Ah shit, here we go again.
Video game season is here and it’s a time for fellow video game nerds to lose their shit over what new pixels are coming to their screens. EA has already kicked things off with a reveal of the new Battlefield — Battlefield 2042 — which is shaping up to be a damn treat! But that’s just the beginning!
Summer Game Fest kicks off today with E3 following shortly after. There’ll doubtless be plenty to get excited about over the coming days but we’re here for one event in particular — The Xbox Game Showcase.
The 90-minute event takes place on June 13th at 6 pm, for folks in the UK, or 10 am PT, for certain folks in America. I’m not sure who because I don’t understand US time.
In a twist to the usual Xbox Showcase, Xbox is being all pally like with their latest acquisition, Bethesda, joining up to create some kind of mechaevent. We’re getting a bona fide twofer!!
With two big guns setting to show off their upcoming titles what do we think we’ll see? I’ve got good news. You don’t have to think! I’ve done it all for you.
Yeah, don’t have those. Although it feels like we’re heading out of the pandemic, it’s still very much in full swing and has been for the last year. That means development on previously announced games will still have been impacted. Temper those expectations from the start!
I suspect the show will be headed with a “here’s a look at some of the games you can play this holiday season and next year” message, allowing them to get away with showing no, or very little, footage for the games in early development. But I still reckon there’s plenty to be excited about.
If there’s one game from the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase that’s going to be scrutinised to all hell, it’s Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite was first shown off just over a year ago and well it didn’t quite go to plan. Many felt it was lacklustre for a flagship title of the self-touted “world’s most powerful console” and it subsequently got delayed for an entire year. 343 has since followed this with statements that they’re taking feedback on board to make sure it’s the best Halo game ever made. We’ve also seen some extra bits drip-feed through, since its first reveal, and it’s honestly looking bloody alright. Regardless, folks are chomping at the bit to see the new and improved Halo Infinite in all its glory and this event is the opportune moment to do just that. Let’s just hope they don’t drop a bollock this time.
Starfield was announced in 2018 and since then, nothing. We can only assume it’s an actual game and if the recently leaked screenshots are to be believed, it is. But what better way to remind folks of its existence than on a shared stage with Xbox. All eyes will be on this event and the two companies will want to flaunt their new relationship and showing off their new IP and, dare I say, platform exclusive would certainly do just that.
There have been rumblings of an impending release which may well mean it’s further into development than we’d expect. A 2021 release date has since been debunked by Jason Schreier who pens it as coming out in 2022 at the earliest but the fact that this is being talked about indicates they’re at least close to showing it off.
Likelihood: a near certainty.
Forza Motorsport was first shown off at last year’s E3 albeit as a simple proof of concept tease showcasing the power of the Series X. It was clear that the game had only been in development for a short while and not enough to show something substantial.
More recently, however, there have been behind-closed-doors, invite-only, play tests taking place which indicates that it’s at least in a playable state. A recent article posted over on VGC shed a bit more light on the game too. It is in fact a reimagining of the series rather than Forza Motorsport 8 and, knowing Turn 10, it’ll be making the Series X|S earn their keep.
I’d suspect we’ll see at least some gameplay during the event with a focus on some of the finer detail. They’ll love to drive home (pun wholly intended) just how much of an upgrade this entry will be. I think stats nerds will need to keep a cushion over their nethers for this.
Likelihood: I’d bet my left bollock on it.
Forza Horizon 5
Another Forza? You’re spoiling us! There have been rumours circling Forza Horizon 5 for some time now. The original rumour set the new playground to be in Japan but more recently it’s been hinted that it’s taking place in Mexico. Jez Corden posted a somewhat cryptic tweet mentioning a trip to Mexico followed by a car emoji on reputable news source — Twitter.com. This was then followed up with a tweet from Jeff Grubb which played to the idea of racing in Mexico. Tenuous? Of course. Probable? I don’t bloody know.
There was a two-year gap between Forza Horizon 3 and 4 and Forza Horizon 4 released in 2018. That’s more than two years #quickmaths so I’d be surprised if we didn’t get at least a cheeky trailer announcing the game.
Likelihood: quite probable.
Battlefield has already been shown off with an over-the-top, ridiculously fun-looking trailer. The trailer ended with a further announcement that gameplay will be shown on Sunday 13th. It’s now been confirmed that this will be shown during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. However, there have been further rumours that Battlefield 2042 will be launching on Game Pass.
EA Play comes bundled with Game Pass Ultimate and usually offers a 10-hour trial of new games as part of the service but this rumour is indicating a full release. This would be a big move by Xbox and EA and one that’ll please me because I’m tight and any chance at saving £60 on a game is always welcome.
Likelihood: it’s happening (except the Game Pass bit which may or may not be)!
Farming Simulator 2022
The screen fades to black. The sound of a New Holland T7.270 Sidewinder II engine strikes up off-screen. The tractor rolls into view with Phil straddling the bonnet. He looks to the camera and says “this is for you, Kieran”. He unbuttons his overalls to reveal a t-shirt emblazoned with both the Farming Simulator 2022 and Game Pass logos.
“Farming Simulator 2022 is launching on Game Pass day one, and that day is today” he decrees.
My phone rings. It’s my boss. “Kieran, I’ve heard the news. Take the rest of the year off fully paid”. I pinch myself. ‘Am I dreaming?’ I feel nothing therefore I am.
Likelihood: in the real world — nada, in my dreams — every damn day.
Fable & Perfect Dark
Would I love to see them in all their glory at this event? Of course, I would! Do I think we will? Unlikely.
From job listings for the respective studios to seeing folks sharing their bio changes on Twitter, it’s clear that these two games are still in early development. So early that I can’t see there being any gameplay to show for either of them. We’ve already seen announcement trailers too so to steer clear of retreading already trodden ground, I think we’ll, at most, see these merged into a wider “here’s what to come in the future” segment which may well close off the show
Likelihood: about as likely as Half-Life 3 ever being announced.
Fallout 5 and Elder Scrolls 6
Elder Scrolls is still years off but in an attempt to drum up some hype for the next Fallout, I suspect we’ll see a similar tease to that of Elder Scrolls 6. A scrolling pan of a desolate landscape ending with a logo fade in for Fallout 5. It’ll tell us next to nothing about the game but just knowing that a new game in a renowned popular franchise exists will be enough for appetites to be suitably whetted.
Likelihood: fair to middling.
It’s no secret that Xbox has gone all out to secure a healthy team of first-party developers and they’ve got some incredible talent on board. Many are hoping these acquisitions will fill a much-needed-to-be-filled hole in the shape of high-quality first-party Xbox games. I think they will, given time. But I still feel this is too early in the process to be seeing some output from these teams. Will there be some new games shown off? Quite likely. But will all 23 studios (including the new Bethesda studios) be showing off what they’re working on? Definitely not.
Likelihood: a bit of something something but not everything everything.
There’s plenty of potential for the upcoming Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. What do you think we’ll see? What would you like to see? What do you think we’ll not be seeing? So many questions which you can answer in our comments section below.