E109: Everything from the Xbox and Bethesda Developer_Direct showcase.
Good morning gamers! Last week’s Xbox and Bethesda ‘Developer_Direct’ event showcased some extended gameplay and revealed key information for some of the brand new games coming to Xbox, PC and GamePass in 2023. Here’s a recap of all the important tidbits in case you missed it.
Redfall is officially coming on May 2nd alongside some awesome pre-order bonuses and a Hero Pass for future Vampire slayers, outfits and weapons.
Minecraft Legends releases on April 18th and includes a PvP mode where two teams of up to four players each work together to collect resources, build a base, and lay siege to their opposition’s forces.
Forza Motorsport presented a development deep-dive showcasing how it’s the most technically advanced and authentic racing game the team has ever made. It’s coming sometime in 2023.
The Elder Scrolls: Necrom is this year's big chapter update. Players return to the alien lands of Morrowind, and will be introduced to a new playable class, the Arcanist. Coming to PC/Mac on June 5th, and consoles on June 20th.
Hi-Fi Rush by Tango Gameworks was shadow dropped during the event (revealed and released simultaneously). It’s an over-the-top, single-player rhythm action game in which the entire world moves to the beat.
Other Related Announcements
Starfield was not shown at the event but Xbox confirmed that a standalone show is in the works.
GoldenEye 007 was released for Nintendo Switch and Xbox. The Nintendo Switch version is a port that includes multiplayer for the first time ever. The Xbox version is a remastered edition (without multiplayer) and includes new controls, achievements, 16:9 resolution, and up to 4K Ultra HD.
The Last of Us and Naughty Dog
The Last of Us has been renewed for a second season by HBO after the premiere surpassed 22 million viewers. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the second episode starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey saw a jump of 22% in overnight ratings compared to the premiere. Showrunner Craig Mazin said they won’t waste time before jumping into the The Last of Us Part II storyline.
The Last of Us Part III will be developed if Naughty Dog can come up with a compelling story. According to Naughty Dog’s Co-President Neil Druckmann, there’s no pressure from Sony to make a third game as they “have a very strong ending with Part II and that will be the end”. As it stands, the third game is not in development.
Uncharted is a series that Naughty Dog will be leaving behind. According to Druckmann, “Uncharted 4 was one of our best selling games and we're able to put our final brushstroke on that story and say that we're done. We're moving on”. Druckmann also says they’re “very privileged that our publisher is Sony which means Sony funds our games, supports us, and we’re owned by Sony".
🥇Congratulations to Oxygen Esports for winning the G1 Invitational (Rocket League).
The Overwatch World Cup is returning for its fifth iteration in 2023 after being on hiatus since 2019. 36 countries across three regions (Americas, Europe & Middle East and Asia Pacific) will be separated into three regional conferences, where each conference consists of two groups of six countries. Group stage competitions will take place in June, where 5 countries from each region will qualify for the World Championship LAN finals, while China gets automatic qualification due to their back-to-back second place finishes. The United States are the reigning Champions, and South Korea are three-time winners.
The Saudi Esports Federation will once again host their major esports and gaming festival with this year's iteration being called Gamers8: Land of Heroes. The event will take place between July and August featuring a $30M total prize pool, a World Forum and a major music festival - all hosted at the NXTLVL Arena in Riyadh City. Last year's event attracted 1.4 million visitors, 130 million online viewers and most of the major esport organizations across 5 competitive titles (Dota 2, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket league and PUBG Mobile). Festival organizers have not yet announced which games and teams will be featured at this year's event.
Less than a year after FaZe Clan went public with a $1 billion valuation, the business is now at risk of being delisted from the stock market. NASDAQ compliance states that stocks listed on the index cannot trade at a value less than $1. Any company that trades below the minimum required value for 30 consecutive days risks a deficiency notice (effectively giving them 180 calendar days to regain compliance standards). At the time of writing this, the $FaZe stock price has been hovering between $1 and $0.73 for more than a week.
Squanch Games, the developer behind High on Life will continue to support the game and develop new games they know their fans will love.
Forza Motorsport won’t be releasing in the first half of 2023 according to industry insider Jeff Grubb, it is expected to be released in Q3.
Far Cry 7 (Project Blackbird) and Far Cry Multiplayer (Project Maverick) are reportedly in development at Ubisoft, the release is expected to be in 2025.
WWE 2K23 will release on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC on March 17 and it will feature John Cena on the cover of all three editions.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is massive according to Peter Parker actor Yuri Lowenthal. Lowenthal says he’s still working with Insomniac Games on the game.
Hogwarts Legacy will have no repercussions for players' poor behavior, there is no morality system in the game.
Horizon multiplayer gameplay from the alpha has leaked online. The multiplayer game is currently in development by Guerilla Games and has no release date.
Game Review - Forspoken
Forspoken lightly scratches the surface of a magical fantasy open-world RPG but fails to innovate past what we’ve already seen before. The highlight of the game is its parkour movement mechanics and flashy combat system. It was fun to learn, enjoyable to experience, and challenging to master. Frey’s four styles of elemental magic were a cool way to introduce weapons and skills, but some basic components felt like they took too long to unlock.
Those positives were mostly outweighed by the game's extremely bland and predictable storyline, outdated graphics and somewhat awkward dialogue. Open-world games are supposed to encourage exploration but we often found ourselves herded in one direction by the storyline. The game very clearly wanted to force Frey’s hero journey as much as possible, but that left little room to uncover what was happening in the world around her.
Forspoken was an interesting game with many foundational positives that can be improved on over time. However, the game did not meet our expectations of what a modern day open-world RPG should be like. We give Forspoken a rating of C.
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