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5 highly anticipated Xbox exclusive video games from third-party studios

A few third-party Xbox exclusives (Image via GSC Game World, Fatshark, Ebb Software)
A few third-party Xbox exclusives (Image via GSC Game World, Fatshark, Ebb Software)
Sidhartha Deka

Xbox exclusive video games are becoming more and more common, with the future seemingly full of such titles. Especially after the acquisition of so many studios by Microsoft in the last couple of years.

While Xbox Game Studios will probably be releasing many exclusives from the litany of studios under its belt, what about third-party games? Xbox has many ongoing deals with various independent studios for some game franchises as well as new IPs.

Let's look at some of the highly anticipated upcoming third-party Xbox exclusive video games that are in the works. Here are 5 video games that fall in that category.

Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion.


5 third-party Xbox exclusive video games that players can wait for

1) S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl

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A sequel to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, this game is being developed and published by GSC Game World. Heart of Chornobyl was scheduled to be out on December 8, 2022, however, due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, development has taken a step back.

This is the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game in 13 years since its last release and also the first one to be out for consoles. A reveal trailer was released at E3 2021, with full gameplay giving a glimpse of the setting and feel of the game. While not much else is known about the video game as of yet, a 2023 release is a possibility.

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series is set in the irradiated wastelands of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone area of Ukraine and is an FPS game. The series has a strong fan following and many have been waiting since 2010 for this next entry in the series.


2) ARK II

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A sequel to ARK: Survival Evolved, ARK II is an action-adventure survival video game set in the fictional world known as Ark. It is developed and published by Studio Wildcard with no set release date as of yet. Players can experience this game in third-person or first-person mode.

ARK II’s story takes place after the events of the final DLC of the first game, and Vin Diesel is said to be playing a character going by the name of Santiago in the game. Details regarding this project are sparse, but after the popularity of the first video game, there are many who can’t wait to lay their hands on it.

Gameplay in their series includes taming wild creatures, which is one of its most popular features, as the first game offers a plethora of various animals. The sequel is also set to include these elements. Other returning features might possibly be the standard survival mechanics, with food and shelter being vital to the player’s survival.


3) Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

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This upcoming first-person action game is part of the Warhammer 40,000 franchise. Developed and published by Fatshark, the game is set for a release date of September 13, 2022. It is a co-op multiplayer game where a group of 4 players can team up together to take on various enemies.

Like Warhammer: Vermintide 2, the gameplay primarily consists of a horde mode that allows for a 4 player co-op experience. Unlike that game, however, Darktide consists of players being able to customize the character they play, including choosing a class, gender, and overall appearance. Players may select one of the four available classes: Veteran, Zealot, Ogryn, and Psyker.

The new video game in the Warhammer 40,000 franchise is taking a live-service approach and will allow a larger story to unfold over weeks and different expansions. Similar to Destiny 2, the game is set to offer regular weekly content updates, giving players a more varied and longer-lasting experience.


4) Scorn

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From developer (and Publisher) Ebb Software comes Scorn, a survival horror adventure video game set on an alien planet. The tone of the game is said to be inspired by the works of H. R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński. This is a first-person experience, coming to Xbox Series X and S as well as PC in October 2022.

Players take control of a skinless humanoid that is lost on an alien planet populated with different creatures and techno-organic elements around the environment. The setting is of non-linear interconnected regions, littered with different clues about the strange world they inhabit.

The combat will include the use of various weapons that the game allows the player's character to mount on their body and use. Different weapons have been shown in various trailers, displaying how each will act differently. With an atmosphere and setting that screams Alien, this game is a must for sci-fi enthusiasts.


5) “Project Dragon”

Xbox x IO collaboration (Image via Klobrille / Twitter)
Xbox x IO collaboration (Image via Klobrille / Twitter)

A partnership between IO Interactive and Xbox is seemingly in the works on a project titled “Dragon.” While details are scarce regarding this, rumors suggest it could be an Xbox exclusive game.

The reports were fueled by the news of the IO building a new team for an original new IP. Other sources show IO’s job listings from its web page requiring people who can work on multiplayer games. Some of these listings also directly name the Project Dragon in the title.

This new game could be from any genre, although a fantasy RPG game is in development, as per the rumors. IO is not known for its fantasy or RPG emphasis in its games; instead, it mostly has stealth and shooter games under its belt. So this does seem like an intriguing prospect.


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Edited by R. Elahi

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