With all of the major gaming conferences like E3 canceled for the next few months, companies are being forced to adapt, offering their big announcements in new ways. Microsoft, taking a page out of Nintendo’s book, has focused its efforts on monthly updates in the form of livestreams. The first stream, which took may on May 7th, focused on the next-generation titles being developed by Microsoft’s third-party partners. For those expecting Halo, Fable 4, or Forza, you’ll have to wait until July for the first-party games livestream. That said, the first Xbox Series X livestream featured a handful of impressive-looking games, a few surprises, and a heaping dose of pre-rendered cutscenes. In case you’re curious about what games were showcased on the stream, we’ve compiled this list of everything that Microsoft showed off during the Xbox Series X “First Gameplay” livestream!
Big Third-Party Games Landing on Xbox Series X
Bright Memory Infinite
This futuristic first-person shooter was developed by a single creator at FYQD Studio and is being published by Playism. The trailer showed our nameless protagonist blasting through bad guys with both firearms and a sword, complete with a plethora of lighting effects and motion blur. The fast-paced gameplay looks like a mixture of Killzone and Shadow Warrior 2, focusing on strategic yet frenetic shoot-outs. Apart from its flashy graphics and cool sci-fi sheen, there’s not a ton of stuff that sticks out about Bright Memory Infinite. That said, we’ll be interested to try it out when it releases on Xbox Series X.
Fans of the racing genre should rejoice, as the Dirt franchise is back and just as colorful as ever. Unlike Dirt 4, the most recent Dirt title that released in 2017, Dirt 5 looks like it’ll be focusing on more than just rally races. Players should expect high-speed street races, crazy events, and a decent amount of customization when the game releases. If you’ve never played a Dirt title before, you’ll definitely want to check out Dirt 5. The game will be releasing on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X, and will utilize the “Smart Delivery” feature. This means that fans who purchase the game on Xbox One will get a free copy for Xbox Series X if they ever decide to upgrade.
This terrifying first-person horror title is being developed by Ebb Software and looks to be a marriage of both body-horror and otherworldly creatures, guaranteed to make you squirm. Although the trailer shown was effective at setting the mood, not much was shown in terms of actual gameplay. Luckily, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Scorn, as the game was announced in 2017, with some players even getting their hands on the PC-exclusive playable alpha. We’ll be interested to see just how gruesome things get when Scorn releases, which according to developers, shouldn’t be too far out.
The first-person shooter genre isn’t the only genre that works well for flashy sci-fi visuals; look no further than the space combat game Chorus to prove that point. Players will race through the galaxy and gun down enemy ships in this stylish space shooter when it comes out later this year. The game is also set up for Smart Delivery, so you can grab it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X during the holiday season.
If you had any doubt that the Madden football franchise would return, then consider this your confirmation. Like clockwork, Madden is back with another entry in their long-running sports franchise, offering players more ways to toss the pigskin than ever before. The trailer we got was a mixture of classic Madden gameplay and some quick shots of Madden 21, offering us a brief look at the franchise on the whole. If you’re a fan of football games, Madden 21 isn’t just your best option, it’s one of your only options. You’ll be able to kick back and throw some spirals on both current generation and next-generation systems soon.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
If you’ve never heard of Vampire: The Masquerade, this violent and exciting RPG series got its start in 1991 as a tabletop game and was eventually adapted into an action-RPG in 2004. Now, we’re receiving a stylish and modern sequel, simply titled Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2. This title offers players a slew of ways to hunt their prey as a vampire, complete with a flippant yet disturbing tone. The game will be released on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X, so if you’re looking to become a creature of the night, you won’t have to buy an Xbox Series X on day one.
Call of the Sea
This flashy first-person adventure game brings players to a tropical island, rich with style and color. In the game, you control Norah, a young woman searching for her husband who has disappeared on the ocean. The narrative-driven adventure combines both exploration and puzzle elements, and will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one. The game will be releasing on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X, so be prepared for this mysterious tropical vacation!
The world of RPGs and top-down shooters gets an interesting addition in the form of The Ascent, which is published by Curve Digital and developed by the new studio Neon Giant. The game looks to blend crazy dual-stick shooting action with an evocative cyberpunk story, full of colorful characters and awesome upgrades. Fans of games like Diablo will likely have a great time with this next-gen title, which should be releasing sometime this year.
Fans of horror games should rejoice, as top-tier developed Bloober Team is developing a new psychological horror game called The Medium. In this terrifying trip through the supernatural world, you’ll play as Marianne, a woman with the ability to see both the real world and the spirit world. As you attempt to solve the game’s mysteries, you’ll have to peer behind the veil into the realm of the dead in order to get closer to the truth. If you’ve never played a game made by Bloober Team before, get ready to be terrified.
Publisher Bandai Namco is delivering another anime-inspired action title dubbed Scarlet Nexus, featuring a young protagonist with the powers of psychokinesis. In addition to his supernatural powers, his skills with the blade are commendable, often resulting in flashy displays of offense. The game looks similar to titles like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, with a focus on big combos and explosive combat. The visual style is more than enough to get us interested, so we’re looking forward to playing Scarlet Nexus when it releases on the Xbox Series X.
Developed by Systemic Reaction, this three-player cooperative shooter invites players into the world of dinosaurs, and then tasks you with wiping them off the face of the planet. The fearsome dinos will seemingly attack in large groups, often overwhelming your group with ease. You’ll have to stay quick on your feet and think ahead if you hope to outlive these deadly predators. Apart from the trailer shown, we don’t know too much about Second Extinction, if only that it looks to fill that Left 4 Dead shaped void in our cooperative gaming hearts. We can’t wait to try it out when it comes out on the Xbox Series X.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
We’re big fans of the Yakuza franchise here, so it was extremely cool to see that Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be arriving on Xbox Series X as a launch title. This eighth entry in the always-entertaining Yakuza franchise features a new protagonist, Ichi, as well as a new gameplay style. Instead of playing as an action-based beat ’em up title, Yakuza: Like a Dragon offers strategic yet silly turn-based combat. We simply cannot wait to get our hands on the latest Yakuza title, and if the early impressions from Japan are correct, it’s going to be an awesome experience.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Microsoft ended their Xbox Series X first look livestream with a new, very brief trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, the newest entry in Ubisoft’s popular action-RPG franchise. After the absolutely fantastic game that was Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, we’re extremely hyped for another trip into the mythological world of history. Valhalla will focus on the Viking culture, putting players in the shoes of a male or female warrior. The game promises beautiful graphics, a riveting story, and brutal combat, and we’re 100% onboard. Although the new trailer was brief, we doubt we’ll have to wait long for more information on Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, as it should be launching sometime in the fall or winter of 2020.