E3 Day 2: Xbox+Bethesda • Top 10

I don’t currently own an Xbox and my last Xbox console was an Xbox 360, which I still have hooked up (in case I want to play some Brutal Legend). Although I’ve been a PlayStation gamer for the past two generations, I’m still open to seeing what Xbox has to offer. I was excited to see what all of these new studios they’ve acquired over the years have been working on. I also wanted to watch this conference to see if it’s time for me to add a next-gen Xbox console to my gaming hardware collection.

I survived the last generation with my PS4 (then PS4 Pro) and Nintendo Switch, because I also had a PC which I could play Xbox/Microsoft exclusives if I needed to. The only ones I played were Ori and the Blind Forest and Cuphead, which later came to the Switch anyways (Cuphead also came to the PS4). My PC has mostly been used for old games and now FREE Epic Store games.

I’ve always been a fan of the idea behind many Bethesda games, but some may be too time consuming for me. I remember buying Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360 after moving on to the PS4. I played it for about a week before deciding that it wasn’t really for me. I do enjoy Bethesda’s FPS games (like Doom and Wolfenstein), but they still aren’t my top choices.

I have felt for a while that it may be time to get an Xbox Series S just to have Game Pass and be able to try out different Xbox games, I also just don’t have the time for all of these games.

This showcase was a bit larger than the others. Xbox finally had a lot to show off so for this one I’ve compiled a Top Ten list instead of my usually Top Five so far:

1. Starfield

We finally got our first look at Starfield and sort of what it is. No gameplay though, just a nice cinematic trailer. It seems like it will be an open-world space adventure exploration game. I’m wondering if it will be like a Fallout in space or something completely new.

They also gave us the release date (11.11.2022) which is more than a year away, so I’m sure we’ll be getting some updates along the way. We also now know (for sure) that this game will be exclusive to Xbox and PC. Although I’m excited to learn more about Starfield, I still need gameplay and more details to find out if I truly need this game.

Starfield is coming exclusively to Xbox and PC on November 11, 2022.

2. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

The first S T A L K E R : Heart of Chernobyl came out back in 2007. I never played it, I just looked it up. This new entry looks insanely fresh. I thought a war game taking place during the Chernobyl disaster would be intense enough, but this game also throws in some monsters and some strange spooky goodness.

The trailer is edited very well jumping back and forth between combat and fireside chats with your mates. It seems the game will have a compelling story as well.

S T A L K E R 2 : Heart of Chernobyl is coming to exclusively to Xbox Series X|S and PC on April 28, 2022.

3. Contraband

All we know about Contraband from this reveal is that it’s a co-op open world game and that’s because of two flashcards in the trailer. Xbox Game Studios and Avalanche Studios are behind it. It seems to be some sort of heist game that may take place some time in the 1980s. It’s developed by the same team behind the Just Cause games.

Although this trailer shows nothing of gameplay, characters, release date or anything else I like the idea of a heist game and I look forward to seeing more. Sometimes a little reveal is all you need to get people excited — or just a cool trailer that tells nothing about your game.

4. Psychonauts 2

I love Double Fine Productions because of Tim Schafer, but the only game I’ve really played from Double Fine is Brutal Legend starring Jack Black. I own Psychonauts on my PC, and I plan on trying it out soon to see how bad I truly want to play Psychonauts 2.

Maybe it will be like what happened to me with Ratchet and Clank. After playing the 2016 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, which came out this past Friday. I can see that happening with Psychonauts.

This game gives me some serious 90s Nickelodeon show vibes. I think it’s the oddly shaped objects, bright colors and goofy character design. It just seems like an all-out silly game and I’m all for that.

Psychonauts 2 is coming to Xbox consoles and PC on August 25.

5. Halo Infinite

The last time Xbox showed us some Halo Infinite gameplay, the fans weren’t too happy. Microsoft delayed the game an extra year or so. Yesterday, we saw some of the map and some cinematic which looked really good.

Xbox also revealed their new plan of releasing all multiplayer modes for FREE to everyone. This is a good strategy, once people get hooked on the multiplayer they’ll be more willing to purchase the campaign mode. If they don’t care for the campaign the multiplayer modes are what kept me and my friends playing Halo and Halo 2 for so many years after release.

Also, if you are a Game Pass subscriber you’ll be able to download Halo Infinite (campaign and multiplayer) on day one for free. I don’t know why anyone would not have Game Pass if they’re an Xbox owner — unless they own an Xbox for one particular game.

Halo Infinite will release on PC and Xbox consoles Holiday 2021.

6. Atomic Heart

Atomic Heart seems to be set in an alternate Soviet reality, where something happened with robots, monsters and the supernatural. Maybe it was a mix of the music and the visuals that got me real excited for this game.

I’m still not sure what the story is about but the quick and weird gameplay clips, the Russian party music and the stunning graphics got me super hyped. The Russian grandma with the soup ladle was another visual that got me.

This may be the game that makes me buy an Xbox Series S and become a Game Pass subscriber.

7. REPLACED

REPLACED has some of the coolest retro look I’ve ever seen. Some of my favorite games are pixelated or hand drawn simple design. I don’t know how they made this game look old and brand new all at the same time. Looking at screenshots of the imagery I noticed some beautiful lighting effects and reflection that really make the scenes pop.

The combat also looks much more cool and complicated than a retro-style game would have. I love seeing the camera tilt with attacks. I looked up some more about this game and you play as R.E.A.C.H. an AI stuck in a human body. This is a 1980s cyber-punk style game.

REPLACED is coming to PC and Xbox platforms in 2022.

8. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

I don’t even know if I would be into this game. I quickly get lost in JRPGs and can’t figure out what to do. I just love the art style of this game. It’s sort of a mix of the HD 2D style of Octopath Traveler, another game I did not play because I don’t know how I feel about the gameplay, but I want to play because I love the visuals.

This was a strange announcement because they started with Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes which is the main game coming in 2023. After showing that off they also announced Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising coming next year, 2022.

From what I understand Rising will be sort of a prequel and a smaller game, explaining the world of what’s to come in Hundred Heroes.

Both games are coming to Xbox consoles and PC.

9. The Outer Worlds 2

This trailer was basically Obsidian telling us, “Yes, we are making a sequel to The Outer Worlds, but we don’t have anything yet to show.” They did however put together a very cool trailer. One thing this trailer did do is make me want to check out The Outer Worlds, which I still haven’t done.

This announcement could have been done for a lot cheaper with Phil Spencer or someone from Obsidian, “Yes we are working on the Outer Worlds 2.” But, because they went all out with this fancy looking trailer I had to include it on my list.

10. Redfall

Redfall was the showcase ender. I love the style of this game. The characters are cool too. I don’t know if this is true, but it feels like after the Xbox/Bethesda deal Microsoft went over to Arkane and said, “Ok, you’re working on Deathloop for PlayStation 5? Now we need a game from you too.” Then Arkane (in Austin) came up with this.

Killing vampires is always a fun premise for a game. It seems to be a 4 player Co-op vampire horde fighting game. You also have this cute little robot buddy and sweet special vampire killing weapons. I like that the characters aren’t some special forces or trained people, they seem to be young kids who became certified bad ass vampire hunters.


So, what’s the verdict — Am I getting an Xbox Series S|X in the next year? Possibly. I’m happy to see many promising games from Xbox at their conference. I left out some other big games: Forza Horizon 5 (in Mexico), Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life, Somerville, Shredders, The Ascent, Flight Simulator.

The games I left off of my list may not be the top games I would go for, but because of Game Pass I would have the chance to download and at least give them a chance. I love what the Xbox team is doing with getting all of these games to Game Pass. I’ve always said Game Pass isn’t for me because I would be too overwhelmed each night, trying to pick a game to play.

Many of these indie titles make me want to purchase an Xbox Series S (at the least) or even upgrade my PC parts. But if Starfield comes out and is as amazing as everyone wants it to be, that could be the game that gets me a new Xbox Series X|S along with becoming a Game Pass subscriber.

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