Andre's 2023 Video Game Showcases Top 5 Games Special Part 1: Xbox Showcase, Summer Games Fest, PC Gaming Show
Andre selects his top 5 games from 2023 Video Game Showcases. This issue features five games from the Xbox Showcase, Summer Games Fest, and PC Gaming Show.
Welcome to My 2023 Video Game Showcases Special Part 1
This year I watched many showcases and narrowed everything to my top five games per showcase. In many cases certain games I liked were shown in multiple showcases. In the spirit of wanting to cover more games, I decided to pick that game in only one showcase and choose the best trailer to embed in the newsletter. A lot of good ones!
My 2023 Xbox Games Showcase Top 5
The Xbox Games Showcase was probably the most anticipated showcase for myself and many other gamers. It didn’t disappoint. The Starfield Direct followed after the Xbox Games Showcase explaining in detail the upcoming features of Starfield.
1. Starfield (September 6, 2023)
Picking my top five for all of the showcases was a hard task, but Starfield was easily the best game shown overall during the week of all the showcases. Bethesda’s upcoming open world experience allows you to travel in space and visit over 1,000 planets. Starfield was originally slated to release in 2022, but was rightfully delayed until September 6, 2023. The game’s visuals definitely improved in this year’s trailer compared to everything shown a year ago. You’ll notice that I have yet to about or include Starfield in my top 10 most hyped games for 2023…yet.
Bethesda is known for the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, but Starfield is looking like it may be something incredibly special. The size and scope of what Bethesda is trying to accomplish with Starfield is so ambitious that if they pull it off without many technical hitches it can be on one of those games we’ll be talking about for a very long time. Bethesda is already well experienced in creating a good single player RPG experience, but Starfield adds many more layers that includes space exploration.
You can build your own space ship and walk within your own ship, while also hiring and assigning crew to run your ship. During space travel, you can communicate with other space ships, attack others, and even board other space ships to attack and steal them for yourself. This is the ultimate single player open world space game and I can’t wait to play it! I recommend you watch the Starfield Direct if you haven’t already.
2. Clockwork Revolution (TBA)
Clockwork Revolution is inXile Entertaiment’s latest game, a first-person RPG set in a steampunk world. This is just a perfect trailer that shows off the world, gameplay, and the major component of the game, time travel. I’m not normally drawn to the steampunk themed games, but Clockwork Revolution sells itself very well with this trailer. The story seems kind of interesting with the ability to make choices and change world events through time travel. There is no set release date for this, so we may be waiting until 2024.
3. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty (September 26, 2023)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is an expansion to Cyberpunk 2077. I played and finished Cyberpunk 2077 when it first released and it felt like a rather generic gameplay experience, but it did have some decent story plots. Phantom Liberty is supposed to mark a major overhaul of various systems in the game. It will also include a storyline involving you protecting the President of the United States in a deadly district in Night City. Keanu Reeves returns to reprise his role as “Johnny Silverhand” and Idris Elba joins the cast to play “Solomon Reed”,
Cyberpunk 2077 has been patched a bunch of times since its disastrous launch in December 2020, but Phantom Liberty is supposed to be a major update that hopefully will wash most doubts away from this game. I haven’t played the game since the launch, but this is an expansion that will get me back.
4. Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess (TBA)
Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess is a game that we don’t know much about yet, but the trailer is interesting enough to make my top five for the showcase. The combat in this game looks very appealing, but what strikes me the most about it are the camera angles and color palette. At least for now, it seems to be a very visually pleasing combat experience that looks a bit different than many other games. This is a brand new IP that I hope to learn more about in the future.
5. Persona 3 Reload (Early 2024)
Persona 3 Reload is a remake of Persona 3, originally released in 2006. The Persona series has always been on my bucket list to play, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I really do like the aesthetic of the Persona franchise, but the massive amount of dialogue is what causes me to rethink the time commitment to play the game compared to playing other games instead. As a big fan of RPGs, I’m definitely going to circle my calendar to play this when it releases because it’s finally time to take the time plunge.
My 2023 Summer Games Fest Top 5
Ever since E3 was downsized and eventually cancelled Geoff Keighley decided to put together his own showcase that started digitally, but eventually grew to an in-person event like it was this year. The Summer Games Fest revealed Elden Ring in 2021, but this year it didn’t have that huge big bang announcement/reveal on that scale. Many good announcements were still shown, but not the big punch of new games we might have preferred and expected to see from Geoff’s show. The Summer Games Fest had a lot of follow up announcements with release dates and more trailers to games we already knew about. Still, I managed to put together my top 5 based on mostly shiny new things.
1. Mortal Kombat 1 (September 19, 2023)
(click above for trailer, age-restricted)
Mortal Kombat 1 is a game that was already announced into existence earlier this year without any gameplay. I’m not as much of a Mortal Kombat fan compared to Street Fighter, but I can still have fun playing it. The name “Mortal Kombat 1” is a bit weird, but it’s supposed to be a reset to the story as a result of the events at the end of Mortal Kombat 11 involving Liu Kang. One thing Mortal Kombat has done over the years is create story lore inside a story mode that gives a really engaging single player experience.
The trailer shows Mortal Kombat 1 with a slower pace, but it also shows a new cameo system where you can use an assist button to call upon another fighter to help you for a short burst of time. Most of these cameo fighters have the look and aesthetic of the literal first Mortal Kombat (1992). Another thing I noticed immediately were the bright colors and beautiful stages. This is the first time I’ve seen a MK game where the stages really popped out to be quite noticeable during the experience. Jean-Claude Van Damme will voice Johnny Cage, a major victory for Ed Boon (creator) because he’s has been trying to get Van Damme in the series since the beginning.
I’m very interested in Mortal Kombat 1 and can’t wait to learn more about it. (Warning, the trailer is very graphic. That’s why I can’t embed it here and it requires a login.)
2. Prince of Persia The Lost Crown (January 18. 2024)
Prince of Persia The Lost Crown is based on the Prince of Persia franchise, a franchise that I don’t particularly care about. What makes this different is the aesthetic and style of gameplay that mixes 2D platforming with action and boss fights. Aside from the weird song choice in the trailer, this game just looks like a fun 2D action game.
3. Sonic Superstars (Fall 2023)
Sonic Superstars was a complete shock for me. I didn’t expect to see it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Finally, a new modern 2D Sonic The Hedgehog game with updated graphics. I really like the colors and visual presentation, plus it has four-player local multiplayer. I’m in!
4. Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior (2023)
Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior is a new game that I didn’t know was coming. It’s an isometric hack ‘n’ slash game involving rewinding time and making clones of yourself to defeat enemies. The most surprising thing about this game is the publishing company, Quantic Dream. Quantic Dream is known for their narrative storytelling games like Heavy Rain (2010), Beyond: Two Souls (2013), and Detroit: Become Human (2018). Lysfanga looks like a very fun action game mixed with strategy like Transistor (2014), a game I liked. Lysfanga isn’t the easiest game name to remember, but a game I want to play.
5. Alan Wake 2 (October 17, 2023)
Alan Wake 2 falls into the category of a game I probably won’t play, but looks incredibly appealing if I was into horror games. Alan Wake 2 allows you to play as either Alan Wake or Saga Anderson to solve a mystery by switching between them as you wish. What made me want to put this in the top five is the visual quality plus the storytelling that will allow the player to choose who to play with for as long as the player wants. I’m curious to see how this pans out, but I probably won’t be playing it.
My 2023 PC Gaming Show Top 5
The PC Gaming Show is always one of my favorite gaming showcases because it can sometimes show games that a broader showcase including console games wouldn’t show.
1. Path of Exile 2 (TBA)
A different short clip of Path of Exile 2 was shown during the Summer Games Fest, but this teaser trailer below I like a little better. Path of Exile is one of my favorite ARPGs that I play at least once every three months, so I’m eagerly awaiting Path of Exile 2. The last major development update was in 2019, right before Covid-19 started during the first Exilecon (convention). The second Exilecon is set to take place during the weekend of July 28. Grinding Gear Games will reveal a lot more information about Path of Exile 2, so seeing two different teaser trailers during the Summer Games Fest and PC Gaming Show was a complete surprise thinking they would save them for the convention. I’m guessing they wanted to show their strength with Diablo IV recently released.
The new visuals for Path of Exile 2 are a huge upgrade bringing it up to date with more recent graphics. Not only is Path of Exile 2 going to overhaul the game with new gem mechanics, but a brand new game engine for Path of Exile is going to completely change the experience. One thing incredibly apparent in both teaser trailers is the big upgrade in character animations during combat. The character also appears to be a monk, a brand new class for Path of Exile. Path of Exile 2, (also free-to-play) is looking amazing and July 28th can’t come soon enough to learn more!
2. Baldur’s Gate 3 (August 31, 2023)
Baldur’s Gate 3 is the next computer-RPG sequel after Baldur’s Gate 2 was released in 2000. Larian Studios, who also developed Divinity: Original Sin 2, miraculously obtained the rights to the Baldur’s Gate IP from Wizards of the Coast many years ago and kept it a secret until 2019. Baldur’s Gate is a very well known CRPG franchise that I haven’t played for no true specific reason, I just haven’t. Baldur’s Gate 3 is already in Steam Early Access and looks really good. I’ve been keeping a close eye on this game development, and the more I see like the trailer below makes me want to play it.
3. Nivalis (2024)
Nivalis is a game that immediately caught my eye due to the visuals. This cyberpunk life simulator with beautiful pixel art graphics appears to be incredibly immersive with active surrounding environments. It will naturally be compared to Cyberpunk 2077, but Nivalis is clearly very different. I’ll be keeping this one on my radar for 2024.
4. Islands of Insight (TBA)
Islands of Insight is a puzzle adventure game that is clearly not bland in presentation. One of the biggest issues I’ve had with some puzzle games is they are too bland without much life surrounding the puzzles. Islands of Insight appears to solve this problem with a much more lively and engaging world. I didn’t know this game existed before watching the PC Gaming Show, but now I hope to play it when it comes out because it looks great.
5. Lords of the Fallen (October 13, 2023)
Lords of the Fallen is a reboot of the unsuccessful Lords of the Fallen 2014, a game I avoided. I chose to use the better trailer from the Future Games Show below because it really does a good job explaining and getting me interested in the game. Lords of the Fallen is a ‘souls-like’ RPG and this version seems far more appealing than the original back in 2014. The ability to explore two different parallel realms and manipulate the environment is what caused me to put this in my top five. I don’t know if this will be extremely high on my list to play on October 13th due to other games releasing around this time, but Lords of the Fallen at least looks good and is conceptually appealing.
Expect at least two more showcase special issues. Narrowing to the top five games per showcase wasn’t easy for a lot of the showcases because I was introduced to a lot of interesting games. Games that fall out of my top five will still be covered in other ways.
Expect the next showcase special issue within the week to at least feature:
Future Games Show
OTK Game Expo
Thanks for reading this showcase special issue of Andre’s GameReviewPad!
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