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E3 2021: all the news from Microsoft and Bethesda’s Xbox showcase | Games

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I kept sending Keith one-line summaries of the Wholesome Games announcements yesterday. “Help a shy frog find the ingredients she needs for her tea party.” “A game about helping your nan recover from a fall.” “A sitcom game about birds with social anxiety.”

After a while he thought I’d started hallucinating.




Halo Infinite coming later this year; multiplayer will be free to play

It’s time for Halo! Halo Infinite multiplayer will be free-to-play, it’s been announced. We’re seeing some in-game footage that looks considerably better and a bit less technicolour than it did at the last Xbox showcase, after which players were decidedly unimpressed.

Master Chief is pulling himself through the space-detritus of an exploded ship, picking a gun up from one of the MANY dead soldiers. He’s in search of Cortana, the AI companion that’s been his only consistent company for the past 20 years. Instead he finds a different AI, who’s evidently going to join him.

Both the multiplayer portion and the single-player will launch this year (I’m betting on Oct/Nov).




Well, Party Animals is my joint favourite E3 game announcement so far, alongside Woodo from yesterday’s Wholesome Games event.




A moody interlude next, as we watch a car trundle down a lonely highway at night and a family snooze in a derelict-looking farmhouse. Immense LIMBO/Outside vibes here, as we see a couple fleeing what appears to be an ongoing alien invasion with a toddler in tow. Oh gawd, children in peril. I’m not going to be able to play this one. It’s called Somerville, out 2022.

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It’s Greek underworld action-game Hades now, one of last year’s standouts, winner of 5 BAFTAs, etc etc. That’ll be out on Xbox on August 13, if you haven’t already sampled its delights.

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Now it’s… is this Gang Beasts with fuzzy animals? A multiplayer brawler with entertaining physics and adorable vacant-looking creatures, Party Animals is coming in 2022

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Tidbit: The Elder Scrolls Online apparently has 18 million players now. Maybe that’s why there hasn’t been a new single-player Elder Scrolls game since Skyrim, ten years ago…

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Ah, here’s Bethesda’s Pete Hines, announcing that another 10 Bethesda games are now available to play on Game Pass, including Doom Eternal with a next-gen upgrade (60fps with ray-tracing). And now we get to see what’s next for Fallout 76, a game that is apparently quite good now.

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I’ve been looking forward to Psychonauts 2 for what seems like half my life. A surreal platformer about invading people’s minds from the comedy geniuses at Double Fine, it looks as fun as it is bizarre. That’s out August 25th on Xbox (yay!)

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12 Minutes now, the thriller set inside an apartment room in an infinite 12-minute time loop, published by Annapurna. I played this the other week and it’s one to watch. Out 19th August.

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Now time for a look at Battlefield 2042, the evolution of war games from Sweden’s DICE. 128-player battles in a ravaged, post climate-crisis world in which everyone has to periodically run away from tornadoes and sandstorms. I saw this last week and it looked absolutely awesome, to be fair – chaotic, technically unbelievable, tremendously exciting. It’ll also let you play with AI combatants so that you don’t just get shot every 12 seconds by teenagers.

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