2023 XBOX SHOWCASE: Ten Things We Want to See from Xbox and Bethesda

The last decade has not exactly been kind to the Xbox brand. With its disastrous launch of the Xbox One a decade ago to it’s more recent stumbles with Halo Infinite’s game-as-a-service roadmap, the lack of AAA system sellers in 2022, and most recently, the Redfall debacle, Xbox has definitely had an uphill battle in the minds of the media and the casual gamer. Phil Spencer even admitted in a recent interview that they lost the most important generation with the Xbox One, as gamers started building out their digital libraries and becoming more invested in their console’s ecosystems. But the hardcore fanbase, including myself, are still waving the green flag and throwing up the X because because we see the potential of their massive first party offerings under both Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda, and possibly Activision Blizzard King in the coming months. 

As someone who plays almost exclusively on Xbox–aside from any major Nintendo and Sony first party releases–I couldn’t be more excited to see this potential start to reveal itself in a meaningful way. With a lineup like Starfield, Forza Motorsport, Senua’s Saga, Fable, Indiana Jones, and Avowed, along with updates to Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 5, and Grounded, not to mention Halo Infinite’s new season and multiplayer collaboration with Certain Affinity with Project Tatanka, the promise of a major first party title every quarter will finally draw the eyes to Xbox in a positive way.

As for the Xbox Showcase, Head of Marketing Aaron Greenberg has stated that all first party games shown will have some sort of gameplay or in-engine footage, making it that much more exciting. There are over 25 games in the works that we know of and most likely a quite a few that we don’t. Here are ten things I expect we’ll see at the Xbox Showcase on Sunday, June 11, 2023. 

10. The Showcase will Open with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II from Ninja Theory

The Xbox Series X reveal at The Game Awards in 2019 was one of the most surprising, unbelievable unveilings in modern gaming. No one leaked it, no one was talking about it, and the thought of a console reveal at a show other than the platform holders themselves was unheard of. Xbox made the smart move by revealing the console in front of millions of viewers. But what was even more surprising than the console reveal itself was the surprise announcement of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, the sequel to the underrated, ultimately impressive Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice from Ninja Theory. What was even more impressive about the reveal was that it was shown off in-engine on the in-production Unreal Engine 5, making the game look nothing like anything we’ve ever seen in video games.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II Reveal Trailer – The Game Awards 2019

Senua’s Saga has been shown off a few times since then, including the gameplay trailer shown again at The Game Awards in 2021. Its impressive visuals and in-game combat look better than ever, showcasing Senua, played reliably again by Melina Juergens, exploring a cave and battling a giant to protect her village and its inhabitants. Though expectations for the scope of this game should be kept in check, Hellblade II is most certainly going to lead off the Showcase ending with a release date. It is worth noting that this is my most anticipated Xbox title that’s been announced, so I will be even more excited to see it open.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II Gameplay Reveal Trailer – The Game Awards 2021

9. Gears of War Collection and a Surprise Logo announcement of Gears 6 from The Coalition.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything from The Coalition, the studio built to navigate Xbox’s Gears of War franchise. Arguably Xbox Games Studio’s most consistent team, the studio has put out four bangers since its founding, including  Gears of War 4, Gears 5, Gears Hivebusters, and Gears Tactics. We haven’t seen anything tangible from the studio since 2020, as the Series consoles launched with the previously mentioned Gears Tactics with Gears Hivebusters coming weeks later.

It’s time to reveal the heavily rumored, unofficially titled Gears of War: The Marcus Fenix Collection, a Master Chief Collection-style package that would contain remastered versions of the first three games’ campaigns along with a multiplayer suite with all the maps, weapons, quality of life changes, and modes. The collection would be shown off with some highlights of chainsawed locusts, big beasty Brumaks, and one-liners from the cast of beloved characters. As the collection gets its release date, the screen fades to black with the sound of a chainsaw gunning with a big red 6 on the screen, indicating that Gears 6 is currently well on its way. Gears has always been my favorite IP from Xbox, and with the massive gameplay improvements and storytelling in Gears 5, I am ready to dust off the Lancers for one last ride with Delta Squad.  

Read my Gears 5 review on BossRush.net

Gears 5: The Chain Launch Trailer – Xbox

8. Machine Games Finally Reveals Wolfenstein III

Machine Games has quietly become one of the premiere first person shooter studios in the Xbox and Bethesda arsenal, sitting alongside id Software and 343 Industries. They made their name known with their critically acclaimed Wolfenstein reboots, including Wolfenstein: The New Order, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The studio has already confirmed that it was working on the third game prior to the Microsoft acquisition, but we haven’t heard anything about it.

Since the confirmation of the third game, Machine Games has also been handed the Indiana Jones IP from LucasFilm Games as well. We don’t know which game is coming first, but my money is on the former. Wolfenstein II is one of the best single player first person shooters on the market right now, so I highly recommend seeking out a copy on your platform of choice.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – NO MORE NAZIS Trailer

7. id Software Will Reveal Their Next Project

One of the best surprises in the last ten years was id Software’s Doom reboot. With its kinetic action, interesting arsenal of weapons, and rock/paper/scissors style of killing demons, every encounter felt fresh and meaningful, as did it’s sequel, Doom Eternal, which added a grappling hook to make the combat even more frantic in 2020. It’s been three years since that release, so a lot of industry people are speculating that we will see what’s next for id, and the answer might surprise you.

After two successful Doom games and subsequent DLC, the rumor is that they are moving away from demon slaying (for now) and are setting their sites on a Quake reboot, the popular 90’s arena multiplayer shooter. Quake is the perfect mix of Doom’s kinetic movement with the franchise’s arsenal of creative weapons. With the popularity of Game Pass on the rise and games-as-a-service battle pass models being the hot new way to monetize, Quake feels like the perfect franchise to jump into the mix.

Quake Champions Gameplay Trailer (Not the New Game) – Bethesda

6. Xbox Limited-Edition Consoles, Accessories, and Controllers for Upcoming Games

Okay, this prediction seems like a no-brainer, especially since most of the products have already leaked or were shown off elsewhere, including a Starfield controller and headset and a Porche 75th Anniversary Forza line of limited Xbox consoles; however, there are many more games to show off that could make cool collectible hardware like Fable, Hellblade II, Avowed, Sea of Thieves, and more. I personally would love to see a matte black Xbox Series S console or maybe a Gears-themed console with the reveal of some sort of collection.

5. Perfect Dark Will Be Shown Again

Many gamers nostalgic for the likes of GoldenEye 007  or Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64 were surprised and ecstatic for the announcement of the return of Joana Dark. The cinematic trailer set the stage for our favorite futuristic super spy as she seems to have uncovered something in Egypt.

Though since its reveal at the 2020 Game Awards, development has fallen on hard times at Xbox’s newest studio, The Initiative. Many of the people brought on for the project have since left, leaving them no choice but to seek assistance from Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics to help with the project. Originally pitched as a first person shooter, my hope is that the realignment of development would move the franchise in a new direction, a la Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid style third-person stealth action.  It makes sense given studio head Darrell Gallagher and Crystal Dynamics specialty is third-person action (Gallagher was the former head of Crystal Dynamics).

Perfect Dark Reveal Trailer (Xbox Series X|S) – Xbox

4. Killer Instinct 2 Revealed by Bandai-Namco

Fighting games are all the rage these days. 2023 will see the release of Mortal Kombat 1, Street Fighter 6, and Tekken 8 by years’ end, each with their own unique look and feel. One game that is rumored to be joining the fight is a new Killer Instinct game developed by none other than Bandai-Namco, a brand no stranger to the genre. No word on if this is a continuation from the 2013 title.

Killer Instinct saw the inclusion of quite a few Xbox mascots alongside the known KI characters, including the Battletoads and General RAAM from the Gears of War franchise. This followup has the potential to add even more characters into the mix, including Doom Slayer, BJ Blazkowicz, Dragonborn, Master Chief, and others, quite possibly making this the Smash Bros. of Xbox.

Killer Instinct Reveal Trailer (2013, Xbox One) – Xbox

3. Project Midnight from Compulsion Games will Be Announced and Shown

Compulsion Games is probably one of the most interesting studios Xbox acquired in 2018. With seemingly underwhelming experiences like Contrast and We Happy Few, many people have been wondering why the team at Xbox was so fascinated with the studio and what they could be working on now that sold them. The rumored Project Midnight was first leaked by Jez Cordon of Windows Central in 2021 along with Pentament from Obsidian, Compulsion looks to deliver a third person action game in a dark, fantastical world. The protagonist (at least in the leaked concept art) looks to be a young woman. Not much else is known at this point, but it could be an interesting surprise for Xbox gamers very soon.

2. A Major Update on Avowed

Obsidian has made their presence felt since joining Xbox Game Studios with titles like The Outer Worlds, Grounded, and Pentament. But the game everyone has their eye on is the Elder Scrolls-esque game, Avowed, first announced back in 2020. The fantasy RPG set in the Pillars of Eternity universe aims to give players that choice-based RPG feel the way that The Outer Worlds did for Fallout fans (a sequel to that game is also in the works at Obsidian). I personally think this title could potentially open or close the show leading into the Starfield Showcase, but it would be great if we see some combat, interactions with characters, story, and maybe even an overview of the world. I think those waiting on Elder Scrolls VI are particularly interested to learn more.

Avowed – Official Announce Trailer – Xbox

1. Ending the Showcase with Fable from Playground Games

Fable has been all but confirmed for the Xbox Showcase. First shown off in a tone-piece CGI trailer back in 2020, the highly anticipated reboot to Xbox’s massively popular choice-based whimsical action-RPG has Xbox gamers chomping at the bit to see more. Playground Games, known almost exclusively for the Forza Horizon series, has taken the reins from the now defunct Lionhead Studios to make their name known in the world of Albion.

Xbox social media has been teasing something fantasy related with their glitter trail ending the video with “You Won’t Want to Miss The Xbox Showcase” on a monitor. Those familiar with Fable know that trails of glitter guided players to their current quest objective.  Having a world overview showcasing some of the comedy or choice-based mechanics wrap up the Showcase would go a long way in satisfying the hunger of fans waiting on this title.

Fable Reveal Trailer (2020) – Xbox

My Final Thoughts

Xbox has the potential to erase all of the bad publicity of its previous failures with a great showcase. We already know they will have Persona 3 Reload and Persona 5 Tactica on Game Pass Day 1 as leaked by the Atus West Instagram account this past Thursday. The Showcase is also rumored to have some major third party games as well, including Like a Dragon 8, updates on STALKER 2, Avatar, Massive Entertainment’s Star Wars game, the rumored Marvel project, and more. A combination of major AAA first party games with limited CGI showings with a healthy helping of indies and third party support, this could be the best Xbox Showcase in years and arguably its most important one ever. I am excited for the future of Xbox, I always have been. There is light at the end of the very long, very bumpy, and sometimes outright anger-inducing tunnel. Phil Spencer, Matt Booty, Sarah Bond, and the rest of the team at Xbox Game Studios have been maneuvering this massive ship and it finally, FINALLY, looks like the ship has docked for good.

The Xbox Showcase will be livestreamed on Xbox’s YouTube and Twitch channels as well as many of your favorite outlets’. 

Do you want to discuss the Xbox Showcase? Join the Boss Rush Network Discord and find the Xbox channel to follow the conversation.

Featured Image: Xbox, Ninja Theory

The Boss Rush Podcast: The Flagship Podcast of Boss Rush Media and the Boss Rush Network

The Boss Rush Podcast – The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and the Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, Stephanie, LeRon, and their friends from around the internet come together with other creators, developers, and industry veterans to talk about games they’ve been playing, discuss video game and entertainment based topics, and answer questions solicited on social media and the community Discord. 

New episodes of the Boss Rush Podcast release every Friday on Patreon and every Monday morning on YouTube and all major podcast applications like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Patreon supporters gain three day early access

The Boss Rush Podcast – Be You. Be More. Play Games. Be Better.

Listen on your favorite podcast application or watch on YouTube!
Anchor | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Twitch | Overcast | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | Amazon Music

Follow The Boss Rush Podcast on Social Media:
Twitter | Discord | Instagram | Twitch | YouTube | Facebook Group | Facebook

Featured Image Source: Xbox

Leave a Reply