Before Gamescom 2021 officially began, Xbox hosted a special presentation live stream discussing upcoming releases and previewing new content. Hosted by Parris Lilly and Kate Yeager, the event featured first look trailers and interviews with the dev teams behind some of the most anticipated Xbox releases coming in the next few months.
Dying Light 2
First up was a look at a new trailer and gameplay from Dying Light 2. Set more than 20 years after the events of Dying Light, Dying Light 2 features new protagonist Aiden Caldwell as he tries to survive in a world that developers Techland describe as a “modern Dark Ages”. The new trailer showcased some of the new ways players will be able to explore the cityscape and fight off enemies both living and dead.
Dying Light 2 is scheduled to be released on December 7.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Next up was a look at the latest update coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Following its successful console launch earlier in the year, the game will be further expanding with this latest update. Launching on September 7, the sixth world update will allow players to explore Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
With these new areas come new challenges and achievements for players to complete. Also coming soon to Microsoft Flight Simulator will be the Junkers JU-52 plane and the Volocopter – paying homage to German aviation achievements both past and future – and the addition of the Reno Air Race competitive multiplayer mode.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is available now on Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Game Pass Updates
For those looking for updates and new content for Game Pass subscribers, the presentation did not disappoint.
Humble Games gave players a look at some of their catalogue of games that will be joining the subscription service, including the recently released Dodgeball Academia, Flynn: Son of Crimson, Next Space Rebels and Unpacking.
There was also a first look at Into The Pit, a new fast-paced, first-person dungeon crawler launching in October and available Day One on Game Pass.
As a final treat to look forward to, it was announced that the Xbox Cloud service – which is currently in beta on PC and mobile devices – will be launching on consoles “this holiday season” and will allow players to enjoy the full library regardless of their console generation. This includes the critically acclaimed Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which will be receiving a new update in the coming weeks.
Age of Empires IV
The latest content coming to Age of Empires IV was unveiled during the presentation. Called Hands-On History, these video inserts into the game will further expand on various key elements of the game, whether it be people, locations or military units. For the showcase, fans got a look at the piece explaining all about one of the most popular units in the game – the Trebuchet.
Created in collaboration with UK based Lion TV, these clips will be available to players as they make their way through the historical saga. Further updates on content were also teased for the Opening Night Live event that will officially mark the start of Gamescom.
Age of Empires IV will be available on PC from October 28.
Next up in the showcase was a first look at the upcoming DLC for Wasteland 3. Titled Cult of the Holy Detonation, the all-new story will take players deep into Cheyenne Mountain. This former military base has now been taken over by warring factions of cultists and it will be up to the player and their squad to decide what to do, who to help and even who to hinder.
With new enemies, weapons, locations, and gameplay to explore, the DLC will be available to players once they reach level 16 in the game. The DLC will also be available as part of the Colorado Collection, set to release on the same day, which will allow players to explore all of Wasteland 3’s DLC to date.
Wasteland 3: Cult of the Holy Detonation is set to be released on October 5.
Sea of Thieves
The next crossover into the world of Sea of Thieves was unveiled in a new trailer. In the upcoming, limited-time Mayhem event, the crew will take on new missions and a host of new challenges to unlock the Mayhem Ship Set inspired by the Borderlands series.
The Mayhem event runs in Sea of Thieves from August 25 to September 7.
State of Decay 2
For those looking for some action on solid ground, there was a look at the next DLC from State of Decay 2. Set to release on September 1, Homecoming will take players to a fully revamped Trumbull Valley location, as previously seen in the Heartland DLC.
This new take on Trumbull Valley will be available for players to settle in and fully explore everything it has to offer, a move endorsed by Undead Labs’ Wonder Russell, who confirmed at the presentation that some of the new items that players find will only be available in the Homecoming DLC.
State of Decay 2: Homecoming will be available on console and PC from September 1.
There were three titles given new trailers during the showcase as a hint of what is to come with Xbox.
After earlier speculation, it was confirmed that the medieval epic Crusader Kings 3 will be coming to Xbox Series X/S, although no release date was given.
Currently in development at 505 Games and Point Blank, Stray Blade is an action RPG set in the lost valley of Acrea set for release in 2022.
Set to release on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC in December, The Gunk is a futuristic action title where players will be working to remove a substance known as “gunk” from alien worlds in an attempt to restore them.
Up next was the team from Double Fine with the release trailer for Psychonauts 2. Razputin “Raz” Aquato returns for a whole new adventure, this time from within the hallowed halls of the Psychonaut Headquarters.
On hand to explain some of the new elements of the game was director Tim Schafer and Art Manager Lisette Titre-Montgomery. They introduced the new characters, including the eclectic Interns Raz meets on his first day and revealing that the mental demons will make a comeback with some new challenges for Raz and his allies to face in the new mind worlds.
Forza Horizon 5
Rounding out the presentation was a more in-depth look at some of the gameplay from Forza Horizon 5. Taking the Horizon Festival to Mexico for this fifth outing, developers Playground Games explained that this is one of the most diverse, detailed, and expansive maps ever created for a Forza title.
The showcase also included the reveal of the game’s cover art – which will feature the Mercedes-AMG ONE and the 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands – and the reveal of the Forza Horizon 5 wireless controller. With a design inspired by the art and culture of Mexico, this limited-edition controller is available for pre-order now to allow players to have it when the game launches in November.
Forza Horizon 5 is set to release on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC on November 9
Full details on all the announcements can be found here or watch the presentation in full below.
Words by Megan Roxburgh
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