Microsoft’s Xbox Game Showcase is over, and it was a solid hour of major announcements, gameplay demos and a couple of unexpected surprises that wet our whistles for the coming generation of consoles.
While you could argue it didn’t have the same impact as Sony’s PlayStation 5 event and that the company is holding back when it comes to major exclusives and release dates, the Xbox Series X is already poised to have a considerable library of excellent games thanks to Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery.
So many games were shown, but we’ve cut through the line-up to compile five of our top announcements from Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase. To see some of the other big titles coming to the console, check out our Best Xbox Series X Games.
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After years of waiting, we finally caught our first glimpse of Halo Infinite. The showcase opened with an extended demo showcasing gameplay from the upcoming shooter’s campaign, and it looks like a brave expansion of 343 Industries’ blockbuster franchise. I won’t lie, I would have loved to witness further exploration and story details during the presentation, but it still did a great job of showcasing how the Halo formula has been expanded to incorporate a number of cool new elements.
Master Chief is now in possession of a grappling hook, which can be used to navigate the huge open environments and to bring himself closer to enemies for a brutal melee attack. The number of weapons in his arsenal has also increased dramatically, hinting that perhaps Halo Infinite will feature some form of loot system.
In terms of narrative, Infinite seems to continue from the events of Halo Wars 2, featuring major factions such as The Banished. It remains unclear how it will address the events from Halo 5: Guardians, but I sincerely hope we see some resolution to its excellent cliffhanger. Acting as a launch title for Xbox Series X, there isn’t long until we finally find out.
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As we expected, Turn 10 Studios is working on a new iteration of Forza Motorsport for Xbox Series X. But to our surprise, it is neither a numbered entry nor a launch title for the upcoming console. However, it is being built from the ground-up for new hardware and already looks like a visually stunning spectacle.
Fans of the franchise can expect yet another challenging and realistic racing sim which features a number of vehicles and faithful representation of tracks. It will support 4K resolution, ray tracing and 60 frames per second performance across Xbox Series X and Windows 10. No sign of a potential Xbox One release though, which is an interesting omission on Microsoft’s part.
“The new Forza Motorsport, currently in early development, is a reimagining of the series. We are taking what has made Forza Motorsport great over the past 15 years and pairing it with new game concepts and new technologies,” reads a post on Xbox Wire. This is definitely one to watch for racing fans.
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Yep, after years of rumours, speculation and teasing, Microsoft and Playground Games has finally confirmed that Fable is making a comeback. Simply known as “Fable” this is seemingly a reboot of the fantasy RPG franchise but keeps all the goofy charm it was renowned for back at Lionhead Studios. We sadly don’t know much about it beyond the CG trailer, but it looks positively gorgeous. Much like Forza, there’s a possibility this isn’t coming to vanilla Xbox One consoles.
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Microsoft has bought a number of studios in the last couple of years, with Double Fine arguably being its most exciting acquisition. Its latest title, Psychonauts 2, was a definite standout during the Xbox Games Showcase.
A direct sequel to the cult classic, the latest trailer saw Jack Black belting out an absurdly catchy song as the game’s hero explored a variety of quirky environments. It looks positively wonderful, and it’s amazing to see such a beloved franchise receive an ambitious, big-budget sequel after struggling for so long to even get made.
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This was arguably the showcase’s most unexpected surprise, largely because I completely forgot a sequel to Stalker was even happening. A sequel to a PC classic, Stalker 2 takes place within Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone where you must survive in a land filled with deadly radiation, hostile factions and mutated creatures wanting nothing more than to eat you for dinner.
Developer GSC has confirmed it will be fully open-world and their biggest game to date, featuring an enhanced artificial intelligence system and branching narrative the player can influence through their own actions and decisions. It’s also a console launch exclusive for Xbox Series X. After the popularity of HBO’s Chernobyl, this could be a perfect excuse for post-apocalpytic nuts to jump into a genuinely horrific world.