E3 2017 was a busy one. There were more games announced than any single PC gamer can possibly keep track of, and many of the ones that slip through the cracks don't deserve to. So in the same style as my weekly posting rounding up five new Steam games you probably missed, I decided to highlight some of the hidden gems of E3. Games that may not have taken the spotlight or been given long segments at press conferences, but are worth a closer look.
Release date: To be announced
Unruly Heroes is an action-adventure platformer designed around and inspired by the story Journey to the West, also known as The Monkey King. It's an extremely pretty game, with 2D animation that remind me of Rayman Legends and a color palette I haven't really seen in many other games. It can be played alone or up to four player co-op, with each of the playable characters having very unique moves and abilities—it's also got a PvP mode, if you're into that sort of thing.
Last Day of June
Release date: 2017
Last Day of June is probably going to make me cry. It's an adventure game where you follow a couple visiting their favorite spot, needing to make decisions to progress through the story—and from the looks of the trailer above, things get dark if you don't make the right choices. The Steam page describes it as a "cinematic experience" a couple of times, meaning it's likely going to be a bit on rails, but it still looks lovely. If large, light bulb-headed people aren't your thing I won't hold that against you, but I look forward to seeing more of what this game has to offer.
Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
Release date: August 15, 2017
It's not every day you see a novel get the game treatment, especially one as well known as The Pillars of the Earth. It's an adventure game that retells the story of the book as its characters age over decades. It's going to be split into three parts, the first of which is only a couple months away, and will come with a ($30) season pass that includes all three together. Other than Pillars' authentic focus on medieval life, what really caught our eye here is the art, which includes hand-painted backgrounds and some beautiful 2D animations.
Unto the End
Release date: 2018
A trend that seemed to appear when compiling this list was drop dead gorgeous 2D platformers, as can be seen in both Unruly Heroes at the top and this one, Unto The End. In true God of War fashion, you play a man whose family has been slaughtered, and you fight your way through the frozen wastes looking for vengeance. The combat is much slower than Unruly Heroes, focusing more on timing your dodges and swings against each enemy. The art looks almost like pieces of paper moving across each other with simple colors and shapes, and I think it works wonderfully for the setting.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
Release date: "Coming Soon"
The trailer for A Plague Tale: Innocence was both extremely upsetting while also doing good job of giving a sense of the gameplay entirely through cinematic. You play as a brother and sister trying to escape the Inquisition while also not getting eaten alive by "supernatural swarms of rats," which is as noble a goal as any I've heard. Rats = bad, got it. You ward them off using torches and lanterns, and the gruesome results of not having those at your disposal can be seen above. It's disappointing that we haven't seen some actual gameplay, but it's still an exciting trailer to come out of a busy show.
The Swords of Ditto
Release date: 2018
The Swords of Ditto was announced by publisher Devolver Digital just before E3, but we didn't get many details until the Sony gameplay demo, seen above. It's an adorable top-down co-op action game that condenses a full RPG into two-hour chunks. You play through a whole story in that short burst, and your actions, successes, and failures then get passed down as legend for the next round you play, which picks up in the same land 100 years later. Despite its childish appearance Ditto looks like a surprisingly deep and challenging action game.
Release date: To be announced
Okay, if you're a regular PC Gamer reader, odds are you didn't miss Hunt: Showdown. Early last week Steven said it was just incredible, so much so that we named it our best game of E3 and explained all the reasons to be excited for it. But even still, Hunt: Showdown came out of nowhere. It wasn't playable, only shown as a hands-off demo at the show (which you can watch above), but it still made a huge impression. A PvP game where five teams of two have to track and hunt a monster, kill it, and then escape with an item from it without getting killed by the other teams. In terms of technical and design ambition, we could have another Crysis on our hands.