PC Gaming Show at E3 2017: XCOM II expansion, PUBG, and beyond
E3 is just getting rolling, and the PC Gaming Show was back again with announcements both AAA and indie. From XCOM to Battlegrounds, from LawBreakers to Age of Empires, here's a full rundown of the news from this year's PC Gaming Show.
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
2K and Firaxis were back this year with a bunch of deadly looking aliens as part of a brand spanking new expansion to their turn-based strategy hit. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen looks like all the tactical goodness we love, paired with a massive new batch of content to explore.
You'll step back into XCOM control to forge alliances with fellow resistance factions that you'll need to recruit and win over to gain access to some of the most powerful troops Firaxis has ever created. This rock 'em sock 'em diplomacy will all take place as you encounter and deal with the Chosen, a set of three dangerous new alien characters focused on hunting and wiping out XCOM and the other resistance fighters in a big way. These new enemies will be focused on adapting as the player continues the fight, leveling up, and bringing new skills to the table with every new encounter to create a dynamic evolving difficulty as they continue to evolve and work to eliminate the player as viciously as possible. Gear up your gravestone, because this time there's going to be blood, tears, and that familiar sense of loss that we love to hate.
A smaller but promising new title, Ooblets is described as a combination of Harvest Moon, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing, and based on the trailer it's an accurate way to describe a title where you grow your battle monsters in a garden and use them to carve out your own little spot of paradise in an adorably dangerous new world.
If you've been craving turn-based old school tabletop strategy but haven't found near enough mech warfare to make it worthwhile then Battletech should scratch that particular itch for you.
Battletech is a turn-based sci-fi mech strategy title that'll feature single and multiplayer skirmish modes, a detailed single player mercenary story, and all the explosive two story battle-bot action you can hope for. As part of the story you'll engage in a bloody civil war as an intergalactic mercenary faction for a deposed queen fighting to retake her throne. Nothing like 40 tons of steel and gunpowder diplomacy to serve a hot steaming pile of revolution to your enemies.
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord
Definitely a crowd favorite, we also had a chance to finally see some new Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord gameplay, albeit just another tiny slice of the full game. Based on the trailer Mount and Blade's definitely had a graphical makeover compared to it's grand-pappy strategy title, but we didn't see much else that was absolutely ground breaking. It looks a lot like a slightly prettier Mount and Blade, but honestly, that's all we really need to know considering how detailed and addictive Mount and Blade's core gameplay is. Bannerlord looks like it's just going to be focused on polishing up a good thing for all of us to enjoy.
Total War: Warhammer 2
Creative Assembly showed off a tiny snippet of the Battle of the Fallen Gates, a quest battle between the Lizardmen and the High Elves. The footage showed off an impressive array of new troops for both sides, everything from dinosaurs duking it out against dragons, to a T-Rex roaring Jurassic Park style over a pile of his vanquished enemies, It's exactly what fans were looking forward to when the Lizardmen first showed their scaly skulls.
Creative Assemply also announced that September 28 is the official release date for their newest Warhammer RTS which will launch alongside a new race pack for the original Total War: Warhammer. Creative also confirmed that shortly after launch we'll see the combined campaign map launch via a post-launch patch, allowing players to utilize the map from both the first and second game in a single massive RTS campaign.
Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
Brenden Greene, the great Player Unknown himself, made an appearance to speak about the newest features coming to his game, including new weapons like the OTS Bullpup AR, new methods to spectate and view replays, and more importantly the ability to dynamically vault over obstacles like walls and cars Dukes of Hazard style. We'll also reportedly see a variety of new weather and time of day effects in game as well as two brand new maps in desert and winter environments in the coming months.
Killing Floor 2 and Killing Floor Incursion
Killing Floor developer Trip Wire also made an appearance, showing off the recent progress for their VR title Killing Floor: Incursion calling it a terrifying shooter experience, but holding off on any fresh new details for now.
Trip Wire also announced that Killing Floor 2 is getting their first Summer Side Show seasonal event, which will feature over 50 new cosmetic rewards, new characters and enemies, a massive payload of new maps, and two brand spanking new weapons to murder with, including a lever action rifle and a snazzy new shotgun.
The event will last all month and each week Trip Wire is going to release two new unique game modes for everyone to enjoy, as if that wasn't enough to bring your blood to a boil, Killing Floor 2 will also be free-to-play all week, so there's no excuse not to at least give killing a fighting chance.
Klei Entertainment, the devs behind Don't Starve and Oxygen Not Included also revealed a brand new title called Giftlands, a new sci-fi RPG that seems focused on player choice and turn based combat. Based on the fact that it's coming from Klei we can bet it's going to be a punishing but addictive romp through a detailed new world.
Cliff Bleszinki from Boss Key Productions made an appearance to announce LawBreakers' open beta event coming June 28-30, he also announced the full release date on August 8 for $29.99. He also discussed the dev teams' focus on an evolving team balance that will continue to improve as the game proceeds through beta and all the way through the initial release.
Based on the footage Boss Key demoed it looks like LawBreakers has come a long way since the early alpha days, and the skill-based twitch shooting and fast-paced gravity gravity gameplay has really increased in pace. As a whole Cliff's new love child is shaping up to be a serious competitor for Quake: Champions and we couldn't be more excited to see them duke it out.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Middle Earth: Shadow of War made a short appearance to announce live gameplay demos going on at Twitch.tv/monolithlive, while also debuting a major cinematic from Shadow of War and discussing one of the new characters we'll see in Shadow of War.
This new character is the Blade of Galadriel, a ranger assassin that hunts those who wield rings of power, specifically the nazgul, but she's not a huge fan of Talion's shiny new mind control ring. The Blade of Galadriel will be your best frenemy as you continue through the story, and will also be the playable character in the title's first major story DLC after launch.
You can see the discussion and the cinematic on PC Gamer's twitch channel.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
Finally, Microsoft Studios made an appearance to demo a brand spanking new remaster of Age of Empires that focuses on revamping the game on a fundamental level with new visuals, a new soundtrack, a number of gameplay tweaks, and a more modern multiplayer system so you can bring the battle to your friends easier than ever before. Microsoft seems to be focused on doing their best to fix as many issues as possible with the core game while bringing it into the modern age, hopefully without departing from the original Age of Empires experience that nostalgia has colored so perfectly in the minds of fans everywhere.