Alex Birlo on July 25, 2020
Let us be honest, the last Livestream that Xbox had was not… the greatest. It was advertised as a “gameplay reveal event” but instead, what the viewers saw were miserable snippets of the upcoming games in short “gameplay trailers” and most of it was simply interviews with developers.
This time, however, Xbox went all out! This week they finally held their “Xbox Games Showcase Livestream” where they revealed a great many details about upcoming games and even made a handful of new announcements.
Xbox opened the presentation with their big system-seller “Halo: Infinite”. The much-anticipated continuation to one of the most iconic game franchises in history.
And as if in an attempt to make it up to the viewers for the last Livestream, they showed a short cinematic and jumped straight into gameplay!
The gameplay showcased a mission that is around 4 hours into the game. Master Chief crash lands on yet another ring – the one we saw in the reveal trailer – though there is still no info on which one it is and how did he get there exactly.
In this mission, Chief has to fight his way to a control center and neutralize one of three anti-aircraft guns that shut them down.
In the process he fought his way through the Banished brute faction that is on the ring, utilizing the new “Grappling hook” to increase mobility, pull himself in towards enemies for melee attacks and even pull things like explosive barrels towards him to grab and then through at the enemies.
At one moment, during the demo, you could see the map of the location. The developer 343 explained later (in an interview with IGN) that this time, while they want to keep the storytelling of the game focused and cinematic as in previous titles, they also want to give a degree of freedom to the players.
Throughout the story, players will find themselves in more open areas – like the one shown in the demo – where they will have the choice of tackling several objectives in the order they choose and reach them through the route they choose.
There will obviously be some exploration thrown into the mix. 343 added things to the game that make it more alive, like a day/night cycle and some wildlife that will run around.
You will be able to discover some hidden places with new upgrades or weapons!
From what we have seen it is obvious that the game looks great, but not “Next-gen great” so to say. The animations and in particular the shooting seem the same as always. The enemy units are mostly unchanged.
But the quality of the visual effects, the sound, the 60fps, and the grander scale of the entire thing are modern and look “tasty”.
The game releases somewhere during this holiday season (in 2020).
Later in the showcase, we were shown a cinematic trailer that acts as an official announcement for “State of Decay 3”.
In the trailer we saw a lonely woman, surviving in the forest during winter. In the night she chased off a wolf, only for her to stumble upon its corpse in the morning being munched on by an infected zombie-deer.
We know nothing about the game as of now – there is no gameplay and no release date.
What we can expect is, as in the previous titles, an open world where you gather resources, craft, build your own base, collect and level up survivors, and if they die – you lose them permanently.
One other thing that suggested here – if the trailer is anything to go by – is that we will see new enemy types based on zombie infected wildlife.
Next up, Turn 10 Studios showed a spectacular trailer for the next game in the Forza series, so far simply titled “Forza Motorsport”.
This is a great racing game franchise that Xbox are very proud of, as they are pushing the hardware of the new Xbox Series X to its potential.
Phil Spencer introduced that game, saying that the developers are utilizing everything the new console has to offer – ray tracing and a native 4k resolution with 60fps.
The next game from Rare Studios – the ones who made “Sea of Thieves” – comes another game that seems to develop on the signature art style of the studio even more – “Everwild”.
“Everwild” was announced last year and they had been silent about it ever since. So there is not much to go on except for the two trailers for this game.
Now it is obvious that it will be a next-gen game, it will release for the Xbox Series X and Windows 10. Also, on the official Xbox website, it states that the game is “coming soon to Xbox Game Pass”.
The game is based in a magical world that is all about the “Rhythm” and groups of “shaman-looking” people travel together all in cooperation with the natural world around them and the spectacular fantastic creatures that inhabit it.
This is the new narrative-driven game from Dontnod Entertainment – the creators of “Life is Strange”.
It was announced last year and will follow the story of two twins as they uncover the truth about their childhood. The twins also have a supernatural bond that allows them to interact with their past memories.
The first chapter of the game will release on August 27th for Windows PC, Xbox One, and in the future for Xbox Series X and will be available on Game Pass.
This game is a great and beautiful platformer that was released back in March 2020 to great success.
During the presentation, it was announced that they are currently working on a “special version” of this game, specifically for the Xbox Series X.
The game will now be able to run in full 4k HDR and at 120fps. Making the amazing spectacle, that this game already is, even greater.
“Peril on Gorgon” will be the latest DLC expansion coming to Obsidian Entertainment’s sci-fi RPG “The Outer Worlds”.
The expansion will take the players to a new location – the Gorgon asteroid.
Where players will find themselves involved in a shady new storyline, with new characters and weapons.
The story will introduce you to the failed Spacer’s Choice colony, the science experiments it was involved with, and its missing director Dr. Olivia Ambrose.
The expansion will be available on all platforms on September 9th (2020).
This is another game from Obsidian Entertainment, but in a different style than what we learned to expect from the studio.
Grounded is a co-op/solo survival game, where the players’ characters are shrunk to the size of an insect and they end up in a vast back yard where they have to survive.
In order to endure the perils of the backyard players will have to do the usual in an unusual setting. You gather resources, craft weapons and armor, and build fortifications to protect and fight back against the insects living in the tall grass.
The game comes out for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, but will be optimized for Xbox Series X, will support “smart delivery” and will be part of the Xbox Game Pass.
The game will be available for early
access on Steam and Xbox Game Preview on Xbox Game Pass on July 28th
(in 2020). Thought the final release date is not yet confirmed, perhaps in
Next Obsidian Entertainment showed everyone a glimpse of their next big RPG project called “Avowed” – since it somehow places a special emphasis on oaths.
In terms of information about the game, we can only dissect what was shown in the trailer.
Because there is near to nothing know about it so far since the game was just announced, except the fact that it will be set in the same world as “Pillars of Eternity”.
From the trailer, it can be also seen that this time around the game will be almost “Skyrim-style”, as the trailer ends with the first-person perspective of a character getting ready to face a monstrous creature by pulling out a sword in one hand and casting a rune on the other had preparing to unleash an unknown spell.
Later in the show, Matt Booty – head of Microsoft Studios – introduced a new studio called “Interior/Night”, that was formed back in 2016 and headed by the former lead game designer from Quantic Dreams – Caroline Marchal. She worked on games like “Heavy Rain” and “Beyond: Two Souls”.
And now that the studio has joined the Xbox Game Studios family, they will be focusing their efforts on creating interactive stories with their own and unique style.
Their first game will be “As Dusk Falls”, an interactive drama game revolving around two families meeting in dramatic circumstances in the middle of the Arizona desert in 1999.
The game will show the story from the perspective of several characters stretched throughout 30 years.
During the presentation, we saw a new trailer for the upcoming “Psychonauts 2”.
In the trailer, we saw a small sneak peek at some behind the scenes footage of the actor Jack Black recording the theme song for the game.
In short, Psychonauts is a continuation of a beloved platformer game from 2005. In it, you take on the role of a Psychonaut who explores the mental worlds of various people by delving into their minds.
Next in the show, it was announced that Bungie will be bringing a version of Destiny 2 with all currently released expansions to Xbox Game Pass, and an optimized experience for Xbox Series X with 4k resolution at 60fps.
They also showed a trailer for the upcoming Destiny 2 expansion called “Beyond Light” where we saw a first look at the new armor, weapons, subclasses, and locations the players will be visiting.
The expansion will be released on November 10th, 2020.
Next up, from the video game industry veteran Ukrainian studio GSC Game World comes the long-forgotten continuation of the legendary game franchise – “Stalker 2”.
It was a game rumored to be in the works as far back as 2011, but soon the project became frozen as the company got temporarily disbanded.
But now, with the support of Xbox, they are finally bringing their vision to life for the Xbox Series X and PC.
This is a first-person, open world, survival horror game set inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Where various unlikely characters – from ex-military personnel to outcasts of modern Russian society – are exploring and surviving to uncover secrets, some for profit, some for the thrill of the fight.
The game will feature an expansive open world and a branching storyline with multiple endings based on your choices.
The developer Fat Shark – who created the great game “Vermintide” in the dark phantasy setting of Warhammer – are now shifting gears to the sci-fi setting of Warhammer 40k in their next project “Darktide”.
As with many of the newly shown games during this presentation, we know only what we saw in the trailer.
The trailer follows a report to an unnamed lord inquisitor, about a team of scouts sent into the depths of a hive city on Etema Prime in order to determine the full extent of the “unrest”.
Judging from the previous games of the studio, it is going to be a 4 players cooperative “Left 4 Dead-style” first-person game, where you fight your way through hordes of enemies in order to progress to your mission objectives.
Set to release somewhere in 2021.
It will be a timed PC and Xbox consoles exclusive expansion for the game “Tetris Effect”.
It will now allow you to join in cooperative or competitive Tetris matches locally or online.
The expansion is set to release holiday season 2020.
A game from the creators of the “SteamWorld” series – Image&Form Games – comes a new game. This time it is a 3D adventure platformer in a sci-fi setting, with the studio’s signature art style.
In this game, the players will be exploring an unknown planet that is all covered in a strange black substance.
As the main protagonist will clean the surface of the planet from the black substance, she will see how the planet changes and how this black “Gunk” is actually preventing life from growing on the planet.
We also saw a new gameplay trailer for “The Medium”. A new psychological horror game developed by Bloober Team.
In this game, you take on the role of a Medium, a person capable of seeing both our world and its “other side”.
The protagonist arrives at an abandoned hotel resort as she investigates an old case of a child’s murder.
Using the power of the next-gen Xbox console, the developers are able to play with the idea of a “Dual” perspective of the medium on our world.
In the trailer, they demonstrated that at some points during the game, the players will encounter barriers impossible to pass in our world and will have to shift into the “other side” in order to pass through, or vice versa.
Some times you will even play in both realities simultaneously!
The game also features something they call a “Dual soundtrack” composed by Bloober Team’s Arkadiusz Reikowski and the legendary composer Akira Yamaoka who created the soundtrack for the classic Silent Hill.
“Phantasy Star Online 2” is a free-to-play MMO RPG from SEGA that some time ago was finally released in the west after even getting an anime adaptation.
Now, with “New Genesis” the developers announced that they will be giving the game a complete overhaul – the graphics engine, the combat, and all the other in-game systems will be upgraded to next-gen quality and it looks amazing!
But do not get confused. New Genesis is neither an expansion nor a replacement for the original PSO2.
These are two separate games, but they will coexist enabling you to transfer your character between the universes and experience all storylines. Though character progression and currencies will not carry over.
The original PSO2 will be also receiving all the upgrades, just as New Genesis and will be up to par with it.
The overhaul of “New Genesis” will be releasing somewhere in 2021.
From Remedy, the developers of legendary games like the original two “Max Payne” games, “Alan Wake” and the more recently released “Control”, comes now a standalone single-player campaign for CrossFire X.
“Crossfire” is an incredibly old and incredibly popular game in the Asian market of free-to-play competitive online FPS games.
It is developed by Smilegate under the umbrella of… you guessed it – Tencent, which explains all the crazy microtransaction chaos in the original game.
Some time ago they have re-released the game in a more westernized version called “Crossfire X”, with looks improved from “Counter Strike 1.6” – level graphics, to something more like “Warface”, which does not look too modern either.
And now, as a surprise to all, they showed a spectacular action-packed trailer for the standalone single-player story mode.
From the trailer, it seems like a hybrid of classic “Call of Duty” campaigns, with the inclusion of the Nanosuit from Crysis.
It is set to release this year (in 2020).
At the end of the presentation, we received a small teaser trailer, that confirmed everyone’s speculations that the next proper entry in the Fable series is indeed an actual thing that is in development by Playground Games.
No gameplay details or release dates were announced as of yet.