The day is here and we’ve finally seen our first look at gameplay on the Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s next-gen console due out this year. While the Inside Xbox show was light on big, blockbuster games, we still got a look at a ton of exciting stuff. If you were disappointed by the lack of first-party titles such as Halo, the team confirmed Xbox Game Studios will be having their own showcase in July. Xbox also announced they’ll be having news every month leading up to the launch of Series X. But, for now, let us gush over our first looks at the future of Xbox.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Yakuza isn’t always a series you’d expect to show up at an Xbox event, but I’m glad it’s becoming a familiar face at these shows. Showcasing impressive facial animations, beautiful environments and over the top drama, Yakuza: Like a Dragon managed to make an impression at the show.
We also got quite a hefty chunk of gameplay during the trailer, showing just how cinematic Yakuza can look running on next-gen hardware. As one of the biggest games of the event, expect to see a lot more of Yakuza on the Xbox Series X.
The Scarlet Nexus trailer began with beautiful, dense shots of its bustling city – signs plastered on the side of buildings, every shot full of colour in a game with a beautiful anime art style. It almost appeared peaceful until we got a look at some grotesque creatures that are half robotic, half…. flower? Either way, they were creepy, enticing and just exciting to look at.
But thankfully, we also got a taste of the game’s combat. Our protagonist has the ability of psychokinesis, allowing him to pummel his enemies with objects and slice them with his sword. One shot even shows him moving an entire train, hinting at some seriously epic set pieces. The combat looked frantic and fluid and it’s exciting to have a character-driven action game as one of the showcase games of the next generation.
It’s also exciting to note the presence of Asian developers at the show. Hopefully this sets a precedent for the Xbox Series X and we see an improvement in the amount of Asian games that come to the platform.
Bloober Team – the studio behind Blair Witch and Layers of Fear – announced their latest psychological horror game, The Medium. In a show full of sinister and dark games, The Medium managed to stand out with its trailer.
It showcased a woman going back and forth between a destroyed real world and an alternate, hellish reality as the landscape around her shifted, reddened and turned to ash. We got shots of a pregnancy, a church crumbling to ash and and a ton of other spooky iconography as well. Added to Bloober’s already impressive team is the iconic composer of the Silent Hill series, Akira Yamaoka, upping the ante.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodline 2’s trailer makes an impression from the very beginning as we see corpses hanging from the ceiling like puppets, in front of a Christmas tree no less. The cheery music continues from there even though the content of the trailer remains eerie. We see shots of the game’s city at night, full of dark alleys and ominous figures.
Then we’re treated to some fantastic combat shots. We see parkour, the ability to hover, melee combat and a shot showing the player grabbing an enemy weapon through telekinesis and using it for themselves. Full of style, action and bloodsucking, this trailer cemented Vampire as a game to look out for on the Series X.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
While our first look at Valhalla’s gameplay wasn’t as long and substantial as we’d hoped, what we did get was still stunning and packed with shots to gush over. The rolling hills and stone arcs of ninth-century England, as well as the glorious northern lights of Norway, were all on display here.
The brief gameplay trailer also teased a lot of what we can expect. Conquest battles seem to be back, as we see Eivor attacking an enemy fort with an army behind him. We got a great shot of Eivor’s chest, plastered with tattoos that we’ll be able to customise. Throwable axes, takedowns, sailing and the Assassin’s Creed’s iconic hidden blade were also all on display. The hidden blade in this trailer was curiously also covered in gold, perhaps hinting that we’ll be able to customise or improve it over the course of the game.
So there we have it – the best bits from the first showing of Xbox Series X gameplay goodness. But what were your highlights? What really stood out for you? Let us know in the comments.