Publisher Devolver Digital has been making digital press conferences since E3 2017, where its presenter had an audience member throw money at a computer, then put his hand inside the screen and take it out as a bloody, screaming mess. Since then, things have only gotten weirder.
Some have enjoyed watching Devolver’s devolution into madness, while others have tired of its act and just want to know what games it’s actually releasing. This article is for the latter crowd.
This year’s presentation was basically a short film with ad breaks for its games, with its presenter having been put into a Matrix-style containment chamber. An “evil” presenter, Nina, now runs the show, hell-bent on manufacturing hype and getting announcements, regardless of their ethicacy or validity. It’s all painfully self-aware and especially a criticism of this summer’s saturation of digital conferences in the absence of E3, even though the presentation kind of adds to the problem it means to parody.
Here are the real games announced during the presentation, not counting the fake games, Getting Down with Bennett Foddy, Sonic Fox’s Furry Fighters 4 and Pikmin 3 Battle Royale. Those, unfortunately, do not exist.
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Release window: 2021
After the 1997 first-person shooter’s reboot in 2013 and sequel in 2016, Shadow Warrior is becoming a trilogy. The trailer shows platforming segments and lots of blood.
Release date: Aug. 4
Platforms: Playstation 4, PC
What looks like the perfect kind of game for YouTubers, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout’s premise is simple: It’s a 60-player battle royale game where the last player to not fall off the platform wins. There are plenty of obstacles and platforming challenges to keep things interesting, especially with the game’s intentionally floppy-looking physics.
Developer: Phobia Game Studio
Release date: July 23
Platforms: Xbox One, Switch, PC
Carrion is what Phobia Game Studio calls a “reverse horror game,” where you’re the beast hunting down its prey, not unlike the end of a certain game by Playdead Studios. The 2D sidescroller looks to aim for an odd type of catharsis after being hunted down in so many games, like Pac-Man chowing down on a power pellet and exacting his revenge on those terrified ghosts. The game also comes to Xbox Game Pass day and date of release on Xbox One.
Developer: Skeleton Crew Studio
Release window: Fall 2020, demo out now on PC
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Olija is the work of one person, Thomas Olsson, who has been at work on the game for years. The nearly-final product shows its main character wielding the “Harpoon of Legend,” which he thrusts across a 2D plain at foes and targets. It has a minimalistic art style that somehow manages to convey dramatic scenes with its silent characters.
Release window: August 2020 (Stadia, PC), 2021 (console)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC
The fourth entry in the anything-but-serious Serious Sam series (try saying that five times fast), Serious Sam 4 carries on the tradition of shooting anything that moves. The game wears its Doom inspiration on its sleeve, for better or worse.
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Release: Out now for free
No, this one actually isn’t a joke. DevolverLand Expo is a real game, and it’s out now on Steam. Marketed as a “marketing simulator,” the game takes the entire presentation’s self-awareness and compiles it into a self-aware first-person-shooter, complete with trailers and gameplay videos for other games. It’s the next level of advertising in the future’s future.