E3 2021 has ended, as the digital expo featured a slew of game announcements and unexpected reveals. We covered all of it right here on Shacknews, but now it’s time to slow down for a minute and process what we saw. Here are our staff’s favorite moments from E3 2021.
Question: What was your favorite moment from E3 2021?
One of my favorite ongoing subtle storylines in these Super Smash Bros. Ultimate trailers is that characters seem to die an awful lot. Remember when Luigi explored Castlevania and got straight-up cut by the Grim Reaper? Remember when Mario went into the world of Minecraft and got blown up? The tradition continues here, as Kazuya just drops people’s corpses into the heart of a volcano, playing off the ending of Tekken 7’s story.
Of course, nothing warmed my heart more than Kazuya giving the internet meme fuel for weeks by attempting to do the same to Kirby. He just straight-up palms the pink puffball and tries to drop him off a cliff. Everyone waits for the splat, only to watch Kirby harmless float away.
Kirby always lives. Always.
As a lifelong Halo fan, I don’t know what I’m going to do if Halo Infinite is a disappointment this year. That said, much of my optimism was restored following the game’s new multiplayer footage that was shown at E3. The game looks fun as hell, and the new vehicles and gadgets look like they’re going to ramp up the chaos. I also really love the approach that 343 Industries is taking towards the game’s multiplayer, with retroactive Battle Pass purchasing and cosmetic content. If Halo Infinite showed up at E3 2021 and the multiplay looked mediocre or downright bad, I would be in shambles right now.
You know that moment on The Office when (SPOILER ALERT) Kevin feels proud and accomplished for having not told anyone about the affair that Oscar and the State Senator were having? Yeah. That’s kind of what it felt like when Nintendo announced a new side-scrolling Metroid game during their E3 2021 Treehouse. I had been talking about how it was all I wanted all weekend, so I definitely flipped my lid when Metroid Dread was revealed. I mean, I just friggin’ LOVE old school Metroid and consider Super Metroid to be one of the greatest games to ever be made. Seeing the Big N recognize that there’s still a lot of love for “classic” style Metroid games in the series’ 35th anniversary year definitely gave me all the feels. I can’t wait to play it!
I’ve struggled to pinpoint a single part of E3 2021 that really tickles my pickle, so I’ve come back around to the Forza Horizon 5 announcement from the Xbox & Bethesda E3 Showcase. I knew there was a chance that the game could show up, but no pre-show leaks happened so it was still a bit of a surprise when the AMG whipped across the desert highway. I suspect this is the game I’ll play most in 2021, so I’ll chose its reveal as my top moment of E3 2021.
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer reveal has got to be my favorite moment. While I was absolutely stoked about Elden Ring and getting a release date, seeing just how good Halo Infinite’s multiplayer looked was like a weight off my shoulders. I knew in my heart that it was going to be good, but seeing it in action was a relief. Plus, the deep dive that laid out all the additions and changes makes me super excited to dive into it at the end of the year.
While the Summer Game Fest isn’t technically part of E3, it all counts and anyone with any degree of common sense agrees. That’s why I’m choosing Geoff Keighley introducing Elden Ring as my favorite moment of E3. Not because I’m in love with Elden Ring like the rest of you, but because Geoff was visibly nervous when he was introducing it. You could tell that it was a moment full of emotion that really meant something to him, and it spoke to me. Great work, Geoff.
There were a bunch of games that I enjoyed throughout the events of E3 2021. Metroid Dread was a delight to see, I was utterly shocked to see Metal Slug make a return under Dotemu, and I was really happy for my colleagues to getting to see stuff they had been waiting on for a long time.
But when it comes to my actual favorite moment, one thing stood out in my mind during the whole weekend. The Devolver Digital showcase was another ridiculously over-the-top array of silliness that was a good time throughout. They announced some good looking games and remained as on-brand for their comedic parts as ever.
When Nina Struthers explained to me the value of the Devolver brand, market evolution, and other such things all while having muscle servants carry her place to place, I was intrigued. When they effortlessly helped her make her suit jacket into a sleeveless vest so she could partake in a mountain of chili dogs, that was the moment. I, for one, will always pop for needless, unexpected, and confusing displays of bravado. Spin me some games while you’re doing it and you have my vote for an E3 accolade.
If I’m being honest, I kept my expectations incredibly low. I’ve covered 11 E3’s in my lifetime and every year you want that BIG surprise that no one saw coming. After the last few years of being disappointed, whether it be from no ES6 gameplay, Zelda Port/Remaster, whatever. I was tired of being let down because my exceptions were far too high. So I went into 2021’s E3 with none and I wasn’t surprised, or disappointed. Games are coming out that seem cool.
The online version of the Electronics and Entertainment Expo has come and gone and that brings up the question of what was everyone’s favorite moment from the event. It’s no secret that I’m a Nintendo fan so I’m going with Nintendo’s presentation, most notably bringing a new Metroid game as well as the newest trailer for the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel. I’ll give some honorable mentions to Demon Throttle and Firegirl getting announced as well as the Limited Run presentation but my winner is Nintendo. In a year that could have toned down their E3 presentation like a few other companies did, they gave their all. Why the new Mario Party isn’t a free update to Super Mario Party is beyond me but Nintendo does things like that all the time. It would have been nice to see a new Donkey Kong game but maybe that’s what the holiday season is for?
Looking back at E3 2021, the entire week was full of excitement and letdowns, but overall it was an impressive affair. Nintendo ended it all with a presentation that had something for everyone, except Bayonetta fans. As much as I love Nintendo, I can’t stop thinking about one reveal. For me, the one moment I keep going back to is the Somerville trailer shown during the Xbox & Bethesda event.
Microsoft had a great showcase but nothing struck me like Somerville. The instant connection to Inside, which happens to be one of my favorite games of the past generation, was apparent and beckoned me. It just so happens this game has intimate ties with Inside, as the developer Jumpship was co-founded by ex-CEO of Playdead, Dino Patti, and film animator, Chris Olsen.
The evocative music and visual storytelling hooked me right away. Somerville’s trailer tells an entire story in just over a minute and left me dumbstruck and full of questions. But mostly it left me with the desire to play Somerville and experience what looks like a Spielberg sci-fi movie translated into a gorgeous video game.
There were some solid reveals this week but nothing tops Elden Ring for me. After pretty much two years of radio silence and folks even wondering if the game was still in production, it felt so good to see that trailer start playing. Even Geoff seemed a bit nervous and genuinely excited because it was a BIG DEAL. And man was the trailer itself amazing. The music sounded both beautiful and tense, the visuals appeared both familiar and strange, and there’s confirmed horse riding! I was surprised by how much pure gameplay was shown and how many epic locations were on display but I now absolutely believe this will be the largest game From Software has ever created. This truly was a mic drop moment and I think a small part of why Summer Game Fest will most likely bloom from whatever shell is left of E3 in the future.
Those are our favorite moments from what was quite a unique E3 2021. If you followed the event and have any standout moments yourself, we’d love to hear about them down below.
Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom’s desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_
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