Thoughts on May’s Inside Xbox 20/20 Stream

My first draft of this began with me expressing disappointment in what we got yesterday. After promising first next gen gameplay reveals, initially I felt that what we got was well produced target renders for some admittedly cool looking games. Having just re-watched it though, I’m much more inclined to agree that – while it’s not quite what we were hoping for exactly – they did more or less live up to that promise, in a way.

Watch the entire stream here.

The majority of the trailers came with the disclaimer of “Representative of Series X Gameplay” preceding them. The hardware is still under development, of course, but to promise next gen gameplay then slap that tag at the start of each trailer felt a little disingenuous. There was also a lot more CGI in each trailer than gameplay, which is not so bad in itself, but again kind of goes against the supposed premise of the event.

Some, such as Scorn, only featured “in-engine” footage, with no actual gameplay at all. It looked lovely, in a fucked up sort of way, and I can’t den being intrigued to learn more, but again, for a next gen gameplay reveal this felt like an odd inclusion.

Click here to check out the Scorn trailer. Just don’t eat anything first…

To be fair though, there was a lot more gameplay clips featured than I initially remembered. Alien-dino-slaying FPS Second Extinction was pretty much all gameplay, though the HUD and other things you’d expect to see when playing were removed for a more cinematic feel. DiRT5 was the typical high energy racing trailer we’d expect, with some sweeping shots over what appeared to be in game racing. Opener Bright Memory: Infinite had shades of Sony’s PS3 reveal of Killzone 2 about it to me, though it didn’t seem to be as blatantly mocked up as that demo was. If that was true in game action though, then it’ll definitely be one to keep an eye on. The mix of Titanfall style movement, Crysis type powers and some stunning visuals meant it was certainly a good choice to start off with. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 is now on my radar too, with a comically messed up opening to it’s trailer that certainly got my attention.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 certainly grabbed my attention from the off.

Looking back at the information we had going in, Xbox pretty much delivered what they said they would; a first look at next gen gameplay. I think the collective thought was that that meant we’d get a more detailed look at some of these titles though, rather than what amounted to several hype trailers. What snippets of gameplay that were shown off looked great, and some cool titles were revealed, but when we get to the July 20/20 event, Microsoft absolutely need to not only show us what their first party line up looks like, but devote a bit more time to each game, especially Halo Infinite and whatever else is coming before the year is out.

Developers and publishers hands are likely tied now, until more information on the console’s launch is out there. Hopefully we’ll see deeper dives on titles such as Scorn, The Medium, Chorus, Call of the Sea and more as the year goes on. Despite my initial feelings, this was a decent first step into next gen, but we absolutely need more going forward.

Oh, and if someone can explain to Ubisoft that a Gameplay Reveal should have some gameplay in it, that’d be grand.

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I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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