At this year's official ‘Not-E3’ week, we witnessed the games industry’s biggest annual event taking the year off entirely, replaced by Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest. Under this banner, the Microsoft and Bethesda event took centre stage, providing us with sneak peeks into their lineup of games for the next 12 months. With over 30 games to choose from, here’s our roundup for those of you who missed it. And many of them you see here will be available on Xbox Game Pass from day 1, so make sure you hop up on that sweet, sweet XGP subscription. The Indian prices have slashed down too.
Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase: Top 12 announcements and trailers
It’s Game on!
The line up was commenced by Arkane’s open-world co-op FPS, with a lengthy gameplay trailer. Set in a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts, facing the threat of a vampire invasion, you wage your battle against the bloodsuckers as one of four heroes. With each character equipped with various specialisms and equipment, which judging by the trailer, you’re definitely going to need them all. The game can be played solo, but if you are one of those rare, lucky folks with friends, they can always hop on board too.
Release date: 2023
Hollow Knight: Silksong
After what feels like an endless wait filled with no-shows from Nintendo’s Direct livestreams, this game was expected to make an appearance eventually. Though, Team Cherry’s wildly anticipated Hollow Knight sequel was definitely a surprise inclusion at the Xbox show. While it's unsurprising that it looks stunning, it’s even more unsurprising that we still don’t have a release date. The Metroidvania will come to Game Pass on Day One, thankfully.
Release date: TBC
Forza Horizon is still one of the best racing games around but after Sony’s exclusive got the serious folks onboard with the Gran Turismo 7, Xbox couldn’t sit back and watch. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Forza Motorsport but hopefully we’ll get more in-depth trailers and gameplay footage in the coming months. The in-engine demo of a race on the well known Maple Valley track simply showcased dynamic weather, ray tracing, predictably very pretty-looking cars and… grass.
Release date: Spring 2023
A Plague Tale: Requiem
For all you with murophobia or irrational fear of rats (very ‘rat’ional in our opinion), give this one a skip. The sequel to 2019’s hit, A Plague Tale: Innocence, we receive yet another veritable vermin-fest, as we continue to follow the journey of siblings, Amicia and Hugo. Perfect for those of you who reminisce about the pandemic, you can step into their shoes as they attempt to flee their plague-ravaged home. Packed with supernatural powers, tense stealth gameplay and – simply and undoubtedly – more on-screen rats than you’ll have ever seen.
Release date: 2022
Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th anniversary
Microsoft Flight Simulator is celebrating its 40th anniversary and what better way to pay tribute than some new planes than to put a completely badass Pelican from the Halo series. Top Gun planes are here too but this free update is coming to everyone.
Release date: November 2022 (Halo add-on from today)
We played the multiplayer beta of Overwatch 2 last month and we can say without a doubt that not much has changed (read as improved). The highly anticipated team-based multiplayer shooter will finally launch on October 4 as a free-to-play game (yay!), packing single-player and hopefully better than the beloved original. This trailer also brings to us a new Tank character called Junker Queen.
Release date: October 4
Silksong might have turned heads, but it wasn’t the only attention-grabbing indie in the Xbox showcase. Cocoon is worth more than just a glance, coming from the lead gameplay designer of puzzle-platformer masterpieces Inside and Limbo. Despite looking less horror-tinged than either of them, it adopts an isometric top-down perspective. From the trailer alone, this is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Release date: 2023
Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels
Scratch our previous statement, we are getting our share of Forza Horizon this year after all. With the shape of Hot Wheels-themed DLC for last year’s exceptional Forza Horizon 5, be prepared for your childhood to come flashing back. This isn’t the first time developer Playground Games has experimented with the Hot Wheels, a similar DLC add-on was released for Forza Horizon 3. If it lives up to that, we definitely have a lot of fun headed our way.
Release date: July 19
Although Obsidian is best known for its epic, combat-heavy RPGs, it's pretty evident that Pentiment is something very divergent from what it's used to. An RPG at its core, this 2D narrative-driven medieval murder mystery comes with its own unique art style. Despite not revealing too much, they have definitely piqued our interest with this game.
Release date: November 2022
Sea of Thieves Season 7
With our new favourite sea shanty, this trailer drops Rare’s multiplayer pirate ‘em up, set to head our way rapidly. Continuing its legacy, season 7 builds on its strengths even further, so you can get sailing.
Release date: July 21
Untitled Kojima Productions game
With no name, a vague release date and not even the faintest idea as to what it is, we are already awaiting this game. With Hideo Kojima working on a ‘completely new game’ with Xbox Game Studios, it's worth a mention. A game he’s always wanted to make, Kojima has warned us it might take some time to come together. His last game was Death Stranding, the PlayStation console exclusive and the first title from then new studio Kojima Productions, and it sounds like this untitled Xbox project won’t be set in the same universe (thankfully).
Release date: TBC
When it comes to Bethesda’s dizzyingly ambitious space RPG, that everyone was looking forward to, Microsoft did not disappoint. In the first Starfield gameplay reveal, which was more than extensive, we were shown various locations, including a moon called Kreet and its capital city, New Atlantis. Starfield definitely is on theme for a Bethesda RPG, but the character creator appears to be far deeper than anything we’ve seen in a Fallout game, and if its maker can combine the vast, No Man’s Sky-style exploration with memorable characters and exciting combat, we could be receiving a game that will leave us mesmerised for ages..