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The biggest reveals from Xbox Developer Direct

Indiana Jones comes out of hiding at new Xbox showcase

Indiana Jones, wearing a brown suit and his classic fedora, smirks at somebody Image: MachineGames/Bethesda Softworks
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks showed off what’s coming to Xbox and PC this year during a new Xbox Developer Direct on Wednesday. In addition to promised reveals around MachineGames’ Indiana Jones game and Obsidian Entertainment’s Avowed, the Xbox team also brought a surprise or two.

Here’s a roundup of the biggest news from the latest Xbox showcase, in case you can’t watch the event in full.

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle revealed

Wolfenstein developer MachineGames and Bethesda Softworks revealed their new game based on the Indiana Jones franchise, an original adventure called Indiana Jones and the Great Circle. Set between the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, The Great Circle will send Indy on a globetrotting adventure to solve an unraveling mystery.

Joining Indy on his adventure will be a new character, Gina, an investigative reporter. His primary antagonist? A villain named Emmerich Voss, who appears to be after the same artifact as Dr. Jones.

MachineGames showed off plenty of gameplay, which featured first-person whipping and gunplay, puzzle solving at ancient temples, and death defying stunts. At one point in the gameplay, Indy jumps from the wings of one biplane to another, and later scales a zeppelin. Indy’s trademark bullwhip can be used for traversal, and also as a weapon or a means of distracting enemies.

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is coming to Windows PC and Xbox Series X sometime in 2024, and will launch day one on Game Pass.

Obsidian shows off its new RPG, Avowed

Pillars of Eternity and The Outer Worlds studio Obsidian Entertainment showed off gameplay from its new first-person, fantasy action role-playing game Avowed, illustrating how players will use a variety of melee weapons, firearms, and magic spells in their adventures through the Living Lands. Obsidian talked up Avowed’s combat, promising not just hacking and slashing, but real-time tactical decisions regarding how to battle enemies.

That decision making will also extend to the narrative. Obsidian showed off character interactions that will be familiar to players of the studio’s Fallout: New Vegas; it also showcased the varied “rich, weird, and wonderful” region of the Living Lands. Obsidian showcased the diversity of its vibrant and dull, verdant and sickly, culturally rich world, which players will get to explore later this year.

Avowed also has a new release window: fall 2024. It’s coming to Windows PC and Xbox Series X, and will launch day one on Game Pass.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 gets a release date

Senua grins maniacally in a screenshot from Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Image: Ninja Theory/Xbox Game Studios

Developer Ninja Theory offered another deep dive into the long-awaited sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, revealing more about Senua’s journey in Hellblade 2. Their new game sends our heroine to Iceland, where the harsh environment, expanded combat mechanics, and binaural and spatial audio are slated to complement Senua’s story.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is coming to Windows PC and Xbox Series X on May 21, and will launch day one on Game Pass.

Ara: History Untold’s historical grand strategy

an eagle flying toward a pyramid under construction in Ara: History Untold Image: Xbox/Twitch

Oxide Games’ looks to set its historical grand strategy game Ara: History Untold apart from the Civilizations of the world with a few notable tweaks: a procedurally generated Earth, a crafting system that plays out on a national scale, and unique leaders that run the gamut of military tactics, thought pioneers, and scientific prodigies that will guide nations to prestige.

Ara: History Untold is coming to PC sometime this fall.

A surprise look at Visions of Mana

Square Enix’s Mana team made a surprise appearance for a closer look at Visions of Mana, the action role-playing game coming to PC and consoles this summer. In addition to cute and frightening classic Mana monsters, developers also showed off players’ new animal companion — designed by veteran of the Mana series, Koichi Ishii — and copious amounts of colorful gameplay.

In addition to Xbox Series X and Windows PC, Visions of Mana is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

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