During Microsoft’s E3 keynote, Xbox went full throttle on the announcements and then finished with news about Project Scarlett, the next-gen Xbox console in the works. We also got release dates for games like Cyberpunk 2077, Gears 5, and learned of a new studio acquisition.
2019 is another big year for Xbox. We’re seeing a new era of gaming, one where everyone is included. Want to know what’s in the pipeline? Here’s everything Microsoft announced at E3 this year.
Gear 5 release
This is an excellent trailer for Gears 5. There’s a tech test coming next month, and the full game launches on September 10, 2019. New game modes, and a crossover with the Terminator. We’ll see more in August.
So. Many. Games! Seeing all these indie games revealed on stage: Dead Static Drive, Pathologic 2, Star Renegades, The Good Life, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, Creature in the Well, Killer Queen Black, Riverbond, Unto the End, Blazing Chrome, Felix the Reaper, Undermine, Supermarket Shriek, Secret Neighbor, Ikenfell, Totem Teller, Cross Code, Lord of the Rings Living Card Game. All of these games will be on Xbox Game Pass on day one!
Sadly, we didn’t get a new gameplay trailer as CD Projekt Red confirmed the news prior to E3. Instead, the developer released a new cinematic trailer and delivered what was the best moment of E3. The trailer, flush with neon colours, dystopia, and body modifications is exactly what I want in a video game.
By now, all the reaction trailers are circulating on the web. For good reason, too, as Cyberpunk 2077 held a secret no one saw coming: Keanu Reeves. That’s right, the four-minute trailer ends with Keanu’s character, Johnny Silverhand. Cyberpunk 2077 will release on April 16, 2020, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
EA Play was all about what Respawn Entertainment had in the works, with FIFA and Madden threw in around Apex Legends and the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. We got our first look at the upcoming game in a 15-minute raw demo that saw Cal Sestis venture to Kashyyyk and deals with the Empire. The young padawan is handy with his lightsaber and force powers, and a second trailer during Xbox’s keynote featured some new gameplay, and more Saw Gerrara (from Rogue One). Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches on November 15, 2019, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Surprise! A new game featuring the Blair Witch! It’s in development by Bloober, the studio behind the Layers of Fear series. We’re promised “story-driven psychological horror game based on the cinematic lore,” and uses some familiar tricks to scare us.
Having leaked late on Friday evening alongside a few other Bandai Namco games, Elden Ring is a new game coming from the minds of George R.R. Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki of From Software. Not much is known about the game, but it is bleak and high-fantasy. There’s a bigger focus on RPG elements, and according to the From Software, this is the biggest game yet for the studio. No release date yet, but it’s coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
This beautiful side-scroller felt like a reprieve after the previous games shown. Spiritfarer is in development over at Thunder Lotus (Jotun) and is about a young girl named Stella, ferrying animals to the afterlife. Included is a management mechanic and tons of farming, mining, and fishing. There’s even co-op as one of you plays as Daffodil the cat. We’ll learn more in the coming months.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
This is the beginning of the future of gaming. One price, all the content you want, and it works across every device. Xbox is putting a ton of focus into the Xbox and PC lately and the attention shows. Cue Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a new service which includes Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live, and access to Xbox Game Pass on PC.
As an added bonus to the announcement, if you join now, you get all the access mentioned above for $1. This is stackable with existing subscriptions.
Minecraft is yet again expanding what it’s capable of doing with a new game and genre. Minecraft Dungeons looks to take inspiration from isometric-RPGs, similar to what Diablo is known for. There’s four-player co-op and it looks to be like a ton of fun with friends. A release is set for Spring 2020 on Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.
Last year we only saw a logo and confirmation a Battletoads was in the works. This year, we got a gameplay demo and boy does the game look good. There’s a clear visual difference, confirmed co-op, and callbacks to older mechanics the series is known for.
Ages of Empires II: Definitive Edition
While we’ve known about this remake for quite some time, that doesn’t mean seeing a new trailer wasn’t exciting! Age of Empires II is a highly-regarded title for RTS fans and this remake is shaping up nicely with new visuals and remastered audio. There’s even a new campaign called The Last Khans included. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition launches in October and signups for the beta are now open.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
I remember seeing the Microsoft Flight Simulator on shelves at Electronics Boutique as a child and never really paying much attention to it. This new entry in the long-running sim series is looking good and arrives in 2020 as part of Xbox Game Pass.
Double Fine Productions Joins Xbox Game Studios
Last year, Xbox bought Undead Studios, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games. Then in November of 2019, bought inXile and Obsidian.
This year, Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions joined Xbox Game Studios and took to stage to talk about it and reveal a new trailer for Psychonauts 2.
One of Xbox’s acquisitions last year, inXile, is working on a new Wasteland title and we got a new trailer during this year’s Xbox keynote. Looks interesting and according to the studio is set in Colorado.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Honestly, this looks like more Dragon Ball Z. And while it isn’t a bad thing, it’s simply another rehash of the story we’ve seen a hundred times. Of course, this is a new take and is an action-RPG but hey, it could be good! Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot launches in 2020 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Phantasy Star Online 2
This is one of those announcements out of the left field. I played the original Phantasy Star Online back when it was extremely popular and spent absurd amounts of time with it back in the day. Microsoft revealing they were working with Sega on this and it was coming next year is huge!
Phantasy Star Online 2 launches Spring 2020, and features cross-player with PC and I am so in and ready to sink long hours into the sequel.
Xbox Elite Controller Series 2
Owning the Xbox Elite Controller is fantastic. Seeing a new, totally re-engineered controller had me wanting to purchase one when it launches on November 4, 2019. There’s new adjustable tension thumbsticks, updated trigger grips, redesigned bumpers and shorter trigger locks. Included are USB-C support and Bluetooth and a rechargeable battery.
A new first-person melee brawler from Ninja Theory, this 4-on-4 brawler, and according to the Director, has been in the works for several years. A technical alpha will be available June 27, 2019, and Bleeding Edge will be available on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate when it launches.
Tales of Arise
A new Tales game is coming in 2020 and the trailer looks good. There is a vast improvement over 2017’s Tales of Berseria but the series stagnated and needed change. Now, it looks like we’re getting that and I can’t wait to get my hands on Tales of Arise.
Dying Light 2
Set 15 year after the original Dying Light, the sequel returns and has a lot of work cut out for it. The original blew up and gained a massive following. Techland has been hard at work on the sequel, which stars new protagonist Aiden Caldwell and the world around him.
Dying Light 2 launches Spring 2020 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Forza Horizon 4: Lego Speed Champions
For me, Forza Horizon is the pinnacle of arcade racers and for good reason, the attention to detail and the amount of cars mixed with excellent customization. The previous entry had the coolest content yet, with a Hot Wheels expansion.
Curiously, now we’re getting downloadable content set within a Lego world. There’s Falcon Speedway and Super Mega Awesome Adventure Stunt Park. Also, new cars like the McLaren Senna, the Ferrari F40 Competizione, and the 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally. Forza Horizon 4 Lego Speed Champions launches June 13 on Xbox One and PC as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
I don’t know much about this game but according to Google, is one of Asia’s most popular first-person shooters. It’s developed by South Korean developer Smilegate Entertainment.
It’s a free-to-play title and arrives in 2020.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
A sequel to 2014’s Ori and the Blind Forest, we learned that Ori and the Will of the Wisps launched February 11, 2020. Developer Moon Studios is hard at work on the sequel and it’s simply beautiful. Ori takes on a massive spider and we get a glimpse of new environments.
State of Decay 2 Heartland
Undead Labs is working on a big expansion for State of Decay 2 and features a traditional narrative that returns us to where it all started: Trumbull Valley. Set 18 months after the end of State of Decay, two new survivors deal with mutated zombies. Players can choose who they want to be of the two new survivors and feature two new stories for players to experience. State of Decay 2’s Heartland expansion is available now.
A new trailer for the upcoming and highly-anticipated sequel, Borderlands 3 led the charge for the series at E3. We got a good glimpse at gameplay, the new vault hunters, and confirmation of a new piece of DLC for Borderland 2, which bridges the gap between the two titles. Borderlands 3 launches September 13, 2019, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Phil Spencer revealed information about the upcoming next-gen Xbox, Project Scarlett. Featuring 8K graphics, SSD storage and ray-tracing, and support for 120 fps, this is going to be one hell of a console when it launches in Holiday 2020. The CPU uses AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture, equal to being four times as powerful as the current Xbox One X.
The trailer most people in attendance were waiting for. Halo Infinite serves as a soft reboot of the long-running series. In the trailer, Master Chief is on a ship with an engineer working on reviving the dormant protagonist. No gameplay but the excitement surrounding this game can be felt. Halo Infinite will launch side by side with Project Scarlett.