This coming week Xbox plans to finally unveil their first-party games for their new console and Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft showed off their 3rd party showcase earlier in the summer and the reveal left the audience feeling rather flat. Xbox plans to switch things up this time by showcasing their first-party titles with the aim of blowing away the audience. The following are my Xbox Series X Games showcase predictions.
Microsoft wants to go into this generation on the levelest playing field as possible. Sony won the most recent console generation by a mile. There are estimates of console sales out there with Xbox One sitting at around 50 million units and PlayStation 4 at approx 110 million units. There were some mistakes at the start of the generation with the focus on the all-in-one system rather than focus on games, which Sony picked up and ran with.
However, Microsoft has been making moves. Xbox Game Pass is a huge hit with over 10 million subscribers and Project xCloud is looking to bury Google Stadia with its huge library of games and available anywhere technology. Microsoft is now ready to showcase their first-party games after a lacklustre third party showing earlier this summer, which was shortly followed up with a great showing from Sony.
This Thursday Microsoft plan to unveil their hand, but what are they going to show. Let’s have a look at some predictions.
Halo Infinite (343 Studios)
We know we’re getting campaign gameplay from the showcase this time, as we’ve had a few trailers – but so far we don’t really know what the game is. Will 343 Studios lean into the multiplayer, will there be a big PVE element to the game and what is the significance of the Infinite in the title? I’m looking forward to finding out what this game is going to be.
It’d be interesting to see the meaning of the name Infinite. Bungie clearly went to the open-world action MMO model with Destiny, and it’d be interesting to see if 343 also goes down this route. Down this path runs a huge amount of risk though with the ability to pull off this type of game. Anthem failed hard, we don’t hear too much about the Division anymore and Destiny, albeit one of the most successful action MMOs, continues to struggle to create enough content to engage their fans. I would imagine it’s going to be more open compared to Halo 5, but it remains to be seen how open it’s going to be.
There are rumours that the focus is going to be back on Master Chief. Halo shifts consoles too, so the fact that Microsoft is launching Xbox Series X with a Halo game takes us back to the original Xbox release. Halo sells consoles, no questions asked.
I’d love to see a Battle Royale from Halo, huge Halo maps joined together where 100 Spartans all jump in and fight it out until there’s only one remaining. Also, it’d be great to see a classic library of maps from Halo 2 and Halo 3 worked into the package.
Pyschonauts 2 (Double Fine)
This is a game that has been in development for sometime with Double Fine and as one of the most recent additions to the Xbox Studios family it’d be great to see a new release from this studio.
This is a third person platform game where you control characters with “Psi-Powers” like telekenisis and levitation and explore the mental worlds of non-playable characters.
The Mojang franchise has been wildly successful for Microsoft and it’ll surely hold a place on the Xbox Series X. We know already that Minecraft will be available on the Xbox Series X and it’s going to be using some of the new features like super-fast SSD, ray tracing and more reliable performance and upgraded visuals. It’s not likely to be a Minecraft 2, however, do expect to see some new features added by Monjang that will leverage the power of the Xbox Series X.
Windows Central reported on Minecraft for Xbox Series X recently and said
“Minecraft should also benefit from Quick Resume, which means you can have multiple games and applications suspended in the background, and nearly instantaneously resume them at a moment’s notice, without sacrificing performance. All of this should be present in Minecraft day one just due to running on the superior hardware of the Xbox Series X, but Mojang Studios can carefully optimize the game to take advantage of the Xbox Series X, making these benefits even more prevalent later down the line.
The most obvious feature Minecraft can take away from the Xbox Series X, however, is ray tracing. This revolutionary technology allows games to track the path of light beams in real-time, leading to much realistic reflections, shadows, environments, and more. Mojang Studios has been working on ray tracing for months now.”
New RPG (Obsidian)
We could be about to see a new AAA RPG from Obsidian, creators of The Outer Worlds and Fallout New Vegas. Earlier this year Obsidian were seen to be hiring for their new RPG project with 30+ jobs on their website ranging from animation, audio, design and programming.
Obsidian has a history of making world-class RPGs and no doubt they’re going to have something in store the Xbox Series X.
Forza Motorsport 8
The Forza Motorsport franchise has been quiet since 2017 and now could be the time to bring this back with Forza Motorsport 8.
There are rumours the game has been in development since 2018 and has been a staple of the Xbox console series from Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s expected to run at 4K and 120 fps and could be released in February 2021.
Project: Mara (Ninja Theory)
This is a new experimental horror game. The contents of the game is being kept under wraps for the moment but it’s got a focus on recreating the terror of metal health issues and in-depth real life research.
Revealed by Dom Matthews in Janaury 2020 Ninja Theory said “Project: Mara will be a real-world and grounded representation of mental terror. Based on real lived experience accounts and in-depth research, our aim is to recreate the horrors of the mind as accurately and realistically as possible. Project: Mara will be an experimental title and a showcase of what could become a new storytelling medium.”
It’s been 12 years since we’ve seen a brand new Banjo-Kazooie game. There’s been plenty of re-releases and then there was the appearence in Super Smash Bros Ultimate for Nintendo Switch. It’d be great to see Microsoft embrace Banjo-Kazooie and make a new title for their upcoming flagship console.
Rare has worked on this franchise in the past, but personally I’d love to see another studio (perhaps Double Fine?)
Perfect Dark (Rare)
The original Perfect Dark recently turned 20 years old with the game coming out in the year 2000, and the franchise has laid dormant for a number of years. Rare and Microsoft could have an opportunity here to bring back Joanna Dark and reboot that franchise.
Perfect Dark was a first-person shooter originally release for the Nintendo 64 which had a great single-player campaign and multiplayer modes. It was the spiritual successor to the wildly popular Golden Eye 007 released in 1997, arguably one of the best first-person shooters of the 90s.
This is a brand new IP from Rare which was first shown at the XO19 event in London. This is a beautiful looking game showcasing nature with huge open spaces, gorgeous landscapes and wild animals.
Craig Duncan spoke after the reveal at XO19 and said “While Everwild is still early in development, we are very excited about the unique potential of the game we are creating. The Everwild team is focused on building an experience that allows for new ways to play in a natural and magical world. The development team, led by Executive Producer Louise O’Connor, is creating something truly original and incredibly special that aims to be more than just a new IP. Everwild will offer memorable, engaging and meaningful experiences for players everywhere to share. We cannot wait to share more with you in the future.”
Fable (Playground Games)
There have been some leaks related to Fable 4 telling us that the game is likely to be set across multiple planets and could even include time travel. According to the E3 2019 leak Albion has been destroyed by an asteroid that got wished into existence by a Mad King who’s taken control of the Tattered Spire from Fable 2. Now it’s down to us to use time travel and save the system.
Theresa and the Guild are hiding on another planet that you can access via a demon door, but potentially you can ignore the main quest and never become the hero. Players can build their own town in a massive open world, plus there’s a huge and in-depth character creation mode.
Back in January 2020, Eurogamer got a massive scoop to reveal that Fable 4 existed, but it’s not going to be made by Lionhead and has been passed to another UK developed, Playground Games (creators of the Forza Horizon Series).