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.
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.
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.
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!