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Everything announced at the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing

Halo Infinite, Gears 5, and a new Battletoads are revealed at the Xbox E3 2018 press conference.

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Xbox E3 2018

Halo Infinite, Gears 5, and a new Battletoads are revealed at the Xbox E3 2018 press conference.

Microsoft came into this year’s E3 with a lot to prove, again. Under the stewardship of Phil Spencer, the Xbox One has clawed back its reputation through a range of player-friendly services, and an impressive hardware revision.

Recent exclusives such as Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 – along with continued console exclusivity for PUBG – have also helped, but games remain the one area where the PlayStation 4 has an undeniable advantage.

This year’s E3 press conference showed 50 different titles, with 18 having complete or timed Xbox exclusivity. And although many games on show are not due in 2018, it was a clear statement of intent from Microsoft that was also backed up by the company’s addition of five new Microsoft Studios.

Here’s a whistle-stop tour of every game that was announced.

List of Xbox E3 2018 announcements

Halo Infinite (Xbox Exclusive)

  • Halo Infinite revealed in new cinematic trailer.
  • The game is powered by the new SlipSpace Engine.
  • “Master Chief’s greatest adventure yet,” says Phil Spencer.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Exclusive)

  • New cinematic trailer for Moon Studios aesthetically stunning sequel
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

  • A new action game developed by From Software and published by Activision.
  • Release date: 2019

Fallout 76

  • Todd Howard makes a guest appearance to present a new trailer for Fallout 76.
  • A prequel to all previous Fallout games. It’s set in West Virginia and has a map four times the size of Fallout 4.
  • Pre-orders open from June 15 on the Microsoft games store.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

  • Reveal trailer for a new game set in the Life is Strange universe focuses on a young boy, and the interplanetary exploits of his imagination.
  • Release date: June 26, 2018.

Crackdown 3 (Xbox Exclusive)

  • Crackdown 3, again! A much more impressive trailer showing combat, and traversal.
  • Release date: 2019

Nier Automata

  • Coming to Xbox One with all previously released downloadable content.
  • Release date: June 26, 2018.

Metro Exodus

  • New trailer featuring gameplay footage.
  • Release date: February 22, 2019.

Kingdom Hearts III

  • The Kingdom Hearts franchise comes to Xbox for the first time.
  • New footage shows Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy, plus characters from Frozen, Monsters Inc, Wreck-it Ralph, Rapunzel, and Toy Story.
  • Release date: January 29, 2019.

Sea of Thieves (Xbox Exclusive)

  • Future content updates: Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores revealed.
  • Release date: July and September, 2018.

Battlefield V

  • A short preview of the War Stories Nordlys content for EA’s upcoming World War II shooter.
  • Release date: October 19, 2018

Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Exclusive)

  • Forza Horizon 4 is set in British Isles with countryside and city locations, including Edinburgh.
  • Features dynamic seasons that affect the racing environments of the shared online world.
  • There are also sheep, and you can drive a Black Cab.
  • The game will have a 60fps mode on Xbox One X.
  • Release date: October 2, 2018

Microsoft sets up new studio and acquires four others

  • So that’s how you fix your first-party problem. Phil Spencer announces the formation of The Initiative, a new Microsoft Studio based in Santa Monica.
  • Spencer also reveals the acquisition of Compulsion Games, Undead Labs, Playground Games, and Ninja Theory.

We Happy Few

  • A new trailer from Compulsion Games.
  • Release date: August 10, 2018.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

  • The Sanhok map is coming to PUBG on Xbox One in Summer 2018.
  • War Mode is also due this year.

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

  • Remastered digital release of the classic 2008 JRPG.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

The Division 2

  • Full reveal of The Division 2, developed by Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment.
  • The game is set six months after the outbreak in an autumnal Washington D.C.
  • Gameplay footage shows a mission set among the wreckage of a downed Air Force One.
  • Release date: March 15, 2019.

Xbox Game Pass update

  • Algorithm developed by machine learning powers the new Fast Start feature that helps start Xbox Game Pass titles faster. Coming in the service’s June 2018 update.
  • More third-party games added to Xbox Game Pass for day-and-date release, including Ashen, and Afterparty.
  • The Division, Fallout 4, and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited are all available on Xbox Game Pass from today, plus a huge selection of [email protected] titles are on the way.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  • A new trailer for Lara Croft’s latest adventure.
  • Release date: September 14, 2018.

Session.

  • Session is a new skateboarding game from creā-ture Studios.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Black Desert

  • A new trailer for the Pearl Abyss-developed MMORPG, Black Desert.
  • Release date: 2019.

Devil May Cry 5

  • The latest game in Devil May Cry franchise. It looks like a reinvention as much as it does a true sequel.
  • Release date: Spring 2019

Cuphead

  • MDHR Studio’s new action platformer gets a new DLC add-on, The Delicious Last Course.
  • Features new character, Ms. Chalice, plus new weapons and bosses.
  • Release date: 2019.

Tunic

  • More footage of Tunic, the super-charming third person adventure puzzle game from Andrew Shouldice.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Jump Force

  • A new fighter from Bandai Namco featuring characters from DragonBall Z, One Piece, Naruto, and Deathnote.
  • Release date: 2019.

Dying Light 2

  • Reveal trailer and gameplay demo for Techland’s zombie apocalypse sequel.
  • Features a new parkour system, and improved melee combat. A functioning eco-system based on decision points will affect the environment, and the life of its inhabitants.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Battletoads

  • No gameplay footagem but the name is enough. Battletoads is back!
  • Features 4K 2.5D graphics, and multiplayer features.
  • Release date: 2019.

Just Cause 4

  • Rico returns in a new open-word adventure that offers more of the same in a way that we completely appreciate.
  • Release date: December 4, 2018.

Gears Pop

  • A Gear of War game featuring Funko Pop characters. Luckily, it’s on mobile so we can all ignore it.
  • Release date: 2019.

Gears Tactics

  • A new turn-based PC strategy game, set 12 years before the first Gears of War.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Gears 5 (Xbox One Exclusive)

  • First look of the next full Gears of War title shows Kait and JD engaging in some soap operatics.
  • There’s also a brief glimpse of some varied and beautiful new locations, from forests to glaciers.
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Cyberpunk 2077

  • Reveal trailer for the latest game from CD Projekt Red.
  • Think, well, Blade Runner, with more colour and sunshine. It looks amazing, frankly,
  • Release date: To be confirmed.

Check back throughout the week for more E3 2018 coverage from Thumbsticks.


More E3 2018 from Thumbsticks

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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Hello Games announces No Man’s Sky Origins update

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

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No Mans Sky book covers
Hello Games / Thumbsticks

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

Did you know that the procedurally-generated aesthetic for No Man’s Sky was based on pulpy, 70s science fiction novel covers?

(We did know, but it’s still fun to watch the video in the post linked above. For all of its “bazillion of procedurally generated planets” pitch, the aesthetic and the atmosphere of No Man’s Sky are still some of its biggest selling points, especially with the very scary Desolation update from a couple of months ago.)

As the free content updates kept coming for No Man’s Sky, each with its own science fiction cover, it built up a bigger picture: a “shelf” of those pulpy sci-fi book covers.

But when Sean Murray, of Hello Games, tweeted a picture of all the covers together following the Desolation update, it did not escape people’s notice that there was only “room” for one more cover left on that artificial bookshelf of pulpy book covers:

And with the No Man’s Sky Origins update set to be revealed next week, people have been worried that might be the last update we see for the game. The final space on the bookshelf will be filled, as it were.

But according to the blog post announcing Origins, “This update will be another small step in a longer journey.”

Perhaps Hello Games isn’t quite done with No Man’s Sky just yet.


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Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Play three cool games for free on Xbox One this weekend

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and a creature-infested Louisiana.

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Sea of Thieves - Xbox One

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and, erm, Louisiana.

Shiver me timbers, Sea of Thieves is free to play on Xbox One this weekend. Rare’s online pirate adventure was somewhat cooly received on release, but who’s cool now? A treasure chest of content and gameplay updates has helped build a thriving community of shipmates, most of whom are welcoming to new deckhands. Nonetheless, take care, there’s always someone waiting to steal a Bilge Rat Doubloon or two when your back is turned.

Players should also keep their wits about them in Hunt: Showdown, the popular PvP first-person hunting game from Crytek. Up to 12 players must venture into the dangerous swamps of Louisiana. Your task is to retrieve a bounty from a vicious creature, but once you have that bounty, friends become foes, and you become the target. Hi-jinks ensue.

Finally, Warhammer: Chaosbane is moderately fun hack-and-slash action RPG from EKO Software. If the phrase “fighting battles in the sewers of Nuln” gets your blood pumping, this game is probably for you.

All three games are playable for free until midnight on Sunday for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. As always, any earned achievements and save states carry over into purchased copies of each game. Here’s the lowdown on this week’s related digital discounts.

Xbox One Free Play Days Discounts

Hunt: Showdown

  • Standard Edition – 60% off
  • Master Hunter Edition – 50% off

Warhammer: Chaosbane

  • Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 65% off
  • Magnus Edition – 70% off

Sea of Thieves

  • Standard Edition – 50% off

Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily gaming news updates

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Surprise! The Long Dark is out now on Nintendo Switch

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

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The Long Dark Nintendo Switch
Hinterland / Thumbsticks

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

Nintendo has developed a habit of doing the old “and it’s available on the eShop right now” trick during its Direct presentations. In a summer of interminable video press conferences and wall-to-wall Geoff Keighley and 15-minute trailers for games we won’t see again for a couple of years, it’s a lovely little trait, an instant dopamine hit.

And Nintendo used it again, a few times, during its September 2020 Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase. There were games we knew were coming at some point, like Hades, and games we didn’t, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps. But they were still a nice surprise.

Then there was The Long Dark, the brilliant, wintry survival epic from Hinterland Games. That, too, got a surprise launch on the Nintendo Switch today. This is a lovely turn of events for a couple of reasons:

  1. The Long Dark is really rather good.
  2. The last we heard, the game’s performance on Switch was quite poor, so it’s excellent that it’s now in a state good enough to release.

There’s also an excellent launch trailer to mark the occasion:

Meanwhile, Hinterland head honcho and The Long Dark director Raph van Lierop took to Twitter to address some players’ confusion that, uncharacteristically, the trailer wasn’t particularly bleak.

We’re looking to heading out into the wilderness and playing The Long Dark later this year. You know, when it gets really cold.


Check out everything else announced in this month’s Nintendo Direct, or follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Prepare for Watch Dogs: Legion with this Epic freebie

Watch Dogs: Legion is out in a month, which means you have just enough time to play through its fantastic predecessor.

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Watch Dogs 2 - Marcus Holloway
Ubisoft

Watch Dogs: Legion is out in a month, which means you have just enough time to play through its fantastic predecessor.

In Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world game Watch Dogs: Legion, you can play as anyone. In this week’s Epic Games Store freebie, Watch Dogs 2, you play as a very specific person who I like an awful lot. Marcus Holloway, the game’s protagonist, is a genuinely likable, cool, chill dude. He’s also one of the few Black leads in video games.

The game around Marcus is also very cool. Set in modern day San Francisco, Watch Dogs 2 is a slice of sunshine-y fun that hands you a tonne of cool hacker superpowers. If you want to know more, I wrote about it as one of the best (and least realistic) hacking video games on the market here.

The Other Freebies

Also free: Football Manager 2020. This one ain’t for Yanks, like me; it’s about the other kind of football. From my experience playing the sport as a 10-year-old, managing a football team mostly involves keeping the team stocked with Capri Suns and helping them choose a cool name. Our uniforms were blue and white and we called ourselves the Blizzards. Very cool stuff. The beautiful game, indeed.

And, the final freebie is an indie platformer called Stick It to the Man, which has a cool pop-up book aesthetic. Worth a look for the low, low price of free.

And, here’s your friendly reminder that all five episodes of 3 Out of 10 are still free. I’ve played the first two episodes of the “interactive sitcom” about life at the world’s worst game developer and I’m becoming increasingly invested in the story. The minigames have a surprisingly good hit-to-miss ratio, as well.

All of this is free until next Thursday when Roller Coaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition will be up for grabs.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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The future of VR is wireless as Facebook goes all in on the Oculus Quest 2

With specifics for the Oculus Quest 2 finally here, it’s also been revealed that the PC-only Oculus Rift headsets will be discontinued in 2021.

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Oculus Quest 2
Facebook / Oculus

RIP Oculus Rift.

With specifics for the Oculus Quest 2 finally here, it’s also been revealed that the PC-only Oculus Rift headsets will be discontinued in 2021. Sales of the original Quest will also cease. It’s another clarifying move in Facebook’s vision for the future of VR. It comes alongside the recent announcement that a Facebook account will be required to use any Oculus headset by 2023. Indeed, a Facebook account is required to use the Quest 2.

Facebook has reassured users that they will continue to support PC VR via Quest and Oculus Link. The Rift platform of PC software certainly isn’t facing a shut down any time soon.

That said, Facebook seems to be betting big on wireless, mobile experiences being the key to VR reaching mass audience appeal. Whilst the Quest 2 does fold both the wireless and PC-fidelity VR worlds into one headset with a fibre-optic Oculus Link cable – available to preorder separately – it’s telling that this cable isn’t included with the headset itself.

Other USB-C cables should be capable of the PC tethering too via Oculus Link but might provide an inferior performance. Either way, Quest 2 users will be able to access games on the Rift platform that haven’t been adapted especially for its wireless capabilities. These include highly-acclaimed releases like Asgard’s Wrath, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, and Lone Echo. It seems a shame this is slightly deemphasised.

The Quest 2 is launching on October 10 and undercuts the original Quest significantly with a price tag of £299. Despite this, it boasts better specs all-round: a higher resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, higher refresh rate support of  72 Hz (and 90 Hz promised via software update), a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, and 6 GB RAM. Other features like controller-less navigation bring back Kinect memories.

It’s a major shift towards affordable VR and many early reviews signal very positive impressions. Equally, not everyone is sold on the new VR system.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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