It’s going to be a good year for Xbox players. At today’s Developer_Direct show, we provided deep-dives into five new games launching across Xbox Series X|S, PC, Game Pass and/or cloud – all of which will arrive later in 2024. Development teams at Xbox, Bethesda, and even one of our third-party partners invited you into their studios to showcase extended gameplay, reveal key information, and more.
During the show, we visited the studios behind Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, Avowed, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, and Ara: History Untold to find out more about each one. Members of each development team gave us a look into their creation, with new information, and offered a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come this year. All four of these games will arrive on day one with Game Pass, and will contribute to what’s going to be another huge year for members, delivering incredible games throughout 2024.
Plus, in a special surprise, we heard from the team at Square Enix to learn a lot more about Visions of Mana, the first new mainline entry in the Mana series in over 15 years, and its debut on Xbox platforms. With participation from developers on 3 continents, it was a truly global show.
Here’s a summary of everything we announced and covered during Developer_Direct:
Avowed – Launching Fall 2024
Xbox Series X/S, PC, Cloud – Joining Game Pass on Day One
Avowed Game Director Carrie Patel gave us a first deep-dive into the gameplay in Obsidian’s upcoming fantasy action RPG, from its dynamic combat, to its thoughtful reactivity, to its “colorful, vibrant, strange” world set in the Living Lands. Avowed continues Obsidian’s signature style of creating games with deep themes and player choice at the forefront.
Not only will you make narrative decisions that can impact changes in the game down the line, but Avowed is also looking to offer choice in combat. Gameplay Director Gabe Paramo discussed not only how varied your weaponry will be – with melee weapons, ranged guns and bows, and magic-based wands (even dual-wielded wands!) to name a few – but how flexible combat can be, allowing you to quickly change loadouts for enemy encounters. Swappable loadouts mean you can approach combat however feels right to you.
Art Director Matt Hansen then explained how the Living Lands is a mysterious island made up of wildly varied regions offering visually diverse backdrops and intriguing settings to explore. With secrets hidden throughout the regions, you’ll take in barren deserts, verdant forests, blighted wastes, volcanic biomes, and more.
That’s not all for Avowed, however – make sure to tune in to the Xbox Podcast on Monday, January 22 for an exclusive interview with some of Obsidian’s developers, offering even more information on the gameplay reveal.
Get ready to carve your own path through Avowed when it launches this fall for Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Cloud – and arrives with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass on day one. For more information, please visit the Avowed website.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II – Launching May 21
Xbox Series X/S, PC, Cloud – Joining Game Pass on Day One
Ninja Theory took us behind the scenes at their studio in Cambridge to take a look at Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, meet some of the team and learn more about the craft behind their new title, which is now in the final months of development.
In the video we learned more about Senua’s new journey, which leads her to Iceland, a harsh and brutal land ravaged by myth and tyranny. We were given a new look at Senua’s experiences of the world, seen through her eyes as someone who experiences psychosis, and saw some of Senua’s visceral and violent battles with the Draugar. We also heard more detail on what players can expect from the game’s story and how binaural and spatial audio will sink player’s deep into the world of Hellblade.
With a studio mission of crafting life-changing art with game-changing tech, Ninja Theory are pushing the boundaries of fidelity, richness and immersion. You can join Senua on her new quest, May 21. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is available to wishlist on Steam and pre-install on Xbox Game Pass now.
Visions of Mana – Launching Summer 2024
Xbox Series X|S, PC
In a surprise appearance, Square Enix joined the show to present Visions of Mana, the first new mainline entry in the series in over 15 years, and its debut on Xbox platforms. Series producer Masaru Oyamada presented a sneak peek at the gorgeous new RPG, sharing gameplay and behind the scenes footage before its launch in Summer 2024.
Koichi Ishii – father of the Mana series and creator of many of its iconic monsters – discussed the implementation and design of the enemies in Visions of Mana, and introduced the adorable new animal companions, “pikuls” and explained the design process behind them.
Oyamada then shared some details regarding the game’s score and revealed that the tracklist for Visions of Mana contains 100 songs in total, including works from musical talent who worked on previous Mana games. Oyamada also shared details of the adaptive music system that allows seamless transition from map exploration to battles, demonstrating a snippet of the background music changing as you enter or leave combat.
Oyamada also revealed that in Visions of Mana, The Elementals will assist the player in battle in the form of specialized items, which will each have a different effect in combat. Combined with aerial combat that allows for weapons and magic to be used in mid-air, the combat is fast-paced and flexible.
Visions of Mana launches Summer 2024 on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC!
Ara: History Untold – Launching Fall 2024
PC – Joining PC Game Pass on Day One
The key leads at Oxide Games debuted an all-new look at gameplay and shared an overview of the key features coming to Ara: History Untold during today’s Developer Direct. Viewers learned more about Ara’s crafting system, unique approach to simultaneous turns, and more.
You can learn more about this innovative new historical grand strategy game with our in-depth interview with Design Director Michelle Menard and we will have more to share in the coming months leading up to Ara’s launch this fall on PC and with PC Game Pass. For the latest breaking news follow the Ara: History Untold social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram/Threads) and wishlist the game on Steam.
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle – Launching 2024
Xbox Series X/S, PC – Joining Game Pass on Day One
The official reveal of Indiana Jones and the Great Circle was debuted during Developer_Direct with over 13 minutes of gameplay footage and developer insights. This new journey starring the legendary archaeologist comes from the award-winning team at MachineGames – the minds behind Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus – in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games and executive produced by Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard. Find out more on Bethesda.net.
Blizzard held a Diablo IV Developer Update Livestream earlier today that dug into the horrors waiting for you beneath the sands of Kehjistan in Season of the Construct, launching January 23, and introduced the competitive leaderboard activity called The Gauntlet. Associate Director of Community Adam Fletcher, Game Design Manager Daniel Tanguay, Quest Designer Madeleine James, and Lead Class Designer Adam Jackson spoke about the new Seneschal companion, Hazard-filled dungeons called Vaults, a new Questline, and more – all of which surfaces in Season of the Construct. Additionally, the group gave a quick look at The Gauntlet leaderboards and wrapped up the livestream by answering questions from the community in a Q&A session.
Shortly after Developer_Direct, ZeniMax Online Studios kicked off The Elder Scrolls Online 2024 Global Reveal, unveiling the game’s next major Chapter, including the new zone, storyline, and other major features. You’ll be able to read more about what was revealed on Xbox Wire and Bethesda.net as soon as that show concludes.
Today marks just a small selection of the games coming to Xbox this year. With our own studios and our incredible partners bringing a diverse set of incredible experiences to Xbox consoles, PC, Cloud, and Game Pass, there’s going to be something new for every kind of player. To find out more, make sure to return to Xbox Wire later this month, when we post a round-up of some of the most exciting games coming to Xbox platforms in 2024.