Microsoft’s January Xbox Developer Direct has been and gone, bringing first looks and long-awaited release news for some of the company’s most highly anticipated titles. MachineGames’ Indiana Jones was the biggie of course, showcasing first gameplay and featuring confirmation of a 2024 release, but there was more besides, with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, Avowed, and Oxide Games’ Ara: History Untold all putting in an appearance.
And if you missed the showcase – which included a surprise visit from Square Enix to offer another look at this year’s Visions of Mana – you’ll find a brisk round-up below.
Obsidian shows off more Avowed and it’s launching this autumn
We’ve known Obsidian Entertainment’s Avowed was aiming for a 2024 release for a while, but the studio has now narrowed that launch window down a little further, announcing that Xbox Series X/S and PC players will be able to get their hands on the first-person fantasy RPG this autumn.
That bit of news was accompanied by a fresh look at the whole thing in tonight’s Developer Direct, with Obsidian showcasing combat, quests, and environments. The studio says players can look forward to “moral nuance and grey areas” in this particular slice of fantasy action, and you can learn a little more here.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 gets a May release date
Ninja Theory’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade was a wonderful surprise when it launched back in 2017, and its long-awaited follow-up – first announced at the 2019 Game Awards – now has a release date, arriving for Xbox Series X/S and PC on 21st May this year.
For this second outing, Senua is on the trail of the Vikings who’ve enslaved her people in Iceland, and Ninja Theory is promising reworked combat and more in this eagerly awaited sequel – with a few additional details to be found elsewhere on Eurogamer.
Square Enix’s Visions of Mana arrives this summer
Following Visions of Mana’s official unveiling in December, Square Enix popped up during tonight’s Xbox Developer Direct to talk a little bit more about the game – which marks the first entry in the long-running action-RPG series to launch for Xbox.
It’ll see players take on the role of Val, a “curious and carefree young man” who accompanies his friend on a fateful journey to the Tree of Mana, with the game playing out across a semi-open field with real-time, party-based combat. And while Square mostly went over the basics again during tonight’s showing, it did offer a fresh bit of news: Visions of Mana will launch for Xbox Series X/S and PC this “summer”. It’s unclear if the previously confirmed PlayStation release will arrive at the same time.
Ara: History Untold’s historical grand strategy coming to PC this autumn
Oxide Games, which was founded in 2013 by former Firaxis team members, announced it was teaming up with Xbox Games Studio to bring Ara: History Untold to PC back in 2022, and the developer took the opportunity of tonight’s showcase to reveal a little more about its intriguing historical grand strategy game.
The gist is that you’ll be able to fashion your own alternate history as you steadily sprawl across a procedurally generated Earth, using the skills of historical figures (including Jeanne d’Arc, Boudica, and Genghis Khan) to dominate your peers – but there’s more to it than that, obviously. It’s currently scheduled to arrive on PC this “autumn”, and you can read more here.
MachineGames’ Indiana Jones game gets a name and a confirmed 2024 release
It’s been a long old wait, but MachineGames’s Indiana Jones project has finally had its big reveal. It’s called Indiana and the Great Circle and is set between Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. Perhaps the most surprising bit of news, though, is that the bulk of the adventure will unfold in first-person, with players seeing the action through Indy’s eyes – although traversal and cutscenes will feature a convincing Harrison Ford in third-person.
It looks fantastic and, better yet, isn’t too far away. Microsoft has confirmed it’ll be launching later this year, and you’ll find a few more details elsewhere on Eurogamer.
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