With Microsoft’s Gamescom briefing just a day away I have compiled a short list of things I would like to see revealed at the event. The following items are listed in descending order from most to least likely. You can watch Microsoft’s Gamescom press conference live at 10:00pm EST on Tuesday, August 12th. It will be available to stream on Xbox.com, your Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows Phone, and on Twitch.
1. Extended Quantum Break demo. It’s possible you may have forgotten all about Quantum Break. First teased back in May of last year, Quantum Break quickly found itself buried amid all the controversy surrounding the Xbox One’s reveal policies despite a technically impressive trailer later that E3. Finnish developer Remedy remained silent on the game’s progress until May of this year when they announced Quantum Break would be skipping E3 to show up at Gamescom. A short montage of footage was released to the public but aside from that very little is actually known about the game and its tie-in television series, which is reportedly still on track despite last month’s shutdown of Xbox Entertainment Studios. Set to release sometime next year, Gamescom would be the prime event to showcase some extended Quantum Break gameplay given Remedy’s action oriented past with games such as Alan Wake and the first two Max Payne titles.
2. More ID@Xbox news/possible exclusives. An undeniable highlight of Microsoft’s E3 Media Briefing this year was their ID@Xbox segment. Where Sony has capitalized on the growing demand for smaller downloadable titles Microsoft has been slow to respond, looking positively anemic by comparison. The Xbox One is in need of such titles to help build its library of games and the ID@Xbox program is poised to do just that with games like Below, Hyper Light Drifter, and #IDARB, to name a few.
3. Halo 5 gameplay teaser. We know Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be at Gamescom; Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer will be playable on the show floor and it goes without saying that we’ll probably hear more about the collection at the event. What’s really exciting to me however, is the possibility of some Halo 5 footage being shown. San Diego Comic-Con saw the release of Blur Studio’s excellent Halo 2: Anniversary Cinematics trailer after all, and as the December release date for the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta draws nearer a short teaser seems very likely. Show audiences a glimpse of what they can expect from the beta and you’re sure to add more fuel to the hype flame. It would certainly make for one hell of a way to end your conference.
4. “Available now” announcement. I’m not entirely what this could be but there’s certainly a precedent for it – two, in fact. The first being the Nürburgring’s addition to Forza Motorsport 5 at no additional cost the day of Microsoft’s E3 2014 Media Briefing and the same day announcement of Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix, the latter of which came as a genuine surprise to many as no news had been leaked beforehand regarding its existence. I think a similar announcement is entirely possible but I’m reticent to say one way or the other what the announcement might be considering the nature of the surprise.
5. Rare’s next game. Now that Kinect Sports Rivals has released to mixed reviews (you can read our take on it here) and the Kinect hardware itself is no long mandatory it would be exciting to see what, if anything, Rare are working on next. Fans of Conker’s Bad Fur Day were disappointed to see the potty-mouthed squirrel return in the form of downloadable content for Team Dakota’s Project Spark, but as Head of Xbox Phil Spencer tweeted:
@Darkar723 Giving Spark Community the Conker game assets doesn't keep us from doing other things with Conker.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 23, 2014
As a Rare devotee who would really like to see them return to one of their older franchises I have to keep my hopes up somehow.
6. Return of an original Xbox property. If wanting to see something exciting out of Rare is considered wishful thinking then I’m absolutely delusional in my hopes for a franchise resurrection. Blinx 3? Okay. Brute Force 2? Sure. A new Crimson Skies? Sign me up! Microsoft did right by Phantom Dust fans at this year’s E3, but let’s be real: the audience for that game is a very small portion of a few really hardcore original Xbox owners. Something with more mainstream appeal would do wonders to restore faith in a brand many feel has forgotten its roots. Or in other words: bring on Azurik 2.
What would you like to see at Gamescom this week? Let us know in the comments below.