E3 2021: Ubisoft, Xbox & Bethesda and Square Enix

It’s been a couple of days now since E3 2021 kicked off and from my perspective, it has been a bit of a mixed reception so far. There’s been some brilliant games revealed and announcements made, but there’s also been moments where it’s not felt like E3. Part of that would be down to the current pandemic, and the teams behind the games and livestreams are doing amazing jobs bringing the reveals to life as good as they can within the current situation. On the other hand, it might just be that some of the games that are being shown, while they look great, just aren’t for me and that is totally okay as well.

Ubisoft Forward

I kicked off my E3 2021 by catching the Ubisoft Forward presentation. Overall, I thought the show was wonderful and showcased a lot of interesting and exciting looking games. I sadly slightly ruined one reveal for myself due to a leak that was popping up on Twitter, but that minor mishap didn’t spoil the full reveal. Riders Republic looks like good as does Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. I’ll be honest, the Far Cry games aren’t really my thing, it looks good, but I’ll probably pass on this one. The announcement of Rocksmith+ has me wanting to pick up my guitar again and the Assassin’s Creed downloadable content looks good, although I should really start playing the game at some point.

My two stand out games from Ubisoft Forward have to be Rainbow 6 Extraction and Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.

Rainbow 6 Extraction looks interesting, and I’m curious to find out more about the game before it’s released later this year. I’ve played a bit of Rainbow Six Siege in the past (not that much, and I was pretty terrible in all honesty) and had loads of fun playing with friends. I can definitely see this being a game that my group of friends will want to play once it’s released.

The other game that I’m incredibly excited for because I loved the original is the new Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope game! I grew up with both franchises and when I found out about the Mario + Rabbids game originally I was super hyped to play it, and I’ve played the original a few times now and each time it just has me laughing from just how chaotic it can be at times. There was a moment where I thought that we were seeing a new Super Mario Galaxy game, but then it switched to a Rabbid Rosalina who wasn’t looking too impressed at the time. The trailer was incredible, and I really wish that the game was being released now, but it was definitely my overall highlight of this year’s Ubisoft Forward.

Xbox & Bethesda

With thirty different games shown, many of which were coming to Game Pass too, Xbox had a huge variety of reveals this year. I was most excited to find out more about Halo Infinite, which we found out plenty, but other than that I had no idea what to expect. Starfield, The Outerworlds 2, Twelve Minutes, Redfall, Somerville, Party Animals, Stalker 2, Hades and Back 4 Blood were some of my highlights as was a number of Bethesda games including Fallout 3, DOOM and Rage that were added to Xbox Game Pass yesterday too.

I was hoping to see more about the next Elder Scrolls game, but there wasn’t anything shown or mentioned. There was plenty shown for The Elder Scrolls Online, and I’m super close to picking that back up again.

Forza Horizon 5 was the first of my favourite games shown during the Xbox & Bethesda livestream. I’ve been a fan of the Horizon games for a while and love the freedom of just driving around between each location and then taking part in the events. The arcade events and the new exploration events. I can’t wait to explore the beautiful locations of Mexico in the new game later this year.

Halo Infinite was another game I was highly anticipating, and I was pleasantly happy with what Xbox showed during the livestream. I’m excited to check out multiplayer later in the year and the fact it will be free for everyone is an interesting move but also an understandable one. The story side of the game is what I am most looking forward to, and I’m very curious to see how it is going to play out.

Overall, the Xbox & Bethesda showcase had plenty to share with everyone and there is a lot in store coming later this year. I was hoping to see some news about the next Fable, but maybe next time? I almost forgot that the Sea of Thieves x Pirates of the Caribbean crossover was the one moment where I felt very confused with what was going on, but absolutely loved the reveal. I’m definitely going to be checking that out at some point. Also, the Xbox Mini Fridge? Random but for some reason very tempting to consider buying.

I’m also happy to hear that the World Premiere voice over actor is okay too.

Square Enix

I’m going to be honest about the Square Enix Presents presentation, I felt that it didn’t feel like a Square Enix presentation. Yes there were some brilliant games shared, but it felt like it didn’t have that usual Square Enix spark and I just can’t pinpoint why. However, the Guardians of the Galaxy game looked pretty good, I’m not sure if it’s for me, but I may check it out after its release. I don’t know much about the Marvel’s Avengers game myself, but the War for Wakanda looked good. Babylon’s Fall looks interesting, but I’m still undecided at the moment.

The reveal about the Life is Strange remaster was a surprise but also something I’m looking forward to, but more, so I’m happy there was more shown about Life is Strange: True Colours. It was nice to find out a bit more about Alex and how her power of Empathy helps her to understand the loss of her brother as well as seeing how it works in game in different ways.

I was surprised that there was no new information about the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI, although I’m sure the wait will be worth it. It was nice to see the Pixel Remaster’s of the earlier Final Fantasy games.

The one reveal that caught me off guard the most from Square Enix was the reveal of Final Fantasy Origin. Initially I thought that it was a totally new game/franchise and nothing to do with Final Fantasy, but soon enough it was clear it was a Final Fantasy game. It was definitely not something I was expecting Square Enix to do, in fact I don’t think any of us really expected it. My initial thoughts about the game is that I’m a little sceptical but with more information and more game play announced between now and it’s release next year I’m sure the story behind Final Fantasy Origin will become clearer.

The first two days overall have showcased some brilliant upcoming games, and I’m looking forward to taking a look at many of them in the future. There are definitely a number of games I will be keeping a close eye on to follow the development and find out more prior to their release dates but so far E3 2021 isn’t going too badly.

I’m looking forward to Nintendo’s Direct tomorrow and I still need to catch up on the Wholesome Games  and Gearbox presentations too.

What are some of your highlights from E3 2021 so far?


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