E3: Summer Game Fest 2021 Kickoff

Posted on 11 Jun 2021 by
Jay Shaw

Despite having a name that sounds like a youth football league trying to be “cool” last night’s show brought us a look at quite a few new games, and some stuff we’d seen before. Weezer was also present for some reason, along with a musical number for Sable. As usual you can watch the whole thing above or keep reading for the individual games and skip most of the filler.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

Up first we have a Borderlands spin-off from Gearbox, rehashing the “what if annoying gremlin Tiny Tina ran a D&D game” premise of some of the previous game’s DLC. Who said creativity is dead. Joking aside, it looks like the typical humour and art style you’d expect from a Borderlands game is present, as is the only character you should really care about, Butt Stallion. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is coming in early 2022.

Metal Slug Tactics

Stealing the show in terms of sheer entertainment value is the partly animated announcement trailer for Metal Slug Tactics from Leikir Studio, SNK and DotEmu. The whole Metal Slug crew is present but as the name suggests this isn’t a beautifully animated side-scrolling slaughter but rather a turn based tactics game that has an art style reminiscent of both Metal Slug and TRPGs in their heyday. We’re cautiously optimistic.

Death Stranding Director’s Cut

After a brief, and mostly pointless, talk with Kojima, we get to Death Stranding Director’s Cut and a trailer in which virtual Norman Reedus messes around with a box while making allusions to Metal Gear Solid because Kojima still hasn’t gotten over it, we guess. Look, it’s Kojima, it was always going to be weird and an allegory for nuclear proliferation or something, just know that Death Stranding is getting a Director’s Cut release and it’s only confirmed for PlayStation 5 at the moment but we’d be very surprised if it doesn’t make the leap to other platforms.

Jurassic World Evolution 2

The excellent dino detention development sim Jurassic World Evolution is getting a sequel! The trailer’s just CGI but there’s Jeff Goldblum narrating and an underwater dino swimming around the game’s logo so it’s a safe assumption that water based pre-fossils will be a selling point. Even better, the game’s coming out later this year.


Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast took to the stage to perform their song Glider to a backdrop of gameplay from Sable. Naturally, that’s because the song is in the strikingly styled game. For a musical interlude we’ve heard worse. Nothing more to see here, just a nice song and relaxing couple of minutes.

Lost Ark

Amazon Games are localizing a two year old Korean MMO-ARPG. Maybe it’s just us but a lot of the designs in the trailer look like derivatives of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft including what looks like a knock-off Tauren and a couple of dragons. We’d love to be serious and tell you if it’s any good but frankly we know nothing about it. The free to play title is making its way to the west in Fall of this year.

Call of Duty Warzone Season 4

Johanna Faries of Activision took to the stage to introduce Warzone‘s fourth season of content with a whole bunch of buzzwords. The trailer itself features some bollocks about falling satellites, a dragon, zombies, and a giant monster thing for some reason. We’ve not played Call of Duty in a hot minute but what happened to the brown shooter about shooting browner people than you? Get off our lawn, damn kids! Season 4 drops in one week on 17 June 2021.

Among Us

Ah yes, that classic announcement – the roadmap. Wait what? Yeah, the popular chores ‘n murder game will be receiving a hide and seek mode, new rules including a sheriff and scientist, new colours, new visor cosmetics, achievements, and a map. We’d write a joke but we’re still too stunned that something like this was a part of an E3 show and not a post on the game’s Reddit.

Salt & Sacrifice

Introduced by Sony big-shot Shuhei Yoshida himself we’ve got the announcement for Salt & Sacrifice, a sequel to well loved 2D Souls-like Salt & Sanctuary. Unfortunately, the announcement was for PlayStation only as Sony is publishing but there’s still hope for a PC version.

Solar Ash

Another PlayStation exclusive at the moment, Solar Ash has a visual style reminiscent of Furi. Coming from Heart Machine (developers of Hyper Light Drifter) the game looks to take place in a surreal world of floating islands, lava, and great big flying monsters you can climb on top of and… break the crack needles stuck in them? Okay, they’re not really crack needles but we don’t know what they’re called so we’re sticking with it. Solar Ash is coming out in 2021 for PlayStation consoles.

Chivalry 2

Freshly released stab-em-up Chivalry 2 got a launch trailer aired during the show. We love knights and a good game of knifey-throaty as much as the next guy and the trailer delivers plenty even though the gameplay on show looks like Ray Harryhausen animated a Rock’em Sock’em Robots fight. Though anyone would look stiff wearing plate armour.

Escape from Tarkov

Do you like full screen strobing gunfire, wildly spraying buildings with bullets (that’ll teach ’em!), and breaching through walls? We hope so because the new Escape from Tarkov trailer is two minutes of gameplay from what may or may not be a new urban environment. We don’t play the game so it’s all Russian to us.

Two Point Campus

Two Point Studios are back with their next comedy stuffed simulation Two Point Campus. Transplanting the management gameplay from a hospital to a university that has literal class clowns , cyborg students, and a frankly weird amount of knights. Two Point Campus is coming in 2022.

Smite x Stranger Things

A selection of the Stranger Things characters are making their way over to popular free to play MOBA Smite. The Demogorgon, Eleven, and Hopper will all be joining the roster in addition to a new map based on the Upside Down. The trailer says a Battle Pass is coming on 12 July 2021 and our corporate greed radar says this new content is part of it.


The original Painkiller got most of its attention for a cool gun that fired massive wooden stakes that nailed monsters to walls, or each other, or anything really. It had a dumb story and great fast-paced arena-shooter type gameplay against hordes of enemies. A flash of a logo isn’t enough for even our keen senses to tell whether a new game in the series will have any of that but we can dream.

The Anacrusis

The Anacrusis is a game we can only describe as having the style of Austin Powers meets Prey with enemies that look like they stumbled out of a goth Twilek convention. The trailer for this four-player coop shooter shows off plenty of gameplay but the shooting looks so flat and unimpactful, against enemies that might as well just be silhouettes, and player powers as inventive as a knockback and some lightning. Next!

Rocket League

Cars from Fast & The Furious are making their way to motorsport football game Rocket League on 17 June 2021. Now if only it were possible to actually finish a match without one team forfeiting after the first goal. Oh well.

Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodhunt

Sharkmob initially teased this multiplayer shooter last year and we’ve finally got a name. Bloodhunt has the blood sucking pretty boys/girls dressing up in their best customizable outfits to battle it out for some reason; a Malkavian probably spilled a Gangrel’s type-A-Negative smoothie. Bloodhunt is releasing later this year.

Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

Horror anthology game Dark Pictures Anthology (we finally get the title!) is getting a new story set in 2003 Iraq that features a group of soldiers entering an underground ruin looking for chemical weapons. What they find is a cool monster with a taste for soldier meat. House of Ashes is coming on 22 October 2021.

Tales of Arise

The title of this one doesn’t drop until the end of the trailer but from the opening seconds it oozes Tales series from every character model. Edgelord McSpikyhair, presumably the protagonist, even does a sweet jumping fire kick at some bullets his team mate throws in what might be the most JRPG attack we’ve seen in years. It’s so dumb we kind of love it. Tales of Arise is coming on 10 September 2021.

Planet of Lana

This hand-painted side scrolling adventure looks like it’s gunning for the artsy throne that so many games in the genre have sat on the past few years. What sets it apart is actually having colours, and looking vaguely charming. Planet of Lana‘s Steam page tells us it’s “framed by an epic sci-fi saga that stretches across centuries and galaxies” which sounds like someone hid a Star Wars script inside the Silmarillion. Planet of Lana is coming in 2022.

Overwatch 2

Perhaps not quite the big reveal we were hoping for but Blizzard’s Aaron Keller took to the stage to talk us through redesigns for Sombra and Baptiste. Despite touting new hair shaders to get Baptiste’s hair looking just right, it still looks like he drew it on with a sharpie but joking aside, the models rock that classic Overwatch aesthetic that hooked our attention the first time around so we’re eager to see a little more.

Paladins x Gen:Lock

The perfect crossover: the blandest shooter and blandest CG young-adult show. The ultimate union of blandness we’ve not seen since paint companies learned to mix beige. The Gen:Lock crossover characters will be appearing in Paladins in July 2021. Now if you’ll excuse us, writing about this any more will make our words so bland they’ll end up sucking all flavour and variety out of the world in the cataclysmic formation of a supermassive blandhole.

Monster Hunter Stories 2

Monster Hunter Stories was a surprisingly competent and engaging mash-up of the Monster Hunter world and a monster collecting JRPG so it’s nice to see more of the sequel. Honestly not much to see here, just a bunch of out of context story cutscene bits and a cute Wyverian girl. Looks like Rathalos is taking centre stage as monster of the hour too. Bring back Gore Magala you cowards! Monster Hunter Stories 2 is releasing on 9 July 2021.

Wave Break

Time for our second musical interlude: three minutes of musical legends Weezer’s new song Tell Me What You Want from the skateboating (yes, you read that right) game Wave Break which releases today on PC. That keyboard sure does look lonely. More importantly, the game has bears doing sick grinds in boats and looks like the kind of lunacy classic Tony Hawk’s games embraced.


Not to be confused with the similarly styled, universe-sharing Dungeon of the Endless, ENDLESS Dungeon is a rogue-lite action RPG where shipwrecked heroes protect their crystal against waves of monsters and try to plunder riches from the depths of an abandoned facility. Yeah, that’s not confusing at all. Make something new Amplitude, geez.

Far Cry 6

Giancarlo Esposito fielded some nice easy promotional questions from Geoff Keighley and still managed to 1) say his Far Cry 6 character would lose in a fight to Moff Gideon (The Mandalorian) and 2) namedrop the games industry’s current bugbear/headline buzzword: politics. Smooth. Hope you didn’t expect a look at the game.

Fall Guys x NieR Automata

Yet another crossover. Remember when crossovers used to be cool? No? We don’t either. Fall Guys is getting a crossover event with NieR Automata that will see a 100% less shapely 2B appear in Fall Guys as a playable character. Hope no one dresses up their suppository shaped avatar as a robot or it could get ugly. 2B will be available from 18 June 2021.

Genshin Impact

New character Kazuha got a whole trailer introducing them. We dig his reserved samurai aesthetic. Now to go to the bank and ask for loan so we can play the gacha mechanics until we run out of money without unlocking him.

Back 4 Blood

Zombie blasting coop shooter Back 4 Blood is getting an open beta on 5 August 2021 but the trailer also combines that with the words “pre-order & get early access” so it’s unclear whether the beta is for pre-orders only or if anyone can play. Back 4 Blood is releasing on 12 October 2021.


Developer Andrew Shouldice introduces his game Tunic, which is about a tiny fox in a big world, according to him. The isometric viewpoint adventure promises exploration and monster slaying with a cute fox that looks like a kid cosplaying Link. Nice.

Tribes of Midgard

An Ancient Norse inspired ARPG that’s colourful, fast, and full of giant awesome monsters? That’s a tasty combination. Players will have to explore and upgrade as well as defend their camp against the oncoming hordes of monsters and giants that Ragnarok brings. Tribes of Midgard is coming on 27 July 2021 for PC and PlayStation.

Evil Dead The Game

The eagerly anticipated Evil Dead The Game has its first gameplay trailer and it looks like an almost carbon copy of the legendarily bollocks Friday The 13th game. Ouch. Okay, that was as harsh as a randy tree but it has Bruce Campbell so it isn’t all bad. Evil Dead The Game is releasing later this year.

Elden Ring

Two hours and eleven minutes and we’re finally at the one thing from this show anyone gave a shit about: Elden Ring. There’s more FromSoft than Incest R.R. Martin on display but all of it is mesmerizing and weird and we want it even more than ever. Elden Ring is releasing on 21 January 2022.

That’s it for the game reveals. There’s more to the stream, which can be found at the top of this page, that features some promotional let’s play style content from various people and games but we’ll leave that for you to explore on your own if it’s to your tastes. We’ve made a lot of mean jokes and poked fun at almost everything shown but it’s only the first day of E3 so hopefully things will pick up with more interesting reveals and trailers over the weekend. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of E3 continuing tomorrow.

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