Like many things that have been cancelled because of Covid-19, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this year is another victim of the pandemic.
Traditionally held in June at the Los Angeles Convention Center, E3 was the annual event to witness the latest and greatest in gaming. However, even before its cancellation this year, some gaming industry heavyweights have been pulling back in participating in E3.
Last year, Sony did not participate in E3, and was planning to do the same in 2020, while Electronic Arts (EA) was planning on holding their own event outside of E3 even before E3 2020.
Without a physical showcase or a unified online platform for media announcements, game publishers, developers and console hardware manufacturers have gone ahead with online events, live streams and virtual showcases throughout the months of June to August.
If this virtual format works out well for the individual companies, will it sound the death knell for E3 even after the COVID-19 pandemic blows over?
No E3? No fear!
Although some highly anticipated titles of 2019 that were planned for release in early 2020 have been delayed due to the COVID-19 situation, like CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 and Watch Dogs Legion, there are still plenty to look forward to further in the future.
So here at Techgoondu, we present the inaugural Goondu “Gian” Games (G3) (“gian” meaning craving for something in the Hokkien dialect) – a list of the most highly anticipated games and most crave-worthy gaming announcements that we feel are worthy of being “gian” about.
Here’s our hand-picked, specially curated list of the best gaming announcements of G3 2020:
1. Horizon Forbidden West
By Guerilla Games for PlayStation
Oh Aloy! How we’ve missed you! The badass yet tender-hearted and super likeable protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn, which was arguably one of the best games on the PlayStation 4, is back in a highly anticipated sequel.
In Horizon Forbidden West, we see Aloy trying to save the dystopian world with remnants of human civilization from a looming danger that threatens all life.
And instead of the frozen wastelands, Horizon Forbidden West has Aloy kicking the butts of mechanical beasts in the grasslands, forests, deserts and even underwater. Can’t wait!
Let your heart soar and catch the trailer here:
In case you missed it, the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn is now available. Read our review of the original Horizon Zero Dawn for the PlayStation here.
2. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
By Ubisoft Montreal for PlayStation, Xbox and Windows PC (November 17, 2020)
Did I previously gripe that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was too big with too much to do? Well, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla looks like it has even more to offer.
Spanning parts of Norway and the British Isles, the game lets you play a male or female (you choose!) Viking named Eivor invading the British Isles in the 9th century.
Apart from the large scale melee battles that were featured in Origins and Odyssey, Valhalla also gives you the chance to lay siege on fortresses and raid castles – no stealth or sneaking around here, just full on melee battles.
We also see some new fighting mechanics including axe throwing for mid-distance assault – deadly and satisfying!
What a delight to see that the abilities to blend into crowds, sitting at tables, and hiding in plain sight have made a comeback in Valhalla!
There are loads of places to explore, bonuses and secrets to discover, plenty of stuff to collect that will delight all completists, wild animals to hunt down for trophies and bragging rights, troops to recruit around the countryside, as well as other frivolous things to take part in like fishing, drinking games and building cairns!
If you have no travel plans for the year end, perhaps we can all take a virtual tourism trip to Norway and the British Isles.
The itinerary includes travelling in a longship, singing traditional Norse songs, laying siege to some fortresses, raiding some castles and assassinating some bad guys too!
Don on your furs and catch the gameplay trailer here:
3. Halo Infinite
By 343 Industries for Xbox and Windows PC (2021)
What should have been a trailer that makes Halo fans pump their fists into the air yelling “Master Chief” has instead raised some eyebrows, some ire and a few questions.
For a long awaited Xbox flagship title that was supposed to show off the prowess of the Xbox Series X console, the Halo Infinite trailer didn’t take our breath away.
Instead, certain aspects of the graphics in the gameplay trailer are a bit of a letdown. Textures look rather waxy with low level details makes the game feel rather dated.
However, the developers explained this is a “work in progress”, so we can hope that the completed Halo Infinite will look much better than this.
Shortly after the Xbox Game Showcase, Microsoft has announced that Halo Infinite will be delayed to 2021. This might deal a blow to the launch of the Xbox Series X, which apparently is still going ahead to launch in Holiday 2020.
Nonetheless, the combat sequence looks suitably satisfying with a full arsenal of weapons to shoot, a grapple to pull in enemies and whack them with your elbow, and a lovely variety of enemies to decimate.
Put on your helmet and watch the trailer here:
4. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
By Insomniac Games for PlayStation (Holiday 2020)
If you have played 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, you would have an inkling that Miles Morales will eventually get his own game. In Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, we see Miles take on the role of Spider-Man instead of the previous protagonist, Peter Parker.
The trailer shows off Miles’ very stylish black and red suit, as well as the acrobatic moves and innovative web-slinging combat action that made the original such a hit.
And since Miles’ has quite a few special abilities of his own, such as camouflage and bio-electric venom blast attacks, this should add to many more new ways to take down the bad guys.
Good news is, we won’t have long to wait since this is timed to release before the end of the year.
Equip your web shooters and catch the trailer here:
5. Far Cry 6
By Ubisoft for Xbox, PlayStation and Windows PC (February 18, 2021)
This is a Far Cry with true star power! Featuring Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame and one of the best villains ever, this will be a title worth playing just to see him in action.
In Far Cry 6, Giancarlo will be playing Antón Castillo, the El Presidente of Yara, a fictitious Latin American nation.
In the spectacular trailer, Castillo is seen teaching his son Diego some valuable life lessons with a hand grenade sans the pin.
But it looks like Castillo’s people don’t really fancy him, what with his statue being torn down, rioting outside his palace and grenades labelled “Death to Castillo”.
This is the perfect excuse for us gamers to go in there to help liberate his people and overthrow the dictator, Far Cry style. That is, loads of shooting and blowing stuff up. Can we please not kill him though?
Watch the explosive cinematic trailer here:
6. Ghostwire: Tokyo
By Bethesda Softworks for PlayStation (2021)
The previously teased Ghostwire: Tokyo by its Creative Director, Ikumi Nakamura, was feared to have been cancelled after her abrupt departure from the project back last September shortly after her memorable presentation at E3 2019.
But the release of a much more fleshed out gameplay trailer assured us that Ghostwire: Tokyo will survive. In the trailer, we see hand gestures being used to cast spells and attack spooky beings, including headless schoolgirls and faceless salarymen.
Let’s solve the mysterious disappearance of 99% of Tokyo’s population together, ne? Catch the gameplay reveal trailer here:
7. Demon’s Soul
By JAPAN Studio and Bluepoint Games for PlayStation (date not announced)
A remake of the PlayStation 3 game that gave birth to the Dark Souls genre of dark action RPG series, Dark Souls looks seriously beautiful in a foreboding and gothic way.
The trailer shows off loads of magnificent horned, winged, fire-breathing and demonic beings waiting to be beaten or to beat you.
Sadly, no release date is announced yet, so we will have to be patient here. Nonetheless, this will be a great game to stress test those new DualSense controllers!
Prepare yourself and catch the trailer here:
By Annapurna Interactive and BlueTwelve Studio for PlayStation and Windows PC (2021)
Not sure what it’s about but it features a cute ginger cat so that’s definitely an incentive to play!
The trailer shows the cat wandering through cyberpunk-ish backstreets supposedly of Kowloon among sad humanoid robots with grim graffiti that hints that humans are gone.
The synopsis described the cat as being lost and separated from its family and needs to untangle an “ancient mystery”. Sounds a little like a cat’s version of Wall-E or Horizon Zero Dawn? And the cat’s cute meow just completely sold the game for me.
Give some love to your community cats and catch the trailer here:
By Bethesda Softworks for PlayStation and Windows PC (December 2020)
We saw DEATHLOOP being teased in 2019 with a fancy cinematic trailer but now we see more aspects of the gameplay in this new trailer.
A first-person shooter game with a “Dishonored” feel set in a deliciously retro designed world, DEATHLOOP looks hella stylish.
With glitzy shimmery guns double wielded for double the fun, and with the premise of “rival assassins locked in a time loop”, it certainly holds a lot of promise.
Channel your inner Quentin Tarantino and boogie with the stylish gameplay reveal trailer here:
10. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2
By GSC Game World for Xbox and Windows PC (2021)
Seeing that decrepit ferris wheel means we are back in Pripyat within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series takes place.
In case you are wondering, the acronym stands for Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers and Robbers, which you kind of are a mix of all of them as you play the game.
A first person survival horror game set in the site of the horrific nuclear disaster zone, you play a scavenger risking your life in the Exclusion Zone looking for lucrative but hazardous artifacts, while facing many dangers in an unpredictable environment including mutants and anomalies.
Since the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl in 2007 and the last game of the series Call of Pripyat back in 2009, it is amazing how much more haunting and desolate the scenery looks in modern graphics over a decade later. Not to mention the frightening and annoying anomalies that now look so much more surreal.
Turn on your Geiger counter and watch the trailer:
11. Shin Megami Tensei V
By Atlus for Nintendo Switch (2021)
For those of us waiting for new releases from familiar Nintendo headliners, it was slightly disappointing that Nintendo did not announce any new titles from their popular Mario or Pokemon franchises in the July 2020 edition of the Nintendo Direct event.
Looks like Nintendo is happy to let PlayStation and Xbox slug it out in the console wars this year while it takes a backseat.
The most interesting title from the Nintendo Direct event was Shin Megami Tensei V, a Japanese Role-playing (JPRG) demon- slaying game.
The Shin Megami Tensei series started way back in 1992 on the Super Famicom, and spawned the popular spin-off Persona series where you have to recruit demons or personas to battle for you.
“The God you worship is dead…:” so tame your personal demons and catch the trailer here:
12. Resident Evil VIII: Village
By Capcom for PlayStation (2021)
Cleverly using the letters in “village” as part of the title for the Roman numeral “eight”, established survival horror Resident Evil franchise serves up a new title for fans to look forward to in 2021.
Set in a medieval village, RE8 looks pretty amazing and the trailer shows off a bunch of scary creatures from your worst medieval nightmare, like a hag and a werewolf.
We also see Chris Redfield, the protagonist of several RE games, making an appearance and apparently shooting someone at point blank while apologising to the protagonist, which begs the question of whose side he is now on.
Peek through your fingers and catch the tense and scary trailer here:
13. Forza Motorsport
By Xbox Game Studios for Xbox and Windows PC (date not announced)
If you want to see how car races will look in beautifully detailed 4K format, check out Forza Motorsport. Graphics are so detailed you can almost feel the soft and the hard sections of the race track that the tyres run over.
And what better way to show off the Xbox Series X than a fast paced racing game that will push your console’s graphics processing power to the max?
No date was announced for its release at the moment, so don’t hope to play this title right away on your spanking new Xbox Series X at the end of the year.
Polish your ride and check out the trailer here.
By Counterplay Games and Gearbox Publishing for PlayStation and Windows PC (Holiday 2020)
Set in the fantasy world of Aperion, Godfall is an action RPG looter slasher played from a third person perspective. It features plenty of cool and destructive weapons such as Long Swords and Dual Blades, as well as combat moves like chained combo attacks.
Looks like a great game for letting off steam! But here’s hoping the story is compelling enough to make us want to play it – all bashing for no reason doesn’t make for much fun.
Arm yourself and catch the combat trailer here:
15. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
By Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs for Playstation, Xbox and Windows PC (December 2020)
A long-awaited sequel to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 1 after 16 years! This vampire themed role-playing game lets you play as a vampire hunting for prey in the city of Seattle while building alliances with those controlling the city.
The trailer shows some close quarter melee combat as well as some kind of power that manipulates the environment, which seems fun in a diabolical way.
This is definitely one to look forward to and makes one wonder why there aren’t more vampire themed games, compared to zombie games!
Sharpen your fangs and drink in this terrifying yet satisfying trailer:
By Obsidian Entertainment for Xbox (date not announced)
With glyphs floating on the left hand and a sword with glowing runes on the right hand, Avowed looks like one of those games that lets you combine sword and sorcery for some major butt kicking.
Touted as an “epic, first-person RPG set in the fantasy world of Eora”, we can’t tell too much of the gameplay but one feels quite excited sensing a potentially large glowing monster coming your way.
Developed by Obsidian Entertainment of Pillars of Eternity and The Outer Worlds fame, Avowed looks promising when it comes to delivering a great RPG experience.
Ready your magic thingies and catch the trailer here:
17. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
By Ninja Theory for Xbox and Windows PC (date not announced)
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II was teased as a title for the new Xbox Series X in late 2019. Since then, fans have been waiting anxiously for news of its release, but no date has been confirmed even now.
Yet, this game is worthy of mention as it is a followup to the engrossing and emotional action adventure game, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which was released in 2017.
A game that deals with the topic of mental health and psychosis isn’t easy, but Ninja Theory’s Senua managed to treat the issue sensitively and emphatically.
According to Ninja Theory, this trailer was captured entirely in-engine, which is quite remarkable! Check out the detailed anguished emotions on Senua’s face in the trailer here:
By Playground Games for Xbox and Windows PC (date not announced)
Although not much is revealed in this amusing trailer, this is a reboot of the original Fable which was released in 2004. The game was groundbreaking back then as it allows your actions, whether good or evil, to define you as a person.
Your appearance and how people will perceive you will depend on your actions, which was fun to see real consequences of your thoughtless or thoughtful actions.
The original game was created by Lionhead Studios founded by the legendary Peter Molyneaux which officially closed in 2016, but this remake is developed by Playground Games of Forza Horizon fame. Let’s hope it is as fun as the original!
Check your moral compass and watch the trailer here:
19. Solar Ash
By Heart Machine and Annapurna Interactive for PlayStation (2021)
From the creators of the 2016 game Hyper Light Drifter, Solar Ash is a 3D action adventure game set in a similar world but with much better graphics.
The trailer shows off anti-gravity feats reminiscent of Gravity Rush performed by our protagonist who looks rather intriguing – are those three eyes or…?
The game looks and feels a bit like Journey, with a dream-like surreal landscape decorated with floating objects, drawing you in to explore.
“The void is calling…” so catch the trailer now:
20. The Pathless
By Giant Squid for PlayStation (Holiday 2020)
The Pathless, a third person adventure game, features innovative gameplay by traversing long distances by shooting arrows at markers along the way. That’s a different take on the term “fast travel”!
You play a Hunter in a scenic mythical world, accompanied by a pet eagle that helps you fly over the terrain, performing acrobatic manoeuvres while solving puzzles and collecting crystals to upgrade skills.
There is even a “Spirit Vision” for viewing the spirit world to discover new places to explore. And the bond between the Hunter and eagle is strong – you can pet and embrace the eagle. How sweet!
But it’s not all exploration and puzzle-solving. There are also fast-paced battles with Cursed Spirits that look like it requires plenty of good controller coordination.
Nock your arrow and aim for the trailer here: