Summer Game Fest. Hot Geoff Summer. The Geoffening. Keigh3. Call it what you will, but despite a notable absence of E3 this year, the de facto high video game marketing season is nonetheless underway. Over the course of a streamed event that ran for two hours but felt like 2o, host Geoff Keighley ran through more trailers than an AMC pre-show. Here’s everything that was shown at Summer Game Fest’s kickoff showcase, organized in order of my own personal opinion of which was awesomest.
Neon White is out next week!
Surprise! Neon White, perhaps the only game that legitimately lives up to the phrase “too cool for school,” is out June 16 for Switch and PC. Made by the creator of the placid Donut County, Neon White is heavier fare. It’s set in the afterlife and is designed for speedrunning, marrying tight platforming and Doom-style first-person shooting with dating sim mechanics. Levels, of which there are a ton, are intended to be completed within minutes.
Indie game Highwater was a high-water mark
It’s rare for these sorts of events, but yes, we saw one game that had a vivid color palette. Highwater, from Rogue Games, is a strategy game set in the future, on a version of Earth mostly submerged by water. It’s out later this year. My eye, consider it caught.
The Last of Us is getting a standalone multiplayer game
Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, rocking a new short haircut and a shirt that I’m 90% sure I own (from J. Crew), announced a standalone multiplayer game in the Last of Us universe. Initially planned as a downloadable mode, Druckmann said that, during the development process, the scope of it ballooned and Naughty Dog decided to spin it into a standalone title. (Notably, Naughty Dog went through a period of reported crunch for the development of The Last of Us Part II.) No title yet, but it’s reportedly out next year.
Also, confirming an accidental reveal this morning on Sony’s PlayStation website, Naughty Dog is indeed making a PS5 remake of the first Last of Us, which came out for PS3 in 2013 and was remastered for PS4 in 2014. The PS5 version, called The Last of Us Part I, is out September 2, 2022.
Midnight Suns is out in October
While it’s possible to have too many Marvel games, it’s impossible to have too many tactics games. So we get a bit of both with Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a tactics game based on heroes from the Marvel canon. It was initially planned for a March 2022 release but was delayed to the fall shortly after its reveal. It’s out October 7, 2022. Despite starring Spider-Man, it’s coming to all platforms.
Aliens: Dark Descent looks scary, out in 2023
Focus Home Interactive revealed Aliens: Dark Descent, a squad-based shooter based on James Cameron’s seminal series of sci-fi horror films. A cinematic trailer showed space marines fighting—well, more like running away and trying to escape, really—against one of Alien’s patented terrifying aliens. No gameplay footage yet. It’s out next year for consoles and PC.
Bloober Team is also making a scary game
Bloober Team, the folks behind last year’s polarizing The Medium, have a another psychological horror game in the pipeline. Rats, specters, floating corpses, random fires, an eerie mansion, plus the scariest thing of all: a double plural. The game is called Layers of Fears. It’s being made in Unreal 5. Yeahhhhh I’m steering clear of this one! Enjoy your nightmares, everyone!
Troy Baker goes to space in Fort Solis
He’s been underwater. He’s been in a zombie apocalypse (twice). Now, Troy Baker is off to space in the mystery thriller game Fort Solis, in which he plays a medical officer. It also stars Roger Clark, best known for playing Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Doom 2016's Mick Gordon is doing the music for Routine
If there’s one person who can enhance a game, it’s Mick Gordon, the musician whose heavy, textured riffs make any game feel alive. He’ll be doing the soundtrack for Routine, a first-person sci-fi horror game slated for Xbox and PC. Routine was announced a decade ago, then fell off the radar.
Metal: Hellsinger looks as good as it sounds
Speaking of shredding, Metal: Hellsinger is a music-based rhythm shooter with a soundtrack full of metal royalty, including folks from System of a Down. It’s set in hell and currently has a demo on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Check out Kotaku’s preview.
The next game from Call of the Sea devs is a platformer
American Arcadia, the next game from the makers of first-person puzzler Call of the Sea, is a side-scrolling platformer with a truly eye-popping art style. It’s about citizens in a ‘60s-accented futuristic metropolis who don’t realize they’re part of a reality show.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is getting a six-player mode, out June 16
I’ve never been a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, but all of my colleagues are pumped about this one. In April, publisher Dotemu narrowed the release date for its beat ‘em up down to a broad summer 2022 window, and narrowed it even further at Summer Game Fest to [drum roll] next week. It’ll launch on Game Pass, and will support absolutely bonkers-sounding six-player local co-op.
Nightingale gameplay looks evocative if repetitive
Nightingale is a co-op role-playing game with time travel elements set in a fantasy realm decked out in Victorian affectations. Its development is helmed by BioWare vet Aaron Flynn. The setting and developer pedigree are worth writing home about, but a focus on crafting and survival mechanics could be a slog to folks burned out on the genre.
Warhammer shooter seems bananas
Yes, there are enough Warhammer games to fill an entire Game Pass. But Warhammer 40K Darktide looks like it might have what it needs to stand out, the sort of throwback first-person shooter in which you fight hordes of foes. It’s out September 13, 2022.
Goat Simulator is getting a sequel
Coffee Stain Studios (something Mr. Keighley may or may not know a lot about) is releasing a new game in its havoc-wreaking goat game series, Goat Simulator. The studio announced it in a very silly trailer.
Witchfire gameplay looks smooth AF
Witchfire, a first-person shooter set in fantasy world, looks smooth as butter. An early access release for Epic Game Store is “coming soon.”
Genshin Impact devs showed off Zenless Zone Zero
HoYoverse, the developer behind mega-popular service game Genshin Impact, already captured buzz with a May unveiling of Zenless Zone Zero, an anime AF action game. MiHoYo also showed off a trailer for its strategy RPG, Honkai: Star Rail.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson forgot his shirt
Film producer and maybe-maybe-not presidential wannabe Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson showed up to promote his mountainous shoulders, his energy drink Zoa, his private gym the Iron Paradise, his forthcoming superhero film Black Adam, and...Fortnite? He was shirtless the whole time.
Warframe is getting an open-world expansion
Yes, Warframe, the free-to-play action-looter that doesn’t get started until you hit the 80-hour mark, is still going. Its latest showing was at this year’s Summer Game Fest, where developer Digital Extremes showed off a teaser for The Duviri Paradox, an open-world expansion. In other words, yes, Warframe is getting even bigger. More info on July 16.
Street Fighter 6 will indeed feature Guile
Capcom revealed that Guile will be part of the roster for its upcoming fighting game, Street Fighter 6. Guile was unofficially revealed during last week’s roster leaks. (For what it’s worth, the lineup is looking pretty solid.) Weird choice to make the game open-world, though. It’s out in 2023.
Free-to-play RTS Stormgate is getting a beta next year
Frost Giant Studios, a new studio founded by former Blizzard veterans, debuted its first game, Stormgate, a real-time strategy affair based around multiple factions of demons, space marines, that sort of thing. “Storm’s coming,” a voiceover said. “And hell’s coming with it.” It’s free-to-play. A beta is planned for next year.
One Piece Odyssey still looks pretty good
Bandai Namco showed off more gameplay for One Piece Odyssey, its turn-based RPG based on one of the most popular manga series of all time. Licensed games are sometimes phoned in, but the visuals here, at least, seem pretty solid. Very Tales-like.
Midnight Fight Express is getting a demo
Midnight Fight Express, the isometic action game with John Wick vibes and an absolutely delicious cel-shaded art style, has a demo out now on Steam.
Flashback! Flashback is coming back
Flashback 2, a sequel to the adventure game first released back in 1992, is out out this winter for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and the Switch.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
Developer MDHR showed off some gameplay for the upcoming expansion to Cuphead, its notoriously difficult 2017 side-scrolling Contra-like. Out June 30 for Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC.
Saints Row is getting a demo, kind of
The Saints Row reboot, first announced last year, is getting a demo...for its character creator. That’s available now for free on all platforms. The game itself was initially supposed to come out in February but was delayed to August.
Gotham Knights got another gameplay trailer
WB Montreal already revealed a lengthy chunk of gameplay for its numbers-go-up action game Gotham Knights. In the same breath, the studio stated that it had shelved the previous-gen versions of the game.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II sure looks like Call of Duty
Developer Infinity Ward showed off part of the first campaign level for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. By now, we’ve done 47 Calls of Duty (not an exaggeration). You probably know what to expect. In this one, you’re on an oil rig for...reasons. You shoot red barrels and they explode. Some dude says “copy” in response to radioed orders. This one’s out October 28, 2022, and will cost $70 on PC.
The Callisto Protocol has already infected my nightmares
The highest praise you can give a horror film, to paraphrase director Eli Roth, is to spend most of your time “watching” it with your hands over your eyes. So I hope the team behind The Callisto Protocol takes this as a compliment. Developer Striking Distance debuted gameplay for the very pretty but very scary horror game at last week’s State of Play, and showed off a bit more at Summer Game Fest today. My reaction now is the same as it was last week: Nooope. Nope nope nope. Nope nope nope nope nope. Nope.