Gamescom 2019: Gears 5, PUBG, NBA2K20 and other highlights from the Inside Xbox livestream
To celebrate the beginning of this week’s Gamescom conference, Microsoft hosted a special hour-and-a-half Inside Xbox livestream in which it made a number of exciting new announcements. No new games were unveiled, but the livestream was still packed with information that fans of games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Destiny 2, Gears 5, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, NBA2K20, and Metro Exodus definitely don’t want to ignore.
New Game Pass Additions
Starting today, Xbox Game Pass subscribers can download and play Devil May Cry 5, Stellaris: Console Edition, and (if they have a PC) Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. On August 22, Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Ape Out will join the service. For the final week of August, Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut will arrive on Xbox Game Pass on August 27, and the upcoming Blair Witch will be available on the service from day one on August 30.
Microsoft says it will continue adding more games to Xbox Game Pass throughout the rest of 2019, with one sneak peek being Motion Twin’s excellent 2D roguelike Dead Cells which will make its Xbox Game Pass debut on September 5. Lastly, Xbox Game Pass is getting a few upgrades, including the ability for users to import their friends lists from Steam or Facebook and to decide which drive they install games on (assuming they have more than one drive on their Xbox One or PC).
New Controller Designs
Two brand new Xbox One controller styles are coming this fall season. First, there’s the Sports Blue design which joins the existing Sports Red and Sports White controller styles. Then there’s the Night Ops Camo style which, as its name suggests, features a dark camouflage pattern. Both of the new controller designs will cost $69.99 when they launch, but they have different launch dates. Sports Blue will be available on September 17 while Night Ops Camo will arrive on October 8.
2K Sports dropped a new trailer for NBA 2K20 which shows off the large roster of Hollywood and sports talent who will appear in the game’s story mode. Key characters will be played by Idris Elba (Hobbs and Shaw), Rosario Dawson (Netflix’s Daredevil), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Lamorne Morris (New Girl), and Jaleel White (Family Matters). Iconic sports personalities like LeBron James and his business manager Maverick Carter will also show up playing themselves.
NBA 2K20 launches on September 6 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Cross-play support for the console versions of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (or PUBG) is coming in October. Once cross-play is live, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players will be dropped into the same online matchmaking pool, though it’s not yet clear if players will be able to form squads across platforms. The current plan is for the cross-play update to go up on PUBG’s test servers sometime in September followed by a full public rollout in October.
Bungie appeared briefly during the Inside Xbox livestream to show off a specific feature from Destiny 2’s upcoming Shadowkeep expansion: melee finishers. The melee finishers will allow players to dispatch enemies up close and in style, but they’ll also have more practical uses as well. Players can add mods to their finishers to alter the gameplay benefits they offer. For example, there’s a ‘heavy ammo finisher’ mod that causes the player to spawn a heavy ammo brick whenever they use their finisher at the cost of half their super meter.
We’ve got @Bungie’s Game Director Ben Wommack and Commnity Manager @DeeJ_BNG on stage giving us a final look at the new finisher system in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep. #InsideXbox pic.twitter.com/mVMHu3XPbj
— Xbox at gamescom 2019 (@Xbox) August 19, 2019
Destiny 2’s Shadowkeep expansion launches on October 1.
The first DLC expansion for Metro Exodus, titled The Two Colonels, launches on August 20 (i.e. tomorrow). The DLC will allow players to control a new playable protagonist, Colonel Khlebnikov, and wield a new flamethrower weapon. A second DLC expansion for Metro Exodus is scheduled to arrive in early 2020.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
Much like its predecessor, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Ubisoft’s upcoming Ghost Recon: Breakpoint will include a competitive PvP mode called Ghost War. Breakpoint’s Ghost War will pit two squads of four players against each other on expansive maps that slowly shrink over time due to an encroaching storm (not unlike what’s found in battle royale games). Ghost War will also have dedicated servers to ensure the highest quality gameplay experience.
The big finisher for the August, 2019 Inside Xbox livestream was a look at Gears 5’s cooperative Horde mode. One of the most surprising new features included in Gears 5’s iteration of the beloved Horde experience is the addition of ultimate abilities. Each playable character in Horde can deploy a signature ability not unlike what’s found in games like Overwatch or Destiny 2. These ultimate abilities include powerful game-changing maneuvers such as air strikes, personal invisibility, and even the ability to see and shoot enemies through walls. Ultimate abilities are linked to specific characters rather than roles, allowing players to tell at-a-glance which ultimates their teammates are packing.
As an added bonus, Microsoft and Gears 5 developer The Coalition also unveiled a Halo: Reach-themed character pack. The character pack includes two iconic personalities from Halo: Reach, the Spartans Emile-A239 and Kat-B320. Both Emile and Kat will be playable in Gears 5’s Horde, Versus, and Escape game modes (they’ll also have their own signature ultimate abilities in Horde).
Currently, the only way to get the Halo: Reach character pack is to purchase the Gears 5 Ultimate Edition or subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Chances are, however, that the pack will be available for individual purchase following Gears 5’s September 10 launch.
Watch the whole stream here: