Gamescom 2021: Xbox Conference Round-up 24/08/2021
Gamescom 2021 officially kicks off tomorrow but Microsoft decided to start the show early with an Xbox showcase of lovely games we’ll be playing over the next few years. Here’s a round up of all of the action as it happened.
Above is the full video of the hour and a half long show and below is a list of all of the announcements made during the presentation. You can either continue scrolling or just click a game to be taken straight there.
- Dying Light 2 Stay Human
- Flight Simulator
- Game Pass Update – Humble Games
- Into The Pit
- Age Of Empires IV
- Cloud Gaming Is Coming To Series X|S
- Wasteland 3 – Cult of the Holy Detonation
- Sea of Thieves
- State of Decay 2 Homecoming Update
- Stray Blade
- Crusader Kings III
- Psychonauts 2
- The Gunk
- Forza Horizon 5
Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Kicking things off we have Dying Light 2 Stay Human from Techland. While we knew they were going to be at gamescom with their own developer update, it was a surprise to see them starting Team Green’s presentation. The trailer shows off some lovely melee combat mixed with a frenetic free-running skills.
Dying Light 2 will focus more about how factions of survivors are pitted against each other as a result of the zombie outbreak, rather than relying on the tried and tested ‘humans vs zombies’. By exploring the environments will allow you to create your own bonds to survive and direct the story in your own unique way
Dying Light 2 Stay Human will come out on 7th December on Xbox Series X|S, PC and PlayStation consoles and a closer look at the game will be released later in the week.
Next up is Microsoft’s very own Flight Simulator, which released a month ago. It’s seriously impressive just how realistic this looks and on a home console too but today we got a look at the Top Gun expansion which is due out later in the year. This free content will be a tie-in to the movie and with the film’s plot being kept as secret as Tom Cruise’s youth formula, we’ve got no idea what the DLC will look like.
In addition to the confirmation of the DLC, we did get the first details of Update 6 for Flight Simulator which will release next month. This will add in improvements to areas in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. 100 new locations and airports will be made available along with new missions in the area in celebration of this part of Europe.
If the areas weren’t enough, new aircraft based on the above areas have also been added to the game to give players a look at the history of these local aeroplanes. Looking to the future, Flight Simulator is partnering with Volocopter to give players the chance to see how intercity flights could look with their large drone craft. Finally, there was a tease that air races and multiplayer will be coming to Flight Simulator in a future update by the end of the year. The game is out now for PC and Series X|S.
Game Pass Update – Humble Games
Microsoft have announced that they are partnering with publisher Humble Games to bring the following games to Game Pass: Archvale, Bushiden, Chinatown Detective Agency, Dodgeball Academia, Flynn: Son of Crimson, Midnight Fight Express, Next Space Rebels, Signalis, Unpacking, and Unsighted. Here’s the highlight reel showing the games off in all of their glory:
That’s a huge list of games and every one will be available to Game Pass players on consoles, PC & cloud servers on the day they release. This further enhances Microsoft’s commitment to the service.
Into The Pit
Continuing with the Humble relationship, we see Into The Pit from Nullpointer Games and is fast-paced first person shooter-roguelite that takes all of the action of DOOM but replaces the guns with magic. The story revolves around investigating a hole to hell which has opened up in a cursed village. After seeing lots of blood and explosions, we cannot wait to get our hands on Into The Pit. We don’t have to wait long as its coming out 19th October for PC, consoles and Game Pass.
Age of Empires IV – The Trebuchent
We take a slight break in the proceedings to learn about The Trebuchent, a huge ancient slingshot used in the Victorian age. It was a fascinating look at how wars were previously fought but there was no game play to speak of. We did get an update on the research the development team have undertaken to ensure the history used in game is as accurate and interesting as possible.
Age of Empires IV is out on Xbox Game Pass for PC on 28th October
Cloud Gaming Is Coming To Series X|S
As part of Game Pass Ultimate, players have been given the opportunity to stream games directly from their phones, PCs & tablets. If you have a stable internet connection, its certainly handy for when you want to jump straight into a game without having to wait for a download to complete.
Well Microsoft have taken the next step and will be rolling out cloud streaming to Xbox Series X|S consoles as well as Xbox One. by the end of the year. This is great news for Xbox One players. If you’ve been unable to find one of the new generation consoles, you don’t have to miss out on the latest releases. That’s an amazing prospect as the service is targeting 1080p/60FPS gameplay, so while the games won’t be in 4K, they should still run smoothly… subject to your internet connection.
Wasteland 3 – Cult of the Holy Detonation
Getting back to the games we have an update on the next DLC for Wasteland 3, titled Cult of the Holy Detonation. New characters, enemies, and powerful new weapons and armour are waiting for you in the Cheyenne Mountains as the Rangers attempt to close down the power generators hidden throughout the complex.
The additional content releases on 5th October as well as Wasteland 3 Colorado Collection which bundles the main game with all DLC up to and including Cult of the Holy Detonation.
Sea of Thieves
Sticking with additional content, we have the next event in Sea of Thieves and it starts tomorrow. Making Mayhem will offer the players the chance to add a bright red and yellow ship called Mayhem to your arsenal. The ship’s design and the timed event is a crossover with the Borderlands series and missions will be themed accordingly. This will run until 7th September so you’ve not got long to complete the event’s missions and build your new ship.
State of Decay 2 Homecoming Update
As part of the Homecoming Update which is releasing on 1st September, it’s been announced that Trumbull Valley, the map from the first game has been remastered and will form part of State of Decay 2‘s update. Along with this, there will be additional missions and achievements to unlock as well as six new bases, unique weapons and outfits that can only be found in Trumbull Valley.
State of Decay 2 Juggernaut Edition is available now and the homecoming update will unlock on 1st September.
Moving away from the DLC and content updates, we see a new game announcement in the form of Stray Blade, an action-RPG from 505 Games & Point Blank Games that is coming in 2022. The blurb from the game is: Fight to regain your freedom in hyper-responsive combat scenarios, explore ancient ruins for rare crafting materials, and survive glorious battles versus legendary foes.
Partnering up with a rat-type animal you have to traverse an ever changing environment in order to bring peace to the land. One of the key mechanics is that time doesn’t stop, so even when you die and respawn, the world around you doesn’t reset. We’ll have to wait to see how this will guide the game but Stray Blade is giving us some serious Darksiders vibes, with it’s heavy combat mechanics, exploration and art direction.
We can’t wait to learn more about it in the coming months. This will also be available on PC and PlayStation 5.
Crusader Kings III
Strategy-RPG Crusader Kings III is heading to Xbox Series X|S and day one on Game Pass (as well as PS5). Developed by Paradox Interactive with help from Lab42, the game has you playing as the leader of one of the leading Dynasties in the middle ages, but with a twist. As your empire grows, so does your leader. Once they shuffle off into the light, one of three sons stands to take his place. Each son have their own ideas of how to rule the kingdom. Depending on the choices you make, will shape the story of your playthrough. The aim of the game is to stave off rebellions and to build the greatest Dynasty the world has seen.
Crusader Kings III doesn’t have a firm release date just yet but will be available on Game Pass from day 1, as well as Xbox Series X|S.
It’s been 16 years since the original Psychonauts first released. Now Raz is one day away from the sequel he deserves and here’s the final launch trailer to get you in the mood:
Developed by Double Fine, Psychonaughts 2 is an action platformer starring Razputin Aquato, a trained acrobat and powerful young psychic. His life long dream of joining the international psychic espionage organisation known as the Psychonauts, however when he is finally recruited as an intern the agency is attacked, leaving only Raz to save the day.
This one is a bit of a surprise as The Gunk was initially announced last year but nothing was really said about it. Coming from the chaps at Image & Form and Thunderful Games, The Gunk is a 3D Action Adventure where you mine a planet invested by… well, gunk. As you explore this planet and start to clean it up, you learn all about the origins of the stuff, where it came from as well as restoring the planet to it’s former glory.
This is the first 3D game from Image & Form and it’s shaping up nicely. It’ll be available by the end of the year on PC and as a console exclusive for Xbox Series X|S & Xbox One. Series X will target 4K/60FPS where as Xbox One will target 30FPS.
Forza Horizon 5
Closing the show, we have a look at Forza Horizon 5 ahead of the 9th November release, but before we take a look at the game, Microsoft have announced a limited edition Forza controller is now available to preorder:
It certainly is one of the best looking Xbox controllers we’ve seen and we love just how colourful and transparent it is. The controller includes textured grips on the triggers and bumpers and lighting effects that are build into the Xbox Button. It’s certainly giving off a Mexican Luchador vibe.
Speaking of which, Forza Horizon 5 is coming and it is apparently the biggest, most open world game in the series to date. Set in Mexico, the game will feature the usual community of racers you’d expect from the online racing game but enhancements to the weather conditions, as well as environments including snow-capped Gran Caldera volcano, and Mexican farms. We were treated to around 8 minutes of gameplay which we’ve embedded below:
Along with the above gameplay footage, we’ve been treated to the cars that we’ll be driving when the game launches. Mercedes-AMG ONE and the 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands will be this year’s cover cars and while the 2020 Corvette Stingray and Porche 911 will also be in game, and thanks to the power of the next gen consoles, the cars look better than ever as can be seen here:
Forza Horizon 5 will launch on 9th November across Xbox One, Series S, Series X & PC. Game Pass players will also get this on release day.
And with that, it wraps up Microsoft’s gamescom2021 Xbox conference. This relaxed affair did showcase some good games and additional DLC for existing games. While it wasn’t as flashy as E3, Microsoft have shown a commitment to providing a great gaming platform in Europe. A message that’s especially potent as the absence of the other big two companies can be felt.