Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct Show 2023: What's on the Horizon

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Microsoft rolled out the red carpet (and some announcements) to start 2023 off strong with their Developer Direct Show. Starfield was notably absent from the lineup of games, with Xbox releasing multiple statements of a standalone Starfield show "in the works." Additionally, Xbox will have their staple Showcase show later this summer (likely June), promising to show even more upcoming titles and updates.

Here's a rundown of everything the Developer Direct show covered.

Redfall

Redfall will release on Xbox and PC on May 2nd, 2023 and will be available on day one of launch via Game Pass.

Arkane Austin showed off further gameplay of Redfall's single-player and multi-player modes and explored more of the large open-world map and the vicious vampires that fill it. The team also did the usual business pitch of teasing pre-order exclusives and an upgraded Bit Back Edition of the game that adds a Hero Pass for future updates.

Given the success of Arkane's other games (Death Loop, Prey, Dishonored 1+2), many expect that Redfall will live up to the hype and deliver. (I am curious about how the Hero Pass will be received from the player base, but we'll see.) 

Minecraft Legends

Minecraft Legends has an official release of April 18th, 2023, and will release on all major systems. The team showed off various details about the upcoming Minecraft game, but in a series first, Minecraft Legends introduces a PVP mode where two teams of up to four players each work together to collect resources, build a base, and lay siege to the enemy forces. 

Forza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport announced it will release in 2023 and spent time showcasing how it is the most technically advanced and authentic racing game made to date. Forza Motorsport will release on Xbox and PC and will be available on Game Pass.

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO): Necrom will take players back to Morrowind to explore the Eastern reaches of the region. The update will launch in June 2023 and debuts a new class. The new class, Arcanist, will allow players to harness ancient tomes and epic runes to unleash powerful magic. For further details, check out the ESO blog that details the class mechanics and gameplay for Arcanist hopefuls.

To celebrate the upcoming Chapter launch, ESO is (temporarily) offering a free trial for ESO Plus and making all past Chapters and DLC (excluding High Isle) available for players with the base game. (ESO is available through Game Pass. If you've been curious about the game from a distance and you subscribe, I recommend you take advantage of this limited-time deal!)

Hi-Fi Rush (The surprise game announcement!)

From the studio behind Ghostwire: Tokyo, this new colorful rhythm game was a never-before-seen game released in the shock announcement. It looks like a vibrant, fun single-player rhythm action game with songs from iconic bands like Nine Inch Nails and The Black Keys. The game is available to play now through Game Pass.

You can read a further recap of the announced games (and check out the associated videos) at the Xbox Games blog.

Will you be picking up any of these titles? 

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Planetary

Details for ESO expansion look to be along nicely. Looking forward to this.


Interstellar

Am I the only one who thinks Redfall looks graphically underwhelming?  Environmental textures look set to potato mode or something, because there's a lot of really basic, flat looking surfaces and a distinct lack of graphical flourishes.  Also, with the exception of the bigger/boss enemies, all the cultists and vampires look pretty similar - which isn't great in terms of being able to read who/what the enemies is and what their abilities might be at a glance, but is also extremely disappointing when you consider the sort of creative flair they could've done with those enemy types.  The gameplay looks fine, even potentially fun, but...it definitely doesn't look like a $70 game.  It looks like a Left 4 Dead mod, built on that same outdated engine, which is probably why I kept thinking that's what the gameplay was prior to this.

Or maybe it just didn't do Redfall any favors being show off alongside Forza Motorsport, with its hyper realistic graphics, and Hi-Fi Rush's fantastic uber-stylized visuals.