Summer Game Fest Live debuted new looks at dozens of already-announced titles and first looks at brand-new ones, and it quickly became apparent that there seemed to be an unofficial theme of the show: space.
That much was obvious within the first 30 minutes of the nearly two-hour-long livestream, which kicked off with a world premiere look at a new strategy game set in the Alien film universe, Aliens: Dark Descent. Host and Summer Game Fest organizer Geoff Keighley then followed that reveal up with a (sort of) new trailer and the first gameplay demo for sci-fi horror title The Callisto Protocol. A few reveals later, and we were back in space, this time for the newly revealed space thriller Fort Solis.
The space-theme continued with the announcement of Stormgate, a new sci-fi RTS from the ex-Blizzard developers of Frost Giant Studios. It would only be a few reveals later, when it came time for Keighley to discuss Honkai: Star Rail, an open-world space RPG (which was itself preceded by an announcement for the free-to-play sci-fi shooter Warframe), that Keighley himself acknowledged there were more than a few games set amidst the backdrop of the final frontier.
“Yeah, a lot of space today” Keighley said with a laugh while introducing Honkai: Star Rail.
Xbox noticed the trend, too, posting a Twitter poll that asked fans their opinion on the most anticipated genre featured during Summer Game Fest; horror, science-fiction, science-fiction horror, or video games in general.
#SummerGameFest is going strong, and it looks like the most-anticipated genre is:
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 9, 2022
If you were a fan of dark spaceship corridors, evil robots, giant mechs, and hostile aliens, the Summer Game Fest stream was a dream come true. While the constant looks at sci-fi heavy titles set among the stars did make the stream feel a little one note, there was certainly plenty to get excited about for fans of science-fiction. Considering how things are going on Earth, maybe it’s not surprising to see so many upcoming games look to the stars, as dark and terrifying as they can sometimes be.
The grimdark future of Warhammer 40K: Darktide continues to look promising, and the gore-filled gameplay debut of The Callisto Protocol made clear it has learned all the best lessons from Dead Space. The reveal of the narrative-focused Fort Solis, which has some serious voice talent like Troy Baker behind the project, also looks to be one to keep an eye on, as is the anime-inspired Honkai: Star Rail, which based on developer HoYoverse’s Genshin Impact pedigree, is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Even though all the games mentioned above were technically set in space, Summer Game Fest at least featured a wide range of game genres set within sci-fi settings, ranging from RTS and strategy titles to first-person thrillers and shooters, which helped to set each game apart.
Summer Game Fest is already slated to return in the summer of 2023. When it does, here’s hoping Keighley can provide a little more variety in the lineup of games being featured, regardless of the constant allure to create games set in galaxies far, far away.