Microsoft showed off a ton of games at their E3 Xbox Press Briefing, including some new entries in their console-exclusive series as well as some fresh looks at a bunch of third-party games.
Perhaps the biggest news of the show was that Microsoft has acquired or otherwise established five new in-house game developers. These include Undead Labs (State of Decay), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade), and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few), and the newly-established developer The Initiative. Microsoft has been heavily criticized for not having much in the way of console-exclusive content this generation, and this seems very much like a response to that. No new games from these studios were announced, but it’s something to watch for in the next few years.
The show kicked off with the unveiling of Halo Infinite, which is set to be the next entry in Microsoft’s popular science fiction shooter franchise. The trailer teased a lush environment for the game, as well as Master Chief’s appearance. It is unknown if this is the next main entry in the series or a spinoff (as it is not a numbered entry), and no release date was given, so fans will have to speculate until more information is confirmed.
A trailer for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was shown off. The game is being made by From Software, the developer behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and it looks just as over the top and action-packed as those games have been. Players will control a ninja with a prosthetic arm that can be used as a grappling hook, and will face off against various huge and dangerous enemies. The game is coming in 2019 but will also be available for PC and PS4.
Despite being pushed back to 2019, a new look was provided for Crackdown 3, featuring a lot of Terry Crews (who is the model for the primary playable character). The action is extremely wacky, and hopefully will prove to be fun enough for the fans who have waited several years for this game to release. It’s currently slated for a February 2019 launch exclusively on the Xbox One.
Metro: Exodus also got a spotlight after first being featured last year. The post-apocalyptic shooter features some pretty gorgeous environments for having been blown up. It’ll arrive on February 22, 2019.
Though primarily known for its presence on PlayStation, the Kingdom Hearts series will hit Xbox One with Kingdom Hearts 3. The game saw a lengthy trailer at the Microsoft presser that focused on the in-game world based on Disney’s popular Frozen film. Square Enix has announced that the game will arrive on January 29, 2019 for both Xbox One and PS4.
Ubisoft unveiled The Division 2 with a lengthy multiplayer gameplay demonstration. The new game will take place in Washington, D.C. and seems to feature a more colorful environment than the first game. The multiplayer demo highlighted the new setting as well as the strong cooperative gameplay, even if the dialogue between players was clearly canned. The game arrives on March 15, 2019.
Devil May Cry 5 was announced by Capcom at the Microsoft briefing with a slick cinematic trailer focusing on the character Nero. The game is being described as a “true sequel” to Devil May Cry 4 and looks to feature the same slick style and action that its predecessors featured, though it was somewhat surprising that no mention of the 2014 reboot game was made whatsoever. It’ll arrive in the spring of 2019.
Indie darling Cuphead will be getting an expansion, called The Delicious Last Course, in 2019. The DLC will feature the same jazzy soundtrack that the original game was praised so highly for and will likely also include the difficult run-and-gun gameplay as well. Notably, a new character will be playable in the form of Ms. Chalice. The DLC arrives in 2019.
Gears of War 5 was confirmed with a lengthy trailer. The next entry in the Xbox-exclusive franchise will focus on Kait Diaz as she separates from the rest of her crew in order to figure out some personal business. In addition to the new main game, two Gears spinoffs were announced – Gears Tactics and Gears POP!. The former looks to be an XCOM-style tactics game in the Gears universe, while the latter is a more family-friendly take on the franchise in which all of the characters are styled as Funko POP toys. Gears POP! will also be a mobile title rather than a full console game.
The presser closed out with a trailer for the new CD Projekt Red game, Cyberpunk 2077. It’s very Blade Runner-ish but is a clear departure in terms of style from the developer’s previous game, The Witcher.
Other highlights from the show included looks at Sea of Thieves DLC, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Forza Horizon 4, Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Session, Jump Force, Dying Light 2, and numerous others. The presser in full can be seen below.