2018 has already been a huge year for Xbox One, one that’s provided plenty for gamers to look forward to in the coming months, and a ton of quality content to get lost in right now. But that doesn’t mean Phil Spencer and the rest of team at Xbox are finished yet, and with X018 promising major new announcements, we tuned in for the two-hour event to hear what they had to say. What were the most exciting announcements made? In no particular order here are 6 of the best from X018.
6. Xbox Game Pass – 16 Games Announced
So, for those of you who have already signed up for an Xbox Game Pass subscription, you’ll already be aware of the 100+ games offered by the service and just how much of a good deal the Xbox Game Pass already is. If you’ve yet to sign up though, then the Xbox Team is pushing all the right buttons to ensure you have no reason to turn down a sleek new subscription for your Xbox One.
From new IPs to highly anticipated arrivals and some of the biggest games already out, Xbox Game Pass is soon going to be home to some incredible new titles. Throughout the X018 event, an incredible 16 new games were announced, to bring us some really exciting new games in the coming months.
We’ve got them all detailed on this article, but the highlights are most certainly the arrival of PUBG, the excellent Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and the hugely immersive Ori and the Blind Forest.
The question is, why wouldn’t you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription in your life?
5. Crackdown 3
It’s been years in the making and for many a month we’ve had to listen to the ‘will it release, won’t it release, when will Xbox cancel it’ debates being thrown around left, right and centre, but now, thanks to X018 we finally have concrete information on Crackdown 3.
That means we have a release date for the upcoming open world action title – February 15th 2019. What’s more is that it will be available on Xbox Game Pass from launch along with all those other titles mentioned up above.
It may have taken a rather questionably comical Terry Crews advert to announce it, but if that’s what we have to sit through to get confirmation that we’ll definitely be getting hands on with Crackdown 3 soon, then what’s not to like. And whilst limited in scope, we even got to see some gameplay, and by god, it looks fantastic, with the agent running, jumping, shooting and moving exactly how we all remember it back in the original.
For those attending the show however, it was also good to see Wrecking Zone made playable in the Crackdown 3 booth, highlighting what has come of the popular cloud-based technology. In Wrecking Zone players will compete in two teams of 5 Agents, in the ultimate combat arena. You’ll be battling for supremacy as you blast bridges into rubble, level skyscrapers and cause complete destruction to your surroundings.
Of course, the cloud-based technology has been debated in recent months, but it was confirmed that no matter what you’re playing on, the performance will be the same thanks to the power of the cloud.
There is something slightly different to what we’ve seen before however and that seems to be that the Wrecking Zone Mode and Campaign Mode appear to be completely separate downloads, but with more confirmation that Crackdown 3’s Campaign will be just like the original, there is plenty to be shouting about now for the inbound release of Crackdown 3. Until then, you can grab the first game in the series for free until November 30th.
4. Xbox Mouse and Keyboard support dated
For years gamers have argued over which is best – mouse and keyboard, or controller! PC veterans will accept none other than the mighty keyboard and mouse, whilst hardcore console fans will not be spoken against when it comes to the comfort of a controller.
Should you want to make the true decision for yourself however, then Wednesday November 14th is the day you’ll be able to jump into a selection of Xbox One games with that long-promised mouse and keyboard support. Whilst it won’t be in every game immediately, the following games will be granted full mouse and keyboard support on Xbox One when the update arrives… and it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a fantastic start!
- Bomber Crew
- Children of Morta
- Day Z
- Mini Master
- Strange Brigade
- Deep Rock Galactic
- Warhammer Vermintide 2
- Turn 1
- X-Morph: Defense
It’s yet to be seen how competitive gameplay will be kept fair – I am someone who is of the agreement that mouse and keyboard provides optimum precision – but it has been confirmed that the decision is always up the developer and a Fortnite spokesperson did say that players with keyboard and mouse would only be pitted against other keyboard and mouse users to keep things fair.
No matter how you feel about it though, navigating the inventory of Day Z, or picking off the perfect headshot in Warface is certainly going to be more enjoyable with mouse and keyboard support. What’s more is the fact that PC accessory giant Razer are now an official partner of Xbox, and with a wireless mechanical Razer keyboard coming in 2019, we may yet see some truly accessible mouse and keyboard play for Xbox One from the comfort of the sofa.
Ever wanted dynamic lighting and flashing keyboards to indicate team mates going down? Well, worry no more as that’s a thing too!
3. Forza Horizon 4 – Fortune Island
It wouldn’t be right to have an Xbox event without at least some mention of the mighty Forza and X018 brought us just that.
Fortune Island… remember the name as that’s the place you’ll be heading to next in Forza Horizon 4.
Whilst many of us have still yet to finish the huge list of events on offer in Forza Horizon 4, that hasn’t stopped the team over at Playground Games from getting to work on the next adventure within the game, and Fortune Island is the adventure in question.
In the rather exciting Fortune Island, you’ll be hunting for treasure across the most extreme terrain seen in a Forza Horizon game. With cliff top trails, winding mountain switchback roads perfect for drifting, ravines, thunderous weather and the aurora borealis lighting up the night sky, this is one expansion that players won’t want to miss.
And that’s without us mentioning that it’s the biggest expansion seen yet in a Forza Horizon game!
More racing anyone?
2. Sea of Thieves & State of Decay 2 set for huge updates
Whether you love them or hate them, you’d struggle to argue that Sea of Thieves & State of Decay 2 haven’t provided a huge boost to the Xbox One. For me State of Decay 2 was a bit of let down with the limited distance players could go from each other in co-op and Sea of Thieves hardly inspired with a lack of content at launch. Since that point though both games have expanded, with the teams behind them listening to fans, and taking to the drawing board to create some incredible ideas that we’ll be getting hands on with come early 2019.
If you’re a fan of Sea of Thieves, then the new Arena update will be something worth shouting about as it brings a new Crew vs Crew PVP mode to the whole experience. As a game that has already seen multiple updates, there is certainly excitement being carved through the waters with the open-seas adventure and with no signs of slowing and no cost attached to the upcoming update, there can only be plain sailing from here.
As for State of Decay 2, a new update – Zedhunter – is set to arrive much sooner, with a date of November 16th attached, and that will see some rather exciting crossbows brought in to play. This includes arrows that can be collected from enemies and the environment, provided they haven’t broken on impact, and that is something that will allow players to stay out in the apocalyptic countryside for even longer whilst providing a deadly yet silent approach to dispatching Zeds.
That’s not quite all however as in 2019 a huge new update is set to arrive that will see players return to Trumble Valley. Full information on that one is being kept under wraps for now, we’ll need to wait a little longer before we can jump and shout but 2019 is sure to be bright for State of Decay 2.
1. Studio Acquisitions
X018 was full of plenty of exciting announcements, with the addition of more studios being added to Microsoft’s incredible E3 acquisition portfolio, being nothing short of awesome.
There are now two new studios that form a part of Microsoft Game Studios; two new studios that will bring exclusive titles to the Xbox One.
The most recent additions come in the form of legendary RPG creators inXile Entertainment – the guys responsible for RPG cult classic Wasteland and the rather telling Bards Tale IV – and Obsidian Entertainment, those behind the iconic Fallout: New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth.
As was said during the event, all studios within the Microsoft Game Studios portfolio will be able to retain their independent wishes when it comes to creating new games and that means we will still have every chance of seeing that very magic that made these studios so commendable, with the only difference being they will be tied to the Xbox experience and have a much heftier budget to work with. Are two RPG acclaimed studios what Xbox really need right now? Who knows, but it certainly won’t hurt!
So, there we have it, 6 of the most exciting announcements to come out of X018. Do you think Xbox had a strong showing or is there something missing that you hoped to see announced? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.