The summer season of game announcements continues this evening with the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. We’ll be liveblogging the event right here at Average Joe Games, so join us from 6pm BST as we get a glimpse at the future of Xbox.
Will we finally get a proper look at Starfield gameplay? Probably. Will sweeping changes to Halo Infinite make its fanbase happy? Probably not. Let’s find out the answers to these questions and more together, and hopefully get a few surprises along the way too.
That's all from me today. I hope you enjoyed the showcase, and we look forward to seeing you at the next Average Joe Games liveblog!
And that's the show! There weren't really any bombshell announcements, but there's a metric shitload of interesting games heading to Xbox over the next 12 months. From shooters to racing games, Japanese RPGs to real-time strategy games, narrative adventures, there was truly something for everyone in today's show. And of course, almost every game shown today will be available on Xbox Game Pass as soon as they release. The value of the service just keeps increasing, and you'd be hard pressed to find more bang for your buck in the gaming world.
For my money, the games I'm most excited for from today's offerings are High on Life, Pentiment and The Last Case of Benedict Fox. I'm intrigued by Starfield but the epic scale of the game is scaring me off a bit. The Persona series is a huge get for Microsoft, and I'm sure millions of new players will be joining me in checking out those games as soon as they go live on Game Pass.
Halo: Infinite was notably absent today. It's simultaneously wild and completely unsurprising that we didn't get any news about the game; changes to its controversial multiplayer mode seem to be coming at a glacial pace, and the much-awaited campaign co-op keeps getting delayed. I really enjoyed my time with the campaign, but I've avoided the multiplayer as it still seems like such a mess. Hopefully 343 Industries will be able to right the ship soon; today's showcase should have featured a triumphant announcement of new content and features.
Todd Howard is now trying to give us an impression of how big the game is. Over 1000 planets across 100 systems are completely explorable, letting you lands anywhere you want on their surfaces - that seems pretty insane! No wonder the game got delayed. There's no date right now other than a vague 2023 window, but as with almost all of the games shown today, it'll be coming to Game Pass on Day 1.
Starfield's customisability extends to allowing you to build outposts and design your own spaceship, the latter of which you'll control in some very fun looking dogfights in space.
A new segment of the demo is showing off the character creator and the skills and crafting systems of Starfield. This is where Bethesda RPGs have lost me in the past; I've really enjoyed the 20 or so hours I've spent in each game but I just get completely overwhelmed by all the options available to develop my character. It doesn't look like Starfield is doing much to streamline that process but it probably shouldn't - I'm in the minority when it comes to not really getting these games!
Starfield isn't stunning visually but it does seem like a big upgrade from Bethesda's other games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. We just got a glimpse at a very cool-looking gunfight in zero-G.
The story seems to be heavily influenced by Mass Effect, too. You're tasked with tracking down ancient alien artifacts that give you mysterious visions.
Now we're seeing the city of New Atlantis on the planet of Jemison. If the last segment felt like No Man's Sky, New Atlantis looks and feels somewhat like the Citadel in Mass Effect.
The player is now fighting space pirates in a research station. It appears that both ballistic guns and laser weapons will be available in the game, and you can use a jetpack to vault over obstacles.
This Starfield demo is taking place on the barren moon of Kreet, populated by large crab-like creatures. It appears to be taking a lot of inspiration from No Man's Sky - there are some very similar mineral scanning and mining mechanics.