People in the gaming industry have said for months how Xbox needed to come into this summer and make a statement at E3. The console giant may have the best deal in video games with Game Pass, but without exclusive titles or console sellers it was hard to convince people why they should be purchasing an Xbox Series X/S over a PlayStation 5. It was imperative that Xbox came out and showed everyone they were more than a service-based company and that, while the box isn’t as important as it used to be, it still is a focal point of their business.
Now that the dust has settled on the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, it seems clear that the message was received. Xbox didn’t just come out swinging, they brought everything they had and in a year where it looks like Sony isn’t going to be showing anything at all around E3. Of course, this presentation wasn’t just about Xbox, but it was also a Bethesda showcase. The longtime developer of titles like Elder Scrolls and Fallout was recently purchased by Microsoft and this was their opportunity to show what they plan to do now that they have the Xbox backing them up.
Bethesda and Xbox’s first trailer was a game that has been in development under Bethesda for a long time. The long-awaited Starfield. They say this is a game 25 years in the making so obviously, the expectations behind it are high. We can’t wait to see what the final product will look like, but we’re gonna have to wait until late 2022 to see it in action.
Xbox has been pushing Game Pass for a long time, but this event made it clear just how much they’re putting behind their flagship service. Every decision Xbox makes these days has Game Pass in mind and with the purchase of Bethesda, they have decades of games to put on their flagship platform. Not to mention the flurry of games they already have on there, such as the entire Yakuza series, and a plethora of Rare games. There just isn’t a better deal in video games right now than Game Pass.
Some of the games announced that were coming to Game Pass include:
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Among Us
- Back 4 Blood (not released yet)
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 (not released yet)
Halo Infinite may have had a rough reveal back in 2020, but it had a much stronger showing at E3 2021. The multiplayer going free-to-play is a massive win for Microsoft and the new campaign trailer was intriguing. With a Holiday 2021 release coming we’re finally going to be playing a new Halo again before the end of the year. That’s such an exciting sentence to say.
Eiyuden Chronicles is a game that most people are not going to care about, but longtime JRPG fans were losing their minds at this trailer because the inspirations of it were very clear. This is a Suikoden game in the year 2021 and fans of the Suiokden series will go on endlessly about how it’s a classic franchise that everyone needs to play. It may not be Suikoden proper, but it looks like a good and fun JRPG-style game.
The Outer Worlds 2
This trailer didn’t show us more than a comedic cinematic, but it was a bit of a surprise announcement here. The Outer Worlds came out back in 2019, but it was a game ripe for a sequel. It’s a good announcement trailer and there’s anticipation to learn more about what this game will be like, we’ll just have to wait a bit to see more here.
Forza Horizon 5
The Forza Horizon series has always been a glorified tech demo for next gen consoles. Look at the really pretty car drive in the really pretty environments. That aspect absolutely delivered here, with incredibly lifelike backdrops for car races.
The trick works every time!!! I'm like, "this time that's just a video feed of Mexico," and then the cars drive by! pic.twitter.com/uLQCSIefsg
— Jeff Grubb (@JeffGrubb) June 13, 2021
That said, Forza Horizon 5 did show a little bit of promise. It apparently has a Battle Royale mode, which was unexpected, and the arcade aspects look really fun. There’s more to this game than cars going fast and it might pull in some non-racing fans as a result of that.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
This was a major surprise mainly because the flight simulator games have always been PC-only. Even so, this is one of the best simulation games ever made and the more people who play it, the better. There’s a sense of wonder that comes with taking a flight anywhere in the world and the real life aspects of the game, such as actual fight and weather patterns, make it a technical marvel. Add in the Top Gun expansion, for those of us that want to fly fast or wild, and this is a must get game for any Xbox owner.
Remember when there were way more snowboarding games? 1080 Avalanche, SSX Tricky, Snowboard Kids, etc. So many of us grew up playing these and they just kinda fell out of popularity as consoles advanced. Which is disappointing, because consoles have evolved in a way where we can get some really gorgeous snowy mountain landscapes. Games that look like Shredders. All we got was a little bit of gameplay and, frankly, that’s all we needed. Let’s hope this game does well so we can get more snowboarding games. That’s a genre that needs to come back.
Another Mini Fridge?
Remember when the Xbox Series X was announced and everyone joked it looked like a mini fridge? Then they sent out some actual mini fridges and everyone got a laugh? Well now, fans can buy their own Xbox mini fridge this holiday season. Got a game room and need a place to keep some cold drinks? Xbox has got you covered with one of the more ridiculous items they’re going to be selling this holiday season. It still made us laugh though!