The cover art for Forza Horizon 5. A red supercar drifts on a dirt track whilst a large yellow car flies off the track. In the background are tropical trees and beaches.

Gamescom 2021 is here and Xbox kicked off this year’s event with their own stream. Coming in before Geoff Keighley hosts the Opening Night Live event on August 25, Xbox presented nearly an hour and a half of interviews and gameplay that covered previously announced titles. Below is a wrap-up of arguably the biggest segments from the stream.

Forza Horizon 5

After surprising everyone at E3 earlier this year, Forza Horizon 5 made another appearance here with plenty of news and some more gorgeous gameplay. Pre-orders for a new limited edition Forza controller are now live, and the cover cars were revealed: the Mercedes AMG-1 and the 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands. Eight minutes of new gameplay seemed to showcase the opening of the game, letting players drop into a variety of environments from a plane Fast & Furious style.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

An interview Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Jorg Neumann, revealed details for the next World Update. Dropping on September 7, Germany, Switzerland and Austria will see visual improvements and players can get into the cockpit of older planes. On top of that, the Official Reno Air Race is coming to the game this Fall, in the form of competitive multiplayer.

Age of Empires IV

Age of Empires IV came into the show to unveil a new feature for the real-time strategy game: live-action documentary segments. ‘Hands-On History’ will take players on deep dives into specific subjects – such as trebuchets, falconry, and Mongolian instrumentation –  and is produced by British company Lion TV, who interestingly worked on the Horrible Histories series.

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Stray Blade

It turns out that we did get a brand new announcement after all. 505 Games and Point Blank Games revealed Stray Blade, an Action RPG focused on melee combat and exploration. Pre-alpha gameplay showcased fantastical locations and a variety of melee weapons. The game is currently set to release sometime in 2022.

Halo Infinite

The news here is… that there is no news. It was almost certain that Bungie would announce an official release date towards the end of the show, but alas the highly-anticipated shooter was nowhere to be seen. Halo Infinite‘s absence is significant considering it’s nearly September and the 2021 game has no solid release date. Fans will no doubt be increasingly nervous about hearing a delay soon, especially after the news broke that the Forge mode and campaign co-op will not be included with the game at launch.





By Gavin Spoors

Gavin is a Freelance Writer, budding Screenwriter and Narrative Designer, and Gaming Editor for Filmhounds. He's particularly interested in story and narrative design, be it for a film, TV series or a game. His written work can be found at outlets such as Flip Screen, New Game+ and JumpCut PLAY.

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