Assassin’s Creed Valhalla leads the charge.
There was plenty of sound and even more fury when it came to reveals for Microsoft’s forthcoming Xbox Series X in its “first look” at gameplay. That descriptor is generous: While everything was rendered within the Xbox Series X ecosystem it’s unclear how much actual gameplay was shown throughout the hour long affair.
No Xbox Games Studios games were featured in the stream. Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios, made this announcement to start the show, an underwhelming beginning if ever this was one, instead announcing that games from those studios would begin being showcased in July. Microsoft has been gobbling up gaming developers lately–with acquisitions like Ninja Theory, Obsidian, and Double Fine–with each of their 15 studios working on Xbox Series X games.
A high octane world premiere of Dirt 5 showcased cars, mud, and more cars as the ever popular racing series comes to the console, though it likely won’t be the lone racing game for long.
In another world premiere, Deep Silver introduce us to what appears to be a thematically dark space opera in Chorus, as protagonist Nara takes on an “oppressive cult that will stop at nothing to ensure complete subjugation”. Madden NFL 21 was predictably Madden-like, with a series overview introducing the concept, and little else, but more news was promised soon.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 wasted no time in racking up the body count to what was ostensibly a dance number. The hyper violent trailer featured burning bodies, a macabre Christmas scene, and plenty of bites. Call of the Sea lightened the mood, somewhat, with a promising puzzle-mystery set on a lush island.
Bright Memory Infinite, a violent, over-the-top blend of feudalism and modern gunplay, represents an updated take on the game that released on Steam earlier this year. Scorn showcases a bloody, grotesque world that the developers promise “you will explore different interconnected regions in a non-linear fashion”. So that’s nice.
Indeed, the rest of the showcase was full of horror and violence, with a new entry in the Yakuza series, a Turok-inspired mutant dinosaur shooter in Second Extinction, space-faring action RPG The Ascent promises to blend Halo and Mass Effect (lofty!), Bandai Namco’s new JRPG Scarlet Nexus, and the second horror game showcased in the stream, The Medium.
Of course, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was also given time to shine, with a gameplay trailer showcasing raids, dual wielding, and maybe even Odin.
Microsoft promises that the lion’s share of these games will include Smart Delivery, allowing for one version to be released for Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Xbox Series X, with the best possible performance being optimized for the system you’re playing on.
Smart Delivery has been announced for…
- Hellblade 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)
- Halo Infinite (Microsoft Game Studios)
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Dirt 5
- Call of the Sea
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second Extinction
- The Ascent
Liftoff! will focus its ongoing Xbox Series X coverage around Madden, Dirt 5, Call of the Sea, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.