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Bethesda's Starfield, Redfall bookend Xbox E3 conference

Recent acquisition's efforts given the spotlight as Halo Infinite multiplayer goes free-to-play, Forza Horizon 5 goes to Mexico, and more

Microsoft today held its big E3 Xbox-Bethesda Showcase, combining its expected emphasis on Game Pass titles -- 27 of the 30 titles shown will be included in Game Pass at launch -- and new looks at some already announced titles with a few big new reveals.

The company wasted no time getting to one of the more anticipated reveals, with Bethesda's Todd Howard introducing the show and the first in-game teaser for Starfield, which culminated with a November 11, 2022 release date. Microsoft's Sarah Bond also confirmed the game would be "an exclusive," presumably for PC and Xbox consoles.

Halo: Infinite was another big-but-expected part of the show, with 343 studio head Bonnie Ross and creative director Joseph Staten announcing that the game's multiplayer would be free-to-play on PC and Xbox consoles when the game launches. The first free-to-play multiplayer season and the story-driven campaign will launch together this holiday season, and both received dedicated trailers in the showcase.

They were joined by a number of big first-party reveals, including Age of Empires 4 (October 28). The Outer Worlds 2, MS Flight Simulator for Series X|S (July 27) along with its Top Gun: Maverick expansion (this fall).

The Forza Horizon 5 reveal received a bit more of a spotlight, with the latest installment in the franchise set in Mexico with an open-world "battle royale" mode and an Events Labs mode will players will be able to create their own races and game modes, as well as tweaking the "fundamental rules of the game."

The show also closed with a new post-apocalyptic open-world vampire-hunting shooter from Arkane Austin, the Xbox exclusive Redfall, set for release in summer 2022.

The show also featured new looks and details for a number of titles including the following:

  • Sea of Thieves: A Pirate's Life (Pirates of the Caribbean crossover, June 22)
  • Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl (April 28, 2022)
  • Grounded: Shroom and Doom Update (June 30)
  • 12 Minutes (August 19)
  • Psychonauts 2 (August 25)
  • Party Animals (2022)
  • Hades (August 13 on Xbox)
  • Somerville (2022)
  • Diablo 2: Reforged (September 22)
  • A Plague Tale: Requiem (2022)
  • Slime Rancher 2 (2022)
  • Replaced (2022)
  • Shredders (December)
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes (2023)
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (2022)
  • The Ascent (July 29)

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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