Xbox Series X July showcase predictions preview – Reader’s Feature
A reader lays out what they think Microsoft will do at their next big reveal event, including games such as Fable 4 and Perfect Dark 2.
The next generation is heating up and the console war is truly getting into full swing. In the blue corner we have the PlayStation 5 boasting an SSD of unprecedented speed, sequels and expansions to beloved games, and a device that looks like a massive Wi-Fi router with sexy white curves and swerves. And in the green corner we have the Xbox Series X, boasting superior GPU and CPU performance giving it the ‘most powerful console’ mantle, a high value subscription service and a box that looks like a cross between a fridge and the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
PlayStation 5 teased us for months and speculation grew as to what both the console and its games would look like. That was finally answered last week, I think most people were delighted with what was shown. Most notably the seamless world jumping of Rachet & Clank and its Pixar-like graphics were a sight to behold. Guerrilla Games closed the show with Horizon Forbidden West, building on what made the original so great, beautiful open world, dynamic and creative robot creatures and an awe-inspiring score.
It was a great show, but one that lacked surprises. We all knew a Horizon Zero Dawn sequel would be coming – I would have been more shocked if it didn’t show up. PlayStation Games Studios delivered exactly what I expected of them, but because I am a spoiled gamer that loves the hobby, I wanted a bit more, I wanted something unexpected.
Xbox has taken a far less traditional route to announcing its console and games. The Xbox Series X was unveiled at The Game Awards. One game was shown at the Xbox Series X unveiling and that was the incredibly impressive looking Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, which I still think holds the mantle for best-looking next gen game so far, the face motion capture is out of this world!
The Inside Xbox show in May unveiled some interesting but smaller scale projects. The Medium and Scorn are both Xbox Series X exclusives, smaller in scale but potentially great additions to Game Pass. Really, Xbox’s chance to show what they can do is the upcoming July Showcase. I have dug through the rumours and speculation from various forums to come up with what we are likely to see from the showcase.
Firstly, the obvious one is Halo Infinite. Halo is Xbox’s Zelda (or maybe Mario) and Infinite has a lot of hype and confidence surrounding it – a full gameplay reveal should be expected here, likely a graphical showcase and if it can finally nail both a good solo (and couch co-op) campaign and a compelling multiplayer component. Halo could return to being the premier experience it used to be hailed as. Rumours suggest a semi-open world on the new Halo ring, with a world more alive than ever before, introducing proper wildlife and a classic Halo aesthetic whilst still embracing the newer gameplay style of Halo 5.
The rest of this will be pure speculation and rumours, first up is Fable. Said to be a reboot created by the recently acquired Playground Games, rumours suggest it will retain the high fantasy and humour of the originals, whilst sporting a grittier aesthetic. For me personally this would be a system seller, I love Fable 1 and 2. I have been waiting 12 years for a worthy follow up, so if this rumour is true I will be delighted.
Ninja Theory is said to be at the show, whether they will show Hellblade 2 or Project MARA is a mystery, a short gameplay reveal is expected either way. The Initiative is thought to be working on a Perfect Dark reboot, some commenters have expressed displeasure with this, but I think it’s the ‘perfect’ project to resurrect, a switch to third person perspective, a stealth adventure game with James Bond gadgets and next generation cyberpunk aesthetic could be a delightful addition to the Xbox’s portfolio, not to mention the last game in the franchise was 15 years ago.
Rare will likely show the previously announced Everwild, believed to be a cross generation title releasing sometime next year. How the game works is a mystery, hopefully a pivot away from Sea Of Thieves and something akin to Horizon Zero Dawn, with some kind of multiplayer incorporated into it could be excellent. Obsidian Entertainment is said to have been cooking up a huge AAA role-playing game, apparently in works for quite some time and the reason for Microsoft’s acquisition – The Outer Worlds was made by Obsidian’s B-Team, and this is the A-Team. It’s thought to be a fantasy game similar to Skyrim.
Will these exclusives be enough? The franchise mainstays Halo Infinite, Gears 6, Forza Motorsport 8, and Forza Horizon 5. The return of a beloved franchise in Fable. A reimagining of classic IP in Perfect Dark. A third person action adventure game tackling mental health with industry leading motion capture with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. And two new IPs with Obsidian’s role-playing game and Rare’s Everwild. Along with smaller experiences like Scorn, Project MARA, and The Medium. Not to mention Flight Simulator. And this is all likely within the first two years, with other third party exclusives likely to be announced too.
Bring on the next generation I say, Microsoft and Sony have come to play!
By reader Jay Johnson
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