Xbox Games Showcase – Impressions

Xbox Games Showcase

We finally got what we wanted from Xbox, games! Yesterday Microsoft/Xbox showed off the games that are coming our way on Xbox One and Xbox Series X in their Xbox Games Showcase. While there was quite a few titles that were shown, I picked out my favourite games that has me the most hyped and excited to play.

While I had some reservations on what to expect, I was looking forward to finally seeing some gameplay from Halo: Infinite, and we got it! Microsoft started off with their strongest foot forward and we got an 8 minute gameplay demo to show off. The gameplay was from a section of the campaign and it runs at 60fps. It also looks like this latest Halo title will have open-world aspects to it, which may or may not be a bad/good thing depending on how well it’s handled. We did see one new gameplay mechanic during the gameplay demo and that was the grappling hook. Which looks pretty sweet and it lets you reach enemies faster while also picking up explosives to cause some damage. I loved hearing the grunts again with their funny chatter as they run about the map. What I really liked seeing was the different weapons that was shown off during the demo and you get a sense of weight to each one. What I mean by this is, the sound of each weapon as MC shoots it, you get the sense of its weight as he shoots it.

Xbox Games Showcase

What we didn’t get to see sadly, was the mulitplayer, but we can expect that to coming sooner rather than later, hopefully with a BETA too. 343 Industries has stated that Halo: Infinite will be bigger than Halo 4 and 5 combined and if this is true, it’s going to be insane! Check out the gameplay trailer below!

Next up was State of Decay 3 and boy, this has my interest! I loved playing State of Decay 2 and was even lucky enough to receive an early copy of the game for review. I loved the whole community aspect of the game and how it was about teaming up to survive against the Zeds. With State of Decay 3, it looks like Undead Labs have stepped up their game and it feels like it’s more of a single or lone wolf apporach to survival. It also seems to have a winter setting, though this may change depending on whether we are going to have full on seasons this time around. Also, zombie-fied animals? Well that frightened the bejesus out of me when I saw it. Super excited to try this out and I am hoping we get some co-op gameplay too. ! If you missed the trailer, then check it out below now!

When it comes to racing, for me Turn 10 are the masters of their craft and have always given race fans what they wanted and beyond. With the new Forza Motorsport announcement, we get a cool looking trailer that shows off some early development in-engine trailer with 4K ray-tracing effects. I also noticed that it’s not Forza Motorsport 8, but rather just Forza Motorsport. Could this mean that we will be getting yearly updates and the latest Forza will be more a service game like Destiny/Division 2 etc… or will we see something else? I guess we will find out more in 2021.

Rare’s offering at yesterdays Showcase has me at a bit of a kerfuffle. While the game gives me a sense of Zelda and RiME, I am not 100% sure what the game will be. I sense that it will be a sort of RPG-adventure, where we get to choose a class or character with a set of skills and have their own companion to aid you on whatever quest we are set upon. I guess we will need to wait and hopefully Rare will show us some actually gameplay real soon.

When it comes to storytelling, I really like what DontNod does and how they portray their story, they are ones of emotions, heartfelt sorry and triumph. In Tell Me Why we see a brother and sister, twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan. They have a special connection that the can use to unravel the mysteries of their troubled childhood, which when you look at the trailer, looks more messed up than troubled (but you can check that out yourself). The game is set in beautiful small-town in Alaska, and as you interact with memories of the past, you will make choices that determine the strength of the unique bond that Tyler and Alyson share, which in turn will shape the future course of the twins’ lives.

What really grabbed me from the Xbox Games Showcase yesterday was As Dusk Falls from Interior/Night in the UK. The backing track just sets the tone of the trailer and the game is about the lives of two families across thirty years. Starting with a robbery-gone-wrong in small town Arizona, the choices you make will have a powerful impact on this epic story of sacrifice, betrayal, and resilience. You could tell from the trailer that the two main characters who are the little girl and boy from either family, would eventually meet at some point. The question is, what is their connection, and will this be a story of love or sorrow. I can’t wait to play this game and thankfully, it’s not too long a wait! See the trailer below for yourself and immerse oneself.

The Gunk is an all-new adventure in a vast and alien world where you’ll encounter terrifying enemies and challenging puzzles on your quest to unravel the mystery of a forgotten planet, while saving it in the process. This game really interests me and I love the artstyle, the animation and how everything in the world looks. You seem to be a eco-warrior tasked with cleaning up this oozing black goo or Gunk, while doing some puzzles along the way and cleaning up the planets and saving the wildlife. It’s something new and quirky, which is what I wanted to see before the Showcase started.

Horror games are not my thing, in fact I tend to steer clear of them and check out the experince of them via my better half who loves them! However, with Bloober Teams latest offering, The Medium, I could be really tempted to try it out. One of the main exclusives that is coming to the Xbox Series X, it’s a psychological horror game, which shows of a feature never seen before were it offers up Dual-Reality Gameplay. What this means is that it plays out across two worlds displayed at the same time. The games premise is that you must discover a dark mystery only a medium can solve. You will get to explore two worlds, the real world and the spirit world at the same time. Your character has psychic abilities and to uncover some truly disturbing secrets, you must solve puzzles spanning both worlds, while at the same time, survive encounters with The Maw – which is labelled as a monster born from an unspeakable tragedy. I know this game will probably frighten the holy hell out of me, but I a excited to try it out!

And finally, my god, we finally have the confirmation of Fable. Our beloved Fable has returned, or will return thanks to Playground Games. It sounds like the delightful Stephen Fry is back for the voice of the trailer. I also hope we get to see him in the game, the man behind the ever charming Reaver. One of Xbox’s most sought after games from fans is back and while we don’t know much about the game or the story, we live in hope that we get a true Fable game we all deserve. It’s been nearly 10 years since we have seen a Fable title and to say I am excited for this game would be GREATLY underestimated! I have longed for a new game in Albion and beyond, a new story, a new hero and a new beginning. We should see more in the coming months, and while I am not expecting the game to release anytime soon (I‘m thinking March 2022), I am hopefully we will get some sort of in-engine gameplay and more info in early 2021.

With what we got to see on the Xbox Games Showcase yesterday has me in high hopes for the future of Xbox and what the teams are going to give us. While I was thriled to see new IP and to finally see Halo: Infinite in action, there was a few things that I wish we got to see.

First up, I was hoping we would get to see some gameplay of Hellblade 2, but all we got was a brief video on what the team was up to and a little insight to development (a little). I was also hoping that we may finally get to see something from The Initiative. Whether this was going to be a reveal trailer, teaser trailer, gameplay trailer or in-engine trailer, I was hoping for something. Hopefully in August they will show us something to get us excited about, since they are a new studio built from the ground up. We are all thirsty for knowledge and we are all very curious to know what they are working on, it’s a mystery!

All in all, I was happy with what the teams have shown us and can’t wait to get my hands on the Xbox Series X and test out these games to find out how truly amazing the hardware Microsoft had designed for us, the gamers! Roll on the pre-orders and roll on November 13th…. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

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