Summer 2020 video game announcement highlights part one

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, was scheduled to take place in June this year before being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, game companies have come together with a smorgasbord of online events to announce and present their new games. Starting with the Guerrilla Collective Black Voices in Gaming livestream on June 7 and ending with the Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, there are plenty of large and small events to satisfy the E3 itch.

One of the funny highlights of IGN’s Summer of Gaming event was a parody trailer for Just Die Already, a game that describes itself as an “old people mayhem sandbox.” The trailer parodied Death Stranding’s E3 2016 reveal trailer and asked Hideo Kojima, a famous game designer who helped create Death Stranding to “hang out or play EU4 multiplayer or just talk or whatever.”

As of writing, there are still a few more events including the Summer Game Fest and the Xbox Games Showcase that have yet to occur. That doesn’t mean plenty of exciting games haven’t already been announced. Here are just a few highlights from the many games that have been revealed.

Cyberpunk 2077

Players will be able to customize their character’s body extensively or choose from presets in Cyberpunk 2077. Screenshot courtesy of cyberpunk.net.

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Release Date: Nov. 19, 2020

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X

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Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person role-playing game set in the futuristic Los Angeles-inspired Night City. The world of Cyberpunk 2077 is a dystopic and stratified society where the rich live opulently and the rest live on scraps. Body modification technology has made it so that you can get retractable blades in your arms though, so it isn’t all bad.

New announcements and gameplay include an anime series produced by Studio Trigger and a gameplay demo of the “braindance” mechanic. Braindancing allows the player to see a character’s last moments before they died from first-person and free-camera perspectives. The demo showed a convenience store robber that was mysteriously killed by his accomplice. For those familiar with the Batman Arkham games, braindancing seems reminiscent of detective mode and searching for clues at a crime scene.

Gameplay from various media outlets also showed the starting scenarios from the three character backgrounds: street kid, corporate and nomad.

Star Wars: Squadrons

While flying iconic ships such as an X-wing or TIE Fighter, players will need to pay attention to their heads-up display to monitor their ship and the battlefield. Screenshot courtesy of ea.com/games/starwars/squadrons.

Developer: Motive Studios

Release Date: Oct. 2, 2020

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Star Wars: Squadrons is a first-person flight simulator. It’ll have a short single-player campaign and 5v5 competitive multiplayer. The entire game can be played in virtual reality and the campaign will switch between New Republic and Empire perspectives. The multiplayer will have eight ship types with traditional roles such as fighter, which is versatile and can do a bit of everything, support, which can support teammates and disrupt enemies and bombers, which can deal heavy damage to enemy ships and flagships. Players will be able to customize their ships with different skins and bobbleheads and pilots with different alien races and outfits. Star Wars: Squadrons will only cost $40 though, so don’t expect a full $60 AAA experience.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet and his robotic companion, Clank are back in a new game featuring portals to other worlds. Still from the Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart announcement trailer.

Developer: Insomniac Games

Release Date: TBA

Platforms: PlayStation 5

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a next-generation third-person shooter and platformer. Ratchet and his robot companion, Clank, endeavor on another adventure as rifts to other worlds begin appearing. Players will be able to jump between worlds seamlessly thanks to the PlayStation 5’s solid-state drive according to creative director Marcus Smith in a developer insights video.

Metal: Hellsinger

Shoot when the yellow indicator overlaps with the red crosshair to slay to the beat. Screenshot courtesy of metalhellsinger.com.

Developer: The Outsiders

Release Date: 2021

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X

Metal: Hellsinger is a rhythm first-person shooter where slaying to the beat will deal more damage and make the music more intense. The player will fight demons with multiple guns and a sword, each with its own ultimate ability, through eight planes of Hell to obtain vengeance. The game will also feature an original metal soundtrack with vocals from famous metal singers from bands such as Trivium, Dark Tranquility and Arch Enemy. David Goldfarb, co-founder of The Outsiders, had an interview with IGN during their Summer of Games event about Metal: Hellsinger and showed more gameplay.

Dustborn

A crew of misfits embarks on a road trip across America in Dustborn. Screenshot courtesy of wearedustborn.com.

Developer: Red Thread Games

Release Date: 2021

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X

Dustborn is a third-person action-adventure game set in an alternate reality of 2030 where John F. Kennedy wasn’t assassinated. The game is about a group of misfits led by Pax, an ex-con and con-artist, on a road trip across America. Pax forms a crew after being hired to deliver a mysterious package across the country according to the game’s official website.

The announcement trailer features an instrumental cover of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes and shows the members of the rag-tag group traveling on a bus. A gameplay demo narrated by creative director Ragnar Tørnquist showed Pax trying to recruit her sister to help deliver the package. The gameplay then cut to showing Pax pushing a group of robots away just by shouting, “move.”

Want more info about video game announcements this summer?

Look for Video game announcement highlights part 2 on thenorthernlight.org on July 28 and visit 2020.e3recap.com for a more complete list of games.

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