PC gaming arrives at E3 2017
Gaming in the world of the overclockers has always felt like an afterthought at E3, but recent years have seen AMD, Nvidia, Intel and more show some serious investment and attention in the year's most massive games expo.
2017’s iteration of the PC Gaming Show was the biggest one yet, and featured some of the most exciting games from triple-A giants to finely-tuned indie darlings ready to dazzle.
Over the next few slides we’ll unveil the return of a real-time strategy giant, a neon-lit 2D platformer, an anthropomorphic isometric hack ‘n’ slasher and a multiplayer shooter with eyes on triple-A stardom. Oh, and a game that’s basically Harvest Moon meets Pokemon.
Who says PC games are all the same, eh?
Some games just want to be nice, wrapped in bubble wrap and cotton candy and surrounded by kittens.
One of those games is the very cute and oh-so-sickly sweet Ooblets - which looks and plays a bit like a cross between The Sims, Pokemon and Harvest Moon.
Sound weird? Just wait until you see it in motion - it’s certainly one of the odder things you’ll see at E3 this year.
Ooblets tasks you with managing your own farm, growing and training your titular Ooblets and heading out to explore the world around you.
You even get to run a shop then head off to travel strange new lands, battle wild Ooblets and other Ooblet trainers, and unlock the mysteries of Oob. Sounds a lot like Pokemon, doesn’t it? But hey, if you’re going to take inspiration, it might as well be from the best. Ooblets due out on and Xbox One in 2018.
Total Warhammer 2
The second part of a planned trilogy of real-time strategy games from Creative Assembly, Total Warhammer 2 will feature four new races at launch.
You can play as the savage Lizardmen, the regal High Elves, the shadowy Dark Elves and a mysterious fourth race yet to be revealed. These four races will feature in the story mode, but CA has confirmed that all the races you owned in the first game will be unlocked for multiplayer in this grand Warhammer sequel.
We’re told the game's campaign will be a lot more narrative-driven than the sandbox campaign of the first game, with each race battling to save or destroy the Great Vortex over Ulthuan.
Gameplay will tighter and faster, with a greater emphasis on bringing out the diversity in each race. CA are the masters of real-time strategy, so we can’t wait to take Total Warhammer 2 when it arrives 28 September 2017.
Formerly known as Secret Legend, Tunic might just be the cutest isometric hack ‘n’ slasher we’ve ever seen.
As an anthropomorphic fox dressed as a knight, Tunic tasks you we slashing your way past puzzles, locating new weapons and taking on a variety of enemies with a combat model that rewards well-timed dodges and parries.
Think the old Redwall books or the excellent virtual tabletop game Armello and Tunic’s frankly gorgeous polygonal art style will pull you in immediately.
Coming off the excellent and bright Rime, the sheer amount of colour bursting off screen is a joy. There’s a Metroidvania-feel at work here as well, with certain paths blocked unless you locate a certain weapon or tool. Tunic is definitely one to watch. No word on a release date as yet.
Based on the classic tabletop game of the same name, BattleTech is an upcoming turn-based strategy game which successfully funded its development through Kickstarter (including a full single-player campaign, an expansion for that very story and a new PvP multiplayer mode).
The team behind it also includes devs who've worked on MechCommander and MechAssault, so you know this team loves its mechs.
The big focus for BattleTech is tactically targeting certain components on your opponent and stripping away their armour so certain weapons or limbs can be disarmed and removed.
Not only does this slow down your foe, but it enables you to salvage these parts to repair and upgrade your own BattleTech mech post-battle. Each mech contains 11 armour points and layers of inner components, so planning your strikes is key to BattleTech glory. It’s due later this year.
The Last Night
Drawing inspiration from the Oddworld games of old, the game is part platformer and part point-and-click adventure, with a big focus on real-time puzzles (such as breaking into a certain room or reaching an area unnoticed).
The game is set across multiple nights, with NPCs that actively remember your actions from previous encounters - so if you cut a dialogue halfway through, that character will remember it and act ruder to you the next time you cross paths.
There’s combat there, too, although we’re most excited to see this Blade Runner-esque story unfold when it arrives next year on Xbox One and Windows 10.
Echo Arena/Lone Echo
Coming from Ready At Dawn, the studio that brought us the PSP God of War games and the poorly received (but utterly beautiful to look at) The Order 1886 on , Echo Arena is one of the first proper second-generation VR titles and serves as a sister title to RAD’s other project, a poignant Adr1ft-style narrative in space.
Yes, actual free for your super-powered VR headset. The mode also serves as a poster boy for Intel’s new eSports league in partnership with ESL. No word yet on when either project will arrive on Oculus Rift.
Klei, the makers of the brutal yet endlessly addictive Don’t Starve and Don’t Starve Together, has just unveiled its long-teased new IP, a sci-fi RPG called Grift Lands.
With a unique art style that’s part The Banner Saga, part comic series Saga, Grift Lands looks to contain a galaxy-crossing story with side-on team-based and turn-based combat.
It’s certainly a step away from the studio’s work on the Don’t Starve series, but even with only a few details teased and a short trailer, Grift Lands has already generated a huge wave of hype. It’s due out next year (we hope) and you can check out its .
Despite being known for the military shooter series Arma, developer Bohemia has been working on something very different in the form of Y-Lands (pronounced ‘aye-lands’).
Think of it as Bohemia’s attempt to marry the crafting creativity of Minecraft with the deeper systems the studio has become known for with the Arma games. Y-Lands attempts to offer a lot of content, with crafting, exploration, randomly-generated areas and both singleplayer and multiplayer content.
The game is due to hit Steam Early Access later this year, but in the meantime you can sign up to play Y-Lands alpha, which is currently up and running.
Any title attempting to play Minecraft at its own game often comes up short (just look at Lego Worlds), but Arma is a very talented studio and the cartoony art style of Y-Lands could help it over the hill. We’re just concerned it’s not offering too much as to put off casual players.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Age of Empires, the classic RTS that helped make PC gaming what it is today, and what better way to reminisce on the good old days than a fully remastered version for the modern era?
That’s right, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition sees the original game remastered in 4K, with manual zoom control, a fully re-recorded soundtrack and enhanced gameplay across the board.
We’d heard rumours that Microsoft had something big planned for the Age of Empires brand in time for the anniversary, and it looks like it has more news planned for GamesCom in August.
We’re pretty confident to hedge our bets that we might just be seeing Age of Empires 4 before the year is out. Age of Empires Definitive Edition will launch later this year, and you can sign up to the Beta via .
According to the potty-mouthed creator and head of Boss Key Productions, the game will arrive in full on 8 August with a price tag of $30 (expect it to be slightly less in UK Sterling).
There won’t be any cross-platform play between users shooting it up on PS4 and Windows 10 (boo), but Bleszinski did confirm the game is getting a closed Beta on 28 June and an open Beta on 29 June.
LawBreakers, with its gravity-defying action, could be a hit if Boss Key manages to iron out the kinks we’ve seen so far. Roll on the Betas then...
- E3 is the world's largest exhibition for the games industry, stuffed full of the latest and greatest games, consoles, and gaming hardware. TechRadar is reporting live from Los Angeles all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about the next year in gaming.