6 big highlights from Summer Game Fest 2023

Summer Game Fest 2023 highlights - sonic spider-man final fantasy vii

No E3 conference doesn’t mean that June suddenly becomes devoid of video game news. Quite the opposite, in fact. In recent years, game publishers and companies have hosted their own events, with digital presentations exciting fans all over the world. In 2023, the centrepiece of June’s video game shenanigans is the Summer Game Fest.

Hosted by presenter Geoff Keighley, who you may remember from last year’s ‘Not E3’ period, the Summer Game Fest is an event loaded with upcoming game announcements and brazen commercialisation in equal measure. Keighley also coordinates The Game Awards every year, which serves as a pseudo-Academy Awards for the video game industry.

To be honest, there’s a lot of filler and awkward cross-promotions at these events, so it’s often best to catch up on the news after the fact and save yourself the cringe. One highlight among the corporate backslapping was an appearance from actor Nicolas Cage promoting his appearance in the multiplayer horror game Dead by Daylight.

Aside from unexpected cameos, there was a lot of cool stuff shown this year, so here are our highlights from Summer Game Fest 2023. Needless to say, we’ll definitely be contributing to the $4.21 billion Australians spent on video games last year.

Spider-Man 2 gets official October release date

As if Spider-Man excitement levels weren’t high enough given how popular the animated Across the Spider-Verse film is, we now know when the next major video game adaptation launches. As announced on-stage at Summer Game Fest 2023, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 from Insomniac now has a 20 October 2023 release date.

We saw gameplay footage of the upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusive during last month’s PlayStation Showcase presentation. You’ll get to play as both Peter Parker and Miles Morales as they take on Kraven the Hunter and encounter a symbiote threat, which, of course, means the infamous villain Venom is due to show up.

Brawling action aplenty in Like a Dragon Gaiden

Known by its full name Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, the latest game in the increasingly popular Japanese series got a trailer at Summer Game Fest 2023. While Like a Dragon: Ishin looked to the past, this one adopts a modern setting following longtime protagonist Kazuma Kiryu.

Once a notorious yakuza, Kiryu takes on a codename, operating as some sort of secret agent. Like previous Like a Dragon games, there looks to be plenty of brutal street brawling and high-stakes narrative tension. The Man Who Erased His Name comes out on 9 November 2023 for PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

Ubisoft revealed Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

A classic franchise that hasn’t gotten a lot of love lately, Prince of Persia appears to be back in a big way. Ubisoft shared an action-packed trailer for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, a 2D action game with a fresh new look.

We also know that it’s coming to just about every major platform on 18 January 2024. More details are expected at the Ubisoft Forward presentation on 12 June (US time).

Sonic gets another facelift with Sonic Superstars

Sonic the Hedgehog just keeps on keeping on. Despite many reinventions over the years, the blue blur keeps returning to the 2D gameplay that made Sonic popular in the first place. Last year saw the wildly polarising yet compelling Sonic Frontiers launch, which was the series’ first attempt at a 3D open-world format.

With the announcement of Sonic Superstars, Sonic and his friends head back to 2D gameplay with modern graphics and some 3D sections. You can play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy either by yourself or with friends in multiplayer. It’s coming to all major platforms during the Australian spring this year.

Fortnite Chapter 4 Season 3 ‘Wilds’ features Optimus Prime

Fortnite‘s crossovers keep getting bigger and bigger. Epic Games revealed the new ‘Wilds’ season at Summer Game Fest 2023, featuring a lush jungle setting, dinosaurs, and Optimus Prime from the Transformers franchise.

Fortnite‘s new season starts on 9 June, which will also reveal all the Battle Pass details and map updates.

First look at Final Fantasy VII Rebirth gameplay

Arguably one of the biggest reveals of Summer Game Fest 2023 was the tasty few minutes of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth footage Square Enix bestowed upon us. It’s the second part of a trilogy remaking the PlayStation One classic game, following 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake.

It’s probably not completely accurate to call these games a simple ‘remake’ as such. Based on the events depicted in Final Fantasy VII Remake, it’s fair to say it’s more of a reimagining. Fan favourite characters remain alongside completely new visuals and real-time action-RPG gameplay. In any case, Rebirth comes to PlayStation 5 in “early 2024”.

These are just some of the many highlights we picked from Summer Game Fest 2023. With the event done and dusted, there’s still plenty to look forward to in the coming days. Several publishers including Xbox and Bethesda have separate showcases, promising gaming goodness in abundance.

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