Recapping Xbox’s Developer_Direct
by Danny Craig ·
Microsoft’s brand new showcase debuted last night, showing off a handful of new titles from Xbox’s first-party studios.
- Minecraft Legends, a new action-strategy offering from Mojang Studios and Blackbird Interactive, was the first game to be shown. We got a look at a gameplay trailer for its eight-player, cross-platform PvP mode, which pits two teams of four against each other and the Piglins, a third PvE faction. Like the original Minecraft, both the campaign and multiplayer modes feature procedurally generated terrain. A release date of April 13 was also announced for all major platforms except the Switch, and it will be available to Game Pass subscribers on day one. Eurogamer's Tom Phillips spoke with the game's executive producer, Lee Pederson, and you can read his write-up for more information on the new mode here.
- Turn 10 Studios' Forza Motorsport was up next. Forza Motorsport will be the eighth entry in the mainline Forza series, following the now-standard trend of removing numbers from game titles after multiple entries. At launch, the game will reportedly include over 500 cars with over 800 upgrades, as well as some of the best visuals, physics, and audio in gaming. If everything goes as planned, the racing title will be available in 2023 on PC and Xbox Series X/S. The presentation from Turn 10 can be found here.
- Here's one you can start playing right now. Tango Gameworks, the studio behind Ghostwire: Tokyo in 2022, has announced Hi-Fi RUSH, an action game with rhythm game elements. The environment around the player syncs to the game's soundtrack, affecting platforming, combat, and even cutscenes. The official soundtrack also includes music from well-known artists like Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy. Best of all, the game is now available on Xbox Series X/S and PC for free to Game Pass subscribers. You can purchase the game from its Steam store page, or you can watch last night's "deep dive" trailer here.
- The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) is receiving another add-on titled Necrom. The expansion is set in the Telvanni Pennisula of Mainland Morrowind and will feature a mix of familiar and completely alien surroundings for those who have played The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind or the previous Morrowind expansion for ESO. A new “Arcanist” class is also being added, which "channels the power of the Apocrypha to create ancient runes of power" with a mix of abilities for both combat and exploration. The expansion will launch on June 20. You can view the full reveal with some developer insight here.
- Lastly, at the end of the show, an extended gameplay trailer for Arkane Studios' four-player co-op FPS Redfall was shown. The gameplay showed the four playable characters' unique abilities for hunting vampires and exploring the open-world setting. We also saw the skill system and weapon customization, both of which appear to be quite intricate and allow for a number of gameplay styles. Redfall will be available to Game Pass subscribers on May 2 on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the Xbox Series X/S.
In other Microsoft/Xbox news:
- In March, Bethesda will reportedly hold a separate event to its upcoming Starfield showcase. According to sources, the event will be open to the press, but we don't know if the public will be able to see anything, and we don't even know what will be shown.
- Microsoft and its studios Bethesda, 343 Industries, and The Coalition suffered layoffs this month, with over 10,000 employees across the company losing their jobs. According to reports, 343 Industries has been hit the hardest, with the Halo Infinite engine lead and around 30 people in its art department being laid off.
- Xbox’s recent "carbon-aware" mode is now attracting some political attention following its public release to all Xbox consoles. The mode uses information from the internet and a player’s local power grid to update during times when more renewable energy is in use. Some have since claimed this is a situation of Microsoft trying to be more "woke," with Microsoft responding that the mode is completely optional and the older sleep mode is still available in the settings.