June 2020 has been a wild month— no, we’re not just talking about COVID-19 or the global protests— it was also IGN’s Summer of Gaming. A month of non-stop trailers, conferences, reveals and gameplay footage has taken the place of the once-mighty E3 expos. Gaming Respawn takes the time to highlight just a few of the most exciting things we have seen during June 2020 and our personal hits from the month. Links are included to the new trailers in each of the sections below!
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
I haven’t been this excited and enthusiastic about all the latest releases since E3 2018 with Battlefield V, Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2, Beyond Good and Evil 2 and, although it pains me to say it…even Fallout 76. But if I had to pick just one game that I’m looking forward to the most this year, I’d have to say the Spider-Man spin-off: Miles Morales.
From a young age, I’ve always been both fascinated and obsessed with superheroes, and Spider-Man was the first to enter my world. I would always watch the cartoon whenever it was on TV, and a couple of years after I first got a PlayStation, I experienced a Spider-Man game I’d never forget (especially the chase scene at the end with the Carnage/Doc Ock hybrid). Then on to Enter: Electro and so on. When Marvel’s Spider-Man was released on PS4 in 2018, I’d never been so amazed and taken over by a game probably since I played Spider-Man 2 on PS2. Just the fluidity of your web-swinging, the amazing combat and outstanding graphics— it’s not just him that’s amazing! And although it’s technically not a full standalone game, sadly, I’m still holding very high hopes for young Miles Morales.
I was pretty curious about Biomutant when it was first announced at Gamescom 2017, but it’s been worryingly quiet ever since. That is until this month when we got a full ten minutes of gameplay and director commentary from Experiment 101. Biomutant is a huge open world RPG that lets you play as a furry critter armed with all sorts of customisable weapons and playstyles. Nimble kung fu samurai, hulking rocket commando, knight with a grappling hook— it’s all in there!
This month Biomutant showed off its capturable outposts, World Eater boss fights, weapon crafting systems, wing-glider flight, underwater submarine battles, and so much more. Experiment 101 is an admittedly small team, so this one could go either way, but with influences like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Devil May Cry, and Ratchet & Clank— how can this one possibly go wrong!?
Kingdom Hearts Union X: Dark Road
One of my favourite announcements in June was for Kingdom Hearts: Union X Dark Road. That trailer got me so hyped, I can’t wait— but I’m going to have a few games keeping me occupied until that gets released. Kingdom Hearts Union X: Dark Road is going to be a brand-new original story to the Kingdom Hearts series— and as a fan, I can’t wait to dive into a new game once I finish Kingdom Hearts III. Since it’s a mobile game, it uses touch screen controls and a card-type battle system similar to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, which I had fun with. I can’t wait to start Dark Road and have the new story arc unfold, giving me more Kingdom Hearts goodness.
If you’re a fan of the series, you can check out our reveal of everything else announced for Kingdom Hearts.
Baldur’s Gate III
Baldur’s Gate III was initially a game I felt uncertain about, especially following on from the story and the success of the original two games. The early plot revolves around a group of characters, including the player character, who have been implanted with Mind Flayer tadpoles and must find a way to get them out before their brains are pretty much eaten. After that, there is the issue of a giant Cthulhu-esque god.
The new June 2020 trailer and news of an Early Access coming out in August brought another level of excitement. The graphics and gameplay are looking great so far. Each of the pre-made characters have their own quirks and playstyles, though their morality depends on the player’s choices.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Another game I am looking forward to must be Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. I can remember the first time I ever played a Ratchet & Clank game. It was around my 16th birthday, and I had various amounts of cash from my birthday cards. I went into town and walked into what was Gamestation at the time and bought a PS2, along with several games— Ratchet & Clank being one. I got back home and did not put it down until I had completed it.
It was not until recently that I discovered a vast number of other R&C titles on PlayStation Now. Now with the latest release of the franchise, not only does it bring back the awesome combat, the comedic back and forth dialogue between Ratchet and his robot companion, but there is also a female Ratchet bringing some needed diversity to the game. It is definitely on my list of games to watch.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
The tagline nailed it— it’s about time! Crash Bandicoot is one of those franchises I grew up on. For me, he was the chronological successor to Mario and Sonic, and I recently enjoyed reliving those (oftentimes painful) memories of earning 102% in the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy. The trailer for Crash Bandicoot 4, as well as that suspicious numbering scheme, is making the intent very clear— we’re going to forget all those terrible sequels to the original trilogy and focus on returning to the gameplay that made the original trilogy so beloved.
It’s not the first mascot franchise to handwave an entire generation of bad sequels (Sonic recently did the same with Sonic Mania) but the trailer for Crash Bandicoot 4 does look like a return to form. The gameplay feels like N.Sane Trilogy but with shinier graphics, way more explosions, and fun new mechanics. And a giant dinosaur because of course there’s a giant dinosaur. There are a bunch of new voodoo masks, playable Coco returns, and it looks like Cortex might be playable too, meaning the story is wide open on this one.
Star Wars: Squadrons
As a huge Star Wars nerd, I always perk up a little whenever a new Star Wars game is announced. In general, I’ve found the vast majority to be thoroughly enjoyable— Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the original Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy are some of my favourites— so I have high hopes for Star Wars: Squadrons. It isn’t the first time Star Wars has given us space battles— the Battlefront games have been known to offer this— but a modern, designated game promises something different and more in-depth. The idea of two separate storylines, one for a Rebel pilot and one for an Imperial pilot, is something that draws me in. I’ve always loved being able to explore different perspectives of a given story, so this is a definite selling point to me.
What excites me the most though is the promised virtual reality element. The entire game can either be played normally or in VR, which says something about its versatility. I’m not sure if I’ll play the entire game in VR as I can only manage an hour or so of VR at a time, but I’m excited all the same. I think a game like Squadrons could work exceptionally well in VR, and I’m hoping that it’ll allow me to feel like a real fighter pilot…without the life or death part!