Today was Xbox's big first party July games showcase. Xbox previously held a third party games showcase that some felt underwhelming, mostly because it mostly featured teasers and cinematics. Devoid of the promised gameplay and missing Xbox's few heavy hitters, the event fell flat for some. Today, Xbox promised to deliver on games, gameplay, and first party content. Finally, after all this time we get an actual look at Halo Infinite. Halo Infinite has had the weirdest most secretive marketing cycle ever for a console selling super-title such as Halo. Xbox announced Halo Infinite almost two years ago and still we saw and knew almost nothing about a game that is only a few months away. Today that changed.
Interesting note, and probably the biggest win of the event, was the fact that everything shown during the event is coming to Xbox Game Pass. Another HUGE piece of news, is Xbox promise Series X will have over 100 Series X Enhanced games at launch, giving it the biggest generation launch line up of any xbox, on top of its near full backwards compatibility.
In a nearly hour long show case, I only fit some of the larger game reveals in this showcase, for the full event click below.
Halo Infinite GAMEPLAY trailer
5 years, almost two years of silent marketing for a supposed system seller, only a few months away from release, and here we are. We FINALLY get a look at this game. I am torn. Part of me is disappointed. Part me is still excited. I am trying to keep my expectations in check, but this game ranked number 1 on my most anticipated upcoming games list not once, but twice. I want a new Halo game and dammit its so over due. It's like in High School when you turn in a paper a month late, your teacher expects it to be amazing and you know full well it could not live up to that. This game is so overdue it's not even funny, and the fact that Xbox has kept us in the dark for years has actually gotten a little annoying. I'm trying to tell myself to keep my expectation in check because all this secrecy and terms like "spiritual reboot" all spell warning signs to me. I look at Halo Infinite and now this gameplay and I just can't help but feel the suits at 343 are out of touch with what Halo fans want. There is one thing Halo fans can agree on and that's Halo 5 sucked. But the thing is we were all very clear on why it sucked. No one liked Locke and the idea of phasing Master Chief out of Halo was idiotic. I've never heard anyone complain about the visuals or the art style. I never heard anyone complain about the Prometheans. Why 343 felt the need to change the art style is beyond me. I'm just getting so skeptical of this game, and it doesn't help that I am formulating a rant-er I mean article about how tired I am of these god awful YouTube live stream events. Next-gen number one selling point is the visuals, 4K 60 FPS gameplay with ray tracing and insanely fast loading times, and time after time we keep getting these completely shit 1080p (although I definitely don't believe these are even 1080) 30 FPS streams, that have so much YouTube compression, I can literally see the checker boarding. To make it worse, I watched this stream via Geoff on Summer Game Fest because he had the pre-and post shows, and I thought maybe it was just me but I checked the comments. The Halo gameplay trailer lagged so much the image jumped around like a grasshopper. This event was the final straw for me that Youtube is just not technologically prepared to be the platform for these Summer game events. Halo Infinite may be in fact beautiful, but I am mad at Youtube that this gorgeous next-gen 4K 60fps game was first shown to me in a choppy laggy crappy compressed stream. This is the same company that brought us the god awful Stadia service. Once I get this article out, I will try to rewatch the direct uploaded trailer. I am just at the point that game companies should stop live streaming this garbage and just upload 4k 60 versions at set times for these "events". They aren't doing themselves any favors by live-streaming crappy versions.
(*Update* Ok, I wrote my initial post-event reaction, and I will say the direct uploaded version looks better...a little. it's not the checkerboard 20 Fps laggy garbage we saw during the livestream. It's still compressed, and not portraying the game the way I want to see it. I'm still not convinced on the backwards looking art style. I miss the beauty of the more realistic and detailed Halo 4 art style. Master Chief and everything look a little bright and cartoonish to me. We will see how it tuns out.)
Xbox pulled a Bethesda and an Apple with a One More Thing, teaser reveal for a new Fable game at the very end of the event. Interestingly the title just says "Fable" instead of the much rumored Fable 4. Unlike Bethesda however, Xbox gave no inclination as to the status of this game. Is this game in early pre-development stages coming years from now, or is it soon to come as early as a 2021 title? We have no idea. The only thing we know is what everyone already knew before, Fable is back.
This game reminds me of Zelda Breath of the Wild or Ubisoft's upcoming Gods and Monsters. it is a colorful and beautiful cartoonish adventure that looks to showcase the power of Series X.
It wouldn't be an Xbox event without a Forza presence. Honestly I care more for Horizon than Motorsport. To me while the visuals are super impressive as always, Motorsport is to stiff and not fun to me. We did get news that Horizon 4 is getting a Series X upgrade also. I can't wait to see these already gorgeous games updated with ray tracing and the power of SSD.
We recently learned about the Medium during Xbox's third party games event, and it made a second appearance during this one.
Crossfire X - Campaign
This was the biggest surprise to me, as Crossfire X is getting a paid Story Mode. This upcoming free to play title is actually a lot of fun, as I got to take part in the beta. The multiplayer is going to be free to play, but along with the game there will be a paid campaign, and we got to see a look at it. Honestly, this campaign looked really exciting.
Ok, are we just going to skip past the fact that was clearly just a purple version of Dr Strange using the time stone? Yes? Ok. Avowed is the new massive RPG in development by Obsidian Entertainment. Obsidian is becoming a golden goose for Xbox, first with Outer Worlds, Grounded, and now this. This teaser doesn't show much, other than it looking like a beautiful next-gen Skyrim with colors other than grey.
State of Decay 3
I literally rolled my eyes at this one, because honestly I thought State of Decay 2 was so bad I returned it days after playing it. It was buggy, unpolished, and had some of the worst voice acting ever. Maybe this game has a cult following, or maybe Xbox just can't afford to axe any IP's as they work to build a reputation of "having games" in the next generation of consoles. Either way, State of Decay 3 is coming if anyone cares.
Destiny 2 Beyond Light ranked very highly on my most anticipated 2020 list re-issue, and I can't express enough how cool it looks. It is the expansion that made me go back and catch up in Destiny 2. While, I played Destiny 2 on PS4, I am excited for others of the news that Destiny 2's previous expansions is coming to Game Pass, alongside news that Destiny 2 is getting Series X optimization.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Another example of why these live streams are pointless, the announcement that Ori is getting a Series X upgrade, literally included a pointless 60 fps / 120 fps side by side "comparison" as if this whole broadcast wasn't limited to barely 30. Next time, just upload the event. That being said, Ori is a beautiful game and you should play it.
Other missing games that some may have been hoping to get at least an update on include the long rumored Perfect Dark reboot. Another game some predicted would show, that would have surprised me if it actually did show up considering Activision's relationship with Sony, was Call of Duty 2020. Call of Duty has had exclusivity deals with Playstation for years it would have been weird to see it revealed at the Xbox Event. Plus we already know that Activision said Call of Duty 2020's reveal will be unusual for the franchise. While there's been no rumors, and probably be unlikely, I would have loved to have seen a sequel to Quantum Break or Sunset Overdrive, two of the Xbox One's early console exclusives and favorites of mine. It was also strange that Gears 5 was largely absent from the event. I know the game is already out, and we have seen details on its Series X upgrade before, I thought maybe it would get more spotlight than the quick mention it received. Lastly, Cyberpunk 2077 has been a reliable partner the last few years at Xbox's event, and even though CDPR has elected for their own mini events, it was odd for them to be a no show. It is possible this decision rested more with Xbox on their desire to brag that everything shown during the event was coming to Game Pass.
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