The Morning After: Microsoft's big E3 Xbox showcase

And China's Mars rover took a selfie.


Over the weekend, it was Microsoft’s turn to show off its plans for Xbox — and its recent gaming studio acquisition, Bethesda. Its E3 presentation had major new titles (hello, Starfield), lots of updates (Forza, Fallout 76, Sea of Thieves) and because it’s gaming in 2021, a handful of sequels. That includes, finally, a launch date for Psychonauts 2, Diablo 2 and — surprise — The Outer Worlds 2, not to mention A Plague Tale sequel.

The big talking point might be the first multiplayer footage for Halo Infinite — Microsoft’s major gaming franchise. The game, when first revealed, was so poorly received that developer 343 Industries went back to work on the single-player experience. We got a new look at that, alongside multiplayer and the ability to customize your character for matches. Both components are still set to launch this holiday season.

Almost immediately after the Xbox showcase, it was Square Enix’s turn. We didn’t get more details on Final Fantasy XVI (or even news on the PC version of FFVII Remake), but we did get a new, surprisingly violent Final Fantasy title from Team Ninja, inspired by the universe of the original Final Fantasy. Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin sounds interesting, but the trailer may have featured the worst in-game dialogue in at least the last ten years of E3. I think the game has something to do with Chaos.

— Mat Smith

China's Mars rover took a selfie

Well, you would.

The Morning After

Mars selfies aren't limited to American rovers. China’s Zhurong rover took a "touring group" photo by planting a remote camera and posing next to its landing platform. It also captured a panorama shot of the site as it roamed. NASA’s Perseverance sent its own selfie in early April, but it relied on its own arm. Was it due to a lack of Bluetooth? Zhurong will study the climate and geology of Mars for about 90 days during its official mission. Continue reading.

'Starfield' hits Xbox Series X/S and PC on November 11th, 2022

The fruits of that Bethesda deal.

The Morning After

Starfield, Bethesda's new sci-fi RPG, will come out on November 11th, 2022, but only on Xbox and PC. The party was spoiled by a Washington Post leak, but we finally got some more detail and a deeper look at the anticipated title. Bethesda's Todd Howard said it’s a “next-generation role-playing game where you'll be who you want, go where you want, experience our stories and forge your own." Continue reading.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is more 'Deus Ex' than 'Avengers'

What a relief.

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Square Enix

The big reveal from Square Enix was a new Marvel game that isn’t Avengers. Guardians of the Galaxy is getting the treatment from Eidos-Montréal, which was responsible for recent Deus Ex games. Lessons appear to be learned. It’s less about the collectibles and the repeated grind you might find with Avengers, and more about a single-player narrative experience. You’ll only play as Peter Quill (Star-Lord) and command the rest of the Guardians in battle.

Outside of the action, the “adventure” part of the game will apparently depend on the Guardians’ team dynamic, with characters affected by how you use them — or if you agree or disagree with them. The studio promises no DLC (all the game will be there when it launches) and an ‘80s-themed soundtrack with plenty of licensed hits. The game comes to Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4 and PS5 consoles and PC on October 26th 2021. Continue reading.

The first six 'Final Fantasy' games are getting 'pixel perfect' remakes

Think remaster, not remake.

While this isn’t quite Final Fantasy VI Remake, Square Enix is giving the first six games in the RPG series a 'pixel remaster' treatment. At the company's E3 presentation, it announced these pixel-perfect editions would land on mobile platforms and Steam. Other details, however, were scarce. Games like Final Fantasy VI could benefit from a refreshed edition — its Steam iteration (and 'updated' graphics) was not entirely well-received. Continue reading.

More E3 2021 news

'Babylon's Fall' will put a co-op twist on the PlatinumGames formula

The Xbox Mini Fridge is real and coming this holiday season

'Life Is Strange: True Colors' will try to make empathy as cool as telekinesis

'Godfall' will hit PS4 on August 10th

'Contraband' is an Xbox exclusive from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios

'Microsoft Flight Simulator' touches down on Xbox Series X/S on July 27th

But wait, there’s more...

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