anymore” bingo card (we saw absolutely nothing about the new Fable game or Bayonetta 3), plenty of things caught my attention. This is my rundown of the announcements and reveals that stuck with me the most.

Starfield’s gameplay was great, but it was also a little disappointing.

Video from YouTube user IGN.

My VB cohort, Ham0nster, just covered what was probably the most significant highlight of the entire week, in that the world finally got to see Bethesda’s Starfield in action. Needless to say, I was among its excited throngs.  However, watching its gameplay personally brought forth memories of the gameplay reveal of Mass Effect: Andromeda.  I was underwhelmed and not totally won over by what I saw.  Of course, I hope that these initial impressions prove to be more positive when Starfield is released, so we shall see what happens then The addition of building bases was not a surprise; the addition of building spaceships was.

Stray is coming out next month!

Video from YouTube user GameSpot.

The announcement that Stray is actually coming out in just over a month is the one announcement that made me the happiest. I’ve recently been spinning my wheels in games in anticipation of the release of the new Saints Row game, but now, I’ll have Stray to tide me over. I simply cannot wait to take the reins of an orange kitty with a backpack in a strange, robot-filled land. July 19th, I’m there!

The Plucky Squire is a game I must have.

Video from YouTube user DevolverDigital.

I cannot deny it–I love a good, wholesome adventure game. I especially love a good, wholesome adventure game that takes adventuring in new and unfamiliar directions. Revealed during the Devolver Digital’s “Marketing Countdown to Marketing” showcase, The Plucky Squire is exactly the wholesome adventure game I need in my life.  Presented as something of a storybook come to like, The Plucky Squire’s travels through worlds 3D and 2D seem perfectly delightful. As far as sweet, happy, and adorable games go, this one’s definitely on my 2023 watch list.

I look forward to solving a murder mystery in 16th century Bavaria in Pentiment.

Video from YouTube user GameSpot Trailers.

Another fun surprise was Pentiment, an intriguing narrative RPG from the folks at Obsidian. While the historical side of me wonders about how well the game might reflect life in pre-Enlightened Europe (if at all), the gaming side of me loves Pentiment’s medieval tapestry-like art style and its story-driven, murder mystery focus.  Even better, the game is due out later this year, and it will be a day-one release on Game Pass. I’ll make good use of that subscription and my history degree yet!

Street Fighter 6 looks epic!

Video from YouTube user Street Fighter.

Beards for everyone! was the most obvious message I received from the reveal of Street Fighter 6, but still, it looks pretty exciting. Now, I’ve actually yet to really sink my teeth into Street Fighter V, so I’d be going in a little behind the curve. But the promise of more Street Fighter is always good thing. I’ve enjoyed the series for decades, and it’s great to see that Capcom’s not done with it yet. Really looking forward to seeing more of its character reveals in the coming months.

American Arcadia looks could be a fun game to play…or just watch.

Video from YouTube user thegameawards.

Shown during a couple different events, American Arcadia takes a premise that, one could say, is very loosely based on what would happen if The Truman Show and The Running Man were combined. Arcadia’s inhabitants have no idea that they are part of the world’s most popular game show, so what happens when one participant sees through the lie? American Arcadia’s retro-style vibes are what caught my eye the most; its gameplay didn’t wow me much. But, it’s early and all things could change. For now, it remains in mind as a potential Let’s Play watch rather than one to pick up myself.

What were some of your biggest takeaways from the week that wasn’t E3?

Lede image taken from presskit for Street Fighter 6 (© Capcom).

One Comment

  1. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    The “week that wasn’t E3” may be ancient history (and now I’m even more excited about the upcoming release of Stray!), but memories are forever. See here on Virtual Bastion for some of my favorites from that interesting week in gaming.


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