With few exceptions, E3 2021 was a major letdown. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, what with COVID complicating development for games across the industry. It hasn’t been an easy year for anyone, so I truthfully wasn’t expecting much more than what we got. That said, there were still a couple of notable games for me, so let’s dive in.
I’ve been playing the Battlefield series since the original game, Battlefield 1942, released in 2002. My favorite game in the series is the futuristic, but still grounded, Battlefield 2142 and I’ve been pining for a sequel for over a decade now. Unfortunately, DICE would only offer small teases such as easter eggs tucked into later releases or what ended up being the ultimate tease, the Final Stand DLC in Battlefield 4.
Fast forward to 2021 and DICE has announced a new near-future set entry to the series titled Battlefield 2042 and this game is being positioned as a direct sequel to BF4 in terms of the series’ overarching story (yes, there sort of is one). The aforementioned Final Stand DLC served as a prequel of sorts to BF2142, featuring all sorts of prototype versions of weapons, vehicles, and gadgets that appeared in BF2142. 2042 appears to bridge that gap between BF4 and 2142 in what I’m hoping will later involve a sequel called Battlefield 2143.
In any case, BF2042 was definitely the highlight of this year’s E3 announcements for me and should hopefully be a return to form for the series after disappointing entries such as Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V in recent years. BF2042 features an incredible expansion of the series’ already massive scale combined arms gameplay with even larger maps, 128 player matches, terrifying environmental hazards, and some other changes to the formula, including the controversial shift from classes to Specialists. I’m not sure just yet how I feel about the latter, but that’s probably for another article.
It’s unfortunate that the Metroid series is a fairly niche IP for Nintendo and this has left me waiting for years to see what’s next for Samus. Thankfully, that wait is finally over with the announcement of Metroid Dread at E3 2021. I honestly could never get into the Prime series, so while I can empathize with those who are disappointed we didn’t get a Prime 4 reveal, I’m personally happy to see the Metroid series return to its 2D sidescrolling roots for the first time in a long, long time.
Also, the new suit is pure heat.
Todd Howard had me when he described Starfield as “Skyrim in Space” to WaPo. I’m ready for a new open world Bethesda RPG and the setting and game’s ‘NASA-punk’ aesthetic really appeal to me. I welcome the typical Bethesda jank with open arms, just please move away from the terrible dialogue system found in Fallout 4. Howard says Starfield will be more hardcore than we’re used to seeing from Bethesda in recent years, and while I’d like to believe that’s true, I’d definitely need to see the game in action to judge.
Beam me up, Todd.
Long have we waited for a sequel to GSC Game World’s iconic post-apocalyptic immersive sim, STALKER. This isn’t the first we’ve seen of the game, but it looks like it’s all coming together now and I can’t wait to dive into the terrifying world of STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl when it releases next year.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
Developed by the creators of the legendary Suikoden JRPG series, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, will serve as a spiritual successor to those beloved games and I couldn’t be more excited. The already gorgeous looking game raised an amazing $4.5m on Kickstarter and will also be published by 505 games which should give its creators at Rabbit & Bear Studios the sort of funding necessary to hopefully deliver a title worthy of all the hype surrounding it.
Honorary Mention: Redfall
Left 4 Dead, with vampires, and developed by awesome developer Arkane Studios? Sign me up! I’ve never played a co-op game by Arkane, but the studio often delivers. While the trailer shown at E3 was entirely CG, it’s definitely piqued my interest.
Where’s Breath of the Wild 2?
I’ve loved the Zelda series my entire life, but sorry to say, I’m not a fan of the direction the games are going with Breath of the Wild and now Breath of the Wild 2. While I respect gamers being as hyped as they are for this announcement, it personally did nothing for me.
What were your favorite announcements of E3 2021? Share 'em in the comments below!