E3 2021: 5 predictions for the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase

Xbox is gearing up to reveal some big things during its joint showcase with Bethesda at E3 2021. Here are five predictions I have for the show, and they’re all about the games.

E3 skipped 2020 entirely, but the biggest annual gaming event is looking to bounce back in a dramatic way in 2021. There are so many games I’m looking forward to seeing more of and there are some of them coming from Xbox and Bethesda. Usually, both companies have separate press conference or showcases to make announcements, but now, it’s a join showing, which is interesting, but not surprising because of Xbox’s acquisition of Bethesda. This only means maybe half of the showcase will be focused on Bethesda and what it’ll be bringing to the table, while the other half will focus on some of Xbox’s big hitters.

Here are my five predictions for the showcase.

5. Xbox Game Pass gets some love

Xbox Game Pass is increasingly becoming the best gaming streaming service on the market. With the recent acquisition of Bethesda, subscribers have many of its games at their disposal. There’s also EA Play on the service, which is also pretty great. However, I have a feeling this service hasn’t even scratched the surface of its potential and some big news are on the way. For example, there’s rumors of Xbox trying to persuade Ubisoft into joining Game Pass so players can play some Ubisoft favorites. Of course, whether or not some of the big games (the Assassin’s Creed series, Watch Dogs series) will be on it at launch remains to be seen, but Ubisoft has an extensive catalog of classic games fans would love to revisit. Besides that, who knows what else Xbox has up its sleeve? There’s speculation of the service coming to TV’s as well. I’m not entirely sure how it would work exactly, but it’s an interesting idea, to say the least, especially for those who don’t have consoles or PC’s. Regardless of what happens, I expect Game Pass to have a big presence during the showcase.

4. Bethesda and Obsidian reveal a number of games

As mentioned, Xbox recently acquired Bethesda, and Obsidian has been part of Xbox for quite a few now. I feel both developers make similar games, those being open-world RPG’s, such as the Fallout series, The Outer Worlds, and The Elder Scrolls series. Obsidian has even dabbled into Fallout with Fallout: New Vegas, which so happens to be a Bethesda property. Being that they’re both part of Xbox now, I can see even more collaborations in the future, where Obsidian acts as a subsidiary to Bethesda, even though technically, it’s a standalone developer. Regardless, expect to see a number of updates from each.

From Bethesda, I’m expecting its biggest game to be Starfield. It’s common knowledge this is the next big IP in the works from the developer, which is the first game it’ll be working on since Fallout 76. I’m predicting an extensive gameplay trailer since all we’ve gotten is leaked screenshots, but as far as I know, it looks like one gigantic space game. I’m just not sure of the details and how it’ll be played. A release date is likely as well. I also think we may see another tease for the next Elder Scrolls game, but it may be a bit far off still. I don’t expect any Fallout-related news since Bethesda may want to give it a rest due to the failure of Fallout 76 at launch. Lastly, maybe some trailers/announcements for some of its subsidiaries, such as the upcoming Indiana Jones game being worked on by Machine Games. There’s also the possibility of seeing other games, such as a new look at Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo.

As for Obsidian, I can see it starting out with some new additions to Grounded since it’s the kind of game that would thrive with new downloadable content. I have a strong feeling The Outer Worlds 2 is in the works as well, considering the success of the first game. There are rumors of the developer working on an entirely new IP as well, but I expect Avowed to be the biggest title Obsidian reveals during the showcase.

3. Psychonauts 2 gets a release date

It seems Psychonauts 2 has been in development for forever now. From being crowdfunded, to developer Double Fine being acquired by Xbox, the journey for this sequel has been rather long. However, I think it’ll finally be coming to fruition and fans will be able to get their hands on it soon enough. The first game is considered a cult classic by many due to its unique platforming elements, interesting characters, and a psychedelic, twisted story to get enthralled in. I’m expecting this game to be so much better in every way due to the graphical enhancements it’ll have because of the updated technology creators have to work with. It’ll stay true to what the first game established, sure, but I think it’ll also introduce new and fresh gameplay elements to help it stand out and be an entirely new experience. It’s also the perfect opportunity for new players to play this series for the first time since the first one wasn’t very popular commercially, despite its critical success. But, yes, expect a new trailer, along with a release date, and I believe that’ll be sometime in the Fall.

2. Gears 6 is announced

Although Gears 5 didn’t release very long ago (Sept. of 2019), Gears of War 4 did release three years before that, so I’m seeing some sort of trend here. The biggest gap between release dates was with Gears of War 3 and 4. Other than that, every other Gears game, at least in the main series, released every three years, and I can see the series returning to that same releases cycle. Usually, new Gears games get revealed a year prior to its release date, especially at E3. I can see it happening again here. Then again, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if we see nothing on a new game either for a number of reasons. For one, Rod Fergusson is no longer involved with The Coalition after leaving for Blizzard, and he’s one of the originators of the franchise along with Cliff Bleszinski before his departure from Epic Games. Those left at The Coalition may still be trying to figure it out and a new entry may be farther off than we all realize. I still think it could happen, but this may be the most unlikely outcome compared to the rest on this list.

1. We see Halo Infinite in all its glory

Without a doubt, Halo Infinite will be the focal point of the entire showcase. Fans have been anxiously awaiting some new footage for this next entry after being left with a bad taste in their mouths during last year’s gameplay reveal. Personally, I don’t think it’s as terrible as everyone made it seem, but it definitely could use some work. Ultimately, 343 Industries did the right thing by delaying the game in order to polish it up and meet the expectations of the fans. In fact, it may even exceed them, which is what I’m hoping for.

One thing for sure is Halo Infinite will be on full display at E3, and I’m expecting a ton of new gameplay footage, both for the campaign and for the multiplayer. I’m not the biggest fan of all the new abilities that have been introduced in every subsequent game after Halo 3, such as the sprinting, the spartan abilities, and so on. This new one even has a grappling hook. In my opinion, it’s all unnecessary and sometimes, simplicity is king. Then again, it doesn’t mean the developers can’t make it work. But, I’m sure we’ll all get a better idea about the gameplay on Sunday.

By far, what interests me the most is the potential conclusion of a Battle Royale mode. In the past, 343 has already said there are no plans to include a BR mode in the game, but this was awhile ago. The fact that the game’s multiplayer is going to be free speaks volumes if you ask me. Plus, not having a BR mode will be a huge missed opportunity, considering the gaming scene is being dominated by BR shooters. Halo is the absolute perfect game to have a BR mode because of the iconic, large scale maps, all the different kinds of weapons, and the vehicles. Just thinking about all the possibilities gets me excited. However, even if it isn’t included, I’m still very much looking forward to experiencing everything else the multiplayer has to offer, especially the competitive arena slayer I’ve grown to love from the series. There’s no question; Halo Infinite will be at the showcase, and we’re definitely getting an official release date. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we get a beta to test out the game.

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