Microsoft really wanted to be there first. Gamescom does not officially begin until August 25th, but the Xbox manufacturer already held its big event for the games fair on August 24th. Microsoft is the only one of the three big console builders to participate in Gamescom, Sony and Nintendo are holding back.
Microsoft, on the other hand, mainly showed games that were previously shown at E3 – above all “Forza Horizon 5”. There was also a new trailer for “Dying Light 2”, the announcement of a console version of “Crusader Kings 3” and news about “Flight Simulator”. There was also a prominent absence. “Halo Infinite”, whose multiplayer preview heise online was recently able to try out, was not shown. Overall, the pace of the Gamescom show couldn’t keep up with Microsoft’s rapid E3 presentation.
Aside from games, Microsoft has announced an important innovation for its cloud gaming service xCloud: The service will now be integrated directly into Xbox consoles. This allows players to quickly try out a game in the cloud before downloading it locally. In addition, xCloud enables games for the Xbox Series X / S to be played on the Xbox One via the cloud route.
The most important trailers of the Gamescom show from Microsoft at a glance:
“Dying Light 2”
For a long time it had been quiet about “Dying Light 2”, which heise online could already see at Gamescom 2018. In the meantime there have been reports of massive internal problems at Polish developer Techland, where a toxic work culture is said to have led to the loss of many employees. In the past few months there have been signs of life in the form of trailers for the zombie action game, which has now been given a big stage again at the Microsoft Showcase. You can see fights and parkour inserts that made the predecessor a surprise hit.
“Forza Horizon 5”
The video published for “Forza Horizon 5” shows the action-packed opening sequence of the upcoming racing game. It is one of the occasional scripted passages for which the “Forza” series is known in addition to its basically freely navigable game world. In this section, the game gives an outlook on the most important regions of the game world Mexico: As in “Fortnite”, a Ford Bronco Badlands first jumps out of a helicopter to finally offroad on a snow-covered volcano before heading into the desert. You can later see a Corvette Stingray driving through a grassy landscape before heading through the jungle with the Porsche 911. “Mexico is the whole world in one country,” said Creative Director Mark Brown, explaining the choice of location in a press conference prior to the event. At the end of the graphically impressive gameplay demo, the Mercedes AMG1 can also be seen, which will also adorn the cover. Forza Horizon 5 will be released on November 9th for Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One and PC.
“Age of Empires 4”
Also for “Age of Empires 4” the cat is already out of the bag, in April the development team had already shown detailed gameplay scenes for the strategy game. The new video shows one of the documentary sequences that developer World’s Edge filmed for the upcoming strategy game. These scenes are intended to give players additional insights into the history, warfare and culture of the various peoples – at Gamescom it was all about the Trebuchet. The great model for “Age of Empires 4” is the popular second series offshoot, the Relic and World’s Edge development teams explained in April. “We wanted to give people a familiar starting point, but also surprise them on the other hand,” said Game Director Quinn Duffy. Further insights into “Age of Empires 4” can be expected on Wednesday at the Gamescom “Opening Night Live” stream.
“Microsoft Flight Simulator”
Microsoft’s graphically impressive flight simulator is now also available for the Xbox consoles. The trailer shows the upcoming expansion Reno Air Race, which will add a competitive multiplayer mode to the Flight Simulator in autumn. Also exciting: As of the upcoming World Update 6, several cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be shown in great detail. The update also includes the Junkers JU-52 transport aircraft, which was modeled in collaboration with a descendant of the original manufacturer. Microsoft called the “digital museum for airplanes” the approach to add this and other old airplanes to the flight simulator in the future. In cooperation with Volocopter, drones are also to be brought into the flight simulator.
Crusader Kings 3
The medieval grand strategy game “Crusader Kings 3” already convinced last year on the PC with its depth and its strong role-playing game elements. Developer Paradox has now also adapted the title to consoles. The console version has so far only been announced for Xbox Series X / S, and like the PC version, it is part of the Game Pass. Porting such a complex strategy game for consoles is an ambitious undertaking, but Paradox has already dared to take this step with the space strategy game “Stellaris”.