The biggest show of this weekend of summer gaming put Xbox with Bethesda to show off the gazillion games coming to Xbox Game Pass over the next 12 months. At the top of the show Xbox promised that everything shown today was releasing within the next 12 months and no later, which is big news, presumably, if you are a developer on Starfield.
Without a huge game announcement to hang a flag on, the Xbox + Bethesda showcase still proved a solid affair, especially with the confirmation for the long rumour that gaming maestro Hideo Kojima was developing a “never before seen concept” with Xbox Game Studios, and for the extended gameplay reveal for the much-anticipated Starfield.
From Vin Diesel riding a dinosaur, to hot wheels in Forza Horizon 5, here’s the highlights of the Xbox + Bethesda 2022 gaming showcase!
First announced at the closer of last years Xbox + Bethesda showcase, Arkane Studios’ Redfall has a lot of excitement behind it. Though the disappointment of a delay in launch until next year meant we’ll have to wait a little longer, the first look pre-beta gameplay shown today should help to tide you over.
Redfall is an open-world co-op FPS in which players fight vampires and their hordes of mad cultists, attempting to drive them out of the besieged town of Redfall. Together with your squad of multi-talented vampire hunters you’ll be slaying your way through the vampire ranks using a variety of creative weaponry. Guns, special tech, super telekinetic abilities; whatever it takes to defeat the sun-hating hordes of vampires that have taken over your home.
Gameplay looks somewhere between Left 4 Dead and the various Tom Clancy squad games, as your team can use stealth or aggression to defeat your waves of foes. The intro showed Ally tracking through a blood-stained house until she found a vampire holed up in the attic. He appeared to be a “hulk zombie” shrugging of hits, which is just one of the many vampire types that Arkane have for us:
“A lot of vampires. Sneaky vampires that grab you and separate you from your team. Hulking vampires capable of tearing you and your team to pieces. Godlike vampires powerful enough to eclipse the sun. Arkane vampires.”
It looks atmospheric with Arkane’s typical prowess in environmental and creative storytelling, and of course followed up by their usual excellent gameplay complete with a range of novel abilities used in conjunction together.
You can “bite back” day one on Game Pass when Redfall releases sometime next year.
Starfield keeps being described as Xbox’s most anticipated game ever, and with today’s extended gameplay reveal it is perhaps plain to see why. Again having been delayed until next year, the wait for Starfield grows ever longer, and even within the showcase we were forced to wait until the very end for Todd Howard to appear (sporting a dazzling leather bomber jacket) and take us through his studios’ proud baby.
25 years in the making, Starfield introduces an entirely new frontier to explore—space. In 2330, you join Constellation, the last group of space explorers seeking rare artifacts throughout the galaxy. Venture through the stars and get to know a memorable cast of characters on a quest to answer humanity’s greatest question—what is out there?
This latest RPG from Bethesda, the biggest in their history thus far, will see players taking to the stars across a promised 1000 planets, each of which different and explorable. It has the ring of the No Mans Sky to it of course, which gamers will remember as being unable to uphold its grand promises at launch, however Bethesda’s dream project has a had a tonne of support behind it for a long time, so could it be possible that they have actually pulled it off?
If they have then the dream of Starfield could be a game changing one. Taking their usual ability for crafting exciting open worlds, Bethesda are upping the stakes with Starfield by making it bigger than ever and even more flexible. Beyond the vast planetary environments you’ll also be able to fly your ship throughout solar systems, battling other ships along the way and landing where you please.
The customization both for your character and your ship are more expansive than ever too. The ship building delves deep to allow you to build a ship with the look of your choosing, and your customizations will also have performance effects for when you are shooting to the stars.
You’ll be able to write your name in the stars sometime in the first half of 2023, with Starfield also coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one of launch.
Hollow Knight Silksong
Why oh why must Team Cherry tease us so. The hugely anticipated follow up to Hollow Knight, titled Hollow Knight Silksong, finally got its gameplay reveal, and yet we still have no date for release even 3 years on. What we do know is that with Xbox’s insistence that everything shown was releasing within 12 months then the insectoid metroidvania should be with us by next summer.
The gameplay showed Hornet traversing through an unfamiliar land, trying as she can to ascend to this strange kingdoms peak. Of course being a Hollow Knight game this well be no easy task with all manner of insectoid monstrosities and challenging enemies standing in her way.
Hornet must master a whole new suite of powerful moves to survive. She’ll unleash devastating attacks, learn incredible silken abilities, and craft deadly tools in order to overcome the kingdom’s challenges. Over 150 all-new foes stand between Hornet and the shining citadel crowning the kingdom. Beasts and hunters, assassins and kings, monsters and knights – Hornet must face them all with bravery and skill.
The reveal confirmed that Hollow Knight Silksong will be available on Game Pass, just as its predecessor was if you wish to go play it before next year (you should).
High on Life
The Outer Worlds meets Justin Roiland in this sci-fi first-person shooter from Squanch Games. The famed creator and voice star of Rick and Morty has yet another irreverent game where he adds his tinge of wacky voice talent and melting brain ideas to it to create product that delves into irreverent absurdity. High On Lifesees you travelling through colourful worlds armed with weapons that all talk to you. In the trailer we have Roiland as a gun trying to guide you through this unfamiliar world, and later other guns and knives similarly chastise and encourage you to murder.
Of course with Roiland comes a host of bizarre creatures that all seem plucked straight out of the Adult Swim show and digitised for a video game.
You can get murdering in October.
Riot Games IP’s All Coming To Xbox Game Pass
Another mammoth boost for Xbox Game Pass as Riot Games announce a partnership with MS to bring their portfolio to the subscription service. Valorant and League of Legends will be making their way to the subscription service and all subscribers will also get a bunch of benefits such as full character unlocks for each game.
It wouldn’t be an Xbox event without some Forza action, and the new Forza Motorsport coming in Spring 2023 looks fully charged up for the next generation of gaming.
Fans of the Forza series will know that the game celebrates intensive detail in its racing sim, and Motorsport looks set to take things to a new level. Real time ray tracing has allowed the developers to bring even more realism to every single aspect; real time reflections mirrored on just about every viable surface, minute details in vehicle damage, incredible texturing on every bit of each intricately designed vehicle.
Motorsport will also use a dynamic day time and weather system which will realistically alter your game with the time of day and weather down to even the most minute detail for added realism. For example, a mid-day race may come with warmer temperatures which will affect the grip on the road.
Rev your engines next Spring.
Forza Horizon 5 Brings Hot Wheels Back
Keeping on the Forza trail with the announcement that Forza Horizon 5 will be adding Hot Wheels on July 19th. The update will feature everyone’s favourite wacky racer toys along with the familiar red plastic Hot Wheels tracks that will take races to the sky!
A benefit of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard buyout already rearing its head with the announcement of Overwatch 2’s release date and free to play being made on the Xbox stage.
Overwatch 2 is launching in early access with dynamic new PvP content releasing on PC and Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch on October 4, kicking off the next chapter for Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed team-based shooter.
Featuring a new five-versus-five multiplayer format with cross-platform play and cross-platform progression, Overwatch 2’s PvP experience is designed to offer incredible and fresh competitive gameplay with a new free-to-play model and major game updates such as new heroes, hero reworks, maps, modes, and premium cosmetics.
At launch, players will have an opportunity to get their hands on the newest tank hero to join the roster, the ruthless Australian-born ruler of Junkertown: the Junker Queen. A short cutscene was shown to intro the new character, ending on a cliff-hanger with more details to come in future.
Just to remind us that it is still coming, a trailer reveal for Ark 2 powered by Unreal Engine 5 was shown off, and of course Vin Diesel was once again the star of the show.
Starting from mere birds, then picked off by some larger raptors, who were then crushed by an even larger Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Ark 2 trailer showed that there is always something bigger coming. And what’s bigger than a T-Rex? Well, Vin Diesel of course, the biggest Alpha of all.
Ark 2 will be stomping onto Game Pass in 2023.
In a new trailer for the upcoming atmospheric horror game Scorn, we were given a deeper look into the game’s nightmarish world, a biomechanical labyrinth with aesthetics inspired by the works of H.R. Giger creating a truly unsettling, interpretive experience.
Gameplay looks like an even grimier Doom with players traversing twisted mazes, blasting away all manner of excruciating fleshy monstrosities with a powerful arsenal. As players awaken isolated and lost within Scorn’sliving labyrinth, they’re left to fend for themselves and find a way forward. Surrounded by visceral, fleshy contraptions and denizen creatures, every deadly encounter must be carefully considered with limited ammunition, health and resources. To unravel the mystery of the world around them, players will solve intricate puzzles on their search for unsettling answers and to slowly come to understand their existence.
The fleshy freaks out there (i.e. me) will be able to experience the world of Scorn just in time for Halloween, when it launches on October 21 for Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Mojang do little else other than Minecraft properties, but at the very least with Minecraft Legends they are going for yet another entirely different style of game.
Minecraft Legends will see you rally the overworld against invading nether realm forces in this real-time action RPG. You can build out bases by command (rather than hand placing blocks a la Minecraft) and combat will have you commanding an army of classic Minecraft creatures and characters.
Assault strongholds and push the invading force back in 2023.
Persona Comes To Xbox
Persona 3 portable, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 5 Royal will all be making their way to Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass for PC in a spread release. The ports of these classic titles were previously only available on PlayStation platforms and PC, so this announcement will be of excitement to any Xbox players who have missed out.
Persona 5 Royal will be the first to hit the platform on October 21, but Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden will not be landing until next year (date unannounced).
From the developers of Inside and Limbo comes an all-new mind-bending puzzle adventure with Cocoon, due to release in 2023.
Details on Cocoon are light, but with Geometric Interactive’s track record and the neat look of the short trailer shown I think there is plenty to be excited about.
Cocoon is a unique take on the puzzle adventure genre, where each world exists within an orb that you can carry on your back. Wrap your head around the core mechanic of leaping between worlds—and combine, manipulate, and rearrange them to solve intricate puzzles.
The game plays in an isometric style with players plumbing through what looks to be various mirror universes through huge colourful orbs. Each orb has an ability that can be unlocked, thereby turning the orb into a unique tool for you to utilize within other worlds. Use these abilities to uncover hidden pathways and objects, fire projectiles to trigger switches, and more.
There will also be guardians of each world that will take a strong mastery of each world’s unique mechanics to overcome.
Hell stands on the horizon as Lilith, the Daughter of Hatred, has been reborn on the mortal plain and plans to overrule everything in Sanctuary once more in Diablo IV.
The mammoth announcement for one of gaming’s iconic RPG series was made on the Xbox stage as yet another indication of the benefit to the Activision Blizzard acquisition. Diablo IV will be coming to next gen platforms alongside versions for Windows PC, Xbox One, and PS4 with cross play and cross progression for all platforms.
Joining the battle alongside iconic Barbarian, Sorceress, Rogue, and Druid classes is the legendary Necromancer, the fifth playable character class, which returns with newly designed undead mechanics. Players will be able to utilize the Necromancer’s Book of the Dead, an all-new ability for the class, allowing them to dominate the battlefield with deeper customization of their undead army than ever before.
Diablo IV has been set out as the culmination of the franchises rich 25-year history. This version of Sanctuary is said to be massive, and every inch is rife with opportunity for adventure. Character customization in the game is richer and more extensive than ever, and players will be able to let their curiosity guide them through over 140 dungeons and dozens of side quests in their pursuit of victory over Lilith’s forces (and of course ever-more-powerful gear). Alongside fighting against mighty world bosses’ players will be able to team up and, for the first time, forever alter the world around them by conquering and converting corrupted Strongholds into friendly outposts.
There’s no golden path to follow in Diablo IV; players can choose to progress in whatever nonlinear way they want to. This open-ended experience extends to the end game, where players can test their skills in Nightmare Dungeons, enjoy combative mayhem in dedicated PvP zones, build Paragon Boards to continue advancing and customizing their characters beyond max level, and engage with the Tree of Whispers to unlock further world objectives and bounties and acquire Legendary gear.
The dev team also plan to support the game for years to come so fans of the series can expect to have plenty of powerful gear to grind for over the next while!