Ah, it’s time for not-so-secretly our favorite part of E3 2019. The PC Gaming Show returns for its fifth annual iteration, and with it? A lot of weird games. Per usual, the PC Gaming Show is all about the games you’d never see on another E3 press conference stage, plus a few bigger surprises thrown in—including the first gameplay footage of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2.
It’s the same rich medley that makes the PC our favorite gaming platform, and we’ve recapped all the biggest announcements here, so you can spare yourself the two-hour runtime. The PC Gaming Show might be exciting, but damn is it long.
Evil Genius 2
It’s been 15 years since Evil Genius, but a sequel is finally happening. Rebellion showed off its first trailer this morning, which is full of James Bondian spy hijinks and the traps designed to thwart them. No actual game footage yet, but just saying “Evil Genius 2” is enough to get me interested.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Oh hey, another game that hasn’t had a sequel in 15 years. We got our first look at Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 during GDC, but Paradox had yet to show any game footage so far. That changed during the PC Gaming Show, with a brief trailer that jumped between a bunch of clips—plus a bit more footage layered over Cara Ellison and Brian Mitsoda talking about the story, for the diehards.
We should have even more footage later this week, once E3 uh…”starts.” Keep an eye out.
Some might argue we already got Chivalry II, in the guise of breakout hit Mordhau. If you prefer a more official sequel though, Tripwire and Torn Banner have teamed up for Chivalry II proper, arriving in 2020. It does sound a bit less artificial or game-y in some respects, with objectives like burning houses and killing peasants instead of capturing points. We’ll see whether that’s enough to stand out though.
Midnight Ghost Hunt
Coffee Stain’s working on Satisfactory and I figured that was their only project, but no. We got a debut trailer for Midnight Ghost Hunt during the show, which looks quite a bit like Prey’s “Typhoon Hunt” mode, itself a take on Garry’s Mod’s “Prop Hunt.” You either play as ghosts or ghost hunters, the latter tracking down poltergeists who can take over objects in the environment and throw them at players. The twist? If the clock strikes midnight, the ghosts get more powerful and start killing off the hunters.
It seems like a neat evolution of an old idea, though like any multiplayer-centric game we’ll have to see whether the community grows enough to support it.
Worlds Adrift is shutting down, but it looks like there’s another ship-building game to take its place—albeit one that’s much drier and dustier. Last Oasis looks like some sort of alt-medieval combat game with desert fortresses and landships, and while I’m not sure how it’ll play, I’m at least curious.
Age of Wonders III: Planetfall
We’ve seen Age of Wonders III: Planetfall a few times now, so there wasn’t much new to see in today’s trailer. They did recommit to an August 6 release though, and laser-dinosaurs and cyborg-zombies still seem like a fun twist on the usually staid and serious Civilization ideas.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Where there’s Sniper Elite, a Zombie Army is sure to follow. With Sniper Elite IV a few years old now, it’s no surprise there’s a Zombie Army 4: Dead War on the horizon—albeit a bit surprising given the same four-person co-op ideas were used for Rebellion’s Strange Brigade last summer.
Remnant: From the Ashes
We took an extensive look at Remnant: From the Ashes earlier this year. Gunfire isn’t hiding its Dark Souls influences in the slightest, but is focused more on replayability—procedurally generated levels, tons of secrets, lots of different bosses and enemies to populate the world. It sounds neat in theory, though like any procedurally generated game we’ll have to see how well it comes together.
After conquering amusement parks with the superb Planet Coaster, Frontier Developments is setting its sights on more natural environs. Planet Zoo brings the studio’s impressive sim management chops to, well, zoos. After sinking dozens of hours into Planet Coaster, I’m excited about this one. Look for it to land on November 5 with a beta over the summer.
Legendary creator Yu Suzuki took the stage at the PC Gaming Show to talk about Shenmue III, the hotly anticipated crowdfunded sequel coming to both Windows and PlayStation this November 19. Suzuki showed off a new trailer that revealed some story details sure to please dedicated Shenmue fans hungry for breadcrumbs of information about anything to do with the game.
Warhammer: Vermintide II kicked ass, and it’s not dead yet. Vermintide II: Versus adds a dash of player-versus-player action to the co-op shooter.
Cris Tales puts a unique spin on JRPGs by mucking with time. It lets you experience multiple timelines simultaneously, giving you the chance to “learn for the past, and act in the present, to rewrite the future.” Look for it in 2020.
Valfaris looks like yet another Metroidvania, but one with a focus on heavy weapons and a heavy metal aesthetic. It’s enough to pique my curiosity.
“Eat, explore, evolve.” That’s the tagline for Maneater, a game where you basically play as Jaws. Yes please. Tripwire revealed a new trailer showing off Scaley Pete, the game’s fisherman villain, as well as the game’s silly sense of humor…and plenty of carnage. Tripwire’s saying this “shaRkPG” is basically like Grand Theft Auto but with sharks, and an evolutionary progression system.
The follow-up to Her Story, Telling Lies looks like a similar blend of FMV and fake computer interface, another detective story you’ll need to solve by watching a bunch of bizarre video clips. This time there are a bunch of characters though, not just “two,” and the story’s told through video diaries instead of police interviews. It also sounds like a much longer experience, with over 10 hours of footage to trawl through.
Warframe showed up for its annual expansion reveal, and let me tell you, Warframe sure does make great trailers. There’s a full reveal planned for TennoCon on July 6, but Empyrean is set to add space combat to the game and allow players to explore the solar system, including a new Venus-set zone. It looks ambitious, to say the least.
At least once per year, there’s a game at the PC Gaming Show that I’ve never heard of but which hooks me with its art style. This year, it’s El Hijo, or “The Son,” which looks like a stealth game set in Mexico, with touches of Old West iconography and some scary looking monks. Also it looks flat-out gorgeous.
The show also included interviews with developers of Borderlands 3 and Baldur's Gate III, but neither talk included new footage. Stay tuned for more this week as we delve deeper into E3’s announcement blitz. We’ll be bringing you coverage of all the major press events and games here at PCWorld.