Xbox Games Showcase Highlights and Some Pre-Shows Peeks

Here’s the whole show if you want:

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite is set to be an Xbox Series X launch title when the console releases later this year during the Holiday season. Halo Infinite will also be playable in Xbox Game Pass.

State of Decay 3

State of Decay 3 was officially announced during Xbox 20/20, and will launch for Xbox Series X. It will join Xbox Game Pass as a day-one addition. There’s no word yet on a release date.

The trailer is brief, and shows a woman tracking blood through a snowy forest, before seeing a decaying deer feasting on a carcass. There’s no more details yet on what to expect, but Xbox 20/20 provided official confirmation that the game is in active development.

Forza Motorsport

The Forza franchise is coming to Xbox Series X with Forza Motorsport. Developed by Turn 10, the new game is currently in early stages of development and will be coming to Xbox Series X and Windows 10. Forza Motorsport will be available to play in Xbox Game Pass.

Everwild - Eternals

It’s been eight months since Everwild was announced, but today’s Xbox 20/20 games showcase gave us a new look at the game.

Everwild is a new IP from Rare. It’s an adventure game described as offering “unique and unforgettable experiences… in a natural and magical world.” The X019 announcement trailer showed us a beautiful natural world, but it wasn’t yet clear what Everwild gameplay would look like: what the story might be, and what our character would be up to. This new trailer shows off more of the game’s story and world-building details, as well as more of the curious creatures to be found within it, and their relationship with the game’s human characters.

“Our world has a rhythm,” says the trailer’s narrator. “We all sense it, but only a few truly feel it. It is found in the smallest moments… in every step of a perilous journey, in the symmetry of ritual, in the bonds we share, and in moments of stillness. It teaches us to look beyond the expected. To be a light in dark places. To seek answers. And to stand watch over our world.”

Rare’s studio head Craig Duncan spoke to Polygon about the game, saying, “I think with Everwild, Louise [O’Connor] and her leadership team are really passionate about giving players a world that they can just lose themselves in — you know, a lot of nature feels magical. So the notion of, ‘What does it mean to nurture a world? What does it mean to be in nature?’ Part of the reason we haven’t talked a lot about Everwild is because we’re still feeling a lot of these things out. We’re still playing around with gameplay ideas. We’ll have plenty to say in the future on that, but … we have an idea we feel really passionate about, and we think there’s something special.”

Everwild will launch for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Xbox Game Pass. There’s still no word on an Everwild release date.

Tell me Why

Developer DontNod Entertainment’s next game, Tell Me Why, is coming to Xbox One this summer. The first chapter will launch on August 27th for Xbox One.

Tell Me Why’s first chapter comes to Xbox One this August, and is playable in Xbox Game Pass as soon as it launches.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

During July’s Xbox 20/20 event, Moon Studios announced that Ori and the Will of the Wisps will be optimised for Xbox Series X. The new version will arrive with Smart Delivery later this year, in Holiday 2020.

Gennadiy Korol, co-founder and director of technology for Moon Studios, says this will be “a special version… specifically for Xbox Series X,” allowing the game to reach “levels of fidelity and frame-rates previously absolutely impossible on any console.” Korol adds that an “already gorgeous game like Ori can now run at 120hz refresh rate in full 4K HDR in its highest quality, delivering unprecedented game feel with silky smooth animation, super crisp sharp image, and low input latency, which is just so important for the tight and precise platforming feel of this game.” Immersion will also be improved in this special version of Ori, as Moon Studios can use “premium audio tech that we previously just could not simulate in real time.” Korol concludes, saying, “and with all of this crazy hardware power, we can give our players more options with how they want to play our game.”

The Xbox team summarises, explaining that the Optimised for Xbox Series X version of Ori and the Will of the Wisps features “higher fidelity graphics and faster performance. At 120 FPS in beautiful 4K HDR and 120hz, the silky-smooth feel, low input latency and crisp imagery come together to create an unprecedented precision platforming experience.”

Players will be able to start up this new version of Ori via Smart Delivery in Holiday 2020.

The Outer Worlds: Perils on Gorgon

The first piece of DLC for The Outer Worlds has now been revealed. Today’s Xbox 20/20 event gave us the first look at what’s to come for Obsidian’s fantastic sci-fi RPG: “Peril on Gorgon”. This is the first of two planned story packs, planned for release on September 9th.

The official description reads: “A severed arm and a mysterious message lead the crew of the Unreliable to the Gorgon Asteroid, formerly the site of one of Halcyon’s most ambitious and disastrous scientific undertakings - now a lawless den of monsters and marauders. Wealthy recluse Minnie Ambrose tasks the crew with finding answers about Dr. Olivia Ambrose, her mother and the doomed project’s disgraced director, but they are soon ensnared in an intrigue that will change the colony forever.”

The Outer Worlds was hugely popular and well-received and fans have been eagerly waiting for news of a DLC since launch. Just last week the Outer Worlds devs teased an upcoming DLC reveal — and the Xbox 20/20 event confirmed that Peril on Gorgon will release on September 9th.

Grounded

Avowed

Obsidian had several major reveals to share during Xbox 20/20, not least of which was its new first-person RPG Avowed, set to launch for Xbox Series X and Xbox One. It’s also coming to Xbox Game Pass.

There’s not much detail on the game yet, aside from that it’s set in the fantasy world of Eora. The trailer’s narrator tells us, “We have always known war… it forged our empire, turned heroes into queens and kings, and decimated our foes. Now our oaths are lost. Forsaken. And you must face the monsters our sins have born. Is an oath worth the weight of a crown?” The player-character is shown wielding a sword and magic, ready to face something that’s bellowing just out of sight.

Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, says it’s an “expansive first-person RPG,” and that when Obsidian joined Xbox Game Studios, “they told us that this epic game is the one they want to make.” Booty adds that “this is Obsidian at their best.” The game is “being built from the ground up to take full advantage of the power of the Xbox Series X.”

There’s no word yet on a release date for Avowed, but it will launch for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, and Windows 10 PCs.

As Dusk Falls

Revealed during July’s Xbox 20/20 event, As Dusk Falls is an interactive drama from new studio Interior/Night. The game will explore the fates of two families and spans “three decades of secrets.”

“We were on our way to start a new life that summer. For our family, it was just a stopover,” reads the first narrator. “For mine,” says the second, “it was the end of the road.” The official description says As Dusk Falls is an “original interactive drama” spanning “one town. Two families. Three decades of secrets.” It begins in Arizona in 1999. In the game, you’ll “explore the entangled 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.”

Interior/Night’s founder and creative director Caroline Marchal says, “The fascinating thing about interactive stories is that they go even further than traditional, linear stories; they give us insights about ourselves. When we play as a character, we experience their emotions and dilemmas from their point of view. But the choices we make for them remain very personal. By stepping into someone else’s shoes, we understand them better, and we learn about our true nature in the process. We grow, thanks to empathy.” Marchal says “This is the reason I founded INTERIOR/NIGHT. I want to tell relatable, inclusive stories, grounded in real life, that can appeal to everyone.”

As Dusk Falls is the first game from this new studio. If you’re wondering how this 30 year span might look; Marchal says “most stories start at the beginning, but this story starts in the middle, gradually widening outward to encompass multiple points of view over a thirty year span; a story spiral that explores the past, present and future of a single dramatic night.”

There’s no word yet on an As Dusk Falls release date, but it’ll launch for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC, and will be available from day one with Xbox Game Pass.

Psychonauhts 2

Developer Double Fine has given us another look at the upcoming Psychonauts 2, but it looks like the platformer has been delayed from an original 2020 release to 2021.

The new trailer (featuring vocals from Jack Black) was revealed during the Xbox Games Showcase. It details some of the 3D platforming gameplay we can expect from the game, but no release date was mentioned. Psychonauts 2 was delayed to 2020 last year, but now it looks like the game won’t launch until 2021. This is according to an Xbox Wire post published last night which reads, “Psychonauts 2 releases in 2021 on Xbox Game Pass, Windows PC, Mac, Linux, and PS4. Best of all, it’ll be Optimized for Xbox Series X!”

Psychonauts 2 was first announced way back in 2015 with development being funded via a crowdfunding campaign. The game saw subsequent delays with an initial release window of 2018 being pushed back a year. Microsoft acquired Double Fine in 2019. Double Fine then delayed the sequel again to 2020, so it could add things back to the game such as boss fights, which had been cut to save money.

Psychonauts 2 is coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC in 2021. The game will also be available to play in Xbox Game Pass.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2

The beloved Stalker franchise is coming to Xbox Series X. Developed by GSC Game World, the long-awaited sequel, Stalker 2, will launch on the Xbox Series X and Windows. The game will also be playable in Xbox Game Pass.

Stalker is a first-person shooter franchise set in the radioactive wasteland of Chernobyl, which is known as “The Zone”. The Zone is filled with bizarre mutants, strange anomalies and hazardous radiation. You play as a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. — a bounty hunter that delves into the Zone “driven by its treasures and mysteries”. The Zone in Stalker 2 is a fully open-world, and the game’s story has multiple endings.

Several Stalker games have been released on PC and have all been well received, by both critics and players alike.

Stalker 2 will launch exclusively for console on the Xbox Series X and is also coming to Windows 10. The game will be available in Xbox Game Pass from day one.

Warhammer 40000: Darktide

Tetris Effect Connected

The Gunk

The Gunk is an upcoming sci-fi adventure set to launch as an Xbox exclusive for Xbox One and Xbox Series X in September 2021.

As per the official description, you’ll “embark on 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.”

Brjann Sigurgeirsson, CEO of Thunderful Group, says “The Gunk is a game about two friends who run a small scavenging outfit together, and who travel from one space rock to another in search for resources they can harvest and sell. One day they land on a planet that looks dead from a distance, turns out to be unlike any other they’ve set foot on. A slimy parasite­ — or gunk — covers vast areas and seems to corrupt the otherwise vibrant nature and wildlife. It’s clear that they must fight this gunk to understand what’s happened and to save the dying planet. But this also creates a rift between them; on one hand, the planet will die if we don’t rid the planet of the gunk. On the other, we’ve got problems of our own and surely this isn’t our fight to begin with. So, who cares… right? Do we have to?”

Sigurgeirsson adds that “the game has frightened me many times. In the past we’ve produced indie hits and been the underdog that (just about) everyone roots for. The games have been cartoonish and harmless. Here’s a game about really scary stuff, slimy things and real conflict. And a scope that’s big from the beginning, that doesn’t need us to feature-creep the living daylights out of it.”

The Gunk is set to launch on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PC in September 2021.

The Medium

Today’s Xbox 20/20 showcase revealed a unique feature of Bloober Team’s upcoming horror game, The Medium: dual-reality gameplay, with two worlds rendered simultaneously.

“It all starts with a dead girl, a forest, the moon, scent of pines, and then… the gunshot,” says the trailer’s narrator. “Every story has two sides… a regular, rational one, but also a darker and deeper truth. Not unlike a nightmare. I can see both. Worse, I can live them.”

The dual-reality gameplay allows for two weolds to be rendered simultaneously. Wojciech Piejko, lead game designer for The Medium, says both worlds “can be rendered, displayed, interacted with, and explored at the same time… made possible only through the power that cutting-edge next-gen hardware brings, The Medium renders two fully-fledged and visually distinct worlds simultaneously with no visible loading times. At different points in the game, players will find themselves playing in either of the worlds, or within both at the same time, with the game purposefully designed in this way to ensure variety and surprise.” Piejko adds that “this technology provides players a unique way to play, and a whole new experience and perspective. A seemingly impossible to find escape in the real world, or an unsolvable puzzle, can be unveiled in the spirit world via Marianne’s medium powers. And with different controller inputs mapped to each world, exploration and puzzle-solving can be simultaneous when needed.”

The game is about Marianne, “a woman haunted by visions that lead her to an abandoned hotel in Krakow, the site of a terrible tragedy years ago. Marianne is a medium and is therefore able to interact with both our world and the spirit world in order to solve the mysteries of this place.” In the spirit world, Marianne has different abilities than those she has in the physical world, such as Out of Body, which Marianne can use “to leave her physical self and explore places only accessible as a spirit.” Out of Body will damage Marianne if used too much, however; “much like a deep-sea diver, if players remain out of her body too long, Marianne’s real-world self will feel the potentially fatal ramifications.”

Bloober Team says this dual-world concept “in all honesty was impossible before this current gen of hardware. Only with newer tech built into the Xbox Series X and in PCs are we able to fully render two distinct worlds at the same time.” Piejko adds that every Bloober Team game “has a central theme that drives its creative and technological design. In The Medium, we focused on how your perspective changes your perception, and that when you change your point of view, you discover new truths far different to what you had originally perceived.”

The Medium launches this holiday for Xbox Series X, Windows PC and Xbox Game Pass.

Crossfire

Fable

The wait is over: Fable has been officially unveiled during Xbox’s July 20/20 event with a new trailer. It’ll launch for Xbox Series X and PC, and will come to Xbox Game Pass. It’s in development from Playground Games.

As per the official description: “Fable returns with a new beginning for the legendary franchise. Explore a land of fantastical creatures and wondrous places.”

It’s been a long wait for Fable fans. Rumours of a new Fable have been swirling around for some time, occasionally fuelled by a new update: most recently, hopes were lifted by the news that Microsoft had applied to renew the Fable trademark, and the fact that a new Fable Twitter account had cropped up at the same time. It’s also long been rumoured that Playground Games were the studio behind the new Fable. Job listings for the studio mentioned a huge open-world RPG and in 2019, Playground appeared to [ ramp up recruitment for its AAA RPG project.

Now it’s officially been announced, and we can look forward to a new Fable adventure.

Pre-Show Peeks:

Exomecha

During the Xbox Games Showcase pre-show, developer Twisted Red announced a new free to play competitive first-person shooter called Exomecha. The game will be coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC late 2021.

The trailer shows us a bunch of different combat styles, including vehicular combat, both on the ground and in the sky, first-person shooting and giant mechs that seem to be duking it out with swords and a shield.

Exomecha features “flexible playing styles” with mechs, gadgets, abilities and boss battles. It’s a team-based game with “large scale battles”, a battle royale mode and an objective-based game mode.

Exomecha is coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC late 2021

Echo Generation

Echo Generation was revealed during today’s Xbox 20/20 show. It’s a turn-based adventure game set to launch in 2021 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X, and will be “optimised for Xbox Series X.”

As pointed out by Geoff Keighley during the event, it definitely has some Stranger Things vibes. It’s being developed by Cococucumber. According to the game’s site, it’s “about a gang of kids investigating supernatural events while battling monsters and mechs to save their hometown.” It’s an “Atmospheric story set in a small town in the early 90s” where a mysterious crash leads to battles and “intense boss fights with a mix of real-time and turn-based combat.” Cococucumber adds that the game has a “charming retro art style with a stylized 3D pixel look”, an “original soundtrack with electronic and synthwave music”, and “up to 4K resolution at 60fps on the Xbox Series X.”

Echo Generation launches for Xbox Series X and Xbox One in 2021.

Hello Neighbor 2

A sequel to the popular stealth horror game, Hello Neighbor, was announced during the Xbox Games Showcase pre-show. Hello Neighbor 2 is developed by Eerie Guest Studios and is coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC in 2021.

Hello Neighbor 2 takes place directly after the events of the original game. Players will get to explore an open world while searching for Mr Peterson — the neighbor — who has mysteriously disappeared. The player will also be stalked by a creepy raven-like monster.

Hello Neighbor 2 is coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC in 2021. The game will support Xbox’s Smart Delivery program.

Balan Wonderworld is a 3D action platformer from Square Enix, launching in Spring 2021 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X. The game will support Smart Delivery.

Square Enix says it’s “the action game of action games.” Balan Wonderworld features 12 unique characters and over 80 costumes, such as Jumping Jack and Pumpkin Puncher, and puts you on a quest to save the characters from their “negative emotions.” The official description says “Twelve different tales await players in the bizarre and imaginary land of Wonderworld. As the star of the show you can use powers from 80 different costumes while exploring labyrinth stages, filled with a myriad of tricks and traps to get to the heart of each story. As you journey through this land between fantasy and reality, you must find a way to bring balance to others and yourself.”

The game arrives for Xbox One and Xbox Series X in Spring 2021, with support for Smart Delivery and 4K.