E3 2021: Stalker 2, Starfield, Halo Infinite … Microsoft and Bethesda unveil a very big line-up

Bought last March by Microsoft for $ 7.5 billion, publisher Bethesda presented for the first time its catalog of upcoming games in the conference held by the publisher – manufacturer, which hit hard. Selected pieces.

Arkane Studios / Bethesda Softworks

An inevitably special year for publisher Bethesda, who until then was going it alone at E3, with its own conference to announce the line-up of its upcoming titles. Last March, the publisher – manufacturer Microsoft announced the takeover of Bethesda, for the consequent sum of 7.5 billion dollars. What to give an even greater strike force to Microsoft, decided to strengthen more than ever its catalog of games for its X-Box console, thanks to its Game Pass, thought of as a video game Netflix.

And the least we can say is that the X-Box & Bethesda Games Showcase which was held yesterday, hit hard. Moreover, it had been a few years since Microsoft had not shone so much during its traditional conferences held a little before the opening of the E3 show.

Given the avalanche of titles presented, there is no question of listing everything anyway, especially since it would be complicated from an editorial point of view to mention certain titles.

Starfield

Highly anticipated, Starfield is a game to be marked with a milestone, in a way: it is indeed the first new universe created by Bethesda Game Studios in 25 years. In this new generation RPG, – which the publisher himself describes as “Han Solo simulator” – you will be able to create the character you want and explore the world in a open world.

In an interview with Washington post (yes yes …), producer Ashley Cheng evokes a very “Star Wars-ian” gaming experience: “for me, Starfield is a simulator ‘to the’ Han Solo. Climb aboard your ship, explore the universe, do cool stuff … “ For his part, Todd Howard, executive producer at Bethesda, let go of the Telegraph that for him, “Starfield was as if NASA met Indiana Jones who met the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” We’re not necessarily much more advanced with that. But it does at least give a bit of a guiding idea of ​​the intended spirit of the game.

Developed by the teams behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, Starfield releases for Xbox Series X | S and PC on November 11, 2022, and will be available on Xbox Game Pass upon release.

In a very recent video, Bethesda also exposes the vision it wishes to bring to its future title, to be discovered below.

STALKER 2 – Heart of Chernobyl

For this license, a little explanatory flashback is required. Harsh, demanding, difficult, but knowing how to be generous a hundredfold for those who agreed to immerse themselves in its universe and its extraordinary atmosphere, the game STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, released in 2007, left its mark on the small world of FPS role-playing games. Franchise exclusive to the PC, this one was given a prequel, Clear Sky, and especially a continuation, Call of Prypiat, unanimously hailed by the specialized press.

For the uninitiated and / or film buffs, STALKER is indeed related, but distant, with Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, himself adapted from the work of Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky. The game only kept a few elements of the film’s universe, such as the granting of wishes, the vast abandoned area filled with dangers and traversed by stalkers, smugglers or guides leading those who wish to venture into this inhospitable area.

In the first part of the trilogy, STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, the players took control of one of these smugglers, nicknamed “the tattooed”. Amnesiac, he roamed the area, a very large area ravaged for the first time by the explosion of the Chernobyl atomic power station in 1986, then by a second explosion which occurred twenty years later.

Nature, completely upset, then saw the birth of monstrosities and other mutant animals, deadly anomalies and precious artefacts, which were in particular the stake of real wars among the survivors, looters and other adventurers. An exceptional franchise therefore, which brilliantly ended in February 2010 with the release of STALKER: Call of Prypiat.

Announced years ago, more or less canceled to the dismay of fans before being revived even more, STALKER 2 now seems to be on the right track. Subtitled “Heart of Chernobyl”, and developed by the Ukrainians of GSC Game World, the title is expected on April 28, 2022. We will pray very hard that there is not a new postponement on this very game. , highly anticipated…

Sea of ​​Thieves – a Pirate’s Life

Action-adventure video game developed by the (legendary) studio Rare and published by Xbox Game Studios, released in March 2018, Sea of ​​thieves is a game in which a crew of players navigate and explore an open world aboard a pirate ship, each one being able to take care of the various necessary tasks (rudder, sails, cannons, etc …).

They can complete quests, accumulate loot, and engage in battles with other crews and opposing pirate ships. Bathed in a successful cartoon graphic style, the title’s launch was quite chaotic; the fault falling in particular with a rather starved launching content … Since then, the shooting has been largely corrected, and the game is now navigating in less murky waters.

Never mind, Microsoft has unveiled the upcoming content of the 3rd season of the game, designed around a five-part story (rather long therefore) featuring the Jack Sparrow (and even Davy Jones) of the saga Pirates of the Caribbean. A marriage finally quite logical given the backdrop of the two licenses and their respective humor. And, let’s face it, a crossover finally a lot of fantasies that comes to life.

And there won’t be much time to wait, since Sea of ​​Thieves – a Pirate’s Life tumbles on June 22!

Redfall

Like some kind of improbable cross between the cult game Left For Dead who would have met a derivative of the Umbrella Academy series, Redfall is an open-world cooperative first-person shooter. Developed by Arkane Austin, the American branch of the brilliant Lyon studio to which we owe the great games Prey and Dishonored (to name just a few), Redfall is in line with the Arkane games, renowned for their meticulously crafted worlds and creative game mechanics.

Redfall is the name of the small town besieged by an army of vampires who have obscured the sun and cut off the island from the outside world. Trapped with a handful of survivors, you’ll have to choose from a diverse range of heroes and team up with other players to put together your team of vampire slayers.

“Redfall mixes single player and multiplayer play, allowing them to venture out into the darkness on their own or team up with up to three other players in four-player co-op. Teammates can try out multiple hero combinations and combine their strengths to come. at the end of hordes of vampires and fanatic worshipers “ Bethesda specifies.

As Starfield, mentioned above, Redfall will be a PC and Xbox Series X | S exclusive. It is expected for the 3rd quarter of 2022.

Twelve Minutes

Edited by Annapurna Interactive, the digital subsidiary of independent Hollywood studio Annapurna Pictures, the game 12 minutes presents itself as an original and visually eye-catching narrative and interactive thriller, in which a man is trapped in a 12-minute time loop.

As his wife announces that she is pregnant, a man enters his home and accuses him of having killed his father. And it starts all over again and again. The player’s goal is to investigate this mystery and find the truth.

It’s been a while since the game is unveiled little by little. Supported in particular by a vocal cast made up of Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe and James McAvoy, 12 minutes is expected on August 19.

The Outer Worlds 2

Studio founded in 2003, having collaborated on the series Baldur’s gate or being at the origin of masterpieces such as Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II and Fallout: New Vegas, and even, more recently, delirious and ultra faithful South Park: The Stick of Truth, Obsidian has a very great reputation in the field of role-playing games, and more specifically of “choice and consequence” games.

Announced in 2018 and released in 2019, its latest game was called The Outer Worlds, an FPS RPG (first-person shooter with role-playing game) set in a dystopian future, which was sort of a spiritual sequel to the excellent Fallout: New Vegas in form and substance. If it was not free from faults, we really appreciated its universe, at the crossroads of retro SF and dieselpunk. We were also telling you here what we thought about it.

Two years later, and in the meantime there also a takeover of the studio by Microsoft, a sequel is announced, without date for the moment.

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite, developed by studio 343 Industries, was initially to accompany the launch of Microsoft’s new console, the X-Box Serie X. In August 2020, the studio announced the postponement of the title to the end of 2021, officially due to the pandemic.

A few weeks earlier, however, during its presentation, the game had received a very mixed reception. Memes lambasting the quality of the game’s graphics had moreover quickly and widely circulated … In response to these criticisms, 343 Industries admitted to having “work to be done to (…) increase the level of loyalty and the general level for the final game”.

Still, the development of the title is chaotic, having lost along the way the creative director of the game, Tim Longo, in 2019, and Chris Lee, who was at the head of the studio, in October 2020 …

It’s still nice to see Master Chief again, a priori off on the right track. To see anyway …

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