Microsoft at Gamescom 2021: what have they surprised us with?

Microsoft at Gamescom 2021

Although Gamescom 2021 will officially begin, tomorrow, Microsoft wanted to anticipate the inauguration and today, for an hour and a half, it has shared some news about what it has in store for us for the coming months , obviously with an eye toward next Christmas. And from what we have been able to see, and although some games will obviously be sold independently, Xbox Game Pass is, more and more, at the epicenter of Microsoft’s strategy. Even more than your new generation of Xbox, then I’ll explain the reason why I say this.

Yes, I will say that, although there has been an announcement, it has not been a presentation comparable to that of E3, to which the Redmond people arrived with a good set of news. In this case there have been no surprises (although there have been pleasant news) and, although it is in taste, I admit that the event has slowed me down a bit. I will not say that Microsoft has thrown filler, since the contents were justified, but I do stay with the flavor that having concentrated everything they have announced in one hour, it would have brought much more rhythm to the presentation. However, I confess that the last minutes, those dedicated to Forza Horizon 6, make up for everything else.

But let’s talk about games, about the games that we have seen at this event. And the first thing we have seen has been a new trailer for Dying Light 2 Stay Human , a chilling open world game that will debut on December 7 on all platforms, and that Microsoft will bring to Xbox Game Pass from launch day:

The next protagonist has been Microsoft Flight Simulator. As we already told you a few days ago , its World Update 6 has been delayed a couple of weeks, an extra time that Asobo has taken to be able to polish the new maps and missions. This update focuses on Germany, Austria and Switzerland and, based on what we have seen in the teaser, the wait is going to be worth it:

But this is not the only novelty of Microsoft’s flight simulator. In addition to anticipating that the more than expected F-18 / A will arrive as a free DLC on the same day of the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick , the long-awaited sequel to the eighties classic, they have also advanced us that from the hand of World Update 6 A historic aircraft will also debut, the German Junkers JU-52 , an absolutely key aircraft in the history of aviation. I admit that this tribute to the history of aviation has taken me by surprise, and I find it wonderful.

Continuing with Microsoft Flight Simulator, they have also told us that while they were looking to the past, they were also looking to the future and, as proof of this, they have been working with Volocopter, a German company that is developing an eVTOL , a kind of drone designed to be used as a taxi in urban environments, and that will also have a place in the Microsoft simulator from November:

Still want something more from Microsoft Flight Simulator? Well, don’t worry, because at times it seemed that it was going to be the absolute protagonist of the event (and with good reason, since the novelties presented are many and very interesting). And it is that the block has been closed with the announcement of the arrival of competitive multiplayer to the simulator. This comes after the collaboration signed with the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), which will replicate its flight competition in Microsoft Flight Simulator:

After so much high definition, hyper realistic maps and more, the time has come for the most humble games. I’m talking about the indies, of course, who in this case have an extra humility, as they come from the hand of Humble Games . And it is that ten of its games will be added to the Xbox Game Pass catalog on the same day of its launch:

Following this announcement, the presentation focused for a few minutes on Age of Empires IV . However, practically all the time has been dedicated to explaining how they have studied and reproduced the operation of a trabuquete, a siege weapon present in the game. I admit that I found this part interesting, but somewhat out of place. Especially since I was waiting for a trailer or images of the game, but they have been conspicuous by their absence.

Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One and Xbox Series

And this is when one of the most interesting announcements of the entire event has arrived. Microsoft has announced that Xbox Cloud will be coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series later this year for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers . You will already know, because we have been informing you on time about it for a long time, that Microsoft’s cloud gaming service is constantly being nourished by new titles. It is enough to take a look at the news of each fortnight, to verify that the vast majority of them reach the cloud service.

This is why I said, at the beginning, that Microsoft seems to prioritize Xbox Game Pass even over its consoles. And is that one of the reasons for upgrading to a new model is to be able to enjoy the highest quality launches. With this release, Xbox One users will no longer be forced to do so , as long as they subscribe to Xbox Game Pass. This can weigh on console sales but, in return, further improve subscription service numbers. We will dedicate more time to reconsider and analyze this Microsoft bombshell, but I can tell you that it has left me very, very surprised.

But hey, let’s go back to the games, and the next thing we have seen has been the announcement of Cult of the Holy Detonation , a DLC for Wateland 3 that will arrive on October 5.

After it, an interesting announcement has arrived: Making Myhem , an event that is taking place in Sea of ​​Thieves , and that between now and next will allow us to win a ship inspired and designed with the collaboration of the creators of Borderlands . Although I have not played it, it is a title that catches my attention, and I will surely try to take a few hours to get the reward ship:

Did you miss a few more zombies in the presentation? Well, don’t worry, Microsoft has anticipated your wishes and, in response, the next thing we have seen was a trailer for State of Decay 2: Homecoming , the return to the saga of a map that will arrive on September 1 a State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition:

The following announcement has been the furthest in time: Stray Blade , an action RPG from 505 Games and Point Blank Games that will debut on all platforms in 2022. We still don’t know too much about this game, but judging by what we have seen in the trailer, promises action to give and give:

What do you think of console strategy games? I confess that I usually have mixed feelings, undoubtedly because of the Civilization saga, a masterpiece for PC that has always left me quite cold in its adaptations to other platforms. Be that as it may, Crusader Kings III for Xbox looks so good that it might make me rethink my opinion:

And we come to another of my favorite moments from this Microsoft presentation. I’m talking, of course, about Psychonauts 2 , which will debut on Game Pass for all three platforms tomorrow, August 25. In addition to the trailer, we have been able to see an interview with Tim Schafer , which by itself would justify the entire event. With what we have seen today, and with all due respect to the rest of the titles, I think it is the best inclusion in the Microsoft games service catalog of the whole month … and look at there are other titles of the most remarkable:

One of the most enigmatic games of this Microsoft presentation has been, without a doubt, The Gunk . Presented a few months ago, today we have finally been able to see some of its gameplay, which tells us about an exploration game in which we will have to act as cleaners of a strange universe. It will debut in December of this year:

And the finishing touch of the Microsoft event has given it the title that we were all waiting for. I am speaking, undoubtedly, of Forza Horizon 5 , the most arcade branch of the Forza franchise, which in addition to arriving with an exclusive edition of the Xbox controller, promises speed and action in abundance, from what we can deduce from the gameplay with which it has concluded the presentation:

Thus, seen in summary, it is undoubtedly a very interesting presentation, and that the closure with Forza Horizon 5 has been a very intelligent move by Microsoft, because they know perfectly well that it is a title that is highly anticipated by its fans. Some users who, after watching these eight minutes of gameplay, will surely already be counting the days until next November 9 .

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