We previewed four titles coming to Xbox Game Pass, including Everspace 2

We previewed four titles coming to Xbox Game Pass, including Everspace 2

We previewed four titles coming to Xbox Game Pass

2023 in videogames has got off to a decidedly good start, among titles such as Dead Space Remake, Hogwarts Legacy, Fospoken and Hi-Fi Rush there is plenty to talk about and the next few months, in terms of releases, seem no less. However, it is not correct to speak only of Triple A or Double A video games, there are also independent productions that peep out on our platforms, especially Xbox and PC and obviously, Xbox Game Pass.

In fact, there are various video games arriving on day one on the Microsoft subscription, not only major productions such as Starfield, Atomic Heart, Redfall or Forza Motorsport, but also indie games promoted by the ID@Xbox team.

Just in the last few days we have attended a virtual presentation behind closed doors where the director for indie creators of ID@Xbox, Guy Richards, told us something more about both the work being done towards small development studios and four titles produced by European studies coming this year and which seem to show a rather enviable overall quality.

The growth of ID@Xbox

ID@Xbox will turn 10 this summer, an important milestone that should not be seen as the arrival point but rather as a new starting point. The team's goal is always to expand the initiative to as many independent developers as possible, in such a way as to make their products accessible on Xbox platforms (PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S) and Cloud streaming, as well as guaranteeing the largest possible audience. As always, the team grants the availability of devkits, advice and support to launch games on Microsoft platforms.

By now ID@Xbox has grown exponentially, working with teams from all over the world, guaranteeing a high variety of video games both in terms of genre and topics covered. The video games they told us about (and which we have already seen and enjoyed in various other showcases) were all created in Europe. ID@Xbox has released 2000 games developed on our continent, collaborating with 1200 indie creators.

We recently had the opportunity to see four indie games that will arrive on Xbox Game Pass on day one during this year, in detail: Planet of Lana (Wishfully), Everspace 2 (ROCKFISH Games), Lightyear Frontier (FRAME BREAK) and The Last Case of Benedict Fox (Plot Twist). Now let's briefly tell you what struck us about these experiences.

ID@Xbox, the games seen in preview

Everspace 2

Genre: simulation/roguelite Data release: April 6 on PC – summer 2023 Xbox Everspace 2 has been in development for five years and has been in early access on Xbox Game Pass. There are actually reasons behind this development time, the main one being dictated by its size. The first Everspace was in fact a rogoue-lite, while the second chapter is a real semi-open world action-rpg.

There will be nine different classes of ships that can be purchased and it will be possible to explore and fight freely in the galaxy to get money from the jobs (missions) that we decide to follow and loot, because the loot will be essential to upgrade our ship with different and better weapons. Clearly the customization will also be aimed at the ship, not only for the typology, but also for the colors and much more.

Being an action-rpg we will have the possibility to level up and unlock skills to become stronger. Exploring to gain experience will therefore be very important, but also more fun than in the past since we will be able to visit areas of some planets, complete with underwater levels

History will also play a fundamental role with a good four hours of recorded dialogues in English and German  with graphic novel cutscenes. A painstaking work that really impressed us, just as the entire aesthetic and graphic part of the product convinced us: a clear step forward compared to the past.

ROCKFIST Games' Everspace 2 promises really well and we can't see the result. It's time to try it out in the final version. The game will arrive on April 6 on PC and in the summer on Xbox consoles. Included with Xbox Game Pass.

Planet of Lana

Genre: Adventure Release Date: Spring 2023 Planet of Lana is a narrative-driven linear sci-fi experience, a bit inspired by games such as Another World, Limbo and Inside . During the game we will take on the role of Lana, the only human being who survived a disaster just mentioned, who will have to go through a world entirely "drawn" by hand, full of fearsome creatures and unpredictable obstacles.

To accompany Lana, Mui, a small creature not far from a cat who will help us during the exploration and during the overcoming of many environmental and non-environmental puzzles. In our case we witnessed a small demo set in a swamp where the two protagonists helped each other to overcome a small puzzle.

Then there is a whole beautiful artistic component, enhanced not only by the aesthetic marvel of the Wishfully team who came up with the idea of ​​inventing a whole new language for Lana, but mostly from the gorgeous (at least from what we've heard) soundtrack by Takeshi Furukawa (The Last Guardian) that accompanies Lana and her partner

Planet of Lana will arrive this spring on Xbox and PC, on day one on Xbox Game Pass.

The Last Case of Benedict Fox

Genre: Metroidvania Release date : April 27, 2023 It had already struck us during the announcement at the 2022 Summer Xbox Games Showcase and we reconfirm the wonderful sensations: The Last Case of Benedict Fox, a video game strongly inspired by film noir, seems to be a truly captivating title, capable of attracting enthusiasts more inc metroidvania cheers.

In the game we play as Benedict Fox, a detective accompanied by a demon who allows him to travel to Limbo, a place generated by the memories and memories of a certain character. This already makes him a unique character in itself.

Benedict's events start from the "villa", a place that also acts as a real hub, having to be able to talk to other NPCs and upgrade your skills and weapons to the net of an amount of money available. In reality, the progression seems to be interesting and also complete from almost all points of view.

The game offers an interesting investigative component (complete with puzzles) capable of analyzing objects and documents, as well as a simple but effective system for breaking into the frightening doors of Limbo and an accurate combat system, which however will have to be analyzed pad in hand.

Benedict can in fact strike with various weapons at close range and at a distance, as well as exploit skills of your demon companion and dodging to gain the advantage over enemies. All of this is very strategic and requires a good deal of skill, at least in the first moments.

There is no shortage of disturbing and lethal bosses; it will be essential to be able to understand their attack patterns in order to be able to defeat them without problems. From this point of view, the clashes seemed classic to us and not very far from games of the same genre.

The map is clearly entirely explorable, offers various quick transfers and hides various secrets which it will then be up to us to discover. However, the artistic component is striking, truly surprising and truly capable of making a difference in a product of this type.

The Last Case of Benedict Fox will arrive on April 27 on PC and Xbox, on day one on Xbox Game Pass.

Lightyear Frontier

Genre: Life simulator Release date: TBA In Lighyear Frontier we will be launched on an alien planet with a real mech. Our task? Build a settlement and make it prosper, perhaps with help from other players. The basic idea is not very far from what Animal Crossing is, for example, albeit with appropriate differences derived mostly from the presence of hostile and non-hostile creatures. For clarity, this is not a survival game at all.

Gathering, resources, farming, trading (through a character called Lola) and making the "village" as beautiful as possible will be the our primary task, but there will be the possibility of exploring to discover mysteries, even in the company of friends or players who can be attracted thanks to the appropriate sparse towers, which however will greatly facilitate the game, given that the experience was designed to be playable in single player.

Lightyear Frontier does not have a release date yet, but it will arrive on PC and Xbox, day one on Xbox Game Pass.

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