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Xbox Games Showcase 2024: Highlights, Misses, and CGI/DEI Overload

The Xbox Showcase 2024 has wrapped up, and while it delivered a range of exciting announcements and sneak peeks, it fell into a familiar trap that has plagued many game showcases: an overabundance of CGI trailers with scant gameplay footage. Although it wasn’t as egregious as the CGI-heavy Summer Game Fest, the lack of substantial gameplay was still a notable downside. Another annoying problem was the distant release windows for many titles, with most games seemingly set for a 2025 release, if they had any release date at all...

Despite these issues, the showcase had its high moments, with several standout titles that caught my attention.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 – A Familiar Return

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 kicked off the showcase with a gameplay trailer set in a post-Cold War era. The trailer revealed new settings and characters, stirring excitement for fans of the series. Scheduled to release later this year, it stands as one of the few games with a concrete launch window.

Doom: The Dark Ages – A Medieval Twist

This one looked awesome - id Software unveiled Doom: The Dark Ages, taking the legendary FPS franchise to a medieval setting. The gameplay trailer, filled with brutal combat and innovative weaponry, promises a fresh yet familiar Doom experience. This title is also set to release later this year.

Dragon Age: The Veilguard – BioWare’s Next Epic

BioWare’s Dragon Age: The Veilguard was showcased with a trailer that hinted at returning characters and an expansive RPG experience. While no release date was given, the detailed look provided a glimpse into the game’s rich narrative and world-building.

State of Decay 3 – A Gruesome Survival

After a long wait, State of Decay 3 resurfaced with a new trailer. The footage highlighted the grim, zombie-infested world and introduced new enemies. While it set the stage for the game’s atmosphere, it left us... ugh... without a release date.

Other Notable Mentions

  • Starfield: Shattered Space – The first major expansion for Starfield, promising new content launching later tonight.

  • Clair Obscur: Expedition 33 – A new third-person adventure game set for a 2025 release.

  • South of Midnight – Showcased its unique magical swamp combat, slated for 2025.

  • Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater – Provided a glimpse of the remake’s gameplay without a release date.

  • Fable – Gave a solid look at gameplay, focusing on a retired hero’s journey, expected in 2025.

  • Life Is Strange: Double Exposure – Announced an October 29, 2024 release, featuring Max Caufield in a parallel universe.

  • Indiana Jones and the Great Circle – A cinematic-heavy trailer set in the Himalayas, release date TBD.

  • Avowed – Showed vibrant fantasy RPG elements, releasing later this year.

Perfect Dark – A Glimmer of Hope

Another game that stood out was the Perfect Dark reboot. This long-awaited title finally gave us a look at some gameplay, showcasing Agent Dark in action. The trailer displayed a mix of stealth and combat, set against a futuristic cityscape. However, like many other games in the showcase, it left us without a release date, adding to the growing sense of anticipation and frustration. Many folks have noticed the all too common 'manly' chin on Johanna in this reboot. Hopefully, it's not as 'pronounced' when the game launches...

Gears of War: E-Day – A Promising Yet Distant Tease

The highlight for me was Gears of War: E-Day. This prequel promises to dive into the early days of Marcus Fenix and the harrowing events of E-Day.

The trailer was packed with intense CGI, but disappointingly, there was no gameplay or release date provided. The lack of concrete details makes it hard to get truly excited, knowing that the game's release is likely far off. So my hype levels came crashing down...

Final Thoughts

The Xbox Showcase 2024 was an overall good mixed bag. While it presented a slew of exciting announcements and visually stunning trailers, the overreliance on CGI and the scarcity of gameplay footage were significant drawbacks. There also was a sense of serious "DEI" involvement in a number of the titles. The distant release dates for many anticipated titles dampened the overall excitement to boot.

Despite these issues, games like Gears of War: E-Day and Perfect Dark managed to shine through, promising thrilling experiences down the line. Here’s hoping that future showcases strike a better balance between cinematic flair and tangible gameplay revelations.

Did you watch the showcase? What were your takeaways?


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1 Comment

Didn't watch. Anything current-day is an automatic wait-and-see as far as I'm concerned.

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