Xbox in 2023: Starfield is a Game Pass exclusive killer, the barren years may finally be over

X-Box It has been riding on the tail of third party publishers this generation. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of — in fact, the strength of third-party offerings on Xbox Game Pass is the main reason I’ve made the Xbox Series X my flagship console over the past few years. Last generation, you just couldn’t get me off PlayStation 4 like Destiny, Nioh, Persona 5, GTA, and all the other big games that struggled for my attention.

But now, Xbox offers me (almost) everything I loved about PS4. I’m not the biggest fan of cinematic PlayStation exclusives in the modern era of let’s be a dad and hide in the grass with an over-the-shoulder camera. They’re okay, sure, but they’re congenial to me. I’m still playing them – they’re brilliant, prestige examples of what big budget games can do! — but it’s the third-party giant that makes me remember why I love video games in 2023.

What can you play while waiting for Starfield? We have some suggestions.

This is why Xbox has had this generation so far, as far as I’m concerned. There have been some notable releases in the form of Halo Infinite, Pentiment, and Forza Horizon 5 (all available on Xbox One, may I add), but for the most part, Xbox has been quiet on the exclusives front.

But when you have zeitgeist titles like Powerwash Simulator, Plague Tale: Requiem, Disney Dreamlight Valley, Total War: Warhammer 3, Two Point Campus, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, and many more hitting the Xbox Game Pass Only in the past 12 months – available on day one – exclusives are easy to forget. We were going to put High on Life on that list, but now that has appeared Its creator and main contributor has been accused of being offensiveWe had a rethink.

until you look What the competition does, it’s a. Sony smashes it with exclusives. Granted, as it is, the PlayStation 5 doesn’t have much else going for it, but the exclusives making waves on the PlayStation ecosystem are just too big to ignore. God of War: Ragnarok sold 5.1 million units in five daysFor Christ’s sake. Xbox may be busy buying Activision and Blizzard, but as far as the hard lock should the Series X system be selling, the list is pretty bare. All the while, Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, The Last of Us Part 1, GT7, Demon’s Souls, and even Returnal make for a hard case to ignore for choosing a PlayStation 5 (if you can actually get your hands on one).

So Xbox needs to get up to speed, and fast. The only real solid gold-plated exclusives we know about in the coming months are Starfield; Delayed new IP address From Bethesda that represents the developer’s biggest creative maneuver in decades. All eyes are on the stars for this one, as it sets the stage for the rest of the generation, now — it’s the first true 3D, Bethesda/Xbox exclusive since the acquisition happened, and will establish the baseline for what’s to come in the future.

The game sells itself as an entertaining expedition into space to “answer humanity’s greatest mystery,” and marks Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. It has everything a game needs to run well in 2023, as far as I understand it: it’s ambiguous, it has scope, and it has style. Whether you’re intrigued by the promise of the narrative setting — “just as NASA meets Indiana Jones meets the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a group of people still searching for answers” — or intrigued by the “exit moments” that Todd Howard says the entire game is built around, it’s got you covered. Starfield has been bothering us for years at this point. For Bethesda and Microsoft not to deliver now would be disastrous.

So our interest is directly focused on View the custom event that is planned just for Starfield sometime in the future. The powers that be at Microsoft have determined that Starfield deserves its own show so that the publisher/developer can “take the time to dive deep” into the game. Hopefully this is when we can see the dirt under the nails of the actual Starfield experience, seeing what has been bubbling away in the furnace for nearly 10 years now.


Original Starfield release day image from the trailer
In an alternate reality, we’re all already playing the game.

To a lesser extent, the same pressure applies to Redfall as well. Arkane Austin’s bizarre title is described as an open-world co-op FPS that sees you trapped with a handful of survivors and facing off against demonic vampire enemies that threaten to corrupt the titular town. Seemingly set in the same universe as Dishonored and Deathloop (I have questions), the game promises action more in line with Far Cry than Left 4 Dead. You can choose your hero from a diverse list, and team up with others to create the perfect team of vampire slayers. It will launch exclusively on Xbox Series X/S and PC sometime this year… after dropping back from the original window of summer 2022.

This game is more visible and present: we know it will appear on the Xbox/Bethesda Developer_Direct Livestream on January 25th, where Arkane Austin will feature “several minutes of gameplay” From the next FPS. Something from Forza Motorsport will join the game, as Turn10 will showcase the “next generation” in driving game life.

It’s not much, but it’s a start: a trilogy of great games that are laying some solid foundations for the future of the Xbox brand. We still need more – how about mythor everwildor complete darkness? – But this isn’t a bad start. Let’s just hope that the seeds that Microsoft began to sow at the beginning of the generation start bearing fruit soon, before gamers get tired of waiting and move on to other platforms – or even other hobbies altogether.

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