The showcase of games displayed at the Xbox E3 stream this year was phenomenal.
The conference felt like it was a never-ending reel of game announcements and trailers. The trailers varied from new game announcements to updates on games that we have been anticipating for several years.
There were some key announcements that Xbox fans will be talking about for the foreseeable future.
One game that has been highly anticipated for the past few weeks was Starfield.
Starfield was originally announced two years ago at Bethesda’s conference. The game’s future publishing plans became a focal point due to Xbox’s acquisition of Bethesda.
Alongside leaked screenshots to rumors regarding the games’ release date and platform availability, the Xbox E3 conference was speculated by many to provide answers to all of the questions.
This year’s conference started off on a different foot than we are used to. Instead of Phil Spencer kicking off the show, fans were greeted by Todd Howard. Soon we were getting explanations to all the unresolved questions surrounding Starfield.
A quick teaser trailer showed us some of the environments we will encounter in the game ranging from a home base to a space vehicle. The trailer ended with a release date of November 11, 2022, accompanied by the words that Xbox fans have been anticipating, “Xbox Exclusive.”
In the two-minute Starfield segment of the conference, we received answers regarding the release date, the platforms that it will be available on, and a sense that the leaked screenshots were indeed accurate.
Another common stereotype that has followed Xbox around for the past 10 years is that “Xbox has no games.” This was quickly put to rest. Xbox has secured one of the most anticipated games of the next few years and they are serious about making Xbox the best place to play the best games.
The Outer Worlds 2
Obsidian Entertainment has quickly become a key studio for Xbox akin to Insomniac for PlayStation.
In the past few years, Obsidian has consistently been working on new games that are beloved by gamers and critics alike.
Looking past Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian created three brand new IPs in the past few years, an open-world space RPG in The Outer Worlds, a survival game with Grounded, and a magical open-world RPG with Avowed.
The Outer Worlds released just two years ago in 2019 and since then they have announced Avowed as their next big project while also putting out several updates for Grounded which is still in early access.
Rumors of a sequel to The Outer Worlds were spreading for the past few weeks, but no one expected an announcement so soon due to the studios’ other upcoming big projects.
The trailer consisted somewhat of a parody of other game genres which misled the viewer regarding what game was being shown and who was developing it. As soon as the iconic Moon Man silhouette appeared, fans were excited and surprised to see this announcement.
Although Obsidian consists of two development teams, it would make sense to assume that each team is assigned to the other IPs in Obsidian’s catalog. A sequel to The Outer Worlds was not expected until Avowed was released.
The trailer for The Outer Worlds 2 is a fan favorite of the entire E3 season so far. The comedic dialogue paired with misleading footage of different game genres made for an entertaining and funny trailer that was a breath of fresh air.
The announcement of a sequel was the only information given during the trailer, and we can assume we won’t see Moon Man for a few more years.
Awesome Halo Multiplayer (& Other Info)
The big game that was the talk of Xbox’s conference last year was Halo Infinite.
Due to the poor showing at the conference, the game was delayed until 2021, so fans knew that at E3 this year, we would have a brand new look at the newest Halo adventure.
Towards the middle of the show, Head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross and Halo legend Joseph Staten took the stage to give a brief look at the story for Infinite‘s campaign and a brief glimpse at what we can expect for the game’s multiplayer modes.
We were introduced to a new AI for Master Chief since Cortana was taken to be deleted, alongside Master Chief saying, “The missions change. They always do.” Whether this was a reference to the game’s development which saw multiple changes in the past few years or not, this quote was notable from the small Halo campaign segment.
In terms of multiplayer information, we were greeted with some information that had already been announced such as 120 FPS, the multiplayer being free to play, and classic modes such as Capture the Flag making a return.
One new feature being introduced for the first time in Halo Infinite is the new grappling hook that was heavily featured in the gameplay footage. Staten also introduced the Spartan Academy featuring Spartan Commander Laurette. Spartan Commander Laurette will assist beginner Halo players to get comfortable with the variety of maps, weapons, and equipment players will come across in Halo Infinite.
In a separate stream the next day, 343 Industries unveiled even more information regarding the multiplayer of Halo Infinite.
To go along with the free multiplayer, a battle pass was announced, which is the first of its’ kind for the Halo franchise.
Unlike other titles that feature a battle pass, the Halo version only requires a one-time purchase. Pay for the battle pass one time and it will continue throughout the different seasons that are featured in the game.
Speaking of seasons, each season of Halo Infinite will have a different theme.
In the multiplayer showcase, it was revealed that the first season will have a samurai theme.
Another aspect of the brand new multiplayer that was mentioned was the unlimited customization options for your Spartan.
You are now able to customize your Spartan however you like using rewards given to you through playing the game and the battle pass as well.
One piece of information that everyone was anticipating was a release date.
Since the game was originally going to be released in 2020 but was pushed to Holiday 2021, players were assuming that a release date would be confirmed. Once the Halo segment of the conference was over, there were no mentions of an actual release date. The Holiday 2021 release window which has been confirmed for quite a while now was the plan they were sticking to.
The lack of a release date brought out concerns about the game’s development and if it will even be released in 2021. Another aspect of the conference that can further add to development issues is the lack of actual gameplay.
The campaign portion of the segment featured a cut scene that showed Master Chief with a new voice assistant. The cut scene looked gorgeous but didn’t feature any gameplay.
The trailer for the multiplayer portion, however, was a montage of clips from online play. Showcasing weapons, the new threat sensor, grapple hook, and more, the trailer left Halo fans’ jaws on the floor. Infinite multiplayer is taking the classic Halo online play that we love and maximizing it to an even higher ceiling. Halo fans have been patient for the past year as they await what would be the largest and most ambitious Halo game ever made. While some fans in the Halo community want the game to be perfect and are feeling empathetic for 343, a small number of people are getting restless as they want to get their hands on the next Master Chief adventure.