After an incredible showcase during E3 2021, Xbox unveiled they would be presenting another showcase on June 17, and here’s everything you need to know from the event.
If you thought the never-ending tirade of announcements from games publishers and developers were over now that E3 has come to a close, you’d be sorely mistaken. Xbox announced through their Twitter account that they would be having an extended showcase on June 17, 2021 for more conversations with developers from 343, Double Fine, Obsidian, Ninja Theory, Playground Games, World’s Edge, Rare and more.
The showcase aired at 1pm ET today, and here is everything you need to know from it:
- Forza Horizon 5 – After opening the showcase with a sizzle reel of what was shown during the main E3 presentation, Mike Brown from Playground Games talked to host Parris Lilly about Forza Horizon 5, how and why they selected Mexico as the games setting, how they ensured an authentic recreation of the country by working with multiple Mexican artists from a variety of disciplines and even sending a team to Mexico to capture the sky, so they could perfectly re-create it in game. Brown also dug a little deeper into the event lab feature within the game, and the incredible creativity that is put on display in that mode.
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 – We then finally saw a bit more of what the team at Ninja Theory has been working on for Hellblade 2. The trailer shown was not really show much a trailer as it was instead snippets of the work the team has done so far on the game, showing different stages of development while also including narration from Senua which could potentially point to this next game being far more expansive. It looks like we’ll be waiting a while longer for Hellblade 2.
- Xbox Design Lab – Next up was an announcement regarding Xbox Design Lab, which has re-opened officially as of today and Xbox fans will now be able to create and customize their own Xbox Series controllers, now with added colour options for ABXY and three new colours for the base of the controllers.
- Psychonauts 2 – Tim Schaffer was the next developer up to talk about the highly anticipated Psychonauts 2 from Double Fine. Schaffer delved deeper into the narrative of the game, revealing that players will learn much more about the lore behind the world of Psychonauts and the main protagonist Raz’s family. We also saw more gameplay which showed off some new abilities Raz has at his disposal this time around like his psychic blast and psychic punch.
- The Anacrusis – We then got a more in-depth look at a new IP which was announced at the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, The Anacrusis which is currently being developed by Stray Bombay. We got a deeper understanding of the AI drivers in the game which helps to make each playthrough feel fresh and new, creating what the developers hope is a sense of infinite replayability.
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chernobyl – After an intense trailer shown at the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, we got a closer analysis of the different events within the trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chernobyl from one of the developers at GSC Games.
- Age of Empires IV – Switching gears to Age of Empires IV, we learned more about some of the new and different dynasties players will be able to choose and about how they are constantly listening to community feedback to continue evolving and improving their games. There are also new expansions coming for Age of Empires II, which you’ll receive for free when you pre-order Age of Empires IV.
- Battlefield 2042 – Staying on the battlefield, we then got a better look at the gameplay reveal for Battlefield 2042 which was unveiled also at Xbox’s E3 event. Daniel Berlin, the design director for Battlefield 2042 gave players more of an idea as to their intentions behind the design of the game and how they are enabling players with their biggest and best multiplayer shooter sandbox yet.
- Sea of Thieves – Switching over to the high seas, Rare unveiled our first look at gameplay for the upcoming expansion, A Pirate’s Life, which is a collaboration with Disney to bring the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to the world of Sea of Thieves. We also learned there is a planned Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life Showcase happening this Sunday, June 20, 2021 which will take us behind the scenes as to how Captain Jack Sparrow ended up in an Xbox Studios franchise.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator – Jorg Neumann was the next developer we heard from, this time about Microsoft Flight Simulator coming to Xbox Series X|S on July 27, 2021. He talked about how they were able to bring the game to console, and about all the accessibility features they’ve added to help those who may have never played a flight simulator to start learning how to fly a plane.
- Grounded – The Shroom and Doom update coming to Grounded was the next area of focus, with mushrooms now being a new resource players can harvest, and form into bricks to create better fortified bases, even full-blown mini-castles if they are able to. Bosses and achievements have also been added with this new update, which will release on June 30.
- Shredders – From the backyard to the slopes, the showcase then switched to Shredders, a new snowboarding game currently on the horizon for this December. We saw additional gameplay footage along with more of the mountain resort players will be able to shred across and explore. The developers also talked about the extraordinarily deep trick system in place, which players can learn to manipulate to create whatever tricks they can imagine.
- Halo Infinite – The second to last developer we heard from was 343, taking a deeper dive into the multiplayer trailer that was shown during E3. A new character within the Halo universe has been added in Commander Laurette, who is training the next generation of Spartans and this is also where the narrative explanation for the multiplayer comes into play. Everything has been focused on providing players with a better sandbox in which they can execute creative and wild plays. We also learned there will be a technical preview this summer for those eager to try to get their hands on Master Chief’s next outing, and you can sign up to potentially be a part of it here.
- Scarlet Nexus – Finally, the show ended with a deep dive into multiple aspects of Scarlet Nexus, from the games setting and environment, the gameplay, enemy design and narrative. We also learned a little about the specs for the game, and that it’ll run at a smooth 60fps on Xbox Series X.