Another year and another Summer Game Fest, and we also have yet another Xbox Games Showcase. The event is slated to kick off at 3AM EST on June 12th and is slated to feature a mix of first and third-party games for the publisher.
Notably, the showcase this year is said to contain a good mix of gameplay and CG footage, though Xbox Games VP Aaron Greenberg has confirmed that “none of our first-party games in the show are full CG trailers” and added that everything shown will contain in-game footage, in-engine footage or a mix with cinematics.
There are also no time restrictions, so that awkward showcase from last year where almost nothing eventuated (yet) won’t happen again.
So, take my hand and skip with me down the green brick road to reminisce on what games I think Xbox might show at their showcase this weekend, complete with arbitrary percentages that I’ve completely made up. Some of the games are even made up.
And as a disclaimer – I won’t mention Starfield here. We know it’s coming; it has its event after, and there is no point in ruminating on its presence at the event.
Can you even believe we’re up to thirteen instalments in the Forza series? Me neither.
This one is the eighth in the Motorsport and you know they mean business because they’ve dropped the number from the title. Nobody wants to know you’ve been around the bend eight times, so this is a good choice.
The game will feature more than 500 vehicles and 800 upgrades and everyone’s favourite resource-hog, ray-tracing. There’s even a fully procedural cloud system, so if you ever want to look in the sky, you can rest assured that the clouds will look nice.
Forza Motorsport is due for release in 2023 for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
I feel like I’ve been talking about this game for about twenty years, but it’s only been five years, apparently.
Developed by Playground Games, the British-born studio responsible for Forza Horizon, the game is purported to be a reboot. It was revealed to the masses almost two years ago and while we didn’t see anything resembling gameplay, the tone and whimsy was certainly there.
Since then, we’ve seen almost nothing of the game and there’s even been rumours that Playground, who usually make racing games, are struggling to make an action RPG like Fable. Who would have thought? Regardless, let’s hope that we’ll get some kind of update on the game in the near future. The niche that Fable inhabits has been largely untapped, so I’d welcome it back into my home with open arms. Which is more than I can say for most games and even some of my friends.
Fable is due for release at some point for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
No, this isn’t the middling 2012 film starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale. It’s an honest mistake that I made myself.
But rather, it’s a brand new IP from Avalanche, the studio who has already done some great work in bringing us Just Cause, Mad Max and RAGE 2.
All we know about the game so far is that it’s a “co-op smugglers paradise” that’s set in a fictional world of Bayan during the 1970s. The concept is great, but given that’s all we know about it, it’s hard to get too excited without seeing more.
Contraband has yet to be dated but it’s releasing for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
SENUA’S SAGA: HELLBLADE II
It truly feels like a saga at this point, but it’s high time that Senua made a pilgrimage along our screens again.
Once again announced at the 2019 Game Awards, we’ve since been treated to photos of the development teams trip to Scandinavia and a lengthy and super realistic gameplay sequence too.
The time feels right for Hellblade II to make an appearance and maybe even nail down a release window. Ninja Theory have proven time and time again they can craft compelling stories in even more fantastic worlds, so here’s hoping.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II will release with or without it’s dead husbands skull for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
Announced back in 2019, there were rumours that not even Rare knew what Everwild was.
Originally, the word on the grape vine was that it was a third person adventure game with elements taken from god games, while other reports claimed that the game had no combat whatsoever.
More recent comments on the game claim that it’s been rebooted several times since then, though the latest implies that it could be something like Viva Pinata. Regardless, with Gregg Mayles at the helm, who’s directed greats like Banjo-Kazooie, I’m excited to see what direction Everwild takes.
Continuing tradition, Everwild doesn’t yet have a release date, but it’s releasing for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
A NEW BANJO-KAZOOIE GAME
Look, I don’t know what else I can say about this, but it’s clear Microsoft isn’t done with Banjo or Kazooie.
Not only has he made his way to Nintendo’s online services, but he’s even appeared in Super Smash Bros. It’s time Microsoft took back some of that furry or feathery goodness for themselves.
I’m honestly at the point where I’ll take just one of them. Give me a Banjo game. I’ll even take a Kazooie game. Even a game where I scrub rust off of Clankers cavernous undercarriage. Please. Anything.
The new grimdark Banjo-Kazooie reboot doesn’t exist yet but if it does it’ll be releasing for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
It’s been a long time since Joanna Dark graced our screens and perhaps it’ll be even longer until she does again.
Originally announced with a snazzy trailer at The Game Awards, Perfect Dark was slated to be a reimagining of the franchise taking place in an “eco sci-fi” landscape.
It’s a cool take that’ll lean into the spy side of things to differentiate itself from other shooters, but we’ve seen nothing of it since. Several key staff have left and Crystal Dynamics has stepped in to help new studio The Initiative to work on what’s been dubbed the first ever “AAAA” game, whatever that means.
Perfect Dark remains in the dark but when it emerges into the light, it’ll be for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
STATE OF DECAY 3
It’s been almost five years since State of Decay 3 was announced and even then it was done with a CG trailer by the finest CG purveyor, Blur.
Since then, we’ve, once again, heard nothing. The point of the trailer was to convey a sense of fear, isolation and horror – which is how it feels to be an Xbox fan in 2023.
Jokes aside, there’s so much that can be done with State of Decay’s people-focused take on a pandemic. The trailer seemed to imply animals might be added to the mix, though perhaps I’m being too ambitious.
State of Decay 3 is targeting release for PC and Xbox Series X|S.
The game is said to be a game that is completely new and that nobody has experienced before. It will apparently utilise the cloud technology that Xbox provides to provide a player experience like no other.
Rumours are swirling that this project is called Overdose and is a horror game of some sort. But, once again, we haven’t seen anything more since the original announcement. The time feels right to show off whatever Kojima’s project is, even if it’s just in-engine footage without raw gameplay.
THE EVIL WITHIN 3
The true Evil Within is the fact that Zenimax hasn’t commissioned another Evil Within game. See what I did there?
Hi-Fi Rush was fantastic, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little bit disappointed that Tango might not be working on another Evil Within game. I recognise that the first two weren’t great commercial performers, but the market is different now.
Resident Evil is a stronger brand than ever. Alan Wake is pivoting to horror. Even EA put out a stellar horror game earlier this year, even if it was a remake.
Shinjin Mikami has left Tango, but his protege John Johannsen proved that he could direct a game in the series with the second game. The time is right to bring back The Evil Within and tie up all those loose ends left hanging by both games.
The Evil Within 3 doesn’t exist yet but I hope it will someday for PC and Xbox Series X|S.