Summer Games Fest 2023 Failed To Capture The Seasonal Heat

Hot but not hot enough.

Story Highlights

  • The Summer Games Fest gave us a look at what’s coming our way next. A lot of details were revealed for projects currently in development along with some release dates.
  • While the highlights of the event were quite prominent, it didn’t deliver the consistent quality that befits a presentation of this level.
  • With the main presentation of Summer Games Fest behind us, Xbox is up next with its showcase that’s scheduled for June 11. Atlus has managed to leak some interesting information beforehand.

The Summer Games Fest 2023 gave us a good look at what to expect from gaming in the coming months. Geoff Keighley started the event back in 2020 and it’s actually come a long way since then. Giving us a glimpse at what’s next in video games in a cross-industry event is very reminiscent of the good ol’ E3 days. But despite some of the better reveals, this year’s event failed to pack that summer punch.

I have to say that going into this showcase, my expectations were low and there are several reasons for that. Summer Games Fest 2023 took place around some pretty high-profile events. Last month, we had the PlayStation Showcase which was simply a disappointment outside of two notable announcements. On June 11 is the Xbox Showcase and Starfield Direct followed by Capcom’s event on June 12 and a few other publisher streams.

It doesn’t take much to put two and two together. There was no chance of anything major related to Xbox, PlayStation, and Capcom being revealed at the Summer Games Fest. So with that out of the way, all that was left were studios that we knew were working on certain projects and the event became predictable. Not to mention how Geoff hyped up the grand finale only for it to fail in delivering the goods.

Regardless of how underwhelming this Summer Games Fest might have been, it still had some interesting things to show and I’m excited for those games. But I also want to go over some of the stuff that really made it feel detached from its purpose and just an overall lackluster event.

The Heat At Summer Games Fest 2023

I want to start this out with all the positive stuff because there was a fair bit of it despite the showcase being a downer overall. The first thing that pulled me in for the reveal at the start of Summer Games Fest came as a pleasant surprise. Seeing Ubisoft making an effort to bring back Prince of Persia in this 2D action platformer with what looked to me like solid gameplay is a win in my book.

While I didn’t understand its choice of music and characters, it’s Prince of Persia so we all know people are going to play it, including me. What I had a problem with, however, is the fact that Ubisoft isn’t releasing this game on Steam. I’m sorry but when over 90% of the industry is releasing its titles on a platform, you really need to make an effort. If Valhalla can come out on Steam, so can Assassin’s Creed Mirage & the new Prince of Persia.

Like A Dragon Gaiden was one of the highlights of Summer Games Fest 2023
Like A Dragon Gaiden was one of the highlights of Summer Games Fest 2023

Another thing that was pretty huge for me was seeing Nicolas Cage in the gaming space. Dead By Daylight isn’t a game I play but Nicolas Cage is an actor whose performance I’ve greatly enjoyed over the years. Hearing his voice as Spider-Man Noir in Into The Spider-Verse was amazing and seeing that he’s broadening his horizons just opens up a lot of possibilities. I’m very excited to see where this project takes Cage in the gaming scene.

Some of the game announcements were absolutely amazing and anyone who says otherwise is just biased. Like A Dragon Gaiden is something big, especially after Like A Dragon: Ishin! and how positively it was received. Being able to play as Kiryu, or Joryu as he’s referred to in the game, with the iconic Yakuza action combat is something that’s an absolute win. Plus, it offers insight into the better parts of Kiryu’s life.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden looks interesting too but I still have some doubts about it. Personally, I don’t think that it was a good choice to go with an over-the-shoulder camera for that game but it seems like we’ll have to wait before passing any judgment. Alan Wake 2, however, shows a lot of promise. I played the original back in the day and it’s really heartening to see the series make a return with a sequel.

Some people say it looks like a worse kind of Resident Evil 4 but like, what were you expecting? Moving on, another game that players are looking forward to finally got a release date along with a playable demo. At some point, I joined the Bloodborne PC “copium” train and so far it’s been a pretty interesting ride. But I won’t let that discredit a game that genuinely seems good. Lies of P is coming in September & I’m excited to play the demo.

One thing I didn’t expect to see at the Summer Games Fest was Spider-Man 2. Bryan Intihar popped up out of nowhere and dropped some solid information about the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man PS4. I don’t understand why they didn’t just reveal the date at the PlayStation Showcase last month but it is what is. Spider-Man 2 is coming to PS5 on October 20, 2023, and Eddie Brock is not going to be Venom. Obvious but still a big deal. 

Spider-Man 2's box art was revealed at the Summer Games Fest
Spider-Man 2’s box art was revealed at the Summer Games Fest

Then there’s the King Arthur game. I’ll admit it looks solid and I’m willing to give it a shot. But that was pretty much it for all the heat that Summer Games Fest packed this year. I’m surprised we got no information on Elden Ring‘s DLC and that was honestly a disappointment. But, there were some things that I personally found to be greater disappointments or just straight-up unnecessary.

The Not-So-Hot Side Of Summer Games Fest

If you’ve been in the gaming space for some time, you’ll know how these events in general give rise to a lot of memes and cringe sequences. Summer Games Fest this year was no exception either. It wasn’t the only thing I had a problem with but it’s definitely worth talking about. After all, people need to be more self-aware and with what was on display, it didn’t really seem like that was the case.

It's great that fans are getting another entry in Mortal Kombat but the gameplay still feels like it's stuck in the past.
It’s great that fans are getting another entry in Mortal Kombat but the gameplay still feels like it’s stuck in the past.

After an extended look at Mortal Kombat 1’s gameplay, which honestly didn’t look impressive in my opinion, Geoff welcomed Ed Boon on stage for a conversation on the next entry in the franchise. The conversation felt natural for the most part but how hard is it to coherently explain your own game’s new features and how it differs from previous entries? After all, when passion takes over, words just start flowing.

And let’s not forget Marvel Snap. That entire segment was the pinnacle of cringe for a multitude of reasons. I was happy to see ProZD and that was the only good thing about that segment. The dude was even yelling or forcing himself to talk about stuff that he probably memorized from a script and I don’t even want to talk about the lame joke that led into the ProZD clip. 

Immortals of Aveum was another disappointment. The conversation itself felt detached and fabricated but the gameplay demonstration was even worse. I’m a firm believer in how FPS games need to evolve because the current formula is just not it anymore. Unrecord is a prime example of how this evolution needs to go and Immortals of Aveum just doesn’t show anything that pulls me in as a player.

Despite the gameplay being magic-based rather than your average shooter simulator, Immortals of Aveum felt clunky and lacked any charm. I’m hoping it improves on it or perhaps proves me wrong when it launches but as a consumer, I’m not going to get it outside of a sale. Especially not with how bad recent PC ports have been. Another problem is how it looks compared to Xbox’s upcoming exclusive—Avowed.

That’s not where it ends though. I’m gonna apologize to all Final Fantasy fans out there but as someone who loves the franchise just as much, FFVII Rebirth looked a bit underwhelming from what was shown at Summer Games Fest. Not only is it a timed PlayStation 5 exclusive, but the game also looks like something made for a PlayStation 4. That’s not very nice considering the timeline of this project along with other decisions.

Furthermore, I already have problems with its world. Given how Rebirth will feature an expansive area to explore, I find it hard to believe that the world will actually feel alive or well, as alive as it can be. Another thing I have reservations about is the two discs. Given how large the first part was, I’m assuming Rebirth will easily go over 100GB & that’s not something anyone wants. I’m sorry but this is just not the way. 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will undoubtedly be a great game but it needs to utilize the power of PS5 to avoid its predecessor's problems.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will undoubtedly be a great game but it needs to utilize the power of PS5 to avoid its predecessor’s problems.

All in all, I just hope Square Enix somehow bounces back the same way Capcom reclaimed its Capgod status. Recent releases from Square have been downright disappointing and it’s evident that the company is being carried by Final Fantasy XIV, the FFVII remake project, and Final Fantasy XVI. Rebirth will definitely be a success but here’s to hoping it meets SE’s expectations.

Onto The Next Big Event

There was a lot more that took place at the Summer Games Fest’s main presentation but one thing I gotta give to Geoff is how he really shines the spotlight on indie developers. They truly are a core component of the gaming industry and I always hope to see them grow. A lot of the indie games that were shown caught my eye, especially Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior. It gave me a lot of Transistor vibes and maybe that’s why I liked it.

But now that the main showcase of Summer Games Fest is behind us and how it didn’t deliver as much heat as I thought it might, it’s time to see what Xbox has to offer. With how Atlus was smart enough to leak the trailers for Persona 3 Remake and Persona 5 Tactica, I’m already sold on Xbox having won the showcase battle this year. Still, fingers crossed.

Did you find this helpful? Leave feedback below.

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.


Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

Related Articles

Join Our Community

Enjoyed this article? Discuss the latest gaming news, get expert help with guides and errors, and chat about all things gaming on eXputer Forums and Discord Server. Connect with fellow gamers who share your passion by becoming a part of eXputer's community.