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Trailer Blazer E3 2021 (Part Two)

We're back with another fifty takes on fifty trailers from E3 2021, uploaded to GB courtesy of Marino's scouring of the internet for any video that went up last week with a date at the end. This block starts with games revealed during the Annual Devolver Digital Chaos Hour and ends with the Game Pass Freebie Fest that was this year's Microsoft/Bethesda presser. Look out for Trailer Blazer E3 2021 Parts Three and Four in the near future, hopefully before the end of June by which time everyone will have forgotten about E3 and be deep into their SGDQ speedruns.

Be sure to use the below table to see all the new trailer inclusion rules for Trailer Blazer E3 2021. Check out some of those older ones too to see how hilariously off-base my impressions were.

Trailer Blazers
E3 2016 E3 2017 E3 2018 (Part One) E3 2018 (Part Two)
E3 2019 (Part One) E3 2019 (Part Two) E3 2019 (Part Three) E3 2019 (Part Four)
E3 2021 (Part One) E3 2021 (Part Two) E3 2021 (Part Three) E3 2021 (Part Four)

List items

  • The Game: F2P puzzle game from NOPOPO (Dang! I Got Too Many Dang Gems).

    The Trailer(s): Devolver's conferences are typically chaotic and violent satire about the state of the gaming industry and the odious marketing speak and corporate platitudes seen in every other conference, and its fictional team of coldhearted executives put together the most microtransaction-laden nightmare possible with Devolver Tumble Time. Except... it's apparently a real game coming soon, so I'm left wondering if the satirical streak continues in-game (maybe the "ads" are equally subversive jokes) or if Devolver just went ahead and made an actual F2P "whaling ship" so they could keep the lights on, hypocrisy be damned.

    The Response: Nah. Don't have anything to play it on. I'd be curious to find out what it actually is though.

  • The Game: A vertically-scrolling shoot 'em up from Doinksoft (Devolver Bootleg).

    The Trailer(s): A Pocky and Rocky meets Wild Guns merger with a permanent CRT filter, Demon Throttle would be unremarkable if not for two things: self-censoring a sexual encounter between a demon and a dude's wife as "kissin'" (this is a Nintendo game parody, after all; I'm guessing they drank a lot of "milk" first to get in the mood) and that the game is never releasing in a digital format - physical carts only. This artificial scarcity is just Devolver being Devolver, but I wonder if any other principled developers follow their lead. (Given the amount of business they'd lose, probably not many.) Also, is that Kaufman doing the soundtrack? It sounds great either way.

    The Response: Nah. They're going to sell those things at a premium and this looks like a $5 game, which I don't necessarily mean in a derogatory fashion. If I had cash to fritter away on gimmicky game purchases, I'd get a Playdate. Or an Intellivision Amico, yikes.

  • The Game: A land development simulation game from Free Lives (Genital Jousting).

    The Trailer(s): A thoughtful and contemplative environmentalist-themed simulation game is exactly what I expected from the Genital Jousting team, given all the clues they left in that game's ending. Glad to see that they didn't disappoint. It has that SimCity isometric look, but the gameplay seems to have the cadence of a puzzle game: what's the most efficient way to restore this biome with the fewest strategically placed sci-fi gizmos? So perhaps it's a balance of ecology and economy. Seems neat anyway, and I'm sure when all the dick monsters emerge from the earth to cause trouble it'll get that much more compelling.

    The Response: Sure. This is a game to soothe a troubled soul, and I've got a bunch of those thanks to my recent interest in necromancy (gotta have hobbies during the lockdown).

  • The Game: A 3D platformer from Fabraz (Skellboy).

    The Trailer(s): Maybe I should've been keeping tallies on certain trends this E3, from the number of co-operative multiplayer shooters to the number of games with vampires in them. Another big trend is games adopting that "2D sprites trapped in a 3D world" look Octopath Traveler helped resurrect after franchises like Doom went fully polygonal. Demon Turf's one of those, with a strong counterculture artstyle and personality that vaguely resembles some long-forgotten Japan-only Dreamcast game, like a Gitaroo Man spin-off that never saw a localization. Hopefully the finished game isn't quite this dark and foggy though.

    The Response: Sure. I love 3D platformers and the Indie sphere occasionally produces one that deserves a closer look. The traversal options in this seem like they'd be a blast to play around with.

  • The Game: A top-down action-adventure game from Third Spirit (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): As long as Indie games exist there will be Legend of Zelda homages, so it was ever thus. The Arietta of Spirits trailer gives you a statement of intent about saving ghosts and a few fights and puzzles, and I can imagine the rest of the game will progress in a similar manner. I like the game's solid clean pixel look; something about its portraits and dialogue boxes resembles Stardew Valley, which I don't find disagreeable.

    The Response: Sure. 2D Zelda homages are like explormers - they have a much lower bar to pass before they'll capture my intrigue, such is my love for them, and from what I've seen here Arietta has enough craft behind it to warrant a closer look when it comes out soon.

  • The Game: A tactical espionage action game from UnEpic Fran (UnEpic).

    The Trailer(s): I've encountered this Fran jokester before - UnEpic was a promising explormer undermined by a terrible end-game and a whole lot of uncomfortable jokes about a young man who suddenly finds himself in a fantasy world full of horny orcs and whatnot. It looks like the jokes are slightly better here, though I wonder if we need another Metal Gear satire so soon after Never Stop Sneakin' (then again, that did come out four years ago...).

    The Response: Maybe. I'll slam UnEpic but it was the guy's first game and Mini Ghost (a "demake" prologue to Ghost 1.0) showed some marked gameplay improvement, so there's a good chance UnMetal will end up being half decent. I'd like a better idea of the humor quality first, if possible.

  • The Game: A mecha combat game from Ota Imon Studios (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Daaaang, this game's got a look, huh? Like something Madhouse might've thrown together in the late '90s. It looks like the game will juggle a few modes with the need for side hustles to fund the main article (the giant mecha fights) which rings sorta like a No More Heroes structure. Also, monochrome is a bold choice; I'm not sure it totally fits the aesthetic but a game can't have too many stylistic choices. Man, though, Knife Leopard. What is that dude's deal?

    The Response: Maybe. I'm not a mecha guy, and I don't care for the endless customization of parts or have that gearhead adoration for big machines, but I'd like to subscribe to this thing's newsletter regardless.

  • The Game: An acrobatic cyberpunk FPS from Greylock (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): The thing I love about this trailer, besides it just being a rad-looking game that resembles Receiver 2 with more Mirror's Edge parkour and destructible environments, is that the developer is walking you through the gameplay and regularly stops to highlight some new technique that the testers recently discovered by accident. The idea that a design team can create a world with its own set of mechanics and physics and not be fully cognizant of its absolute parameters is delightful to me, and speaks more highly of them than it sounds like it should.

    The Response: Sure. I might give this a shot when it comes to consoles, provided I can keep up with it.

  • The Game: An action-adventure game from Shedworks (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): It's a striking game, taking on that French comics dude (Moebius, I think? He's also credited as the inspiration for Gravity Rush's art direction too) with this cel-shaded, thin outlines style and what appears to be hand-drawn frames for character animations like walk cycles. I'm not really an art expert (gee, can you tell?) but I suppose I can still marvel at the aesthetic as much as anyone. Hope the game around it is just as compelling; looks a bit Recore-ish, but I liked that floaty ball move as a means of getting around from high places.

    The Response: Sure. I'm big on exploration games and pretty games alike. People who've played the demo seem to be going gaga over this game too, so that bodes well.

  • The Game: A 2D hack n' slash shooter from Ritual Games (Cybarian: The Time Travelling Warrior).

    The Trailer(s): The bloodsuckers are back again, though if this is a Vampire: The Masquerade game going incognito it is deep, deep undercover. It looks like Elevator Action if the elevator in question was the one from The Shining, since it's cheerfully going all out on the blood and guts. It'd almost have a trashy BloodRayne B-movie quality to it if it had more TnA, though I don't think it needs to go that far for its grindhouse bona fides.

    The Response: Maybe. I'm not going A) Positive or B) Negative about this game until I see more of it in action.

  • The Game: An action-RPG from Crafting Legends (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Wow, huh. Looks like you're got an open-world action RPG with some familiar mechanics and UI but, uh, that's quite the bleak and meaty world this studio has prepared. It's like a Nine Inch Nails video, which fits because "Death Trash" sounds like what Trent Reznor would call his highschool band.

    The Response: Maybe. I do like bizarre settings like this to explore, that's a little bit Bloodborne and Torment: Tides of Numenera and maybe something like Perihelion from back in the day, but... I dunno, that is a lot of meat.

  • The Game: A third-person stealth action game from Draw Distance (Serial Cleaner).

    The Trailer(s): I missed the original Serial Cleaner so I'm not sure if it's like this, but I'm kind of into the idea of cleaning up a murder scene after the fact without what I presume are the investigating cops discovering your presence. Vacuuming bloody snow and running around with a bodybag over your shoulder seems too comedic to really fit the '70s cool guy tone this trailer's got going on but hey, if it's a Viscera Cleanup Detail with vision cones and smooth jazz that's a neat concept.

    The Response: Maybe. I'm not the biggest stealth fan with a handful of exceptions so I might not actively seek this out, but I take chances on games like this all the time if they show up in bundles.

  • The Game: A "cinematic" platformer from Monokel (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): This looks to be a Limbo type with a macabre, Teutonic sense of humor and an aesthetic that screams "Metropolis but with Animal Farm characters." No part of this is discouraging so far, but that is some real intense bloom and I'm wondering if the whole game will be as eye-searing. Maybe that's part of its political allegory though; that aren't we all blinded to the suffering of the less fortunate sociopolitical strata in our society? (...Maybe there's a way to turn that setting down.)

    The Response: Sure. I like platformers and adventure games and these types tend to be a little of both, and White Shadows certainly has a style to it. If its visual effects are that potent though I might need to wait for a console port.

  • The Game: A roguelike auto-battler strategy game from Konfa Games (Despotism 3k).

    The Trailer(s): Did I hit upon the dystopia block of this E3's trailer offerings, or is that just the global mood right now with everything going on? I got some Smash TV vibes from this, but it looks like they're building from that Auto-Chess fad that might've already fizzled out and adapting it for a single-player game where you set up your little dudes with whatever gear you've found and let them have at it against weird monsters.

    The Response: Nah. I think I said it on the last list but I'm not looking for a rogue-anything right now.

  • The Game: A potion-crafting and mercantile sim from Niceplay Games (Wizard Swipe).

    The Trailer(s): I got a little bit of anxiety watching this trailer go through a bunch of sped-up processes to fit as much gameplay into its 50 second spot as possible; I'm hoping the real thing won't be quite as rapid so I can have a moment to consider things, but then time is often money in games of this genre. At any rate it looks to be an Atelier game with one of those renaissance art motifs, like in Astrologaster or Rock of Ages.

    The Response: Nah. Looks like the kind of game you'd need to keep a spreadsheet open for.

  • The Game: A first-person survival horror from Scythe Dev (Senile Showdown: Arthfightus).

    The Trailer(s): Did you know? The setting of Five Nights at Freddy's is a place called Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, yet you never actually make or serve any pizza there. Clearly these devs figured that the murderous animatronic mascot genre wasn't complete without their food service other half and hence we have this PS1-inspired restaurant/murder survival horror sim where I'm almost certain the meat is human in origin. A Soylent Hill, if you will.

    The Response: Nah. "PS1 throwback" is often Indie developer code for "jank 3D with a filter over it" rather than the rad polygons of MGS or Vagrant Story, and this looks to be the former.

  • The Game: A survival horror game from Eerie Guest Studios (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): The whole Hello Neighbor thing is like Five Nights at Freddy's, where most critics dismissed it quickly as a one-trick pony but it nonetheless found a massive audience in easily spooked YouTubers and the legions of kids that watch them. I guess you can never really tell what's going to be a big success. This trailer for the sequel reveals that they're using the revenue to make a more sophisticated AI algorithm for its series antagonist, as well as expanding the surreal small town setting.

    The Response: Nah. A survival horror game that's just outsmarting and outrunning the Nemesis doesn't really appeal. I prefer the ones that use invincible enemies sparingly to greater effect, like Metroid Fusion or Fatal Frame 2.

  • The Game: A four-player co-operative action game from fluckyMachine (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Real fascination with trash this E3. Maybe the younger generations are just more ecologically minded? Someone has to be I suppose. If only us older millennial types had better environmentalist games than EcoQuest and Mick & Mack As The Global Gladiators, we'd be sorting our recycleables with greater care. Trash Sailors is about finding trash in the ocean and using it for repairs, ammo, or upgrades to earn more and better trash, so it's kind of like a loot game if the loot smelled weird and was crawling with the hantavirus.

    The Response: Nah. My house is already filled with trash, I don't need to collect more.

  • The Game: A gambling business simulation game from Homo Ludens (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Adorable animal people meets what I assume is a mob-run casino going by the music in this trailer. Kinda like an Animal Miller's Crossing. I don't think I have anything else for you besides that joke, so let's move on.

    The Response: Nah. I once ran a casino in Atlantic City for some New York tycoon asshole. Didn't go so well. I did get a free pack of gristly-ass steaks out of it though.

  • The Game: A roguelike basketball mecha sim from Jollypunch (Fly Punch Boom!).

    The Trailer(s): Wow, did these guys build this game out of Labo? Robodunk's got this really clean blocky cardboard look to it which sort of reminds me of the Link's Awakening remake. I wish I cared enough about basketball, mechs, or roguelikes because I'd be sold on that art style alone otherwise.

    The Response: Nah. I don't know if I've said this anywhere, but I don't care enough about basketball, mechs, or roguelikes.

  • The Game: A hoverboard action-adventure from Safe Place Studio (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): I'm not sure what to make of this one. Looks to combine a heavy narrative about a waterlogged future Venice with action sequences where you ride hoverboards between areas of interest. The hoverboarding looks very anodyne though, and there's no indication if the adventure gaming half has many puzzles or if it's just listening to people talk. However! Upon visiting the Steam store page I noticed this game does have a lot of collectibles...

    The Response: Sure. Collectibles! I'm an easy mark sometimes. All the same, I'd like to see a bit more of how it plays once it's complete.

  • The Game: An adventure game from Silver Lining Studio (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Daaamn, someone's been watching a lot of Ghibli. This game looks incredible, but doesn't sacrifice function for form by giving interactive hotspots a harder outline to help distinguish them. The trailer's also my favorite type: a developer talking through all the cool ideas they've implemented.

    The Response: Sure. This looks to be about my speed. I'll have the usual queries to make once it's out (Are the puzzles too gentle? How long is it?).

  • The Game: A 2D platformer from Kitsune Games (Super Bernie World).

    The Trailer(s): A cute 8-bit style platformer that looks to be borrowing from several Super Mario games at once. Visually a bit on the basic side so I'm hoping the mix of powers and secrets will make up for that. And precise controls too of course, but that's not something you can pick up from a trailer that easily.

    The Response: Sure. This might be something I grab in a bundle though, since it doesn't seem too ambitious. Much more curious about the studio's other upcoming game, Lore Finder, which seems to have stalled indefinitely despite having a Kickstarter.

  • The Game: A surfing game from Chuhei Labs (Carve Snowboarding).

    The Trailer(s): I'm getting a real "Giant Bomb: It's a Website" vibe from this anti-trailer, since the point seems to be to advertise a game that will come built-in with the Playdate along with twenty others and thus needs no additional promotion. So really it's just the devs goofing around. Honestly, I think that's the right tone you want to set for the Playdate: silly and cute and kinda dumb.

    The Response: Nah. I don't believe I'll be buying a Playdate. It'll probably be one of those things like a Sega Nomad or an Analogue NT that I'll never see the wild either.

  • The Game: An arcade business sim from Nosebleed Interactive (Vostok Inc.).

    The Trailer(s): Ah, VHS filters, where would the nostalgia industry be without you? Arcade Paradise looks to have a decent hook for one of these "____ Simulator" types; while you're still performing menial tasks and hitting sales targets, it sounds like you'll rake in more cash if you bother to get good at all the mini-games attached to the arcade machines. I prefer when these mercantile/business sims have a whole other half to their loop (see also dungeoncrawler/shopkeeper games like Recettear).

    The Response: Sure. I'm definitely skeptical about the quality of those mini-games and how much mileage an idea like this has, but who wouldn't want to run their own arcade? If it does well enough, maybe they'll get the chance to work with someone like Sega or Taito and their arcade libraries.

  • The Game: An investigative adventure game from Frogwares (all the other Sherlock Holmes games).

    The Trailer(s): Frogwares is rebooting their flagship public domain franchise for the next generation of consoles, possibly adding more action sequences to the usual crime scenes and puzzle-solving if that little montage of wooden(mud?) sculptures is anything to go by. I'm guessing they're not going to kill him off right away if this is the first chapter, right?

    The Response: Sure. Once Justin McElroy sounds off on it, of course.

  • The Game: A psychological horror adventure game from LKA (The Town of Light).

    The Trailer(s): Usual spooky drownghost fare, though that face in the water was kind of unsettling. No real clue what the final game will be like; whether that tarot card sequence is automatic or some sort of puzzle, for instance. Seems to have the atmosphere down pat at least. Maybe GB can hire Abby for a freelance season of horror games further down the road (ideally around October)?

    The Response: Maybe. I watched the whole trailer and didn't spot Batman, so I think it's safe to say it's a different dead Martha.

  • The Game: An online multiplayer arena shooter from Animal (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Rawmen confused and titillated us a few PAXes ago, so now with that first impression already made the devs take the opportunity to explain more of what actually goes on in this sexually-charged Splatoon ersatz. With modes like "get the meat in the hole" and one involving a whole lot of boba balls, it looks like this game's going to offer plenty to do. Question is if it'll have plenty of players. (I notice they've added female avatars with muttonchops as a cosmetic option, so that's one potential Splatoon convert in the bag.)

    The Response: Nah. This looks fun to watch but I'm not an online arena shooter type, even if it's shooting delicious food items at mostly naked people.

  • The Game: An educational music game/tool from Ubisoft San Francisco (South Park: The Fractured But Whole).

    The Trailer(s): I momentarily wondered if any of the humans in this video were part of the game's narrative. Like that kid who furtively looks outside their window to see their father leave, so they can pull out an acoustic guitar from its secret spot under the bed to practice. Has the father forbidden the playing of music? Is this a dubstep house only? What will happen to their relationship when that kid gets good enough to perform in a band? Will they ultimately be forced to choose between their passion or their family? I don't think the game is about that though. I think it's about learning the guitar. But don't quote me.

    The Response: Nah. There was a time when I thought I could learn an instrument. That time has long passed. I have what music teaching professionals call "the stupid fingers."

  • The Game: A four-player co-operative shooter from Saber Interactive (Inversion).

    The Trailer(s): In addition to the Evil Dead game, which has deadites and not zombies thank you very much, Saber's also hard at work on a game that definitely does have zombies. It also definitely has four-player co-operative modes, putting it in rare company this E3. I suppose it does have a brand and a pedigree to give it an edge in this upcoming zombie co-op glut, so all the best to it.

    The Response: Nah. Come up with new ideas please.

  • The Game: A sci-fi RPG from Bethesda Game Studios (IHRA Professional Drag Racing 2005).

    The Trailer(s): Nothing against this video, which is a good trailer that establishes the "hard" sci-fi of this universe and its tone if not how it plays, but I couldn't help but feel while watching it that someone - perhaps as soon as the Xbox/Bethesda conference was done - was going to dub the Star Trek: Enterprise theme over it. Earnest to a fault perhaps, and a bit of a contrast to Obsidian hard at work elsewhere in the Microsoftiverse on another irreverent The Outer Worlds installment.

    The Response: Sure. That is, if I had anything to play it on. Unless I invest in a next gen Xbox or an absurdly expensive PC, it's going to remain something to admire from afar. Like a real starfield, I suppose.

  • The Game: A post-apocalyptic FPS-RPG from GSC Game World (American Conquest).

    The Trailer(s): Now this is a comprehensive trailer. From the framing device of a bunch of friendly NPCs sitting around a campfire, you get plenty of detail on how the game looks, plays, and a refresher on the lore of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe. The franchise very much looks to continue where it left off, only with way sharper graphics and uglier monsters.

    The Response: Maybe. I've still got to get around to playing Call of Pripyat one of these days, but I might skip ahead to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 if an opportunity presents itself. As it is, I have no means to play it right now, so any anomaly hopping will have to be done vicariously.

  • The Game: A multiplayer co-operative shooter from Avalanche Studios (Renegade Ops).

    The Trailer(s): It's a stylish trailer, taking us around a '70s smugglers' hideout to the tune of "Do It Again" by Steely Dan (more like Stealy Dan if you're smugglers. Wait, do smugglers actually steal shit? Disregard), but for actual answers on what this is you'd need to look elsewhere. Sounds like it's a co-op shooter with presumably a healthy dose of Just Cause explosive nonsense - I'm thinking maybe something closer to those Mercenaries games.

    The Response: Nah. It's yet another Xbox Series X/S console exclusive (coming to PC too though, sounds like) so even if I wanted to play particular co-op shooter over the dozen others shown off at E3 this year, I have no current way to do so.

  • The Game: An adventure game from Luis Antonio (new... studio?).

    The Trailer(s): We get another look at this black box theater of a time-looping domestic thriller a couple months out from its release, marvelling at how they hired Daisy Ridley and James McAvoy and made both their characters American. I'm just glad Willem Dafoe didn't give up on any and all video game acting after Beyond: Two Souls.

    The Response: Sure. I like time-loop narratives and I'm hoping for some UI to organize all the information gleaned on prior loops, though the plot might not be so complex as to need it. It'll also mean inevitable comparisons to The Sexy Brutale and Outer Wilds, so this game will have its work cut out for it.

  • The Game: A 3D platformer from Double Fine (Kinect Party).

    The Trailer(s): Out in two months, or so they tell us, which means we get a comprehensive look at what must be the almost finished sequel to Psychonauts some mere sixteen years in the making. They're expanding the lore to include a Psychonauts HQ and more fellow agents, though I will miss the summer camp vibes of the first game. I just hope I don't miss much story skipping that VR episode.

    The Response: Heck Yeah. I am pretty excited about this one, and not for the first time I'm regretting my lack of Game Pass for those "free on release" benefits.

  • The Game: A party brawler game from Recreate Games (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): I'm guessing someone out there loved Gang Beasts but had a major issue with how none of them were literal beasts, kigurumi aside. I say that because this game seems to be a one-to-one replica. Hell, the name of the developer is "Recreate Games." You can't make this up. Someone else could make it up and you could copy them, but you couldn't make it- whatever, let's get on with the review. It's Gang Beasts with animals. And it looks like they added weapons and some different stage gimmicks, so I guess there was some imagination involved.

    The Response: Nah. I already own Gang Beasts.

  • The Game: A horror action-adventure game from Jumpship (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Suitably spooky. Reminds me of A Quiet Place with the haggard family unit surviving the impossible, only instead of sound-activated gargoyles it's some kind of invasion of dagger-shaped alien ships. I read that a former Playdead co-founder was involved so that would explain why the snippet of gameplay looked so Inside-esque.

    The Response: Sure. Looks to be another Xbox console exclusive, but I think my PC might just be able to run it (big if). Geez, another first day release coming to Game Pass though; the bottom's gotta fall out of that service eventually, right?

  • The Game: An FPS game from 343 Industries (more Halo).

    The Trailer(s): Halo Infinite's due out later this year (I'll believe it when I see it) so for its final E3 trailer the devs have instead focused on the standalone F2P multiplayer mode that's being launched alongside the single-player campaign. Potentially wise decision if they're hoping to pull from the cheapskate Fortnite/Apex crowd. Looks like a whole lot of Halo-ass Halo, though I'm not sure that grapple hook has always been there.

    The Response: Nah. To both the single- and multi-player. Halo's never been my thing.

  • The Game: An action RPG from Blizzard Entertainment (Norse by Norse West: The Return of the Lost Vikings).

    The Trailer(s): I wasn't going to do remasters, but there's a significant time gap between when Diablo 2 first launched and now, and given how well their recent Warcraft 3 remaster went down I'm more curious than ever about this ancient time vampire risen from the dead. It includes the base game and the Lord of Destruction expansion and looks pretty much the same, though it's probably more that it looks like how I remember it in my rose-tinted (it's more of a light pink) brain.

    The Response: Nah. I try not to play too many loot RPGs these days, and I've no interest to going back to one I've already completed several times. I want to see more games continue to evolve the genre, if anything.

  • The Game: A stealth action-adventure game from Asobo Studio (Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties).

    The Trailer(s): Why'd it have to be rats? Oh, because it's the sequel to A Plague Tale. I've heard nothing but good things about that original, so there's no reason to believe this won't be a sleeper hit too. Well, provided there aren't too many folks too squeamish about undulating rodent swarms to affect its reputation. What's wild is that this is coming to the new consoles and not the PS4 and Xbox One, though it is still coming to the Switch. I guess because the Switch is still "current gen" but it's almost like they're saying it's too much for a PS4 but the Switch can handle it just fine. Maybe instead of huge hordes of rats on Switch it's just the one mouse, but it's Mouser from Super Mario Bros. 2 so you know he means business.

    The Response: Sure. I'll have to play the original one at some point first, but it's gotta be getting cheap now (and cheaper still once the sequel's out, I'd wager).

  • The Game: A first-person farm(?) simulation from Monomi Park (Slime Rancher).

    The Trailer(s): The first Slime Rancher was very cute but I could never figure out what the goal was. You vacuum up a bunch of slimes, put them in containers, and then what? I guess there are answers out there if I really want them, but any game where I'm trying to corral a bunch of rowdy monsters is probably more annoying than it's worth. It's why I bounced from Viva Pinata so fast.

    The Response: Nah. Though I will pay attention to the Quick Look, just in case there's some X factor that I'm missing.

  • The Game: A snowboarding sim from I-Illusions (Space Pirate Trainer).

    The Trailer(s): Besides the excellent "we have a good feeling about" release date reveal at the end (hey, we get it, it's been a year and change) the trailer seems rather on the placid side. I realize that not every snowboarding game can be Amped 3 or Snowboard Kids (though I'm not sure why) but Steep was pretty recent and didn't do great despite a similar amount of graphical whiz. I guess with the current absence of SSX, there's an empty throne waiting for the right bodacious dude in aviators to come along.

    The Response: Nah. No drama. At least give me a SkiFree yeti or something to work with.

  • The Game: A sci-fi FPS from Mundfish (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): I think what really makes this trailer pop is the Russian Eurobeat playing over what would otherwise be scary or tense encounters with hostile robots or dramatic quiet moments with its cast of upset humans. You could absolutely picture this trailer with the usual orchestral ambience (or some '50s crooning) and it'd feel totally whatever in comparison. Well, except maybe for that 'bot with the lunchbox head full of apples. You know that guy likes to party.

    The Response: Sure. I am sufficiently intrigued by the world of this game, and it looks like the combat might some nuance to it.

  • The Game: A cyberpunk action-adventure game from Sad Cat Studios (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Like I said earlier with Demon's Turf, a lot of devs big and small are now discovering what a strong aesthetic you can produce with 2D sprites on a fixed plane within a 3D environment, and Replaced is one of the coolest examples I've seen yet. It's going to be hard to keep this and the also upcoming, visually very similar The Last Night straight in my head.

    The Response: Sure. That combat looks rad. And it's a "first day on Game Pass" so there'll be lots of feedback available as soon as it's out.

  • The Game: A turn-based RPG from Rabbit & Bear Studios (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): It's still a ways off, but this spiritual successor to the Suikoden franchise (and to the second game specifically if those protagonist designs are anything to go by) is looking pretty sharp and should satisfy all those who have been without Konami's 108 character RPGs for far too long. This trailer also hints at a prequel game, out a little sooner, that looks to have a different, more active combat system (its Steam page also suggests town-building mechanics too, so I like the sound of that).

    The Response: Heck Yeah. Looks like I'll be waiting a while - there'll be another trailer like this next E3 I'm sure - but I'm a huge fan of the Suikoden games and am looking forward to seeing how a modern successor plays. Just glad this isn't an Xbox exclusive despite appearing in their showcase; it'd be a little weird if a Suikoden homage didn't show up on PlayStation given that's where all its fans are.

  • The Game: An isometric action-RPG from Neon Giant (new studio).

    The Trailer(s): Just a quick flash of gameplay here, as you and a posse run around a cyberpunk Diablo shooting all kinds of robots and cyborg to throbbing electro. A few seconds focused on a chest that spat out colored garbage was the most concise indication of the type of game this is. Seems like it'd be fun in a group?

    The Response: Maybe. See elsewhere on my thoughts about loot RPGs, but sci-fi variants aren't all that common and this might have a few mechanical surprises in store.

  • The Game: An empire-sim RTS from Relic Entertainment (Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine).

    The Trailer(s): Age of Empires has been coasting on its remasters for a while - not that I don't imagine they took a whole lot of work to polish up - and now the resurgence hits its peak with the first new entry in over fifteen years. It looks a whole lot like Age of Empires, so I guess that's the most important aspect accounted for.

    The Response: Nah. I'm not enough of a multitasker for these large scale RTS games and if I did break into them I'd want something more interesting than historical realism. Like, I dunno, a time-travelling Albert Einstein.

  • The Game: A sci-fi FPS RPG from Obsidian Entertainment (Matthew Rorie's Alpha Protocol).

    The Trailer(s): Hey, look, I'm the one being a wiseacre about trailers here. I don't need the trailers themselves making all the smarmy jokes before I can. The Outer Worlds looks to continue as it has previously by satirizing anything that wanders into its crosshairs, including its own promotional trailer, while hopefully still providing all the gameplay and worldbuilding you'd want from an Obsidian RPG. The first game felt prototypical in a number of ways, so now that the sequel's done with introductions and has a much larger budget courtesy of Microsoft I'm expecting great things.

    The Response: Heck Yeah. It probably won't have the benefit of a PS4 port this time though, so it might be a while before I can play it. Ditto for everyone else, if the voiceover's frank appraisal of the development's current progress is accurate.

  • The Game: An arcade-style racing game from Playground Games (all the other Forza Horizons).

    The Trailer(s): Forza's heading to Mexico for their next Horizon game, while ensuring no sign of cartel violence is visible because that would harsh the buzz of driving around at high speeds and destroying parts of the infrastructure or a chalupa stand after a misjudged corner or two. It is a beautiful country though, with all the plains, beaches, and still-active calderas you could want to drive through.

    The Response: Nah. This is thoroughly an Xbox franchise and I don't own one of those. Dunno if I mentioned that yet.

  • The Game: A four-player co-operative shooter from Arkane (Arx Fatalis).

    The Trailer(s): Is it just me, or is Redfall supposed to have way more talking mice in it? Maybe I'm confusing it for something else. Redfall gets my award for "best four-player co-operative shooter game trailer" at this year's E3, a truly competitive category, as this smart achronological teaser takes us through a day (or night) of the life of a quartet of superpowered vampire slayers (but not that kind). I gotta know what's in the water to make us all so concerned about vampires in 2021...

    The Response: Nah. Don't get me wrong, it looks like a lot of fun, but I prefer "co-operating" with myself if you know what I mean. (Why did I have to add "if you know what I mean"? Sounds like I'm talking about jacking off.)