E3 2017: Highlights from the PC Gamer Show

For the last three years, E3 has had a somewhat related side show accompanying it run by PC Gamer Magazine. The PC Gaming show now celebrates its third outing with another hour-plus stream of games and announcements, and they’re all centred on the PC platform. If you follow me after the jump, I’ll sum up some of the new game announcements, and follow up on some thoughts about the show.

First trailer for XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

War of the Chosen is an expansion for XCOM 2 that takes players to new locations, with new characters, races, and tactics to play with as all as new tactics from the game’s AI to take into account. XCOM 2 is a little over a year old at this point, so it’s good to see it get some attention. War of the Chosen launches on 29 August 2017, and XCOM 2 is on sale this week with 60% off the game’s base price of R599.

Ooblets will make you question what you’ve just seen

Ooblets, by Glumberland, is this horribly adorable mash-up of what looks like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. And Pokémon. You can train your ooblets to do things, you can farm, you can explore the land, you can battle other wild ooblets(?), and “unlock the mysteries of Oob.” If you’re a Harvest Moon fan who hasn’t quite had enough of games that are ridiculously kawaii, then maybe this is for you. Ooblets launches in 2018.

BattleTech, a tabletop strategy game, comes to PC

Battletech is a new game by developers Hairbrained Schemes, responsible for previous games and board games like Shadowrun, Crimson Skies (a 2000-era Microsoft Game Studios title), and Golem Arcana. It’s an adaption of the Mechwarrior franchise from a tabletop perspective, and the game uses a semi-isometric viewpoint to give you a lay of the land. The game has some elements of XCOM in its campaign, with multiple mechs under you command fighting battles in different regions around the game’s world. Originally slated for an early 2017 release, Battletech is now launching in the second half of 2017.

Here’s another teaser for Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord

By the way, Bannerlord has been in development for five years. It’s been teased at every PC Gamer show to date, and there’s still no launch date.

Total War: Warhammer 2 gets its first gameplay trailer

Creative Assembly appeared briefly to show a trailer for Total War: Warhammer 2. The sequel will now include four playable races from the Warhammer universe, and will use the same engine as Total War: Warhammer. It launches on 28 September 2017.

Tunic is extremely cute

Tunic, by Finji, is an isometric adventure game where you play as a little fox exploring his world. Puzzles, boss battles, and more will feature, and the game should be easy to run on just about anything with its simple cel-shaded graphics. This is a 2018 release.

Ylands is a hybrid of Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Besiege

Ylands is a sandbox adventure game with a number of gameplay elements leeched from titles like Mojang’s Minecraft and Rare’s Sea of Thieves, but it also allows players to craft game modes within it. Ylands is an early access game currently listed on Steam, opening to interested players in the second half of 2017.

The Last Night, now with gameplay footage

A 2D side-scrolling cyberpunk dystopian world in the vein of Blade Runner awaits. I mean, what more do you need to be sold on this? The Last Night will launch in 2018.

Klei Entertainment announces Griftlands

Klei Entertainment is a rather eclectic developer, with a number of titles under its belt like Don’t Starve, Shank, and Mark of the Ninja. Griftlands is a science fiction steampunk adventure RPG rendered in the style of an animated motion picture (I couldn’t find a single word for this, so I went with many of them!). You and your band of adventurers embark on a journey into a universe where everything, including morality, has a price tag. Griftlands is a 2018 release.

Wargroove is a new take on the Advance Wars series

I wasn’t much of an Advance Wars fan, but my brother Matthew was, and this will be right up the alley of many fans of real-time, tile-based strategy games. Chucklefish’s Wargroove is a Nintendo Switch title, but a PC port is in the works and the game will, surprisingly, find its way onto the PC platform through the Windows Store, bundled as a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) game. This is the same developer that made the acclaimed Starbound.

Microsoft Studios announces Age of Empires Definitive Edition

At first, Age of Empires fans thought they were finally getting the long-awaited sequel in the series, Age of Empires 4. That did not happen.

Instead, Microsoft Studios is remastering the original Age of Empires, bringing it into the modern era and making it playable on Windows XP, Vista, 8/8.1, and Windows 10. The entire game has been reworked from the ground up, featuring higher quality units and better textures, newly recorded audio, new gameplay mechanics added into the game taken from its sequels, and full networking support using Xbox Live (although, don’t expect Windows XP or Vista to support multiplayer). The game also includes the original expansion, The Rise of Rome, which gets the same treatment.

That’s all the important bits from the PC Gamer Show for E3 2017, which officially starts today and is open to the public for the second year in a row. Keep an eye out for our other coverage coming later today.