E3 2021 is right around the corner, and as is always the case when E3 approaches, it’s an exciting time for the industry at large. For all those who’re confirmed to be attending, Microsoft in particular seems primed for a jampacked showing, what with their first party looking stronger than ever with Bethesda, and a number of third party games also approaching launch. With that in mind, as the clock counts down, here, we’re going to take a look at a few games that might take the stage at the E3 2021 Xbox showcase.
Let’s start with the most obvious one of the lot. Halo Infinite hasn’t made a public appearance with gameplay footage since its unfortunate showing last year, but with the shooter slated for Fall 2021 launch, an E3 showing is guaranteed- hell, it’s basically confirmed. What exactly that showing will entail remains to be seen – GamesBeat journalist Jeff Grubb recently suggested that it might be focused on multuplayer rather than showing the campaign – but that Infinite is going to be shown off is obvious.
Starfield has been grabbing headlines everywhere for the last few weeks and months, and that’s largely because it’s seemingly headed for a big E3 showcase. Apparently, in addition to a gameplay reveal, we’re also going to find out exactly when the RPG will be launching. Of late, reports have suggested that Starfield is going to be out later than you’d expect – Q1 2022 at the earliest – but the one thing all rumours seem to agree on is that the game is going to be at the Xbox showcase.
Double Fine Productions has assured audiences on multiple occasions that the long-awaited Psychonauts 2 is definitely launching this year- there will be no more delays. As such, it seems like we’re due for a concrete release date announcement. The mind-bending platformer is obviously farther along in development than most upcoming Microsoft games, so what are the chances that it takes the spotlight for a bit of their E3 show? Pretty much guaranteed, honestly.
AGE OF EMPIRES 4
Here’s another one that’s almost a sure shot. Age of Empires 4 received a big gameplay blowout earlier this year at the AoE fan event, and Microsoft has confirmed that the real time strategy title is on track for a launch later this year. Considering that, we’d be very surprised if it didn’t at least make a brief appearance at E3. It might not be at the center of a big showing, given that it just got one of those not long ago, but we’re at least expecting a firm release date announcement.
MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR
Again, we’ll be quite surprised if Microsoft Flight Simulator doesn’t figure into the Xbox showcase in any form. The acclaimed sim title is in line for its Xbox Series X/S launch this Summer- and guess what? Summer is here. So we’re expecting that Microsoft will show off how the game looks running on an Xbox Series X, and what its exact launch date will be.
FORZA HORIZON 5
Multiple rumours over the last few months have claimed that Forza Horizon 5 is going to launch before the next Forza Motorsport does. In fact, Playground Games’ open world racer, even though it hasn’t even been announced yet, is pretty much ready to go, if these rumours are to be believed. Allegedly set in Mexico, it’s due out this year. If that is indeed the case – and at this point, it definitely seems like it is – then an E3 announcement seems unavoidable.
Announced last year with a brief cinematic trailer, Avowed might end up making a surprise appearance at E3 a few days from now. It’d be a surprise because the game very much belongs that class of upcoming first party Xbox exclusives that, though announced, are still far from release, like Perfect Dark or Fable. We have been hearing conflicting things about this one in particular- some insiders say that the game will at the show, while others say the opposite. Either way, there’s at least a chance that it shows up, if nothing else.
THE OUTER WORLDS 2
With Obsidian Entertainment hard at work on Avowed and Grounded, you’d think that production on other games would be somewhat on the backburner, but that might not be the case after all. In a recent article, Windows Central stated that based on what they’ve heard The Outer Worlds 2 might be announced at E3 as well. The first game was quite successful in terms of sales and critical reception, so it’s not surprising in the slightest that a sequel is in the works, but will it be announced so soon? That remains to be seen.
With Dishonored and Prey in the bag and Deathloop not far away, what’s next for Arkane Studios? Vampires, apparently. Leaks and rumours have claimed that the studio is working on a dark new property revolving around vampires codenamed Omen, and that the game is currently targeting a 2022 launch. If there’s any truth to those reports, then an E3 announcement seems likely.
Wolfenstein 3 is yet another game that’s been brought up more than a few times in discussions about games that might be announced at the Xbox E3 show, and while there are conflicting reports about whether or not that actually ends up happening, we sincerely hope it does. It’ll soon be four years since Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus released, which means a sequel is overdue at this point. Sure, MachineGames are currently working on that Indiana Jones game as well, but that’s obviously quite far away. They’re probably want to get Wolf 3 out first.
SENUA’S SAGA: HELLBLADE 2
We’re a lot less sure about this one than most other games on this list. It’s been some time since Hellblade 2 was announced, but even so, it’s quite clear that the game is still a long ways off. Based on how little we’ve seen of it since its announcement, the chances of it showing up at E3 are low. We’re definitely not going to see gameplay, that’s for sure. Maybe a teaser trailer to soothe fans and let everyone know how development is progressing? Chances are low, but not nonexistent.
Honestly, who knows about this one at this point. From when it will launch to how far along it is in development to when FromSoftware will be ready to show the game, there’s no concrete information about anything when it comes to Elden Ring. Some reports claim the game is unlikely to be at the Xbox show, while others still suggest that a reveal is actually closer than you’d think. Maybe both are true, maybe none of them are. All we can do at this point is wait and watch.
TALES OF ARISE
There’s at least one Bandai Namco game that is very likely to make an E3 appearance. Tales of Arise is due out this year, and development on the RPG seems to be progressing well, which means the game’s a solid candidate for E3. It’s also had a marketing deal with Xbox in place, so if it does make an appearance, the Xbox show is where that would happen. Whether or not it will be a big showcase is unknown (it seems unlikely) but we can at least probably expect a new trailer.
Ebb Software’s long-in-development first person horror shooter Scorn was re-revealed with much fanfare last year, and its H.R. Giger-inspired aesthetic caught the fancy of quite a few people. Word on the game has been scant since then, so we’re hoping that the indie title will get some of the spotlight at the Xbox showcase this year. Perhaps even a rough launch window announcement? We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Curve Digital’s cyberpunk action RPG The Ascent is shaping up to be a special game, based on all that we’ve seen of it so far, and it’s very likely that we’ll be seeing it in some capacity at E3. Honestly, with the game coming out at the end of just month, just a little over two weeks after the Xbox E3 event, a trailer almost seems guaranteed. Not a big showing, probably, what with its launch so close. But a trailer? That’s more or less a certainty.