The Coolest Games We Played At Summer Game Fest 2022
You likely already saw all the news and trailers out of the Summer Game Fest streams this year (and if you haven't, you can get caught up right here), but Summer Game Fest 2022's Play Days are happening right now in downtown Los Angeles. There, members of the media and content creators from around the globe have congregated for two days of interviews, live demos, and hands-on play sessions.
While the Play Days aren't nearly on the scale of something like E3, which would typically happen during this time of year annually, the Game Informer crew has seen plenty of amazing games over the course of our time there. Check out our favorite titles we've seen, played, and talked about below, and be sure to click the links to read our full preview or watch a New Gameplay Today if we have one.
Street Fighter 6
The most legendary name in fighting games is finally coming back for its next entry and we loved our time playing the next entry in Capcom's beloved franchise. Street Fighter 6 continues evolving the series in meaningful ways, but perhaps most unique is its implementation of esports-style commentary. Whether you can't wait to see if your favorite personality is included in the final product or you plan on muting that feature altogether, the smooth fighting mechanics and striking art style have us champing at the bit for this game, which is scheduled to hit in 2023.
A Little To The Left
Last year, Unpacking hooked players with its meditative approach to letting a narrative unfold as you help an unseen character place their belongings in each new living space into which they move. A Little To The Left doesn't deliver the same experience as that beloved title, but if you enjoyed the chill puzzle vibes of Unpacking, chances are, A Little To The Left is right up your alley. A Little To The Left, developed by a two-person team, gives you household objects to organize.
These seemingly simple puzzles are not only satisfying to complete and easy to vibe out on, but they often hold many solutions. For example, the puzzle pictured above, where you organize keys, can be solved by sorting the keys by how many holes they have or by organizing them by length. As you play through the various puzzles, new elements impede and enhance your progress, such as a cat that likes to cause trouble, surreal scenarios, or even ever-changing physics. The charming art style and approachable puzzle design make this an indie game to watch when it launches this fall. —Brian Shea
Tower of Fantasy
Fans of shared open-world action/RPGs have a promising entry coming later this year with Tower of Fantasy. This anime-inspired sci-fi action title lets you squad up or play solo in a shared world reminiscent of Destiny's gameplay format. As such, up to 30 people can join up to defeat enemies, complete objectives, and gather loot. The action combat, which involves three equipped weapons, combo-based movesets, special attacks that operate on cooldowns, and dodge/parry mechanics aptly complement the smooth traversal.
I love how you can simply run or climb where you want, or use vehicles ranging from jetpacks, jet boards, cars, motorcycles, and even robot unicorns to get from point A to point B. Add on top of that a robust character customization suite and an ambitious post-launch plan and Tower of Fantasy is a game to watch when it launches later this year. —Brian Shea
If you enjoy speed-running puzzles in a manner similar to games like Minit, don’t let Time Flies pass you by. Assuming the role of a tiny house fly, you must zip around a house, completing a bucket list of objectives before your brief life expires. By brief, we mean a single minute if you’re lucky.
In a strange twist, you begin the game by selecting a country. I picked the US, which granted me a 73-second lifespan. Choosing Switzerland blessed the fly with 83 seconds of existence, which you spend solving environmental puzzles based on your cryptic checklist. Solutions may include surfing a spinning vinyl or strumming a guitar with your tiny body. Dying resets your progress, so Time Flies becomes a challenge to find solutions and execute them as quickly and efficiently as possible to complete the fly’s bucket list before it croaks. As a fan of Minit, Time Flies sports a similarly infectious formula, and I couldn’t wait to start another run. – Marcus Stewart
Star Trek: Resurgence
Developed by a team of ex-Telltale Game developers, Star Trek: Resurgence is an original choice-driven adventure set shortly after the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies. Players control members of the Resolute as they navigate the waters of an interspecies conflict that could endanger the galaxy. You’ll make decisions that can result in significant consequences, good or bad, leading to multiple endings. If you’ve ever wanted to dictate the plot of a Star Trek episode, Resurgence may be up your alley.
Be sure to check out my hands-on preview for a more in-depth at one of Star Trek: Resurgence's missions – Marcus Stewart
Outriders’ meaty expansion arrives in a couple of weeks and playing it reminded me how flat-out fun the shooter can be when firing on all cylinders. Mowing down monstrosities using new weaponry and the bevy of supernatural powers remains as entertaining as it can be challenging. A revamped endgame and progression aims to keep players invested in the long haul, and new skill trees add a host of useful passive abilities to bolster your existing class powers.
New locations, including a creepy swamp town that would look at home in Resident Evil 7, provide an appealing visual variety from the base game. Best of all, anyone can jump into Worldslayer thanks to an immediate level boost for newcomers. Worldslayer likely won’t convert naysayers, but fans may have good reason to be excited for the expansion’s June 30 launch – Marcus Stewart
Glitch Busters: Stuck On You
Glitch Busters captures the multiplayer chaos of games like New Super Mario Bros., tasking up to four players to traverse platforming stages as sentient, adorable magnets. You can use magnetism to fling yourself to and from targets or across obstacles while blowing apart enemies with your blaster. Teamwork relies on players stacking atop each other to reach higher areas, solve puzzles, or combat threats as one. Glitch Busters requires constant communication and coordination to overcome its challenges but also allows – and perhaps encourages – players to screw each other over just for kicks. Glitch Busters can provide plenty of laughs, whether you're lifting a buddy into a ceiling hazard or using magnetism to pull an ally into a pit with you. – Marcus Stewart
Schim is a Dutch-made 3D platformer about jumping between shadows, and it’s one of the standout indie games from my time at Summer Game Fest: Play Days. You control a Schim, or shadow, incapable of surviving in the sunlight. Essentially, the floor is lava, and you must explore the map by hopping from one shade pool to the next.
From this perspective, you’ll explore everyday places like parks, roadways, and alleys that are surprisingly interesting since the sun casts shadows in real-time. You can jump into their shadow for a safe ride to your next destination when joggers, cats, or vehicles pass by. Schim is a platformer with a different perspective, and its straightforward approach makes for a relaxing but thoughtful experience. – Alex Van Aken