E3 2021 is a wrap. And to be completely honest, this year’s event most likely won’t be remembered in history. Perhaps it was either the digital format that lacked visible audiences or the poor showings from publishers or even a combination of both, but this E3 experience very much felt hollow on the whole.
However, that isn’t to say that there wasn’t anything noteworthy to come out of the event. In this special edition of Tech Bytes, let’s take a look at the biggest news and announcements to come out from E3 2021.
Elden Ring is alive and is arriving soon
Summer Game Fest technically isn’t a part of E3 2021, but it did happen within the same period—so it counts, right? After all, the show had the one announcement that everyone was wishing for: Elden Ring.
Yes, after two years of silence since its initial reveal at E3 2019, the game emerges from the shadows to close out the show. And with it came our best look at the game yet.
In this meaty trailer, we follow the player character—referred to as the ‘Tarnished’—in his quest to find the Elden Ring. Many elements that are iconic to FromSoftware’s Souls games are also seen here, including the familiar combat system and larger-than-life bosses. But there are also new aspects teased, such as a big open world and a steed that will help you explore it.
Probably the most surprising thing from the trailer is the reveal that it will launch on January 21 2022; a mere six months or so from now! Fans of FromSoftware have been waiting a long time to see this game in action, and they won’t have to wait much longer to actually play it.
Ubisoft’s new Avatar game premieres
While James Cameron continues to toil away at the perpetually delayed Avatar sequels, we at least got a look at Ubisoft’s new Avatar game, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Made by developers Massive Entertainment (who are behind the successful The Division series), the game was actually announced all the way back in 2017. However, Ubisoft’s E3 2021 showcase is the first look that we are getting for the game.
Slated to be a standalone story within the Avatar universe, players are set to be playing as the Na’vi in a first-person perspective. In addition, the game will feature action-adventure elements, contending with the threat of the forces of RDA from the film.
Not much else is known about this new game, but it is scheduled to release in 2022; presumably alongside the next Avatar movie (if it miraculously isn’t delayed again).
Starfield blasts off in 2022
Another long-awaited video game that re-emerged at E3 2021 was Starfield from Bethesda Game Studios. It is marketed as the studios’ first new IP in 25 years, but more importantly, it is also their first big tentpole game since 2015’s Fallout 4 (we don’t talk about Fallout 76).
It opened the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase and gave us the briefest of looks at what the game will be like, such as space travel and even combat. And it was no wonder why the game was only teased because it was revealed that we still have more than a year to wait as it releases on 11 November 2022.
Additionally, the game was confirmed to only be on Xbox platforms for consoles, casting away all doubt that it might come to PlayStation even after Microsoft’s acquisition of parent company ZeniMax Media.
While the release date feels a distance away, it also means that the developers have a lot of time to tweak and refine the game before launch. Hopefully, our next look at the game is indicative of that extra time given.
Redfall: Arkane Austin’s next game
While Starfield opened the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, a new game called Redfall closed it,
This game is being made by Arkane Studios’ Austin branch, who were responsible for 2017’s Prey reboot. This marks the studios’ first foray into a co-op style game as players have the choice of various super-powered characters to play as, when they hunt the vampiric enemies of the game.
Additional information for the game also includes multiple ways to explore the town of Redfall, where the game takes place, which is reminiscent of the other Arkane games like the aforementioned Prey as well as the Dishonoured series.
More information will surely be provided ahead of its 2022 release date, so stay tuned for what they have to offer!
Another new Final Fantasy game reveals itself
With the recent release of the intermission DLC for Final Fantasy VII Remake and also the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI, you’d think there was enough of the series to go around, but Square Enix is seemingly still not done.
Heavily rumoured prior to E3 2021, the Square Enix E3 presentation saw the formal announcement of a new Final Fantasy game—Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Made by the people at Team Ninja, it is said to be an action role-playing game in the vein of Dark Souls and the developer’s own Nioh series, though likely easier. It is also curiously set in the universe of the first Final Fantasy game.
A demo was also released for players on PS5 to play the game. Initially, it was beset with problems that made it unplayable, but it has since been fixed and is still available for players till June 26 2021.
Admittedly, the game looks quite rough, and the overly angsty tone is something that many might not like, but the combination of the Souls-like gameplay and the job system could be something fun and unique to play around with. We will see when the game is released in 2022.
A new 2D Metroid game in nearly two decades finally arrives
We still patiently await Metroid Prime 4, which is still yet to come out following a rocky development cycle. In the meantime, another Metroid game might be able to satisfy fans in the process.
Metroid Dread is a surprise announcement at Nintendo’s E3 2021 showcase, with the game a sequel to the long-dormant 2D Metroid series. Developed by MercurySteam, the game follows the events of Metroid Fusion and now faces the threat of being hunted by the imposing and creepy E.M.M.I robots.
Another surprise was the release date for the game, October 8 2021. This means less than four months until fans can experience the game and play as Samus once again, whose last game was back in 2017 with Metroid: Samus Returns.
The sequel to Breath of the Wild finally gets a release window
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has rightfully garnered acclaim from critics and players alike when it was released in 2017, and excitement grew for fans when it was announced that a sequel for the game is being made.
Silence has ensued since that announcement, and fans have been foaming at the mouth for any morsel of information for the game. Now, they finally have something to look forward to as Nintendo presented new footage of the game at their showcase.
While many theorised that the game’s setting might delve underground, it seems like those expectations have been subverted, with Link soaring amongst the skies as he travels to a new world high above.
No exact release date has been confirmed just yet, but the game is set to come out next year. So, with the fans satiated for now, we await to hear more news about it in the coming months, including its title, which hasn’t been revealed yet! Hopefully, Nintendo doesn’t make the fans go into withdrawal again.
Visuals courtesy of Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Square Enix and Nintendo.