E3 2021 – Looking Back

July 1, 2021

A Look Back at E3 2021

The E3 (or also known as Electronic Entertainment Expo) organized by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is one of the largest annual gaming-expo where software developers like Microsoft, game developers like Nintendo and Ubisoft, accessory manufacturers like Razer, and gamers all around the world gather for game updates, newly developed games and software. Following the restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s E3 became a digital event, but that didn’t stop people from attending the most sought-after gaming expo.

So, are you ready for some updates? Buckle up!

The 4-day event was jam packed on all game updates and a boatload of trailers.

Day 1 - June 12, Saturday

The event started with a Ubisoft Forward announcement and first look at their masterpiece together with Disney, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, a first-person, action-adventure game based on James Cameron’s movie Avatar of 2009. Release date is unknown yet. Ubisoft also shared that players will be able to know the backstory and play as villains on Far Cry 6 through it’s Season Pass. Far Cry 6 is set to release on October 7. They also announced that Mario + Rabbids are set to embark on a galactic journey once again for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope that’s set to be released in 2022.

Gearbox Software on the other hand revealed the Borderland’s new spin-off, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands -- an all-new fantasy themed game that provides flexibility for players since they’ll be able to customize their own character and manage multiple classes and even wield magic . The game is set to be released early of 2022.Gearbox has a lot in store for it’s fans, including revealing the behind the scenes of their much-awaited and star-studded, Borderlands movie which stars Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Edgar Ramirez, and a lot more.

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Day 2 - June 13, Sunday

On the second day of E3, 24 Entertainment gave the audience an exclusive look at their NARAKA: BLADEPOINT, a melee-focused battle royale game that focuses more on fists, katanas, swords, spears, and a lot more, letting players showcase their short-range combat skills.

Microsoft’s Xbox and Bethesda are full of announcements for this year, starting it off with the most anticipated space-themed game, Starfield -- an action adventure sci-fi game that was teased to be “25 years in the making” according to the creators of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. 343 Industries also teased that the Halo Infinite will finally have it’s free to play multiplayer mode that’s rumored to be released on Q4 of 2021. The game was set to run on 120fps including classic game modes, an anti-cheat system, plus giving players tons of customizations on guns and armor. Microsoft’s E3 presentation also included the gameplay reveal of Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life, an unexpected but perfect crossover of Disney’s Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean and the game Sea of Thieves. The game includes 5 new cinematic Tall tales, let’s players explore new environments, and meet familiar characters from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Microsoft Flight Simulator teamed up with Paramount Pictures for Top Gun: Maverick movie that’s set to be released on November 19, 2021, coinciding with the expansion pack as well that let’s players experience what it’s like to be Maverick (one of the Navy’s top aviators).

The Japanese video game holding company, Square Enix released the cinematic trailers for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (standalone), and Marvel’s Avengers’ Black Panther-War for Wakanda expansion pack leaving MCU fans all hyped up. Get ready to solve mysteries and take control of the story as fans also got a look at the enhanced graphics of  Life is Strange: Remastered Collection and Life is Strange: True Colors that are both set to be released in September 2021.

The Warner Bros.’ E3 Expo presentation was nothing but short and sweet as they solely focused on the zombie-slaying co-op shooting game, Back 4 Blood (the spiritual successor of Left4 Dead). The Back 4 Blood trailer was shared alongside the announcement of the open beta testing phase in August 2021, months before the release of the full game on October 2021. A game that left Let 4 Dead fans have been longing for since the last release of Left 4 Dead 2 last 2009. 

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Day 3 - June 14, Monday

The Day 3 of E3 Expo is not something fan’s have expected as the GTA’s publisher, Take-Two Interactive, didn’t give the audience a sneak peek at the GTA 6. Instead, they gave a panel discussion on “Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion”, real issues that the video game industry is now facing. Gaming for people with disabilities were also addressed by the Accessibility in Gaming panel, with voices from Able Gamers, Ubisoft, and TRIPP.

Verizon is gearing up for the future as it presented how 5G can impact the gaming industry. With Verizon’s 5G and Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) technology, they’ve teamed up with the industry’s best to fuel game developers and innovations -- Riot Games, Team Liquid, Electronic Arts (EA), and Dignitas. Verizon also announced that they want diversity in gaming. Announcing a commitment of $1,000,000 to increase female representation in the gaming industry and STEM careers through its Verizon Game Forward Scholarship.

The Los Angeles game developer, Mythical Games are stepping-up their game by announcing the early access to their NFT-authenticated game, Blankos Block Party. Players can grind and spend on characters through upgrading, training to have skills, and resell their characters in the marketplace to earn real money since it’s built on blockchain technology. 

Freedom Games announced a lot of new games and console versions for this year’s expo. Coming from it’s early access last year, Afterburner Studios have teamed up with Freedom Games to publish its surreal, action ARPG, the Dreamscaper in August 2021. If you’re a pet-lover, they also revealed the launch date of their Cat Cafe Manager where you get to adopt stray cats, give them a new home, and manage your own cafe. Another pet-themed game is set to be released this 2021, their dog shelter simulator game, To The Rescue! 

The Japanese video game developer, Capcom, also has a lot in-store for it’s fans. They revealed that The Resident Evil Village DLC is already in development but there’s no clear date yet. Their story-based RPG, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, is set to be released on July 9 but the trial version is now available for download. Pre-order exclusive bonuses, merchandise and figurines bundled with the game, free title updates, and a deluxe edition were added. Lastly, their Japan-exclusive games, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (The Great Ace Attorney Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney Resolve 2)  are now available for European and North America players.

Razer made an impressive presentation during the E3 Expo as they announced their new Razer Blade 14 -- that was said to be one of the most powerful 14-inch gaming laptops. Also unveiling their Razer Raptor 27 monitor-- world’s first THX certified gaming monitor. Adapting to the current pandemic, The Project Hazel smart mask also had updates since it was last announced in the CES last January 2021.

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Day 4 - June 15, Tuesday

The first ever virtual E3 Expo had it’s Official E3 2021 Awards hailing Forza Horizon 5 by Xbox Game Studios as the Most Anticipated Game of E3 2021, and Microsoft’s: Xbox & Bethesda Showcase as best presentation.

The Video game company giant, Nintendo also has a of surprises for it’s fans unveiling the new trailer for Tekken’s Kazuya Mishima coming to Super Smash Bros. The game has arrived 29th of June. New weapons, abilities, and enemies await players as Nintendo revealed a new trailer of The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild

BANDAI NAMCO officially debuted the trailer for their standalone, horror-themed multiplayer game, House of Ashes -- the third entry for the The Dark Pictures Anthology. The game is set to be released in October 2021.

Yooreka Studios on the other hand had a lot of free demos on their new games that’s readily available on Steam. First of which is the Loopmancer, a 3D rogue-like action game that’s set in a cyberpunk universe  will be available at the end of 2021; The Extremely Realistic Siege Warfare Simulator (ERSWS) available in early 2022 -- a physics-based tactics RPG set in a fantasy medieval world; Metal Mind, a top-down shooter game available on early 2022; The Swordsmen X: Survival, an open-world action-adventure game that lets players master martial arts is to Steam late 2021; Tales of Wild, another open world multiplayer game all about survival that’s set to be released for early access on Steam in early 2022; The Immortal Mayor, a management and construction sim game that let’s players play as a deity and guide the local land--demo for this is already available on Steam but the early access will be available mid to late 2021; Reshaping Mars, a colony simulation game set on Mars also has a demo available on Steam but early access will also be mid to late 2021; last on the Yooreka Studio’s list is, a Chinese martial-art detective-game where you get to investigate, crack the codes, and collect clue to solve cases -- the Mohism: Battle of Words, coming to Steam on Early 2022 but also has a demo available already.

Last presenter for Day 4 was GameSpot who showcased tons of indie games that players can try. Naming a few are: Mind’s Beneath Us, a Sci-Fri thriller adventure game set in cyberpunk-themed environment; El Paso, Elsewhere, a supernatural, fast-paced third-person shooter game; Rainbow Billy, a 2.5D colorful creature-catching adventure-RPG; Lab Rat, a narrative puzzle game; She Dreams Elsewhere, a surreal adventure RPG with retro-esque vibe about dreams and reality; and a whole lot more!

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Even as a virtual event it was clear that 2021s E3 was a major success. Mark your calendars because there are tons of games you can download whether demo, early access, or official. But make sure to stay tuned here at The Challenger for the latest news and updates on everything gaming and tech!

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