Summer Game Fest 2023: Everything Shown Off in the Main Showcase (June 8)

If you were sad about the news of E3’s passing this year (and we’ll admit to having mixed feelings about the venerable trade show-turned-fan-event), then you’ll be happy to know that the event has a worthwhile replacement in the Summer Game Fest. As big video game fans, we’ve been incredibly excited about all the reveals and announcements, and as ostensible journalists, we figured we’d keep tabs on what’s going on at the event and share that back here.

Before we get started however, we’ve also got a bit of an explainer, if you’re interested in the details of the event or what’s going on. I’ll make this collapsible so you can skip it if you’re already in the know or just completely uninterested, though.

What's the Deal with Summer Games Fest? - click to expand

What is Summer Games Fest?

Launched in May 2020 during the pandemic, Summer Game Fest bills itself as an event which brings the industry together for a summer celebration with digital events, demos, announcements, and breaking news for video game fans. It’s not a trade show like E3 but if you’re a layperson or a casual game fan, it’s basically doing the same thing E3 was doing. While the event started digitally, they’ve moved into a physical location – this year’s event is being held at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles, California.

When Does it Run?

SGF started yesterday – June 8th, and will run through June 12th. You’ll be able to watch events as they go live on the SGF site.

Who’s At This Thing?

Pretty much everyone apart from Nintendo and Sony. Sony already had their State of Play event two weeks ago and the next Nintendo Direct will likely be in July 2023.

Day 1: June 8, 2023

Day 1 of Summer Game Fest kicks things off with a presentation from Geoff Keighley which kicked off a cross-industry showcase with games from a number of studios. After the 3pm EDT presentation were two announcement events – Day of the Devs featured upcoming indie games from iam8bit and Double Fine followed by Devolver’s presentation, The Return of Volvy!

We’re going to focus on just the games to begin with – there were a handful of things announced that either weren’t games or were at best games-adjacent – and then we’ll cover the events and TV series stuff. Expect us to cover the Day of the Devs and Devolver presentation in an upcoming post as this one quickly ballooned up to be too big to hold everything.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Release Date: 
January 18, 2024
Platforms: Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Windows

After a very long hiatus the Prince of Persia returns. Longtime fans may remember the series for its early 2000s 3d reboot, which produced an all-time classic with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which had two decent but less fondly remembered sequels (they went a little too hard on mid-00s edgelord/nu-metal aesthetics). This new game appears to be both a reboot and a return to the series’ 2d roots, albeit with a much deeper combat system and action elements.

Mortal Kombat 1

NetherRealm Studios
Release Date:
September 19, 2023
Platforms: Switch, PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Mortal Kombat returns, with this new game acting as both a reboot and a sequel to the classic series. The ending of Mortal Kombat 11 saw Liu Kang finally defeat Shang Tsung for the last time and become a god, with influence over the Mortal Kombat timeline. Mortal Kombat 1 sees us revisiting an earlier point in this new timeline, and revisiting classic characters for its story mode, such as early series favorite Johnny Cage.

If you’re wondering how all this plot fits into a fighting game, it’s probably worth revisiting the Mortal Kombat series, which left the notion of being “only a fighting game” behind a long time ago. That said if you were looking for the classic gameplay, it’s still here, with some new team mechanics similar to Marvel vs. Capcom and all of the incredibly gruesome fatilities and x-ray shots of brutal violence the series has become famous for.

Path of Exile 2

Grinding Gear Games
Release Date:
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Windows PC

The highly anticipated sequel to the popular action RPG, which our own Jon Bernhardt called “the best Action RPG ever made.” If you’re not a fan of Diablo 4 then Path of Exile 2 is likely to scratch whatever itch you were hoping Blizzard could take care of, featuring plenty of its own combat in dark monster-filled hallways, crypts, and marshes.

While no release date is set, the trailer shown at SGF 2023 promises we can “find out more” on July 28 when the studio will be running its “ExileCon” Livestream.

Sonic Superstars

Release Date:
Fall 2023
Platforms: Switch, PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Sonic’s back with another 2D adventure rendered in 3D but (smartly) looking to replicate classic gameplay. This time the game features co-op, with players able to play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, or Amy Rose as they explore a variety of environments and new abilities. Sonic games have been pretty hit or miss, especially when rendered in 3D, but the games attempting to hew to the classic 2D formula have been pretty good outside of Sonic 4. We’re hopeful this game cleaves more to the Sonic Mania side of the equation.

Honkai: Star Rail

Release Date:
Q4 2023
Platforms: PS5

This gorgeous-looking anime-inspired sci-fi RPG gacha game really showcases how cell shading has improved over the last decade. While the game released on PC and mobile devices in April, this trailer announces the game’s PS5 port in Q4 of this year.

Lies of P

NeoWhiz Games, Round8 Studios
Release Date:
TBD 2023
Platforms: PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4

Billed as a Soulslike, this game offers a uh… *checks notes*… “thrilling new take on the story of Pinocchio” as players take on the role of a puppet created by Geppetto caught in a thrilling web of lies and intrigue and set against a horror-ish version of turn-of-the-century Paris. The whole thing looks and sounds pretty bonkers and will either end up being an insane masterpiece or just hilarious piping hot trash and either way it’s going to be someone’s favorite game.

Sand Land

Bandai Namco
Release Date:
September 19, 2023
Platforms: PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, PS4

Games using Akira Toriyama’s art style are easy to recognize from thirty miles away but it’s always a pleasant surprise when they aren’t connected to either Dragonball or Dragon Quest. This Action RPG feels even more heavily inspired by Toriyama than either of those, featuring Beelzebub, some kind of demon prince as the main character on a journey with an old sheriff in search of a legendary spring hidden somewhere in the game’s vast desert. Seems neat, and I’m always here for Toriyama’s aesthetic, even if the track record of non-Square Enix releases hasn’t been great.

Throne and Liberty

Release Date:
Platforms: PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

This is an upcoming free-to-play action MMORPG set in a medieval fantasy world. The game’s currently leaning hard on a detailed combat system with heavy influence from environmental factors like weather and a changing battlefield. Seems neat but it’s hard for me to get a bead on it from the trailer and admittedly MMOs aren’t my area of expertise.

Alan Wake 2

Remedy Entertainment
Release Date:
October 17, 2023
Platforms: Switch, PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

FINALLY. Alan Wake 2 is one of the more underrated games of the last 20 years, having spawned a well-deserved cult following with a game that was appropriately atmospheric and original. That game famously ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, and fans have been waiting more than a decade now for a sequel to resolve the story. The SGF trailer shows us some of the gameplay from the new game, featuring an FBI agent character named Anderson.

Space Marine 2

Saber Interactive
Release Date:
Late 2023
Platforms: Switch, PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Look, if you’re on Goonhammer you’re already aware of this game and probably hype for it. The SGF trailer shows off the campaign mode – featuring the return of Titus – and the game’s new 3-player co-op, which looks like it’s going to be fucking lit. We’re already prepping to play this game when it comes out.

Yes, Your Grace Snowfall

Brave at Night
Release Date:
Platforms: Windows, Xbox, Switch

The sequel to the innovative kingdom management game. Players will once again make alliances, support their families, curry favor among their people, and post incoherent stories about doing this at me on Discords. The game is famous for never having any “good” choices and being pretty somber overall but the people who loved the first game really loved it and I expect that if it’s your thing you’re extremely hype about this right now.

John Carpenter’s Toxic Commando

Saber Interactive
Release Date:
Platforms: PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

OK I’m not going to lie: It took me like five minutes to realize this wasn’t a game remake of the Toxic Avenger. Anyways, this Co-op FPS takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland America dominated by toxic/mutant zombies after some kind of failed government experiment to harness the power of… well, who cares, really. The game sees tons of wasteland-roaming vehicular combat and apparently a very 80s soundtrack to go with the John Carpenter name. Looks neat, and the Co-op is definitely going to make or break this one.

Baldur’s Gate III

Larian Studios
Release Date:
August 2023
Platforms: Switch, PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Mac OS

The sequel to one of the most beloved PC RPGs of all time, this trailer for Baldur’s Gate III introduces us to Gortash, a new antagonist voiced by Jason Isaacs who leads a mechanical army. Baldur’s Gate is one of those games that doesn’t need a ton of introduction and setup, though after 23 years’ wait since the release of 2 there’s an entire generation of PC gamers who don’t remember how brilliant that game was. Here’s hoping the third one in the series brings that same magic.

Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis

Applibot, Inc
Release Date:
Beta tests starts June 8
Platforms: Android, iOS

OK bear with me because the FF7 releases get complicated. Ever Crisis is an upcoming free-to-play single player RPG for mobile phones set to release this year. The game is adapting events from the various titles in the entire library of FF7 games with a chapter-based structure and what looks like and updated graphics version of the original FF7, i.e. with chunky characters out of combat and highly detailed models in combat. The game purports to feature events from FF7, Advent Children, Before Crisis, Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, and The First Soldier and if you’re interested in revisiting the original FF7 continuity with a new package, this may be the place to do it. “F2P Mobile-exclusive game” always causes me to recoil in reflexive revulsion but I’ll admit I’m intrigued to give this one a shot.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

Don’t Nod
Release Date:
Platforms: PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

This Action RPG follows two ghost-hunters called Banishers as they fight off the kinds of undead monsters who prey on the living. The game has some cool visuals and an interesting premise, and features a number of story decisions around sparing or killing monsters which the developer promises will have major impacts on the story.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Release Date:
November 9, 2023
Platforms: Switch, PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4

The latest entry in the Yakuza series, this one follows Kazama Kiryu following his decision to leave his life behind and fake his own death in order to protect his family. Of course that shit didn’t work out, and now he’s been dragged back into a life of violence by a mysterious crime boss obsessed with driving him out of hiding. I’m sure it will totally go well for that crime boss and we won’t just spend the game’s runtime beating the everloving shit out of everyone in said boss’ employ. Anyways, Yakuza rules and this game is probably going to whip ass.

Under the Waves

Parallel Studio
Release Date:
August 29, 2023
Platforms: PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4

This narrative-driven adventure game is set in the North Sea in a kind of retro-futuristic time period. You play a lonely diver struggling with depression and the loss of one or more loved ones as he does routine maintenance on undersea infrastructure and stumbles onto some kind of vaguely scary mystery. Like if Subnautica focused less on building and more on plot, which I can get behind.

Fae Farm

Phoenix Labs
Release Date:
September 8, 2023
Platforms: Switch, PC

This is another cute, low-stakes farming sim.

Lysfangha the Time Shift Warrior

Sand Door
Release Date:
TBD, 2023
Platforms: PC

This Action RPG has an interesting hook in that you can spawn multiple versions of yourself synched out of time, leading to an entire army of yous taking on enemies. Seems like a neat concept, though I’m already sick of the protagonist’s mid-2010s-style quips.

Immortals of Aveum

Ascendant Studios
Release Date:
July 20, 2023
Platforms: PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S

This first-person shooters has players take on the role of some kind of special muscle wizard fighting something called the Everwar to save the realms. Seems like a relatively straightforward world-on-the-brink sci-fi/fantasy mashup thing. The game boasts some impressive visuals and a tether you use for grappling enemies and swinging between platforms. Seems OK.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Square Enix
Release Date:
Platforms: PS5

OH SHIT. There’s a ton going on in this new trailer, which massively complicates an already intriguing and complicated finale to the FF7 Remake. That’s par for the course for game director Tetsuya Nomura, who’s the mind behind the increasingly dumb and labyrinthine Kingdom Hearts series. Expect more mind-blowing revelations this time around on the game’s two (2!) discs, including hints that Tifa may have been killed and replaced by Jenova (or it could be more lies?), and an ominous parallel reality where our heroes all died on the freeway at the end of the remake. Lots of crazy shit going on and I’m here for it.


The Stuff That Wasn’t New Games/Releases

The rest of the announcements were a mix of new skins, crossovers, DLC, and other trailers that don’t quite fit in with the stuff above so we’ve shuffled it off down here to its own section.

Dead by Daylight adds Nicholas Cage

Nicholas Cage’s ongoing renaissance continues to expand into other media and now the actor is being added to the multiplayer survival horror game Dead by Daylight, where presumably players will be able to run from horrors while listening to the actor go “full cage” into a microphone.

Street Fighter 6 and Exoprimal Team Up for an Event

Another entry in the ongoing list of game crossover events that add characters from one series into another, Exoprimal is gaining some Street Fighter 6-themed robots in the first of what will be multiple collabs with Capcom. This first one adds bearded robot versions of Ryu and Guile to fight against cyborg dinosaurs.

The Witcher Season 3

Yeah we’re bummed it’s Cavill’s final season with the show but we’re still hype for the new season. The Witcher has always been a show which seems like it shouldn’t work, but manages to get by almost entirely on vibes and so we’re absolutely here for it.

Spider-Man 2 Introduces Venom

Sony’s exclusive Spider-Man 2 will feature more than just two Spider-men – Peter Parker and Miles Morales – it will also include a whole new Venom and the black suit for Peter Parker.

Call of Duty Season 4

There’s a new season for Call of Duty. This one has new maps and probably guns.

Fortnite Wilds

This is a new thing for Fortnite, which now has dinosaurs and uh, Transformers.

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