Xbox Games Showcase 2020 Feels like a Flop

This year’s Xbox Games showcase is following suit with other types of showcases and conventions and streaming online rather than having an in-person announcement.  Xbox speakers will be showcasing their top games expected for next year with a huge focus on “Halo: Infinite.” This year felt kind of weird. Here’s what happened in my brain during this whole thing.

The pre-show was cringy. I streamed it through YouTube on IGN’s channel to avoid commentary through every single game trailer. Thank you IGN. No matter what trailer we watched during the pre-show, there was only immediate talk about “Halo.” Is this a Halo Showcase or an Xbox showcase?

During the pre-game show we saw trailers for: “Echo Generation” (2021), “Hello Neighbor 2” (no release date), “Watch Dogs: Legion” (Oct 29), “Balaan Wonderworld” (Spring 2021) and “ExoMecha” (2021). 

While some games had small teasers or trailers, others went more in depth with commentary from their developers. “Balaan Wonderworld,” from Square Enix, was one that truly stood out to me. This game utilizes music and theater to help tell its story. You must navigate through other characters’ psyche in an imaginary world conjured by their emotions. Your job is to rid them of negative emotions in a metaphorical sense through levels and puzzles. This looks like a game to keep an eye out for in the future!

As the show began, we immediately were immersed into the “Halo: Infinite” trailer. At first glance, the game mechanics seemed smooth but upon some investigation by random Twitter users, freeze frames expose the shaky graphics of this game. Although we only saw campaign gameplay, the next upcoming months we should be seeing more co-op gameplay.

To me, for this showcase to really focus on “Halo,” it already felt like a miss. I was having flashbacks to other showcases like E3. I missed the crowd and sharing excitement on screen with other gamers. I’ll never forget watching the announcement of “Fallout 4” and seeing the crowd go nuts. For such a big showcase, showing your most anticipated game first felt odd. It didn’t feel authentic and it made me anxious for the future of gaming showcases streamed online. 

We were quickly whisked to different trailers and “Halo” was pushed to the side. After the “State of Decay” trailer rolled, which was amazing by the way, we then received a “welcome,” which again felt strange. Why show these two trailers and then welcome us to the showcase? 

The hype? It was dead. 

“Forza Motorsport” showed a bunch of cars zooming around and showed that their devs were really pushing the limits to their graphics. This piece honestly just felt like another commercial for the Xbox Series X. I felt nothing during this. Next up was “Everwild,” a game from Rare Studios, in which I’m certainly biased. “Banjo-Kazooie” is one of my favorite games and has always held a place in my heart. This game focuses on a connection to nature and using magic while you explore the world around you. I felt a lot during this. Will buy 10/10.

We continued to have trailers pumped out one after another, some with videos from devs accompanying them and some just followed with silence and a black screen. “Tell Me Why,” “The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon,” “Grounded,” “Avowed,” “As Dusk Falls,” “Hellblade II,” “Destiny 2: Beyond Light,” “Psychonauts 2,” “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2,” “Darktide,” I refuse to acknowledge the “Tetris” game, “The Gunk,” “Medium,” “Crossfire X” and “Fable.”

Some games that I am anxious for:

“The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon.” I loved this base game. It was comedic, dramatic and full of unique story lines. This DLC feels a lot like “New Vegas: Old World Blues.” Obsidian knows what they’re good at and they continue to hammer out silly but clever sci-fi inspired adventure based content. I’m really looking forward to this one.

“Avowed.” This world NEEDS MORE open world RPGs. Based in a fantasy world, this game has a Skyrim-esque feel to it and who didn’t like “Skyrim?”

“Destiny 2: Beyond Light.” I’ve really enjoyed “Destiny 2” for quite a long time, even though spending hours doing raids with your friends can ruin your mental health permanently. I have PTSD from running Leviathan for over seven hours with five of my friends, one of which was my husband and one of them was trashed. I’m sure Bungie didn’t have that in mind when it came to making unforgettable memories but at least we can sometimes look back and sort of laugh at how much it butchered our trust in each other. I’m really anticipating another seven hours of *~bliss~* with this update.

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.” I haven’t even played the first one but after seeing that the game would be set in Chernobyl… I. WAS. IN. Babies in tubes? Hazmat suits? That’s my love language. 

In conclusion: I was really let down when it came to how informal this showcase felt. There was no hype, no indulgence and it was only around an hour long. In times of social distancing and being cautious the need to go online is necessary and there is no way around it. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Let’s do better next time.

BANNER: – EMR -//Wikimedia Commons

I write things for myself to read over and over again and then delete. Changed the entire delivery schedule of the Red Bull vendor upon moving to a new town. I mostly play RPGs and FPS but will spend $60 to play other games for 5 minutes. Honorary Member of the Dark Brotherhood. Voted “Nicest Girl to Write the Darkest Scripts” in college. LOL at “nicest.” Vader once called me “autistic” live on his stream. Very experienced in absolutely blowing all my opportunities in life. Veteran experience in muting my mic during any online gameplay. I was once asked by the guy working at GameStop if I needed New Vegas in the “blue case” or the “green case.” Game Mode: Hardcore

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