Microsoft’s Inside Xbox delivered some real surprises

Today’s Inside Xbox gave us our first look at gameplay running off the upcoming Xbox Series X console. Being the first stop on Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, the season of game reveals and announcements is now in motion.

Anticipation was at an all-time high, as this would be our first chance to see gameplay from third-party development teams. Microsoft had previously teased what to expect as they pulled back the curtain on the future of gaming and included a few surprises.

Bright Memory: Infinite

The first standout kicked off the entire show: the stunning futuristic FPS Bright Memory: Infinite. Microsoft debuted the trailer for this new sci-fi title from indie studio FYQD, and it gave off some serious Titanfall 2 vibes.

Bright Memory: Infinite really set the bar high for the rest of the showcase. The game is set within a futuristic metropolis, with rich weather effects. The trailer offered a few glimpses at some of the very hi-tech weaponry and vehicles at the player’s disposal.

What was very impressive was when Head of Global Portfolio Damon Baker came on screen to reveal that Bright Memory: Infinite was “created from the ground up by a single individual”. FYQD is indeed a one-man operation. A playable version of the game is already available on Steam, although we are guessing Infinite will deliver a lot more than what’s in the Steam version.

Baker also stated that Bright Memory: Infinite would make use of Xbox Series X’s Smart Delivery, meaning players will only have to purchase the game once to play it on Xbox One and Series X. FYQD will also utilize Xbox Series X’s DirectX Raytracing.


Scorn was another reveal that caught my eye. Although Ebb Software has been deep in the development phase of this game since 2014, this was our first in-depth look at the FPS horror title.

Scorn place players in some sort of nightmarish world, made up of gothic scenery. Like something out of an H.R. Giger painting, Scorn is borne on some  seriously disturbing and horrific imagery. While there wasn’t a lot that constitutes gameplay in the trailer, we did get a full face-blast of Scorn’s negatively charged atmosphere.

Ebb Software has not placed a release date on Scorn just yet. However, this game would feel right at home in the Halloween season later this year.

Second Extinction

I’ve always been a sucker for the Turok series. Systemic Reaction’s Second Extinction quickly gained my attention by its focus on dinosaurs. Now, these aren’t just your ordinary dinos. No, Second Extinction pits three players together to face evil mutant dinosaurs.

Second Extinction draws obvious comparisons to the Left 4 Dead series. Squadding up with friends for a co-operative experience, players will “fight through a maelstrom of bullets, bombs, teeth, claws and gore” to reclaim Earth. For someone like me, this is a wonderful elevator pitch.

Systemic Reaction has said that Second Extinction will be a “truly live product” that will evolve following the launch. The studio hinted that an element called “The World Effort” will play into this, but did not divulge any additional information.

The Medium

Another horror game shown during Inside Xbox was Bloober Team’s The Medium. Bloober Team has been on a tear recently, with a number of truly terrifying horror games such as Blair Witch and Layers of Fear 2.

The studio’s MO is creating psychological horror experiences that linger long after you put the controller down. The Medium is no different. In this original story, players step into the shoes of Marianne, a medium who is tortured by visions. Accessing both the real world and the spiritual world, players will be led down a path with many surprising turns.

To up the ante, Bloober Team is working with Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka. The Medium will also take advantage of Xbox Series X’s hardware to provide 4K graphics and raytracing. Using the console’s SSD, Bloober is striving to create a seamless cinematic experience, void of loading screens.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Finally, Sega’s new entry in the Yakuza franchise will be a part of Xbox Series X’s launch lineup. While we have known about Yakuza: Like a Dragon, confirmation that it will launch day and date on Xbox Series X is a huge deal.

Microsoft has struggled in the past to maintain partnerships with Japanese developers. This announcement signals a significant shift from where Microsoft and Xbox were earlier on in the Xbox One console cycle. Ironically, Yakuza: Like a Dragon itself is a dramatic shift from previous iterations. Introducing players to Ichiban Kasuga, players will be transitioning from the series staple street-combat to turn-based RPG combat.

As with Bright Memory: Infinite, Yakuza: Like a Dragon will support Smart Delivery and cross-save functionality for free to players upgrading to the new console.

These games were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to announcements and gameplay reveals during Inside Xbox. We got a chance to see more of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Madden NFL 21. Microsoft was able to include a few refreshing surprises throughout Inside Xbox.

Microsoft’s 20/20 initiative does not end here. In July, the company is planning to host a major blowout to show off the games from Xbox Game Studios. Expect updates and announcements from 343 Studios, Obsidian, Ninja Theory, and more this summer.

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Steve Vegvari

Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His adoration for everything gaming began very early on in the SNES-era. He’s gone on to write honest content around the web. While not writing about games, Steve is often looking for the next big narrative-driven title. Something with an impactful story, regardless of genre or platform. Bonus points if it has an appealing achievement/trophy list!
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