Here’s What Microsoft Announced Today at the Xbox Games Showcase

Posted on July 23, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in PC gaming, Xbox, Xbox One with 14 Comments

Microsoft’s hour-long Xbox Games Showcase provided fans with what the firm says is the most diverse game lineup in console history.

And … that’s ridiculous, sorry. While I feel that the Xbox event and the recent and similar Sony PlayStation 5 event were of similar quality, Microsoft’s selection of games definitely trended darker and more adult, while Sony’s was the more diverse (to its detriment frankly; many of those games were too childish to my tastes).

But the real issue with that bit of hyperbole is that it’s meaningless: The games that Microsoft highlighted today aren’t even all coming out during the Xbox Series X launch window; many of them will arrive sometime next year at the earliest.

With that out of the way, here’s what Microsoft did announce today.

World premieres

These games were shown off for the first time ever during the event.

As Dusk Falls. “As Dusk Falls is about two families whose trajectories collide in the Arizona desert in 1999. Most stories start at the beginning, but this story starts in the middle, gradually widening outward to encompass multiple points of view over a thirty year span; a story spiral that explores the past, present and future of a single dramatic night.”

Avowed is “an epic, first-person RPG set in the fantasy world of Eora.”

Fable is “a new beginning for the legendary franchise. Explore a land of fantastical creatures and wondrous places. Developed by Playground Games for Xbox Series X and Windows 10.”

Forza Motorsport. “Currently in early development, the new Forza Motorsport is a reimagining of the series that will take what has made Forza Motorsport great over the past 15 years and pair it with new game concepts and new technologies. With the new Forza Motorsport, ray tracing is coming to ForzaTech, you will see a dynamic world in 4K, 60fps, that is connected and dynamic – from surfaces of cars reflecting off each other, to brilliant red paint bouncing off intensely detailed track surfaces, and the interplay of light and shadow throughout the world. Developed by Turn 10 Studios, Forza Motorsport will be available on Xbox Series X, Windows 10 PC and on Xbox Game Pass.”

State of Decay 3. “The next evolution in State of Decay, bringing fans the new ultimate in zombie survival simulation.”

More first party games

These games had been tipped before the event.

Everwild. “Unique and unforgettable experiences await in a natural and magical world.”

Halo Infinite. Following its first peek at E3 2018 and the “Discover Hope” trailer from last year, today’s peek at the next Halo delivers what “fans have been asking for most – gameplay. Today we showed the first look at the ‘Halo Infinite’ campaign running in real-time and representative of the power and performance of Xbox Series X … Halo Infinite is the most ambitious Halo game ever made, with an environment several times larger than the last two Halo games combined.”

Psychonauts 2. “A follow-up to the 2005 cult comedy classic, Psychonauts 2 is coming in 2021 and we shared a look at what’s in store during today’s Xbox Games Showcase. Brain worlds a-plenty, incredible vocal performances from the original cast and awesome celebrities, new powers, and the next chapter in the greatest story of all time await players eager to expand their minds and enjoy some old-school platforming action.”

Tell Me Why “is the story of two twins, Alyson and Tyler Ronan, who reunite for the first time in ten years after their mother’s death. Upon returning to their childhood home in rural Alaska, the Ronans realize that their shared past may not be as they remember it.” The game’s first chapter arrives August 27, the second chapter will launch September 3, and the final chapter will be available September 10.

Partner titles

The following games are all console launch exclusives on Xbox.

CrossfireX. “In the intense, fast-paced and action-packed trailer that debuted during the Showcase event you’ll get a first look at the key characters in Operation Spectre, told from the perspective of Black List, one of the two warring mercenary factions players will meet in both campaign and the multiplayer experience.”

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. “With S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, we are finally creating the thing we’ve wanted to make since the very beginning. For the first time in the series, the Zone will be yours to explore as a post-apocalyptic open-world — one of the biggest ones to date. This is our most immersive world yet, and we are crafting it with the love and passion this setting deserves. Using our most advanced technology to date, the Zone has never been this gorgeous. And it’s yours to conquer — or to be lost in forever.”

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide. “What is Warhammer 40,000: Darktide? We’re sticking with a formula we know and are known for – 4 player co-op first-person action in a rich, established universe with lashings of attention to detail to serve existing 40k fans and onboard new players to that grim-dark world.” This one arrives in 2021.

Plus…

Microsoft also revealed that Bungie’s Destiny 2 is coming to Xbox Game Pass this fall along with all of its downloadable content (DLC), including the new Destiny 2: Beyond Light, which will launch November 10. Bungie is also releasing Destiny 2 Optimized for Xbox Series X with 4K resolution running at 60 frames per second, Microsoft said. And that last bit hints at what might have been the coolest news of the showcase: Every game shown today will be made available on Xbox Game Pass when they launch. Nice!

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Here’s What Microsoft Announced Today at the Xbox Games Showcase”

  1. Avatar

    sivey42

    If only they'd just open up the preorders. Sigh.

  2. Avatar

    hassan_timite

    A bit disapointing to say the least. Why is Microsoft so unable to show that the Xbox Series X is really the most powerful console ever ? Why can't they make a focus of several minutes on gameplay demo which litteraly blow away the unreal 5 demo on the PS5 ? Is there an issue with the Xbox Series X or their developpers are weaker than Sony's and/or hold back by the cross gen strategy ?

    • Avatar

      Jorge Garcia

      In reply to Hassan_Timite:

      The games people want to play nowadays take several years to make. MS did buy up a bunch of studios a while back, but many of the fruits of their labor are probably working their way through the very long pipeline.

    • Avatar

      sykeward

      In reply to Hassan_Timite:

      Because while the Series X will be the console with the highest raw CPU/GPU performance, once you take into account all the custom hardware features that MS and Sony have built into their systems, the Series X and PS5 are on pretty even footing. Series X is certainly not leaps and bounds ahead e.g. One X vs PS4 Pro.


      That said, I'm a little surprised at how unimpressive both Sony and Microsoft's showings have been overall. Halo Infinite looked really rough, especially for a game that reportedly has a $500 million budget.

      • Avatar

        bluvg

        In reply to Sykeward:

        Half a billion dollars? Holy moly. I'm totally the wrong person to ask, but I would have expected some kind of breakthrough for $500M.


        I thought the mix of current gen games with the Series X games took away some of the wow factor, though. Hellblade II is visually stunning, for example (though they already showed this demo).



    • Avatar

      Thretosix

      In reply to Hassan_Timite:

      In all fairness. This generation is trying to do a real generational leap where consoles of past are just playing catch-up to PCs with certain features while using proprietary things like Velocity Architecture and using SSDs in ways even PCs haven't used them. I remember in the past it took almost a whole generation of a console to really start pushing consoles to their limit doing what it promised. Things like ray tracing will take time to polish on new hardware. To get titles out they need to either forgo some features or patch them in later if possible. Nobody said it was disappointing when Sony touted a remake of FFVII for the original PS4 only to come out with an episode 1 of 3 for the remake even after the PS4 Pro is near end of cycle while showing off a CG movie for the game. For example, Microsoft in this case is trying to play two angles in a way, games at launch will be mainly based of existing tools such as Unreal Engine 4 with tweaks? The 4K60 angle is more of showing off raw power of the system essentially push PC like graphics over the past couple years while working out issues with things like ray tracing working in a way it can be pushed to consumers. Even the Spider Man game for the PS5 will be 4K30 with visual enhancements while there's a performance mode dropping the visuals a bit for 60Hz. Basically these games aren't finished yet, were seeing mostly CG movies while content is being worked on. Also there's this thing called COVID-19 that's not helping developers at the moment. I'm not an expert in this area but I may just be more forgiving this early in the development. If you understand the specs of the system on paper for a console they are both powerhouse consoles promising a lot more than previous generations. They only thing MS has really been pushing lately is sustained power, while the Halo Infinite showed a decent amount of gameplay it was really smooth, albeit supposedly played on a PC with similar level specs to the console. It lacked the polish we want, but to me it's understandable at this stage.

  3. Avatar

    bluvg

    I thought Medium looked very interesting as an idea. Has that been dual-view for the same character approach been done in other games previously? I'm not much of a gamer, but I watch more from a tech enthusiast viewpoint.

  4. Avatar

    Usman

     (to its detriment frankly; many of those games were too childish to my tastes).


    The games that do set it apart are spiderman and ratchet and clank, sure they're 'childish' but they look like fun games. Spiderman is coming out at launch and the previous game received positive acclaim.


    There isn't anything from the Xbox Game Studios that convinces a console purchaser to pick Xbox Series X (or lockheart) over a PS5 unfortunately 🤷‍♂️.


    Gamepass is great value, but it's not a launch system seller.

  5. Avatar

    jamie_webster

    As dusk falls and tell me why are welcome additions . Xbox has always been these type.of games

  6. Avatar

    jamie_webster

    the tetris connected is actually a big deal good version's of tetris sells consoles in either Japan or China I cant remember which

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