Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Fans have been waiting a long time for the follow-up to Level-5’s Studio Ghibli inspired RPG, Ni No Kuni. At this E3 we finally got a release date for the upcoming game, along with a new trailer and other details. Ni No Kuni II has drastically changed things from the first game, telling a brand new story in an entirely new world. You play as Evan PettiWhisker, a young king who’s country is suddenly taken from him by a malevolent force. You’ll need to guide him and his allies through their journey to take back the kingdom of Ding Dong Dell.
Combat has also been completely overhauled, opting for a more action-based system that feels like a drastic improvement over the first. You can take a look at 5 big ways it’s improved right here. Additionally, the title will feature a big Kingdom Building element as Evan tries to reclaim his kingdom. Ni No Kuni II is easily one of the biggest JRPGs of the Fall, if not the year, and it’s one to certainly keep an eye on. For more on the game, make sure to take a look at our in-depth Q&A with Bandai Namco.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
The Nintendo Switch is slowly gaining steam with a string of strong first party releases, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can be added to that growing list. Nintendo started off their E3 2017 Spotlight with a surprise, confirming that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is still set for a Holiday 2017 release. This only bolsters the Switch’s lineup for the Fall, with the likes of Pokken Tournament, Super Mario Odyssey, and Fire Emblem Warriors.
The new trailer from E3 2017 shows a dramatic story that seems very reminiscent of the first Xenoblade Chronicles, and not the more recent Xenoblade Chronicles X. It seems the goal of the game will be to find somewhere known as “Elysium.” We also got an extensive look at gameplay from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 during Nintendo’s Treehouse stream, showing off a huge world with plenty of options.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is certainly a game to keep an eye out for, and could be another huge RPG to rival the likes of Breath of the Wild on Nintendo’s new system.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Video games often play with history in interesting ways, but few games try and stick as close to their historical ties as Kingdom Come: Deliverance, an open world title set in the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1403. Everything about Kingdom Come tries to stick to its historical inspirations, from the gorgeous period appropriate art in the map and UI, to the way that each weapon and piece of armor changes the way you fight. This can be things like a certain helmet obstructing your view because of the eye slots in it, or needing to equip another layer of clothing under plate armor so your character doesn’t get crushed by blunt weapons.
Kingdom Come follows the son of a blacksmith, who’s family was killed by an invading army. There’ll be plenty of choices to make, sidequests to complete, and battles to fight. Warhorse Studios says that there are multiple ways to approach almost every quest in the game,and you’ll be able to build your character however you want. With a release date of early 2018, Kingdom Come could be one of the big open world RPGs to watch out for next year. If you want to see more ways the game embraces its historical setting, you can take a look right here.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor wasn’t a straight up RPG, more of an action-adventure game with RPG mechanics. Shadow of War, however, has not only doubled down on its action elements, but its RPG elements as well. This time around Talion can pick up loads of different equipment, with different rarity tiers of helmets, armors, weapons and more. There’s a high degree of customization to be had, and each piece of equipment gives your various stat boosts or special effects. This’ll allow for much more role-playing in the sequel.
On top of that, new systems have been introduced, and the Nemesis system has been expanded upon greatly. In Shadow of War you can recruit Orc allies to lead your armies, and the Nemesis system won’t just apply to Talion but your allies as well. They can form strong friendships, intense rivalries, and more. You can see a full list of the big changes coming to the Nemesis system right here.
The biggest and most impressive addition, however, comes with Shadow of War’s massive siege battles. These huge conflicts have you selecting the forces and perks you want to bring into battle, before helping your army capture points around the city to win the battle. You can see more about the siege battles in our hands-on preview.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is much more of an RPG than its predecessor, but it’s also improving on the original systems introduced in Shadow of Mordor. You’ll want to keep an eye on this one as its October 10 release date draws nearer.
Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter is one of the most successful RPG series around, and the announcement of Monster Hunter World was certainly a big surprise during Sony’s E3 conference. World looks integrally different from anything else in the series, while still retaining the core of what makes Monster Hunter.
The big change, of course, is what Capcom calls a “living, breathing ecosystem.” Monster Hunter Wold has completely done away with the zone design of previous games, and opted for a complete open world that even has a layer of emergent gameplay. While exploring, day and night cycles and transitions to new areas will happen seamlessly, and you’ll also need to keep your wits about you. Monsters and other creatures live naturally in the ecosystem and they won’t be afraid to attack if you intrude on their territory. During the E3 demo we even saw three colossal monsters battle it out, as a hunter was trying to take one down for a quest. Capcom says they want things like this to happen for players, and the way creature AI has been built means that they act independently, with a different result happening almost every time.
Monster Hunter World is definitely a huge step forward for the series, and although it wasn’t playable at this E3 it’s definitely going to be on many people’s radars. You can also see a few other ways World is changing up the series’ formula right here.
Ooblets came completely out of nowhere to be one of the most unique looking titles of this E3, although it was technically announced at GDC earlier this year. The adorable game is basically a cross between Harvest Moon and Pokemon that has you planting a garden with various flowers and other plants. The catch, of course, is that cute little creatures hatch out of these plants.
In the newest trailer it looks like you’ll be able to take your Ooblets out into the world to adventure, and you’ll even be able to have them battle against other Ooblets in turn-based combat. Even better, you can collect items and decorate your house a la Animal Crossing.
One of the biggest strengths of Ooblets is its gorgeous pastel art style that really gives the game a cute vibe. It’s equally impressive because the game has been mostly developed by only two developers, Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser, with some publishing help from Double Fine. Ooblets could easily be one of the most unique and charming indie games in a while, and it’s currently expected for release on Xbox One and PC in 2018.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Stick of Truth was a hilarious RPG experience that played with both fantasy and video game tropes. After suffering multiple delays South Park: The Fractured But Whole is finally nearing release, and it looks just as unique as the first game.
This time around things are done in a super hero aesthetic, and of course there’s plenty of South Park’s trademark humor to go along with it. During our time with the game we managed to do a few ridiculous things including: battling strippers, serving a DJ a very questionable drink, and creating a “Toilet Control” to be used when someone sits upon the throne. Combat has also been changed up this time to be much more strategic. Ubisoft has now broken down the battlefield into grids, allowing characters to move around the battlefield and having players make use of their different traits and skills.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole looks like it’s going to be just as weird and ridiculous of an RPG as The Stick of Truth, but one that definitely shouldn’t be missed. The Fractured But Whole is due out on October 17 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.