Xbox has kicked off Gamescom, Germany’s annual festival for all things gaming, for another year. And while there weren’t any new reveals in terms of games, we got plenty of info on existing ones: Forza Horizon 5, Xbox cloud gaming, Flight Simulator, Age of Empires 4 and lots more.
Crusader Kings 3’s console port was confirmed
This was revealed as part of Xbox’s briefing, but the official Paradox website says the famous regicide simulator will launch on the PS5 as well. News of this was spotted earlier this week via a listing on Taiwan’s official classification database, so it’s nice to have the announcement so soon.
Crusader Kings has been a PC game first and foremost, so Paradox are reinventing the UI with radial menus to make it more playable on consoles. It’ll be made available through Xbox Game Pass when it does launch for consoles, much like how Crusader Kings 3 is already on Xbox Game Pass for PC now.
Flight Simulator is getting a huge European air update, plus Reno Air Races
Want to race in Flight Simulator? You’ll be able to soon, with STIHL National Championship Air Races being officially added in a later update.
But it’s just the start of tons of fresh Flight Simulator content. The next world update will overhaul maps data for Switzerland, Austria and Germany — appropriate given Gamescom is traditionally held in Germany’s Cologne — with new landing challenges, bush trips and discovery flights focusing on the region.
Pilots will also get access to the VoloCity air taxi from November this year. But for those preferring an older vintage of flight, the Junkers JU-52 — a famous German aircraft in the Second World War repurposed for passenger flight — is being added to Flight Simulator from September 7.
Xbox cloud gaming comes to Xbox One consoles, rebrands it as a “try before you buy” service
This is a really smart move from Xbox. Apart from opening up Xbox Series-era games (Gen 9, as Xbox is calling it) to Xbox One owners, Microsoft also announced that Xbox cloud gaming would be available for Xbox Series S and X consoles sometime this holiday.
The idea is that you’ll be able to stream a game through Xbox Game Pass before having to download the full thing to your console. It’s being pitched as a space-saving measure: try the game out first, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to wait for it to take up space on your hard drive, or wait for a lengthy download.
Around 100 games will be available when the xCloud integration first kicks off, with a cloud logo appearing on the Xbox dashboard to show what games are streamable. Those with Xbox insiders access will be able to try out xCloud on Xbox Series S and X consoles sometimes this spring ahead of its full release.
Humble Bundle is boosting the Xbox Game Pass library further
Some of these games are already on Xbox Game Pass — like Dodgeball Academia — but it’s neat to see more indies come to the service.
The Aussie made Unpacking will launch on part of Game Pass for console, PC and xCloud as part of this deal. So will the creepy Signalis that looked fantastic at E3 earlier this year. Midnight Fight Express looks like an absolute blast too, and I’ve had my eye on Chinatown Detective Agency for a while.
We got more Dying Light 2 gameplay
This is still launching on December 7, according to Techland. The amount of parkour in the game has been ramped up substantially, and there’s some great movement tricks in the flying, air kicking, grappling and parrying available.
Forza Horizon 5 has a pretty sick controller
Beats the hell out of the bog standard black and white, right? It’ll be sold directly through the Microsoft Store for $99.95 in Australia.
Forza Horizon 5 showed off its cover cars and a new difficulty mode
There’s plenty of news about the new difficulty mode and cover cars, and you can check out Alice’s story about that here. If you just want to see gameplay, Xbox also showed off the first 8 minutes of the game below, which jumps from various cars and environments in a similar manner to the transitions from Forza Horizon 4.
We got a look at Stray Blade, a new stylised action RPG
Like Kingdoms of Amalur? Then Stray Blade might be the most interesting thing out of Gamescom for you so far. It’s due out sometime next year.
There’s more DLC for Wasteland 3
Called Cult of the Holy Detonation, the Wasteland 3 expansion will take your party into the Cheyenne Mountain, stopping high-tech cultist rituals. It’s launching on October 5.
State of Decay 2 is adding the original State of Decay map
This is cool if you’re into State of Decay. On September 1, the game’s Homecoming update will add Trumbull Valley into State of Decay 2. Basically, it’ll mean you get to replay the original area with all the quality of life and zombie improvements from State of Decay 2. Very neat for a free update.
The Gunk showed off some fresh gameplay
This is still launching in December 2021. It’ll be a Xbox Game Pass day one title to boot, although PS5 users will have to wait a while — The Gunk is a timed Xbox exclusive.
Like roguelite shooters? Meet the magic-slinging Into The Pit
Getting strong oldschool Heretic vibes from this, with some roguelite elements to boot. It’s launching on October 19 on PC and Xbox, and it’ll be an Xbox Game Pass day one title as well.
Age of Empires 4 gave everyone a physics lesson about trebuchets
Age of Empires 4 is still launching on October 26 — I’ll be having a chat with the developers later this week, in fact. But one of the Gamescom reveals was these “Hands On History” and “Medieval Surgery” clips, which are all produced for Age of Empires 4 by a production company called Lion TV.
The whole idea is to make the history within AOE 4 more interesting, which is neat. If you’re after actual gameplay, though? You’ll have to wait until the official Gamescom opening tomorrow morning Australian time.
Sea of Thieves is getting a Borderlands-themed ship
Like what you see? You’ll be able to earn it in-game through the Mayhem event that’s live in Sea of Thieves right now. Larinna will provide all the details in-game, with the event running until September 7.