The Xbox Games Showcase takes place on July 23, and I’m excited beyond belief. The Xbox brand became a part of my life when Knights of the Old Republic launched. The rest is history, with Halo, Fable, and Gears of War bringing me hours of joy. With the Xbox Series X launching later this year, fans are eager to find out what games Microsoft will bring to the table. In an industry where Sony is going guns blazing with the PS5, and Microsoft is says Xbox is more of an ecosystem, the company is under a lot of pressure to deliver. Fortunately, we’ll have an hour of games to usher in the next generation. We know Halo: Infinite will be there, but while Forza Motorsport 8 and Fable are safe bets, what else will Microsoft show? Let’s dive in as I discuss five things I want to see during the showcase.
Battletoads releases tomorrow!
When Battletoads was revealed during E3 2018, I screamed because one of my favorite childhood games was getting rebooted. Infamous for its difficulty, Battletoads is an iconic Rare franchise that deserves another shot in the spotlight.
Outside of a trailer shown last year, there has been no indication of when the beat ’em up will hit Xbox One. With the news that a Brazilian ratings board recently rated the game, there’s speculation that Battletoads is nearing launch. Microsoft was known to “shadow drop” games or have a “and it’s out now” E3 moment, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re all playing Battletoads on Thursday afternoon.
WB Games joins the Microsoft family
There’s been a lot of buzz about the various companies looking to purchase WB Games over the past few weeks. The surprising news is that Microsoft is interested in acquiring the company and the studios that come along with it.
Adding NetherRealm, Monolith, WB Montreal, TT Games, Avalanche Studios, and Rocksteady would be a massive move for Microsoft. Having Batman and Mortal Kombat as exclusives would make Xbox a console with even greater worth. Granted, this is a games showcase, but revealing the acquisition, followed by a tease of whatever Batman game is in the works, would certainly make for a jaw-dropping moment.
Perfect Dark Reborn
People have been claiming for years that a new Perfect Dark is in the works. I don’t doubt that we’ll see Joanna Dark in the near future, but many questions surround the game. What studio is developing it? Will this be The Initiative’s first game, despite claims that the studio won’t be there?
I love Rare properties, but with the team working on Sea of Thieves updates and Everwild, the iconic developer obviously won’t be bringing back the beloved spy. I would be thrilled for a new Perfect Dark, but I think that the newest installment is a complete overhaul.
Microsoft has too many shooters on the platform, something the brand has become synonymous with. Since Perfect Dark is about spies, I’m hoping and optimistic that a new installment will take a third-person approach and adopt a style that feels Uncharted or Splinter Cell in nature. Joanna Dark deserves more, and unfortunately, Perfect Dark Zero was a low point for the franchise. Hopefully, a revival will bring the action franchise back to its former glory.
Halo: Battle Royale
We all know that Halo: Infinite will have the campaign shown off tomorrow and that it will launch with the Series X, but I think there will be another surprise as well. With so many battle royale games in the industry, what harm will one more do?
The Halo franchise consists of some of the best campaigns ever, and the multiplayer is iconic at this point. Halo 2 pioneered online for consoles and started clans, ODST added Firefight, while Halo 5: Guardians had PVE/PVP modes. Halo: Infinite has the chance to bring the franchise into the battle royale ring, and with its legacy, a Halo battle royale would certainly make waves in the online and esports communities. Nothing has been confirmed, and while 343 is committed to making a stellar campaign, I think the studio is ready to shake things up again when it comes to multiplayer.
Banjo-Kazooie makes a comeback
The problem with Microsoft is that they rely too much on the same franchises. Halo, Gears of War, and Forza Motorsport are “safe” games for the platform. Fans will flock to those games. Looking at Sony and Nintendo, the companies take chances with new IPs, but also have a handful of franchises that fans love. My issue with Microsoft is that we’ve come to expect sequel after sequel at this point. I hope they break out of the norm this year.
One property that Microsoft owns because of the Rare acquisition is Banjo-Kazooie. The dynamic duo made an appearance in Nuts & Bolts, and more recently in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but they haven’t had a proper outing in over a decade. Fans have been clamoring for a new Banjo-Kazooie game for years, which would be a truly jaw-dropping announcement. Having notable characters come back to the Xbox is a great move. Giving the iconic pair to studios like Double Fine or even outsourcing them to Moon Studios, the team behind the Ori franchise would be an excellent course of action for the franchise. Microsoft needs to make waves, and a new Banjo-Kazooie game could move units from store shelves.
Xbox will always be my console of choice, but it’s discouraging when the brand doesn’t live up to its full potential. For all of the highs Xbox has seen recently, there have been many lows. Players want to see games, and that’s what Microsoft promises we’ll see. The next generation is a few months away, and I personally can’t wait to get a glimpse of the future and experience a few surprises along the way.
What do you want to see from the Xbox Games Showcase? Let us know in the comments!