Microsoft Xbox sat down, and sometimes stood up, with the developers of their game reveals to help fans understand the inner workings and developments of their recent projects.
Many fans said Xbox gave a strong showing during their E3 presentation as most, if not all, their future releases will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one.
This gives supporters of the $10 (₱483.84 as of this writing) digital game library access to an early hands-on loving with several new titles.
Racing eye candy
The extended showcase started with the feature of Forza Horizon 5, the newest installment of the close-to-realistic, open-world racing game by Playground Games.
Forza Horizon is a spin-off of the Forza Motorsport series and takes places during the fictitious street-racing event: Horizon Festival.
The event lets street racers from around the world compete for fame and fortune as they show off their skills in races scattered around the map. Players can also earn more popularity by doing challenges also sprinkled in the environment like speed camera snaps, ramp jumps and drift angles.
The Forza Horizon series has always been lauded for its beautiful graphics and visuals, the number of cars incorporated in the game, and the number of things a player can do while exploring.
Forza Horizon 5 will be available on November 9, 2021 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Norse plus Celtic equals amazing
They also showed a glimpse of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, the sequel to Ninja Theory’s critically acclaimed Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
However critically acclaimed, the first game also received criticisms for its gameplay and other elements.
The Hellblade series is an action-adventure game that focuses on Senua, a Pict warrior from Orkney who went to Hel—or the Norse version of the afterlife—to unsuccessfully save the soul of her dead lover from Hela.
The story will continue from her recent journey to Hel and will now be set at ninth-century Iceland, according to Tameem Antoniades, chief creative "ninja” at Ninja Theory.
Ninja Theory’s presentation ended with a montage of the production and overall development work that their team has been up to in the past year or so.
There are still no announcements of an expected release date as Ninja Theory is still focusing on the production of their title.
You can design your shoes? I can design my controller
The Xbox Design Lab is now back online after the shift to the more recent Xbox Series controller design.
The Xbox Design Lab allows controller enthusiasts, collectors, or anyone to design their very own Xbox controller any way they like.
From an amazing color palette, changeable button styles, and laser-engraving your personal text on the controller, the design lab offers a wide canvass for everyone who wants their own personal flair added to their gamepad.
Double Fine is more than fine
After a short presentation of the Xbox Design Lab, Double Fine took the stage with their presentation of Psychonauts 2, sequel to the platformer that was released in 2005.
Psychonauts follows the story of Razputin (Raz) a young boy gifted with psychic abilities who runs away from the circus to become a "Psychonaut," a spy with psychic abilities.
The first game initially did not do well commercially as sales were only minimal and were less than what Double Fine expected.
However, Double Fine took the challenge and republished the game to modern consoles, which eventually earned them a cult following and numerous industry awards.
This boosted their sales and made the game still relevant in the present, leading to the announcement and production of their sequel at the Game Awards last December 2015.
Psychonauts 2 will be available on August 25, 2021 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Left 4 Dead really made a mark in gaming
As the boom of Left 4 Dead-like games hoarded the gaming industry for years now, Stray Bombay joins in on the fun as they dive deeper in their own project, The Anacrusis.
The Anacrusis is a four-player, cooperative first-person shooter which tells the story of four unlikely survivors—Nessa, Guion, Liu, and Lance set aboard a massive starship stranded at the edge of explored space.
This main aim of the game is to defend against terrifying alien creatures with your friends or strangers online.
The game also boasts infinitely-replayable gameplay as players can earn perks and weapons to use against the AI during playthroughs.
Stray Bombay also welcomes, with open codes, modders and the mods that they will make for the game which will be available at launch and for future updates.
The Anacrusis is expected to release in 2021 for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Chernobyl enthusiasts are drooling
GSC Game World presented the fourth installment of their S.T.A.L.K.E.R series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chernobyl, with a closer look at the franchise’s newest entry.
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R series are first-person shooter video games that are set in the area surrounding the Chernobyl disaster site, or the Zone, as a second Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion occurs 20 years after the first one and causes strange changes on the site.
The series also gained a cult following and led to multiple sequels leading to GSC Game World’s latest development.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 was cancelled or put into hiatus multiple times by GSC Game World but was finally pushed through in 2018 after a confirmation by GSC Game World themselves.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chernobyl will be available on April 28, 2022, for Xbox Series X|S and PC.
Any RTS frogs?
Relic Entertainment showcased the newest addition to the fan-favorite real-time strategy (RTS) game Age of Empires with the game's fourth rendition.
Age of Empires focuses on retelling different historical events in Europe, Africa, and Asia across different periods of time through skirmishes on a board.
Age of Empires IV is set to be in the Middle Ages, with a campaign telling a story about the Norman Conquest of England.
Most game mechanics will be migrated from the most successful game in the franchise, Age of Empires II while introducing new mechanics to the playing field.
Age of Empires IV will be available on October 28, 2021, for PC.
Call of Duty’s worst nightmare
Guns out for DICE’s upcoming first-person shooter as they showcase and explain more about Battlefield 2042.
Battlefield is widely known for its crazy and chaotic online multiplayer battles in different maps that features varied terrain.
This latest installment from DICE adapts a more near-future approach as it gives the players use of futuristic weapons and gadgets like deployable turrets and drones.
They will also introduce a new “Plus” system which allows players to customize their loadouts on the spot and an overhaul with the classes that the game offers.
This rendition of the Battlefield series will have no single player campaign as the story is said be told through its multiplayer gameplay.
Battlefield 2042 will be released on October 22, 2021 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
Hell, Sea, and Air
Sea of Thieves developer Rare revealed a new trailer for the upcoming Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life update that brings the world of Pirates of the Caribbean to the game.
This brand-new trailer featured new gameplay clips and parts of the story with new areas, enemies, and cosmetics.
Players will be able to dress up like Jack Sparrow in this new adventure that eventually lets you come face to face with the game’s version of Davy Jones and the Kraken.
This free update will drop on Xbox Series X|S, and PC on June 22, 2021.
Microsoft also updated fans of its amateur flight simulator program titled Microsoft Flight Simulator with a breakthrough of their plans for the software.
Supergiant Games also followed up their announcement of the console ports of their roguelike action dungeon crawler Hades slated for August 13, 2021.
Honey, I shrunk the kids
Obsidian Entertainment also features their “Shroom of Doom” update for Grounded, their survival game where you are shrunken to the size of an ant and must strive to survive in a residential backyard.
Just like other survival games, players must collect or create weapons for combat, consume food and water to avoid losing health, and scavenge resources.
Their update introduces the mushroom system where players can scavenge mushrooms for resources and new building mechanics and a “Broodmother” boss.
The “Shroom of Doom” update officially launches for Xbox Series X|S, and PC on June 30, 2021.
A saaaaaw, dude
Ride some snow with Shredders, I-Illusions and Let It Roll’s new take on the snowboarding franchise made for a next-gen console.
The trailer showcase gave a glimpse of amazing visuals of snowy mountains and close-to-realistic gameplay of snowboarding.
There are still no announcements regarding a release date as of this writing.
Master Chief lives
343 Industries delved deeper into the trailer of the multiplayer mode of their latest title, Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite is the sixteenth Halo game and the sixth main entry of the franchise where it follows the story of Master Chief, one of the supersoldiers of Spartans.
The trailer featured more of the famous multiplayer game mode with shades of Halo 3 incorporated in its most recent engine.
Halo Infinite is expected to be released this year for the Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
A new cel-shaded adventure
To end the event, BANDAI NAMCO Studios showed their newest action role-playing game Scarlet Nexus in an extended gameplay trailer.
Scarlet Nexus is BANDAI NAMCO’s spiritual successor to Code Vein, their recent cel-shaded action RPG.
The game is set in the near future and an alternate reality where humanity develops technology and forms society based on the substances found in human brains.
The players take control of a recruit of The Other Suppression Force (OSF) that aims to protect humanity from the Others, mindless mutants descending from the Extinction Belt.
Scarlet Nexus arrives on June 25, 2021 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
This extended presentation from Microsoft Xbox may have exhibited already known announcements during their E3 presentation, but it also showed their preparedness for the future of gaming with the numerous releases that they have.