The Xbox July Showcase

July had a lineup of gaming showcases that were meant to be built upon each other. We had Playstation do their own event in June, but did Microsoft wow enough people to sell the new Xbox Series X? While having an event also previously in June, Microsoft decided to have a special event dedicated only to it's Microsoft Studios, instead of 3rd party studios. Let's get into it.

Our first major part of the event had me excited personally. I've always been a big Gears of War and Halo fan. I started out as a Halo fan, but grew into Gears of War later on. Watching the new campaign gameplay, I was shocked to finally see grunts that can fly? Yes, we had grunts using the jetpacs on their backs to fly and shoot at us. I'll cover Halo Infinite in another article, but for now, let's just say the devs expect this game to be larger than every Halo game that's come out, specifically the last two games.

The games that had us anticipating more will be listed first, along with a brief explanation as to what they may be about. These games, as mentioned are from Microsoft's own gaming studios. While most may cater towards those loyal to Xbox, several will also premier inside the GamePass Ultimate on PC as well.

First, we're excited for Fable's return. We were sad when LionHead Studios closed. It was a great studio, and one in which we miss dearly. We didn't think there was hope for a new Fable game, but now we finally have that. The dry humor, the fantasy setting. It's all there. The trailer showed us the world, but not much gameplay. It's being developed by the studio responsible for Forza. For those who haven't experienced this awesome series, the first three games are available on GamePass now.

Phantasy Star Online 2 is getting its first expansion. Since booting this game up, We've enjoyed being able to see the amazing colors and graphics that are part of this amazing world. We both missed the game series when it first launched years ago on Xbox. Playing PSO 2 is an amazing experience. Our review for that game is still incoming, but seeing as it's first expansion is going live proves that this game is still rocking on the Xbox.

For horror fans, The Medium is unique. You play as a Psychic Medium it would seem, who sees both the real and dark worlds, investigating the murders that take place. The catch is that you experience both worlds SIMULTANEOUSLY and on the same screen. This will definitely be a unique gameplay experience.

Tell Me Why is a unique Telltale like experience, only with actual gameplay this time. Developed by Dontnod, the story will focus on a transgender man and his sister. The mystery behind it is what happened to their mother, why did she shoot at the brother and more. The developers have stated that she didn't shoot him out of transphobia. She was trying to be a supportive mother, but something happened. The game will be episodic, and will feature both siblings experiencing visions of the past whenever they get emotional, or get into emotional events. The first chapter will be out August 27th.

Watch Dogs: Legion seems interesting in the fact that they added a perma-death mechanic. Think Fire Emblem style of death. In other words, getting too attached to certain NPC's turned player characters, may cause you to lose them later. However, the hacking has taken on a new level, with each character being able to have their own unique hacking abilities. It releases in October, so we shall see how well this game impresses.

However, one of the most anticipated games for us will be Everwild. For those of us whom are Shamanistic, Pagan, or just a spiritualist, this game may be perfect for us. The gameplay wasn't featured, but the art style is beautiful and the way they performed their rituals reminded us of our own. It reminded me so much of Breath of the Wild.

The other games featured include Avowed and Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 made by Obsidian. Avowed looked impressive, but with no gameplay, we wonder if it's going to be as good as it seemed. Our own comrade, David, will be impressed as Forza debuted another game. It looked almost realistic for a racing game.

For State of Decay fans, we had a teaser trailer for State of Decay 3, where now, animals are affected by the virus. Crossfire X, Warhammer 40K: Darktide, and The Gunk also debuted. We had a surprise from Jack Black with the new Psychonauts game. We finally have a part 2, but this one seems more trippy, almost like someone was meditating while creating the game. Grounded also released another trailer, as the early access is coming to GamePass.

Another storytelling style game will be As Dusk Falls, by developer Interior/Night. The game is watercolored art style, but will focus on a 30 year period in the American Southwest. It seems like it's based on choice and revolves around a family, a robbery, and the two groups meeting later on at the same motel.

We have a focus on a few others, too. Hello Neighbor 2 a sequel to the first, looks to be more horror oriented, as does the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. We also had a few adventure games debut, including Balan Wonderland, made by Square Enix, and Echo Generation. A few surprises also included Dragon Quest 11 S, a remastered version of Dragon Quest 11 coming to Xbox, and Exo Mecha, a FPS which has on ground combat, as well as large mecha suits doing battle. Reminds one of Power Rangers, and even Mobile Suit Gundam. Not to mention, you can jump between suits and vehicles. Titanfall anyone?

Our last surprise though, was a big one, as not only is The Outer Worlds getting a brand new expansion, BUT, Destiny 2, a game both of us love to play, is coming to GamePass with every expansion free to play on Gamepass. This also includes the brand new Beyond Light expansion. Looks like we will be going over to play on our PC's together come fall!

One last surprise, Switch fans, as Tetris Effect is coming, being rebranded as Tetris Effect : Connected. It will feature all of the beloved competitiveness of the latest installment, but with an additional catch. Now, all of your competitors will be on the same screen and on the same board it seems. This makes it that much more enjoyable and harder to keep pace with your opponents.

As always, keep it to OUGOfficial, as we'll be covering more news, releases and reviews right here at this place! Until next time, keep gaming, and look forward to a price reveal for both PS5 and Xbox Series X soon!

Brian Eckels