February 28, 2024

summer games

Thousands of athletes and Unified partners will gather on the campuses of Indiana State and Rose Hulman for three days of competition, achievement and celebration. Hundreds of volunteers, sponsors and donors will also participate.

At Summer Game Fest, Sam Lake from Remedy Entertainment was on-stage to promote Alan Wake II, which looks like a survival horror experience that will lean into its gameplay elements heavily. A new trailer for the game was shown.

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is a huge, sprawling roleplaying game that has garnered more awards than a Ukrainian politician. The game’s world is rich with detail, and it’s hard to believe how much work went into crafting every shrubbery, rocky pathway, and winding stairway. The Witcher’s attention to detail is staggering, and it gives the world a sense of life that can’t be found in many other games.

In terms of gameplay, it’s a bit dated now, but it’s still an amazing experience. The pacing of the story is fantastic, and the way the side quests don’t detract from the main narrative really helps keep the game interesting.

CD Projekt Red has been updating the game for new consoles, bringing in a variety of graphical improvements. Players can choose between a 30 FPS mode with ray tracing, or a 60 FPS version without the technology. The company also threw in some additional features, including cross-progress and official integration of community mods.

It’s an impressive update, and one that will help The Witcher stay competitive in the face of newer games like Cyberpunk 2077. If you’re interested in playing it, it’s available now on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The PC version will launch later this month. Ubisoft also gave us a look at a new version of Alan Wake 2. The sequel will feature a closed beta on Android, and will release in January.

Sonic Superstars

The world’s favorite blue blur has been through a lot in his 28-year history. He’s been in three big-budget movies, had an endless list of spinoffs that churned out characters like the edgy Shadow the Hedgehog and the continuity headache-inducing Silver the Cat, and has had an even longer roster of friends and foes.

But while many fans have been clamoring for Sega to take a page from 3D Sonic games and make the series more grandiose, the studio instead has opted to keep things rooted in the 2D roots of the franchise. Its latest title, Sonic Superstars, looks to be taking the series in a whole new direction by adding a handful of new elements.

It combines a 2D game with the sort of modern features that Sonic Mania and 3D titles have brought to the franchise, like co-op and Emerald powers. That’s on top of an all-new setting (the Northstar Islands), new levels, and the return of classic baddies Doctor Eggman and Fang the Sniper.

What makes the team behind Sonic Superstars unique is that it includes the creator of the Mania engine, Christian Whitehead, as well as Sonic Team director Takashi Iizuka and Arzest founder Naoto Ohshima. The trio sought to create a game that stayed loyal to the classic Sonic formula, but also innovated with new gameplay. Fans who played the game at Summer Game Fest Play Days were largely pleased with what they saw.

John Carpenter’s Toxic Commando

Publisher Focus Entertainment and developer Saber Interactive have teamed up for John Carpenter’s Toxic Commando, a gory co-op shooter set to hit PC and Gen9 consoles in 2024. It’s a frenzied first-person shooter that sees players banding together as a team of four to fight massive hordes of mutant monsters.

Players will choose from a variety of class-based character builds, each with their own unique special abilities and weapons. They’ll be able to use firearms, grenades, and even katanas to cut a swathe through the mutant horde on foot or from behind the wheel of a vehicle. There’ll also be a range of perks and gear to unlock, which is sure to give the gameplay a nice dose of variety and replayability.

Toxic Commando promises to combine the buddy-movie vibes of classic John Carpenter movies with “over-the-top action and horror”. You’ll be able to choose from multiple weapons, gear, and vehicles in this explosive cocktail of visceral first-person shooter gameplay, while upgrading your skills and testing them against increasingly hardcore challenges.

It’s worth pointing out that Toxic Commando is being developed by Saber Interactive, the studio that took over lead development of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake from Aspyr last year. While it’s still a little too early to tell how this partnership will affect the KOTOR remake, Saber’s track record is pretty solid, so there’s every reason to remain hopeful.

Alan Wake II

At Summer Game Fest 2023, I got a behind-closed-doors look at Alan Wake II, the sequel 13 years in the making. Creative director Sam Lake told me that the game will feature two playable protagonists – Saga Anderson and Alan Wake himself. The two campaigns will intertwine, with players able to switch between them at key points in the story.

The trailer shows Saga investigating a string of ritualistic murders in Bright Falls, a small town surrounded by the beautiful Pacific Northwest wilderness. As she investigates, her case spirals into a nightmare that mirrors pages from the horror novel she is writing.

As with the original Alan Wake, players can explore a series of gorgeous locales, including the eerie primordial forest around Cauldron Lake and the run-down town of Watery. There are also a handful of Easter eggs scattered throughout, such as a poster in a cabin that advertises the book series it is set in and a thermos that serves as a collectible.

The demo also showcased some of the gameplay, which is third-person like in most Remedy games. Combat is a mix of using your flashlight (a returning feature) to scan the environment, slashing at enemies with your FBI pistol or shotgun and managing your ammunition. Lake told me that the game will be a survival-horror, with resource management more important than combat itself. That’s in keeping with the game’s emphasis on atmosphere and psychological horror, rather than jump scares.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2

It’s been ten years since the original Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine showed us that even though the 41st millennium is dark (or grimdark, if you prefer), there’s no cosmic threat that can’t be solved by a genetically engineered super-soldier blasting through hordes of bloodthirsty Xenos creatures with his bolter and chainsword. Now Saber Interactive is ready to bring back the ferocious Captain Titus for the sequel.

First announced at last year’s The Game Awards 2021, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 looks to pick up where the Relic Entertainment developed original left off. This time, we’ll get to see Titus take on hordes of bloodthirsty Tyranids in both single-player and co-op campaign gameplay.

The new trailer for the game shows off some of that brutal combat, as well as a more fully-rendered model of the Ultramarines’ mighty Captain Titus. The character seems to have crossed the Rubicon Primaris, which means that he’ll be enhanced with the tech of the Adeptus Mechanicus. That’s likely going to mean better destructible environments and an arsenal of powerful weapons, but we’ll have to wait until the game’s release this winter to find out exactly what that means in-game.

Another big improvement from the previous game is that this one will support up to two players in a co-op campaign. This will add a lot of extra ferocity to the slaying of endless hordes of Ripper Swarms and Termagants, as well as make the experience that much more fun.

Yes, Your Grace

The land of Davern is in crisis, famine and pestilence stalking the countryside as barbarians march on the kingdom. As the noble Grey King, it’s your duty to transform this calamity into lasting order in Yes, Your Grace, an ambitious kingdom management game that combines text-based and strategy-oriented gameplay.

The game begins with the king in his dilapidated throne room, his advisor telling him “it’s time”. It’s up to you to rally his forces and repel the invaders, while keeping his people happy on a limited treasury and supplies.

There’s a wealth of options at your fingertips, from helping a flooded village or performing dirty deeds to win the loyalty of lords and knights. There are always looming deadlines, a war to wage or a trial to prepare for. And with each week that passes, there’s another batch of decisions that will affect your kingdom’s future.

Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake II also got a fresh trailer, featuring Sam Lake on-stage and a gameplay clip that leans into the survival-horror aspects. And the 2024 version of Dead By Daylight has a new collaboration with actor Nicholas Cage that was also showcased at Summer Game Fest. Look out for that when the game launches later this year. The full list of games featured at this year’s event can be found on Steam. There are more than 300 titles to check out.