The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase was dense. One and a half hours of (almost) non-stop game announcements and updates. We only had a few brief moments of awkward developer conversations dotted throughout, which handily gave viewers time to digest what they had seen before diving back into the feast. In total 39 games were featured one way or another, so without further ado, let’s crack on with the rundown:
Bethesda revealed the release date for Starfield in a brief trailer. Sadly no gameplay was featured but the CGI trailer showed an astronaut preparing to lift off from an alien planet while, in a voiceover, discussing the endless frontier of space. Starfield is an Xbox exclusive and will launch on November 11th 2022. Fun fact: November 11th was the release date for Skyrim back in the day!
We were treated to some footage for Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl - a sequel to the underrated first-person shooter from 2007. It had more than its fair share of Metro-esque moments, which will instantly entice fans of that series. Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl launches in April 2022, On Xbox Games Pass At Launch
A new gameplay trailer briefly introduced Back 4 Blood’s PvP mode. We also got to see more of the characters we’ll be blasting the undead away next to. The Left 4 Dead successor will be hitting shelves on October 12th this year.
Another CGI only trailer gave very little away for Contraband by Avalanche Studios. It’ll be co-op and open world. Beyond that, there were no concrete details given... at all. It did feature the song “Do It Again” by Steely Dan which was nice.
Sea Of Thieves Update
Rare’s Sea of Thieves is getting a five-episode update that will feature Jack Sparrow from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. With a release date of June 22nd 2021, players won’t have to wait long.
Sega’s entire Yakuza collection, including Yakuza: Like a Dragon, hit Xbox Game Pass straight after the showcase - that’s a total of seven games to experience. Which adds up to more crime drama than the entire run of The Sopranos.
EA isn’t participating at E3 as usual (they have their own live stream event - EA Play Live - in July. I hope you’ll all be joining me in prayer for a Dead Space remaster). But that didn’t stop Microsoft from showing off some gameplay for Battlefield 2042 and its jaw-dropping 128 player matches. You can jump into the insanity of war on October 22nd 2021.
Check out our trailer breakdown here.
Upcoming indie top-down thriller puzzle game 12 Minutes was shown briefly. Not much information was given, but with an impressive voice cast of James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Defoe it’s one to listen out for when released on August 19th.
August 25th, put it in the diary. Psychonauts 2 is finally coming and it looks as bizarre on the first game. The trailer featured a good amount of gameplay for the upcoming platformer.
Doom Eternal Update
Like many of Bethesda’s other games, Doom Eternal will be getting a free next-gen upgrade exclusively available on Xbox Series X. It will be optimized for the console with 60fps and ray tracing. It’ll hit Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on June 22nd.
Fallout 76 Expansions
Two new upcoming expansions are coming to Fallout 76: Steel Reign and Return to the Pitt. Steel Reign, arriving on July 7th, see’s the Brotherhood of Steel going up against Super Mutants while The Pitt, coming in 2022, will allow players to return to Pittsburgh.
Like Doom Eternal, The Elder Scrolls Online is getting a next-gen upgrade exclusively on Xbox Series X|S. It’s not the Elder Scrolls announcement that everyone hoped for, but the enhanced visuals look great. Players only have to wait until June 15th for the update.
Party Animals is launching on Xbox Game Pass. It looks like party brawler Gang Beasts with animals (or actual beasts if you prefer). And is slated for a vague “2022” release.
The critically-acclaimed, and one of the best games of 2020, Hades, is coming to Xbox Series X|S on August 13th 2021.
Somerville is an upcoming indie platformer that looks more than a little like Limbo and Inside. Unsurprisingly, it’s being developed by Jumpship - a studio founded in collaboration with Playdead’s Dino Patti, who worked on both aforementioned titles. And we were left in limbo as no release was given.
Master Chief is back for his sixth outing in the Halo franchise. The trailer focused mainly on multiplayer, which looked like a healthy mix of Halo 3 and Reach in terms of flow. In a surprise move, Microsoft announced that Halo’s multiplayer will be free to everyone. Later in the reveal, it was mentioned that “season one” of the multiplayer will be free to everyone. We were also treated to an in-game cinematic featuring the big green navigating the wreckage of a UNSC ship. I’m remaining cautiously optimistic about Halo Infinite and can’t wait for “Holiday 2021”.
Diablo 2: Resurrected
The upcoming Diablo 2: Resurrected is coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 23rd 2021 (it’s also coming to Playstation for anyone that’s worried). The gameplay trailer showed off enhanced visuals and an eight-player co-op - watch out for friendly fire!
Plague Tale: Requiem
Sequel to A Plague Tale: Innocence is coming sometime in 2022. The short trailer showed an unsettling sea of rats flowing through city streets. Nice.
Ubisoft gave us a look at Far Cry 6’s story during its presentation. But Xbox showed us even more, including an angry Goth Rooster players can team up with. Prepare to ruffle some feathers on October 7th 2021.
Slime Rancher 2
A sequel to the fan-favourite Slime Rancher was announced and is coming to Xbox in 2022.
Hit some next-gen slopes in December with Shredders. The trailers showed snow, boarding and snowboarding. It has nothing to do with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and isn’t the SSX Tricky remake everyone wants but it still looked impressive.
Developer Mundfish’s first-person shooter Atomic Heart got a new trailer, that showed off more of the bonkers character designs. We didn’t get a release date though.
Replaced is a dystopian thriller that mixes pixel art, side-scrolling gameplay, and high-quality 3D and lighting effects. Sadly it was another “coming 2022” release date.
Tiny survival game, Grounded, is getting a free update packed with new features at the end of June. Titled Shroom & Doom it will add, among other things, delightful pets and disgusting spiders.
A brief trailer confirmed that Among Us is getting 15 player lobbies, which will have three traitors. No release date was given, which is a bit sus.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, the spiritual successor to the fantastic Suikoden RPG series, is coming in 2023.
The Ascent was one of the earliest reveals when the Xbox Series X|S was first announced. The new trailer gave us a better look at the isometric Cyberpunk action. It’s releasing on July 29th 2021.
Age Of Empires 4
Long-running RTS franchise - Age of Empires - returns to PC on October 28th 2021.
Possibly the highlight of the entire showcase. The Outer Worlds 2 only showed a CGI trailer. But it made fun of CGI trailer troupes as well as reveal trailers in general. It’s definitely worth watching. No release date was given because, as the trailer itself states, the only thing they’ve finished is the title.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is finally coming to Xbox Series X|S. It’s also getting a free add-on themed around the Top Gun franchise. If you can feel the need... the need for speed, don’t worry, July 27th 2021 isn’t that long to wait.
Set in Mexico this time around, Forza Horizon 5 aims to give players more new cars and events to race in across an open world setting. It’s out on November 9th 2021 and looks absolutely incredible.
Xbox closed the showcase with a CGI trailer for Redfall. A new open-world cooperative immersive-sim developed by Arkane Studios - the people behind Dishonored and Prey. You and your friends will be up against legions of vampires sometime in 2022.
So there you have it, Xbox & Bethesda really crammed as much as possible into their showcase, giving players a lot to look forward to. Let us know what your favourite announcements were on social media and stay tuned for more E3 coverage. Also, go check out The Outer Worlds 2 trailer.