E3 2021 – Microsoft/Bethesda Coverage

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Welcome to Thumb Culture’s coverage of the Microsoft/Bethesda E3 conference. We’re very happy to be bringing you our thoughts for this year. You can catch up with me and the rest of the team over on Twitter. Where we will have more E3 coverage for you to feast your eyes on.


Kicking off Microsoft/Bethesda at E3 this year we have none other than Todd Howard and a new IP, Starfield. An in-game teaser was shown for this new IP Microsoft/Bethesda has been working on, looking very much like a deep space exploration game. We really didn’t get to see a lot sadly. We do have a release date of 11/11/22 though! Sarah Bond has taken the stage, talking more about Starfield Which Sarah has just mentioned will be an exclusive title. A mention of the new Microsoft/Bethesda partnership, displaying all the new titles that will be series X|S enhanced was also discussed.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 Heart Of Chernobyl

Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl is up next, with 4K and ray tracing, coming to the Xbox next year. We were shown a small bit of gameplay from it. It’s running exceptionally smooth, and it really looks fantastic. As you would expect from the next generation of Xbox.

Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood from Warner Brothers and the developers of Left for Dead looks like a next-gen Left for Dead! I’m all for this, this looks like an amalgamation of all the zombie games we love rolled into one. We’ve heard a bit about this one leading up to E3, but seeing it in action is really nice.

We’re shown a cinematic teaser for Contraband next. Not much is shown apart from the fact it will be an open-world game. I’m all for more open-world games personally and Microsoft/Bethesda tend to do them well.

Sea of Thieves A Pirates Life

Sea of thieves time! This is a massive IP for Microsoft/Bethesda and we expected new content to be showcased for this one. Oh wow! Pirates of the Caribbean DLC. I did not expect this. This looks very, very interesting. Brand new storyline by the looks of things. With Captain Jack in command, we see the player fighting against mobs. Barbosa also makes an appearance! This is shaping up to be a very interesting DLC, it may pull me back in. June 22nd is when we will get to play this, not long at all.

Yakuza Like A Dragon – Now On Game Pass!

Yakuza Like a Dragon is up next, and it’s on Game Pass from today! Showing more of a cinematic trailer. If you’re a fan of the series or have played Like A Dragon before,  you’ll know what to expect. This one is on Game Pass as you’re reading this though. So give it a go if you have the means.

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 is next, with some new content being shown. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll enjoy the latest game in the series. Looks like a more tactical approach to the game from the trailer we got to see. Kind of giving me old Rainbow six vibes. May have to give this one a try.

Twelve Minutes

Twelve minutes is shown next. This was first revealed at E3 in 2019. Not sure what to make of this one, we’re shown some people being arrested in the very short trailer we got. A short sentence about a man trapped in an infinite time loop is displayed James McAvoy and Willem Defoe are listed as voice actors, so this could be very good. We do have a release date of 19th august for Twelve Minutes.

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts news! And we’re shown a gameplay trailer of the new title. Personally, I’ve not played any of the series, but this really does look fun. I can imagine fans of the series have been waiting for this one for a while.

Bethesda Game Improvements

Pete Hines is on the stage next. Talking about new game pass games available. Doom eternal is getting a series X/S enhancement. 4K and up to 120 fps, very nice! Skyrim and Fallout 76 are also being added in the near future. Next, we have some Fallout 76 Steel Reign news showcasing some new content coming in the future. Looks like we’re getting a new storyline quest or quests, and some new power armour and weaponry.

We also have Expeditions: The Pit coming to Fallout 76 in the future too. Not much was shown about this one though.

The Elder Scrolls Online news next. Microsoft/Bethesda show us a taste of the next gen version. With optimisations for the Xbox series X|S, very nice. I like the TESO universe so this is a welcome improvement.

Party Animals

Party Animals is shown next! I love Gangbeasts, and this looks like a spiritual successor. it’s the most fun experience with friends, in my opinion, it will leave you laughing for hours, and I’m so glad they’re making a new game in the style of it. This will be a day one download for me and my friends. It looks like more of the same zany gameplay as we’ve come to expect. Very interested in this one.

Hades – Coming to Xbox Game Pass

Hades information next, and it looks like it’s coming to the Xbox series X|S. This is a very welcome addition to the console and it will be on Game Pass very soon.


Somerville is shown next. Not a lot is shown about it, other than a teaser trailer. and a vague release date of next year. Looks a bit like an adventure game in the same vein as Limbo and Inside.

Halo Infinite

Halo infinite news as we expected to hear is from Microsoft/Bethesda next. Showing off the new map and hub of Halo Infinite. Looks like a massive, open-world with lots of detail. We’re also told that Master Chief will be joined by others this time around. Showing off a new grappling hook for Master Chief. Looks like this time around we will have more vertical freedom, but we will have to wait and see! We have a release date of “this holiday” We will be playing that soon, so stay tuned for our coverage on that.

Diablo II Resurrected

Diablo 2 resurrection next! Showing off some of the gameplay, this looks fantastic. Up to 8 player co-op and 4K 120 FPS. This will is shaping up to be quite an incredible remake/remaster of the second game

We’re about at the halfway point of Microsoft/Bethesda at E3 now. You still with us? We hope you’re enjoying our coverage so far. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.

A Plague Tale Requiem

RATS! So. Many. RATS. A Plague Tale: Requiem is shown next. As someone who recently cleared A Plague Tale: Innocence, I cannot wait for this one. I really loved the story of the first, and this one is looking just as good!

Far Cry 6

Farcry 6 is shown next. Showing off a bit of the island we can expect to see when the game launches. We are introduced to a few characters also. This is a franchise I have played all titles of, so naturally, I’m quite interested in this one.

Slime Rancher 2

SLIMES! We have a new Slime Rancher game shown. My 5-year-old and I loved the first game. We will be playing this one when it releases also.


Snowboarding sim game Shredders is next. We haven’t really had a decent snowboarding game since Steep, so this is quite welcome.  Not much is shown about it from Microsoft/Bethesda other than a cinematic gameplay trailer, but it’s looking quite nice.

Atomic Heart

Sci-fi Esque Atomic Heart is shown next, this looks like it could be interesting. Gives me War of the Worlds vibes. Shall have to keep an eye on this one. Not much of anything shown other than a small cinematic video, but I’m sure we will hear more information on it as it becomes available.


Pixel art game Replaced is shown next. This looks like it could be a fun old school platformer/adventure game. Coming sometime in 2022


New Grounded content is shown next. The “Shroom and gloom” update. A friend, my Fiancée and I recently played Grounded and we had a blast with it. More content is very welcome for this one.

Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes

Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes is shown next. This looks like an awesome JRPG game from 505 Games. The art style looks quite like Octopath Traveller with dynamic battle sequences. As a fan of JRPG games, I will definitely be giving this one a go when it releases in 2023. We’re also shown a very small section of gameplay from Eiyuden Chronicles Rising. This looks like a side-scrolling take on the previously mentioned title. Coming next year.

Age of Empires IV

Age of Empires VI is shown next. This is looking like a welcome entry into the series. Quite detailed battles and from my eyes it looked pretty realistic too. I haven’t played any of the games personally, so I can’t comment too much on it. Fans of the series should be happy though.

The Outer Worlds 2

The outer Worlds 2 is shown next. I’m surprised we’re getting a new one this early. Only a cinematic trailer was shown for this one. If you like the original I guess it’s going to be much of the same.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox series X|S this year too. With a free Top Gun expansion! That sounds like a lot of fun. Flight Simulator is looking stunning from what we were shown, it should really test the power of the new series X

Forza Horizon 5

Here it is, Forza Horizon 5! This is the one I was waiting for. I love the Forza Horizon series, and I personally cannot wait for a new one. Set in Mexico, we’re told this is the largest and most diverse entry of Forza Horizon yet. We have members of Playground games telling us all about this one. Showing gameplay of a new game mode.

“The expedition” sees the player exploring to find new locations and upgrades for the festival, interesting! Some multiplayer footage next, showing us some of the elements we can expect when we jump online with friends. The diversity on display here is incredible, from the beaches to the cities, it all looks incredible. showing off some new gameplay modes, we’re getting a lot of information about this one. The game looks absolutely stunning from that short gameplay footage. I cannot wait for this to release personally.

Xbox Game Pass

Phil Spencer is here telling us about all the new Game Pass games we saw today, explaining a bit more about the plans for Game Pass and summing up what was shown today.


We also have a “one more thing” Xbox exclusive game being shown off from Microsoft/Bethesda. The game in question is Redfall. It’s looking like a team of vampire hunters, hunting, vampires. We were shown a long cinematic sequence, showcasing what looked to be some of the gameplay and powers that will be available to us when the game releases. Looks fun, shall keep an eye on it.

That’s it for our coverage of Microsoft/Bethesda at E3 this year. Stay tuned to the Thumb Culture website for more articles from E3 as they are shown. Below is a list of new Game Pass release dates for you to keep track of.

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