E3 2019 Recap: The PC Gaming Show

Yeah, at some point we had to talk about it. Look, the PC Gaming Show could have been a great way of celebrating the growth of our favorite gaming platform but instead, it ended up being the vehicle that showcased once more that certain big publishers don’t really care about their fans’ wishes and only want that big paycheck. Yes, there were some nice announcements, but a single really awkward (and crappy) moment managed to sour me on the whole thing. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Shenmue 3 is an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC, Kickstarter backers might not get refunds

Let’s start with the announcement that pretty much defined the PC Gaming Show for me. After a trailer that didn’t fill most fans’ hearts with hope, we got confirmation that the highly anticipated third entry in the Shenmue franchise, a game that only exists thanks to the passion (and hard earned dollars) of its fan base, is now an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC.

I think that the worst part of this sudden switch is that the publisher outright denied refunds to those affected, only seemingly changing its stance after there was enough backlash that the game’s name will probably be forever tarnished with the news of its disrespect of the very people that helped fund it. Yes, Deep Silver and Ys Net are now saying that they are “listening to fans’ concerns“, but their first reaction was a very stern “no refunds” letter.

Evil Genius is back, with a world domination plot set to hatch in 2020

Rebellion had a few announcements this E3, but none fills my heart with happiness more than the news that they are working on Evil Genius 2: World Domination. It’s been too long since we role-played as an evil mastermind hell bent on world domination, so the game’s 2020 release window can’t get here soon enough.

Evil Genius 2 is a satirical spy-fi lair builder, where players take control of an Evil Genius and set their plans for world domination in motion. When it feels this good to be bad, the Forces of Justice don’t stand a chance!

Build your own unique evil lair and cover operation, Train a force of criminal minions, Defend your Lair from the Forces of Justice, and Dominate the world with a Doomsday Device in this direct sequel to the 2004 cult classic!

Cruel Constructions!

Every villain needs an island lair, so pick your paradise and put your own sinister stamp on it! Shape the internal structure of your hazardous hideaway to fit your play-style, and construct wonderfully wicked devices for your minions to put to use.

Atrocious Anti-Heroes!

Competence isn’t going to cut it when you’re running an evil operation. As you expand and train your minion workforce, you can create new specialists to help further your evil plans! Need something a little more…intimidating? Recruit powerful Henchmen that complement your play style; every mastermind needs a right hand…or several, in fact!

Dastardly Devices!

The Forces of Justice are annoyingly punctual, so supplement your brute force by researching and developing a series of trap networks! Send those do-gooders spinning with a Pinball Bumper, or put the chomp on them with the Venus Spy-Trap. While one trap is good, more is…evil-er. Combo your traps to banish intruders for good!

Nefarious Plots!

Carry out evil schemes to further your plot to build a Doomsday Device and dominate the world! Sell the British Royal Family, Kidnap the Governor of Maine, and literally BAKE ALASKA. With hundreds of potential objectives, variety is the spice of strife.

There’s a new Zombie Army title in town, but it’s an Epic Games Store exclusive

Did you think Shenmue 3 was the only EGS exclusive revealed during the Epic-sponsored PC Gaming Show? Think again, because Rebellion is the latest publisher jumping onboard Tim Sweeney’s train of riches and Steam-less releases. The good news? Zombie Army 4: Dead War is the new entry in the cooperative Nazi zombie killing series that is not part of Call of Duty. The bad? You guessed it, EGS-clusive. I guess they must have had a “bloody good reason” to make it exclusive, considering that Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said he wasn’t a big believer in exclusives a month ago.

The year is 1946. Europe lies in ruins, torn apart by the nefarious “Plan Z.” A brave band of heroes cast the Führer into hell but little do they know … Hitler’s Hordes are back for more!

Face the darkness in single player or team up with friends as you blast your way through Nazi undead in this spine-chilling shooter from the makers of Sniper Elite 4.

• A horrifying new campaign for 1-4 players

• Epic weapons, skills and upgrades

• The organ-busting X-ray kill camera returns!

Vermintide 2 is getting a PvP mode

Developers Fatshark have long been asked to include a Versus mode in their Warhammer Fantasy Battles cooperative first person slashers, but until this week, they’d always shut down the idea because they felt that their strength was making great co-op experiences. Well, that has changed now, and Vermintide 2 will get a player versus player mode in the (near?) future. Here’s a trailer to get your hype levels up:

Vermintide 2 – Versus is a new player vs player game mode for Warhammer: Vermintide 2. It will be 4 vs 4 gameplay, and you will be able to play as dark pact characters from both the Skaven and Chaos, as well as the Heroes of Ubersreik. Take turns playing on the hero or the dark pact side.

If this game mode is as good as the base game (and I don’t doubt that it will be, considering the developer’s history), then the Warhammer: Vermintide franchise might manage to convince Left 4 Dead stalwarts that their now-dormant franchise finally has a worthy spiritual successor (and yeah, I agree that they should have already been convinced with the content that’s already available, but some people require extra convincing, OK?).

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare 2 is a thing, will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store

I really want to know what was going on at Torn Banner Studios HQ the day they decided to reveal a sequel to the beloved (but sadly mistreated) Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and make it an Epic Games Store exclusive in the same universe that has seen the rise of Mordhau. Their fan base is already quite divided, as Torn Banner didn’t really maintain the first Chivalry for long, instead letting “ballerinas” (people who would spin quickly in place, killing opponents even if they were actually situated at their back) take over the most popular servers and then releasing a magic-focused spin-off that died an untimely death even before launch. Revealing that Chivalry 2 will only be available on the EGS might have been the final nail in the coffin for many loyal fans that hoped things would change but well, I’m not a business man, so maybe I got things wrong, right?

Prepare to return to the ultimate medieval battlefield.

Torn Banner Studios are excited to announce Chivalry: Medieval Warfare 2, the sequel to 2012’s critically acclaimed hit title. Chivalry 2 is a multiplayer first person slasher inspired by epic medieval movie battles.

The game was announced June 10 at the E3 2019 presentation of the PC Gaming Show.

Chivalry 2 is developed by Torn Banner Studios, published by Tripwire Interactive and will be available for PC on the Epic Games Store at its launch in 2020. It will release on other PC platforms 12 months later.

Planet Zoo is coming to Steam on November 5, 2019

Frontier Developments is eager to show people that they are at their peak when it comes to making tycoon games, so they took advantage of the increased visibility that comes with E3 to reveal that Planet Zoo will be out on November 5th. Oh, and you can already preorder the game if that’s your thing (US$44.99 for the Standard Edition, 54.99 for the Deluxe)

Build a world for wildlife in Planet Zoo. From the developers of Planet Coaster and Zoo Tycoon comes the ultimate zoo sim. Construct detailed habitats, manage your zoo, and meet authentic living animals who think, feel and explore the world you create around them.

Klei is rebooting Griftlands as a single-player deck building game, Alpha exclusive to the Epic Games Store for a year, Early Access and full release will come to Steam

Klei Entertainment originally revealed Griftlands two years ago, and back then the idea for the game was that it would be a fully featured RPG with simulation elements. Over time, the studio realized things weren’t going according to plan, so the game is very different now, shedding its RPG elements and trading them for deck building mechanics. If you were into it for its beautiful hand-drawn sci-fi aesthetics, then you aren’t losing anything, since those are still in (yay!). Oh, one more thing, the Alpha will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store for a year, but once the game hits Early Access, it’ll be available on Steam as well. As a bonus, people who buy the game in Alpha will get a Steam key free of charge so they can switch platforms at will.

I really can’t fault Klei for taking this deal, as they’ve worked to ensure that players can move back to Steam down the line at no extra cost. Yeah, if you aren’t too thrilled about the idea of having the Epic Games Launcher on your computer, you might have to wait a year, but at least they are being very open about the way things are going. Regarding the gameplay changes, I’m also a big fan of Klei talking to their community about everything that’s been going on since the game was originally revealed back in 2017. Transparency is always good. Griftlands‘ Alpha build will be live on the Epic Games Store on July 11th and it’ll retail for US$14.99. Players who prefer to wait for the Early Access version on Steam (out June 2020) can wishlist the game here.

Starmancer is a new space station simulator that lets you play as an AI

Space station simulators aren’t exactly dime a dozen, so forgive me if I’m a bit hyped for Ominux Games‘ upcoming Starmancer. The fact that I’ve always felt that HAL 9000 and I could be great friends doesn’t help with my excessive excitement about this new Chucklefish-published title either, as the player will control an artificial intelligence that is not forced to obey protocol if things get hairy. Oh, and you can always grow more humans if the ones you’ve got at the beginning suffer an untimely demise. Sold!

After a catastrophe on Earth, humanity launches the Starmancer Initiative in a desperate attempt to seek refuge among the stars. Millions of refugees upload their consciousness into your memory banks–entrusting their minds and the future of the human race to an Artificial Intelligence, a Starmancer. To you.

Your task as a Starmancer is to construct and manage a space station capable of sustaining human life, regrow bodies for the thousands of minds trapped in your memory banks, and to defend your station at any cost. Hopefully your governing protocols weren’t damaged during the flight.

Starmancer offers gameplay with consequences, a living sandbox environment, crafting, and managing the daily lives of colonists.

Create a utopian society where everyone is well fed, happy, and safe. Or go rogue and figure out how many times a colonist can eat wheat before they go crazy. Play however you want.

Nomadic survival MMO Last Oasis gets Early Access release on September 3, 2019

I’ve been burned by far too many Early Access survival titles, but Last Oasis seems interesting enough that I’ll give it a chance come September 3rd. After all, this is the first game featuring strandbeest-looking walking fortresses that I’ve ever seen.

Keep moving, the world is dying in this Nomadic Survival MMO. Build walking mobile bases and travel to new lands. Create clans and fight for territory. Resources deplete fast, so take your sword and scavenge, pirate, and trade to stay alive.

Wait, is that it? Not really, as a number of other games also got revealed or showcased pretty trailers. However, this post has been a bit long, so we have to stop somewhere, and if you remember what I said at the start of this recap series, I’m only posting about the stuff I found interesting. Here‘s the website for the PC Gaming Show if you wish to see the rest of the announcements.

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