Game News Xbox Bethesda Conference: Starfield, Riot, Forza Motorsport, Diablo, Kojima, everything you need to know
The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase has just ended and the least we can say is that it was loaded with games! For this second edition with Bethesda, Microsoft played it safe. The American giant has made an unprecedented promise, that of presenting only games arriving in the next 12 months. We have therefore witnessed the arrival of around thirty apps whose release is planned between now and the first half of 2023. All sprinkled with a good dose of Game Pass and a pinch of Kojima. The winning formula for a successful show?
Starfield, Forza Motorsport, Diablo IV, Redfall: Xbox shows gameplay, and nothing but gameplay
The four big takeaways from the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase showed off their best side by displaying lengthy gameplay footage. The show first opened with the title that closed the 2021 conference with Redfall, a co-op PvE FPS where players hunt fearsome vampires, planned for 2023. The heroes, stuck on an island infested with bloodsuckers who obscured the sun, must use their different skills to survive. Playable solo or with others, Redfall displayed a successful technique as well as a level design visibly playing on verticality.
Forza Motorsport, meanwhile, was there to clinch jaws. Featured by Dan Greenawalt and Chris Esaki of Turn 10, the app is being marketed as “the most technically advanced racing game” never created. Captured on Xbox Series X, the gameplay of Forza Motorsport exposed environments as well as superb cars, magnified by the contribution of ray tracing. The demo was held on Maple Valley, a track available in the first Forza Motorsport released in 2005. The two friends had fun walking the camera around the scenery to prove the precision of the graphics, capable of displaying beautiful panoramas as well as the smallest engine details. With a day-night cycle that changes the ambient temperature (which influences the track surface), Forza Motorsport promises a revised and corrected collision engine.
One of the surprises of the conference came neither from an Xbox studio, nor from a Bethesda team, but from Blizzard developers! While the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard is still in progress on Microsoft’s side, it is Diablo IV that has come to cast a spell over the Showcase. Rod Fergusson, general manager of the Diablo franchise (and ex-Xbox), came to show some gameplay captured on Xbox Series X. The opportunity to see an artistic direction that gives pride of place to sordid details served by a technical which seems to be level. This Diablo IV planned for 2023 “takes up all the basics of the license and enriches them”, we are assured. We were able to witness the customization of the avatars, a fight against a gigantic boss, and the promise of an endgame which is only the beginning of a new journey with a ton of things to unlock.
Finally, the event organized by Microsoft ended with a long Starfield demo. Todd Howard, game director at Bethesda, came to talk about the freedom that the player will have in the adventure. Realize, it will be possible to create your ship down to the smallest detail to explore 1000 planets, with the ability to land anywhere. The final video revealed landscapes as magnificent as they are varied. Ranging from arid lands to crowded metropolises. Sure, the faces were a little robotic in their animations, and the fights didn’t feel the most dynamic. Nevertheless, we do not remember a 100% single-player game as ambitious in its specifications. 2023 seems a long way off…
Small and (some) big surprises
Despite the big cartridges we just talked about, the bulk of the Showcase actually relied on smaller projects. First there was High on Life, a crazy FPS (temporary exclusive), designed by Squanch Games where weapons and ammunition are alive. The title which will be released in October 2022 comes from the brain of Justin Roiland, to whom we owe Rick & Morty and Solar Opposites. Oxide Games, which counts in its ranks veterans who developed Civilization, came to present a turn-based strategy game published by Microsoft with Ara: History Untold. The strange Scorn has been talked about again with a new trailer as intriguing as it is repulsive, revealing a release date set for October 21, 2022 for Xbox and PC players.
Other apps of various genres have been released like Flintlock, Lightyear Frontier, Gunfire Reborn, Naraka: Bladepoint, Ereban: Shadow Legacy or Ravenlok, some of which have temporary exclusivity. We especially remember the Interactive Drama developed by INT/NIGHT and published by Microsoft entitled As Dusk Falls, which will arrive in July, Pentiment, an Obsidian investigation game with RPG mechanics scheduled for November, The Last Case of Benedict Fox, a slightly horrifying Action-Platformer that won’t land until spring 2023 and finally Cocoon, a particularly original adventure/puzzle game title imagined by the creator of Limbo, scheduled for 2023.
As for Mojang, the studio has announced a new Minecraft subtitled Legends, a strategic action game also announced for 2023. The F2P Overwatch 2 showed the end of its polygons with a release date set for October 4, 2022. Of course, the American giant took advantage of the spotlight to expose the future updates of Flight Simulator (which will welcome helicopters as well as the Pelican from Halo), The Elder Scrolls Online (High Isle on June 21 on consoles), Fallout 76 (The Pitt in September 2022), Forza Horizon 5 (and its Hot Wheels DLC on July 19), Grounded (which is finally releasing 1.0 in September 2022 after a long period of early access) and Sea of Thieves (with its Season 7 additions, scheduled for July 21).
On the gaming side, the big surprises were ultimately rather rare. They can even be counted on the finger of one hand. They were announced by Phil Spencer, the big boss of Xbox, at the end of the show. The first was the announcement of a merger with Tecmo and Team Ninja who are developing Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, an action game reminiscent of both Nioh and Ninja Gaiden. The title will arrive from the day of its launch in the Game Pass. The other was the formalization of a project still kept secret developed by Hideo Kojima based on Microsoft Cloud technologies.. Yes, you read that right, Hideo Kojima is indeed developing an Xbox exclusive. However, we will have to wait a little longer to know other details. Finally, the Persona series is finally coming to Xbox and Game Pass on October 21st.
Noticeable absences, but an unbeatable Game Pass with the strength of Riot
By choosing to show only games arriving in the next 12 months, Microsoft has necessarily closed a few doors in the scope of its Showcase. It is particularly regrettable not to have had information on Everwild, Contraband, Indiana Jones, Avowed, Project: Mara, Fable, State of Decay 3 or even Perfect Dark, especially since some of these projects were announced more than two years ago. We still have no news of the future creation of Compulsion Games, nor the projects of InXile and The Coalition. The HD version of GoldenEye 007 has not resurfaced either, nor has the remake in its Xbox version of Final Fantasy VII.
Once again, the big winner of the Showcase is the Game Pass. Almost all of the games shown at the conference will be included in the service, with a few exceptions (such as Diablo IV, for now). The very promising A Plague Tale Requiem will be available”day one”, as well as Ark II and Hollow Knight: Silksong. The major news of the evening comes mainly from the partnership signed with Riot Games. Starting this winter, Game Pass subscribers will have access to all League of Legends champions, cards from the Legends of Runeterra Foundations set, and all agents in Valorant. Normally paid content that Game Pass subscribers can enjoy without paying anything. We remind you that for the moment, these games are only available on PC and mobile devices.
In this E3 which is not one, Microsoft is the last manufacturer to organize an event of this scale. In this context, to say that the Redmond firm “won E3” is not really of interest. Once again, the pace was brisk, the announcements were generally interesting, but this year, there was also enough to keep you hungry. What is certain is that Game Pass subscribers will have hours of fun over the next 12 months. Isn’t that the most important?
About the Summer Game Fest
What is Summer Game Fest?
No E3 this year, but we can still count on another world-class event: the Summer Game Fest, a big show dedicated to announcements of video games to come this year or the following years. It was in 2020 that journalist and host Geoff Keighley launched this now unmissable festival for the first time. Last year, the show featured stunning images from Elden Ring; so inevitably, the third iteration raises high expectations.
When does Summer Game Fest 2022 start?
The Summer Game Fest is this Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m. The show will once again be followed by a Day of the Devs session devoted to the independent scene.
How to follow the Summer Game Fest 2022?
On JV, we will react live to announcements from the LeStream channel alongside Maxildan and Aymeric Lallée in particular. The show will also be directly visible as a teaser on JV’s homepage. And for those who prefer reading, you will of course find our news throughout the conference. A written summary will also be available
What is the program for Summer Game Fest 2022?
Among the games not to miss, there is in particular the heir to Dead Space, The Callisto Protocol, which shows us its first gameplay images. For its part Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 presents us with its first level. Also on the program: Gotham Knights, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, the first game from Aaryn Flynn’s studio (ex-Bioware) Nightingale, the JRPG One Piece Odyssey, the free-to-play Warframe or even Planet of Lana. Geoff Keighley further announced: “We have a few new game announcements for this show and hopefully a few surprises if all holds together. But it’s definitely a show that mostly focuses on things that are foretold.”