Today marked Microsoft's second big showcase for the Xbox One. Its first showcase, held back in May, was relatively light on actual footage of games running on the next-gen console, instead trading in more snazzy cinematic trailers for third-party games. Today's Xbox Games Showcase seemed to learn a small bit from the criticism it weathered, though once again it was largely just pre-rendered trailers.
Considering that Microsoft's recently been on an acquisition spree in the past few years, from Double Fine to Obsidian, there was actually quite a bit of mystery heading into today's showcase. We knew we'd see more of Halo Infinite, and that's it. What we didn't expect was that literally every game in today's showcase would be confirmed to be a part of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. The prevailing sentiment from Microsoft in promoting its next-gen console seems to be value—and that's not bad leverage to hang on.
Below you'll find all the trailers and news from Microsoft's Xbox Games Showcase for July 23.
Halo Infinite Sure Looks Infinite
Ever since its reveal, 343 Industries's Halo Infinite has remained largely a mystery. We learned quite a bit more about it today. The reveal started with a new trailer showing Master Chief's armor being built. The gameplay demo Xbox showed afterward is set in 2560. After crash landing on a planet, Master Chief hops into a Warthog, and begins driving across a giant, seemingly open-world map. He even has a grappling hook now, which can both grapple around the environment, and right onto an enemy to propel toward them.
343 Industries has largely had a spotty track record ever since it took over the Halo license, but it's shown with its continued support and PC ports of the Master Chief Collection that it's on the right track. Today's demo was definitely promising too, and in a post-demo interview, 343 confirmed it's "several times larger" than any Halo game before.
State of Decay 3 is Happening
A cinematic trailer today showed a woman in the wild. She screams loudly to scare away a wolf in the dead of night, and quietly stalks the environment with a crossbow. She eventually happens upon the same wolf—now dead—only it's being feasted on by a deer. A zombie deer. Turns out, this is State of Decay 3 from Undead Labs, the latest in the co-op management sim series that's garnered a cult following over the years. While there was no gameplay shown, considering that it's next-gen, hopefully we can expect it to run better than its predecessors. Then again, the clunk is part of the charm, right?
A New Forza Motorsport Looks Like It Might Be the Best-Looking Xbox Series X Game So Far
Expectedly, we finally heard about the future of the Forza series on next-gen. With Playground Games plugging away at a new Fable, the series has ping ponged back to its roots with Turn 10 Studios. The new Forza Motorsport won't be available at launch for Xbox Series X, but it sure looks slick so far. The trailer was captured completely in-engine, according to Xbox head Phil Spencer.
A Closer Look At Rare's Follow-Up To Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves had rough sailing at launch, but proved itself to be a ship worth steering. Rare's follow-up to the swashbuckling multiplayer game is Everwild, a beautiful-looking action-adventure. In a post-trailer interview, Rare discusses how it presents a world where people can sense magic within nature. It was easily one of the standout trailers from today's showcase. Everwild will be releasing on both Xbox Series X and PC.
Dontnod's Tell Me Why Is Debuting Pretty Soon
Dontnod Entertainment's latest, the adventure Tell Me Why, got a new trailer during today's Xbox Games Showcase. The trailer shows two siblings wrestling with difficult family memories. It's returning to an episodic format, with Chapter One hitting Xbox One and PC on August 27th, though the series will also grace Xbox Series X. It's going to have quicker succession in episodes too, considering the studio confirmed on Twitter that Chapter Two will release on September 3, and Chapter 3 on September 10.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps Is Getting Optimized For Xbox Series X
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the sequel to the tough but sweet action-platformer Ori and the Blind Forest. Originally released this year, the sequel is now getting a substantial performance update for Xbox Series X. The platformer will run at a staggering 120FPS with the next-gen optimization.
The Outer Worlds Is Getting DLC
Obsidian Entertainment is releasing story DLC soon for The Outer Worlds, its micro-RPG from last year. The DLC is called Peril on Gorgon, the first of two planned story packs. It's set for release on September 9.
Obsidian Debuts a New RPG Set in the World of Pillars of Eternity Called Avowed
While Grounded, which got a new launch trailer today as well, is set to be the first true new Obsidian game since being acquired by Xbox Game Studios, today we got a tease for what's coming after from Obsidian Entertainment. It's a new RPG called Avowed, set in the world of Pillars of Eternity. Swordplay and magic are both teased for the first-person RPG. The RPG is confirmed for release on Xbox Series X and PC, with no release window.
New Intriguing Drama Called As Dusk Falls Revealed
The game studio Interior/Night revealed a new interactive drama, set in the American southwest. The drama will span the course of 30 years, and let the player shape the fate of "real flawed people," according to the developers. The trailer's quite heavy, showing a robbery, a hostage situation, and little girl witness to it all growing up.
Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 Is Being Built on Unreal Engine 5
While there wasn't anything new shown for Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, Ninja Theory confirmed that the game will be set in Iceland. A new developer diary, uploaded today, goes into its location scouting for the game in detail. The next-gen action-adventure is being built on Unreal Engine 5.
Psychonauts 2 Gets a Psychedelic New Trailer and New Release Window
It feels like forever ago when I backed Psychonauts 2 on Fig. While we were hoping that the throwback action-adventure 3D platformer would finally get a release date set in stone, it didn't. At the very least, we were treated to a truly psychedelic, colorful trailer, with Jack Black belting out a solid tune. Raz and his gaggle of telekinetic friends (and foes) are heading to Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC in 2021.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light Gets a New Trailer
This September, Destiny 2's expansions are hitting Xbox Game Pass, expanding on its already free-to-play roots. Game Pass subscribers will also be able to access the Beyond Light expansion when it goes live. For subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, players will be able to play Destiny 2 on mobile through Xcloud streaming too. For next-gen, Destiny 2: Beyond Light will be getting 4K resolution support and 60FPS on Xbox Series X.
Stalker 2 Gets a New Trailer
Stalker 2 was announced a bit ago, but today we got our first extended trailer for it. The cinematic trailer shows off more of the Exclusion Zone, where it's set. A blog post confirms that the new Stalker sequel will be fully open-world, and has a branching story with multiple endings. Considering it's now been a decade since the last entry in the Stalker series, to say folks are looking forward to seeing how Stalker evolves in next-gen is perhaps putting it lightly. In any case, the trailer looked sharp and dreary, as intended.
Warhammer 40k: Darktide Is Heading to Xbox Series X and PC in 2021
A creepy new trailer featuring perhaps the most zombie-like creatures I've ever seen in one frame, was shown today for the next project from the Warhammer developers. Warhammer 40k: Darktide is a next-gen 4-player co-op game from the same developers behind Warhammer: Vermintide 2. Within your team, you'll explore Tertium, and fight the hordes of enemies to survive. It's set to release in 2021 for Xbox Series X and PC.
Tetris Effect: Connected
Tetris Effect is getting a next-gen update with Tetris Effect: Connected. While it won't support VR on Xbox proper, obviously, it will for its PC version. The update will be most notably adding multiplayer to the Tetris game, which was previously just single-player. The new update will be a free download for all owners of the puzzle game.
The Gunk Is the Latest Game from the SteamWorld Devs
The SteamWorld franchise is perhaps one of the most underrated in modern games. Today, its developers announced its next project: The Gunk, an action-adventure set in a world with striking enemies set to release in 2021. The studio doesn't seem to have lost its touch in the transition to a 3D game. As big fans of the studio's games here at team USgamer, this was an unexpected surprise to see on display amidst all the other big first-party games of the showcase.
Bloober Team's The Medium Gets Creepy New Trailer
The Medium was first unveiled during Microsoft's previous Xbox Games Showcase. Today, we got a deeper look into its horror, which will have players traversing two worlds at the same time. One's way creepier. The other less fungal, but unsettling in a desolate way. The horror game is hitting Xbox Series X and PC.
Phantasy Star Online Looks The Best It Ever Has In New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2
Just a short time after Phantasy Star Online 2 finally made its way overseas, Sega has unveiled a big update to the multiplayer series. New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2 is introducing a new world and new enemies, and honestly, Phantasy Star Online has never looked better. The trailer almost made me believe it was a new sequel at first. It's releasing in 2021.
We Finally Get a Glimpse At CrossfireX's Remedy Co-Developed Campaign
The first-person shooter CrossfireX got a new trailer for its campaign, while reminding viewers that Remedy-yes that Remedy-will be having a hand in its development alongside Smilegate Entertainment. CrossfireX is already the first Crossfire game heading to console, and it will now also find a home on next-gen.
Fable's Back, Thanks to Playground Games
Playground working on a Fable has been rumored for quite some time, and today the partnership was confirmed. A new Fable is in development with the studio.
Playground Games is primarily known for the Forza Horizon series. While a different genre, the excellent open-worlds of the Forza Horizon series do show that Playground Games is more than up to the task to make an open-world RPG. The studio was acquired by Microsoft to fall under the Xbox Game Studios banner in 2018.
The new cinematic trailer doesn't show much, but it does confirm that Fable's silly tone remains in tact. It does not have a release window.