Xbox Series X - The First Games Optimised for Microsoft’s Next-Gen Hardware
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:15pm 08/05/20 | Comments
The first batch of Xbox Series X games have been shown, so let's take a look.
The latest episode of Inside Xbox also served as the first Xbox 20/20 - a monthly series that is set to highlight the future of Xbox. Which means we got our first actual look at games running on Xbox Series X hardware. Or, "expected" hardware via a series of trailers with quick-cuts or a focus on the cinematic over actual gameplay. Being the first showcase, it was all about third-party efforts and a look at what’s coming later this year or early 2021.
And speaking of third-party studios there are over 140 of them currently working on Xbox Series X games. As depicted in this image.
While most of what has been shown will be making its way to PC in addition to the current-gen Xbox One (and PlayStation), these trailers have all been tailored to showcase games that will be ‘Optimised for Xbox Series X’. That is experiences that will be able to push a native 4K resolution, up to an impressive 120 frames-per-second (word is DIRT 5 will do just that), in addition to higher fidelity effects and even some hardware-based real time ray-tracing. Thanks to the one-two punch of cutting edge AMD hardware -- the Zen 2 processor and the RDNA-powered graphics -- sitting inside the Series X.
And with the addition of Smart Delivery, one purchase means these games will be playable across Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Xbox Series X. So without further ado, here’s every game shown in a neat package with the official word plus a few thoughts of our own.
Bright Memory Infinite
Bright Memory: Infinite is an all-new lightning-fast fusion of the FPS and action genres, created by FYQD-Studio. Combine a wide variety of skills and abilities to unleash dazzling combo attacks. Bright Memory: Infinite is set in a sprawling, futuristic metropolis in the year 2036.
This is a definite cause for excitement, a game being created by a single-developer using Unreal Engine. Already seen on PC in demo format, Bright Memory previously doubled as a tech demo for NVIDIA RTX ray-tracing. With this Xbox Series X glimpse we now have our first look at AMD’s RDNA ray-tracing and a teaser at the sheer visual power devs and small studios will have at their collective fingertips. In the shadow of this year’s biggest game, Cyberpunk 2007, this futuristic aesthetic has certainly found its neon-rise and is ‘on the glow’. Which should help this release find its feet when it lands late 2020.
Ushering in the next generation of racing, DiRT 5 writes a new chapter in the legacy of DiRT – bolder and braver than ever before. New features, new innovations and a fresh approach make DiRT 5 a hub of amplified offroad racing, style and culture, where no two races are ever the same.
It wouldn’t be a next-gen reveal if we didn’t have at least one racing game. And on that front Codemasters has stepped up to the plate with DiRT 5, a racer that looks to be the most vibrant, over-the-top, and colourful entry in the series to date. Word is this will be able to take its impressive effects, car models, and lighting and push things to at least 4K 60 frames-per-second on Xbox Series X hardware. And maybe, go all the way to 120. Now, that would be something. Adding to that is the series’ authority with brands such as Red Bull, Škoda, Citroën and beyond, alongside some of the most difficult courses the rally world has to offer.
Scorn is an atmospheric first-person horror adventure game set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestry. It is designed around the idea of “being thrown into the world”. Isolated and lost inside this dream-like world, you will explore different interconnected regions in a non-linear fashion.
Scorn is a third-party Xbox exclusive currently in development for Windows PC and the Xbox Series X. First announced in 2014 the look has been inspired by the Alien art of H. R. Giger. And this is one next-gen trailer almost purposely designed to give us the creeps; unsettling, gross and fascinating all at once. We’re not sure if -- as a species -- humans are ready for technically advanced sci-fi horror. If this is the result, maybe it’s time to go back to the good old days of 8-bit gaming. And if not, just enjoy some not-so-subtle sexual artistic references, as was Giger’s way.
Discover Chorus, an immersive single-player experience that tells a mature and dark tale of redemption. Take control of Nara, an ace pilot with a haunted past and Forsaken, her sentient starfighter, as they embark on a personal, redemptive journey to challenge a relentless foe and take down the dark cult that made her. This is a true evolution of the space combat shooter.
Now we’re talking, this looks incredible. A sci-fi space-fighter from Deep Silver and Koch Media with style and atmosphere to spare, and a genre (outside of the occasional Star Fox) that we need more, more, and more of. MORE. The story focus is especially promising and if the cut-scenes seen in this trailer are all running in real-time then, well, the Xbox Series X will have no problem using ray-tracing to create some truly stunning cinematic sequences.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
What Monster Will You Be? Enter the World of Darkness and rise through vampire society. Experience Seattle – a city full of alluring, dangerous characters and factions. In this sequel to the cult classic, your choices, plots and schemes will change the balance of power.
A game we’re all anticipating, the long awaited return of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. This new cinematic trailer doesn’t show all that much in the way of new, but it does point to the Xbox Series X version being on par with what we’ve seen in the past when it comes to the high-end PC version in development. That is visual detail cranked all the way up, with ray-traced reflections letting you, err, not see yourself as you walk past a shop window. What with being a vampire and all.
Call of the Sea
Call of the Sea is a first-person adventure puzzle game set in the 1930s that tells the story of Norah, a woman on the trail of her missing husband’s expedition. The search takes place on a strange but beautiful island in the South Pacific, filled with secrets waiting to be unearthed. It is an otherworldly tale of mystery, adventure, and self-discovery.
To borrow a musical term, Call of the Sea hits all of the right adventure notes. The 1930s setting, mysterious islands, underwater structures, incredible weather effects, and an art-style that straddles the line between classic animation and pure fantasy. Plus, inspiration from the likes of Firewatch and Myst. First-timers Raw Fury is at the helm, and it’s now a studio we’re following very closely thanks to this debut.
The Ascent is a solo and co-op action RPG set in a cyberpunk world. The mega corporation that owns you and everyone, The Ascent Group, has just collapsed. Confusion and chaos ensue, security and order are in disarray, and without protection, everyone is left to fend for themselves. Stop gangs and hostile corporations from taking over and discover what really happened in this explosive sci-fi shooter.
Will there come a time when we all get a little tired of the cyberpunk aesthetic? Neon lights, cool as hell clothing, funky hairdos, perpetual night, and chunky synth chords. The answer is of course a big no, and The Ascent looks great. Like the wonderful Ruiner, except with a bigger focus on action-RPG mechanics, and co-op. This isometric action game is certainly one to keep an augmented-for-digital-zoom eye on.
The Medium is a next-gen psychological horror game from Bloober Team, the makers of Blair Witch, Observer, and Layers of Fear. You play as Marianne, a medium living in two worlds: the real and the spirit one. Haunted by a vision of a child’s murder, you travel to an abandoned hotel resort, which many years ago became the stage of an unthinkable tragedy.
With the Silent Hill composer on board and a studio well-known for its excursions into the land of survival-horror in the form of Bloober Team, The Medium trailer comes into its own at the very end. As that’s when we get to see actual gameplay -- as opposed to moody cinematics -- showcasing a main protagonist that reminded us a little of Control. Albeit with the secret underground facility of that game replaced with old buildings and a highly detailed forest. Still, from an aesthetics perspective alone, this sings cringe; everything you want in a “psychological thriller”.
Take on the role of Yuito Sumeragi, a new recruit to the OSF aiming to become an elite psionic like the one who saved him as a child. Armed with a talent in psycho-kinesis, explore the futuristic city of New Himuka and uncover the mysteries of a Brain Punk future caught between technology and psychic abilities in Scarlet Nexus.
Bandai Namco Entertainment: The Game. Bright anime vibes, borderline incoherent action and a main character who seems troubled but also has a pristine blank look about them.
Second Extinction is an intense 3 player cooperative shooter, where your goal is to wipe out the mutated dinosaurs that have taken over the planet. Teamwork is vital as you adopt the role of one of the survivors, using a unique combination of weapons, abilities and skills to take on the vast number of enemies. Fight through a maelstrom of bullets, bombs, teeth, claws and gore, it’s up to you to reclaim Earth!
What if Turok, Left 4 Dead, and Serious Sam all walked into the teleportation machine from The Fly? The result would probably look a little something like Second Extinction, a new co-op shooter from Systemic Reaction that features a lot of dinosaur gibs flying about. And some pretty next-gen scenery, too. A strange BrundleFly to be sure, but also a game that we can’t wait to play.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan.
The latest entry in the insane and awesome Yakuza series has been confirmed as a Day One launch title for the Xbox Series X. Not only that but its support of Smart Delivery means that any Xbox One version of the game will instantly get ‘Optimised for Xbox Series X’ when the next-gen jump is made. Speaking of impressive jumps this trailer goes from gangsters talking to giant shellfish and orbital lasers firing on the Earth pretty quick.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, become Eivor, a legendary Viking raider on a quest for glory. Explore a dynamic and beautiful open world set against the brutal backdrop of England’s Dark Ages. Raid your enemies, grow your settlement, and build your political power in the quest to earn a place among the gods in Valhalla.
Okay, so clocking in at 90-seconds with a lot of quick-cuts and cinematic time-lapses, this gameplay trailer is just as much of a cinematic look at the latest Assassin’s Creed as the pre-rendered CGI deal we got when it was first announced. That’s not to say that we weren’t impressed with this gameplay trailer, it’s just that we wanted to see an unedited slice of gameplay from the Viking epic. In the meantime we’ll just drool over the incredible sky detail seen in the Stonehenge timelapse sequence.
Well there you have it the first look at Xbox Series X games in development. You might be asking yourself, where’s Halo Infinite? Well the look at all first-party Xbox Games Studios in development is expected to happen in July. So stay tuned as the ray-traced flood gates are opened.