Without an E3 to feed the gaming world its diet of hot news and starry-eyed announcements the industry looked on hungrily for a saviour. Thankfully, Geoff Keighley has stepped forward to save us all with Summer Game Fest—a showcase of the latest and greatest to come from the world’s premier entertainment form.
But with little more than a deluge of space games, heartful but ultimately uninspiring looking indies, a bizarre video message from the Rock in which he stood shirtless in his home gym while shilling for an energy drink company in between introducing DC’s Black Adam trailer, and a severely botched Last of Us remake mic drop closer, Summer Game Fest 2022 failed to set the heather alight. We knew this was likely to be the case, however, as the catchup of the pandemic begins to set in on studios, putting the industry in a middling period between releases and new big developments.
All is not lost, however, as a few of the showcase’s key highlights will at the very least keep this summer of gaming from freezing over. We have the hits for you from Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest 2022!
Street Fighter 6 (2023)
Following on from its broadcast at PlayStation’s State of Play last week, Capcom took to the stage to reveal the fifth character of Street Fighter 6’s roster. The familiar barrel chest and flat cone top head of Guille returns to the popular fighting series, joining the cast, familiar and new, of Chun-Li, Ryu, Luke, and Jamie already announced.
Guille’s classic somersault kick makes its return alongside a series of sonic attacks and an all-new Crossfire Somersault Super Art attack. Characters will continue to be announced until Street Fighter 6’s eventual release in 2023.
Aliens: Dark Descent (2023)
The Xenomorphs are simply made for gaming, so of course they return once again for Aliens: Dark Descent, releasing in 2023. The single player squad-based game will see you take control of a squad of colonial marines armed to the teeth for a recon mission on Moon Lethe.
Players will command a squad as one unit thanks to intuitive controls, allowing their Marines to automatically prioritize and execute complex actions in real-time, based on their respective skill sets and the environment around them. Navigate levels strategically, making sure to leverage the persistent and reactive environments to your advantage by sealing off checkpoints, unlocking shortcuts, or creating safe zones.
The game takes inspiration from Focus Entertainment and Tindalos Interactive’s favourite tactical and CRPG games, packaging them in nerve-wracking, real-time action to translate the world-famous film series to game.
The Callisto Protocol (2022)
After its exciting State of Play reveal, Summer Game Fest granted us more time with The Callisto Protocol to get a more in depth look at this meaty, tense, and nightmarish sci-fi horror title.
Striking Distance’s CEO and Dead Space’s former creator and producer Glen Schofield came to the stage to unleash his “Schofield cut” of last Thursday’s reveal which included an extra 30 seconds of the game’s brutal combat and horrific death animations.
Following this we were treated to 2 minutes of gameplay which showed off all the Dead Space of it all, though brandished with a new set of abilities and even more visceral brutality. Once again Striking Distance will return to the HUD-less look of Dead Space, a revolution at its time, as well as keeping its focus on impactful, meaty action with limbs (and their dismemberment) a key component to combat. Protagonist Jacob Lee also appears to be equipped with telekinesis to pick up enemies and fling them into turbines, grinding them up to a paste.
The final surprise of the segment, however? Your enemies can use those same pieces of environment back against you as the gameplay VT ended with Lee being shoved into a grinder prompting a seamless, bloodied animation of the worst kind of death imaginable.
This one looks incredible!
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (2022)
Cpt Price and Task Force 141 are back on our consoles again with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2—a distinctly confusing title made all the more confusing by how much this iteration of Modern Warfare 2 is looking like a reimagining of the original Modern Warfare (Call of Duty 4) as opposed to the original 2009 Modern Warfare 2, since the 2019 Modern Warfare was actually set as a prequel to the 2007 Modern Warfare.
Coming on October 28th, Modern Warfare 2 will feature many of our old favourite squad-mates as well as the new cast of 2019. We were shown an extensive look at gameplay as Task Force 141 stealthily slipped onto a ship in search of “something”. While the boat rocked and waned with Infinity Ward’s new water physics the ensuing action looked eerily similar to that of the first mission in 2007’s Call of Duty 4, though now with sharper detail and a more intensive weather engine casting heavy rain across the battlefield and blowing environmental pieces all over. As much as it looked just as you would expect in terms of gameplay for a Call of Duty game there is no denying that the graphical look of the game is excellent so far, using the next gen power of the PS5 and the Series X to its potential.
This coming autumn was also deigned a transformative moment for the Call of Duty series as fans can expect big things with “Warzone 2.0” to come, as well as Warzone for mobile.
Studio The Astronauts showcased their roguelite shooter, Witchfire, first announced at The Game Awards in 2017, and now due to launch to Early Access later this year as an Epic Games Store exclusive.
In Witchfire, a deadly war rages between powerful witches and the Church. In this alternate reality, witches are very real and very dangerous— but so is the witch hunter. Armed by Vatican sorcerers, players wield an ungodly array of guns and forbidden magic as they combat dark terrors on behalf of their shadowy benefactors. It is more or less medieval doom but with even more religious hellfire.
Built in the Unreal Engine 4, Witchfire boasts AAA graphics made by an indie team of only nine people. Players explore gorgeous, semi open-world levels, featuring advanced photogrammetry and post-processing that create an immersive and realistic dark fantasy world. Players can expect a polished Early Access experience with plenty of content to explore and a solid gameplay loop, featuring RPG elements to power up and customize their skills.
Fort Solis (2022)
A novel concept incoming…another mystery-laced space horror! This time Fort Solis remained sparing on details and light on its video reveal, but we were however treated to voice actors Troy Baker and Roger Clark taking to the stage to share their excitement for the project.
Described by Baker as “Dead Space meets Duncan Jones’ Moon,” Fort Solis will be a fast-paced third person thriller. Other than Troy waxing lyrical about the deep artistic integrity of his work in the game, there was very little to grasp onto here in the way of details.
First announced in 2013, ROUTINE stood out with its haunting premise in an isolated setting. Since then, the small team at Lunar Software has rebuilt the game from the ground up to align with the experience they originally set out to deliver.
Utilizing in-game footage, the showcased trailer revealed that the project has been revived and how much it has matured since its last showing. Developers Lunar Software have set out to create an immersive world that begs to be explored from the edge of your seat, with renowned composer Mick Gordon (Doom, Prey, Wolfenstein: The New Order) providing the atmospheric score and sound effects.
Set inside an abandoned Lunar base designed around an 80’s vision of the future, players will explore the decrepit station looking for answers about the events that unfolded there. Armed only with a Cosmonaut Assistance Tool (C.A.T.), to interact with the various computer systems, players must navigate whatever unknown dangers still remain. While exploring the different sections of the station, from abandoned malls to deteriorating living quarters, to piece together the fate of those that once lived there, players will need to outwit and outmanoeuvre a mysterious threat that lurks inside the decaying complex.
No date is as yet still known for release, but ROUTINE will be coming to PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Game Pass.
American Arcadia (2022)
Call of the Sea creators Out of the Blue and Raw Fury showed dark details of their deadly televised utopia with American Arcadia, a 2.5D platformer and first-person puzzler where players explore the unique stories of two characters—each with their own distinct gameplay—whose lives and fates are intertwined.
The retro-futuristic metropolis of Arcadia promises a life of luxury and comfort for everyone. Only, citizens don’t realize they’re playing roles in American Arcadia, the world’s most popular reality show that’s been broadcasting live, 24/7, for decades, and their supposed utopia is not all it seems. Under the eyes of countless viewers, popular citizens lead a carefree life, but those who fall out of the audience’s favour risk a more dangerous outcome…
As you attempt to escape this 70s televised utopia the game will be presented uniquely as a documentary with character interviews and interrogations as you progress. Both sides of the game will feature entirely different gameplay styles: one a 2.5d side scrolling platformer with puzzles and trials, the other a full 3D first-person game with hacking, exploration, stealth elements, and puzzles.
Goat Simulator 3 (Fall 2022)
Watch out, gaming’s favourite goat-shaped wrecking ball returns with friends to cause udder mayhem in a brand-new simulator experience releasing on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC. Yes, the aptly titled Goat Simulator 3 (despite being the second game. Heh.) is back to poke fun at your favourite genre cliches (the trailer itself made fun of Dead Island 2’s long dead trailer reveal) and to cause general chaos to the world of bipedal, non-goatish, humans.
Pilgor the goat has found new pastures on the sprawling sandbox island of San Angora, a place where mysteries and chaos follow wherever you go. Players are free to roam around and discover the island’s secrets or, well, just destroy stuff. This is a Goat Simulator, after all.
Built from the gravel up, this next generation of goat simulation has it all; Goats, goats wearing hats, goats riding a goat wearing a hat. There are also unnatural disasters, secret animal societies, triple jumping and probably any other nonsense you could think up. In Goat Simulator 3 you can also gather as a herd of up to 4 players to continue the udderly outgoatish mayhem.
Hilariously, Goat Simulator 3 of all things is also a next exclusive and a PC title, due to release in Fall of this year.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns (2022)
After its reveal last year we got another look at Marvel’s Midnight Suns, an all-new tactical RPG set in the darker side of the Marvel Universe.
When the demonic Lilith and her fearsome horde unite with the evil armies of Hydra, it’s time to unleash Marvel’s dark side. As The Hunter, your mission is to lead an unlikely team of seasoned Superheroes and dangerous supernatural warriors to victory. If you’re going to save the world, you’ll have to forge alliances of the likes of Spiderman, Venom, Blade, Doctor Strange, and lead the team into battle as the legendary Midnight Suns—Earth’s last line of defence against the underworld.
Since it is Firaxis and team based we can expect this to be much like XCOM but with Marvel superheroes, which isn’t a bad pitch to me!
It will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store on October 7, while a Switch version is expected at a later date.
Midnight Fight Express (2022)
Developed solely by Jacob Dzinel, Midnight Fight Express packs a punch with isometric action that all look pulled from some of the greatest action film sequences.
Midnight Fight Express follows former criminal, Babyface, who is “lured back into ‘the life’ by a mysterious drone claiming they have until sunrise to prevent a citywide criminal takeover together.” The game looks very much like a 3D Hotline Miami, as players battle in intensive sequences atop trains, cars, and dimly lit nightclubs. Its extensive range of weapons, moves, objects, and environments will lead to blockbuster combat across 41 levels.
Midnight Fight Express is only two months away with a release on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC on August 23; however, for those desperate to dive in a demo is available now.
TMNT: Shredders Revenge (2022)
Kowabunga dude! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back with TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, a throwback Streets of Rage style brawler complete with the popular series’ cast of colourful characters and all their martial arts badassery.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge merges elements of the classic cartoon, games, and toys to create an ultimate celebration of a cast of beloved heroes as they take on the Foot Clan’s many forces. With a 6-player couch co-op available players will be able to unleash mayhem together in this beautiful looking GBX style game. Enemy waves stack with the player count meaning no matter your posse size you’re going to have an intensive time.
TMNT: Shredders Revenge releases on June 16 for PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Game Pass.
Metal: Hellsinger (2022)
For the Metal enthusiasts, rhythm game fans, and Doom players comes Metal: Hellsinger, a headbanging rhythm shooter in which players combat the demons of hell to the beat of some of the most iconic metal bands.
Blast through the Hells, shooting, dashing, and performing takedowns on time to the thunderous beat of a searing original soundtrack by composer duo Two Feathers, performed by some of metal music’s most celebrated contemporary vocalists.
Early previews for the game have been positive prompting developers The Outsiders to unleash their latest demo to the world for all to try ahead of its September 15th launch for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Steam. Players across the world can now groove to the killer beat of Alissa White-Glüz’s vocals in the demo level and chase that leaderboard high score. As The Outsiders suggest, the best way to understand the unique gameplay Metal: Hellsinger is to experience the pulsating gameplay first-hand, and now everyone can!
Layers of Fears (2023)
Bloober Team appear to be at the centre of every horror game rumour at the moment, most notably of which is the long-standing speculation that they will be taking up the mantle of Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills. So it is impressive amongst all that supposed work for the team to return to where it all started again for Layers of Fears.
Layers of Fears is something of a remaster and a sequel to the developer’s prominent two hits, as it remakes sequences from the originals and adds an expanded plotline and gameplay direction. The most notable detail for Layers of Fears however is its development in Unreal Engine 5, the latest iteration of Unreal’s powerful engine and one which promises extremely big things for the industry.
Based on this we won’t be expecting Layers of Fears until sometime in 2023.
The Last Of Us: Part One Remake (2022)
The dampened show closed out on an even damper squib as Naughty Dog and The Last Of Us’ Neil Druckmann took to the stage to reveal the big announcement of the day that near enough everyone watching already knew about.
Evidently frustrated by PlayStation’s earlier calamity in which they accidentally leaked the announcement of a The Last of Us: Part 1 remake for PlayStation 5 in September (and a later PC release) Druckmann pressed ahead with sparse details on The Last of Us Factions, a standalone multiplayer title in The Last of Us universe. The game promises to be as big as any of Naughty Dog’s single player games and will incorporate story into the multiplayer experience. The game will be set in a new city however that is as much detail as we will be getting now for Factions until next year (or whenever Sony decides to handily leak the details too instead).
Then came some talk of the upcoming HBO The Last of Us tv series headed by Chernobyl Craig Mazin and starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Druckmann confirmed his direction of one episode before suggesting that Pascal and Ramsey were here at the Fest with him. However, much to everyone’s disappointment it was only once again Troy Baker, joined now by Ashley Johnson who each confirmed they also had roles within the show.
The reveal of The Last of Us: Part One remake to close the show then didn’t quite have the fanfare to it that it probably should have on account of its earlier leak, however the graphics comparisons between the old PS4 version and the all-new PS5 version were impressive, nonetheless (so much so that Troy Baker nearly cried). Part One is also a near-ground up redevelopment as the game comes into the engine used for Part 2, allowing the team to use a new, smarter enemy AI and improve the controls along with greater accessibility options.
If you want to enjoy The Last of Us definitively for the second third time then it is yours on PlayStation 5 on September 2.