Summer Game Fest – Thoughts

By sheer luck I manged to tune into the stream today by looking at a Reddit post that referenced Payday 3, that led me to Overkill’s Twitter, that led me to a cryptic looking site with a countdown which was the start of the SGF which only had ten minutes left. Talk about timing.

Now there wasn’t much to be impressed by with this one sadly, most of it was kind of a bummer. There was your typical nonsense that was first person shooter games and that delved into esports, your stupid crossovers that nobody wanted (Stranger Things is getting really annoying with that) and your upgraded games on PS5. Sprinkled throughout were some legit OK looking games but nothing that really wowed me, they were pretty mediocre in my opinion but I’m sure people out there will enjoy them upon release.
Geoff Keighly is always as entertaining as ever so was nice to see him hosting again without anyone else bringing in the cringe dialogue. Maybe some of them were a tad cringe but it was far more bearable than the last couple online game showcases.

However there were a few games and announcements that did catch my eye and those were as follows:

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

At first this one kinda just went over my head because it looked like Borderlands in a medieval fantasy setting… Which is exactly what it was. I’m not too into the thought of a game like that but after they announced that it was a full game like Borderlands 2’s DLC Assault on Dragon Keep it got a little bit of it’s appeal back, especially that it was the young Tina which I think is adorable as opposed to the older one in Borderlands 3 who was bland because she was so underused. The one thing that does put me off though is one of the voice cast. I don’t mind Andy Samberg and Ashley Burch is great but I cannot for the life of me listen to Wanda Sykes. I find her too outspoken, arrogant, unfunny and just plain annoying in anything she’s in. Hopefully I’ll be able to look past that once I finally play it but I imagine I’ll be staring blankly at the screen and telling her to shut up every time she opens her mouth.
Either way it could be an interesting game, maybe not an instant buy, but a while down the line on sale perhaps.
Or a year if greasy bitchford wants to go Epic exclusive again…

Death Stranding Directors Cut

After a short interview with Hideo Kojima about what is next for Kojima productions he treated us to something coming. It showed Sam Bridges walking down a corridor with the words “Played on PS5” so naturally I assumed it was just a port to PlayStation 5. I kinda lost interest at that point. But suddenly I realized this was new footage, this was an area I hadn’t been to, there were enemies I hadn’t fought before. Ok, now I was back. Was this Death Stranding 2? Were they ready to announce it already?
Sam looks at a box on the shelf and empties it. I guessed that he was going to get in it for a Metal Gear reference to which he did. It was predictable but it was really cute and I loved it. But that didn’t seem to be the only Metal Gear reference. The guards were moving in a particular pattern, the camera had brief moments of an isometric view, the corridor seemed very reminiscent of Shadow Moses and the music sounded very familiar to the stealth music you’d hear when sneaking around facilities in the MG games.
Then the words Death Stranding Directors Cut flash fade onto screen. Not what I wanted but it’s something to be enjoyed. I feel like they’re going to add a little more to the game to flesh it out a bit. Add some indoor areas to explore, have the stealth parts more fleshed out, maybe upgrade and make the action segments more enjoyable. Whatever they decide to add I’m sure it will be a good reason to go back to the game for one more play even though it’ll be a huge slog regardless.
Right now there’s only news that it’s coming to PS5 which I hope it’s exclusive as when it came to PC there was a massive amount of love for it and it was a successful port.
There’s an odd charm to this game that I don’t understand. I wasn’t a massive fan yet I still want more. Very strange…

Salt & Sacrifice

I’ve had Salt and Sanctuary in my library for a couple years now and I’ve always meant to go through it but it kinda just slipped off my radar. It’s a 2D version of the Dark Souls basically with it’s challenging gameplay, light RPG mechanics and dim and gloomy atmosphere/story. It’s a great little game from what I played and looking at the sequel trailer just made me want to play it properly. The creature designs look great, the music was amazing, the gameplay look really fun and the effects were really cool. Definitely one I’m gonna keep my eye on.

Philharmonic Orchestra

I felt it necessary to mention the Philharmonic Orchestra as they play some beautiful performances. I love listening to them every time they are at these kind of shows because their renditions of some famous video game themes are truly great and I applaud each and every one of the members.
Last year at the video game awards they did a truly stunning version of the Ghost of Tsushima theme that genuinely almost made me cry knowing the story.
I hope they make many more appearances in the future.

Elden Ring

Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion at this point but I was never impressed with Elden Ring when it was first announced and teased because there wasn’t enough to ponder on, it looked a little generic fantasy and I’m not a big fan of George R. R. Martin’s work. I tried GoT but got so, so bored I fell off during the second season so I wasn’t thrilled that he would essentially be working on the next big souls-like game with Miyazaki.
However, watching the trailer finally get released after a few years I’ve changed my mind, it looks amazing. That’s all I needed, just some decent proof that this is worth the wait and it delivered. It has the feeling of playing Dark Souls 1 and 3 with a little bit of Bloodborne in there for good measure. The combat looks fast, fluid and challenging. The creature and character designs look really cool and the world looks like it will be an absolute treat to explore.
We haven’t heard about the proper mechanics of the game like if it will retain the series staple of bonfire checkpoints, resetting enemies, that kind of thing, but hopefully it won’t be too long as it released early next year.

Payday 3

This is actually the big one I wanted to see at this show since it was teased by Overkill themselves. I thought maybe it would finally be the big reveal of Payday 3 (not that I’m anywhere close to tired of Payday 2 yet), and we’d get some solid details. Would the original gang be returning after they’ve all retired? Would we get to make our own heisters with a level of customisation? Would the story be linked or entirely new? Would it be realistic or still contain light supernatural elements?
Unfortunately all we got was an extremely brief glimpse of some concept type artwork featuring the four in a montage of the new publishing studio it’s under. It was the original heisters, Dallas, Chains, Hoxton and Wolf. Either way I think I heard that we’ll be hearing a little more tomorrow about it so fingers crossed that’s true.

There’s still a few days left of the Summer Games Fest with different showcases to there’s a lot more to see. Let’s hope we get some big, interesting news on our favourite games!
What things are you hoping to be announced or shown?

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