Here’s What We Saw At Today’s Xbox & Bethesda Developer_Direct
After rumours began to swirl that Microsoft had a showcase set for January, Microsoft got ahead of it and officially confirmed the Xbox & Bethesda Developer_Direct for January 25th which is the first major announcement event of the year; in January of all months too.
The event was focused on upcoming games coming to Xbox and its subscription service, Game Pass. In the initial announcement, Xbox confirmed the event would feature deep dive updates/new content on some already-announced games including The Elder Scrolls Online, Forza Motorsport, Minecraft Legends, and Redfall. For those wondering about Starfield, well Xbox promises fans will get to see more of the game in a separate event dedicated to Bethesda’s next big game later this year.
Minecraft Legends (PC, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S)
Release Date: April 18th via Game Pass
Kicking off the developer event is Mojang Studio with the upcoming Minecraft spinoff, Minecraft Legends from a third-party developer, Blackbird Interactive. A focus of the new look is on the game’s expansive PvP mode/experience where two teams (with up to four players each) are tasked with destroying the opposing team’s base which is supported by cross-platform play and online matching on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch devices.
The unique aspect of the PVP experience is that players share armour and resources with their team, this approach means a single player can’t win on their own but instead players will need to work together as a team in order to take home the dub. The battleground of each match is procedurally generated which means each game you jump into will be as unique as the last. The opposing team isn’t the only enemy you will have to worry about as piglets will attack. An important aspect of the game is upgrading your base and putting obstacles/traps in their way
Forza Motorsport (PC & Xbox Series X|S)
Release Window: TBA 2023 via Game Pass
Up next is Forza Motorsport which is described by developer Turn 10 Studios as the “most technically advanced racing game” – at launch the game will feature more than 500 cars for players to collect, race, and customize with 800 unique upgrades alongside 20 environments. This entry in the Forza series is set to feature 100 new motorsports cars which overall are the most vehicles that a game has featured in a single roster. Forza Motorsport is being developed with raytracing in mind with high optimization options for players on PC and Xbox Series X|S in 4K at 60 FPS. The game will feature not just a multiplayer experience but a single-player campaign when players get their hands on Forza Motorsport in 2023
Hi-Fi Rush (PC, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S)
Release Date/Window: Available Now via Game Pass
After that, we go from a realistic racing game to a third-person action game with an anime aesthetic with Hi-Fi Rush from Japanese Xbox Game Studio developer, Tango Gameworks… yes the one that makes all the spooky game is coming out with something that’s totally the opposite of what you expect in this literally upbeat game. Hi-fi Rush is a rhythm-action game where all your moves create an actual soundtrack to the game’s world, the more you fight to the beat, the better you do in battle kinda like you’re in your personal music video.
“Play as Chai, an amateur rockstar who is a victim of a weird corporate experiment where an MP3 player is actually inserted into his chest like Tony Stark’s arc reactor,” says the description for Hi-Fi Rush.
This allows it to power Chai’s robot arm and to pulse to the game’s soundtrack which is the key to the game’s combat, if you land your combo at the right moment you can deliver huge damage in gameplay inspired by action games like Devil May Cry and flare that feels very much like Sunset Overdrive. This game isn’t about mashing buttons and rushing in but feeling a beat and flow through the game that rhythm pros and newbies can easily pick up… right now.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom (PC, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S)
Release Date: June 5th (PC) / June 20th (Xbox) via Game Pass
Now it’s time to head into the world of The Elder Scrolls Online with the Necrom expansion which adds a new playable class which is only the third new class since the game’s initial launch. Players looking to get into the new chapter expansion will find themselves in Eastern Morrowind which is set to expand the world of Tamriel. Players looking to take The Elder Scrolls Online for a test drive for the first time, well for a limited time players can play the game and its previous chapter and over 20 DLC for absolutely free on PC and Xbox consoles.
Redfall (PC, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S)
Release Date/Window: May 2nd via Game Pass
Last but not certainly not least is Arkane Austin’s open-world co-op FPS game, Redfallheading exclusively to PC, Xbox One, & Xbox Series X|S vis Game pass on May 2nd.
“Continuing Arkane’s legacy of carefully crafted worlds and immersive sims, Redfall brings the studio’s signature gameplay to this story-driven action shooter. Slay alone or squad up with up to 4 player co-op and face off against the bloodsuckers holding the island hostage. In signature Arkane style, you will choose your path across the island and through the vampire masses as you discover what caused this plague of bloodsuckers and put an end to the threat. Explore a beautifully hand-crafted open world packed with detail and shine a light on the island’s darkest corners as you fight to uncover the vampires’ secrets. Choose from a roster of heroes with unique, upgradeable skills and gear them up with customizable weaponry found all over the island. Bite Back,” Bethesda’s description of the game.