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Jasmine Gould-Wilson

Summer Game Fest 2023: Biggest announcements and reveals

Biggest announcements Summer Game Fest 2023 - Avowed

This year's Summer Game Fest was packed with standout moments. One entry on our list of upcoming Star Wars games got a proper title and gameplay reveal, while the Xbox Games Showcase delivered on teased promises to show one project in particular that we've been aching to see for years.

Despite the litany of brilliant new games on the horizon, though, a handful of them stole the show completely when we saw them during the festivities. Asking us to choose our favorite would be our equivalent of Sophie's Choice, so instead, here's a look at the biggest and best announcements of SGF 2023 that left us wanting more.

Playground's new Fable trailer 

(Image credit: Playground Games/Microsoft)

When Xbox teased something suspiciously Fable 4-like on Twitter just days before its showcase, we prepared for disappointment. It's been three years since Playground Games' reboot of Fable was announced, and up until a few days ago, we'd heard nothing since. The in-engine trailer that opened the Xbox Games Showcase was well worth the wait, revealing Richard Ayoade as Dave the Giant, over-the-shoulder combat, and all the hilariously brusque and British banter of the original. Pair this with the stunning graphics thanks to a far more modern engine than Lionhead's trilogy, and Fable looks set to stun. It certainly set a jubilant tone for the rest of the event, proof that showing your hand early can be a very good thing when it comes to a beloved series like Fable.

Star Wars Outlaws gets title, trailer, and gameplay reveal

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

We've known for a while that Ubisoft is publishing an upcoming Star Wars game developed by Massive Entertainment, but Monday's Ubisoft Forward finally put a name and face to it: Star Wars Outlaws. The trailer was accompanied by an official gameplay walkthrough, introducing us to Kay Vess, the infamous scoundrel of the Outer Rim, as she leaps into action. Gunning down enemies, performing stealth takedowns, and making a nimble escape to meet with a shady fish-headed criminal, the dusty plains of this remote planet and all they have to offer are looking impressive already. What's more, she's accompanied by a cute little companion resembling a cross between an axolotl and a dog; what's not to love?

Starfield gameplay

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield Direct gave us a proper breakdown of the truly mind-boggling size and scope of the upcoming space RPG, but seeing Starfield show up an hour beforehand had us completely sold on Bethesda's new adventure. The beautifully cinematic gameplay trailer dazzled with its awesome intergalactic vistas, showing not only gun combat in full space suit getup but strange alien enemies, flying ships that look and feel like a home away from home, and plotting our escapades with fellow crew members. Underscored by a similarly magical orchestral track, Xbox really showed off its latest first-party headliner with style, grace, and a whole lot of wonder.

Alan Wake 2 gameplay trailer introduces Saga

(Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)

One of our most anticipated new games for 2023, it was a delight to see Alan Wake 2 show face at Summer Game Fest. We've had the release date penciled in for almost a month now, but the latest trailer offered a new revelation in the form of Saga. The second playable character alongside good old Alan himself, the latest trailer shows FBI jacket-clad Saga wandering through a forest in the dead of night, thick mist creeping through the trees as she comes to a remote cottage and opens fire on an enemy. It's the first look we've had at the game's combat so far, let alone the new character, but as our Editor-In-Chief Sam Loveridge said in her Alan Wake 2 preview, playing as Saga for just half an hour already convinced her that she's a brilliant addition.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailer and release window

(Image credit: Square Enix)

We've been waiting for news since its initial announcement last year, but our first look at Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth gave us a taste of developer Square Enix's upcoming remake in action. The announcement trailer was unveiled at Summer Game Fest, showing Cloud and his cohort riding chocobos, fighting monsters, and many other elements we remember from the classic original game. With a "vast and open world" at our fingertips this time around, however, we're excited to see FF7 widen its playground and open us up to new and familiar experiences in this lush reimagining. The trailer also firmed up a release window, so we know to expect it in "early 2024". It's still vague, but from what we've seen, it's looking good already.

Avowed trailer and release window

(Image credit: Obsidian)

One of the upcoming Obsidian games to watch out for, we finally got a proper look at Avowed during the Xbox Games Showcase. The fantasy FPS is set in Eora, the same universe and world as Pillars of Eternity, but this time, we're exploring the Living Lands. The new trailer for Avowed shows its dynamic magic-tempered combat in full throttle, using spells to vanquish enemies as well as guns and melee weapons. It also depicts Kai, the first of many companion NPCs who will guide us on our journey to rescue the people of the Living Lands from a plague that threatens to "corrupt [their] very souls". We also have a ballpark release window of sometime in 2024, and with such a brilliant trailer behind it, of course Avowed stood out to us as one of the day's heaviest hitters.

South of Midnight announcement

(Image credit: Compulsion Games)

A standout moment of the Xbox Games Showcase was the unveiling of South of Midnight. The latest project from We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games, South of Midnight is an action adventure exploring the mythologies, folklore, and both the real and fantastical monsters of America's Deep South. The announcement trailer instantly captured us with its atmospheric storytelling; a gnarled-fingered man (who turns out to be half-skeleton) strums his guitar in the middle of a moonlit bayou, gruff voice reverberating as he sings along to the melody. A young woman walks up to him and proffers a flyer, asking if he's seen the crudely-drawn monster depicted, before it slowly emerges from the swamp behind her. The moody setting and art style alone were reason enough to put this game on our watchlist, and we can't wait to step into Hazel's shoes and explore her world.

Clockwork Revolution announcement

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Calling all fans of Victorian steampunk: Clockwork Revolution was one newly-announced game from Xbox Games Showcase that you need to check out. In this futuristic reimagining of the industrial revolution, the reveal trailer suggests that all in the city of Avalon isn't going quite to Lady Ironwood's nefarious plan. We'll be playing as one such "rebellious cog" throwing the whole machine off balance, fighting to bring down Lady Ironwood and right the wrongs she has committed against the citizens of Avalon in an effort to maintain a strict social hierarchy Featuring time travel, floating steam trains, and fast-paced FPS combat, what little we've seen of inXile's upcoming adventure already has us intrigued for more.

Sony more your vibe? Our list of upcoming PS5 games should keep you busy. 

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