Every trailer and announcement from Microsoft and Bethesda’s E3 showcase

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The future of Xbox —

Halo! Forza! Psychonauts! Age of Empires! And dozens of other games, too!

Kyle Orland

  • Curvy reflections on spaceship interiors in Starfield.

  • A wingsuit in Battlefield 2042.

  • Psychonauts 2 is finally approaching release after years of development.

  • Party Animals looks a lot like Gang Beasts to us.

  • That’s not Cortana in Halo Infinite.

  • Slime Rancher 2 lets you suck and spit blobby slimes. Get your mind out of the gutter.

  • Some apocalyptic drama in Somerville.

  • Shredders is not SSX, but it might be OK anyway.

  • Atomic Heart gives off some Bioshock vibes.

  • A new Age of Empires is coming later this year.

  • This title is all we really got to see of The Outer Worlds 2.

  • Forza Horizon 5 has some truly incredible landscapes.

  • The diverse cast of Arkane’s vampire-filled Redfall.

Microsoft packed 30 different games into its hour-and-a-half-long presentation at this year’s completely virtual E3 show. Most of those games will be available on Game Pass, and many will be Xbox console exclusives.

If you didn’t have a chance to sit through the lengthy, bombastic presentation live, here’s a quick recap of every trailer and announcement that graced the streaming “stage.”

Upcoming games

  • Starfield got its first extensive teaser trailer, which we covered in more detail in a separate post. It’s an Xbox Series X/S and PC exclusive coming Nov. 11, 2022.

  • The trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl focuses on a group of men who seem increasingly obsessed with “The Zone” and the mutated and paranormal creatures that can be found within it. Lightning effects feature prominently. It’s “coming first” to Xbox and PC on April 28, 2022.

  • Back 4 Blood is sold as being “from the creators of Left 4 Dead,” and it certainly looks the part in its latest trailer. Coming October 12 to Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4/5, and Windows, complete with a new swarm mode and human vs. zombie PvP. Also check out our impressions based on the game’s 2020 alpha test.

  • The teaser trailer for Contraband had a lot of atmosphere but not a lot of concrete information, aside from the fact that it’s a co-op open-world title from Avalanche Studios (Rage 2, Just Cause 4). The YouTube description describes it as “a co-op smuggler’s paradise set in the fictional world of 1970s Bayan.” No target date mentioned for this Xbox and Windows exclusive.

  • We saw some footage of Battlefield 2042 that looked rather similar to the footage we saw last week. You can now airlift tanks anywhere on the battlefield, which seems like a plus. Look for it Oct. 22, 2021 on Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4/5, and Windows.

  • The time-looping “interactive thriller” 12 Minutes is still looking good, though very similar to the glimpse we saw at E3 two years ago. James McAvoy, Daisey Ridley, and Willem Dafoe star as voices. It’ll be an Xbox “console launch exclusive” on Aug. 19, 2021.

  • Psychonauts 2 is finally approaching release after its 2016 crowdfunding campaign. Expect “headploration,” “thoughtcrobatics” and a whole lot of Ras riding around on balls of various types. Also a surprising amount of tooth-strewn environments. It hits Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4, and PC platforms on Aug. 25.

  • Party Animals is a cute, chaotic rag-doll physics multiplayer brawler that immediately brings to mind comparisons to Gang Beasts. It’s coming to Game Pass in 2022 as well as Steam.

  • Somerville gives off some Inside and Kentucky Route Zero vibes as it showcases a family trying to wander through atmospheric 2D environments amid an apparent alien invasion. That checks out, as its developing studio Jumpship was formed by former members of Playdead (Inside, Limbo).

  • Halo Infinite is finally coming in Holiday 2021, and a new story trailer showed Master Chief floating through the wreckage of a ship and having a confused conversation with Cortana’s apparent AI replacement. The free-to-play multiplayer mode will launch alongside the paid campaign and run at up to 120 fps on Xbox Series X.

  • Diablo II Resurrected is yet another opportunity to buy this 21-year-old game, this time with remastered 60 fps visuals, cross-progression, and eight-player co-op. Look for it on Xbox Series X/S on Sept. 23, as well as Xbox One, PS4/5, Switch, and Windows.

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem presented a very atmospheric pre-rendered trailer evoking a lot of the same feelings as its hit predecessor, yet showing no gameplay. It’s coming to Xbox consoles and Windows in 2022.

  • Far Cry 6 looked familiar after its presentation at Ubisoft’s press conference yesterday. It’s still coming on Oct. 7 to Xbox and PlayStation consoles and Windows.

  • Slime Rancher 2 seems to have more of the same super-cute gameplay of the 2017 original, letting players solve puzzles by sucking up blobby monsters and spitting them back out using a specialized gun. Look for it in 2022 on Xbox Series X/S and Windows.

  • Shredders is a snowboarding game that seems centered on video capture. It’s not SSX which is always a shame. Coming “first on Xbox Series X/S” in Dec. 2021.

  • Mundfish’s Atomic Heart is a Bioshock-esque shooter, mixing gunplay and telekinetic powers amid robots, mutants, and a vaguely J-pop soundtrack. No release window provided for the game, which is planned for PlayStation and Xbox consoles and Windows.

  • Replaced features some amazingly detailed and fluid anime-inspired pixel-art animation in what looks like a very impactful brawler. Look for it in 2022 on Xbox One, Series X/S, and Windows.

  • Eiyuden Chronicle mixes hand-drawn 2D art with amazing 3D environments and camera angles for what looks like a spiritual successor to the much-loved Suikoden PlayStation RPGs. “Hundred Heroes” is coming in 2022, while “Rising” is coming in 2023 for PlayStation and Xbox consoles and Windows.

  • The Ascent features characters shooting through some generic cyberpunk-ish environments from an isometric perspective. It’s coming to Game Pass on day one, July 29, on Xbox One, Series X/S, and Windows.

  • Age of Empires IV once again asks players “if history was in your hands, what would you build? How would you fight? Where would you go?” It’s coming Oct. 28 on Windows and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

  • The Outer Worlds 2 is in the works, but there’s nothing ready to show just yet, so instead we got a very meta trailer commenting on other video game trailers.

  • Forza Horizon 5 takes place in Mexico, where you will drive through amazing-looking deserts and waterfalls alike. “Forza Link” uses AI to link players up with multiplayer partners based on the types of gameplay they like, while the Events Lab lets players create their own challenges with their own rulesets, like car bowling. It’s coming Nov. 9 to Xbox One, Series X/S, and Windows,

  • Arkane Studios’ Redfall is a vampire-themed supernatural shooter with a diverse cast and an irreverent attitude, based on its first pre-rendered trailer. It’s coming in summer 2022 on Xbox Series X/S and Windows.

New stuff for existing games

  • Captain Jack Sparrow will make an appearance in some Sea of Thieves DLC starting on June 22.

  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available on Game Pass starting today.

  • Fallout 76 is getting a “Steel Reign” update and a series of new “Expeditions” to new locales, including “The Pitt” from the Fallout 3 DLC.

  • Hades, the Ars Technica Game of the Year for 2020, will be free on Game Pass on Aug. 13.

  • Grounded‘s “Shroom and Doom” update features a terrifying Giant Spider called the Brood Mother and a bunch of other stuff I missed because I was scared of the Brood Mother.

  • Among Us is getting 15 player lobbies, which is somehow legitimately big news about one of the biggest games out there.

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox Series X/S on July 27 and getting a Top Gun-branded jet-fighter expansion in the fall.

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