Given Xbox’s large influence on the gaming landscape, Xbox Games Showcase is always one of the most highly anticipated features of E3. This year the hype was raised into the stratosphere thanks to the recent acquisition of Bethesda. And let’s just say, this presentation certainly did not disappoint. Indeed, Xbox and Bethesda let the games speak for themselves.
To note, every game showcased was optimized for Xbox Series X|S with many able to play day one on Xbox Game Pass.
Here is everything announced at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcases 2021:
The biggest announcement had to be Halo Infinite. While expected – Xbox is synonymous with Halo – the team at 343 Industries showed up with more info on Halo Infinite’s campaign, multiplayer, and release date.
For more, check out our in-depth article!
Starfield is a new RPG set hundreds of years into the future. Exclusive to Xbox, it’s a game about hope and solving the mystery of the universe. While the graphics looked incredible and premise interesting, it is clear that things are still in the early stages of development.
That said, Starfield has a confirmed release date: November 11th, 2022.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 brings the series to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone where the nuclear fallout has created strange anomalies in the area. Surviving seems to be a combination of eliminating human and alien-like creatures with supernatural powers.
The game is set to launch April 28th, 2022.
Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 takes the driving/racing simulator game to Mexico, where the team at Playground Games have photorealistically recreated the beautiful towns, cities, and landscapes of the area as faithfully as possible. Using the Xbox Series hardware, cars (like the exclusive AMG Project 1 Forza Edition) and the environment are rendered using ray tracing.
The game uses the multiple environments as part of its many modes. The campaign mode, for example, takes drivers throughout Mexico in search of perfect locations for a festival to happen. Horizon Arcade Minigames use the roads and townscapes to create fun multiplayer events, like piñata popping through the streets of a time. Players can even challenge others and race through the streets and natural environments.
This is all further enabled and supported by Forza Link, the game’s AI which connects players and offers suggestions to each other based on preferences.
Finally, there is an Events Lab coliseum where players can create and customize their own minigames for all the play.
Forza Horizon 5 release November 9th, 2021.
Battlefield 2042 seemed to capture the interest of gamers across the internet when it was announced a few days ago. Today’s video showed pre-alpha gameplay footage on its 128-player multiplayer game mode.
Immediately noticeable was just how chaotic and frantic, but also exciting, gameplay looked. The high-paced action was enabled through the new vehicle and weapon types. While the game started in the open fields outside a city, a sudden storm picked up, forcing players to rush inside city buildings for cover. This natural disaster dramatically changed the nature and landscape of the battlefield, pointing to the almost unbelievable depths of the maps Dice has built out.
Battlefield 2042 releases October 22nd, 2021.
Xbox Game Pass Updates
Xbox Game Pass has been a leader in streaming and bringing games across platform, so it’s no surprise that most games announced at the showcase are set to be on Xbox Game Pass Day 1.
However, several already released games will be making their way over to the service. For starters, all Yakuza mainline games will be available on Xbox Game Pass. This includes the most recent game, Yakuza Like A Dragon.
Additionally, 10 more Bethesda Games – Arx Fatalis, Dishonored, Doom, The Evil Within 2, Rage, Wolfenstein II, Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout 3 – will make there way to Xbox Game Pass, bringing the total number of Bethesda Games on the platform up to 30.
As a last surprise, Xbox dropped a cinematic trailer for a new game titled Redfall. Labeled as an open-world, immersive shooter which you can play alone or with friends, the game seems to take you on a journey to find or destroy the vampires lurking in the game’s eponymous town. Players will be able to choose from multiple different heroes who each have special skills and abilities like invisibility or position control.
Redfall is set to release Summer 2022.
- Back 4 Blood – the FPS multiplayer zombie survival game, with swam and human vs. zombie modes, will release October 12th, 2022.
- Contraband – the post-apocalyptic survival, co-op, and open world game got an announcement trailer.
- Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life – Captain Jack Sparrow appears to lead the pirates on an original story filled with vicious new enemies and areas in this free (and unexpected) collaboration with Pirates of the Caribbean. The expansion will release June 22nd.
- Twelve Minutes – the extremely intriguing interactive thriller game will release August 19th, 2021, almost not soon enough for players hoping to solve the mystery of the time looper.
- Psychonauts 2 – a newly dropped gameplay trailer showcased the games diverse levels and platforming challenges, as well as the expected August 25th, 2021 release date.
- Doom Eternal – the high octane FPS will be optimized for Xbox Series X|S June 29th with 60fps, ray tracing, a 4K mode, and an optimal performance mode for up to 120fps.
- Skyrim – although not really an announcements, developers reminded fans of the game’s 10th
- Fallout 76 – the game will receive two separate expansions: Steel Reign (July 7th) and Expeditions: The Pitt (2022). The former will have players choosing between Justice or Duty as the Brotherhood of Steel fractures apart along these two ideals. The latter opens up the world to Pittsburg, a place seemingly hostile to outsider.
- The Elder Scrolls: Online – currently, players are enjoying the Blackwood expansion, with developers promising the conclusion to the saga by the end of the year. The game will also be optimized for the Xbox Series X|S on Tuesday.
- Party Animals – the outrageously goofy, last-animal-standing, physics-based party game will be making a console exclusive launch on Xbox systems in 2022.
- Hades – the award-winning rougelike will make its way to Xbox August 13th, 2021.
- Somerville – the trailer showed what seemed to be a deep and intimate story about family in the midst of an alien invasion. The game comes out in 2022.
- Diablo II: Resurrected – the classic game is back but complete with new visuals, 8-player multiplayer, cross-progression, and 4K 60fps on September 23rd, 2021.
- A Plague Tale: Requiem – a sequel to Plague Tale: Innocence, this installment seems to look at a sibling pair attempting to make it through a mysterious plague.
- Far Cry 6 – a game much talked about, like at Ubisoft Forward, this presentation provided more gameplay footage as well as the many ways to play including stealth, sniper, tanks, aggressive grenades, and… a rooster? The game launches October 7th, 2021.
- Slime Rancher 2 – hunt, capture, and breed a new assortment of slimes in the new installment of the cute take on a farm simulator in 2022.
- Shredders – the Tony Hawk Pro Skater or Riders Republic of snowboarding comes out December 2021.
- Atomic Heart – use technological advancements of the era to solve an unnamed mystery.
- Replaced – this pixelated 2D sidescroller balancing platforming sequences and action packed battles comes to Xbox in 2022.
- Grounded – this miniaturized adventure has a new Shroom & Doom update implementing sitting, pets, mushrooms, achievements, and a new enemy type called the Brood Mother on June 30th.
- Among Us – 15 player lobbies with new colors will be added June 15th.
- Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising & Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes – the side-scroller battle and JRPG-like games comes out 2022 and 2023 respectively.
- The Ascent – this multiplayer looter shooter sets itself in a cyberpunk like setting and released on July 29th.
- Age of Empire IV – the historical simulation game brings players to new adventures in Europe and Asia on October 28th, 2021.
- The Outer Worlds 2 – the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Outer Worlds was announced to be currently in production
- Microsoft Flight Simulator – the flight simulator comes to Xbox Series Series X|S July 27th, 2021 with a free expansion coming out in the fall.