The not-E3 livestreams continue and Xbox Games Showcase was Microsoft's latest attempt to woo us into buying their shiny things. Though Xbox Series X garnered a few nods, it was all about the games, but what did we think of them?
A short teaser, but sweet nonetheless.
Xbox fans have spent the current console generation begging for more exclusive titles, and it looks like the upcoming Xbox Series X will address that. I can’t say that any games shown at Microsoft’s first-party 20/20 event were visual showstoppers, but the diversity was certainly impressive.
Halo Infinite looks like it’ll be a bombastic blast, Everwild seems serene and thoroughly lovely, while Tell Me Why and As Dusk Falls tackle deeper themes usually reserved for smaller stages.
Though it was disappointing not to see any new footage from Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II following last year’s immense debut trailer, a specific trio of reveals more than made up for it.
State of Decay and Fable are perhaps my favourite Xbox-exclusive franchises, so seeing new instalments from both is exciting if not fully unexpected. Avowed, on the other hand, took me by surprise. Obsidian’s RPG looks to be a marriage of The Elder Scrolls and The Lord of the Rings, with just a tinge of FromSoftware - that’s basically a recipe for perfection in my eyes!
Best of all? Everything I’ve talked about (and everything I’ve not) will be available on Game Pass. Plus there’s still more to come! Only 9/15 developers comprising Xbox Game Studios have shown their hand so far.
Can Ninja Theory top the original Hellblade?
Halo Infinite seems to be getting a lot of stick following the Xbox Games Showcase, but I for one thought everything shown looked excellent (apart from those odd Minecraft-like cliffs) and it was very much my highlight of the event.
Gameplay looks like a return to the classic Halo formula, which is excellent news, but even better than that, there wasn’t a Promethean in sight! I’m not against the inclusion of new enemy factions, but I think Halo just works better when it’s you versus the classic Grunt/Jackal, Elite/Brute Covenant setup (or in Infinite’s case, The Banished).
As for the rest of the show, I thought Rare’s Everwild and Obsidian’s Avowed both looked intriguing, even I’m still not completely sure what either is about, and, like Chris, I think that Vermintide 2’s combat in a futuristic setting, which is what Warhammer 40,000: Darktide seems to be, is an appealing prospect.
For some reason I also found the news of Destiny 2’s impending arrival on Game Pass surprisingly pleasing, despite owning a physical copy of the game and never actually playing it. Perhaps the ease of access and extra content will be enough to convince me to give it another try.
Rallying around in a Warthog looks just as fun as ever.
After deciding to not get either next gen console on release this year, I came at the Xbox show from a very different perspective to normal - as a cross-platform gamer.
Fortunately with every release card there was additional information, highlighting the games were for PC too and those which, importantly, would be debuting on Game Pass. As a result, subscribers could get invested in these games by default, due to the minimal barrier to entry.
One of the titles which did stick out, which we’d heard about before but seen fairly little, was Psychonauts 2. As someone who’s heard good things about the original my interest is certainly piqued by the latest trailer.
While Halo: Infinite will offer plenty of opportunities for slashing, no doubt (those Grunts won’t massacre themselves, after all), the prospect of a return to the world of Phantasy Star Online, with New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2, is enticing. While many might not be familiar with the first game, its debut on the Gamecube in particular marked the beginning of the internet gaming era for some, including yours truly, and so the nostalgia repeaters were on full blast from the off.
While it might take a while to see some of the titles on show, there were only one or two which held no interest at all, which suggests the future is looking fairly bright for Xbox fans.
Did you get that same hit of nostalgia?
Catch up with the Xbox Games Showcase below and share your thoughts with us.