Starfield may have leaked early, but Xbox and Bethesda still delivered an incredible show.
In their first joint showcase, Xbox and Bethesda showed off 31 games. And, to the joy of Game Pass subscribers everywhere, 27 of those games are coming to the service at launch.
Microsoft opened with Starfield, the eagerly anticipated next game from Bethesda Game Studios. The cinematic trailer was leaked by the Washington Post shortly before the show began. But, even with the surprise blown, the release date, November 11, 2022, is still exciting for RPG fans. The Skyrim-in-space will cast players as a member of Constellation, a space-faring organization we don’t yet know much about. It’s an Xbox console exclusive, and will hit Game Pass for Series X|S on day one.
Everything besides Starfield
Redfall, the next game from Arkane Austin, closed the show. The Prey developers are making an open-world “immersive shooter” about teens hunting vampires, in single-player or with a co-op squad. Like Starfield, Redfall is an Xbox console exclusive. Fair enough, given that Arkane’s next game, Deathloop, is a PS5 console exclusive. Redfall is targeting a summer 2022 launch date.
Halo Infinite has a new release window after slipping out of its original time slot as a Series X|S launch title. The eagerly anticipated shooter is now aiming for a holiday 2022 release. It will be available on Game Pass at day one, but its multiplayer will be free for everyone.
Obsidian Entertainment announced The Outer Worlds 2 with a quippy CG trailer that made light of the fact that they literally have nothing to show except the title. And, the fact that it will be available day one on Game Pass when it eventually launches. Obsidian’s other upcoming RPG, Avowed, got a brief mention, but no new information. And Grounded, the studio’s foray into the survival genre, got a trailer for its “Shroom + Doom Update,” which will add pets, sitting, achievements and a big, scary spider to the game on June 30.
While Fable is the most hotly anticipated upcoming title from Playground Games, the studio is still actively working on its flagship series. Forza Horizon 5 is a Series X|S exclusive, and is, fittingly, introducing some graphical bells and whistles, including volumetric lighting and ray tracing. The new entry will take the series to Mexico when it launches on November 9, 2021.
A Plague Tale: Innocence was a surprise hit when it launched in 2019. The game took players to a fictional version of the Black Plague, with tornadoes of rats and a boss fight against an evil sorcerer pope. The sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem, will continue the story of siblings Amicia and Hugo when it launches on Game Pass in 2022.
And finally, Psychonauts 2 has a release date, at last. Double Fine’s long-awaited platformer sequel looks as colorfully inventive as the first and will launch August 25, 2021. It will be available on Game Pass on day one, naturally. The similarly long-gestating Age of Empires 4 will also launch this year (with a day one PC Game Pass release). It’s out October 28.
The Best of the Rest
- Battlefield 2042 is launching October 22, 2021.
- Contraband is the title of the next open-world game from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios. It will have co-op.
- Hades will launch on Xbox Game Pass (and PlayStation) on August 12.
- Diablo II: Resurrected launches on Sept. 23.
- Stalker 2 will be an Xbox console launch exclusive, and available on Game Pass day one, when it launches April 28, 2022.
- Bethesda is adding 10 games from its back catalogue to Game Pass today: Arx Fatalis, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Doom, The Evil Within 2, Rage, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout 3.
- Among Us is coming to Game Pass.
- Back 4 Blood will include a PVP “Swarm Mode,” where players can duke it out as humans or zombies. The shooter will be on Game Pass at launch on Oct. 12, 2021.
- Slime Rancher 2 will come to Game Pass at launch next year.
- Yakuza: Like A Dragon will be available on Game Pass today.
- Fallout 76: Steel Reign is a new campaign, free for Fallout 76 players, and will see the return of the Brotherhood of Steel, on July 7. The Pitt, a Fallout 76 Expedition, will launch sometime next year.
- Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes and Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising are a pair of Suikoden successors, launching in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
- Far Cry 6 got a gameplay trailer.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox Series X|S this July, with a Top Gun update launching this fall.
- Sea of Thieves will get a free campaign featuring Pirates of the Caribbean characters, “A Pirate’s Life,” on June 22.
- 12 Minutes, the time loop thriller starring Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy and Willem Defoe will be a console launch exclusive (and day one Game Pass get) when it releases on August 19, 2021.
- BioShock spiritual successor Atomic Heart will be available on Game Pass at launch (whenever that ends up being).
- The Ascent is out, with a day one Game Pass launch, on July 29.
- Party Animals, a fuzzy take on the Gang Beasts formula, is out on Game Pass in 2022.
- Replaced is an HD pixel art platformer with a neon-drenched noir setting. It’s an Xbox console exclusive and will be available on Game Pass day one in 2022.
- Shredders is a new snowboarding game with a Dec. 2021 launch window. It will be available on Game Pass at launch.
- And Somerville is a cinematic platformer set during an alien invasion that will be available on Game Pass at launch.
There’s a theme here. Game Pass subscribers are feasting and will continue to feast for the foreseeable future. And, that feast will, eventually, include Starfield.
Special delivery for you
If you want to keep on top of the latest news, features, reviews, guides, and sales, we can send all our latest articles and great content straight to your inbox. You know, collated together, once or twice a week, in a newsletter. We wouldn't send them one at a time – that would be weird and annoying!
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
Animal Crossing: New Horizons to get a huge free update and paid DLC
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is getting an enormous free content update and a new paid DLC expansion.
Back 4 Blood review
Back 4 Blood is a rip-roaring zombie killing time, but without the right zombie slayers by your side, it's an...
Batman returns to Rocket League today
Batman returns for this year's Rocket League Haunted Hallows event, which begins today.
New Nintendo Switch releases: October 11-15, 2021 (Updated)
Disco Elysium – The Final Cut and The Good Life are among this week's lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop...
This week’s Xbox Deals with Gold and Sale Highlights
Aliens: Fireteam Elite and games from the Fallout series headline this week's crop of Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S discounts.
Classic Star Wars games to get physical release on Switch and PS4
Aspyr Media is releasing four classic Star Wars games across two physical bundles on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
New PlayStation Store releases: October 11-15, 2021
This week's lineup of PlayStation Store releases includes Jackbox Party Pack 8. Oh, and Back 4 Blood, Crysis Remastered, NHL...
The wonder and fear of radio in video games
There's a childlike sense of wonder to radio. Making an ocean of the sky, radio waves broadcast out like the...