If you thought the lack of a proper E3 event and a global pandemic could stop the relentless march of New Xbox Series X Games, well, you were WRONG!
The last couple of months have been blessed with a bounty of new announcement streams and reveals, in the run-up to the next generation of consoles.
Everyone from Geoff Keeleigh’sNEW BEST FRIEND ALF – Sorry Hideo – to a Dingo-like creature with curly fries for arms have gotten in on the act, and best of all, they aren’t all just predictable sequels, either!
Sure, the umpteenth Far Cry or Assassin’s Creed is fine, but what about strolling around as a backpack-wearing cat, through a robot-filled metropolis?
Or a blood-soaked Groundhog Dayfor two rival assassins?
Or, Bug-err, Bugsnax? Just…Bugsnax, in general?
It’s always refreshing when Publishers ditch the easy route of an established franchise, instead taking a risk on a new IP, and with the PS5 and Xbox Series X looming on the horizon, there are plenty of interesting new escapades to look forward to.
Just a side note – we won’t be including Cyberpunk, even though it’s a new IP, as we’ve already talked at length about the game in other posts (which you should definitely watch).
Let’s look at some!
I’m Ben from TripleJump, and here are 10 Exciting New PS5 and Xbox Series X Games 10.
10. Project Athia [PS5]
One of many new titles to be announced during the PS5 Reveal event in June, Project Athia is Square Enix’s latest fantasy adventure that isn’t Final Fantasy.
You might assume that this is merely a working title for another far-from-final Franchise entry, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise, even with the brief teaser trailer we’ve seen.
Far from being another JRPG, Project Athia promises a story-focused action-adventure, boasting some gorgeous fantasy landscapes, grizzly enemies, and some SICK PARKOUR!
The protagonist is incredibly agile and seems to possess a magical affinity with the environment, whether it’s entangling a wolf in vines, or grass springing from her feet as she jumps.
Speaking of her feet, that footwear is 100 percent not roleplay-appropriate for this fantasy universe, and since we’re told she’s in ‘A world that’s not her own’, we can assume she’s gone full Alice in Wonderland.
Luminous Productions are heading the project, a studio formed from the Final Fantasy 15 team, and while it COULD simply be a spin-off from that franchise, we’re pretty certain this will be something different when it comes out… eventually.
9. Scorn [XSX]
Good news for fans of the spookums, or anyone fond of squishy viscera – this Xbox exclusive horror title looks like it’ll make full use of next-gen hardware to make you feel as uncomfortable as possible.
This game is literally oozing with ominous Alien vibes, as the trailer doesn’t skimp on the grizzly body bits and fleshy noises… Eugh, there goes any hope of eating spaghetti ever again…
The Alien comparisons are no coincidence – this first-person horror adventure is directly inspired by H.R. Giger, the Swiss artist behind the iconic Alien and Prometheus movies, and the hauntingly detailed, biomechanical designs here certainly do the artist justice.
The game has actually been in development for a while, as a debut project from Ebb Software, kickstarter in 2017 after an earlier crowd-funding attempt in 2014 didn’t meet targets.
Their 2017 trailer showed some early gameplay, including a minimal HUD, floaty flesh-bags, and a generally unnerving atmosphere, and the visuals will probably get even more disgustingly impressive.
A cohesive ‘lived-in’ world, and a lack of cutscenes should further immerse you into this waking nightmare – just be sure you’ve stocked up on underwear and eye-bleach when this game comes out, around launch of the Series X.
8. Returnal [PS5]
It’s been many weeks now, and we’re still not sure if this wordplay is god-tier, or just god awful… hell, probably both, but what we DO know is, we keep ‘Returnal-ing’ to this trailer.
Oh, and once more for good measure.
That’s the central premise of this PS5 exclusive– crashing your spaceship, fighting for survival, dying, and then doing it all over again.
Or as the protagonist herself rather helpfully puts it, “Over and over I relive my first moments on this alien planet”.
The age-old video game tradition of dying and respawning is intrinsically linked to the story and setting here; The planet changes each time you die, and starts to ‘infect your mind’ as it goes on.
Does this make Returnal a unique combination of roguelike and psychological horror?
Are they truly randomized, or will it follow a more strictly defined narrative?
And will the fast-paced shooting segments blend well with a feeling of dread, and often, a vulnerability that many horror titles achieve so well?
We’re not too sure, but we absolutely want to find out.
7. Stray [PS5]
Well, it’s about damn time.
Finally, FINALLY, video games are giving us the power fantasy we’ve always wanted!
Forget giant weapons and tales of heroism, NO, all we want to do is lounge about for hours, knock priceless items off shelves and go to five different homes for dinner.
And with the PS5 exclusive Stray, our cat simulator fantasies can come true at last!
This one’s a little different to your regular neighborhood tabby, mind – it’s wearing a precious little backpack, for one, just look at the liddlewiddy – *cough*
Err, this dapper moggy also roams a very unfamiliar territory – a future megacity occupied entirely by robots with CRT monitors for faces, with “RIP Humans” graffiti adorning the neon-drenched districts.
The Steam preview page hints at ‘unforeseen threats’, a mix of droids and dangerous creatures, and tells us this stray must ‘untangle an ancient mystery’ to escape the city.
But honestly, the need to be ‘as annoying as possible’ is all the promise we need.
2021 is too far away – we want it, we want it now, and we’ll keep scratching the furniture until we get it!
6. Call of the Sea [XSX] – Xbox Series X
To describe Call of the Sea as ‘beautiful’ is massively underselling it –the eye-popping colours of this lush tropical island are so visually pleasing, they make the Louvre look like a shed full of stained canvas rags.
At first glance of this Xbox exclusive, it’s tempting to compare it to Sea of Thieves – the vibrant art style, the island setting, the fact that they both have the word ‘Sea’ in the title – but there are key differences, with fewer skeleton pirates and Hurdy-Gurdy solos just the start.
Touted as a ‘non-violent mystery adventure’, it’s set on an island in the South Pacific, in the 1930’s, and appears to be a first-person game focused on exploration and puzzles.
You’ll play as a lady called Norah, voiced by Cissy Jones of Walking Dead and Firewatch fame, searching for your missing husband’s failed expedition.
But there are otherworldly forces at play, which could lead to some interesting moments – not least the ability to grow webbed hands and swim gracefully through the stunning water.
You won’t have to wait long to unpack this mystery either, with Call of the Sea releasing in late 2020, for Xbox consoles, PC and Game Pass.
5. Bright Memory: Infinite [XSX] – Xbox Series X
Don’t like non-violent mysteries or cat simulators?
How about cool guns?
Or sick swords?
Or maybe some RAD sci-fi cars?
How about all of those things, with a bit of wall running and slow-motion for good measure?
Well, you’re in luck – Bright Memory: Infinite is basically everything ever seen in video games, in one mental package!
Well, minus a Waluigi cameo, but it’s early days…
Back in early May, the Xbox Series X event opened strong with a mesmerizing, and slightly confusing look at Bright Memory: Infinite, a game that…oh, ok, fine, it’s not REALLY a new IP…
This is a follow-up to 2019’s Bright Memory, a niche early access game developed by Chinese indie studio FYQD, which contained a mix of first-person shooting and ‘hack and slash’, with a stylized combat system reminiscent of Devil May Cry, or even Bulletstorm.
Between the stacked graphical effects, the bonkers combat, and the fact that the game is the work of just one man, it’ll be hard to ignore Bright Memory: Infinite, and even if it is merely a remastered version of the previous title, it should still feel fresh enough to many players.
4. Little Devil Inside [PS5]
A third-person, action adventure RPG about hunting monsters may sound all too familiar, but there’s a whole lot of weirdness that shows how Little Devil Inside thinks, well, outside the box.
During the PS5 trailer, our intrepid explorer treks across a rich tapestry of stylised environments, all with the aim of hunting the most bizarre and dangerous wildlife.
The action is ripped straight out of a turn-of-the-century pulp magazine series, using improvised fishing lines, comically cartoonish bombs, and sand surfing on penguins to fell terrifying monsters.
Interspersed throughout are calmer moments with a refined older gentleman, going about his daily routine – visiting the Shmeat store, relaxing in the bath, dropping his own bombs during his, ahem, morning constitutional.
How the two characters interact is a point of speculation right now – at the very start of the trailer, we see the young hunter haul in his latest quarry, for what is presumably his wealthy funder of expeditions.
But it could all be in the old man’s head, reminiscing about an exciting youth.
Whatever the setup, Little Devil Inside is brimming with charm, and we’re glad that this kickstarter-backed project from many years ago has resurfaced in time for the PS5.
3. Ghostwire: Tokyo [PS5, XSX] – Xbox Series X
One of the standout moments from last year’s E3 – hah, remember those? – was the presentation for Ghostwire: Tokyo, the spooky timed PS5 exclusive, set for 2021.
While this year didn’t quite have the show-stealing power of Ikumi Nakamura, as the bright and bubbly industry veteran moved on from Tango Gameworks late last year, it DID have lots of interesting gameplay snippets to dissect.
The creators of The Evil Within have made yet another unsettling experience with Ghostwire – 99% of Tokyo’s population have vanished, replaced with ominous spirits of unknown intent.
However, the gameplay looks far more fast-paced and action-centric than the studio’s previous ventures.
According to Bethesda, The first-person combat contains an intricate combo-based system, using movements inspired by traditional Kuji-kiri hand gestures.
Well, when you put it like that, the odd headless school child or slenderman cosplayer doesn’t sound so scary!
Just, don’t get too close…
2. Death loop [PS5, Xbox]
If you’re looking for pure, unfiltered ‘cool factor’, there’s not a single title that can compete with Deathloop.
Except maybe Cyberpunk, but we already said we wouldn’t talk about that, ok?
Arkane Studios’ latest title carries an effortless swagger, even when the main protagonist is getting shot in the face and killed.
Which is good, because that will happen a lot.
On the island of Blackreef, everyone is stuck in a never-ending cycle of partying, debauchery and chaos, which is fun, unless you’re Colt, who is essentially a prisoner and public enemy number one, with every single resident out to kill him – not least his arch-nemesis, Juliana, who takes great pleasure interrupting your efforts to break the loop.
The gameplay takes huge inspiration from Arkane’s hit series, Dishonoured, with a variety of blinks, jumps, and gravity manipulation to chain some seriously stylish kills together.
But the real kicker is the PVP mode – at any point, you can infiltrate someone else’s game, to play as Juliana, and ambush another player’s Colt, like a funky spin on Dark Souls’ invasion system.
We’re excited to unravel this open-ended puzzle, and finally end the loop, come December 2020 for PS5, and later next year for Xbox Series X.
1. Bugsnax [PS5] – Xbox Series X
Ooh-wooahhh, talkin ‘bout Bugsnax… Yes, this year’s ‘Did That Really Happen?’ award goes to the PS5 reveal of Bugsnax, where you quite literally are what you eat.
The premise is fun, simple, yet totally insane – the native bug population are all forms of delicious foods from hopping hamburgers to cinnamon swirl snails, which when eaten, transform a part of your body into said ‘snax.
We have literally no idea at this point how this affects the gameplay, or what the gameplay even consists of, but we don’t care – we just want to embark on our own Darwin-esque trail of discovery, devouring as many deliciously endangered species as we can, until our bodies resemble a crumpled restaurant menu.
We’ll take 5 of everything, to go please!
This wild ride comes from dev studio Young Horses, the minds behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch, so at the very least, we can expect the silliness factor to be cranked right up, but perhaps more fascinating is the dramatic tonal shift at the end of the trailer.
We see several ‘Snax’ form their own MegaZnack, and rush the camera in a very jump-scary way– honestly, is there one entry on this list that’s not a horror game in some form?
Will this be another game that subverts expectations, like Undertale or Pony Island?
Are YOU actually the real ‘SNAX all along?
Let’s just say we’ll be ‘talking ‘bout Bugsnag’ up until holiday 2020, which is probably how long it’ll take to get that song out of our heads…
And there we are, just 10 exciting new titles that could blow us away in this next console generation.
Or they could all turn out like dog plops and this post will have aged incredibly poorly, but let’s stay optimistic, shall we?
Let us know any other next-gen games you’re excited for in the comments below.
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I’m Ben from TripleJump, and thanks for the read.