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Tasmania, Australia

Gamescom is nearly upon us and Microsoft is returning for another round of Inside Xbox. Taking place on August 19th at 8 AM PDT, the show will precede the Gamescom Opening Night Live event where numerous other reveals like Ghost Games’ Need for Speed Heat and Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding will be seen. It looks we’ll be getting a fairly hefty mix of third party and first party reveals during Microsoft’s show though.

"Xbox Game Pass will also have some reveals so expect some titles to be announced for both the PC and Xbox One version of the same."

For starters, The Coalition’s Gears 5 will debut its new Horde Mode. Thus far, we know that character abilities and skills seen in Escape Mode will be available here. Gear Packs are gone from the game and characters are purchasable with real money a la Rainbow Six Siege. But otherwise, we don’t know a whole about the changes made to Horde 5.0 (or whatever it ends up being called). Will it offer three player co-op action like the teaser trailer implied? It would certainly be a different approach, though a big departure from previous titles. If you’re hanging around for campaign gameplay, we’d advise you to wait it out – that won’t appear until Opening Night Live.

Other major first party titles you can expect to hear about at Inside Xbox include Dlala Games’ Battletoads (likely a release date, if not a release window); Age of Empire 2 Definitive Edition (which could mean a release date, if not some gameplay; and potentially Age of Empires 4. Vigor (Bohemia Interactive’s other survival game which is currently in Xbox Game Preview), Wasteland 3, Metro Exodus (with its next major DLC “The Two Colonels out this Summer), Blair Witch and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will also be making appearances.

Xbox Game Pass will also have some reveals so expect some titles to be announced for both the PC and Xbox One version of the same. Our money is on some high-profile titles that will be live at the end of the month, if not early in September.

Of course, arguably the biggest third party reveals are Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which will see its multiplayer debut, and Bungie’s Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, which will likely tease us with new missions and activities. The former is especially interesting because Ghost Recon Wildlands received its multiplayer component much later while Breakpoint will launch with the same.

What new classes or dynamics can be expected, especially with all the drones, prone camo and survival mechanics that have been added to the campaign? We’ll have to wait and see but don’t expect much deviation from the established formula.

Paradox Interactive’s Empire of Sin will also have a gameplay showcase – an interesting decision, considering it’s not exactly the most high-profile title on the line-up but still promoted as a “featured” title. Ninja Theory’s Bleeding Edge featured in the teaser trailer and while it could just receive some new gameplay snippets, that will probably just be to announce its availability at the Xbox booth for attendees.

So now for the real question: What could be appearing at Inside Xbox that Microsoft hasn’t been announced? First of all, don’t expect any new information on Project Scarlett or Halo Infinite. 343 Industries has already confirmed that a proper blowout for the next Halo will be taking place at E3 2020. The same can be said for Project Scarlett because it’s still too early to really promote the console, especially when there are existing Xbox One accessories to showcase here.

Expect a few mentions here and there but nothing more. Updates on Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC will likely be offered for those who want to get in on the testing

"It wouldn’t be strange if Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds received a new trailer as well."

We also expect Undead Labs’ State of Decay 2 to receive a mention. The survival sandbox title recently reported a total of five million players, thanks in no small part to Xbox Game Pass. A major new update or smaller DLC – especially since the Heartland expansion is still recent – seems likely. In case you’re thinking it’s time for another sequel, Undead Labs has already clarified its focus on the current game. So it’s a no go in that department.

With inXile’s Wasteland 3 making an appearance, it wouldn’t be strange if Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds received a new trailer as well. The title is out in October, after all, and will be coming to Xbox Game Pass at launch. Again, nothing revolutionary in terms of reveals but hearing the team at Xbox Game Studios chat about it, especially after studio head Matt Booty expressed interest in making the franchise Xbox One-exclusive, wouldn’t be strange. You have to flex those acquisitions, after all. The same goes for Double Fine Productions, whose acquisition by Microsoft was announced at E3 2019. Psychonauts 2 is still very much a third party title by the way but expect an appearance from that as well.

Hot take: Given how well received Cyberpunk 2077 was at E3 2019, expect CD Projekt RED to reveal a new trailer at Inside Xbox. Why? Well, because it’s going to showcase the E3 2019 behind closed doors walkthrough to the public at Gamescom. What better way to hype it up than by revealing a new trailer? It makes sense, especially if the marketing between Xbox and Cyberpunk 2077 is really that strong.

"Temper your expectations and check it out for Gears 5, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, sure, even Battletoads but don’t expect too many other bombshell announcements."

Last but not least, expect another appearance from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. If not a full-blown trailer, then there may possibly be a teaser for a reveal at Gamescom Opening Night Live. Electronic Arts hasn’t confirmed if new gameplay will be showcased or even if the game is at Gamescom for attendees to try. This is likely to not overshadow the gameplay reveal of Need for Speed Heat or even the announcement of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (the trailer for which recently leaked). Still, given the title’s appearance at Microsoft’s E3 2019 presser, it could possibly drop by at Inside Xbox with its release close by.

Overall, Gamescom is looking to be an interesting albeit less hyped showing for Microsoft. Temper your expectations and check it out for Gears 5, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and, sure, even Battletoads but don’t expect too many other bombshell announcements.

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