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X018 - Microsoft's first party stable gets two new thoroughbreds

X018 – Microsofts first party stable gets two new thoroughbreds

The X018 event in Mexico has seen a raft of announcements, including PUBG on Game Pass and keyboard and mouse support for Fortnite.

thumbnail for post ID 8124463Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Next gen console predictions

Microsofts first high profile X0 event in years might have been short on surprises, but despite being two hours long it proved to be a surprising fun and positive show.

Although the X0 concept goes back years this new version in Mexico City was clearly meant to be Microsofts equivalent of Sonys PSX shows. Although they probably didnt know Sony wasnt having one this year when they started organising it.

If you didnt happen to put aside the time to watch it at 9pm on Saturday it was a strange event at times, with a rabid crowd of fans that chanted every games name and managed to make the usual whooping American crowds seem tame by comparison.



There were no major game announcements though and instead the biggest news was that Microsoft is buying Bards Tale developer inXile Entertainment and Fallout: New Vegas creator Obsidian Entertainment.

The latter has been rumoured for months now but neither company gave any hint as to what theyd be working on next other than that theyd be sticking with role-playing games.

The news follows Microsofts acquisition, and creation, of several new studios at E3 but once again the developers theyve chosen to buy are fairly low profile and either British or North American.

You might have hoped for a bit more diversity in their choices, considering both new acquisitions are American studios that have never made anything other than old school role-playing games, but then thats a genre Xbox has never had much of a hand in before.

Its not true to say there were no new game announcements at all though, as there were a number of new indie titles – the most high profile of which was the wonderfully named Void Bastards.

Its a first person shooter with strategy elements that seems to have an air of Borderlands about it in terms of humour, although we get the feeling the primary influence was old 2000 AD comic strips.

The design director worked on BioShock and System Shock 2, so the game already has a good pedigree. What it doesnt have though is a release date any more specific than some time next year.



Microsofts main focus at X018 was Games Pass, which got 16 new game reveals and a mobile app to help sort them all out.

The biggest news is that PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds is coming to Game Pass on Monday, as well as a new trial where you only pay a dollar for your first month – which hopefully will have an equivalent in the UK.
Void Bastards and Crackdown 3 (which you can read about here) are also going to be part of Game Pass when they come out, plus these 13 others:

Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice, Ori And The Blind Forest, forthcoming sequel Ori And The Will Of The Wisps, Thief Of Thieves (which is out today and despite being based on a comic by the creator of The Walking Dead we admit weve never heard of before), Kingdom: Two Crowns, Aftercharge, Supermarket Shriek, Mutant Year Zero, Pathologic 2, Secret Neighbor (a multiplayer spin-off of the not-very-good Hello Neighbor), SWERYs new game The Good Life, the dreadful Agents Of Mayhem, MXGP3, and Thomas Was Alone.

A lot of X018 was devoted to third party games with no special connection to Xbox, but there were few new nuggets of information on things like Devil May Cry 5 (its got a practice area called The Void), Shadow Of The Tomb Raiders DLC The Forge, and the upcoming Just Cause 4.

In terms of first party games, State Of Decay 2 is getting a new expansion called Zedhunter that focuses on stealth, with a new crossbow and three super quiet melee weapons.


Meanwhile, Sea Of Thieves is getting a substantial new PvP mode early next year called Arena, which will be a completely separate option available from the main menu.

Microsoft also spent a brief time on Minecraft, including spin-off game Minecraft Dungeons, but arguably the most interesting reveal was the first major expansion for Forza Horizon 4.

Its called Fortune Island, and since we dont know of anywhere in the UK called that it seems to be somewhere that Playground Games has created from scratch, complete with new lightning effects and the chance to see the Aurora Borealis.

Theres also going to be some new Ken Block-themed rally cars for all your gymkhana needs.

The other final bit of big(-ish) news was the promised support for keyboard and mouse, which will begin on Wednesday, November 14 with the games X-Morph: Defense and Warhammer: Vermintide II.

Microsoft are teaming up with Razer for some official hardware but didnt actually show anything in the flesh. Although the dynamic lighting feature sounded neat, where developers can light up different areas of the keyboard to warn you of things like low health or an injured comrade.

A total of 14 games were announced to support keyboard and mouse on Xbox One and they are (final deep breath): Bomber Crew, Warface, Children Of Morta, Minion Masters, DayZ, Warframe, Strange Brigade, Deep Rock Galactic, Vermintide II, Moonlighter, WarGroove, Vigor, War Thunder, X-Morph: Defense, and… Fortnite.

More: Gaming


Epic Games had a brief cameo in pre-recorded video where they said support would be added later this week, which we assume to mean Wednesday – although technically it might be a few days later.

They promised that people using a joypad wouldnt be matched against keyboard players, so there shouldnt be any problems with unfair matches.

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