The first ‘Inside Xbox’ episode of 2020 aired today and while we’re a little too close to the summer for announcements of secret projects or Halo Infinite gameplay, Microsoft still had plenty to show. The episode brings updates for Obsidian’s Grounded, the upcoming Gears Tactics, Xbox Game Pass, Sea of Thieves and the Game Bar on PC.
You can watch the full episode above, but we’ll be breaking down the bigger announcements below.
Grounded from Obsidian Entertainment:
Grounded is Obsidian’s take on multiplayer survival. The game is coming to Game Pass on PC/Console and Steam as an early access game on July 28th. While this is likely best as a co-op survival experience, Obsidian has also worked on ensuring a solid single-player experience too. During the game, you will be shrunk down to the size of an ant and end up chatting with a robot named BURG.L. You will then be sent on a mission to fix the machine that will turn you back to normal size, all while fending off backyard insects and attempting to survive.
Xbox Game Pass announcements:
For Xbox Game Pass on console, Nier Automata: Become as Gods Edition and Totally Reliable Delivery Service are both available to download and play now. On the 9th of April, Alvastia Chronicles and Journey to the Savage Planet will also be added. For Xbox Game Pass on PC, you can expect Overcooked! 2, Football Manager 2020, Alvastia Chronicles, Mistover and Stanger Things 3: The Game. Yakuza Kiwami is also heading to Game Pass across PC and console soon.
Unfortunately, there will always be a list of games also leaving Game Pass. As of April 15th, the following games will be removed: Valkyria Chronicles (PC), Samurai Showdown II (Console), Prey (PC and Console), Into the Breach (PC), Fez (PC), MX vs ATV Reflex (Console), The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (Console) and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (Console).
Gears Tactics is ready for PC launch and will come to Xbox later in the year:
The Gears of War franchise is being pushed beyond third-person shooters and into the strategy genre. Gears Tactics has now gone gold for PC, meaning the game is ready for its April 28th release date. Later in the year, Xbox owners will also get to play the game.
The story is set 12 years before the first Gears of War. Our main protagonist is Gabe Diaz, the father of Kait Diaz from Gears 4 and Gears 5. As the Locust Horde begins to take down cities across the planet Sera, Gabe Diaz and his squad will be setting off on a mission to stop Ukkon, a Locust geneticist responsible for creating some of the worst monsters available to the horde.
Sea of Thieves: Ships of Fortune update:
Just in time for the game’s launch on Steam, Sea of Thieves is getting another major update- Ships of Fortune. This new update introduces a new mechanic, allowing ships to represent specific trading companies and gaining increased rewards for quests and uncovered treasure.
The Arena, Sea of Thieves’ PvP mode, is also getting an overhaul, replacing treasure maps with a single chest and a cash-in location to ensure faster, more frantic matches. Crews now also get a limited time to revive their squad mates that have fallen in battle. This new revive mechanic is coming to both ‘The Arena’ and the standard Adventure mode.
Xbox Game Bar for Windows is getting some upgrades:
The Game Bar is getting a few new features, including additional widgets. For streamers, you can now open and manage XSplit from the Game Bar overlay, allowing you to start, stop, adjust and monitor your stream on the fly. Other new widgets are also coming, including one for Spotify if you like to listen to some music while playing. A Razer Cortex widget is also coming, which includes a ‘boost’ feature to stop unneeded background processes and free up RAM while you play.
Microsoft is also partnering with Intel to bring Intel Graphics Command Center to the Game Bar, providing access to Intel’s streaming, capture, power profile and display setting features.
Developers are now able to get the Game Bar SDK and build their own custom widgets, so we can expect more to come in the future.
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KitGuru Says: I use Game Bar myself, so I’m quite interested in these new widgets. On the gaming front though, Gears Tactics is the main thing calling to me this month. What did you all think of the latest episode of Inside Xbox? Is there anything in particular that you are excited about?