Today, Xbox and Bethesda presented the first ever Developer_Direct, which provided an inside look at some of the biggest games coming to Xbox, PC, and Game Pass, hosted by the game creators themselves. Like a child on Christmas I woke in the small hours of the morning to watch the highly anticipated showcase. I got chills as the opening scene showed developers walking through studios – it is undeniable that the teams from these companies work hard and love what they do. It was evident from the start that this presentation was authentically from the heart and I couldn’t wait to see gameplay from Redfall, Elder Scrolls Online, Minecraft Legends and Forza Motorsport 8.
Arcane Austin presented first, presenting their story driven vampire slayer shooter. The gameplay showed the character moving through the game with the mission to take back Redfall, Massachusetts from invading vampire hordes. Boasting the largest and most detailed setting than ever before, this is game is set to be a hit! The game features familiar mechanics such as safe zones/bases to acquire missions and supplies, skill maps and character customisations to help you complete the game. I particularly enjoyed seeing the various weapon choices from the classic military style to varied inventions and the charismatic dialogue, which took the edge off some of the more menacing scenes. I may or may not have jumped out of chair during the flashlight search sequence through the house – that jump-scare really got me. It is clear from what was shown that this game is nothing like other vampire games, as many rumours predicted, and it has its own spin on the iconic bad guy – vampires. Redfall will launch May 2 2023.
This is Minecraft like never before. The story driven campaign looks amazing and during the presentation we were shown the pvp gameplay. It was also mentioned that Minecraft Legends is cross platform and contains online matchmaking. The game looks like an exciting and strategic experience, with each session being unique and different and procedurally generated. Groups must attack, build and gather resources with the goal of destroying each others bases. The dev team have shown to be extremely passionate and excited for this release and I cannot wait to dive into this with friends on April 18 2023.
The Elder Scrolls Online
Bethesda announced their latest instalment to The Elder Scrolls Online – Necrom. This universe will bring a new playable class – the arcanist – with unique and never before seen abilities, as part of the 2023 roadmap Shadow Over Morrowind. Matt Fifor describes this as “one of the best updates ever”. Most of this portion was encouraging viewers to jump in now before the new launch, boasting the most welcoming community, along with no subscriptions and 1000’s of hour of single and multiplayer content. The previous chapters and 20 DLCs are available now to play until The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom releases on June 5, 2023 for PC and Mac players, and June 20 for those on consoles. The showcase was followed by it’s own showcase which delved deeper into the chapter.
Turn 10 Studios presented their most technical racing game to date, they said “it is built from the ground up to look, sound and feel real”. From watching the gameplay, it is clear that it is optimised for a cutting edge racing experience. The light behaviour tracking which is contextually aware and wear and tear being truly unique to each vehicle and each race, looks sensational. There will also be 500 cars with 800 customisations, 20 environments – iconic race tracks and 5 unique including the first in South Africa. It will also have an online mode and a car building focused career mode. The game so far looks extremely polished with 4k 60 fps and 10x more detail than previous generations. I am particularly excited for the dynamic days and weather as no two laps will look the same. I was very much looking forward to this, however with no release date announced I was left slightly deflated.
Hi Fi Rush
Tango Gameworks shadow dropped their latest creation, Hi Fi Rush onto viewers of the showcase. You play a modified human named Chai, a wannabe rockstar that can sense the world around him through music. The gameplay showed this to be a rhythm action game with a fight style that synchronises with music. Clearly this game is not about mashing buttons, but moving instinctually with the music as you fight. There are also other characters to play, however it wasn’t clear on how they varied from the main protagonist. Unlike the other games shown during the showcase, this game is available now on Game Pass for Xbox and PC.
I really enjoyed this showcase style, it featured a lot of gameplay and was straightforward with no “theatrics”. There as a clear balance of game genres and it was paced well. Moving forward, I think these types of shows should be featured throughout the year – giving gamers a taste of whats to come in a comprehensive way.