E3 2016: PC Gaming Show highlights

A couple of hours’ worth of announcements for all things PC at the second PC Gaming Show briefing at E3 2016.

E3 2016: PC Gaming Show highlights

There’s a whole lot to get through for the PC Gaming Show, the second time it’s been at E3, so let’s get cracking. Sean “Day[9]” Plott was back to host proceedings, and I was particularly excited that the first game shown off was Dawn of War III. There was gameplay footage, too, and suffice it to say, it was particularly amazing. Towering hero units, massive armies, plenty of explosions, and an orbital bombardment laser made for a strong start to the briefing. You should definitely check that out on the PC Gaming Show videos page when it goes live.

There’s a game called Oxygen Not Included coming later this year from Clay Entertainment, the developers behind Don’t Starve and Mark of the Ninja. The team behind ARK: Survival Evolved has reportedly hired certain skilled mod creators to help them expand their core game, as a couple of devs were on hand to promote a new area with giant trees that can’t be harvested, which means you can build your own Ewok village. There’s a new dinosaur incoming, the Titanosaurus. As the name implies, it’s the biggest dino in the game, and you can even build fortresses on its back.

ARK developer Studio Wildcard has also teamed up with Instinct Games to create ARK: Primal Survival, which lets players take on the role of the dinosaurs, instead of playing as humans. Things got weird for a bit with a trailer for Giant Cop: Justice Above All. It’s a stylised VR title where the player is a towering cop whose job it is to police a city of smaller inhabitants.

Mount & Blade II Bannerlord looks pretty damn sweet, as community manager Frank Elliott provided commentary for an impressive backdrop of siege gameplay. There’s reportedly around 500 combatants involved in sieges (150 defenders, 350 attackers), which starts with bombarding a castle on the campaign map before actually moving to the ground-level assault. There’s a variety of options for attacking castles, and tactical destruction comes into play, with plenty of fighting on the ramparts to keep things fun and bloody.

Deck13 Interactive, the team behind Lords of the Fallen, is releasing a third-person action game called The Surge. Cliff Bleszinski was on hand to talk about LawBreakers, and show off new map Promenade, which is a sci-fi reconstruction of Santa Monica. There were 5,000 closed alpha keys given away when he was on stage, and they were snapped up moments after their availability was announced. According to this page, the closed alpha will be going live later this week.

AMD CEO Lisa Su took to the stage to showcase a few new AMD cards, starting with the reasonably priced RX 480 (at least in US dollars) card aimed at VR use, with the RX 470 offering performance and low-power usage, and the RX 460 reportedly aimed at the eSports market. An Alienware rig built into a backpack was modelled for mobile Full HD VR capabilities, which was powered by an RX 480. Su also announced a new enthusiast-targeted Zen CPU, and Serious Sam VR will release in the coming months, powered by Liquid VR software.

Speaking of VR, Superhot had a short VR trailer, which seems a good fit for the game, and Killing Floor Incursion is a House of the Dead-like take on the Killing Floor franchise. Killing Floor 2 was back on stage for the second year in a row, once again promoting upcoming content, which this time features community maps, new weapons and abilities, as well as the option to play as the zeds. There’s a free Steam weekend later this week if you want to take the new content for a spin.

Obsidian is making a new RPG called Tyranny, and the Layers of Fear developer is creating a sci-fi horror game called Observer. Jason Coleman from Sparkypants is working on an RTS called Dropzone, which promises quick 15-minute strategy matches, but it looked more like a MOBA than a strategy title.

Arma III was back for a second helping of the PC Gaming Show, this time to promote the upcoming Apex expansion. If you’ve pre-ordered it and are part of the development build, you can download Apex now, which means there’s a chance there’ll be mods available when it launches on the 11th of July for everyone else.

The sci-fi trappings were strong with the next four games. The Turing Test is a Europa-based puzzler from Square Enix that looks like Portal without the portals. Finji is building Overland, a stylised turn-based RPG set in the post-apocalypse, wherein players have to survive in a hostile world. Dual Universe, which is currently in pre-alpha with a full alpha planned for early next year, looks like a prettier No Man’s Sky in a space-based MMO brimming with emergent gameplay that encourages players to create the structures, ships, and organisations around them.

Dan Ayoub from 343 Industries talked about Halo Wars 2, which releases on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One on the 21st of February in 2017. PC players might not be involved in the current beta, but Ayoub pledged that the Windows 10 version wouldn’t have ported controls, and you can expect it to have all of the keyboard/mouse trappings of a classic RTS game. It’s being designed with casual and hardcore players in mind, with the idea being that there will be modes that are lighter on resource management and more action-heavy for newcomers, with other traditional modes dedicated to seasoned strategy players who are adept at balancing macro and micro tasks.

New World Interactive, the makers of Insurgency, promoted the Early Access release of Day of Infamy, the World War II that’s first hitting Steam next month. The makers of Chivalry are making another gory melee-based game, except this time it throws magic into the mix and boasts a stylised art direction. It’s called Mirage: Arcane Warfare and there’s a beta coming in the next couple of months.

Warframe is scoring a new game mode called Lunaro, which looks to be inspired by Rocket League or Quidditch, in that it’s a sports multiplayer mode within the usually action-oriented title. Mages of Mystralia is an action-adventure game with a novel spell-creation system that’ll be available next year, and you’ll be able to check out the trailer for it, and everything else, on the videos page once it’s live.

The last game was also shown off last year, but that’s not a bad thing because it was the opening level of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and it’s always great to see more of that game in action. A couple of Eidos-Montreal devs talked over a gameplay demonstration set in Dubai as returning protagonist Adam Jensen made his way through an abandoned hotel in a race against time before a dust storm hits. You can take your time, if you like, and you’ll end up having to deal with the storm, or you can speed-run your way through the level to avoid its impact. There wasn’t much new on offer, mind you, but the devs did mention you can scale the UI and you can now move between cover items ahead of you, and perform takedowns from cover.

That was the last game on show, but the PC Gaming Show officially concluded with an interesting chat from Warren Spector, an industry legend who’s been in the biz for more than thirty years. Spector talked candidly about his history with the PC, including a time when he fell prey to the belief that PC gaming was dead, and offered some interesting behind-the-scenes truths about the development of Deus Ex: Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows.

It was a fitting way to end the show, which was thankfully a lot shorter than its inaugural appearance last year, which meant that there was a good balance of shorter segments and chats with developers about a variety of interesting games. Be sure to jump back to the E3 2016 news hub to check out the videos from the PC Gaming Show, as well as all other things E3 as they go live.

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