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[hitman 3 xbox]E3 2021: ‘Metroid Dread,’ ‘Breath of the Wild 2,’ ‘Starfield,’ ‘Halo Infinite’ and other highlights

Update time:2021-07-01 16:32Tag:

  The event’s series of curated live-streamed videos, coordinated by the Entertainment Software Association, began on Saturday and was highlighted Sunday by Microsoft’s Xbox division and Bethesda Softworks when they showed a trailer for the much-anticipated space RPG “Starfield” and a new look at gameplay from “Halo Infinite.” Square Enix followed with a look at its new Guardians of the Galaxy game, based on the Marvel comic. Monday, by comparison, was more subdued, while Nintendo accounted for all of the major news Tuesday.

  Launcher, The Washington Post’s video game coverage team, broke down all the biggest announcements from the E3 stream, with news updates and analysis from all of the major showcases.

  Check out the top moments from the last four days above. Below, Launcher recaps the biggest moments from the virtual conference.

  ? Tuesday’s spotlight belonged to Nintendo who used it to reveal its new 2-D Metroid game, titled “Metroid Dread.” It capped its show with new footage for its upcoming sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” and advertised a 2022 release.

  ? Sunday featured some big news, starting with a look at Bethesda’s space RPG “Starfield.” Ahead of E3, Bethesda’s Todd Howard sat down with The Post for an interview about the making of “Starfield” and a behind-the-scenes video premiered on The Post Sunday.

  ? Xbox has often been criticized for its lack of exclusive games, but that seems to be changing. Its showcase with Bethesda leaned into exclusive titles like “Starfield,” “Halo Infinite” and a new shooter game called “Redfall.” Earlier this week, Xbox announced its Game Pass streaming service will be availably directly through smart TVs and phones.

  ? Day 1 of E3 delivered little excitement outside of a trio of Ubisoft reveals. Those included a Mario crossover with Nintendo, and a trailer for the studio’s upcoming game based on James Cameron’s film “Avatar.”

  ? The first big announcement of E3 2021 was actually about E3 2022, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti welcoming the convention back to his city for its usual in-person format next year.

  ? Monday’s showcases included an interactive panel on diversity in the gaming industry from Take Two and was highlighted by Capcom’s presentation of new content for some of the company’s biggest game series, Resident Evil and Monster Hunter.

  ? The premier event on the gaming world calendar, E3 began after video game companies got tired of being overshadowed at the Consumer Electronic Show. Here’s its origin story and a glimpse at where it’s going next.

  By Gene Park9:37 p.m.Link copiedlink

  The last publisher showing of E3 was Bandai Namco, who spent its time showcasing the third game in the Dark Pictures Anthology by Supermassive Games, “House of Ashes,” releasing October 2021.

  It’s a narrative horror adventure game, and this one takes place after the Iraq War. A platoon of soldiers ends up in a labyrinth of ancient catacombs fighting waves of monster. Each game in this anthology is expected to be released within six months time, and it’s the kind of narrative game that’s meant to be replayed, rather than relying on reloading a previous save.

  FromSoftware, another of Bandai Namco’s studios, showed off footage from its project with “A Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin late last week during Summer Game Fest’s kickoff show. That title is one of the most anticipated games currently in development and many gamers were hoping to see or learn more about it during the Bandai Namco showcase.

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  The Nintendo event kicked off by showing Kazuya from the Tekken franchise beating up various opponents, including Donkey Kong, Mario and Kirby. Kazuya will be coming to “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” with martial arts moves and attacks like Demon Scissors and Air Inferno. The company promised to share more details in a separate video on June 28 at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

  Then, Nintendo announced that the remastered “Life is Strange” collection is coming to Switch on September 10. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which was shown during Square’s presentation, is also coming to Switch.

  Nintendo showed off “Worms Rumble,” an arena shooter, as well as “Two Point Campus,” which was announced during the Microsoft event Sunday; both will be available on Switch next year. “Dear Villagers,” comes to the console on September 30.

  “Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania” is coming to Switch on October 5.

  “Mario Party Superstars” is coming to Switch on October 29, with 100 minigames from the catalogue. Games will work online, too.

  Thrilling fans, Nintendo said it’s still working on “Metroid Prime 4.” Today, it showed a new entry in the Metroid franchise, “Metroid Dread.” You can jump, tumble and hide from various alien enemies and the game comes out on October 8, 2021. Following the E3 presentation, it went into further detail about how gameplay works and what abilities players will have.

  More announcements echoed reveals from other showcases, including “Just Dance 2022” and “Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.”

  “Cruis’n Blast,” a racing game, is coming this fall.

  For Dragon Ball Z fans, the role-playing game “Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot” is coming to the Switch with extra content on September 24. You can find our review of that title here. It was previously on available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.

  “Mario Golf,” which comes out June 25, was displayed in greater detail, including its different golf modes. We’ve written about that game here.

  “Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin” comes on July 9, with a free demo available later this month.

  “WarioWare Get it Together” is coming on September 10, a new entry in an established franchise that’s getting two player co-op.

  “Shin Megami Tensei V” got a longer trailer with narration and more details around gameplay. It’s launching exclusively on the Switch on November 12.

  “Danganronpa Decadence,” a remastering of the trilogy of games, is coming later this year. The franchise boasts a cult following and is now over ten years old. Featuring a scary yet cute teddy bear and a murder mystery, fans have anticipated that “Danganronpa” would come to the Switch.

  “Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water” will arrive on the Switch later this year.

  “Doom Eternal” is getting a campaign expansion out later today. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2” and “Strange Brigade” are also getting updates. The “Tony Hawk” content arrives on June 25.

  Nintendo slowed the pace of its E3 presentation to linger on “Advance Wars,” a beloved franchise that fans were missing on the Switch. It comes on December 2.

  Nintendo gave a look at “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’s” expansion pass, which will be available June 18 on the Nintendo eShop. Nintendo also showed a “Skyward Sword” trailer for the game coming on July 16, as well as a Game & Watch system in green to celebrate Link, which will include four built-in games. The Zelda Game & Watch comes out November 12.

  After pretending the presentation was ending, Nintendo then gave fans what they most wanted: Another look at “Breath of the Wild 2.” It showed Link swimming through stone, and gave an overview of the floating buildings in Hyrule. The game will release in 2022.

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  A tweet from the Nintendo Japan account seemingly prohibiting co-streaming — sent just minutes before the start of the company’s E3 presentation — sent online creators into a tizzy over whether the game publisher would pursue legal action over those simulcasting the company’s presentation. Co-streaming live reactions from online creators is a common practice around high-profile news updates, such as this one.

  The live-streaming platform Twitch announced it would not air the Nintendo Direct as planned on its Twitch Gaming channel in solidarity with creators, who were seemingly shut out from the event.

  Inquiries seeking clarification from The Washington Post to the public relations firm that works with Nintendo America did not yield a clear answer; a spokesperson said they believed the tweet referred only to Japan. A number of gaming outlets, such as IGN and GameSpot, aired the Nintendo Direct stream when it began.

  You can watch Launcher’s co-stream of the event below:

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  A sleepy Monday brought little game-related news, but Tuesday’s final showcases figure to be more eventful.

  Nintendo kicks things off at noon Eastern time with a showcase scheduled to last about 40 minutes. The most anticipated news coming from the makers of Mario would be a new, upgraded version of Nintendo’s portable console, the Switch. Bloomberg reported that the new version, dubbed the Switch Pro, is expected to hit the market as early as September. It will reportedly feature higher-resolution graphics and a larger, 7-inch screen.

  Another big reveal for Nintendo would be any glimpse of a previously announced sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” There has been no news to suggest that game will be displayed, however.

  Bandai Namco already rolled out footage of its much-anticipated action RPG, “Elden Ring,” Thursday during the kickoff stream for Summer Games Fest. Given the reaction from fans, they’re eagerly awaiting more news on the game from the makers of “Dark Souls,” FromSoftware, and “A Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin.

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  While Monday represented a kind of trough between Sunday’s big showcases from Microsoft, Bethesda and Square Enix and Tuesday’s highly anticipated announcements from Nintendo, Capcom injected a little bit of intrigue.

  The maker of popular franchises like Resident Evil, Monster Hunter and Street Fighter has already had a busy 2021 with the release of “Resident Evil VIII: Village” and “Monster Hunter Rise.” Most of their announcements pertained to those two franchises.

  The E3 presentation began with news that Resident Evil’s multiplayer game, RE: Verse, will go live next month on all supported platforms. There will also be forthcoming downloadable content for “Village,” which released last month. No timetable was given for the DLC.

  After showing a new trailer for “Monster Hunter Stories 2,” the company announced there would be a new palamute introduced July 27, before showing off some other new upcoming content available in late June.

  The Monster Hunter showcase was followed by a trailer and gameplay for the upcoming “The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles,” a collection of legal adventure drama games. “Chronicles” will release in the U.S. July 27. The show closed with a segment touting Capcom’s competitive gaming tour around “Street Fighter V.”

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  In a jam-packed all-digital E3 event, Take-Two’s event focused on something other than new games. The publisher spent its time Monday hosting a diversity panel discussion about race and representation in gaming. The panel was advertised on Twitter and billed as a diversity panel, featuring Gordon Bellamy of Gay Gaming Pros, Private Division executive producer Kari Toyama and others.

  But since Take-Two was sandwiched in a lineup of games showcases, it was easy for the audience to miss that the games company, which owns the “Grand Theft Auto” and “Red Dead Redemption” franchises, wouldn’t be presenting any games on stream. Instead it delivered an almost hour-long talk about the state of diversity and inclusion in the industry, presented in a Zoom call. Some gamers on social media, expecting new titles announcements, left comments on the livestream and on Twitter complaining.

  Despite the confusion, it was refreshing to hear people in the industry talk about seeing not enough people of color, queer people and women represented in games and being supported to make and play them. Take-Two also touted its endowment fund for black and indigenous students it announced back in May.

  Since last summer, businesses across the country stand in support of Black Lives Matter, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The video games industry was called upon by employees and gamers to address toxicity and harassment within its communities and companies. Several took action last year to clamp down on hate speech and racism in games, but toxicity still persists in some corners of the internet.

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  After a relatively slow Saturday, the Xbox/Bethesda showcase on Sunday pumped up the E3 excitement with trailers for two Bethesda games that will become Xbox/PC exclusives: the space RPG “Starfield” and vampire shooter “Redfall.” Sandwiched between those came a look at “Halo Infinite” gameplay.

  Microsoft’s showcase was the strongest to date from E3′s all-digital 2021 stream. The Square Enix show that followed focused mainly on the company’s Marvel properties, and its new Guardians of the Galaxy game in particular.

  Monday, publishing giant Take Two takes its turn on the stream. The stream for the parent company of Grand Theft Auto maker Rockstar Games, along with that of Capcom, figures to highlight E3′s third day.

  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisement8:18 p.m.Headshot of Gene ParkGene Park: Square Enix showcased how much it has diversified the studios under its suite, with its Western efforts leading the show with Eidos Montreal’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and a sizable chunk devoted to Dontnod Entertainment’s “Life is Strange” series. On the other hand, Square Enix is also heavily investing in the genres into which it’s established themselves, namely high fantasy role-playing epics. I’m most excited for Platinum Games’s take on “Diablo” and dungeon crawlers with “Babylon’s Fall.” To hear that Yosuke Saito, producer of the “Nier” titles, is also involved gives me a lot of confidence. … Platinum Games is known for fast character action, but the influential studio developed “Nier Automata,” getting substantial experience in the role-playing genre. It’s exciting to see what it comes up with next. … I’m also looking forward to “Stranger in Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin,” developed by “Nioh” creators Team Ninja. It seems to explore the underlying lore of basically every Final Fantasy game by taking a look at the very first big villain of the series from the very first “Final Fantasy” game, Garland. Given Team Ninja’s pedigree in the action genre (having broken the mold with its “Ninja Gaiden” trilogy in the early aughts), it seems pretty clear from this showcase that Square Enix Japan is the studio for blazing fast character-based combat.Gene Park, ReporterBy Shannon Liao8:02 p.m.Link copiedlink

  Following a jam-packed presentation from Xbox and Bethesda, Square Enix kicked things off Sunday afternoon with “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” a third-person action adventure game coming on October 26, 2021. Players will get a chance to play as Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star Lord.

  Square Enix previously teased “Marvel’s Avengers” at 2019′s E3. That game featured major heroes including Captain America and the Hulk. Like “Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” won’t use the same actors popularized by the films. Peter Quill, for example, won’t resemble Chris Pratt.

  The presentation gave us a look at the game’s homepage and a few cutscenes featuring the gang’s typical witty banter. One aspect of the gameplay involves controlling which ally Peter sides with in petty arguments.

  The Guardians will take on Lady Hellbender from the Marvel comics. The game will be available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.

  Square Enix also showcased the Black Panther: War for Wakanda expansion to “Marvel’s Avengers.” It will be available free to those who already purchased the base game.

  Updates to “Hitman: Sniper,” “Nier Reincarnation” and Final Fantasy mobile games were also announced for the summer.

  “Babylon’s Fall,” which was previously shown during a Sony State of Play in 2019, is coming to PS5, PS4 and PC. Square Enix showed developer interviews and announced a closed beta sign-up.

  “Life is Strange” is getting a remaster, coming September 30. If that was just a month earlier, fans could replay “Life is Strange” and “Before the Storm” before “Life is Strange: True Colors” comes out on September 10. Square showed an extensive look at “True Colors” and protagonist Alex’s powers of empathy during the showcase.

  “Final Fantasy Origin: Stranger of Paradise,” from developer Team Ninja, is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC in 2022. A demo is coming to PlayStation soon. In the game trailer shown, the narrator repeats that he’s out to kill chaos; he eventually makes it into a throne room to face off against the big boss.

  By Shannon Liao7:31 p.m.Link copiedlink

  After a somewhat depressing showing yesterday from Gearbox and only a handful of announcements from Ubisoft, buzz around this year’s all-digital E3 was dampened. Xbox and Bethesda may have saved E3′s all-digital show from becoming irrelevant however, as they saved up a series of announcements that stunned fans across social media platforms, showcasing games like “Starfield,” “Eiyuden” and “Redfall” getting world premieres.

  When the Xbox Series X launched last November, I reviewed how the console felt to play, and more importantly, what games were available to showcase its prowess. The answer was only a handful, and many games that could be played on Xbox were also available on PlayStation or PC. The true Xbox exclusives, like “Halo Infinite,” were still to come. There just wasn’t a compelling reason gamers had to buy the Series X on day one, besides fans wanting to show support or early adopters desiring to try out new technology.

  In a survey of gamers, Civic Science found last year that out of games available on console launch, Xbox users were most looking forward to playing “Fortnite” on new consoles, while PlayStation users were anticipating “Spider-Man: Miles Morales.” Soon Xbox owners will be getting a lot more options, especially towards the tail end of this year and throughout 2022.

  7:01 p.m.Headshot of Gene ParkGene Park: With 30 games showcased, and 27 coming to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service, there was very little time for promotional or marketing speak. Unfortunately, many of these trailers were only computer-graphics cinematics, and many of the most anticipated games like “Halo Infinite” had little else to show. But that likely reflects the current unpredictability of the still-ongoing global pandemic more than it does anything else. Microsoft didn’t drop the ball when it came to highlighting its blockbuster acquisition of Bethesda Softworks, opening with a 2022 release date of “Starfield” and ending strong with an extensive look at “Forza Horizon 5,” slated for later this year. Microsoft also peppered in a number of indie games that are either highly anticipated, like Willem Dafoe-helmed “12 Minutes,” to an intriguing cyberpunk pixel-art adventure called “Replaced.” Xbox has always been branded as the shooter console, and the showcase didn’t do much to shirk that reputation, but with the aforementioned indie games and Microsoft supporting the release of “Psychonauts 2,” it’s clear Microsoft is working hard to diversify its catalogue.Gene Park, ReporterBy Mike Hume6:56 p.m.Link copiedlink

  To the delight of many RPG fans, Bethesda Softworks kicked off their showcase with Microsoft at E3 with a trailer for the upcoming game “Starfield,” set to release Nov. 11, 2022. Before the start of E3, Bethesda Game Studios Executive Producer Todd Howard and Managing Director Ashley Cheng sat down with The Washington Post for an hour-long interview about the making of “Starfield,” the Microsoft acquisition and the passing of ZeniMax founder Robert A. Altman.

  Perhaps most intriguing is this quote from Cheng about “Starfield”:

  “For me, ‘Starfield’ is the Han Solo simulator. Get in a ship, explore the galaxy, do fun stuff,” said Cheng.

  You can read the full story, and watch a never-before-seen video about the creation of “Starfield” here.

  By Shannon Liao and Mikhail Klimentov6:26 p.m.Link copiedlink

  Microsoft just revealed that “Starfield,” a space-based game that’s been in development since 2017, will be coming to PC and exclusively to Xbox Series X and S in November 11, 2022. The game will be the first new intellectual property for Bethesda in 25 years.

  In the game reveal trailer, the starship, Frontier, is shown. Choppy footage recalled the space race of the ’60s.

  Bethesda, the studio behind “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim” and the “Fallout” franchise, was acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion. The deal was finalized in March. This E3 marks the first conference where both Microsoft and Bethesda are presenting a joint news conference. Back in 2019, Bethesda commanded its own booth separate from Microsoft’s.

  Next, the event gave viewers a look at “Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl” gameplay with a moody trailer, voiced in Russian.

  “Back 4 Blood,” an upcoming first-person shooter from Turtle Rock, the creators of “Left 4 Dead,” arrives on October 12, with an open beta starting on August 5. The news was first announced during the Summer Games Fest.

  “Contraband,” a co-op game about smugglers working together in the 1970s, is coming from “Just Cause” developer Avalanche Studios. The trailer, which featured Steely Dan’s music, announced that the game would be available on Xbox Series X and S.

  Microsoft worked with Disney to bring Captain Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones to “Sea of Thieves,” in a new campaign called “A Pirate’s Life.” Players must free Jack from prison and battle Davy Jones, popularized by the film “Pirates of the Caribbean 2.” The extra content will arrive on June 22 and is free to players who already bought the game.

  A “Battlefield 2042” gameplay trailer that came after gave viewers their first look at how the game looks from the player’s perspective.

  “Twelve Minutes,” the indie game about a man stuck in a time loop, is finally getting a release date more specific than just “coming soon.” It’ll be available on August 19, 2021 on Xbox and PC.

  “Fallout 76: Steel Reign” will be available July 7, according to a new trailer.

  Microsoft also dropped a new trailer for “Psychonauts 2,” a sequel to the beloved 2005 title, with a release date of August 25. It’s coming to Xbox, Windows, PlayStation and Xbox cloud gaming, as well as Mac and Linux “in the future.”

  Indie hit “Hades,” which we awarded Game of the Year in 2020, is coming to Xbox Series X and S on August 13, 2021.

  “Party Animals” is coming to Xbox One and Series X and S in 2022. It’s a physics-based game where you play as a dog, cat or other animal and fight over various maps. “Somerville,” a quiet sci-fi indie game that follows what happens in the aftermath of a catastrophe was also shown. It’s coming in 2022.

  Microsoft also gave us a fresh look at “Halo Infinite.” The free multiplayer and the campaign are both slated for holiday 2021. Viewers were treated to gameplay footage of the new multiplayer mode — including plenty of grapple hook sizzle reel content — and hinted at what would happen in the story. Cortana, for instance, appears to have been replaced by a new AI.

  Two franchise installment release date announcements came back-to-back: “Diablo II: Resurrected” is coming September 23, 2021 and those who preorder will gain early access to an open beta. “A Plague Tale Requiem” is coming in 2022. The game is the sequel to “A Plague Tale: Innocence.” Both are set during The Plague in history, and follows the story of Amicia and Hugo who struggle to survive as swarms of plague-carrying rats surround them.

  Microsoft also showed some fast-paced and lighthearted “Far Cry 6” footage in 4K resolution with 60 FPS on the Xbox Series X console.

  Lots of s-title news: “Slime Rancher 2” is coming to Xbox in 2022. Snowboarding game “Shredders” will be available on Xbox in December 2021.

  “Atomic Heart” is coming to Xbox as well. No specific release date was announced. We did get an approximate release date for “Replaced,” an ’80s-style cyberpunk title, though: It’s coming to Xbox in 2022.

  “Grounded” is getting its biggest-ever content update, titled “Shroom and Doom” — which will include a big spider — on June 30.

  For those who love Japanese role-playing games, “Eiyuden Chronicle Rising” is coming to Xbox Game Pass in 2022. “Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes” will land a year later, in 2023. Both are made by a developer team, Rabbit & Bear Studios, that worked on the “Suikoden” games. “Eiyuden” has received over $4 million in funding on Kickstarter, making it one of the biggest video games on the platform.

  “Age of Empires IV,” a real-time strategy game, is coming October 28.

  “The Outer Worlds 2” was teased as coming to Xbox Game Pass. In the tongue-in-cheek trailer, the narrator said the team had not finished the game’s story, gameplay, or any part of the game it could show off besides the title.

  “Microsoft Flight Simulator” is landing on Xbox Series X and S on July 27, 2021. Get it? Landing?

  “Forza Horizon 5” is coming to Xbox Game Pass on November 9. It’s the sequel to the 2018 “Forza Horizon 4” open world driving game. “Horizon 5” is set in Mexico and features dust and tropical storms that put its setting on full display.

  A new game from Arkane Studios, the developer behind “Dishonored” and “Prey, is being extensively teased as the “one last thing” in the Microsoft-Bethesda joint show. According to the trailer, vampires taste like blood, death and strawberries. The co-op, open-world, first-person shooter is called “Redfall,” and it’s coming Summer 2022. In a blog post, Xbox says that players will build a team of vampire slayers with customizable weapons in a campaign mode, and can play alone or with friends.

  By Mike Hume4:15 p.m.Link copiedlink

  E3 excitement on the event’s first day was mainly limited to Ubisoft’s first trailer for its upcoming game around the film “Avatar” and news of the publisher’s collaboration with Nintendo for another crossover between Mario and Ubisoft’s Rabbids. The rest of the day fell relatively flat, especially compared to the usual tidal wave of big news from years past.

  That figures to change Sunday with the highly-anticipated joint showcase between Microsoft’s Xbox division and its newly acquired game publisher, Bethesda Softworks. Xbox already made news before E3′s start by announcing a plan to deliver its Game Pass streaming service straight to smart TVs and phones.

  Sunday’s showcase would appear to focus squarely on new games, particularly some Xbox exclusives like the upcoming “Halo Infinite.” We also expect to hear from Bethesda about its upcoming space-based RPG “Starfield.”

  At 3:15 p.m. Eastern time, Square Enix will take its turn as the E3 stream’s featured company.

  10:03 p.m.Headshot of Gene ParkGene Park: Gearbox Publishing is a publishing powerhouse, so it’s pretty disappointing that the person who seemed to have the most fun during its E3 showcase was its CEO, Randy Pitchford. Pitchford roamed the set of the “Borderlands” film, and the footage featured him joking around with director Eli Roth and Roland actor Kevin Hart. It’s notable that “Godfall” has fallen from its perch as the rare “next-gen exclusive game” by announcing a version for the PlayStation 4. “Godfall” was sold as a “looter slasher” basically taking the “Diablo” or “Borderlands” premise of gaining new weapons through repetitive action play. But since then, games like “Outriders” as well as the ongoing popularity of “Destiny 2,” have kept the top of the looter pile crowded. “Godfall” probably needs to release to the more popular platforms for a chance to get more sales. It’s not a bad game, but it does little to distinguish itself from many others like it. Really the most exciting announcement was that “Homeworld 3,” part of the popular real-time strategy series, is being made. All we saw was a logo, so Gearbox left us very little to chew on.Gene Park, Reporter9:19 p.m.Headshot of Shannon LiaoShannon Liao: The Ubisoft Forward show injected just enough excitement to hold interest until the surprising final reveal of its upcoming Avatar video game. The “Avatar” sequel film had an initial release date of 2014, but it’s still not out yet. It’s quite possible we’ll get an Avatar video game, “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora,” before “Avatar 2” hits theaters. No gameplay of Avatar was shown. Ubisoft also kicked it up a notch with “Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope,” a game that combines characters from Nintendo’s Mario franchise with the rabbit-like “Rabbids” from Ubisoft, showing us very cute and endearing gameplay. The show also made no mention of the widespread sexual misconduct reports Ubisoft faced last year and the departure of several executives. CEO Yves Guillemot appeared on-screen to talk about the trust gamers place in Ubisoft but didn’t mention the company’s missteps. He apologized for them in September and made no mention of it again in today’s event.Shannon Liao, Video games reporter focused on investigative features

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