Xbox Showcases Exciting Upcoming Games at January Developer Direct


Xbox held its first Developer Direct presentation of 2024, giving fans a closer look at some of the platform’s biggest upcoming first-party games.

The jam-packed 49-minute stream revealed new details and footage for titles like Avowed, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, and the highly anticipated Indiana Jones game.

If you missed the event, here’s a rundown of everything Xbox showcased.

“Avowed” Brings Obsidian’s Signature RPG Style to a Stunning Fantasy World

The stream kicked off with an extended gameplay demo of Avowed, the new open-world fantasy RPG from Obsidian Entertainment.

Avowed is set in the same universe as Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity games, bringing the studio’s pedigree in choice-driven narrative to a lush first-person perspective.

The gameplay footage highlighted Avowed’s real-time combat which seamlessly blends magic and melee.

Players can equip swords, axes, and bows alongside powerful spells to carve through enemies.

The world is a true open sandbox with dungeons to explore and towns bustling with side quests.

Obsidian promises meaningful choices both in build crafting and storytelling.

Obsidian’s signature attention to worldbuilding was on full display, with history and lore buried everywhere for players to uncover.

Avowed launches on Xbox Series X/S and PC later in 2024, and will be available on day one on Xbox Game Pass.


“Senua Returns” in New Hellblade II Footage

Ninja Theory pulled back the curtain on more gameplay from Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2017’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

Like the original, Hellblade II promises a focused, narrative-driven experience following a Celtic warrior named Senua.

The new footage showcases Senua battling Norse invaders with melee combat and stealth takedowns.

Her severe psychosis also returns through unsettling audiovisual hallucinations.

Ninja Theory aims to respectfully represent mental health while crafting threats that stem from Senua’s shattered mind.

Hellblade II stays true to history “up to a point” before blending in surreal twists.

Players will journey across a stunning recreation of 10th century Iceland as Senua fights an oppressive force.

With deep combat and a compelling heroine, Hellblade II launches on May 21 for Xbox Series X/S and PC.

It will also hit Xbox Game Pass on day one.


“Visions of Mana” Revives the Classic Action RPG Series

In a surprise reveal, Square Enix unveiled Visions of Mana, a new entry in the iconic Mana RPG series.

Visions of Mana revisits the brisk action combat, charming world, and unforgettable characters that define the franchise.

The bright, cartoonish art style pops on modern platforms as players battle through lush forests and quiet countryside.

Square Enix confirmed the return of series staples like vertical progression, weapon synergy, and beast companions.

After misfires like the canceled mobile game Echoes of Mana, Visions of Mana marks a proper console revival for Mana.

The action RPG arrives on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC in summer 2024.

vision of mana

Strategy Game “Ara: History Untold” Blends Civ with No Man’s Sky

Oxide Games unveiled more of Ara: History Untold, their upcoming procedurally generated strategy game.

Ara takes the 4X genre (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) into dynamic new territory with AI systems that respond to player choices.

Every action players take as rulers, from waging wars to progressing culture, will physically, visually, and systematically change the world.

Environments will morph, NPCs will react realistically, and new gameplay opportunities will emerge based on leadership decisions.

By procedurally generating civilizations and ecosystems, no two playthroughs will be the same.

Oxide wants players to feel the weight of steering the course of history in an ever-changing world.

Ara: History Untold comes to Xbox and PC in 2024.


Indiana Jones Headlines With Thrilling Action in New Footage

The Developer Direct closed with an extended first look at Indiana Jones and the Great Circle from Wolfenstein studio MachineGames.

The cinematic footage captured Indy’s signature humor and high-octane adventure.

As expected, The Great Circle is a story-driven action game combining gunplay, fisticuffs, and environmental puzzles.

The game seamlessly shifts between hair-raising first-person shootouts and third-person scenes straight out of the films.

Indy’s iconic whip cracking makes for striking melee combat.

With industry icon Todd Howard executive producing, MachineGames seeks to translate Indy’s gripping theatrics into interactive form.

The game will hit Game Pass on day one and promises to evoke the spirit of a classic Lucasfilm blockbuster.


The Future Looks Bright for Xbox Exclusives

From magical RPGs to cinematic action adventures, the January Developer Direct highlighted Xbox’s commitment to bold first-party games.

Game Pass subscribers have plenty to look forward to in the coming year and beyond.

With studios like Obsidian, Ninja Theory, and MachineGames crafting exclusive titles, the Xbox ecosystem grows stronger by the month.

And indie darlings like Visions of Mana sweeten the pot even more.

While 2023 delivers surefire hits like Starfield, the pipeline looks to keep Xbox gamers satisfied well into the future.

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