Microsoft was always the company to watch heading into E3 2021. While the Xbox Series X hasn’t had a lot of exclusives so far, there was a sense that E3 will be the turning point. This is largely due to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda earlier this year in a multibillion-dollar agreement. This year, Microsoft and Bethesda agreed to organize a 90-minute megaconference to commemorate the occasion, raising the stakes for fans.
Microsoft, it’s safe to say, delivered. The presentation was jam-packed with announcements, news, and updates on previously announced titles. The event kicked off with a big reveal for Starfield, Bethesda’s upcoming open-world space game, which will be released in November 2022. Halo Infinite received some attention as well, despite the lack of a set release date. It wouldn’t be a Microsoft event without a segment on Forza Motorsport 7, and the latest version of the racing series received one as well. That only scratches the surface of what Microsoft showed at its jam-packed press presentation, so here are the highlights.
Halo Infinite gets free-to-play multiplayer
Halo Infinite will be released this holiday season, although no exact date has been set. Last November, Microsoft’s shooting juggernaut was meant to launch alongside the Xbox Series X, but it was postponed indefinitely for nearly a year. At the same time, the game and its first multiplayer season will be released.
A new trailer delves deeper into the story of the game. Cortana has been “erased,” and Master Chief now has a new A.I. to assist him. We also got a glance at the game’s multiplayer mode, which appears to be similar to Halo. The multiplayer will be available for free.
Starfield coming in 2022 as an Xbox console exclusive
The release date for Starfield has been set, though it is a little later than fans might have hoped. The open-world sci-fi game from Bethesda will be released on November 11, 2022, which is more than a year away. A figure walks around a vast spaceship in a cinematic teaser trailer. They toss a gun on a table before jumping into the pilot’s seat at one point. On launch day, the game will be accessible on Xbox Game Pass. It will be exclusive to Xbox Series X/S consoles and will also be available on PC, but not Xbox One.
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The trailer was accidentally published early by The Washington Post, along with a “making of” piece, hours before the official Microsoft show.
Starfield coming in 2022 as an Xbox console exclusive
We got a sneak peek at a brand-new Bethesda game that will be available only on Xbox. Arkane Studios has released Redfall, a new vampire shooter. The game will be released next summer
Mexico-set Forza Horizon 5 set for November release
On November 9, Forza Horizon 5 will be released. At the Microsoft stream, the racing game received a lot of attention because of its new locale, Mexico. The Eliminator is an open-world battle royale mode in the game.
Psychonauts 2 will arrive this summer
A new trailer for Psychonauts 2 was released, giving fans another glimpse at the highly anticipated platformer. It will be available on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on August 25.
The Outer Worlds 2 is coming … eventually
sequel to The Outer Worlds is in the works, but we don’t know much else about it. The RPG received a witty trailer that joked about how the game doesn’t currently have any gameplay to display.
Battlefield 2042 gets a wild gameplay trailer
We received a first look at Battlefield 2042‘s actual gameplay after its formal reveal earlier this week. EA released a new trailer with a lot of action and gadgets. We also saw several of the game’s new specialties in action, including one who zips about with a grappling hook.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 takes on Chernobyl next April
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl received a new trailer from Microsoft, which offers a detailed look at the game’s story and gameplay. The most important detail is that the game will be released on April 28, 2022.
Contraband is a new open-world game
Avalanche Studios, the creators of Just Cause, are working on a new Xbox game called Contraband. The game is described as an open-world co-op game in a teaser trailer, but it doesn’t mention much else.
A Plague Tale: Requiem brings more rats
A Plague Tale: Innocence, an Xbox exclusive, is getting a new sequel. A Plague Tale: Requiem appears to be quite similar to the original stealth adventure game set during a plague. It will be released in 2022 and will have more enormous rat swarms, which were a defining aspect of the original.
Diablo 2: Resurrection arrives in September
A release date has been set for Diablo 2: Resurrection, a remake of the iconic Blizzard game. It will be released on September 23.
Microsoft Flight Simulator lands on Xbox
The Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is officially here. The game was seen operating in 4K on Xbox Series X in a new promo for the console version. On July 27, it will be available on Xbox Game Pass. In addition, a free expansion based on the Top Gun series will be released to coincide with the release of Top Gun: Maverick.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon and more coming to Game Pass
Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be available on Game Pass today, as hinted by the Game Pass Twitter account ahead of the presentation. Hades, an indie hit, will be available for Xbox One for the first time on August 13th.
Everything else …
- Back 4 Blood‘s new PVP mode got a short trailer.
- Sea of Thieves is getting a collaboration with Pirates of the Caribbean on June 22.
- Indie title 12 Minutes will launch on August 19.
- Doom Eternal is getting an Xbox Series X to upgrade on June 29.
- Fallout 76 is getting a new Steel Reign update on July 7 and The Pitt is coming next year.
- Party Animals is a cute multiplayer brawler coming in 2022.
- Somerville is a creepy new indie coming in 2022.
- Far Cry 6 got another new trailer, showing off some gameplay.
- Slime Rancher 2 is coming in 2022.
- Shredders is a snowboarding game coming this December.
- Atomic Heart got a stylish new trailer.
- Grounded is getting a Shroom and Doom update on June 30.
- Replaced is a stylish side-scroller coming in 2022.
- 15 player lobbies are coming to Among Us on June 15.
- Age of Empires IV is coming on October 28.