E3 2021, the Electronic Entertainment Experience, may not have carried the audience energy of a frenzied crowd gathered to see which of its favorite video game characters, titles and companies showed the most promising developments, but the trailers, visuals and gameplay are still being streamed virtually by companies big and small. And they're still generating excitement from giddy gamers.
Here are a few of the trailers that caught our attention. Saturday's E3 broadcast, which centered on Ubisoft and Gearbox Software, had big titles in mind during their presentations. "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction," a tactical team game with the goal of rescuing a teammate, was the early centerpiece.
Haven't been to "Pandora — The World of Avatar" in Orlando's Walt Disney World? "Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora" seemingly opens up the world of James Cameron's movie(s) for you to explore.
"Just Dance 2022” was announced by singer-actor Todrick Hall, and it will feature an exclusive version of his song ("Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels") for the game.
A fantasy game with dragons and guns starring Andy Samberg, Wanda Sykes, Will Arnett, Ashly Burch and her royal highness Butt Stallion? "Tiny Tina's Wonderlands" (coming early 2022) from 2K and Gearbox just looks and sounds so fun. It's definitely a callback to the company's "Borderlands" games, but is its own standalone game.
Continuing the celebrity star power, the long-awaited "Far Cry 6" was introduced, with special guest star Giancarlo Esposito playing the role of wannabe dictator Anton Castillo. The gameplay centers on Dani Rojas, a reluctant citizen who grows to lead a revolution against Castillo's regime. Warning: Foul language and violence are in this official introduction of Esposito's character.
Nintendo's full presentation is on Tuesday, but kicking off the console's offerings over the weekend was "Mario + Rabbids Spark of Hope," in which the plumber, his bro Luigi, Princess Peach and friends take to outer space in a sequel to 2017's "Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle."
Sunday brought on a couple of heavy hitters with Xbox/Bethesda and Square Enix taking center stage. Starting with "Starfield" and ending with "Redfall," the Xbox and Bethesda groups seemed to focus on exploring worlds. The first to connect on a recognition level was "Sea of Thieves — A Pirate's Life," a further look into the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise starring Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).
In the trailer for "Battlefied 2042," extreme war is all the rage. If you don't know what a RendeZook is, well, wait for it to happen in the trailer (sequence starting around the three-minute mark below). Your reaction probably mirrors those of others, foul language and all.
The mind is also a place of exploration and wacky high jinks. Treading on "Inside Out" territory, "PsychoNauts 2" was a fun look at a character fighting on the planes of the brain.
"Somerville" is another in what seems to be an endless look at a post-apocalyptic world. This one, though, centers on a family surviving by avoiding whatever creatures this world has unearthed.
We're back to the familiar with "Halo Infinite," the largest environment that this storied franchise has ever built. Master Chief will have more space than ever to roam and figure out the newest mystery that has changed his mission once again.
From one of the biggest to one of the smallest, but only in terms of the size of the characters. In "Among Us," the tiny backstabbing spacemen are back in one of the most anticipated updates to a little game. Now there will be up to 15 suspects in one game to be paranoid about.
Other titles such as "Diablo 2," "Forza Horizons 5" and "Eiyuden Chronicle" received spotlights from the companies. The presentation's final trailer introduced "Redfall," a game with an interesting group of heroes in another post-apocalyptic world, but this one replete with magic, gunplay and vampires.
Square Enix might be best known for its Final Fantasy and Marvel games; in terms of visuals, its two newest announcements Sunday — “Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” — are this year’s standouts.
With that said, its other upcoming offerings, which include a combination of multiplatform games, yielded some exciting developments.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" players are about to have the chance to actually play as Star-Lord in Marvel’s single-player game arriving Oct. 26 on Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox and more.
“Stranger in Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin,” from Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja, stars the self-proclaimed Warriors of Light as they fight to defeat Chaos in this fast-paced Final Fantasy game.
Tetsuya Nomura recently shared on Twitter that, “While it is Final Fantasy, it feels different — but there’s no doubt that the blood of Final Fantasy runs through its veins.”
"The Life Is Strange: Remastered Collection" will include enhanced versions of "Life Is Strange," "Life Is Strange 2" and "Before the Storm." E3 finally assigned the collection a release date of Sept. 30. It also provided a trailer for new installment "True Colors."
American singer mxmtoon, the singing voice for Alex Chen in "True Colors," said: “You can see the love and care that Dontnod has put into remastering both ‘Life is Strange’ and ‘Before the Storm.’”
"Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier" is a battle royale set in the "Final Fantasy VII" universe that takes place before the original game. It’s set to be released later this year.
"Legend of Mana Remastered" is a re-release of one of Playstation's somewhat hidden classics set during the aftermath of the war over the Mana tree. The release date is June 24.
For the record:
6:15 PM, Jun. 14, 2021: In an earlier version of this article, it was stated that Nintendo’s presentation would be on Monday. Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct and Nintendo: Treehouse Live event is listed to be at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.