The dust has settled on Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Bethesda and fans have been eager to see what the future holds for the studios involved. At E3 2021, fans’ prayers were finally answered when the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase gave an exclusive look at an impressive list of upcoming releases.
The showcase kicked off with Bethesda’s own Todd Howard taking the stage to present the first in-game teaser for the sci-fi RPG epic Starfield. The game would be Bethesda’s first new universe in 25 years and has been rumored to be in development for what seems like that same amount of time.
“It’s a game that we’ve dreamt of playing,” Howard said. “And it wasn’t until now that we have the hardware, the technology, and the team, who’s hard at work at home, to make that dream a reality.” Set hundreds of years into the future, you embark on an interstellar journey with the intent of answering the great mystery of humanity.
After Starfield’s unveiling came back-to-back trailers for upcoming titles that will be available for day one play on Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s all-inclusive gaming subscription service. Some of the games included in this marathon of trailers were the FPS adventure game Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, the Left 4 Dead spinoff Back 4 Blood, a new heist game from the Just Cause team called Contraband, a game set in the Pirates of the Carribean universe called Sea of Thieves, and the long-awaited Psychonauts 2.
An exhilarating new gameplay trailer for Battlefield 2042 was released during the E3 showcase after the game was announced this month. The futuristic installment in the Battlefield franchise takes everything to the next level with wingsuits, tornadoes, rockets, and 128-player matches. The action in 2042 rivals any Dwayne Johnson/Vin Diesel blockbuster.
Arriving at the half-hour mark of the showcase, things temporarily slowed down in order to give the audience a breather. In order to help further promote the Xbox Game Pass, thirty iconic Bethesda games from the Fallout series to the Elder Scrolls series have all been made available for play on the service. Other games making their way to Xbox Game Pass include Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Age of Empires IV, and Hades.
Then came a closer look at the future of Xbox’s biggest intellectual property: Halo. During what would have been last year’s E3 event, gameplay for Halo Infinite was released on a YouTube livestream and received mixed reviews because of its overall look. The game was set to be released in November 2020 but 343 Industries took it upon themselves to continue working on the game in order to please the fans that berated its look.
Joseph Staten, the cinematic director of the Halo series at Bungie, joined as the Head of Creative for Halo Infinite last summer and took the E3 stage to give the latest details about the latest title in the Halo franchise. The game modes present in Halo Infinite are very reminiscent of the earlier entries in the series, with the multiplayer gameplay feeling right at home with Halo 2 and Halo 3. Multiplayer for Halo Infinite will be free-to-play in order to give anyone the chance to become a Spartan hero.
If all of that wasn’t enough, Xbox and Bethesda went on to present more game trailers for another 40 minutes. It was at the tail-end of the showcase that we were able to get a look at Forza Horizon 5. The next title in the open-world driving series features the visually stunning landscapes of Mexico, letting the player drive through deserts, rainforests, and dormant volcanoes.
In conclusion, Xbox and Bethesda’s Showcase at E3 2021 was overwhelming in the best way possible. Microsoft has been historically known for being sparse with exclusive content, but now they opened the floodgates with the sheer amount of titles they had presented in the allotted time that they had. With their Xbox Game Pass subscription service and recent acquisition of Bethesda, Microsoft is going to dominate the gaming industry in the 2020s. To catch the showcase in its entirety, click here.