CheckpointXPs Best Of Show E3 2021
With all of the Developer Showcases finally done, E3 is in the books. Across all of social media, the event as a whole seems to mostly be a miss with a few exceptions. Most people agree that the Microsoft Xbox and Bethesda showcase was the clear winner, but if we’re being honest there also wasn’t a lot of competition. Square Enix failed to deliver on what most fans wanted, regardless of the fact that they announced some new promising IPs. Nintendo gave fans glimpses of what they wanted along with some new surprises, but they’re still not happy. And Gearbox somehow made a Showcase out of one major title and a short almost-interview with Kevin Hart on a movie that’s probably going to flop.
So what games and E3 announcements were worth the squeeze in what most people are saying, “could have been an e-mail.” The hosts of CheckpointXP have you covered on what games and titles you should keep an eye out for if you weren’t able to sit through all of the presentations.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Had it not been for the rumor mill turning a few weeks before E3, Square Enix and Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy would have completely floored me. Even expecting it, I wasn’t sure what to expect after Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics Marvel’s Avengers game.
But Guardians seems to have really nailed the tone, the heart, and the correct vibe for this game. It’s like they were peeled off the pages of a Marvel comic. I cannot wait to jump into the rocket boots of Star-Lord and fight and travel alongside the rest of the Guardians. The game hits all the metrics I need to normally enjoy it, single-player, narrative-driven, light-hearted to harrowing choices, and witty banter between squadmates throughout. It could still disappoint, but I’m allowing myself to hope for this one game out of E3 2021. –Robbie Landis, host of CheckpointXP and The Other Identity.
Honorable Mention: Redfall
I’m always eager for new IPs to impress and while Redfall gives some Left 4 Dead vibes, it ditches zombies for vampires and gives players powers alongside guns. If Arkane can deliver any kind of story or character-driven gameplay along with Redfall, I’m sold.
I was most taken aback by the revelation of Metroid Dread. Not because I think it’s going to be revolutionary but because I’ve been waiting for this game for over a decade. Super Metroid is a Godbody game and still sits in my personal pantheon of flawless gaming experiences. On our daily podcast, I mentioned that I’d love a new 2D Metroid game or even a remake of Super Metroid. Then, the Nintendo gods opened the heavens and blessed me with this wondrous gift THAT’S COMING OUT THIS YEAR! Listen, I expect 2D platformers from indie developers but seeing Nintendo go all-in on one…yeah I need that in my life. –Norris Howard, host of Checkpoint On Campus and Checkpoint Daily.
Honorable Mention: Trek to Yomi and Final Fantasy Origins
Trek to Yomi takes all the things I loved from Ghost of Tsushima and says “DO YOU NOT WANT MORE STYLE?!” I know I’m probably going to regret this, but after seeing the demo of Stranger of Paradise, I really want to kill Cha…ahem really play this game. The job system looks intuitive and the gear selection could be pretty vast. Which would take the world’s most plain toast main character and make him at least the most butter toast main character.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl
I’m going to highlight some of the titles that aren’t getting talked about as much, but actually got me really excited. I was a big fan of the original STALKER game as well as the expansion Call of Pripyat. I was a huge Morrowind geek, and this game was basically Morrowind with guns set in Chernobyl. I had basically lost all hope that we’d ever get another game in the STALKER series because rumor had it that the Russian mob owned the IP. If you’re bummed out that Elder Scrolls VI isn’t coming out for 20 years, enjoy STALKER 2 in the meantime. – Kali Scales, host of Checkpoint Daily.
Honorable Mention: Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
A spiritual successor to Suikoden? Yes, please. It’s some pretty anime trash that I can’t wait to play, which is unfortunate since it doesn’t release until 2023.
Replaced looks like Disco Elysium taken to its logical conclusion, but instead of getting a dissertation on the lizard brain or cryptids, you are getting John Wick-style combat with a heavy 80’s vibe. A stunning soundtrack, an art style that jumps off the screen, and honestly a trailer that is convincing enough that it jumps up to the top of my list without even giving me a clue about what you will be doing in the game. You play as R.E.A.C.H., an artificial intelligence stuffed inside a human flesh-body against your will after nuclear bomb tests turned the country in a giant pile of rubble. All of that seems to be the setup for another game that will earn high grades when it finally releases in 2022 – Ric “Weridbeard” Hogerheide, host of CheckpointXP and The Breakdown.
Honorable Mention: Psychonauts 2
The first Psychonauts is known for its weird take on game structure, the colorful and inventive characters, and a world that absolutely oozes weirdo charm that requires you to explore every inch of it. Not because it’s required but because you just have to find everything that it has to offer. Raz is back, baby, and it is going to be great to be back at summer camp with him.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
Let’s be honest, we needed a fun refresh on this series and Ubisoft delivered. Taking the characters we love to play and placing them into a zombie/alien-like setting is exactly that. You’d think after hearing about Back 4 Blood and Dying Light 2, I’d be sick of these end of the world, apocalypse titles, but guess what… I’M NOT! Add in the Rainbow Six Siege-like character skills and you have yourself a unique experience with the squad that I hope does not disappoint. – Chadd Callahan, host of Checkpoint Daily.
Honorable Mention: Wizard with a Gun
I mean… It’s in the title. Why wouldn’t you want to play a little Final Fantasy-like mage character with a big ol’ gun? Mix that with the Don’t Starve play-style and you have a winner in my book. Devolver Digital didn’t deliver much in terms of game announcements but they did deliver in style and entertainment.
Feature Image Screenshot from Square Enix and Eidos-Montreal’s Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.