2020 is here and it’s looking like being a stunning year to be an Xbox gamer. With Xbox Series X due to drop nearer the close of the year, and all manner of great games coming to Xbox One in the meantime, we’re not going to be short of games to play. And in and amongst those titles will be a shed load of Xbox first party experiences, with the following all confirmed for action.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The sequel to the phenomenal Ori and the Blind Forest is first up, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps is coming to Xbox One and PC March 11th 2020.
Xbox couldn’t ask for a better kickstart to their year as the original game is undoubtedly one of the best games this generation. From what we’ve seen of the sequel it looks as fluid, beautiful and brutal as always and we couldn’t ask for any better. The sequel seems to have added weapons, side quests and time trials and its newest trailer at the Game Awards only hyped us up more.
Ninja Theory’s first game since their critical darling, Hellblade, is due out March 24th 2020 on Xbox One and PC.
For those itching for more single player content from the studio, don’t worry – Ninja Theory has multiple teams and it just so happens that one of them is working on this competitive multiplayer game. Mixing the third-person action the studio is known for with the hero shooter elements that have made Overwatch such a hit, Bleeding Edge could very well be a surprise hit on Game Pass.
At the 2019 Game Awards, this spin-off title was confirmed to be coming to PC first on April 28th and to console later. Though it’s set in the Gears of War universe, Tactics’ gameplay is more comparable to XCOM with tactical, cover-based strategy. With over 40+ hours of gameplay, we’ll be sure to get a ton of new lore and customisation options throughout the journey. It’s set 12 years before the original, but since the main character has the same last name as Gears 5‘s protagonist, Diaz, Tactics will definitely have connections to Kait’s ongoing story.
The best selling game of all time gets a top-down, looter spin-off in April 2020 for all consoles and PC. Minecraft Dungeons seems to be taking the aesthetics and monsters from Minecraft proper and mashing them up with Diablo-esque gameplay. Hordes of enemies, top-down action combat and lite RPG/loot mechanics are all present here.
Obsidian’s next game after their hit The Outer Worlds isn’t what you’d expect from the studio.
Instead of the deep RPGs that have defined the team, Obsidian takes a pivot with Grounded: a survival game where you play as a bunch of children that have been shrunk to the size of ants. It looks like a cross between Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Rust.
It sounds weirdly fun and you won’t need to wait long as Microsoft promised it would be out Spring 2020.
The first game by inXile as an Xbox Game Studio is due to be out May 19th 2020.
While isometric, traditional RPGs are very niche, Wasteland 3 is interested in seducing non-fans with great visuals, a fascinating world and the meaningful choices that have established the series thus far.
As Wasteland 3 was announced before the acquisition, it’ll be out on PS4 as well as Xbox One and PC.
Tell Me Why
Along with Ori, Tell Me Why is another game not actually developed by an internal Xbox Studio. The team handling this one is Dontnod Entertainment, the minds behind Life is Strange and Vampyr.
Earlier in the year I predicted Dontnod would join the Xbox family, but hey, close enough right? Tell Me Why looks like it’s the same breed of adventure game as Life is Strange, but this time around the story centres on two twins dealing with childhood trauma. Its announcement made headlines as it’s one of the first major game releases to star a trans character.
All three episodes of Tell Me Why are releasing Summer 2020 on Xbox One and PC.
Time for the big one.
Halo Infinite was announced at E3 2018 with a cryptic ‘in-engine demonstration’ trailer. The reveal lacked any obvious gameplay but it still delivered an emotional punch with a return to the classic Halo art style, music and the titular ring that made the series iconic. At E3 2019 we still didn’t get any gameplay, only an admittedly very cool cutscene.
Though we did find out Halo would make its comeback alongside the Xbox Series X during Holiday 2020, as well as Xbox One and PC. With the successful release of Halo MCC on PC, the series is more popular than it has been all generation. Regardless, Halo Infinite will be a humongous deal.
The long awaited Double Fine sequel only has a vague 2020 launch window attached to its release. Announced in 2015, Psychonauts 2 has been in development for almost half a decade so there’s no reason to suspect we need to wait too much longer for our next trippy adventure into people’s minds.
Just like Wasteland 3, Psychonauts 2 was revealed before the acquisition so the game will be available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Nobody expect the return of MS Flight Simulator to look so damn good when it was revealed at E3 2019.
The game uses satellite information and cloud technology to create its stunningly gorgeous real-world vistas. Microsoft have promised that pretty much anyone will be able to find their homes in-game in 2020.
The game will arrive first on PC and later on Xbox One.
The original Battletoads is notorious for being one of the hardest games of all time and, while the art style has changed in this reboot, the difficulty certainly hasn’t. This is the second Rare classic making a return this generation after Killer Instinct in 2013.
The return of Battletoads is another game with a vague 2020 promise on Xbox One and PC.
Rare’s newest IP was revealed at X019 with a more than vague teaser trailer.
While it showed off majestic wildlife, three new characters and a stunning art style we still have no idea what type of game Everwild will be. Open-world adventure? Linear co-op puzzler? Who knows.
There was no 2020 year attached at the end of the announcement trailer so it’s safe to say we probably won’t be playing it before the release of the Xbox Series X.
Forza Motorsport 8?
Forza has been an annual series since 2011, alternating between Turn 10’s Motorsport and Playground Games’ Horizon series. However, 2019 saw an absence of either sub-series. Since 2018 brought us the phenomenal Forza Horizon 4, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that 2020 will see the release of Forza Motorsport 8 alongside our shiny new Xbox Series X systems. Racing games do make excellent technical showcases after all.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II?
Hellblade II was the first game we’ve seen on an Xbox Series X and it looked glorious.
Senua’s first adventure was universally renowned for its photorealistic facial animation technology and the sequel seems to have upped the ante, capturing horrifyingly realistic expressions. Story-wise, the trailer kept things vague. Senua seems more angry than ever and appears to be casting some kind of hellish spell.
The head of Xbox said the sequel was early in development so the chances of a 2020 release are slim.
2020 is shaping up to be a great year on Xbox and this little lot should have you excited for what is to come. As always though, let us know in the comments which of these games you are most looking forward to.