Player 2 Vs The 2024 Xbox Games Showcase

Player 2 Vs The 2024 Xbox Games Showcase

Xbox has not exactly been the centre of good news this year so now, with their 2024 showcase they have a chance to shift the narrative back onto games. Will it be a cast of bangers, finally showing off the potential that many feel Xbox Games Studios has or will it be a dud? Paul and Matt jump in to give their thoughts on each announcement and see how it all pans out.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6

Matt Hewson: I’ve always been a Black Ops guy with the COD franchise. I have fallen off the rest of the franchise pretty hard but Black Ops with its bonkers spy stories have always held my interest and this is no different. I’ll be in on this one for sure. It looks like a crazy spy flick and that is exactly what I want from COD.

Paul James: My interest in COD was always lacking but I at least had some low-level passing interest in Modern Warfare campaigns at least. Well, this showing for BLOPS 6 certainly caught my eye, and it was a blistering statement from Xbox right out the gate with the biggest hitter in the world, now an Xbox franchise.

Doom: The Dark Ages

Matt Hewson: Long rumoured and now real, Doom Medieval looks great. While I am kind of a little down that Quake wasn’t ID’s next game, it is hard to be upset with more Doom. Also, how good does that shield look!

Paul James: The internet has ruined the surprise for this one, but that didn’t at all diminish the quality of what was shown. The Dark Ages looks incredibly good, and it’s a nice tonal shift from the hellish environments of the last two games. I’m all about it, and the 2025 release year is also incredibly exciting as well.

State of Decay 3

Matt Hewson: I am a long-time State of Decay fan, I still have the second game installed on my PC and play regularly so I am excited about this new version. The move to Unreal and bigger budget this time around hopefully translates to a smoother, bug-free launch. It seemed like a mix of gameplay and pre-rendered but it was hard to tell. No release window yet though.

Paul James: I’ve never really given State Of Decay a chance before, but if the stars align right with this third entry, I could be seriously tempted to jump in, because State Of Decay’s newest trailer was pretty cool. Hopefully, the tone of the game can match the tone of that trailer – if so, I’m in

Dragon Age: The Veilguard

Matt Hewson: The graphics have an interesting style to them, a little more cartoony than the previous games, but I don’t hate it. The big news is that it is coming this year which is awesome. It has been way too long. It’s a big moment for Bioware because they need a hit. I am backing them in. I can’t wait for the full gameplay reveal tomorrow. 

Paul James: This could well be make or break for BioWare with Dragon Age: The Veilguard and I’m seriously hoping they stick the landing. This trailer had style, and humour, while the upcoming showcase will give us some meaty gameplay to ruminate on. I really hope this one works out, but we’ll know for sure soon enough.

Starfield: Shattered Space

Matt Hewson: I just never clicked with Starfield like I have with other Bethesda RPGs. I keep meaning to go back but there is always something dragging my attention elsewhere. I think if I gave it the time, I would really get into it, but I just can’t seem to give it the time it needs to dive in. All that said, it is going to be hard for me to get excited about this expansion. 

Paul James: Still have not dived into Starfield properly yet, but from all reports the post-launch support has been impressive so far, and Shattered Space looks pretty cool. The game is still on my 2023 Pile Of Shame but hopefully for not much longer.

Fallout 76: Skyline Valley

Matt Hewson: I need to jump back into Fallout 76. I did a few years ago and it has come a long way since the barebones launch and apparently, it is getting better all the time. Once again though it is a time sink that I might not be able to commit to. 

Paul James: There’s a swell of positivity for Fallout 76 that makes me feel tempted to check it out myself. I was notoriously brutal towards the 1.0 launch, but time changes things – maybe my feelings towards the game will change too. I just need to take the time to check it out.

Expedition 33

Matt Hewson: Wow, talk about stunning, That is one hell of a good-looking JRPG. A really cool premise too. I only hope the story holds up because this could be an absolute banger

Paul James: Ben Starr baby! Ben’s voice in a gorgeous-looking RPG I’m sure caused dresses and desks to lift a few inches all around the globe (excuse that graphic description). Not sure what Clair Obscur is, but the game itself looks outstanding. I’m keen to see more.

South of Midnight

Matt Hewson: I am really digging the style this game is putting out both in setting and graphics. This sort of 3rd person adventure is exactly the sort of game that Xbox needs and to have one look so unique is a massive bonus. I really hope the moment-to-moment holds up because I am now officially excited for this one. 

Paul James: This was one of the multiple showstoppers in this showcase. The concept was cool when we were introduced to South of Midnight last year, but this slice of (IMO) unexpected gameplay was sensational. This team has come close with previous titles but hasn’t quite stuck the landing. South of Midnight could be their breakout moment though.

World of Warcraft: The War Within

Matt Hewson: I missed the World of Warcraft train by a very very long time so new content isn’t something I can get excited about. But the fact this game is still as popular as it is shows just how good a game it has been over many many years. 

Paul James: One of the very few personal misses in this showcase – and not because it’s a poor WoW showing either – simply that I don’t have an investment in the game. A cool Blizzard trailer, it’s just not for me.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater

Matt Hewson: I am excited about this one. I missed the original release and I am so desperate for a quality stealth experience. No release window yet which is sad, but I’ll be there on day one.

Paul James: I’d been really sceptical of the quality of the game up until this point, however, to a greater degree than Silent Hill 2, Metal Gear Solid Delta really impressed me this time. Whether the magic will still be present remains to be seen, but this was a big step in the right direction optically.

Sea of Thieves

Matt Hewson: Another game that came from humble beginnings and has just created a huge community around it. Not for me, but It honestly makes me smile that Rare has done so well with it.

Paul James: Now that it’s on PlayStation, I’m really keen to give Sea Of Thieves another go. The continued support is great, and this newest piece of content looks pretty sweet as well. I just need to find the time.

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn

Matt Hewson: Every time I see this game it looks better and better and it is coming out next month! Not even the Souls influences can put me off this one. It has the feel of a game like Jedi Survivor of Rise of the Ronin in that there are elements of Souls in it, but it is more approachable. At least I hope that is the case. 

Paul James: Flintlock looks crazy good. I’m really keen to see how the game comes together, and we won’t even have to wait that long either. If it has the difficulty modes, I’m good to go.

Age of Mythology: Retold

Matt Hewson: I played the hell out of this back in the day so I am day one again. It is great to see AoM get some love. It always felt overshadowed by the historical Age of Empires games. More RTS games, please!

Paul James: Age Of Mythology was a game I really wanted to get into back in the early 2000s, but my access to different console games really exploded at the same time and what little PC presence was in my life pretty much evaporated at the time of its release. Pretty keen to go check this out.

Perfect Dark

Matt Hewson: More spy stealthy stuff and I am pretty sold on this footage. It looks great. The movement is also a highlight. A seriously impressive trailer. I just hope the troubled development hasn’t left any scars on the full game, otherwise, this is pretty much everything you could want from a first look at gameplay. 

Paul James: There had been so much justified concern about this game over the course of the last 24 months, and while there is still plenty that could go wrong, this gameplay showing was sensational. You can see strokes of the old perfect dark games, but also immersive-sim elements, and other really cool aspects. They’ll still be a prick of worrying me until the game comes out, but this was a really strong statement. Bring it on.

Diablo IV: Vessel of Hatred

Matt Hewson: More Diablo is something I am always happy for. I need an excuse to jump back in and this is the perfect reason. I loved this story arc in the main game so seeing it is going to be expanded upon in this add-on is great news.

Paul James: Diablo IV was a game that I desperately wanted to play last year… But never did. A bit like Diablo III with Reaper Of Souls, this new expansion has me been feeling a bit hot under the collar. I’ll be ready by the time it releases in October.


Matt Hewson: Hey a release window which is nice, and they have nailed the feel. Still not enough on the gameplay front though. So I suspect this is going to be October next year. I feel like Playground is going to nail this, everything says it is heading in the right direction. I just need a chunk of unedited gameplay to be sure. 

Paul James: I’m a bit like you Matt, for as much as this game takes a lot of boxes in terms of vibe, it’s still lacking in what it shows in moment-to-moment gameplay. I have full confidence in the quality of this one, I just need to see more of it.

Frag Punk

Matt Hewson: Another 5 v 5 shooter but at least this one is doing something different. Can’t say I am too excited about it though, it is going to launch into a very flooded market. 

Paul James: Yeah as is pretty well documented I’m not crazy about PvP multiplayer games, and so Fragpunk has a bit of an uphill climb to win my heart. At the very least the debut trailer presented well.

Winter Burrow

Matt Hewson: A cute-looking indie adventure that I hope will benefit from the inclusion in Gamepass. Great to this sort of title get the chance to share the same spotlight as the other massive games in this showcase. 

Paul James: This game has a wonderful Indie feel about it and is visually striking, but also I’m still a little bit unsure as to what it actually is. Future showcases might shed the light that I need to really invest in this game.


Matt Hewson: It looks wild, no idea what sort of game it is, but the presentation had me hooked. I can’t wait to see more.

Paul James: you can see a visible through line between what Beethoven and Dinosaur achieved with The Artful Escape, and what they’re now looking to achieve with Mixtape. This game looks great and I’m really keen to see more. Aussies represent. Victorians do it better.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024

Matt Hewson: A tech marvel now has a bunch more ways to play which I think is only going to make a niche product appeal to more people. Honestly, I think everyone needs to play Flight Sim at least once in their lives because it is an achievement like no other in games. Sure it isn’t going to be the sort of game everyone plays forever but it should be experienced all. 

Paul James: So Flight Simulator is a cool concept, and it seems great in its execution, but like most simulators that exist, I just don’t really have much of an interest in this one. The fact that it goes into GamePass will absolutely mean that I’ll check it out, but I don’t think it’ll have any lasting value with me

The Elder Scrolls Online: The Gold Road

Matt Hewson: ESO is my MMO of choice, I love it and just wish I had more time to play it but alas an MMO is not conducive to a game reviewer’s life. Stay tuned for our review of the Gold Road soon though.

Paul James: ESO is your MMO of choice, and I desperately wanted to be mine as well. There are so many great things about what this game does, but with every passing year the mountain I have to climb to access the game gets even greater. This year I just have to bite the bullet and jump in.

Life is Strange: Double Exposure

Matt Hewson: One series I tell myself every year that I need to play and I still haven’t. They look great and this is no exception. It is coming this year too!

Paul James: The original Life Is Strange is what put me off the franchise in the first place and so the fact that we’re returning to a new story about Max, doesn’t excite me a lot. Think I just need to return the original and play it with fresh eyes, and if it hits, then it might be full steam ahead from there.

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle

Matt Hewson: There is a bit of an uncanny valley thing going on with Indy here, but otherwise it looks like a great title. The tone is perfect, the Harrison impression by Troy Baker is bang on and I like the way it is mixing the Indy traditions into gameplay. I need more gameplay footage though, A big chunk of gameplay would be great about now.

Paul James: The team at Machine Games seem obsessed with re-creating the feel of the 80s’ Indiana Jones movies, but I’m worried that if they stick to that thing too much, this game will suffer for it. I don’t necessarily mean that in terms of its quality, but in its appeal to the masses. That said, I’m seeing lots of Uncharted in this and that’s good enough for me.

Mecha Break

Matt Hewson: Not usually my sort of thing but that actually looked like a good bit of fun. I won’t be rushing out for it, but I will keep an eye on how it comes together.

Paul James: Where is Ken when you need him? I’m not much of a mech guy but he’ll be loving what he saw from this. I feel like we need to bring in an expert comment section.

WUCHANG: Fallen Feathers

Matt Hewson: Souls, Souls everywhere…. Stunning but probably not for me.

Paul James: I said this one when commenting on Summer Game Fest, but I’m really growing burnt out on the increased number of Souls games that exist. If they feature accessibility settings to make the game easier, then that’s half the battle won with me, but at the same time there are so many of them, and they’re all starting to look and feel a little bit the same.


Matt Hewson: Obsidian has my utter faith and this trailer is great. This should allay some concerns about the combat and movement because it looks much better this showing. Interesting that it is coming this year but there is no release date.

Paul James: like Matt, I have full faith in what Obsidian is creating here, that said I was a bit bummed that we didn’t get a release date considering it’s likely to be about three months away. The new trailer looks great though, gameplay is presenting well too – consider me sold.


Matt Hewson: Rebellion have always made good-but-not-great games and this looks to be in that realm as well. I hope it is something more than just another alt-history shooter

Paul James: I really liked the look of this trailer and what sort of game Atomfall is supposed to be, but the pedigree of the developer does leave me a little bit concerned. Would happily be proven wrong though.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Matt Hewson: I am loving the look of this one and the reports are that it is roughly the size of AC Origin, so it should avoid the problems I had with Valhalla. I am all in.

Paul James: We’re going to see a lot more about Assassin‘s Creed Shadows in the next few days, so I’ll save my comprehensive thoughts for then, but despite finally visiting Japan and then being a little bit too late, being in Ghost Of Tsushima’s shadow, the game looks to be doing good things and I’m really excited to check it out.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2

Matt Hewson: I have been excited about this game for so long now. The devs must be so proud of what they have achieved, developing a game such as this is always an achievement but to do so in a war zone is nothing less than a miracle. September 5 can’t come soon enough.

Paul James: This game presented a lot better than I could’ve ever imagined it would. I went from being somewhat on the fence but wanting to support the developers due to everything they’ve had to go through, to suddenly invested in any way you can imagine.

Gears of War: E-Day

Matt Hewson: Wow, didn’t expect the next Gears game to be a prequel. I mean I am all in, I love gears but I really want to find out what happens at the end of 5. Regardless, I will be ready to dive in as soon as the game is out. 

Paul James: I was initially a bit devastated that we weren’t getting the sixth game, but hearing that mad world usage and seeing Marcus and Dom together again stirred up some emotions that I now want to see the Coalition explore a bit further. No release window yet, but it can’t come soon enough.

Overall Thoughts

Matt Hewson: That was, quite frankly, a banger of a show. Heaps of games that appeal to a wide range of players. Some genuinely stunning new titles, big surprises and no corporate waffle. Probably the best Xbox Showcase I can remember and one of the best showcases I have seen in quite some time. Frankly, it needed to be too, Xbox has been bad news story after bad news story this year so they had to nail this. Nail it they did. Great show.

Paul James: This was a showcase that rivalled the best that Sony put together in the mid-2010s. The downtime was minimal, the lows were you and not even that low to begin with, while the highs were extraordinarily high. This was an all-time show from Xbox, and they did it despite leaving so many teams still out in the cold this year. They could double up again next year and be totally fine. What a blessing of riches.

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