On Monday June 12th, before the start of E3, press conferences were in full swing. The first of the day was the PC Gaming Show press conference hosted by Intel. There was a good amount of bleed over from other conferences, but the PC Gaming Show possessed several games we had not seen yet at E3. Here are a few of the upcoming games that were featured at the event:
Age of Empires Definitive Edition
This remains the centerpiece of the PC Gaming Show. Age of Empires Definitive Edition is the fully re-mastered, high-definition, 20th Anniversary version of the original Age of Empires. The game now features a fully-remastered symphonic soundtrack, modernized UI, Xbox Live multiplayer capability, and more. Ultimately, Age of Empires Definitive Edition preserves what players loved about the original, whilst updating it with all of the knowledge gained from the later games. I’m a longtime fan of the series, and cannot wait to get my hands on this game. Age of Empires Definitive Edition will come out later this year. In the meantime, you can visit AgeofEmpires.com and sign up for the closed Beta.
XCOM2: War of the Chosen
XCOM2: War of the Chosen is a massive development to the XCOM universe; twice the size of the previous expansion to be exact. The Chosen are three champions of the Alien army, with three distinct personalities and fighting styles: The Assassin, The Hunter and The Warlock. In addition to the three Chosen, there are three factions introduced as well. The Reaper, The Skirmishers, and The Templars are all factions with diverse abilities that you must gain the trust of throughout the game. Finally, on top of the story and characters, XCOM2: War of the Chosen boasts new enemies, soldier classes, environments, weapons, strategy systems and more. XCOM2: War of the Chosen will be available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on August 29th, 2017.
If you took Stardew Valley, Pokémon, and added the aesthetic of Pendleton Ward, you would find yourself with Ooblets. Ooblets are little creatures that you grow in your own backyard, train, battle, explore and love. Additionally, as a player, you can battle other Ooblet trainers, explore worlds, set up a shop, and customize almost everything. Ultimately, this game looks as fun as it is cute. And I’m personally looking forward to seeing more updates from this game. Ooblets‘ projected release is early 2018.
BattleTech remains a PC adaptation of the “old school” table top game with the same name. It is a modern turn based tactical game set in the mech warriors universe with three modes: Single Player Skirmish, Multiplayer Skirmish, and Open Ended Mercenary Campaign. At the PC Gaming Show press conference, we got an extended look into the single player campaign, as well as BattleTech‘s overall gameplay. Likewise, I’m a sucker for a good space mercenary game, and the game looks really promising. BattleTech just went into Beta. You can access this Beta by becoming a backer at battletechgame.com.
Total War: Warhammer 2
This game is the sequel to Total War: Warhammer 1, and remains the second game in the trilogy. It is every bit as big as it’s predecessor, and features four new races across four new continents. The races include the high elves, lizardmen, dark elves, and one more race that is to be released at a later date. The game itself has one huge overarching tense narrative that you can explore via all four races. In addition, there will be an update released with the game that will combine the maps between both Warhammer 1 and 2. Total War: Warhammer 2 is now available for pre-order and will be available on September 28th, 2017.
From the creators behind A Night in the Woods comes Tunic, an adorable isometric action-adventure game where you play as a fox who wears, of course, a tunic. It definitely gave me some original Legend of Zelda flashbacks. I’m looking forward to exploring this beautifully designed game. Tunic is set to launch in 2018 on Mac, Windows, and consoles.
Killing Floor 2: Summer Sideshow
One of the top asks for Killing Floor 2 was the addition of seasonal events that first Killing Floor featured. The creators heard these pleas, and this June, the Summer Sideshow event is happening. In this limited time event, players can explore The Tragic Kingdom. There, they can play an assortment of mini-games, purchase event specific cosmetics, and more. Likewise, Weekly Outbreak is being introduced as well. Each week, a new gameplay mode will come out with specific challenges. For instance, there is “Cranium Cracker”, a headshot only mode. Killing Floor 2‘s Summer Sideshow event begins June 13th, 2017.
To me, this game is the child of Minecraft and Disney Infinitiy. Ylands, developed by Bohemia Games, is a sandbox game that focuses on survival, exploration, and imagination. This game remains unique in the fact that it comes with it’s own built in Editor. This allows the player to modify pre-made games or simply create their own. Moreover, the player can choose to play online with other players, or simply venture forth on their own. Ylands feels completely different in design and tone from DayZ and ARMA. Personally, I find it refreshing when a company branches out from their “aesthetic norm”. The Alpha version is available at www.ylands.com, and is coming soon to Steam early access.
From Klei Entertainment, the minds behind Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together, comes Griftlands. This game is a Sci-Fi RPG where “everything is negotiable: money, loyalty—even morality” (STEAM). The character design and 2-D animation style really stands out for me. Klei Entertainment always delivers a unique and involving gameplay experience. And I’m sure Griftlands will be no different. The game is scheduled to come out in late 2017, or early 2018.
LONE ECHO appears as the VR highlight at the PC Gaming Show press conference. It is a single player game with a deeply compelling story. You are a lone cybernetic AI that resides on a mining station within the rings of Saturn. The game operates completely in zero-gravity, which adds a whole other level of gameplay. Additionally, this game features a multiplayer mode called “Echo Arena”. It is the futuristic VR zero-gravity sport that feels like a TRON -themed game of Quiditch. LONE ECHO will be available on July 20th, 2017.
The creators of Stardew Valley and Starbound bring us a new turn-based strategy game in the form of WARGROOVE. This game features twelve different campaigns, online and local multiplayer matches, and that familiar Chucklefish 32-Bit art style. There is even a Campaign Editor built into the game, which provides for even more hours of methodical and calculated fun. As of now, WARGROOVE has no release information.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
This game picks up immediately where Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor left off. It is set in the Nemesis system, which randomly generates enemies throughout the game. With this system, the player never knows what they’re going to get, and the game remains consistently different for each player. Moreover, the focus of the press conference was set on The Blade of Galadriel expansion. This expansion boasts as the first major story DLC for the game, and focuses on Altariel, an elf assassin for Galadriel. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 10th, 2017. No date has been set for the DLC.
Overall, there are a ton of promising prospects that were presented at the press conference. What stands out to the most to me from the PC Gaming Show is the variety of PC games announced. They vary from turn-based strategy and RPGs, to sandbox games and FPSs. No two games are the same, similarly as no two PC gamers are the same. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on several of these games over the next year or two. Be sure to check out our other E3 2017 articles.