Because Hot Game Summer cannot simply end when it was supposed to, Xbox had a second “extended” showcase today following its original presentation on Sunday. If you missed this extended show and want to watch it, here’s the archived stream. For everyone else, check out recap below:
Forza Horizon 5
After its debut at the original E3 showcase, Forza Horizon 5 kicked off the show with an interview with Playground Games Creative Director Mike Brown talking about how the studio worked with Mexican artists and actors to capture the game’s Mexico setting. Also included was a look at Forza Horizon 5’s Event Lab feature, which allows players to create custom games. Such as car bowling where you can drive through bowling pins to score points. The game is set to launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows on November 9. Anyone who buys the Premium Edition will get early access on November 5.
Hellblade II: Senua’s Saga
Ninja Theory showed off some concept footage, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at the development of Hellblade II: Senua’s Saga. From some in-game scenes to motion capture.
Xbox Design Lab
Microsoft is bringing back its Xbox Design Lab service, which allows people to make custom Xbox controllers, which went on hiatus leading up to the Xbox Series X/S launch. The service is finally coming back to support Series X/S controllers and is live on Xbox’s website now.
Double Fine’s Tim Schafer made an appearance to give an extended look at Psychonauts 2 and all its mind-diving antics. Psychonauts has always had a lot of clever ways of personifying concepts of thought into game design, and the sequel still looks to excel in that area. It also seems to be pretty strongly tied to the original game lore-wise, which is nice to see as a fan of that game even though it’s been 16 years. Based on the familial elements at play, Psychonauts 2 will be a personal story for protagonist Raz, which will be rewarding for long-time fans, as well. The game is launching on Linux, Mac, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on August 25.
Four-player cooperative shooter The Anacrusis made its debut at Microsoft’s E3 conference earlier this week, and Stray Bombay Company CEO Chet Faliszek came by the extended showcase to talk about it more. He spoke on trying to move away from something dreary in the post-apocalyptic genre after the pandemic, which is why the team went for a more colorful, lighter take on an alien invasion story. The game’s title is a reference to a musical term that references notes before the full piece of music, which is meant to reference that this game is about the early moments of an alien invasion before an all-out war.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl
GSC Gameworld’s Zachar Bocharov talked over more footage of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl. The extended presentation highlighted new weapons, side characters, and some of the game’s horrifying enemies. Beyond in-game clips, the team also showcased some behind-the-scenes footage of facial capture used on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2‘s human characters. The game is set to launch on Windows and Xbox Series X/S on April 28 of next year.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
Ahead of the launch of its upcoming sequel, A Plague Tale: Innocence is getting an update for Xbox Series X/S to run at 4K on the system. The update will be pushed through on July 6.
Age of Empires IV
In terms of new “exclusive” content, the biggest news on the Age of Empires IV presentation was the names of the remaining civilizations that will be playable when the RTS launches on PC: the Holy Roman Empire and the Rus. The names of the two remaining campaigns are the Rise of Mosco and the Mongol Empire. Age of Empires IV will launch on October 28.
We’ve seen Battlefield 2042 a handful of times in the past week. This time it was to focus on the All-Out Warfare mode, which is considered the more classic Battlefield experience. But there are two different settings: Conquest and Breakthrough. Conquest is meant to be more of a sandbox experience, while Breakthrough is more geared toward guided setpieces.
Sea of Thieves: A Pirates Life
The Pirate of the Caribbean x Sea of Thieves collaboration was revealed at E3, but it was primarily through a cinematic trailer. This time there was a gameplay trailer, and a promise of a whole showcase on Sunday featuring developers at Rare and people from Disney to talk about the collaboration. The presentation will begin on Sunday, June 20 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Xbox’s Twitch channel.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox Series X/S, and a lot of this interview with studio head Jorg Neumann was about how those consoles are powerful enough to run the notably demanding game. Along with that, Microsoft Flight Simulator will feature some additional onboarding features for players who may have not played a flight simulator before. Whether that be in additional tutorials or autopilot features.
Supergiant ran through the Greek mythology that inspired Hades. You know what this game is. It’s coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on August 13.
Microsoft showed off a montage of a bunch of indie games, which you can check out above.
Obsidian made an appearance to talk about the latest update to Grounded, including new base-building elements, the Broodmother’s relaunch into the game after its removal early in the game’s life cycle, and the addition of Achievements.
FoamPunch showed a deeper look at its snowboarding game Shredders, specifically showcasing the snowy environments.
Next up was a look at Halo Infinite’s multiplayer. 343 Industries showed up to break down, almost shot by shot, the multiplayer trailer that’s already been shown off. From characters, modes, and sandbox tools.
Closing out the show was a new look at the upcoming action RPG Scarlet Nexus from different members of the development team. Kouta Ochiai, the art director behind the game, spoke about its visual identity, from its cel-shaded characters and enemy design to inspiration from real-world Japan. Producer Keita Iizuka also spoke about the game’s dueling narrative and how it is experienced from the perspective of two protagonists. Game Director Kenji Anabuki also talked about combat, from giving Scarlet Nexus’ characters distinct fighting styles to skill progression trees.