The Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct has just wrapped up, after showing off new looks at not four but five upcoming games, all of which were confirmed to be coming in 2024. Let’s take a look at what we saw:
Obsidian kicked things off with a fresh look at its upcoming first-person action RPG, Avowed, and the visceral and strategic combat. Players can quickly switch loadouts in the midst of combat to deal with changing conditions and enemy types, mixing spells, swords and even guns to put the pressure on the creatures and bad guys in The Living Lands.
We also got a look at the incidental discoveries and quests players can find out in the world, with player choice a key component and morally grey situations the norm and consequences real.
Lastly, the team took viewers on a visual tour of The Living Lands and its many, distinct biomes. It definitely has a strong look that’s typical of an Obsidian game and I can’t wait to explore some of these spaces.
Avowed is slated to release on Xbox Series X|S and PC in Spring 2024 and will be on Game Pass on day one. Also this key art is sick as hell:
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
The one I and I’m sure many of us were waiting for. Ninja Theory is in the final months of development of Hellblade 2 and it’s “shorter, narrative experience.”
The team explains that, in Hellblade 2, Senua has made peace with her past and is on the trail of the Vikings who’ve enslaved her people, using her unique perspective to become a beacon of hope for those around her.
We also got a look at the studio’s huge new motion capture setup, and how the incredible animations feed into a new combat system that looks incredibly cinematic (and brutal). Binaural audio of course makes a return to represent the voices Senua hears, but it’s been expanded to include the game’s music and sounds as well.
And, finally, we got a release date! Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is coming to Xbox Series X|S and PC on May 21st and will be on Game Pass on day one.
Visions of Mana
We got a surprise new look at Square Enix’ brand-new entry in the storied Mana franchise, with the team talking about its approach to bringing classic enemies and gameplay elements to new life in a modern sequel, as well as the approach to designing the adorable wolf-like mount, the pikul.
Viewers also saw a healthy dose of combat and an explanation of the dynamic music in the game.
This’ll be the first time the Mana series comes to Xbox, with the game due to launch in Winter 2024.
Ara: History Untold
Developer Oxide Games explains how it built this new historical grand strategy game from concept to hugely ambitious project where players can experience a living, procedurally-generated alternate world and embody a huge number of represented civilisations.
The game’s Prestige system will help them rule the way they want to rule, and empower them to become the leader they want to be with no set win conditions that funnel them into particular choices.
The game also features a “simultaneous turn system” which keeps the pace of the game higher and pushes players to stay prepared and ready to rethink their strategies at any moment.
After player feedback, there is also now less cougars. Ara: History Untold launches in Spring 2024 and will be on Game Pass on day one.
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
As somewhat expected, MachineGames has revealed its in-development Indiana Jones game to be titled Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.
In the showcase, MachineGames explains that Bethesda’s Todd Howard had long-held a specific vision for the game and approached the studio as the best team to take it on board.
It was more than just a name reveal though – we got a whole first look at the game in action and the video game rendition of a young Harrison Ford as Indy (and voiced by none other than Troy Baker). It’s a first-person adventure with tomb raiding, puzzle solving, shooting, whip cracking, trap dodging and pretty much everything you’d expect from both the franchise and MachineGames. It looks pretty phenomenal.
Though it’s a first-person game, the studio understands the power of Indiana himself and so the game will move to third-person in cutscenes and some parts of environmental traversal – like climbing into a zeppelin by your whip.
The game is set between Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, with Indy’s run-in with a thief sending our hero on a globetrotting journey to unravel an incredible mystery, along with investigative journalist and second protagonist, Gina.
The game is slated to launch later this year and will be on Game Pass on day one.