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‘Star Wars: Outlaws’ to ‘Starfield’: Every game presented at Xbox Showcase 2023

Microsoft blows away the competition.

Xbox Showcase 2023
Images via Microsoft

In a time when Sony’s first-party exclusives were conspicuously absent and Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest left us wanting more, Xbox bulldozed over the competition with a 2-hour showcase that featured more than two dozen games, not to mention an extensive look at Bethesda’s Starfield.

With no triple-A titles to fight back against Sony and Nintendo’s onslaught, Xbox has recently found itself in a peculiar position. While the blue team kept customers busy through The Last of Us Part I and God of War Ragnarok, and Switch recently delivered the adventure of a lifetime through The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Microsoft waited on its newly acquired game studios to fill the content gap.

To put it in simple terms, Xbox needed a huge win, and with titles such as Avowed and Starfield still a little ways off, the Xbox Games Showcase 2023 was a golden opportunity to get back into the competition. And boy, did they deliver on that potential.

Microsoft presented a lot of games that are currently under development at Xbox Studios and beyond, so without further ado, let’s give you a recap of everything that happened during those magical two hours.

The new Fable game finally gets another “in-engine” trailer

The previous Fable game spent many years in development hell until finally getting canceled by Microsoft. Now the company is promising us that this new reboot will be different. Well, given that it’s been in development since 2018, we were really expecting to see gameplay footage at tonight’s showcase. Still, this in-engine clip might be enough to appease diehard fans – for the time being, at least.

Obsidian is going full first-person RPG with Avowed and this is our first look

Avowed is the ultimate fantasy role-playing experience, especially since it’s coming from developers who are veterans of the genre. Coming from an isometric franchise like Pillars of Eternity might cast Avowed in a dubious light, but we have no doubt that Obsidian will continue to deliver when the time comes. Avowed is coming in 2024, so we might have to wait for next year’s showcase to see a proper gameplay clip.

Clockwork Revolution is a first-person shooter from inXile

At first glance, we could’ve sworn that Clockwork Revolution appeared to be a sequel to Bioshock Infinite, but inXile’s new title is set in a completely different world. Already craving another dose of steampunk elegance? Clockwork Revolution is the game for you, and it’s going to be available for free on Game Pass when it launches.

Microsoft introduces a new carbon black Xbox Series S with an extended 1TB SSD

Xbox Series S is a compact and stylish home console that’s capable of running the latest games without breaking a sweat. For a lot of people, the only palpable issue with a $250 Game Pass machine was insufficient storage space, but Microsoft is now taking care of that problem by introducing a 1TB version. What’s more, this new Series S will be carbon black, lending it an even more refined look.

CD Projekt showcases Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, inviting players back to Night City

How do you top having Keanu Reeves in a cyberpunk dystopia? Why, you add Idris Elba into the mix, of course. Phantom Liberty is the only DLC for CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077, and it’s going to introduce a whole new storyline to Night City. CD Projekt has been working on this add-on for quite a while, so we can’t wait to see what it works into an already engrossing experience. Maybe Phantom Liberty is also including some of the things that were promised in Cyberpunk 2077 at launch but were nowhere to be found in the game. We can only hope, right?

By the way, if you miss some of that Keanu Reeves awesomeness we talked about, make sure to check out this section from the full stream.

Compulsion Games is working on another absurdist title called South of Midnight, and here’s your first look

If you enjoyed playing We Happy Few — which was one of the most peculiar games to come out in recent years — then you might also find South of Midnight another intriguing venture from Compulsion Games. The game will be a day-one Game Pass launch, but the studio didn’t announce any release dates. South of Midnight is going for a different vibe, certainly nothing like We Happy Few, but we’ve come to know that the writers’ room at Compulsion really knows what they’re about, which makes us excited for this new title.

Star Wars: Outlaws is the first open-world Star Wars game in history

It’s strange to realize that despite its extensive history in the gaming world, Star Wars has never taken advantage of the open-world genre. Outlaws is soon going to change that. Developed by Ubisoft, the game is being described as an actioner starring a scoundrel named Kay Vess who goes around the galaxy having adventures with her robot pal – who just happens to be a BX-series droid commando. At the moment, we don’t have any details beyond this cinematic trailer, but tune back in tomorrow during Ubisoft’s showcase at 10 am PDT and you’ll get to watch an exclusive first look at the gameplay.

Check out this chaotic gameplay trailer for Payday 3

Heist is going to take on a whole different meaning when Payday 3 comes out on September 21. The developers at Overkill Software shared a gameplay trailer tonight that was full of unhinged chaos. This is no longer a simple matter of robbing a bank and making off with the loot, but apparently that of an all-out skirmish with the SWAT.

Cities: Skylines II gets a release date along with a new trailer

The gaming landscape is constantly undergoing change. Over the past few years, city-building sims have lost their appeal to a large degree, but that doesn’t mean the community has forsaken it altogether. Cities: Skylines II is the perfect example of why these games are still relevant, and now we have a release date to look forward to thanks to this new trailer. Skylines II is coming out on October 24, and Game Pass subscribers will get to play it for free on launch day.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is giving us the tingles all over again

Often referred to as the most technically impressive game from the ninth generation so far, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is one of the most anticipated Xbox exclusives on the horizon. The developers still refuse to show us proper gameplay footage, but this in-engine clip from tonight’s showcase might still blow your mind, especially if you’re into ASMR. The voices inside Senua’s head are only growing in strength — it seems — and we can’t wait to see where the character will go next after her ordeals in the original game.

Other honorable mentions

Microsoft’s showcase included more than a dozen other games, all hype-fueling in their own right. From the high fantasy-inspired 33 Immortals to the already leaked Atlus games Persona 3 Reload and Persona 5 Tactica, and even a new climbing game by the developers of Life is Strange, the Xbox Games Showcase 2023 was packed to the rafters with upcoming Game Pass releases.

The Elder Scrolls Online and Overwatch 2 are also receiving a new season pass and Bethesda is doubling down on their expansion of the failed Fallout 76 in the hope of redeeming the entry. Also, Flight Simulator is getting another installment in 2024, but more interesting perhaps is the inclusion of a Dune DLC that allows you to roam the deserts of Arrakis.

Other games that appeared include Still Wakes the Deep, Dungeons of Hinterberg, Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess, Towerborne, Metaphor: ReFantazio, and ultimately — the ever-present Xbox game that has to show face at every conference — Sea of Thieves, now with a Monkey Island season pass.

Starfield takes the crown of 2023’s most anticipated game

And finally, we come to the reason Microsoft held this showcase in the first place. Starfield Direct started with director Todd Howard reintroducing fans to their next big IP, and then the devs took turns explaining what the open-world role-playing game will encompass. The footage runs for a whopping 45 minutes, underlining many facets of the spiraling world of Starfield. It also makes something absolutely clear: This is going to be the Game of the Year in 2023.

Yes, I know – you’re shouting, “What about Tears of the Kingdom?” to the screen right now, but let’s think about it in practical terms. The Legend of Zelda has been around for more than two decades. The games are still innovative and amazing to play through, but Starfield is a completely new beast, and it’s the first project in as many years from the developers of The Elder Scrolls. That’s now a low bar, and it will definitely reflect on the Xbox exclusive when it comes out in September.

Yet, we’re still inclined to believe that Starfield has the chance to live up to the hype, and even surpass it to some extent. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, just watch Starfield Direct from the link above, and you’ll understand why we’re really beginning to root for this game.

About the author

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan is a religious consumer of movies, TV shows, video games, and speculative fiction. And when he isn't doing that, he likes to write about them. He can get particularly worked up when talking about 'The Lord of the Rings' or 'A Song of Ice and Fire' or any work of high fantasy, come to think of it.