This morning, Xbox ushered back in-person events with the Xbox/Bethesda Showcase. This is a big step to ushering back the remnants of E3 (which was announced to be in-person along with Summer Gamefest in 2023). Although the digital only showcases of the major publishers and platforms have made due for the last two years, its still not the same as attending events like E3 in person. There have been tons of relationship and contacts that were made at shows like E3 that are harder to do exclusively online.
Let's take a look at the games that Xbox and Bethesda brought to the showcase.
- Redfall (Arkane Studios)- Redfall is a first shooter that can be played solo or as a squad. Taking place in the town of Redfall, MA where there is essentially a vampire outbreak. Arkane brings their usual flair to the game with tight looking gun mechanics as well as some great abilities. We do know this game was already delayed to 2023 but it will be playable day one on Game Pass
- Hollow Knight: Silksong- The much anticipated follow up to Hollow Knight has finally debuted. The trailer showed off game play as well as the gorgeous graphics that the first was known for. There was no release date but it was announce to be playable day one on Game Pass
- High On Life(Console Launch Exclusive) - From the creator of Rick & Morty, is a first person shooter where you are on a mission to save the Gatliens and shutdown the alien cartels. The game will be launching October 2022 and will be available day one on Game Pass.
- Riot Games / Game Pass partnership - PC and mobile users will be able to play League of Legends (all champions unlocked), League of Legends: Wild Rift(All Champions Unlocked), Valorent(All agents unlocked), Legends of Runeterra(Foundations Set unlocked), and Teamfight Tactics(Select Little Legends Unlocked) via Game Pass starting Winter of 2022.
- Plague Tale:Requiem - The long awaited sequel maintains its third person action and will be launching some time by end of 2022. It was announced it would be day one playable on Game Pass.
- Forza Motorsport(Turn 10) - Forza returns to the track with stunning graphics, ray tracing, and even a custom in-game camera built on sliders for photo mode. There has been a 48x increase in fidelity. Dynamic time of day was added, which will impact tract temperature and tire grip. Tire and fuel management has been added as well. Car damage will highlight individual lines now and be more realistic. It will be launching in Spring of 2023, available day one on Game Pass, and was built from the grown-up for Series S|X.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator - For the 40th anniversary, helicopters, gliders, and new aircraft will be added including the Spirit of St. Louis. The addition of the Spirit of St. Louis is in collaboration with the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. The additions will launch November 2022 and be available on Game Pass. it was also announce that the Pelican drop ship from Halo Infinite will be available 6/12/2022 as a free download.
- Overwatch 2(Blizzard) - After several years the sequel returned in a free to play to play format. A new hero, The Wastelander was revealed at the end of the trailer. Overwatch 2 will be launching October 2022
- ARA: History Untold (Oxide Games) - ARA is a real time strategy game. There was no release date provided, but it will be available day one on Game Pass
- The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle - The latest expansion to ESO will launch 6/21/2022.
- Fallout 76: Expeditions "The Pit" - The expansion will take players back to Pittsburgh to help save The Pitt. The expansion will be available September 2022 and will be included on Game Pass.
- Forza Horizon 5 - Hot Wheels racetracks will be coming to Forza Horizon 5 on 7/19/2022 and will be included with Game Pass.
- ARK 2 - The follow up to ARK stars Vin Diesel and will be launching in 2023. It will be available day one on Game Pass when it launches.
- Scorn(Console Launch Exclusive) - Scorn is a first person horror game that has a very Alien universe feel to the scenery and environments. It will be launching day one on Game Pass on 10/21/2022.
- Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn - Flintlock is a third person action game that combines mystical powers with an almost Assassin's Creed like combat. It will be launching in early 2023 and be available day one on Game Pass.
- Minecraft Legends(Mojang) - Minecraft Legends is an action strategy game. It will be launching in 2023 and be available day one on Game Pass.
- Lightyear: Frontier(Console Launch Exclusive) - Lightyear: Frontier is a first person game that feels a bit like No Man's Sky meets Mech Assault. The mech is customizable and prior to making a discovery while exploring, you have to gather resources in what appears to be the survival side of the game. It will be launching Spring 2023 and be available day one on Game Pass.
- Gumfire Reborn - A 4-player co-op, rogue like, first person action game. It will be launching and be available October 2022 on Game Pass.
- The Last Case of Benedict Fox(Console Launch Exclusive) - A Metroidvania style game that is about a young man trying to connect with his fathers memories. It will be launching Spring 2023 and be available day one on Game Pass.
- As Dusk Falls - An interactive story based game where choices matter and plays out like a TV show. As Dusk Falls can be played solo or with up to 8 people via multiplayer. It will be launching 7/19/2022 and be available day one on Game Pass.
- Naraka: Bladepoint (Console Launch Exclusive) - Naraka is an action based, battle royale game. This release will include a campaign mode and be available June 23, 2022 on Game Pass.
- Pentiment - Choice based game. Launching November 2022 and available day one on Game Pass.
- Grounded(Obsidian) - Grounded is a Honey I Shrunk The Kids-esque first person adventure game. The game is finally moving out of preview stage into full game stage. It will launch and be available September 2022 and will available day one on Game Pass.
- Ereban: Shadow Legacy(Console Launch Exclusive) - Third person action game similar to Arkham Knight, Assassin's Creed, etc. It will be launching sometime in 2023 and be available day one on Game Pass.
- Diablo IV: Fans of the series have been waiting quite a few years for this game to release. Players will take on the role of a Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, or Rogue for this adventure. It will be launching in 2023.
- Sea of Thieves (Rare) - Season 7 launches 7/21/2022 and will be available on Game Pass.
- Ravenlok - Adventure game that takes you on a trip through a world similar to Alice In Wonderland. It will be launching in 2023 and be available day one on Game Pass.
- Cocoon (Console Launch Exclusive) - A puzzle adventure game similar to titles like Bastion. It will be launching in 2023 and be available day one on Game Pass
- Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Launching in Early 2023, Wo Long is an action game with vibes similar to Dynasty Warriors. It will be available day one on Game Pass.
- Persona - Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 5 Royal come to Xbox and Game Pass. Persona 5 will be available in October 2022
- Kojima - New game still in development, however it is a partnership with Xbox Game Studios and Kojima Productions
- Starfield(Bethesda) - Starfield is a third person, open world, roleplaying game much like the Elder Scrolls series. However it is set in space, and it will include space combat. It will be launching in 2023 and available day one on Game Pass.
Overall, this was an extremely solid showcase that provides some much needed games to shore up Game Pass over the next 12 months. It was expected for Bethesda to show off Starfield. It is extremely gorgeous and also super ambitious for Bethesda stepping out of their Fallout/Elder Scrolls comfort zone. With the extra time, I hope they are able to refine the gameplay and reduce as many launch day bugs as possible. For me, the return of Forza Motorsport is without question the highlight of the show. From the demonstration, one can tell they leaned heavily into the tech created for Forza Horizon 5. The scenery and the cars are stunning. I have continually stated that Forza surpassed Gran Turismo long ago and I still maintain that opinion today after the demonstration. I have played several of the Forza Motorsports entries and well as Gran Turismo 7, and I believe that Forza Motorsports will surpass Gran Turismo again. Phil Spencer and his team are bringing an enormity of games to Game Pass day one when the game launches which further increases the value of Game Pass. The downside is that most of the heavy hitters will not be launching until 2023. Game Pass will have to rely on its current offerings to keep its growth going. The big question remains: Will the titles launching in 2023 be enough to bring back some of those subscribers that left the service due to lack of Xbox exclusive? Time will tell.
To catch a replay of the showcase you can find it here: XBox/Bethesda Showcase 2022