It’s shaping up to be a very good year for Xbox players

During the Developer_Direct show we previously told you about, details were released of five new TOP titles that will be released on Xbox Series X|S, PC, Game Pass and/or cloud later this year. Joe Scrabbles, Xbox Wire’s Editor-in-Chief, tells us the details around them on the Microsoft blog.

Joe, who along with fellow team members attended the show, shares with readers that during the show guests had the opportunity to visit the studios that created the games Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, Avowed, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and Ara: History Untold,.

The developers of the big name games in turn allowed attendees a glimpse into the workings of their creation.

Here’s what Joe Scrabbles has to say about the TOP games coming out this year

Avowed – launching in the fall of 2024

Game Director Carrie Patel shares details around gameplay in Obsidian’s upcoming fantasy action RPG – from the dynamic combat, to the thoughtful reactivity, to the “colorful, vibrant and strange” world in The Living Lands.

What you get from it is that Avowed continues Obsidian’s characteristic style of making games with deep themes and player choice at the forefront.

Avowed’s aim is to offer choice in combat as well. From gameplay director Gabe Paramo, we find out more about the game’s weapons and their variety – from melee weapons, guns and bows for long-range combat to magic wands. You’ll also have the option of changing gear.

Art director Matt Hansen makes it clear that The Living Lands is a mysterious island made up of extremely diverse regions that offer visually varied backgrounds and intriguing environments to explore. With secrets hidden in the regions, you’ll be introduced to deserts, verdant forests, volcanoes and more.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II – launched on 21 May

Developer_Direct attendees get a behind-the-scenes look at the game’s studio in Cambridge to get a closer look at Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, and meet some of the team, as well as learn more about work on the new title, which is in its final months of development.
The video talks more about Senua’s new journey, which takes her to Iceland, a ruthless country ravaged by myth and tyranny. The video gives a new glimpse into Senua’s experience of the world, seen through her eyes as someone experiencing psychosis. Senua’s violent battles that she fights are also in view of the audience.

We also find out details about what players can expect from the game’s story and how the spatial audio will immerse players deep into the world of Hellblade.

Ara: History Untold – Launching Fall 2024

Oxide Games executives give an all-new look at the game, and also share more details around the major features that will appear in Ara: History Untold.

During the show, viewers had the opportunity to learn more details around the system the game was developed with, as well as the unique approach to simultaneous moves and more.

A curious fact
Did you know that the Oxide Games studio partially includes former Civilization developers? Oxide Games has announced that the game will only be released for PC for the time being.

Visions of Mana – Launching Summer 2024

In a surprise appearance, Square Enix joined the show to present Visions of Mana, the first new mainline entry in the series in over 15 years, and its debut on Xbox platforms. Series producer Masaru Oyamada presented a sneak peek at the gorgeous new RPG, sharing gameplay and behind the scenes footage before its launch in Summer 2024.

Koichi Ishii – father of the Mana series and creator of many of its iconic monsters – discussed the implementation and design of the enemies in Visions of Mana, and introduced the adorable new animal companions, “pikuls” and explained the design process behind them.

Oyamada then shared some details regarding the game’s score and revealed that the tracklist for Visions of Mana contains 100 songs in total, including works from musical talent who worked on previous Mana games. Oyamada also shared details of the adaptive music system that allows seamless transition from map exploration to battles, demonstrating a snippet of the background music changing as you enter or leave combat.

Oyamada also revealed that in Visions of Mana, The Elementals will assist the player in battle in the form of specialized items, which will each have a different effect in combat. Combined with aerial combat that allows for weapons and magic to be used in mid-air, the combat is fast-paced and flexible.

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle – Launching 2024

The official reveal of Indiana Jones and the Great Circle was debuted during Developer_Direct with over 13 minutes of gameplay footage and developer insights. This new journey starring the legendary archaeologist comes from the award-winning team at MachineGames – the minds behind Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus – in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games and executive produced by Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard.

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