Xbox and Bethesda impressed, but not for the reasons I was expecting

There were far too many announcements yesterday for me to give my take on each of them. Instead, I’m going to pick my highlights!


Cyberpunk 2077

Super fun teaser trailer. Exactly the right tone for me. It feels like something new. Shame we didn’t get a release window, or any hints at the story CD Project Red are trying to tell, but if there is one game I don’t want rushed out the door… it’s this one.

Take your sweet, sweet time.

Microsoft is buying up the town

A bunch of great studios have joined the Xbox family, including two British bad boys: Ninja Theory and Playground Games. Also excited to see a new super studio formed under the name of The Initiative.

This shows nothing if not dedication from the Xbox team. They could easily sit back and retreat into becoming solely a games platform with Xbox Live, but instead, they’ve doubled down on being a developer of great games. Bravo.

Xbox Game Pass

Game Pass is becoming quite the service. It’s simply insane value. I can understand core gamers at the forefront of things not being interested as most games in the library are now quite dated, but if you’re a casual gamer looking for variety on a budget, Game Pass is just so perfect.

With all Xbox first-party games, plus a handful of third-party giants like Fallout 4 and Mass Effect on the roster, Game Pass is much more than just a graveyard for failed indie games.

Prey DLC

I’m by no means a Prey fan; I’ve never even played a Prey game. But to see Bethesda and Arkane Studios support this game well past its ‘best-before’ date is just so special to see. When you take financial gain out of the picture, true artistic value can creep in.

Prey feels like a genuine passion project, and I’m glad it exists, even if it’s not for me.

The Division 2

After the Anthem miss-fire on Saturday, I was doubly glad to see this shared-world shooter get a decent shake at Xbox’s briefing. The Division 2 definitely doesn’t look like it’s anything new, but if it fixes some of the grievances fans had from the first entry, then Ubisoft are on to a winner.

I expect to see more later today during Ubi’s press conference.

Rage 2

Believe it or not, I played the first Rage way back when; and I really liked it. I motored through that game. I was still shocked to see a sequel announced, but unlike most, I was pleasantly surprised.

They’ve shifted tone on this one, leaning into the Mad Max / Borderlands vibe, which is a smart move given the studio they’ve partnered with: Avalanche, who did a pretty good job with their own take on Mad Max a few years ago. We’re also not seeing a Borderlands game this year, so Bethesda are filling a gap nicely.


Unfortunately, a lot of the bigger names didn’t do anything for me: Halo, Gears, Crackdown, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Tomb Raider etc.

None of them gave me the feels. Maybe it was because of how quickly Microsoft ploughed through their show, or because of Bethesda’s change of direction with their lead franchises? Regardless, there was more than enough for me to get hyped about.

Today should be another killer showing with Square, Ubi and Sony poised to impress. I’ll check in with my thoughts on these shows tomorrow.

Best wishes y’all.

Sean

My Two Bottle Caps

 

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