E3 might have taken 2022 off, but the show(s) must go on. Today’s big one is the annual Xbox showcase, which shares title billing with the one first-party studio that’s only released games on PS5 since getting acquired by Microsoft for the price of a presidential election.
Over the course of 95 minutes, Xbox teased a ton of games from across its oeuvre. Some were new. Others have been previously announced. And, of course, the Game Pass logo was literally everywhere. All told, the show was…a lot. Here’s everything Xbox showed off at its big 2022 press conference, in descending order of awesomeness.
It was starting to seem like it’d never happen, but at long last, Bethesda finally showed off more than eight seconds of footage for Starfield, its next open-world(s) role-playing game. First announced in 2018, Starfield was initially planned for a November 11, 2022, release but recently slipped to the first half of 2023.
After being teased for 10,000 years, Hollow Knight: Silksong, Team Cherry’s follow-up to its popular metroidvania, got a meaty gameplay trailer. It’s coming to Game Pass. Team Cherry did not reveal a release date, but Xbox exec Sarah Bond said every game seen in today’s showcase is due out within the next 12 months.
Arkane revealed Redfall, a cooperative vampire shooter, at last year’s E3 with a cinematic trailer. The studio finally showed off the first glimpse of public gameplay today. It certainly looks more action-oriented than the studio’s other games, Prey and Dishonored. Each character seems to have their own set of powers; one can turn invisible, one can electrocute enemies, one is saddled with debt (but has kinetic abilities, so, fair trade?). Redfall was initially planned for a summer 2022 release but, alongside Starfield, was pushed back to the first half of 2023.
Forza Motorsport is the more buttoned-up cousin of Forza Horizon 5, the racer that briefly took the world by storm last fall. Rather than a wide open world, it’s a more traditional arcade racer, with a focus on confined race tracks. Developer Turn 10 Studios says it’s “the most technically advanced racing game ever made.” Based on these visuals, which were rendered in engine...yep yeah, can’t argue there! It’s out next spring for Xbox and PC.
It. Looks. Bananas!!! Forza Horizon 5 was already one of the most entertaining racing games around. The Hot Wheels expansion, which seems to include some truly reality-bending loop-de-loops, is even more bananas. It’s available July 19, 2022.
The third-person action battle royale, initially only available on PC, is coming to Xbox. It’s available June 23, 2022, and will feature crossplay, plus will launch with a campaign.
Obsidian has more irons in the fire than a blacksmith. The venerable RPG studio is also developing Pentiment, a two-dimensional adventure game with a focus on detective gameplay and a painterly art style. Initial footage makes it seem a bit like Disco Elysium: Renaissance Faire Edition. It’s out in November.
Also from Obsidian: Grounded, the studio’s take on Honey I Shrunk the Kids, is seeing its full release this September. Obsidian did not share a specific date. The game has been in early access for some time. A lotta bugs (literally, because you’re really small, which makes the insects...you know what? Never mind).
Historically, Persona, Atlus’ series of 700-hour-long role-playing games haven’t been playable on Xbox. That changes with the forthcoming releases of Persona 3, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 5 Royal, the latter of which is available on October 21. (The other two don’t have dates set in stone.)
Hideo Kojima, the lead creative personality behind Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding, is developing a game for Xbox. It will reportedly leverage Xbox’s forays into cloud technology. Kojima did not reveal any details about the game. Last week, rumors around Overdose, a game in development from Kojima, set the rumor mill on fire. Kojima himself reportedly tried to get the site that initially published the news to pull the article.
Who knew a game so gross could be so gorgeous? Despite all the rats and viscera, Asobo’s stealth adventure game A Plague Tale: Requiem is easily one of the most eye-popping games on the horizon. It’s out this year.
Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is third-person action game with magic, guns, axes, and the best weapon of all: double jumps. You do, unfortunately, have to fight wild turkeys though, so it’s probably going to be tough AF. It’s planned for 2023.
Scorn, a horror game that’s been delayed twice, finally has a release date: October 21, 2022. Based on the psychologically devastating artwork of H.R. Giger, Scorn is first-person, which means it’s a walking nightmare factory. I’m already shaking!
You can’t (officially) fly a pelican in Halo Infinite any more, but you can in Microsoft Flight Sim. Microsoft made the quintessential futuristic marine drop vehicle available for Flight Sim via free content drop today. Also: The game’s getting helicopters.
Blizzard showed off a gameplay trailer for its forthcoming Overwatch-like, Overwatch 2, plus teased details about a new character who looks directly out of Mad Max. Early access beings October 4, 2022.
Give me anything narrated by Mass Effect’s Shohreh Aghdashloo and you have my attention. So, yeah, the turn-based strategy game Ara got my attention. But I’m gonna reserve judgement until the studio reveals gameplay.
No news about Elder Scrolls VI, but the MMO Elder Scroll is getting DLC based on High Isle, which Bethesda’s Pete Hines noted hasn’t been seen in an Elder Scrolls game previously. It’s out June 21, 2022, for Xbox and PC.
Fallout 76—which Kotaku recently reported was developed under serious crunch conditions—is getting a new area this September. It’s set in The Pitt, which is the Fallout universe’s version of Pittsburgh.
Now that Sea of Thieves, Rare’s once-maligned but now-beloved pirate game, allows you to be a captain, you can do a ton more stuff. You can customize your ship, you can save ship loadouts, you can name your ship (dibs on “Boaty McBoatFace”). Season seven launches July 21.
When the next iteration of Blizzard’s genre-defining loot game comes out, it’ll feature crossplay across PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. The necromancer is a new class for Diablo IV. The isometric loot-hunting game will feature more than 150 dungeons, too. Blizzard says that the final story mission is just the beginning of the game. Oh, boy...
There’s Lightyear, the story of Buzz Lightyear, and then there’s Lightyear Frontier, a first-person farming and crafting game where you try to survive on an exoplanet. It’s out next year.
Cocoon, made by one of the designers of Limbo, looks gorgeous and moody and...top-down? Huh. It’s being published by Annapurna, planned for a 2023 release, and already has my attention.
The Last Case of Benedict Fox is an atmospheric side-scrolling action platformer. It’s not one of the 100 Limbo-likes currently in development, though, looking like it’s faster-paced rather than the melancholic bona fides that define that subgenre. The Last Case is out next year.
Echo Generation, a voxel turn-based RPG with unmistakable Stranger Things vibes, ruled. The studio’s next game, Ravenlok, looks similar, if a bit more Final Fantasy-inspired. Out next year.
You play as a human capable of turning invisible. Your goal is to eliminate giant mechs with lasers for faces. It’s out next year.
As Dusk Falls is a narrative-driven adventure game about a family on the run from police. Really, really cool art style that evokes a graphic novel. It’s out July 19 for Xbox and PC and features multiplayer for up to eight people. Also coming to Game Pass.
Gunfire Reborn, a first-person shooter with some seriously Borderlands-inspired visuals, is coming to Xbox and PC in October, when it’ll launch as part of the Game Pass library.
Koei Tecmo is making a fantasy action game about hunting dragons. It’s out early 2023. No gameplay today.
Riot announced today that anyone who subscribes to Game Pass will unlock all champions in League of Legends and League of Legends: Wild Rift, plus all agents in Valorant and all foundations sets in Legends of Runeterra.
Maybe it’s just me, but by now, the distinct breed of humor in Rick and Morty has lost its charm for me. But if it’s your thing, then the extraterrestrial shooter High on Life should be on your radar. It’s out in October for Xbox and PC, and it’ll launch on Game Pass.
It’s the property that can be milked forever, first with a million ports and then with a dungeon-crawling spin-off (that’s actually pretty fun). Minecraft Legends is an action strategy game coming out for Xbox and PC next year. The visuals somehow look even lower poly than the mainline game on which it’s based.
Ark II, which comes out in 2023 and will launch on Game Pass, still stars Vin Diesel. It still features a bunch of dinosaurs. It still looks hilarious. Bring on the memes.