E3 2019: Highlights From the PC Gaming Show
As expected, the PC Gaming Show at E3 2019 showed some truly fantastic upcoming games. From Evil Genius 2 to Conan Chop Chop (yeah, it's not fake), to Vampire the Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, Shenmue 3, and Auto Chess, there was a little bit for everyone.
While we don't cover every single announcement below, you'll find the highlights from the show.
Evil Genius 2
Those well-versed in Steam sales are more than familiar with at least the name Evil Genius, since it's been a staple of Steam sales for over a decade and has been tasking players with running an evil empire since 2004. The game is finally getting a sequel from developer Rebellion, which served as the publisher for the first title.
Payers have until sometime in 2020 until Evil Genius 2 makes its way to PC; that's plenty of time to learn how to be properly diabolical.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
One of the most hotly-anticipated games of 2020 got even more screentime during the PC gaming conference this E3, further emphasizing that yes, it's back and better than ever.
You're going to play Malkavian, aren't you? Yeah, you know you are. Look for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 in March of 2020.
If you say a game is like Dwarf Fortress is space, it better actually be like Dwarf Fortress in space, and not akin to the already established and amazing Rimworld.
From publisher Chucklefish comes a fresh spin on the management and strategy genre in Starmancer, featuring an isometric view and what appears to be a vast amount of customization for player bases. Those interested can pre-order to get into the upcoming beta now.
If you thought the folks over at Frontier Developments did the classic RollerCoaster Tycoon legacy justice, you may be elated to find the developer is returning to another familiar setting: zoo management.
Zoo Tycoon may be pretty much dead, but Planet Zoo is coming to fill that gap in your strategy-searching heart. The animals simply look fantastic, and if Planet Coaster is any indication of the quality here, we're in for a great time.
Look for Planet Zoo on PC on November 5 of this year.
In a move that surprised many and... I'll keep it to myself...
Yes, Auto Chess is that Auto Chess, the custom mode in Dota 2 that's been taking the game by storm and has now spawned a League knockoff.
This Auto Chess is by the very same developers who made Dota Auto Chess, officially separating the franchise from DotA and even moving over to the Epic Game Store. It's also a mobile port. It smarts a bit, not even going to lie.
Terraria: Journey's End
Did you think Terraria was dead? Haha, silly mortal! Terraria will never die!
Okay, it will die eventually. But that day is not this day, and it's not this year, either. The next update for the game, titled Journey's End, isn't the game's last update, but it does promise to be one of the biggest it's seen yet — and that's really saying something.
Journey's End will be bringing tons of new items, weather conditions, a new super hardcore Master difficulty level, and even more to the classic sandbox that should definitely be in your Steam library by now.
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare released in 2012 on the PC, before making its way to consoles in 2014 with the Xbox 360 and 2015 with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Fans of the series have been awaiting a sequel to the first-person medieval melee for some time.
Now we know that Chivalry 2 is in the works. It is set for release in "early" 2020 for the PC. It is being developed by Torn Banner Studios in conjunction with Tripwire Interactive. It was not announced if the game would be making its way to console.
The trailer above is all about beheadings, limb-severing, and body maiming. The developers mentioned that the game would have the iconic Battle of the Bastards, first seen in Season 6, episode 9 of Game of Thrones. However, they did not provide further details.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Rebellion's Zombie Army subseries began in 2013 as a spinoff of the niche but popular Sniper Elite series. Each of the Zombie games provides an alternate World War II timeline, one where the Third Reich raises an army of the dead to lay waste to The Allies, and all of Europe.
Dead War is set to release on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2020. It will be an Epic Games exclusive when it launches. There was no confirmation if such exclusivity would be timed or not. Rebellion said actual gameplay would be shown at E3 on June 11.
Zombie Army 4 looks to carry the torch from previous games in the subseries. Featuring frenetic online co-op gameplay for up to four players, there will be plenty of hordes to eviscerate, plenty of traps to lay, and flamethrower zombies to outsmart. Rebellion said there will be ways to enhance weaponry, dozens of skills, special attacks, cosmetic items, and more.
Of course, the series' beloved X-ray kill cam will make a return as players travel "across Italy and beyond."
We already knew Shenmue 3 would be releasing later this year, although it would be later than expected because of yet another delay. During the PC Gamer Show, the long-awaited game was confirmed for a November 19 release (unless there's another delay).
In a trailer all about glorious kung-fu training and beating up bad guys, it was also confirmed that the game would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store when it releases.
Thankfully, the game looks like a proper sequel to Shenmue and Shenmue 2, even down to the crappy (yet endearing) voice acting and classic Shenmue style. Unfortunately, no forklifts are shown in the trailer.
Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Versus
Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is one of the best first-person melee games currently on the PC, standing tall alongside Chivalry and Mordhau. Slicing and dicing Skaven and members of the Chaos army with pals is a joyous experience. The game does well to capture the Warhammer universe and has received overall positive reviews since releasing on PC in 2018.
Now those that want to slice and dice each other will get the chance. Vermintide 2: Versus will be a 4v4 asymmetric PvP mode for Vermintide 2. It currently does not have a release date, but we can't wait to play a Skaven wielding a mini-gun.
In a release about the mode, Martin Wahlund, CEO of Fatshark said:
The player has always been the hero of the game, but in the Versus mode, players will now be able to play as the enemy factions. Versus is a competitive game mode where two separate teams of four players take turns playing as the enemies and heroes.
Coming from Tripwire Interactive, Maneater might be the "shaRkPG" you didn't know you always wanted. While this isn't the first time we've seen footage of the game, the trailer is some of the first footage we've seen of the game's villain, Scaly Pete.
Full of completely insane sharkery, the game's PC Gaming Show trailer featured lots of explosions, lots of fast swimming, and lots of maneating. Taking place of the Gulf Coast of the United States, Maneater follows a shark growing from baby to beast on a journey of revenge. Just so happens Scaly Pete is also on a reality television show called Shark Hunters vs. Maneaters.
Tripwire Interactive will show more gameplay behind closed doors at E3. However, TI President and Co-Owner John Gibson did provide some details about the game. He said that Maneater is like "GTA if you were a shark."
The game will feature progression systems and life phase evolutions. Players will gain XP to level up and grow more powerful, they will increase their power and capability, and they will unlock evolutions like "metallic teeth to shred boats" or mutated lungs.
The game does not currently have a release date, but it appears it will also be exclusive to the Epic Games Store at launch.
Conan Chop Chop
What began as an April Fool's joke has, as in the past, now become a reality. Roguelike Conan Chop Chop is currently (for real) in development by Mighty Kingdom and published by Funcom.
It will release on September 3 for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Set in the world of Conan: The Barbarian, Conan Chop Chop can be played alone or with up to three friends.
The developer calls say that it is "the most epic and realistic stick figure game ever to be set in the world of Conan the Barbarian, thus there will be an excessive amount of gore and flying limbs."
Although characters aside from Conan were not confirmed, the developers also said that there would be "a diverse case of badass warrior gods" players would be able to use.
What initially looked like a commercial for a mobile game turned out to be a trailer for the upcoming adventure game Mosaic. Although the BlipBlop game played by a character in the trailer above is currently out on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, Mosaic itself doesn't currently have a firm release date.
All we know is that it will release sometime in 2019, and that it will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Mosaic is a surreal adventure game set in a dark, "cold" city. Aesthetically, it resembles games like Limbo and Orwell. It is developed by Krillbite, the same studio behind Among the Sleep. It also looks to take inspiration from certain episodes of Black Mirror, such as Season 1, Episode 3's Nosedive.
Midnight Ghost Hunt
Coming from Vaulted Sky Games and Coffee Stain Studios, Midnight Ghost Hunt is a 4v4 ghost hunting game featuring ghosts and ghostbusters.
The game features what appears to be fast-paced first-person action, where those playing as ghosts seem to be able to enter a third-person perspective and traverse the environment.
Ghost hunters have until midnight to "find and destroy" all of the ghosts lest those ghosts return as vengeful spirits and attack them.
The game does not currently have a release date, although those interested can sign up for the alpha here.
Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy
The original Unexplored released in 2017. The indie RPG roguelite has garnered very positive overall reviews on Steam in that time. In 2018, the game released on the Nintendo Switch.
Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy takes what players loved in the original and increases it across the board. Instead of slinking through dungeons and the underground, Unexplored 2 takes things to the surface. The art style has also changed to implement more 3D elements, as seen in the trailer above.
The game's new Legacy system also means more progression this time around as worlds can be begun anew after dying, or players can choose to keep exploring previously explored worlds.
It is set to launch in 2020.
The Lost Oasis
The Lost Oasis is an upcoming MMO developed and published by Donkey Crew. Set in the post, post-apocalypse, players find themselves vying for control of an arid landscape.
In the game, players build walking, mobile bases, which allow them to battle other players and clans, lay siege to encampments, harvest resources, and much more. It features hefty building mechanics and myriad ways to initiate combat, from close-quarters melee to long-distance barrages.
The Lost Oasis is set to release into Early Access on July 15 on PC. It plans to fully launch on the platform on September 3.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall
It's likely that strategy and 4X players already know about Age of Wonders: Planetfall. Developed by Paradox Interactive, the game was first revealed some time ago. It was originally set for release in 2017.
While previous Age of Wonders titles are exclusively set in a fantasy world, Planetfall features a sci-fi setting. The game will reportedly feature six factions when it launches on August 6 of this year for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Players will scavenge for resources on procedurally generated maps, all while battling hostile factions and vying for land.
Remnant: From the Ashes
Battling an ancient, multi-dimensional evil, Remnant: From the Ashes is a post-apocalyptic third-person shooter from the same developers behind Darksiders 3. From the looks of it, players are poised to go up against some truly ghastly beasts and Lovecraftian horrors.
Remnant: From the Ashes is set to release on August 20 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
It can be played solo or with two other players. The game's worlds are "dynamically generated," according to the developers. It will also feature "heavy replayability," with the game scaling to match player progress over time.
As noted during the PC Gaming Show, Griftlands has undergone some rather significant changes since it was first announced. At one point, some even thought that the game had been canceled, with some even inquiring about the game's state on its official forums as recently as May 30.
However, the game is still alive. However, the game looks a tad different than it did before. Now, the game revolves around a single-player deck-building experience. According to the Klei, the game's developers, "You play the game as one of three characters, and each decision you make is important — which jobs to take, which side to choose, and which cards to collect."
The game is scheduled to release in alpha on July 11, with an Early Access release in June 2020.
Songs of Conquest
To some, Songs of Conquest might look like Heroes of Might and Magic. That's because developer Lavapotion was heavily inspired by the franchise while creating Songs of Conquest.
Featuring beautiful pixel-art graphics and an old-school aesthetic, SoC presents a fantastically realized fantasy world.
The turn-based adventure strategy game is set to release on the PC at a currently-unknown date, potentially "late 2020." PLayers can currently sign up for the game's alpha here.
Base-building strategy game Per Aspera is being developed by Tlon Industries. The game tasks players with terraforming Mars, and while we don't know a lot about the game just yet, we do know that it's coming to PC sometime in 2020.
While the gameplay trailer above starts out with a spacecraft settling on Mars and before a base begins to expand across polygonal "tiles," it ends with a macro view of the planet, with supply lines and paths etching themselves across the planet's surface.
Not surprisingly, the scale seems quite grand. We'll have to wait for more.
Valfaris is a 2D side-scrolling action game that looks like it shares way too much in common with Contra, and Axiom Verge — and that's a good thing!
Slated to release on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch sometime in 2020, the game is developed by the same minds behind Slain: Back From Hell. It even features a kick-ass heavy-metal soundtrack and tons of giblets.
Honestly, it looks pretty badass, and we can't wait to try it out.
For more E3 2019 coverage, be sure to check out the articles below: