The very best video video games of Summer season Sport Fest Play Days 2023


Digital Traits attended Summer season Sport Fest Play Days as soon as once more this yr, in addition to occasions held by Xbox and Ubisoft, and we have been in a position to play demos of quite a lot of upcoming video games from all corners of the business. We performed or noticed a hands-off demo of over 30 video games slated to launch all through the following yr or so. From new entries in long-running collection like Mortal Kombat or Armored Core to extra quirky and experimental indies which are pushing the online game medium ahead, there was so much for us to love at this Summer season Sport Fest Play Days and its surrounding occasions.

Nonetheless, we talked and narrowed issues all the way down to our ten favorites so you possibly can have a succinct checklist of a few of the best-looking video video games which are on the horizon. In no explicit order- aside from our Sport of the Present – listed here are our 10 favourite video games we performed final week as a part of Summer season Sport Fest.

Sport of the Present: Cocoon

Annapurna Interactive

It’s extremely tough to explain what makes Cocoon so particular; it’s really a kind of video games you might want to really play to grasp. The atmospheric, insect-themed journey sport transported me to a different world solely throughout my demo session, letting me get totally misplaced in its sci-fi ambiance. A part of that’s because of the astonishingly tight sport design that had me traversing its visually hanging environments and naturally fixing puzzles with no rationalization needed. It’s an expertise that caught with me lengthy after I put the controller down, and I wasn’t the one one. It was the one sport on my friends’ tongues all weekend, as each press and content material creators couldn’t cease praising it regardless of not having the ability to describe why. That makes it a simple choose for our sport of the present, beating out some spectacular Titans on this checklist. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

Armored Core VI: Flames of Rubicon

A combat encounter in Armored Core 6
Bandai Namco Leisure

A short 20-minute hands-off theater presentation for Armored Core VI: Flames of Rubicon did sufficient to rocket enhance FromSoftware’s upcoming mecha sport onto this checklist. It’s in contrast to something we’ve gotten from the developer over the previous decade, however that’s a nasty factor. Its frenetic gameplay and intense enemy encounters seem like they may always preserve gamers on their toes, whereas deep customization choices will enable gamers to adapt their mech to their favourite play model or what’s greatest for a given encounter. Armored Core VI’s August 25 launch can’t come quickly sufficient. ~ Tomas Franzese

Mortal Kombat 1

Key art for Mortal Kombat 1 shows Liu Kang.

After falling in love with Road Fighter 6 this month, I used to be excited to present one other preventing sport an opportunity. I’d get to do this at Play Days with a restricted construct of Mortal Kombat 1, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Apart from its stomach-churning fatalities, what actually stands out right here is its Kameo system, which lets gamers name in a second character to carry out some further assaults. It’s a small system that has a huge impact, giving gamers tons of how to get artistic with their playstyle and simply lengthen combos in sudden methods. That ought to pave the way in which for one more genre-pushing preventing sport that may go toe-to-toe with Road Fighter 6 later this yr. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

Prince of Persia: The Misplaced Crown

Sargon attacks a boss in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown.

A complete left-field shock to kick off this yr’s Summer season Sport Fest stream, Prince of Persia: The Misplaced Crown rapidly grew to become some of the talked about video games of a really busy weekend. And whereas it wasn’t playable at Play Days correct, Ubisoft invited us to demo it at a close-by occasion, together with The Division Resurgence and The Crew Motorfest. After 30 minutes with The Misplaced Crown, I can guarantee you that the 2D motion sport deserved the highlight it obtained. It’s shaping as much as be a unbelievable Metroidvania with deceptively advanced fight, rewarding exploration, and an extremely cool sense of favor. It’s the whole bundle, operating laps round a variety of a lot greater, flashier video games we noticed throughout Summer season Sport Fest. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

Disney Phantasm Island

Donald Duck tries to fly in Disney Illusion Island.

Punching approach above its weight as a licensed platformer starring Mickey Mouse, Disney Phantasm Island impressed at Summer season Sport Fest Play Days. This can be a beautiful, full-blown Metroidvania starring 4 iconic Disney characters, and whereas every of them might not have a singular moveset, the sport is a pleasure to play. It additionally doesn’t function any fight and permits gamers to decide on how a lot well being they need their character to have after they begin taking part in, so the expertise is tailor-made to all ages. On high of that, this sport is solely playable in co-op and has co-op unique mechanics that encourage gamers to assist one another out. Irrespective of should you want Mickey Mouse or Metroid, you’ll get one thing nice out of Disney Phantasm Island. ~ Tomas Franzese


A character looks at a Mega Man like power-up in Viewfinder.
Unhappy Owl Studios

Viewfinder is the sort of sport that you possibly can throw in a room with 1,000 demos and it could nonetheless stand out. That’s because of its distinctive twist, the place gamers can seamlessly flip 2D photographs into full 3D environments. That creates an unbelievably intelligent puzzle sport hook that feels such as you’re watching an not possible magic trick. Although I’d already gotten to see it in motion at GDC earlier this yr, I used to be nonetheless blown away seeing the way it works. It’s a really particular piece of sport design that I’m dying to dig into when it launches on July 18. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

Easier Instances

Taina's bedroom in Simpler Times.

Unpacking walked so Easier Instances might run. Easier Instances is a reasonably easy sport a few younger lady packing up issues round her childhood residence as she prepares to go off to varsity. As an alternative of being a somber expertise like that premise may make you assume, that is really one thing way more optimistic and reflective. It struck a private chord with me as I’m transferring fairly quickly, however I’m quickly anybody who has even gone via a big life change that’s made them replicate on their previous will get one thing, hopefully constructive, out of taking part in Easier Instances. ~ Tomas Franzese

Alan Wake 2

FBI agent Saga Anderson exits a car in the Alan Wake 2 trailer.
Treatment Leisure

Although we didn’t get to bodily play Alan Wake 2 at Summer season Sport Fest, a 40-minute gameplay demonstration would inform us greater than sufficient in regards to the upcoming survival horror sport. The spectacular snippet I noticed traded in a few of the pulpy horror of its predecessor for a darkish, moody FBI investigation that felt extra like True Detective than Twin Peaks. I’d get to see loads of gameplay that piqued my curiosity, from Resident Evil 2-style capturing to an intriguing investigation mechanic that lets co-lead character Saga work out the sport’s central thriller on an proof board. What’s thrilling is that the clip I noticed is simply half of the sport, because the elements starring Alan Wake himself are purported to play in a different way. Contemplating how creepy the part I noticed was, I’m wanting ahead to seeing how else developer Treatment can scare the crap out of me. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

Sonic Superstars

Sonic runs through a level in Sonic Superstars

My private emotions about Sonic Frontiers apart, Sonic Superstars is shaping as much as be a unbelievable 2D platformer that may assist push the Sonic the Hedgehog collection ahead. Its solid-level design and new Emerald Powers allow all of the exploration and motion choices one would need out of a 2D Sonic the Hedgehog sport, and the 4 bosses we fought in its Summer season Sport Fest Play Days demo construct have been a few of the greatest in the whole collection. And, whereas we didn’t get to attempt it, this sport will even function co-op to reap the benefits of its a number of playable characters. Sonic followers haven’t any have to be fearful about Superstars, as even a Frontiers hater like me could be very a lot wanting ahead to it. ~ Tomas Franzese

Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior

Remnants attack a shielded enemy in Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior.

I at all times respect seeing a tried-and-true method shaken up in a approach that I’m not anticipating. That was precisely what I obtained once I demoed Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior, a brand new indie printed by Quantic Dream. At first, I assumed it was your common top-down, hack-and-slash motion sport. I’d quickly notice there was way more to it, although, as I’d be taught its core cloning hook. When getting into a fight area, gamers have 15 seconds to do as a lot as doable earlier than they’re respawned as a brand new model of themselves. They then work alongside each clone that got here earlier than them to completely clear the room in a single brief loop. It’s an ingenious concept that makes it really feel extra like a strategic puzzle sport than simply one other motion sport. ~ Giovanni Colantonio

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