Xbox needed a big show. I knew it, you knew and Phil Spencer knew it.
The dwindling list of exclusive titles has hurt Xbox over the last few years and so, to kick off the presser, Spencer announced they would be showing off 18 exclusive titles for the Xbox – some of which ended up being DLC for existing titles but new content is new content.
As well, Microsoft announced it had purchased five studios to help with its exclusive problem. Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games (which makes me think We Happy Few may no longer be coming to the PS4 as previously announced), Undead Labs and The Initiative.
On a side note, I have to say that the decision to include Xbox Fan Fest folks at the press conference was a good one. They really helped build excitement for a crowd that was pretty skeptical at the start.
Alright enough chatting, let’s get to those big exclusive games.
Starting with Halo was a good choice. Master Chief in a bold, lush environment shows just a different a direction this beloved franchise is taking. The fact that we saw so much environment in the brief trailer has some – including myself – wondering if we will see Halo in an open world. It also showed off the power of the Slipspace Engine. This game looks beautiful! But what we don’t know about it is a lot. No release date means it’s probably pretty far off. But I’m sure that tease was enough to keep Halo fans at bay.
Forza Horizon 4
It’s time to rush to the pub in epic style because Forza Horizon 4 is coming to the UK! Showing off another Maclaren, the folks at Forza gave us a good long look at what to expect from this game. Changing seasons will bring a variety of weather and environments. How do those fancy cars stand up on an icy road? You’re about to find out! Zooming through bustling cities to quaint English country sides, it’ll be a shared open world for you and your mates to enjoy. Looks wise, what can I say about Forza? It always looks beautiful. This game is no exception. And it’s coming to Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass on Oct. 2.
Gears, Gears and more Gears. There was a lot of Gears there and people were very excited about it. Taking Gears three ways was an interesting way to bring a new life to the franchise. Gears POP – a collaboration with the folks at Funko – will bring Gears to mobile. Let’s face it, even if you hate mobile games, this one is pretty cute and funny. It comes out next year. Gears Tactics is less about a blood bath and all about strategy. The turn based game is coming exclusively to Windows 10 . It’s an interesting change and I’m curious to see if it will pay off. And finally Gears 5. We got a good belt of storyline in this trailer. The game will follow Kait Diaz as she embarks on a mission that will apparently bring the story back to where it all began.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Amidst the blood pumping, high action, big guns, big cars bro fest that is the majority of the Xbox lineup, there stood a quiet beauty that was Ori. This sequel to the highly successful Ori and the Blind Forest, is keeping true to form with its breathtaking artwork and level design. There’s nothing bad I can say about the trailer for this game. I want to play it right now, BUT it’s coming in 2019.
I’m gonna say it, this game doesn’t look great. Having been pushed back yet again, its latest release date is February of next year, I expected more. It looks kind of cheesy. Honestly, I would have rather had Terry Crews actually come out on stage and yell at us for 3 minutes. The crowd seemed pretty apathetic too. Not a great show off.
New maps were also announced for Sea of Thieves and PUBG plus DLC is coming for Cupheads in 2019.
One last note, although it’s not an exclusive, ending the show with a first look at CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 was an unexpected choice but, I feel, the right choice. It ended the presser on a HUGE note and I am SO hype for that game!