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Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022

Microsoft delivered a safe but somewhat drab Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase and we tell you what happened.

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We may not have an E3 this year, but Microsoft is still keeping the tradition alive with a press conference. This particular day is exactly the day we should have had Microsoft's E3 press conference, and that's pretty much what we got.

There were probably more people than me who were curious to see how Microsoft would present it. After all, they have a lot of big games announced that we haven't seen a single second of gameplay from. This includes Avowed, Everwild, Fable, Perfect Dark, Redfall, State of Decay 3, The Outer Worlds 2 and of course Starfield. In other words, they could have an epically hot event just by showing gameplay from these titles.

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Microsoft ran a fairly traditional show, focusing on games that will be released within the next twelve months.

But no one thought we'd see so much new gameplay, since many of these games (perhaps most of them) are over a year away. Perhaps Microsoft themselves felt that they have too many high profile projects in the pipeline at the moment, and so declared early on in the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase that this time they would only be showing things we will be enjoying in the next twelve months.

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That said, the evening's event kicked off with Redfall. It was announced at E3 last year and is a game I've been very much looking forward to myself. It's got a fresh take on vampires, cool design, and I'm a big fan of co-op shooters. That said, I was disappointed by what was shown. Redfall, which should have arrived this summer, looked surprisingly unfinished and I can't say it made me want to play either. Now it's still nearly a year away until it launches, so I remain cautiously positive, but perhaps this shouldn't have been shown quite yet.

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
We got to see Redfall gameplay for the first time, which unfortunately did not impress.

Well, after what I thought was a weak start to the broadcast, the luck shifted to a title I know a lot of people were looking forward to, namely Hollow Knight: Silksong. We got to see lots of extremely promising gameplay and also got the news that it will also be launching straight to Xbox Game Pass. That's something we've come to expect from first-party titles, but the fact that third parties are also getting on board is of course nice for all of us who have the service. A premiere date, however, was not given to us.

High on Life was the first major new announcement of the night, and is something as unexpected as a first-party shooter inspired by Rick and Morty. If you think that sounds odd, then I guess that's just how I'd chosen to describe it, as it has talking guns, really weird enemies and strange elements. Exactly when it's coming, all we know is October this year, but at least it was described as a console exclusive adventure coming to Game Pass.

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Xbox head honcho Sarah Bond has been seen more and more in recent years and she took the stage to talk more about what we'd be seeing, as well as revealing that Microsoft also has other types of collaborations in the works. This apparently includes Riot's big games, bringing League of Legends, Valorant, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra to Game Pass with access to all the heroes and other content. Being able to play Wild Rift on mobile via Xbox Cloud Gaming undeniably feels like a good draw.

A Plague Tale: Requiem was also announced last year and confirmed then to be an Xbox Game Pass addition from launch day. During the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase we got to see a new trailer, and I don't have much more to add than that it looks extremely good and that it will be a lot of fun to try this out. Protagonist Amicia looks to be the hardest fucking slayer popular culture has seen since Arya Stark went around slaying half of Westeros in Game of Thrones.

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Forza Motorsport has received more time and love, which is clearly visible now.

Many were surprised when Forza Motorsport was announced two years ago, but never released, while Forza Horizon 5 was shown off at E3 last year and premiered last autumn. What happened to Forza Motorsport? Exactly how the thinking went there, we don't know, but what is clear is that it was shown off at this event and it looks impressive. Now, fancy car games are nothing unusual, but this one really seems to offer something extra and Turn 10 might have been right when they call this "The most technically advanced racing game ever made" ahead of its announced spring release, and then of course included with Game Pass.

Forza Motorsport was then followed up with some pleasant fan service, with the announcement that the Halo universe's Pelicans are coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator to celebrate the latter's 40th anniversary. In addition, vintage aircraft (the Wright Flyer and the Spirit of St Louis) are also coming, which I suspect enthusiasts will appreciate.

Blizzard had a lot to show at Microsoft, possibly a result of being a Microsoft developer relatively soon if all goes according to plan. First up was Overwatch 2, which will apparently be released as Early Access on October 4. We were also introduced to a Mad Max-inspired female fighter of Australian descent, who will hopefully be a pleasant acquaintance. Blizzard was also supposed to get back to me later, and since I'm taking everything in chronological order, this will have to wait.

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Microsoft is getting better at using its brands between games, and now Halo elements are appearing in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Peter Hines from Bethesda then took the stage. He was mainly there to talk about The Elder Scrolls Online, whose expansion High Isle recently came to PC and is launching for Xbox next week. Hines also revealed that Fallout 76 will be expanded with The Pitt in September, when we'll thus get to visit Pittsburgh, and that later in the show we'd get to check out Starfield - which I'd been expecting.

Bethesda then took turns announcing the PC strategy game Ara: History Untold, which is being developed by Oxide Studios (Ashes of the Singularity). We didn't get to see any gameplay, but at least it's coming to Game Pass on opening day. We also got a look at the Forza Horizon 5 expansion with Hot Wheels that accidentally leaked this week, which looks really cool with roller coaster-like structures winding around the game world.

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We already knew that Ark 2 is coming to PC as well as a time exclusive for Xbox, as well as that Vin Diesel has a role in the project. We were reminded of this in a teaser that also talked about the game launching in 2023. Since everything at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase was supposed to launch within 12 months, that should mean after the New Year or by spring. We've also seen Scorn several times before, and it only manages to look scarier each time. Today was no exception, and in a trailer we were introduced to an eerie umbilical cord and vile enemies straight out of H.R. Giger's nightmares. Scorn is included with Game Pass and will be released on October 21.

Flintlock was the next game to appear and it comes from developer A44 (Ashen). Flintlock got quite a bit of time during the event and actually looks really promising for anyone who likes Soulslike adventures, complete with a protagonist who vaguely reminds us of Soul Calibur fighter Taki. As some sort of icing on the cake, it was explained that this is also a game that will be added on day one with the Game Pass.

Before the event, it had been rumoured that Mojang had a new Minecraft game in the works. This turned out to be true, although it doesn't appear to be the real-time strategy title being talked about. It seems to be more of a strategic role-playing game. Given how good Minecraft Dungeons was, I definitely think you should also keep an eye out for Minecraft Legends, which will be released in 2023 (again, within twelve months from today).

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Minecraft Dungeons became a real success for Mojang, who is now trying a different genre.

A series of more or less unexpected third-party titles follow. The seemingly light-hearted and colourful simulator Lightyear Frontier was announced, but despite a decent presentation, I'm genuinely puzzled by what was shown. Is it a top-down strategy game or a more casual-like venture? Unclear, but curious I was, thanks to the design, if nothing else. Gunfire Reborn followed up and was announced for Xbox (already out for PC). I know it has its audience, but spontaneously I have a hard time seeing it as anything other than a poor man's Borderlands. Well, since it's also coming to Game Pass, I'll of course give it a chance at least. The Last Case of Benedict Fox was shown off after this, and it's an adventure game that looks promising, and I'm looking forward to learning more about it when it releases in the spring.

The adventure As Dusk Falls has been seen a few times before, but at its heart it seems to be an interactive movie that offers unexpectedly good opportunities to make the story your own. Combine this with a unique graphic style and you have a game I find very interesting. We'll see if it really holds up next month when it premieres on July 19. The fighting game Naraka: Bladepoint (out now for PC) was also confirmed to be coming to Xbox with its giant battles for up to 60 people, and a story mode will apparently be added as well. June 23rd is the launch date.

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
After a long time as an Early Access title, Grounded will finally premiere this autumn.

Back to Xbox Game Studios again, where Obsidian announced a previously rumoured game, Pentiment. It's unlike anything they've done before and the style is most reminiscent of images from medieval books. It seemingly offers a historical murder mystery to solve, which I hope will be entertaining. Of course, I never say no to original games and the history geek in me cheers for this. Pentiment is coming to Game Pass in November, and it turns out that Obsidian also has another title before then in the form of Grounded, which finally leaves Early Access in September and is thus considered complete.

Ereban: Shadow Legacy, which was the next game to be shown off, can hardly be accused of being a blockbuster, but still looked distinctly interesting with stealth elements, a ninja-like protagonist and mechs. Although Microsoft had a good pace on the announcements and also only shows games we'll get to play within 12 months (how will we even have time?), I feel that heavy announcements were missing. I looked at the clock here, and realised there was half an hour of the stream left, and figured it's about time to break out the heavier artillery.

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And so it was, because Blizzard had more to show, as I said, and offered Diablo IV. Quite a lot of it, too, including the new Necromancer class, which is the fifth and final one for the game. It quickly became clear that the production values are high this time around, and Diablo IV looks really great, in a way I think fans will love. Blizzard is also promising years of support after its release next year.

Seas of Thieves has been a staple at Microsoft shows for a long time. The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase was no exception, and the seventh season for the game was announced with a fun song that introduced much of what we can expect, which includes getting to spruce up the captain's own cabin and rename the ship. Apparently Sea of Thieves has now climbed over 30 million players, and is likely to keep growing for a long time yet.

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Soon you and 30 million other pirates will be able to design the ships personally.

Echo Generation is one of the best indie games I've played in a long time, and the fact that developers Cococucumber announced the Alice in Wonderland-inspired Ravenlock during the show naturally made me very curious. We'll see how good it is next year when it premieres. Cocoon was also an interesting indie adventure that was given a lot of time, which looks to mix peculiar puzzles with elements of Zelda into something quite unique.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer took the stage towards the end and he had several interesting things to offer. That included the announcement of a new Team Ninja game called Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. It looks like a lavish Musou adventure, but sadly we didn't get much more than that, other than Spencer talking about the history Microsoft and Team Ninja have, where they actually used to work together a lot 15-20 years ago with Dead or Alive as well as Ninja Gaiden.

Here's everything that happened at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Phil Spencer appeared during the show to highlight Japanese games and developers.

Japan was otherwise the theme of Spencer tonight, as one of the big surprises was that Hideo Kojima made a video appearance. Kojima confirmed the rumour that Microsoft will be publishing one of his upcoming games, which seems to be based on cloud technology to some extent. Exactly what it is, what it's called and when it's coming - we're not told yet, though. But there should be information about this Xbox Game Studios title in the reasonably near future, according to Kojima.

More Japan was to come when Spencer announced that they have entered into a partnership with Atlus. This will bring the Persona series to Xbox consoles at last. As you might guess, Game Pass is involved, so later this year you'll be able to play Persona 3, Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal on Xbox and download them at no extra cost if you're a subscriber. Something that will hopefully bring many people to discover these adventures.

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Finally, it was time to show off Starfield and the honour of doing so went to director Todd Howard. Starfield has been described as The Elder Scrolls in space, and everything we got to see from it honestly promises to be very good. The cities and planets are huge, the design fresh and the graphics unexpectedly fancy. Plus, there seems to be so damn much to do that I won't have time to play anything else for months. Also like that there are typical paper/pencil like elements in character creation and the ability to actually craft your own spaceships.

I'll offer a separate preview of just Starfield later, but that's where Microsoft's event ended. For my part, I can feel that there were surprises missing to some extent during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. Starfield being shown seemed a given, and while a collaboration with Kojima is great, we don't know anything about it, and just showing him isn't enough for it to automatically feel hot. Now we got a solid rundown of games that aren't that far off, and perhaps were the best option given how much is announced but not yet released. Hopefully Microsoft will be more willing to announce something new in time for next year, but what's clear is that until then we'll have a lot to look forward to.



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