E3 2021: 20 games to watch

This year’s all-digital video game expo involved a deluge of livestreams showcasing upcoming excitements. Here are our picks

WarioWare: Get It Together (Nintendo Switch)

The chaotic mini-game series is making a really welcome return, this time featuring two-player co-op. The new vignette challenges range from avoiding bird plops to tweaking someone’s nipple hair. Classic Wario.

Metroid Dread (Nintendo Switch)

Metroid Dread

The first 2D adventure for Samus in a long time, and a game that’s been on Nintendo’s to-do list for 15 years. Set after the events of Metroid Fusion, the game pits you against invulnerable EMMI robots that can only be beaten with stealth and strategy and new tech including the Phantom Cloak, which offers timed invisibility. A huge treat for fans.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Nintendo Switch)

Legeld of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Nintendo showed a luscious new trailer for its big sequel, revealing how Link will now be able to explore floating sky islands as well as a larger version of the Hyrule landscape. He’ll get new powers, too, including flame-throwing gloves – as well as new enemies to try them on. It looks beautiful.

Starfield (Xbox Series X/S, PC)

Starfield

The one every Bethesda fan was waiting for – a brand new epic adventure, described by the developers as a “Nasa-punk” space RPG, following a group of explorers on a journey to uncover a vast mystery. Out 11 November 2022, it will be of cosmic importance to Microsoft’s gaming vision.

Redfall (Xbox Series X/S, PC)

Redfall

The latest project from the super-talented team at Arkane Studios (Dishonored) is an open-world, co-op vampire-slaying game set on a small island town besieged by bloodsuckers. Players choose from a diverse roster of survivors, all with different weapons and skills to bring to the vamp-bashing party.

Halo Infinite (Xbox, PC)

Halo Infinite

Obviously not a new announcement but we got to see the multiplayer mode, which will be free, filled with vehicles and armour/weapon customisations and won’t have Battle Royale (yet). The best bit? The battle pass isn’t seasonal so players can take their time to unlock all the goodies.

Forza Horizon 5 (Xbox, PC)

Forza Horizon 5

The visually ambitious, open-world racing game series is returning, and this time it’s scorching through Mexico. It’s the largest Horizon environment yet, taking in ancient ruins, beaches, forests and cities, and alongside a new story mode, players will be able to build their own challenges in the Events Lab.

Replaced (Xbox, PC)

Replaced

Taking its design cues from classic scrolling adventure Another World, Replaced is a 2D platformer set in an alternative 1980s where humanity has been devastated after a disastrous nuclear weapon test – and the lead character is an AI trapped in a human body. A promisingly gritty, cyberpunk-esque thriller from Sad Cat Studios.

STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl (PC, Xbox)

STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl

The grim post-apocalyptic shooter is set to offer another brutal tour of the Chernobyl dead zone, this time with a vast open-world setting, new factions to fight against and a dark global narrative that reacts to your actions.

Battlefield 2042 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Battlefield 2042

The large-scale, tactically minded competitor to Call of Duty takes us to a near-future world ravaged by climate change. Players get to drop automated gun turrets while changing their weapon specs on the fly, and PC and next-gen console versions will support mammoth 128-player battles.

Somerville (Xbox, PC)

Somerville

The first project from indie studio Jumpship, set up by Inside and Limbo co-creator Dino Patti, is an extremely dark, seemingly post-apocalyptic adventure following a couple trying to get their toddler through a ruined landscape. It promises a gripping and intense experience – especially for parents.

Immortality (PC)

Immortality

The new project from Sam Barlow (Her Story, Telling Lies) looks to be another audacious, unorthodox narrative thriller, this time following actor Marissa Marcel,who makes three films then mysteriously disappears. Barlow has pulled in a stellar writing team counting Mr Robot, The Queen’s Gambit and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart among their credits.

Woodo (iOS)

Woodo

A beautiful little 3D puzzler from Russian artist Yullia Prohorova, designed to resemble real-life wooden toys. The player is accompanied by the eponymous Woodo, an imaginary friend who helps tell the game’s story.

Lake (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Lake

A woman gives up her high-flying career in the city to become a postal worker in a small rural town. It kind of sounds like a comfy daytime TV movie, but it’s actually a new narrative game from Dutch studio Gamious. We’re here for the offbeat set-up, eccentric townsfolk and 1980s details.

Silt (PC)

Silt

Showcased during the PC gaming event, Silt looks to be a brooding, expressionistic adventure in which a diver searches a monster-strewn ocean bed seeking to uncover a long-forgotten mystery. The beautiful monochrome visuals should lure fans of Inside.

Harold Halibut (PC)

Harold Halibut

Billed on its website as “a handmade narrative game about friendship and life on a city-sized spaceship submerged in an alien ocean”, this intriguing game looks like a Charlie Kaufman-esque animated indie movie and promises a vibrant, offbeat adventure.

Lemnis Gate (PlayStation, Xbox, PC)

Lemnis Gate

Slay the Spire showed how the imaginative combination of genres can lead to innovative new experiences, and now here’s Lemnis, a turn-based tactical shooter, set inside a time loop. “Compete in mind-bending 4D battles,” the website says. OK!

Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Conway Disappearance at Dahlia View

The latest title from White Paper Games (Ether One, The Occupation) is a Rear Window-style mystery thriller set in 1950s England, following retired detective Robert Conway investigating the disappearance of a child named Charlotte May. The trailer suggests a taut, gloomy atmosphere with a tinge of horror.

No Longer Home (PC, Mac)

No Longer Home

Two friends navigate the end of their university years in this introspective indie game about the painful transitions of a confusing, conflicting stage of life. Set mostly in and around an apartment presented as interestingly minimalist dioramas, this partly autobiographical game has been in development for some years.

Rainbow Six Extraction (Stadia, PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Rainbow Six Extraction

The latest co-op adventure in the high-tech Rainbow Six series sees groups of players taking on an alien invasion force known as the Archæans in intense, strategic skirmishes across the US. There are 18 classes to choose from, all with unique weapons and gadgets.

Contributor

Keith Stuart

The GuardianTramp

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