Microsoft had a real good showing at the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. There was plenty to see and not much in the way of anything that felt like padding. Starfield started things off, and I’m honestly interested to see how this one pans out. It’s a sci-fi styled game, so it holds a lot more pull for me than either Elder Scrolls or Fallout. It hopefully will offer the same sort of exploration as those series.
Bethesda started the show, and also ended it. After the greatest reveal from the showcase for me, Arkane’s new game Redfall got revealed. Another 2022 release, this one is pretty much Left 4 Dead but with vampires instead of zombies. I enjoyed the trailer for it, but I’m not entirely sure I can get invested with something that is exclusively co-op.
Something that was a pretty great surprise was a Disney crossover in Sea of Thieves. I mean, it was kind of inevitable something like it might have happened, but now it has. Pirates of the Caribbean brings Captain Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones into the world of Sea of Thieves for a new storyline that’s sure to be a lot of fun. I’ve yet to complete one of the tall tales of the game, which is what this new storyline will be told through, but they can be completed solo, so I’ll certainly be trying a few out in preparation for this.
Battlefield 2042’s gameplay reveal showed off how the things the trailer showcased worked with raw gameplay, meaning things like helicopters crashing and burning, the wingsuits and grapple hooks, as well as how the worlds are affected by everything going on in the game. Plus it gave us a look at how quick the loadout swapping is.
I remember Slime Rancher from a CallMeKevin video, which looked a nice game to be playing, but I never had enough pull to give it a try myself. I might end up doing so with the announcement of a sequel. Little was shown off in the trailer that looked new from my limited experience of the series, but I’m sure all those are being saved for later on.
An interesting one for me was Shredders, which got a trailer to showcase what it is about. A snowboarding game that looks to pay homage to the Amped games, as well as taking inspiration from movies and social media, it looks to be exactly what you would want from a snowboarding game. I perked up on seeing it, as this looks like it could offer a great, focused experience.
Halo Infinite is an odd one. Since it’ll be completely new to me, the lure of the story doesn’t do much to me. The lure of open environments, though? Sure, I’ll go exploring them. I’ll be giving the campaign and multiplayer a try, which looked a lot of fun from the gameplay they showed of it. No concrete date other than Holiday this year, but I can wait until more is revealed.
The Outer Worlds 2 got announced with a trailer poking fun at announcement trailers, which has me wanting to finally get around to the first game. Flight Simulator is also coming to consoles, along with a Top Gun expansion. The event was soon to be finishing, and I was expecting it, so both of these got me tense with waiting until the intentions of the game were obvious. It had to be coming, though. And, oh, it did.
Forza Horizon 5 takes to Mexico! And what a world it is looking to be. Jungle, desert, and cities to be exploring. Extreme weather is here, with sandstorms and thunderstorms being shown in the trailer. A snow-capped mountain that was revealed to be the highest point ever created in a Forza Horizon game during the gameplay demo. Along with the fact this is the largest world created for a game in the series. I can’t wait to get exploring it all.
That gameplay demo showed off more things, though, such as expeditions that look to involve you in exploring to find new places to set up festival sites. Think how Horizon 3 handled it, but being in the thick of it and never knowing where you’ll end up. That’s part of the Horizon Story, which is all about the exploration of this world, but there’s still the races and other challenges to enjoy.
Expansion seems the order of the day here, with the most open and connected experience being brought to life with the Horizon Open – which allows you to seamlessly jump into races and other challenges, as well as The Eliminator. Horizon Arcade brings the chaos with even wilder challenges and minigames to enjoy. And then, there’s EventLab.
The evolution of this has been around since Playground allowed us to choose parts for tracks in the Hot Wheels expansion of Horizon 3, then with being able to go further with race creation in the base Horizon 4, then Super7. Now, entire playgrounds can be built, utilising a powerful new toolset that offers a lot of customisability. Whether you want to create races, challenges, or even an entire mode, you have the freedom to do just that.
That’s all I’ll say on Horizon 5, as it does seem like this will be the best yet. A bit early to tell, but there’s a lot to enjoy with it. And it releases in November, which… there are too many games releasing in that period, as ever. This for me will be a priority, though. It’s a series I’ve loved since the first Horizon.
There was plenty packed into that 90 minute event, with a lot of exciting stuff. There’s other stuff I’m keeping an eye on that I haven’t mentioned here. I was enjoying every minute of it, as Microsoft were letting the games do the talking, and each and every one of them looked as though they’d be worth it for someone. Let’s see what Nintendo have for us on Tuesday.