So the Xbox Games Showcase has finished and Microsofts finally showing off the First Party games that will be coming for the Xbox Series X at launch and Xbox One this year. So here is what we learned from Xbox.
Halo bloody Halo infinite
Xbox One started with one of their “Hollywood stars” with Halo Infinite. The latest in the Series of Master Chief, AKA the most boring man in the world (at least in my opinion). But anyway, there was some lovely gameplay on offer here, it has gone open world for the first time, and for the most part it’s very Halo.
But the Big Green douche does have a few new tricks including a grappling hook which helps in exploration or grabbing useful items in a pinch. A first look at the baddies, The Banished, who the big cheese looks like a cross between the mutants from XCOM and Ron Pearlman if they had a child and it was elected the Pope. Anyway it’s promising bigger battles and new mechanics to flex the Series X’s muscles. Halo Infinite will be released towards the end of 2020 on Series X, PC, and Xbox One.
State of Decay 3
Up next with Undead Labs who are working on the next instalment of State of Decay. Which going by the trailer is stepping away from Autumn weather for more Arctic climates and Zombie Deers. Which does sound like the weirdest remake of Bambi. Coming soon for Xbox Series X at some point.
Forza Motorsport and I may need a moment alone
One game series that undoubtedly for me is the strongest of the previous-gen Xbox consoles. Forza and this time around as playground games are preoccupied with something else (more on that later). So it’s the turn of Turn 10 and the Motorsport series. It was more of an announcement but supposedly it was done in-game engine and looks as you would expect from a Forza game, beautiful. Anyhow it will be coming soon for Series X and PC, but not Xbox One.
Everwild and Rare Magic
Rare popped in with a little update on Everwild from its announcement from way back in 2019 before the “Fuckening of the world”. Everwild Looks very pretty, playing as an “Eternal” who can do magic and bring dead animals back to life. Where were they when Bambi’s mum died? Still, a bit playing its cards close to its chest. Coming soon for Series X and PC.
Grounded in Rick Moranis
And now something that you can get your hands on very soon with Grounded, which I imagine was developed while someone at Obsidian Entertainment was playing Ark Survival Evolved and watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids. It’s a Survival adventure and it can be played in co-op with up to 4 players. Surviving it out in someone’s backyard in the 1990s, fighting it out against all sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies. It’ll be coming out of Xbox Game Preview and Early Access on July 28th with aspirations for a full finished release next year. Hopefully working on how to get Rick Moranis involved in it.
Tell Me Why Dontnod
Dontnod Entertainment. Who you probably know from as the makers of the Life is Strange series. Tell Me Why (Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache), this isn’t the lyrics from Backstreet Boys, but anyway, the game itself follows the adventures of Tyler and Alyson who come back to their childhood home in Alaska to bury the hatchet of past events. Both characters will be playable and the main mechanic of the game is the bond between the twins and both have different memories of events and it’s up to us the player to pick the one that’s the most believable. Which determines future events of the twins in the end.
Another thing worth mentioning is the character Tyler will be the first transgender video game hero from a major studio and publisher. Which is about bloody time I say, and Dontnod has worked with both Microsoft and GLADD which deals with LGBTQ advocacy in the media. To make sure Tyler is an authentic representation of what transgender people deal with on a day to day basis. It will be coming out over 3 episodes starting the 27th August. For Xbox One and PC via Windows and Steam.
Avowed to Skyrim
Another game straight from Obsidian Entertainment is their take on the highly successful Elder Scrolls series Avowed. Set in the same world of their other series Pillars of Eternity and Eora, it’s very fantasy feel to it that it probably has all editions of Dungeons and Dragons back to 1974. But anyway with a small tease of first-person perspective and scene straight out of Fellowship of the Ring. Inside a mine with little to no light and a big orangey glow in a doorway in the distance where something is roaring away like it had a few too many and fancies a Knight Kebab. Coming soon for Series X, PC and Xbox One.
As Dusk Falls the GTA stills escape
Microsoft has shown off As Dusk Falls from INTERIOR/NIGHT. Headed by ex Quantic Dream game designer Caroline Marchal. And Interior/Night will be focusing on interactive games for Xbox. Much like Dave Cage and Quantic Dream does for Playstation. Anyhow, the story follows two families in a small town in Arizona during a robbery gone wrong up and a hostage situation but as a focal point of a story that covers 30 years. Or if the still images of GTA loading screens escaped into a new game. coming soon for Series X, PC and Xbox One.
Tetris Effect: Connected to the Cold War
Like the world today that is trying to go on a Cold War nostalgic trip with Russian interference and East and West political tensions. Xbox also feels the same way with Tetris Effect: Connected. Which is like Tetris meets Dance Dance Revolution with the tiles moving on the beat. Been out on the PS4 since 2018 and PC since 2019 with VR support as well. Now there is Tetris Effect: Connected for Xbox. The differences here, however, is the inclusion of co-op for up to 3 players and 2 players competitive multiplayer both online and local. But don’t worry if you’re a PS4 or PC owner. This will be included for free in an update in the summer of 2021 well. But the Xbox owners will be getting this first this holiday on Series X, PC via Windows and Xbox One.
Senua Saga – Hellblade 2 I love Iceland
Ninja Theory popped in for a moment with a small-ish update on Hellblade 2. Where they announced that the locale will be set on the lovely nation of Iceland and done a YouTube on their location scouting travels if you fancy a watch.
Psychonauts 2 Featuring one half of Tenacious D
Up next was Double Fine, and the sequel to the greatest game that you’ve probably never played. Psychonauts 2. With a new look at a 60s inspired level or acid trip. But then again quite a few people were doing acid if I wager. Anyhow, it’s a platforming adventure game as you would expect and it does look very nice. Oh, and Jack Black will also be in the game as well, and put those vocal cords to use. Planned to be released in 2021 for PC, Series X and Xbox One.
Stalker 2: Stalk in spooky Chernobyl
Now back in the glittering heights of 2007 where a Ukrainian dev team, GSC Game World. Came up with STALKER. Where in an alternative history where after the Chernobyl disaster scientists were experimenting with the after-effects which featured psychic abilities. Which caused a second explosion and fucked things up more. Now, multiple factions have their ideas on what they want to do about it. two more games came out over the next two years. And originally STALKER 2 was announced back in 2010 with plans to be released back in 2012. But got canned in 2012.
But they revived it back in 2018 and now have plans to release it in 2021. Which still doesn’t beat Duke Nukem Forever for taking their sweet time to make a sequel. Anyhow 2021 for PC and Series X.
The Gunk. Sponsored by Dyson Hoovers
Image and Form, who you may know from the SteamWorld games, have come up with a new one. Aptly named The Gunk. Where we play as two space hauliers onto an alien planet, which is full of life that big Dave Attenborough could film a nature documentary on it. Exploring the planet and cleaning up a black sludge called Gunk. This marks the first 3D Game for the company and the first to be on a different console other than Nintendo. Anyway looks alright, and it’s coming towards the end of 2021 on Series X, PC and Xbox One.
The Medium between Silent Hills
Remember way back when in May in another Xbox Showcase of a game that was giving Silent Hill vibes called The Medium from Blooper Team. The folks behind Layers of Fear, and Observer, which starred Rutger Hauer before he witnessed the Tannhauser Gate for the last time, and The Blair Witch which sadly didn’t feature ex British Prime Ministers. Well, it’s coming for Series X and PC. Showed off its new gimmick Dual Reality System where you can change from the real world to the spirit world at a touch of a button (yes this does sound like marketing twaddle).
But not explicitly mentioned in the trailer itself, but it seems Marianne, who looks like she was taken straight from a Sweedish crime drama can change one world by interacting in the other. Which smells of puzzle-solving to me. Also, another feature of the dual worlds is that there are two separate soundtracks for each world. One is done by Blooper Team’s man Arkadiusz Reikowski, and the other is Akira Yamaoka, and he did the soundtracks for the Silent Hill games.
Crossfire X into Call of Duty
Now Crossfire used to be a PC only game from Smilegate with a massive following in China and Korea. Wanting to stretch its horizons into Single-player, they’ve teamed up with Control, Alan Wake and the original minds behind Max Payne. Remedy Entertainment. CrossFire X was born and announced back towards the end of 2019.
There already was an Open Beta for the multiplayer back in June. Which is being handled by SmileGate. The campaign is being handled by Remedy who have been known for their interesting stories like Control, which did pick up rave reviews. Going by this trailer looks very, very Call of Duty like. But sometimes a different perspective like Remedy could be interesting. Coming out at the end of 2020 on Series X, Xbox one and will be supposedly free to play.
Hello neighbour 2 you creepy bastard and Phantasy Star Online 2 – Anime Anthem
The next in the Hello Neighbor series. Hello Neighbor 2, which will be coming in 2021 on PC, Series X and Xbox One where it takes place after the events of the first game where we play as a reporter looking into the disappearances of the first game where instead of the creepy neighbour who stuck in a loop of the waypoint placed by the developers. It’s a Raven or the neighbour dressed as a raven with an adaptive AI that will stalk you, a bit like Alien Isolation.
Then we have Phantasy Star Online 2 which is the next instalment of the long-running MMO series from Sega. Admittedly this is the first I’ve heard of this and looks like an Anime Anthem. But anyway the New Genesis version offers an overhaul of the original with better graphics and better UI to boot. Coming 2021 on PC and Xbox One and is Free to Play right now if you fancy a bash at it.
Warhammer 40k: Darktide not featuring a team of colonial marines
Fatshark, developers of the successfully inspired rip off of Left 4 Dead series. Vermintide with another 4 player co-op set in the 40k universe. Set in the city of Tertium where we, as Imperial Guardsmen, who startle a horde of Poxwalkers. So more of the same then. Coming out in 2021 as a console exclusive for Series X. but again L4D like the game could work wonders. Much like it did back in the days of the 360.
Game Pass and Series X Upgrades and DLC and more pre-show announcements
Now first and foremost all the new games that have been announced during the conference will be also coming to the Xbox Game Pass. Which is becoming hot property, and Destiny 2 will also be coming to Game Pass with all the expansions for it. The latest expansion Beyond Light goes live in November will also be included, it’ll also be enhanced for Series X as well other games like Forza Horizon 4, Gears of War 5 and Sea of Thieves, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and a few others I’m sure as they are announced in due course.
There were DLC announcements for The Outer Worlds with the latest Expansion Peril on Gorgon which takes place on asteroids of the same name, and expected new quests, weapons, armour, perks and more. It’ll be released on September 9th. Game pass holders can get it for 10% off as well the expansion pass.
And before the show even started there were also announcements as well. Yuji Kaka from Square-Enix’s newly established brand, The Balan Company, with their new game Balan Wonderworld. A platformer set in a musical theatre, Hello Neighbor 2 as we touched on earlier. Echo Generation from CocoCucumber from Canada. More footage from Watch Dogs Legion showing off the permadeath mechanic. ExoMecha, a New FPS from Twisted Red which looks very Titanfall like. And Dragon Quest 11 S is coming to Xbox as well and coming early December.
And Fable… and clean yourself up, reader
And last and not least, Playground games can finally reveal the worst kept secret in games. With an announcement trailer for Fable. A few of my colleges had to clean themselves up. Bless them.