On July 23rd, 2020, Microsoft rolled out their esteemed line of developers under the XBOX Games Studios line and presented 22 games (with a few indie announcements), 10 being brand-new World Premieres. So we picked through and chose our highs, lows, and overall grade of the reveal. Enjoy!

The Highs:

The Medium

Kyle – I know everyone’s going to fawn over Halo: Infinite, but it isn’t my jazz.  Let’s get talking about weird dual-worlds in a horror setting!  I’m very interested in how switching between worlds is handled because it sounds like The Medium is going with a quick swap in/out position and the shenanigans you can pull off with that is pretty limitless.  Wanna hide from an enemy?  Get past a locked door?  Switch worlds, even if one looks infinitely worse than the other.

Master Chief has a Grappling Hook Now

Demetri – That’s it. That’s the highlight.

Seriously though, I don’t even know if I care that much about Halo: Infinite but this kind of rules. Adding more versatility and movement tricks to Halo will open it up in ways it hasn’t been before. They don’t seem to be going for DOOM-level traversal and speed with it, but I have a feeling players will come up with plenty of ways to use this thing.

Echo Generation

Demetri – Canadian Stranger Things with turn-based card combat and massive creatures? You’ve got my attention. I can take or leave voxels in most games but they have a clearly defined style and they appear to be nailing it both in stills and in motion. Will certainly keep tabs on this.

Holy Shit It’s Fable, It’s Happening-

Kyle – IT’S REAL.  But hopefully not how Metroid Prime 4 is real.  I expect this in 2022 at the absolute earliest.

Balan Wonderworld

Kyle – Holy Spiritual Successor to NiGHTS this shit looks amazing.  I’m a sucker for a good platformer with a ton of customization (Balan is stating over 80 different costumes that do different moves), I just need to find someone with an XBOX so I can play this.

Demetri – Good news, apparently it’s coming out on just about everything! I guess MS isn’t funding Naka’s new studio, or at least not exclusively. Anyway, this trailer made me feel things. Warm fuzzies all around. The aesthetics, music, gameplay, all of it is just lovely to look at. Games this charming don’t come around too often, I really hope this lives up. My favorite announcement of the show.

Microsoft Doubling Down on Game Pass

Kyle – Almost everything shown off during this showcase will be available through the XBOX Game Pass, which has time and time again showed to be the best value in gaming.  They didn’t need to put their big AAA titles on here, but they’ve got a great thing going and are only making it better by leaning as hard as they are on it.

Demetri – MS wants us to live in a world where we switch on a console or app just to see what new games have been gift-wrapped for us every week, and I couldn’t be more on board with that concept. Indies and AAA releases alike being dropped on release is almost too good to be true but here we are. It’s likely that we’ll see the long-discussed price increase for the service during the new console’s lifespan, but if they keep improving the level of quality I don’t see it being any less valuable than it already is.

We go over our favorite Indie titles shown, our lows, and grade the showcase on the next page!