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E3 2021: Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase Recap


Xbox finally flexes its exclusive game muscles


In the spirit of keeping our readers up to date with what’s happening in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories from the past week. Head over to our E3 2021 page for all of the articles about this year’s show!



MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS

Xbox presents Bethesda’s Todd Howard-led Starfield

The Washington Post may have debuted the trailer beforehand, but Bethesda Game Studios Executive Director Todd Howard opened the showcase with the first official look at Bethesda’s first “new universe” in 25 years, Starfield.

While the teaser didn’t reveal much, it did reveal that players will embody an employee of an interstellar exploration company named Constellation and that the game is slated for a November 11, 2022 release date exclusively on PC and Xbox Series X|S.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will be a PC/Xbox timed exclusive

GSC Game World followed Starfield with its own highly-anticipated follow-up in the form of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl. Head of Xbox Creator Experience Sarah Bond announced that the game will feature ray-traced lighting and is “targeting 4K” on Xbox Series X.

The gameplay trailer definitely showed off the series’s trademark sense of dread and its influence on the spin-off Metro series; though it’s hard to gauge whether this new game is truly as linear an experience as the trailer suggests.

Regardless, we won’t have long to wait because S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl is scheduled for an April 28, 2022 release exclusively on PC and Xbox Series X|S.

Back 4 Blood really captures the Left 4 Dead feels

Turtle Rock Studios revealed that it’s adding a PvP mode to its spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead in an extended version of the Back 4 Blood video from the Summer Games Fest Kickoff Live stream. Interestingly, the game will also be releasing day one on Xbox Game Pass on October 12.

Yep, Avalanche Studios’s next game is exclusive to Xbox on console

The Just Cause and Mad Max folks are cooking up a “co-op action game” that’s seemingly centred around smuggling black market goods if the title Contraband is any indication.

We got our first look at Battlefield 2042 gameplay

DICE delivered a doozy of a gameplay trailer showing off Battlefield 2042’s new gun-mounted grappling hook, Crysis-style real-time weapon customisation, wingsuit flying, impressive lighting engine, improved destruction, and dynamic Levolution in action.

A grappling hook in a Battlefield game? Madness! October 22 can’t come soon enough!

Twelve Minutes will be an Xbox “console launch exclusive”

Annapurna Interactive and Luis Antonio’s long-awaited time loop crime puzzle game Twelve Minutes is going to be a timed exclusive on Xbox systems and PC following its August 19 launch.

Psychonauts 2 is really happening

Double Fine Productions told everyone that, yes, Psychonauts 2 is still a real project and that it’s packed with the original game’s zany charm and wonder in a very tidy gameplay trailer.

It’s crazy to think that Xbox is publishing the sequel when it pulled out of doing the same for the original Psychonauts and almost led to Double Fine going under if The Sims creator Will Wright hadn’t stepped in.

Psychonauts 2 is due out on August 25 on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Grappling hooks come to Halo Infinite

343 Industries CVP Bonnie Ross reiterated that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free-to-play and will support cross-platform play at launch. Series veteran Joseph Staten also introduced a brief look at the game’s single-player campaign, which included an updated look at its Zeta Halo setting and Master Chief floating through space debris (in his ongoing search for Cortana) – yes, Master Chief has a grappling hook now.

The grappling hook also makes its way to multiplayer, where a brief gameplay trailer also featured new vehicles, multiplayer voice over, and badass samurai-inspired armour.

Thankfully, Staten also announced that 343 Industries is planning to release Halo Infinite’s “first” content season and single-player campaign will “launch together this Holiday”.

Forza Horizon 5 takes the franchise on a rodeo to Mexico

Playground Games announced that the Horizon festival is headed to Mexico for its fifth instalment, with Forza Horizon 5 boasting the series’s largest open-world map to date as well as a proper “single-player campaign” known as Expedition.

You can tell that Creative Director Mike Brown enjoyed noting that every visual detail in the game is rendered in real time with ray-traced lighting and that parts of virtual Mexico were made with  “photogrammetry data captured on location” including a realistic skybox based on “24-hour shoots of real Mexican skies at 12K resolution.

Brown also noted that Forza Link has replaced ANNA as the game’s new multiplayer activity tracking system and that Playground has added a new multiplayer user-generated sandbox mode called Events Lab.

Forza Horizon 5 is scheduled to be released on November 9 on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. While we didn’t get an updated look at Forza Motorsport, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer did confirm that Turn 10 Studios is still working on the game.

Arkane Studios is working on an Xbox-exclusive vampire game

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer ended the show by introducing the newest game from Arkane Studios, a vampire-hunting action game named Redfall. As is becoming common now that Bethesda’s part of Xbox Game Studios, Redfall will also be a PC and Xbox Series X|S exclusive.

Redfall is expected to come out sometime between June-August, 2022.

Obsidian wants you to know that The Outer Worlds 2… exists

Obsidian Entertainment deconstructed the typical action trailer to announce its much-awaited follow up to The Outer Worlds, which is aptly-named The Outer Worlds 2. And that’s about it. At least Studio Head Feargus Urquhart had the decency to later reveal that the sequel will take place in “a new star system with a new crew”.

A Plague Tale: Requiem is the stuff of nightmares

A swarm of rats is probably my worst nightmare too, but at least Asobo Studio has given me the courtesy of a 2022 release date on PC and Xbox Series X|S, so I can sleep peacefully until then.

HADES is coming to Xbox Game Pass

The Supergiant hit is coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on August 13. What more is there to say about this incredible game?

More Bethesda games are coming to Xbox Game Pass, DOOM Eternal will support ray-tracing on Xbox Series X

Bethesda Softworks SVP Pete Hines took to the virtual E3 stage to announce that his company has now added Arx Fatalis (Arkane Studios’ debut game), Dishonored: Death of the Outside, DOOM (1993), The Evil Within 2, Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout 3, RAGE, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to Xbox Game Pass.

He also confirmed a release date for DOOM Eternal’s PS5/Xbox Series X|S upgrade on June 29 as a free upgrade for existing PS4/Xbox One version owners. As previously announced, PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S users will have the option to play the game with real-time ray-traced lighting (and at 60 fps on console).


VIDEOS AND TRAILERS

Among Us — 15 Player Lobbies

Saturday nights at Doublejump will never be the same!

Party Animals — Console Announce Trailer

Recreate Games’s furry take on Gang Beasts looks like it was made for physics-based streaming shenanigans.

Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life — Announcement Trailer

Ben, Ed, and Lucas; Captain Jack Sparrow’s brought a world of fantasy to Sea of Thieves in a new story expansion!

Shredders — Xbox Trailer

Another Xbox launch game and this time it’s for what could be the 1080 Snowboarding spiritual successor that we’ve been waiting for since 1080 Avalanche.

Slime Rancher 2 — Announcement Trailer

Mono Park magnificent slime fest is back, and it’ll be an Xbox and PC exclusive at launch.

Fallout 76: Steel Reign — Reveal Trailer

The Brotherhood of Steel takes centre-stage in Fallout 76’s next free expansion on July 7.

Fallout 76: Expedition — The Pitt Teaser

We get a first look at what Pittsburgh will look like in the game’s 2022 expansion.

The Elder Scrolls Online Console Enhanced — Launch Trailer

PS5 and Xbox Series X|S owners can enjoy upgraded visuals from this week.

Diablo II Resurrected — Street Date Trailer

Expect Blizzard’s remaster on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S with cross-progression on September 23.

Atomic Heart — Official Announce Trailer

Who knew that alternate reality Soviet Russia could be so fun? Mundfish does, that’s who.

Replaced — Announce Trailer

This side-scrolling adventure looks fucking awesome!

Age of Empires IV — Gameplay Trailer

Strategy fans have been waiting too long to play this.

Microsoft Flight Simulator — Xbox Series X|S Gameplay Trailer

Just in case any of you thought that the game would lose its visual splendour in the translation to console… Oh and there’s a free Top Gun: Maverick-themed expansion coming too because why the fuck not?

The Ascent — Game Pass Trailer

Neon Giant’s cyberpunk action RPG is coming July 29 on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series XS.

Shredders — Xbox Trailer

Another Xbox launch game and this time it’s for what could be the 1080 Snowboarding spiritual successor that we’ve been waiting for since 1080 Avalanche.

Slime Rancher 2 — Announcement Trailer

Mono Park’s magnificent slime fest is back, and it’ll be an Xbox and PC exclusive at launch.

Eiyuden Chronicles: Rising and Eiyuden: Hundred Heroes — Announcement Trailer

This game trailer is peak JRPG.

Grounded  — The Shroom & Doom Update Trailer

Arachnophobia mode needs to be a compulsory feature everywhere.

Far Cry 6 — Xbox Gameplay Overview Trailer

Señor Cortez shows Dani how murder is done in Yara.

Somerville — E3 2021 Trailer

Playdead’s co-founder is back at it with a new studio and a new game due in 2022.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon — Game Pass Trailer

Play it now on Xbox Game Pass.


Microsoft and the Xbox team really wanted to show Xbox fans that Sony and PlayStation aren’t the only ones with big exclusives up their sleeve. Speaking of which, DEATHLOOP may be the last Bethesda-published game to come to a PlayStation system…


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