ICYMI: Here’s a Recap of Microsoft and Bethesda’s E3 Conference

Here's what Master Chief and friends brought to the show.

If you hadn’t heard, Microsoft bought Bethesda, so the two companies have combined their usual E3 press conferences this year. So that means we’re getting updates from Microsoft, a bunch of third-party developers, and also the collective of Bethesda and its various studios in the span of 90 minutes. If you weren’t able to catch the show live, we’ve got a recap here for you. For those that want to watch the archived stream, you can do that right here. For everyone else, let’s get scrolling:

    • Todd Howard arrives, insists that video games are the friends we made along the way.
    • Starfield has been introduced after being leaked earlier this morning. Howard described it as “the first in-game teaser,” made with Creation Engine 2. 
    • The game was also touted as an “Xbox Exclusive,” but is also coming to PC, to be clear.
    • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl, launching next year, gets a trailer at the top of the show. Unlike the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R., this looks to be a more-polished experience with heavy story elements more in line with AAA FPS expectations. Strong Bioshock vibes. Coming April 28, 2022 with a day-one Game Pass release.
    • Back 4 Blood gets a CG trailer with gameplay and story cutscenes. The trailer introduces a PVP mode called Swarm that looks similar to Left 4 Dead’s human vs. zombie PVP. It will release for retail and Game Pass on October 12.
    • Avalanche Studios’ new game, which was colloquially known as Project Typhoon, is fully revealed as Contraband. As Avalanche is known for, the game is a co-op open world adventure. It is an Xbox exclusive also coming to Game Pass day one.
    • Next up is new content for Sea of Thieves, and it’s a crossover with the Pirates of the Carribean franchise. It includes appearances of characters like Jack Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs, and Davey Jones in a story expansion called “A Pirate’s Life.” It will launch for free on June 22
    • Yakuza: Like a Dragon confirmed for Xbox Game Pass, putting the entire mainline series on the Xbox catalog service. Available today.
    • As EA and DICE said, Battlefield 2042’s gameplay reveal premiered after its official unveiling last week. There was certainly a lot of shooting, riding, flying, and taking shelter from natural disasters.
    • The indie game Twelve Minutes gets a new trailer and an August 19 release date, exclusive to Xbox and Xbox Game Pass.
    • New trailer for DoubleFine’s Psychonauts 2, also coming to Game Pass when it launches on August 25, several years after its initial announcement and crowdfunding campaign.
    • Pete Hines takes the stage in his first appearance at E3 as a Microsoft employee.
    • Ten more Bethesda games are coming to Xbox Game Pass, including: Arx Fatalis, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Doom, The Evil Within 2, Rage, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Fallout, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout 3.
    • There have been more Skyrim ports than years since the game was released.
    • A new Fallout 76 campaign called Steel Reign focuses on the Brotherhood of Steel. Players determine the fate of the Brotherhood despite, like, this being a prequel to a long-running series in which the Brotherhood makes frequent appearances.
    • The Pitt, a Pittsburgh-based new area, also revealed for Fallout 76.
    • Elder Scrolls Online boasts new player milestones and content as the MMORPG gets its Xbox S|X optimization updates.
    • Party Animals, an apparent Gang Beasts-like, is shown for the first time as an Xbox console launch exclusive. 
    • Hades is coming to Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One on August 13 and launching on Game Pass. 
    • A new title from Jumpship titled Sommerville releases as an Xbox console exclusive on Game Pass. The trailer shows a family running away from what appears to be an aggressive alien invasion. Coming in 2022.
    • Master Chief returns in Halo Infinite. 343 head Bonnie Ross reiterates that the game’s multiplayer, which is free-to-play, is completely crossplay between PC and consoles. Joseph Staten, a Halo alumnus that returned to the series recently, reintroduces the game after its delay last year. The story cutscene shown explains that Cortana has been deleted and Master Chief attaches himself to another AI because he doesn’t learn any lessons.
    • Halo Infinite is confirmed for this holiday with both the single-player campaign and multiplayer free-to-play season.
    • They bleeped the word “ass” which is funny to me and me alone.
    • Diablo II Resurrected shown with a new trailer, running 4K/60FPS on Xbox Series X. Cross-platform play included. The game will be released on September 23.
    • A Plague Tale: Requiem, a sequel to the critically-acclaimed A Plague Tale: Innocence, revealed with a CG trailer. The game releases in 2022.
    • Far Cry 6 made another appearance, leading with a cutscene featuring villain Antón Castillo, played by Giancarlo Esposito. Then there were a bunch of explosions and shooting, which seemed to upset him. Far Cry 6 is coming October 7.
    • Slime Rancher 2 revealed, showing new slimes in multiple new types of areas. Arrives in 2022 on Game Pass.
    • Shredders, a snowboarding game, is shown for the first time on Microsoft’s stage. Launching December 2021 on Game Pass.
    • Atomic Heart is a new sci-fi first person shooter shown with a trippy trailer complete with Russian europop. No date was given, but it is launching on Game Pass.
    • Replaced, a stylish, side-scrolling action game, is coming PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in 2022.
    • Obsidian Entertainment’s Grounded is shown with an update trailer after its first year of early access. Titled Shroom & Doom, the update brings pets, the highly-requested sitting feature, and a big spider that I hate.
    • Among Us adds 15-player lobbies and other features in the June 15 update.
    • Eiyuden Chronicle, the spiritual successor to Suikoden with much of the original team, makes an appearance at the Xbox show. Coming in 2023.
    • Eiyuden Chronicle Rising, what appears to be an action spinoff of the RPG, is coming in 2022.
    • The Ascent, an overhead cooperative action game, is coming to PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on July 29.
    • Age of Empires IV coming to PC October 28 with a day-one Game Pass release.
    • The Outer Worlds 2 Shown for the first time with a jokey trailer. The sequel announcement comes with a Game Pass day one confirmation.
    • Microsoft Flight Simulator gets a serene and peaceful trailer alongside an Xbox Series S|X release date, coming July 27 to Game Pass. A free expansion launches this Fall, as well.
    • Forza Horizon 5 gets announced with a new trailer and a confirmed setting in Mexico, as prior rumors suggested. The game will be released on November 9
    • Until the end of 2021, Phil Spencer will personally deliver you at least one new major Game Pass game a month. Complete with a hand-written card about how much the past 20 years of you consuming content has meant to him personally.
    • Redfall revealed from Arkane’s Austin studio, confirmed as an Xbox exclusive, but is also coming to PC, yet that just slips the minds of whoever decides to call these games Xbox exclusive. The CG trailer shows multiple superpowered people in a shootout with armed gunmen from a cult and vampires. The title releases in Summer 2022.

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This is but one of several showcases happening this week because E3 and Summer Game Fest were planned for the same week, for some reason. But all of our coverage on that is part of Fanbyte’s Hot Game Summer. For more on the news, podcasts, and video coverage we’ve got planned, head over to the Hot Game Summer master post.