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E3 2021: Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and Mario + Rabbids, rest of latest video game announcements

5 min read
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/gaming/2021/06/12/e-3-2021-announcements-saturday-ubisoft-gearbox/7668661002/
A screen shot from the reveal trailer of the video game 'Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora' coming in 2022.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) returns after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event will be online only and runs Saturday through Tuesday with a slew of briefings from companies including Microsoft and Nintendo.

USA TODAY will be following all the E3 announcements and have already been tracking news and updates from the Summer Game Fest, which began Thursday, including the release date for “Elden Ring,” a long-teased game by From Software, the studio behind “Dark Souls” and “Bloodborne,” and Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin.

Among the other games many are most anticipating updates about are “Halo Infinite,” due later this year for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and Windows PCs, and the “Marvel’s Avengers” Black Panther downloadable content.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garretti appeared in a video appearance in the live E3 pre-show to welcome online viewers and to say, “we look forward do seeing you in person in 2022.”

Scroll down for the latest updates from Saturday:

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Devolver Games’ indie aesthetic

Devolver Digital displayed a quartet of independently produced video games showcased within sketches that poked fun at the idea of subscription services, touting its own make-believe Devolver MaxPass+.

Fans of “The Seven Samurai” and other samurai films will want to check out “Trek to Yomi,” a combat platform game coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC in 2022. Demoed in black and white with cinematic fidelity. You are a lone samurai seeking to fulfill a vow and protect his city.

For swordplay with a faster, first-person feel there’s “Shadow Warrior 3,” a furious fighting game that looks like “Doom” taking place in a mythical land that evokes Japanese lore. Coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC later this year. 

Another game with a unique look, “Wizard with a Gun,” unfolds in a colorful animated style. The online cooperative game, coming to Nintendo Switch and PCs in 2022, features battling wizards in a battle for survival.

Here’s a card-based game with a twist. “Inscryption,” coming to PC in 2021, is a card game that goes beyond the cards into other spooky puzzles and psychological horror.

Inscryption, a card-based game that goes beyond the cards into other puzzles, is coming to PC in 2021.

And an upcoming Nintendo Switch game thumbs its nose at the digitally downloaded space. “Demon Throttle” will only be available in physical format when it arrives in 2022. The classic looking top-down game involves guns, vampires and demons.

A first look at ‘Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot closed out the video game publisher’s event with a first look at “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora,” the video game based on the James Cameron fantasy film. It will launch in 2022.

The game will be developed by studio Massive Entertainment, which previously worked on Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. It’s described as a first-person action adventure game made exclusively for next-generation consoles and PC. Players will play as Na’vi and explore a never-before-seen part of Pandora.

Special guests: Mario and Luigi

Ubisoft’s quirky rabbit-like Rabbids characters return in a new game featuring Nintendo icons Mario and Luigi, called “Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope.” Only instead of stomping, Mario and Luigi are armed with blasters attempting to save the galaxy. The game will launch November 2022 on Nintendo Switch.

‘Far Cry 6’: Get to know the game’s villain

Ubisoft introduced players to Antón Castillo, the central villain played by actor Giancarlo Esposito, known most recently for his work on the Disney Plus series ‘The Mandalorian.’ The next saga for the first-person shooter series, known for memorable bad guys, will now let players assume the roles of those key villains as part of its Season Pass arriving after the game’s launch.

‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’: What’s next?

Still in love with the Viking-inspired adventure? Valhalla, released last November, will introduce several new updates, including a second expansion called ‘The Siege of Paris,’ as well as new quests and timed festivals. Other perks such as one-handed swords will be added soon.

‘Just Dance 2022’

Of all the Guitar Heroes and Rock Bands and countless other music games players witnessed, the one game that has stood the test of time is Just Dance. To commemorate the release of Just Dance 2022, artist Todrick Hall announced a special version of his song Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels will appear on the upcoming version of the game, available on home consoles November 4.

‘Riders Republic: For your inner thrill seeker

The extreme sports game features a variety of sports including snowboarding, dirt biking, and other activities. Footage of the game shows what appears to be an open world where players will seek out and complete various events to bolster your experience and earn new gear. You can also race with jetpacks. Huge bonus. Perfect for fans of games like Tony Hawk or SSX. However, there are opportunities to relax and explore landmarks. The game launches September 2.

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Rocksmith+: Another way to learn guitar

Bet you didn’t expect the video game event to feature tools for learning musical instruments. Ubisoft’s long-running music game Rocksmith helps teach users how to play acoustic or electric guitar. You connect to a mobile device, PC, or video game console to learn from a large catalog of songs, with new arrangements coming each week.

Among some of the key features coming soon to the new Rocksmith+: advanced note detection, real time feedback, personalized recommendations and video lessons. Users can also adapt the experience to their pace. The interactive subscription music service will launch later this year. You can register now to participate in the Rocksmith+ beta on ubisoft.com.

‘Rainbow Six: Extraction’

In the latest chapter of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy franchise, players will work as special operators fighting against a mysterious alien threat. Footage of the game features slow-moving creatures with spikes attempting to overcome a crew of armed operators.

The aliens can apparently change their consistency, transforming from solid form to a black ooze to quickly move around. The game launches September 16 for PCs and home consoles. It’s a traditional cooperative experience where players will team up online. Each specialist comes up unique abilities and upgrades as they progress. An interesting wrinkle is players can go missing in action, and can’t operate until rescued by teammates. Extraction will also add crossplay between platforms.

Follow Brett Molina and Mike Snider on Twitter: @brettmolina23 & @mikesnider

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