Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:00pm 10/06/19 | Comments
All the trailers and announcements from Microsoft’s E3 2019 Xbox briefing.
Without Sony holding a PlayStation conference at E3 this year, Microsoft was in a great position to define the current state and future of the Xbox brand with its E3 2019 Xbox Briefing. Heading into the event we knew that we’d be getting some information regarding the next-gen Xbox console ‘Project Scarlett’, in addition to a lot of games. In the end that’s exactly what we got. A look at a hell of a lot of games, 60 in fact. And with over half of what was shown expected to launch on Xbox Game Pass alongside their traditional releases, this year’s showcase was a big one for the subscription service – which is now available on Windows 10 PCs.
Here’s a chronological look at the showcase.
Kicking things off was a look at Obsidian Entertainment’s upcoming sci-fi RPG The Outer Worlds, a studio that is now a part of Xbox Game Studios. And it looks pretty good, drawing on its history with the Fallout license. As the game was in development prior to the acquisition it will still be getting a PlayStation 4 release at launch. Which is set for October 25 this year.
Next up was another Xbox Game Studios title, this time from Ninja Theory - and again a project that was in development prior to the acquisition. Called Bleeding Edge it’s a vibrant 4v4 melee-based multiplayer game that visually, looks like a blend of Overwatch and Borderlands.
The long awaited Ori and the Will of the Wisps got a new trailer and a release date. The good news is that it looks fantastic and more action-packed than the original, at least animation-wise. The bad news is that we’ll have to wait until February of next year to play it.
Next came Minecraft Dungeons, which follows the simple but very cool formula of Minecraft + Diablo = Minecraft Dungeons.
After it’s extended gameplay debut at EA Play over the weekend at Microsoft’s E3 presentation we got a very cool and action-packed real-time cinematic trailer for Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Although it looks a lot like the Force Unleashed series, the pedigree behind the scenes, like the Force, is strong with this one.
Next came a bit of a surprise, a mysterious new first-person horror game set in the 1990s. With just that to go off we kind of guessed that it might be something like the Blair Witch Project. Turns out it’s just that, Blair Witch - a new game from the creative team behind Layers of Fear.
This is where things got serious, with Keanu Reeves on hand to not only make his digital cameo in CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 - but also reveal the release date of April 2020. The new cinematic trailer shown was indeed great, as is everything Cyberpunk 2077 related, and the surprise Keanu kind of softened the blow that we wouldn’t be seeing the game in 2019.
Battletoads returns in a new game using a hand-drawn art-style and the same beat-em meets racing meets weird first-person stuff that made the original Rare games fan favourites.
Next up came the obligatory ID@Xbox indie game montage – one of our favourite parts of the show. Mainly because it’s a highlight reel that makes you take note of upcoming games that look awesome. This year was no different, and in the sea of awesome we took special note of Star Renegades, Creature in the Well, Blazing Chrome, and Felix the Reaper. As a nice little bonus all games showcased in the montage, and there’s quite a few, will also be launching on Xbox Game Pass.
The Legend of Write is very literally a hand-drawn RPG from Japanese indie studio Desk Works. And visually it looks incredibly detailed and authentic.
Xbox Game Pas is coming to Windows 10! As easily the best deal in gaming today this news excited us to no end. And yes, Halo The Master Chief Collection will be included.
How’s this for a blast from the past. Microsoft Flight Simulator making a comeback next year in a new sim that looks stunning thanks to it being built using satellite imagery and Azure AI. The power of the cloud is certainly on display here.
After getting a HD re-release in 2013 that redid all the game’s sprites it looks like Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is set to give the game the 4K treatment. Which includes a brand-new building destruction animation that looks wonderful. The all-time classic PC release is also getting a dedicated Xbox Game Studio called Age of Empires that will look after the franchise – which also includes the upcoming and still yet-to-be-seen Age of Empires IV.
Next up a rather weird trailer for Wasteland 3, which comes from newly acquired Xbox Game Studio inXile Entertainment. And we say weird because it presents a much lighter tone than what we’re used to for the series, which probably means it’s an “E3” trailer.
With Double Fine now a part of the Xbox Game Studios family, we also got a new look at the upcoming Psychonauts 2 - which is still headed to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
Presenting Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, all nine films in a single Lego game.
Next up a cinematic look at the top-down crime thriller meets Groundhog Day 12 Minutes (seen above), followed by an extended trailer for Way to the Woods (seen here) a remarkable effort from solo developer Anthony Tan.
Finally, we get to Gear 5 the big budget AAA Xbox One release for 2019. That’s also coming to Windows 10. After a rather weird tone poem trailer showcasing protagonist Kait we then got a look at a new co-op mode called Escape. We would have preferred to see some campaign, but hey the game is out in September so not that long to wait.
Dying Light 2 is currently one of our most anticipated games on the horizon. And now we know that horizon ends in the first half of 2020 – with the open-world action-RPG parkour-adventure slipping into next year. After making its debut last year, this new look is equally impressive.
Next on the cards was a couple of expansions for current Xbox Game Studios releases. The first one for State of Decay 2 that looked sort of okay, we guess. But really, it’s the LEGO Speed Champions expansion (seen above) for Forza Horizon 4 that excites.
CrossFire is one of the biggest games in the world, one of the most successful of all time. The only reason we haven’t really heard of it before is that until now it has been mostly limited to China and South Korea. It looks like a poor man’s Counter-Strike, except one that is way more lucrative. CrossFireX is the Xbox One version, and it’s coming to Western markets sometime in the future.
SEGA bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 to Xbox will certainly please the many Dreamcast fans out there. Us included.
The next game in Bandai Namco’s Tales series was, err, up next with the debut of Tales of Arise - in a cinematic trailer that highlights some of the game’s beautiful art direction and visuals.
Your friendly reminder that Borderlands 3 is coming soon.
Next up, the rumoured From Software and George R.R. Martin RPG turned out to be very real – yet still very mysterious as all we got was a cryptic cinematic trailer. It's called Elden Ring and we have no idea what it's about.
After a look at the new Xbox Elite 2 controller, it was time for Microsoft to partially lift the lid on the next-gen console code-named Project Scarlett. Where we got a talking heads video and plenty of buzzwords like 8K, 120FPS, SDD, Navi, and Zen 2. With a processor that is expected to be four times as powerful as the Xbox One X’s no doubt it will be a beast. It’s due for release in Holiday 2020 and will launch with backwards compatibility for all three previous Xbox consoles. Very cool.
And last but certainly not least came a look at Halo Infinite via a short film created in-engine using the new Slipstream tech that will power the game and the series moving forward. Although set for release across current hardware, PC, and Project Scarlett what was shown should be the equivalent of the latter – visually speaking.
In terms of an overall showcase Microsoft impressed but we were expecting to see more from the Scarlett – and possibly a few long-term teasers for projects like Fable and maybe even a Banjo-Kazooie revival. That said, this year proved that the Xbox platform and services like Game Pass mean that it’s a name that extends well beyond consoles to include PC and in the future – current and past generations of traditional hardware.