Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
Xbox Gamescom Cover

Let’s face it, it’s been a pretty lousy year. We’ve spent a lot of it trapped inside our houses, and for many of us, games are our main source of entertainment. As such, we put a lot of hype on gaming events. And Xbox failed to deliver. This article was originally going to be titled ‘My favourite parts of Xbox Gamescom’, but it would feel disingenuous now. Because I barely enjoyed any of it, let alone enough to fill a whole article. I just spent the majority of the time feeling bored out of my mind, staring at the screen, begging them to move on to something new. So, let’s investigate why Xbox Gamescom was a huge disappointment.

The Format

For some bizarre reason, Xbox decided that their gaming event should have hardly any actual games. Instead, it was maybe 80% just people sitting around talking, 10% completely unrelated footage, and maybe 10% actual game footage. Their E3 event during Summer Game Fest was awesome, basically just wall to wall game trailers. I knew that this Gamescom wouldn’t have much in the way of new game announcements, but I thought it would at least show new content. And sure, there were occasional decent segments. The Borderlands event for Sea of Thieves looks cool, and I loved the launch trailer for Psychonauts 2. But for the most part, there was far too much time-wasting. They’re releasing DLC for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Cool, just show us that. Don’t spend 20 minutes talking about the origins of planes or whatever that was all about.

Xbox Gamescom Huge Disappointment, Microsoft Flight Simulator
It really is a visually stunning game, and I’m sure fans will enjoy the new DLC.

I understand the appeal of interviews, I even like to conduct them myself for this website. But there’s a time and place. An interview is not a main event for something like this. People came to see games, and that’s what we should have been shown. Xbox could have had the chatting segments as a special after-show event so that all those who wanted to see that, could. But to include 10 minutes of talking after a 1 minute clip of game footage? Ridiculous. And don’t even get me started on the Age of Empires IV part. If you don’t have any game content at all to share, then just don’t participate! Instead, we got a weird history lesson about trebuchets. I mean, I admit it was interesting, but still. This was supposed to be a gaming event.

The Games

I knew that this event was about Q4 Xbox releases. I wasn’t expecting any major announcements or anything, but they could have thrown us one exciting thing. Just one little ID@XBOX game that they’d been keeping under wraps or something. Instead, it was all just games that we knew were coming, and they didn’t even give us any new info. This was one reason that the Xbox Gamescom event was such a huge disappointment.

Crusader Kings III looks good, and it’s nice that it’s coming to console, but it’s been out for a year. Many gamers will have already played it on PC, and those that haven’t probably weren’t interested in the first place. Stray Blade was probably one of the few ‘new’ games, on the basis that we at least saw brand new content. But it was first announced at Gamescom all the way back in 2019, so it had been on people’s radars. It looks pretty neat, but unfortunately it’s not a niche genre, and I can just think of so many other action RPGs that look so much nicer. Because whilst it does look well-made, and I understand that it’s still in pre-Alpha, the assets look like the generic ones that you get for free on the Unity store.

I did enjoy the Psychonauts 2 segment, and I can’t wait to play it when it releases tomorrow. It’s set to be a fantastic platformer, right up there with the likes of Crash Bandicoot or Ratchet and Clank. I doubt it’ll compete with Spyro, though, nobody could match our purple boi. Forza Horizon 5 looks every bit as gorgeous as it did in its initial announcement trailer. I’m still in awe at the graphics, and I bet it will be a phenomenal game.

The Hosts

I feel guilty for saying this, as I’d hate to hurt their feelings, but I’m confident they’ll never read this. Those hosts were bad. Like, painfully so. Parris sounded like a monotone robot who was learning the English language one word at a time. And Kate’s overly bubbly personality came across as fake and irritating. I mean, she literally leaned forward on one elbow and called her adult guest “adorable”. Who does that?

The worst part was that awful interview with the guy from Wasteland 3. Despite my hatred of the format, I admit that the guest was clearly passionate about the game, and I like to see that. But Parris was so awkward and out of his element. At one point he said that the cultists in the game sounded “cooler than any cults that I might’ve been in”. Excuse me? You’ve been in cults, what?

Parris Lilly and Kate Yeager, Xbox.
These two just added to the overall monotony of the event.

A host needs to capture the audience’s attention and not let go, and those two just had zero charisma. I’m sure they’re both lovely people, but they really weren’t suited to this presentation. Especially when you put them together, because their lack of chemistry was blatantly obvious. Their dynamic was awkward and forced, and they had no natural rapport. It was so clear that they were reading from a tele-prompter for the most of it, and the unscripted bits were just hard to watch. I really hate speaking ill of them, but they’re part of why the Xbox Gamescom event was a huge disappointment.

Overall

I wish I could have written a more positive article, as I’d always intended to do. Whilst I play on Xbox, Switch, and PlayStation, Xbox is by far my favourite. I love the console, I love the games, I love the community, and I love the general energy of the company. But unfortunately with this particular event, I didn’t love it. It was 90 minutes of waiting for something good to happen, whilst slowly losing the will to live. We didn’t even get any news on Halo Infinite.

How about you, what did you guys think? Join the discussion over in our Facebook community! And if you’ve got a hankering for a new game, enter our free giveaway for Banners of Ruin!

By Screen Hype

Hi! I'm Melika Jeddi, a content writer and aspiring author. I've created Screen Hype to share my unique brand of entertaining articles with the world, and to create a fun space that everyone can feel a part of :)