Player 2 Vs The 2024 Summer Game Fest

Player 2 Vs The 2024 Summer Game Fest

In the season of announcement one name, for better or worse, stands above the rest. That name is Geoff Keighley. It is now time for his chance to unleash gaming goodies upon the world and Matt and Paul are here to analyse each announcement.

Lego Horizon Adventures

Matt Hewson: Ok, I thought that someone had been reading next year’s April Fools Day joke when this was rumoured. Turns out I was wrong. Lego and Horizon, who would have thought? It looks like a Lego game so I am sure it will be fun for the whole family. 

Paul James: I’ve dabbled in a few LEGO games, and I’m a huge fan of all things Horizon, so this is a wonderful pairing for me. As a game it makes sense, and as a part of Sony’s ongoing plans to expand Horizon into every possible realm, from games to TV, and other forms of entertainment, it also makes a bit of sense too. Kids will get to experience the IP for the first time, while for the rest, this will be a unique perspective on an otherwise very serious story.

No More Room in Hell 2

Matt Hewson: Horror multiplayer seems to be having a real moment right now and this one is different enough in that it is PvE which I dig. This sort of thing lives and dies by the group of players you are with, so getting a reliable group together will be key.

Paul James: Yeahhhh, I barely have a toe in the door when it comes to the horror genre, and so something like this is wayyyyy too much for me. It looks gruesome as all hell, and looks to be a really good game, it’s just not much of a me game.

Cuff Bust

Matt Hewson: A kind of mix between Happy Tree Friends and a prison escape movie. This looks wild but I am not sure that wild will translate into fun, outside of the initial period. There is no doubt, however, that it will get players through the door with its wackiness.

Paul James: Was a little bemused by this one throughout. A secondary viewing of the trailer though has really changed my tone though. This looks like a really cool collaborative prison break title, and the tone I’m really vibing with. The only challenge I can see with this game is around longevity, and multiple different prisons to escape from. If the options are limited, this game is going to quickly lose its lustre

Star Wars Outlaws

Matt Hewson: I am digging what has been shown but more is coming… stay tuned to P2!

Paul James: As Matt and Geoff Keighley have said, there’s a lot more to see at Ubisoft Forward in the coming week, that said, I’m loving what we’ve seen publicly of Star Wars Outlaws to this point. I just can’t wait to see more in the coming days. It’s also only 2.5 months from release, so my hype-meter is starting to rapidly fill.


Matt Hewson: From the creator of Gris, which is immediately obvious thanks to the art style. It seems to be a Metroidvania with combat as a key part of the proceedings. This one oozes style that is for sure. 

Paul James: This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen Neva, however with every viewing I come away frustrated. It looks great, and as Matt has said, it’s immediately obvious that it stems from the same time responsible for the amazing-looking Gris, but, what is it? I wish we’d just get a good chunk of gameplay.

Civilization VII

Matt Hewson: Hell yeah. Simultaneous console release for the first time. I mean I am a little sad it isn’t Xcom but it was Civ’s turn and honestly, it is hard to be upset with that.

Paul James: I’ve never been a PC guy, and so the CIv excitement would usually burn out before it made the console jump, but day-and-date launches on both PC and console games things significantly for me here. Keen for more info

Metaphor: ReFantazio

Matt Hewson: I have to admit, this has me much more interested than Persona does. I dig the style a bit more, even though there are obvious similarities. It is the sort of game I can see myself picking up in a sale or down the track a bit. I do worry about the size of it though because the Persona games are massive and I am not sure I am interested enough to commit to 80+ hours.

Paul James: This is more approachable for me than Persona for many of the same reasons that Matt has already cited, and the fact that we’re not 5 games in with Metaphor: ReFantazio, and so there’s a clean slate here that makes the game more appealing to me. It’s also not that far away now in a year that is frankly, not that heavily stacked yet in the Q3/Q4 window. This could be a thing I play!

Batman: Arkham Shadow

Matt Hewson: As a VR title it is hard to say, but it is nice to see a revisit to the Batman we remember. Might even wipe some of the stain of Suicide Squad out of our minds.

Paul James: Sorry Bats, but I don’t have a Meta VR unit, and so unless it launches elsewhere, such that I can play it on my PSVR 2 unit, then I don’t have an entryway into a game that I would very much like to check out. This trailer was cool, so I’m keen to see what Geoff has planned for ONL in August.

Street Fighter 6 - New Fighters

Matt Hewson: Interesting, Street Fighter is getting SNK characters. Not the first time it has happened but it is cool. The return of Bison is nice too. But obviously, at this point, it is only for the SF hardcore

Paul James: Yeah the time for me to engage with Street Fighter 6 has well and truly come and gone now. I guess the SNK collab is cool, but it does nothing for me,

Tears of Metal

Matt Hewson: This looks like an Indie-Scottish-Muso game, something I never thought I would say. I dig it though, could be a blast. However, I am getting a little tired of every game being a roguelike.

Paul James: It seems like a pretty cool concept but I want to see more of this before I commit. It comes from the Bloodroots team which is a great sign, but the concept isn’t hooking me as much as their last project did.

Dragonball Sparking Zero

Matt Hewson: Yeah look, these games, 99/100 are not great so I am happy to let this one pass by. I was never a Dragonball kid so love of the IP can’t get me through.

Paul James: Sparking was the old Japanese name for the Budokai Tenkaichi games, which I really enjoyed on the PS2/Wii. There’s been a lot of bad DBZ games, but the Tenkaichi games were not among them. Really keen to check this one out in October

Delta Force: Hawk Ops

Matt Hewson: A PvE shooter like this has my interest. I can dig it. Could be worth checking out. There is also a campaign based on Black Hawk Down which is cool for sure. I found this to be a rather impressive demo and this sort of thing isn’t traditionally my bag.

Paul James: PvE is the type of online shooter for me. This presented quite well as well, so consider my interest piqued going forward.

Fatal Fury: City of the Wolves

Matt Hewson: SNK keeps rolling out new versions of classic fighters and I for one am more than ok with that. Their last few titles have been great so I expect this one to be as well. The single-player side of things will be interesting, there is so much more expected of fighters these days on that side. Good time for fighting game fans to be honest. 

Paul James: I mentioned it when discussing Street Fighter 6, but fighters just aren’t my forte, and so the return of Fatal Fury carries little-to-no weight with me. I’ll pass.


Matt Hewson: An interesting collection of horror titles here, hard to go through them all in a short time, but it is great to see Blumhouse bringing what they do best into the video game world and giving a range of indies studios and a range of styles a chance to show their scary wares.

Paul James: I like the concept, even if it’s not something that I’ll actually engage with. Cool to see Blumhouse exploring new opportunities, but it’s not likely to be something I’ll check out. Great for the horror-game aficionados though.

Power Rangers Rita’s Rewind

Matt Hewson: The return of the beat-em-up continues. After the high watermark of TMNT Shredder’s Revenge and Streets of Rage 4, it will be interesting to see if this holds up, but I do like to see this genre live on. It has such an important part in my personal gaming history.

Paul James: Great to see more beat-em-ups out there but I don’t have any interest in Power Rangers as an IP and so, unlike recent efforts like TMNT, this one will come-and-go and won’t register my interest.

Deer and Boy

Matt Hewson: An interesting-looking title for sure. If the tone can be nailed I think this will be a hit, it certainly gives me the feel of past indie breakout titles like Inside.

Paul James: It felt like we were getting Way To The Woods at long last for a moment there, but this new title seems to evoke the same feeling and give off the same vibes. I’m down for it but I want to see more first.

Kingdom Come Deliverance 2

Matt Hewson: The first game didn’t quite hit for me. It just didn’t feel right, but what I have seen so far of number 2, it looks like that may have been resolved. I am not rushing out to pre-order or anything but I am intrigued.

Paul James: Execution on a gameplay front was the big problem for the original Kingdome Come: Deliverance, but I suspect the years have been kind to the sequel, and so Deliverance 2, should be the perfect meld of gameplay, and heavily history-inspired story-telling.


Matt Hewson:  Jeeze…. Something about this looks super clunky. I mean I can’t say for sure without a controller in hand but it is really lacking a sense of fluidity. No that impressive, I have to say.

Paul James: Yeah I’d hoped for better here. There’s none of the Silent Hill baggage here and so it should be a nice easy opportunity for me to step into a new IP, however as Matt said, the gameplay is a bit clunky for my liking. We’ll see though.

Killer Bean

Matt Hewson: Wild is one word. Part first-person shooter, part My Friend Pedro. Killer Bean is looking bonkers. I can do bonkers. It is another roguelike in the endless sea of roguelikes though. 

Paul James: This is a kind of stupid that I can’t get around, and I’m growing so tired of rogue-likes as well. Pass


Matt Hewson:  An interesting-looking climbing game, though there is something very odd about the leg animations in this trailer. Seems climbing games are having a bit of a moment.

Paul James: You’re right in that games like this are having a bit of a moment, but at the same time, there’s not enough to keep this dad of two young kids stimulated and so I could very easily see me falling asleep, controller in hand, here.


Matt Hewson: At first glance, it is another cozy farm-type sim. But there is clearly more going on here. Keen to see more.

Paul James: Coming from Stanley Parable devs means that there has to be a catch with this one. That said, if it doesn’t, it looks to be a really charming game that I can really get into. That said, I’ll always be playing this game, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Unknown 9: The Awakening

Matt Hewson: I had forgotten this game even existed, so it was a nice surprise to see it here. The premise is interesting and the combat is unique. I hope the team can nail it because it is the sort of game I can get behind. 

Paul James: It’s an interesting concept, but it also exists in a realm for me where I both do and don’t want to know more. I want to learn more about how it plays, but I don’t want to see any more story to maintain some mystery. Hopefully, further info is delivered with discretion.

Entoria: The Last Song

Matt Hewson: A cool-looking CG trailer, but I am getting the whiff of another Souls title so I can’t say I am too excited.

Paul James: We saw this one at PAX AUS last year and yes, it’s absolutely a Souls-like, and I’m so burned out on Soulslikes. Give me good accessibility features and we’ll talk, but otherwise, I’m noping out of it.

The First Descendant

Matt Hewson: I played a bit of this in beta and it had promise as a true Destiny alternative. I am excited to give it a go during full release but as always, this sort of game has to overcome not only Destiny but also Warframe to find its place in the industry. No small task. Not long till it arrives though. 2nd of July

Paul James: Yeah I was feeling bullish based on your past reports, and this new trailer presented pretty well. I’m keen to see more, but I’m also mindful of the time investment that might be required to extract what is required from the game. Can I commit to that?


Matt Hewson: A great initiative from a successful company that is heartwarming and sad at the same time. Heartwarming that Indies are supporting Indies and sad that the industry is in the state it is and requires something like this. Great to see, sad that we need it. 

Paul James: This was a nice moment. Among Us had to be good for something, and it was nice to see the large number of games that list that are getting the support they need for future development. Couldn’t care less about the Among Us TV show though. That looked like crap. 

Sonic X Shadow Generations

Matt Hewson: Sonic Generations is literally the only Sonic game in recent memory (apart from Sonic Mania which doesn’t count) so I am keen to perhaps give it another go around. But I can’t help but feel like Sega is flogging a dead horse at this point.

Paul James: The nerds screaming in the crowd about this are what’s wrong with games. There are so many other great games out there, and yet you foam at the mouth over Sonic? As Matt said, Sega is flogging Generations to death. Let’s move on from Sonic

Dune Awakening

Matt Hewson: I can’t say I am excited about a new survival MMO, even one set in the Dune universe.

Paul James: MMO’s aren’t my thing, but I’m also not out of the loop on all things Dune as well, so the pairing here means that I’m out (currently)

Battle Aces

Matt Hewson: A new RTS, nice. It has been ages since we got a new one set in a sci/fi universe. The promise of streamlining the RTS mechanics worries me a little though. This has been tried before with not much success.

Paul James: I’m not much of an RTS guy but Battle Aces looked really cool! This is one that I’d be willing to investigate further. I’ll need more showcases in the future to see more, but my interest levels are certainly high at this early stage

Alan Wake 2 - Night Springs

Matt Hewson: First, the physical release. My life is Alan Wake. I shall be buying. Night Springs is a “What If” type situation and is available tomorrow (or today, who knows with overseas time zones) Featuring three characters including Jesse Fayden. Oh god, I don’t have time for this right now… but I will find it.

Paul James: All the social activity before SGF made it clear that this was close, but I hadn’t picked a release that was 24 hours away. Better reinstall so that I’m ready to go!

A New World: Aternum

Matt Hewson: Good to hear this game is both coming to consoles and is going to have an offline option. I played it when it first came out but dropped off pretty quickly. It didn’t hold me like Diablo or Lost Epoch did but that was yonks ago, so I might check in and see how it has improved when it hits full release.

Paul James: No interest in the online, but going multiplatform and offline makes New World a far more appealing prospect to me. I’ll need to see how the offline changes things before I consider it but this is a good start.

Dark and Darker

Matt Hewson: Looks like a classic PC RPG from the ’90s in a lot of ways. Getting the gameplay right will be key here because nostalgia only works if the game plays how you remember it, not how it actually did. It is F2P which worries me as well. Available now.

Paul James: Didn’t have a lot of 90s PC RPG experience so Dark and Darker didn’t strike a chord with me. Can’t complain about F2P and available now I guess.

Kunitsu-Gani: Path of the Goddess

Matt Hewson: Perhaps the most unique title so far. Part action, part strategy game with some wild enemies, and very interesting. I am not sure if it will pull off its lofty ambitions though.

Paul James: Yeah there are some really fascinating gameplay systems converging with this one. I have faith in Capcom because they’ve really not missed in quite a long time now. The short turnaround to release is also quite appealing. I’m keen to check it out.

Hyper Light Breaker

Matt Hewson: I love the look of this. Seems like a great action title to play with friends. Depth will be the question, but I am going to be paying close attention.

Paul James: Hyper Light Drifter was an early indie love for me and Breaker ticks a lot of boxes that I’m keen to see from a successor. We’ve seen it a few times, and it’s consistently impressive. Keen for the release.


Matt Hewson: My son is so excited about this game it is unbelievable. He has played through all of the original Skate games so many times. I was always a Tony Hawk guy myself, but there is no doubt that it is cool to see Skate come back.

Paul James: Didn’t play Skate back in the day, but at that point, I’d left the Tony Hawk phase behind me. I regret that because Skate sounded great, so this is a great entry point for me. Just stop teasing us and get it out though!


Matt Hewson: Coming to consoles is nice, but if this is crossplay, controller players are going to get destroyed by PC players.

Paul James: Consoles are cool, but I do hope they have their own ecosystem to play in. I won’t be partaking in though

Monster Hunter Wilds

Matt Hewson: I am not sure anyone needs to be sold on this one anymore. This is going to be a massive hit. My only wish is that the UI gets cleaned up a bit. One thing Wild Hearts did better than Monster Hunter was show the progress path of weapons and armour, something that Monster Hunter has always been a little obscure with.

Paul James: Just hook it to my veins already, please! The new trailer was cool, the promise of more at ONL is awesome, and talking about a demo sends shivers up my spine. I can’t get enough, I’m playing Monster Hunter Now every day, and I’m just looking for my next big fix. Bring on Wilds.

Phantom Blade 0

Matt Hewson: This is kind of giving me Ninja Gaiden vibes apart from the obvious souls influences. It looks great but how “soulsy” it is will determine my interest on release.

Paul James: Souls again, so I’m hesitant, but I can change my mind if the accessibility features are there. The world looks awesome, so I’m hoping that they can deliver on the gameplay front.

Overall Thoughts

Matt Hewson: I thought it was actually a pretty solid show. Probably half an hour too long which is tradition for Geoff at this point, but there was a nice mix of indie and big-budget games that should excite most gamers. Geoff addressed the industry layoffs, something he failed to do at the Video Game Awards, but it felt a little forced to me. Don’t get me wrong, he needed to say something, but I am not sure he did it in the best way possible. In all though, an enjoyable show, not a spectacular one.

Paul James: A solid but not amazing show – Geoff had some bangers like Horizon, and had some other wet farts. I’m glad he addressed the state of the industry but as Matt said, he felt under pressure to do so. 

I wish that other events in the window would disappear so that Geoff had the kitchen sink to throw at this event because it always feels close but not quite.

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