Microsoft Reveals Its Next-Gen Heavy Hitters
Microsoft started off the day Thursday with their much-anticipated Xbox Games Showcase, a sequence of announcements and trailers that normally would have been showcased at E3. They kicked off the presentation with a bang, that is a flashbang, with their trailer for Halo Infinite. Halo Infinite was teased during last year’s E3, alongside the Xbox One Series X, and seems to be still one of the new systems launch games. The trailer is, honestly, impressive. The presentation promised a new Halo ring for exploration, and various new guns to play with.
As predicted, Microsoft discussed several already-announced or released titles, such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and the critically-acclaimed Control, to confirm that they will be being released on the next generation of consoles, and optimized for them. Whether or not previous owners will get free upgrades, such as has been announced with Cyberpunk 2077, remains to be seen. The fact, however, that games like Control that are about to hit the year-old mark, even if they are releasing regular DLC, is exciting. Hopefully we are beyond the days of gamers crying for remakes, and costing us to lose new games from companies in exchange for remaking old games.
The long-awaited Psychonauts 2 got a trailer, and looks promising for fans of the series. While it’s not my cup of tea, the game looks good, with a kind of funky musical feel to the released trailer. It’s worth mentioning here specifically because it’s one of those games that people have been waiting for since 2005.
Next up came a personal favorite of mine, Obsidian. I’ve been a fan of Obsidian since way back when, when they worked on Fallout New Vegas. It’s not that old, but it’s a classic. Luckily Obsidian did not disappoint. They began their presentation with a short bit about their game Grounded, set to release on July 28th, obviously pushing sales and downloads of the miniaturized Fallout-feeling survival game. Next they discussed the first DLC to their hit Outerworlds, called Peril on Gorgon. It looks incredibly fun, adding on to the 50s-style space shooter fairly well.
And finally, Obsidian’s full new game announcement. Titled “Avowed”, the game seems like an Elder Scrolls-inspired, first person RPG. And that’s…. All we really know. It’s going to be “incredibly expansive”, and have the same dual-wielding and spell-using that was popular in Skyrim. It’s been discussed many times that Obsidian’s writers tend to be stronger in story-telling than Bethesda’s (the company that now publishes the Elder Scrolls series), so we might be looking into quite the interesting battle next generation. With Elder Scrolls VI announced, and Obsidian also releasing a promising RPG of the same style, Bethesda might finally regret losing the smaller company and its writers.
Running on The Last of Us 2’s success with people with bows hunting undead came the trailer for State of Decay 3, the not-so-anticipated sequel to State of Decay 2. There was a myriad of issues surrounding 2’s release, and while the game’s initial sales were high, it quickly lost the interest of the fanbase. Time will tell if the issues have resolved themselves in time for the third release. Seeing an undead deer eating a wolf in the preview was kind of cool though, right?
And finally, the final reveal: A new Fable! Considering that the last game released for Xbox 360, and several Fable-related projects have since fallen through (or been canceled weeks before release), this announcement in particular was great news! Microsoft had hinted some time ago that 2020 would be a good year for Fable fans, and boy did the comment sections cheer for that Fable trailer. The game wasn’t talked about much, but there’s a fairy prevalent in the trailer. Perhaps we’re getting a return to the more fantastical Fable I, instead of the steampunk vibes of Fable III? The title might be the biggest hint: It’s simply called, for now, Fable. Whether it will eventually get a “Fable IV” or “Fable: Subtitle” name is yet to be seen, but the single “Fable” moniker might mean a soft reboot for the entire series. Either way, it’s something to be on the lookout for!
You can watch the entire Showcase yourself using the video below, but I will warn you it is a whopping 57 minutes. Still, worth a watch if you have the time!
What were your favorite takeaways from the presentation? Anything in particular that stood out to you? Let me know in the comments, and GAME ON!