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SGF 2024

The Coolest Games We Played At Summer Game Fest 2024 And More

by Game Informer Editorial on Jun 09, 2024 at 02:30 PM

Summer Game Fest has slid comfortably into the slot once occupied by E3, and it has only gotten bigger with each passing year. With hundreds of media members and content creators converging in Los Angeles, California, developers and publishers brought a ton of promising new games and updates to existing games. We spent hours getting our hands on the most anticipated titles on the horizon, all while discovering the hidden gems among the higher-profile titles.

This year saw Summer Game Fest Play Days extended an extra day to last a full three days, meaning the Game Informer crew had even more time to try out plenty of amazing games over the course of our time at the show. On top of that, other developers held several adjacent events to capitalize on the concentration of media and creators in town. Check out our favorite titles we've seen, played, and talked about below, and be sure to check back throughout the weekend as we see more games!

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2XKO

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

I finally got my hands on 2XKO, the promising 2D fighter set in the League of Legends universe. With approachable controls, a gorgeous art style, and an established roster of Champions, 2XKO is all about finding the fun as fast as possible. On top of that, 2XKO uses the tag-team mechanic in unique and engaging ways. Though I've never been a League of Legends player, I'm looking forward to experiencing this universe through the 2v2 fighter that Riot has confidently created.

Read our full preview here. – Brian Shea

Battle Aces

PC

Rallying developers from past strategy titles like Starcraft, Warcraft, and Company of Heroes, developer Uncapped Games aims to make its 10-minute real-time strategy title approachable for all audiences by stripping away base-building elements and focusing primarily on combat. Battle in 1v1 or 2v2 match-ups with custom armies comprised of giant crab-like mechs, anti-air units, tanks, or even gargantuan Krakens that blaze through ground enemies. – Alex Van Aken

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC

Developers Treyarch and Raven Software are taking big swings with the next installment in the long-running Black Ops series. Set in 1991, the campaign serves as a true successor to the Black Ops Cold War campaign. The story promises to be full of paranoia and espionage intrigue, with a mysterious entity infiltrating the United States government and the Black Ops squad going rogue. The multiplayer promises a compelling package, with 16 new maps and a ton of new weapons, as well as the return of Classic Prestige. Add in round-based Zombies and an ambitious Omnimovement system, and Black Ops 6 is the most excited I've been for a Call of Duty game in 2019's Modern Warfare. 

Read our full preview here. – Brian Shea

Flock

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PC

If you've ever tried to get into birdwatching, you know the most fun part is figuring out exactly which bird is which. That’s the basic idea behind Flock, a game where you identify cute and weird made-up creatures. When you encounter one of the game’s little animals, you have the opportunity to observe its markings and behavior, and then attempt to identify it as one of the animals in a certain family. For example, the first little guy I encounter is a Gleeb, and based on its hopping, I’m able to identify it as a Gallus Gleeb, a chicken-like variant of the creature. As you progress, this identification progresses in complexity, and I’m excited to play more and fill out my personal catalog of these funky dudes. – Charles Harte

Harmonium

Xbox Series X/S, PC, iOS, Android

Since the dawn of video games, music has been a crucial part of the experience, so it’s always exciting to see a game manage to reinvent the way the player interacts with the soundtrack. In Harmonium, you play as Melody, a deaf girl who goes on an Alice in Wonderland-style journey to recover her grandmother’s sheet music. Her experience with music is unique, relying on visuals and rhythm, and her method of communication is just as fascinating. Melody speaks American Sign Language, signing through each conversation, but with some of the magic people in this new world, she finds other ways to nonverbally communicate by creating new gestures to describe her surroundings. I may have come for the music, but I stuck around for the sign-based puzzle-solving. – Charles Harte

Marvel Rivals

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

The hero shooter genre has evolved in myriad ways over the last decade, and Marvel Rivals hopes to have learned all the right lessons from the rapidly changing category of games. Marvel Rivals brings 19 iconic heroes and villains for you to control as you duke it out across established locations in the Marvel Universe. I really enjoyed playing through several matches as characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Storm, Doctor Strange, and Groot. If you're a fan of Overwatch-style gameplay or just the vast Marvel Multiverse, Marvel Rivals is one to watch. 

Read our full Marvel Rivals preview here. – Brian Shea

Metaphor: ReFantazio

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PC

The duo primarily responsible for the beloved Persona series – Katsura Hashino and Shigenori Soejima – is branching out to create an all-new IP with more than a few familiar elements. Metaphor: ReFantazio takes the Persona formula and evolves it in numerous ways. On top of taking place in a fantasy world, Metaphor also introduces new action-style elements to start some of the game's turn-based battles, plus a line-based positioning system that encourages you to think strategically in battles. Add in the charming cast of characters, grotesque boss battles, and summonable entities known as Archetypes (and throw in the trademark penchant for stylish UI and cutscenes for good measure), and Metaphor: ReFantazio could very well be just familiar enough for Persona fans to give it a look, but just different enough to provide a breath of fresh air to those who have spent the last several years playing through the developers' long RPGs. – Brian Shea

Neva

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, PC

Following up its poignant watercolor platformer, Gris, developer Nomada Studio presents a gut-wrenching adventure – I often felt a pit in my stomach playing the first hour – focusing on an orphaned wolf cub, Neva, and a swordswoman named Alba. The story unfolds across passing seasons, during which the young wolf grows up and gains new abilities to aid the player in solving puzzles and overcoming combat challenges and boss fights. Alba's swordfighting techniques are stylish and weighty, making fights with even common enemies entertaining. Nomada cites Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke as a primary inspiration for not only its wolf-and-woman pair of protagonists but also themes of conservation and companionship. – Alex Van Aken

Parcel Corps

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Jet Set Radio meets Crazy Taxi in this biking game from Billy Goat Entertainment. Bicycling has been made illegal in a town where three major corporations clash for control, so naturally, you take on a role as a bike messenger and delivery person. Thanks to fluid controls, you can take on jobs from local businesses and then satisfy different delivery conditions, like arriving within a certain time limit or without damaging the products. Since biking is illegal, the police will eventually escalate as you continue to try and make ends meet. With fun controls, a chaotic premise, and tongue-in-cheek commentary on the current state of the gig economy, Parcel Corps blasted up my list of most anticipated games of 2024. Thankfully, with a September 3 release date, we don't have long to wait. – Brian Shea

Rusty Rabbit

PS5, PC

As a new ice age sweeps across the planet, humanity has abandoned Earth. In the time since that occurrence, rabbits have evolved into the most advanced species on the planet. However, as they explore the remnants of human civilization, they stumble upon the fairytale of Peter Rabbit, which they adopt as their holy scripture. Outside of that, anything humanity left behind, including old technology, is deemed illegal. In Rusty Rabbit, you control a reckless, middle-aged rabbit named Stamp who scavenged this old tech. He's stubborn, foul-mouthed, and considered by many a heretic due to his interactions with the human tech. This 2.5D action/platformer is about exploration and strengthening Stamp, who pilots a mech suit he built called the Junkster. With tight combat, an expansive skill tree, and humor galore thanks to the writing of Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica writer Gen Urobuchi, Rusty Rabbit is now on my radar for games to look out for this fall. – Brian Shea

Sonic X Shadow Generations

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Sonic Generations, the 2011 greatest-hits style remake meant to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary, is finally receiving the remaster treatment, but this Sonic Team has higher ambitions than just giving players better performance and visual fidelity and calling it a day. Sonic X Shadow Generations adds an entirely separate, standalone campaign starring everyone's favorite broody Sonic doppelganger, Shadow the Hedgehog. Shadow tackles various stages and bosses from across his history with special powers, like Chaos Control, in tow. And for those who want to experience Sonic Generations in a modern setting, the original story and stages have been remastered with 60 FPS performance and added Chao Rescue objectives.

For more on Sonic X Shadow Generations, check out our full preview here. – Brian Shea

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl

Xbox Series X|S, PC

Fifteen years after the series’ previous entry, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl presents a tense, atmospheric open world in post-apocalyptic eastern Europe. Manage your wellness and radiation exposure while scavenging for new weapons, ammo, and food in an environment brimming with fleshy monstrosities. Despite being underwhelmed by the shooting mechanics in my hands-on demo at Summer Game Fest, I am still curious to see more from Heart of Chernobyl. – Alex Van Aken

SteamWorld Heist II

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

The brilliant 2D turn-based tactics series that debuted on 3DS in 2015 is back. Controlling a colorful cast of characters, you must infiltrate prisons, bases, and more as you search for loot and recruit team members. Thanks to deep class-based customization, a variety of weapons, and new ship battles, SteamWorld Heist II looks to carry on the legacy of the well-liked strategy title – not to mention the return of the series' trademark off-the-wall (literally) trick shots. I had a blast in the multiple missions I played through. I spent time in the swashbuckling shoes of 4 of the eventual 10 crewmates you can play as in the game and had more than a few white-knuckled run-ins with enemies in their bases. And yes, I failed in a couple of encounters, but thankfully, there's little penalty for failure, so I could experiment with my approach freely. SteamWorld Heist II emerged as one of my favorite games I played while at Summer Game Fest Play Days, and I couldn't be more excited for it to come out on August 8.

Unknown 9: Awakening

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC

During Summer Game Fest Play Days, we got our second look at gameplay for Unknown 9: Awakening. This entry into the multimedia Unknown 9 universe, where nine immortal beings possess all the world's knowledge and various factions battle it out to control it for different means, continues to look promising. Starring Anya Chalotra (Yennefer in Netflix's The Witcher), the story follows Haroona, a woman whose powers awakened during childhood, on a quest for vengeance. The demo I saw this time around took place in Sudan about 80 percent into the campaign. Watching Haroona take out enemies using an array of Umbric powers is consistently a sight to behold. Possessing enemies with her Step ability causes them to attack one another, while the ability to crush nearby explosives and her power of pushing and pulling objects and enemies makes this appear to be a compelling power fantasy. We'll likely learn more in the lead-up to the game's release this fall.

For more on Unknown 9: Awakening, read our in-depth preview from earlier this year here. – Brian Shea

Valorant

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

In the lead-up to Summer Game Fest, I visited League of Legends developer Riot Games to get my hands on the upcoming console version of Valorant. The game has been available on PC for four years now, and Riot is bringing all the content it has released in that span to its newly announced console version. This being the acclaimed studio's first time appearing on consoles, the developers have done a terrific job of adapting the mouse and keyboard controls to gamepads, and with excellent performance, cross-play between consoles, and a still-ambitious content plan, Riot could inject even more life into its popular hero shooter.

Read our full preview here. – Brian Shea

Yars Rising

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

A revitalization of the classic 1982 Atari title Yars' Revenge, Yars Rising takes the series to the realm of Metroidvanias and Mega Man-inspired action/platforming. Playing as a hacker with the codename "Yar," the story begins with her hacking into a corporation before needing to make a daring escape. As she progresses through the story, she unlocks permanent upgrades called Augments and a ton of equippable Biohacks. While Yars is more than capable against enemies, there are times when she needs to go in quiet, which is where the stealth gameplay comes into focus. I didn't get a sense of how open-ended exploration gets, but thanks to gated areas that open once you unlock new abilities like wall jumps, a double jump, and horizontal dashes, there is definitely some Metroidvania DNA injected into the formula. My demo ended with a tense boss battle against the Missile Commander. As the enemy's name implies, the encounter borrows elements from another Atari classic: 1980's Missile Command. Using Yars' Firefly Drone, which controls similar to Ness' PK Thunder in Super Smash Bros., I shot down incoming missiles, then attacked the Missile Commander directly. It was a fun nod to another Atari franchise – something WayForward tells me will be spread throughout this entire game. WayForward is directly following up on Yars' Revenge, but the game appears to be one big love letter to Atari's history, and I'm excited to see what gameplay opportunities emerge from that concept when the game arrives later this year. – Brian Shea

Products In This Article

2XKOcover

2XKO

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date:
2025
Call of Duty: Black Ops 6cover

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:
Flockcover

Flock

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:
Harmonium The Musicalcover

Harmonium The Musical

Platform:
Xbox Series X/S
Release Date:
TBA
Marvel Rivalscover

Marvel Rivals

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date:
TBA
Metaphor: ReFantaziocover

Metaphor: ReFantazio

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date:
Sonic x Shadow Generationscover

Sonic x Shadow Generations

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date:
Valorantcover

Valorant

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date:
June 2, 2020 (PC), 
2024 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S)
Parcel Corpscover

Parcel Corps

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date:
Unknown 9: Awakeningcover

Unknown 9: Awakening

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:
2024
Rusty Rabbitcover

Rusty Rabbit

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PC
Release Date:
Yars Risingcover

Yars Rising

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date:
2024
Battle Acescover

Battle Aces

Platform:
PC
Release Date:
TBA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobylcover

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl

Platform:
Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date:
Nevacover

Neva

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC
Release Date:
2024
SteamWorld Heist IIcover

SteamWorld Heist II

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date: