Comparing this to the PlayStation 4 list, this does look a bit anemic, but that’s only superficial. The games on here are predicted to be straight up bangers. That whole quality over quantity thing? It’s this list right here. (Also, due to the nature of Microsoft being Microsoft, these are all coming out for PC, too.)
So buckle in, boys and girls. And get ready for that good-good.
Sea of Thieves — February 2017
Rare is an exceptionally weird company. They’ve developed an insane amount of classic titles. I won’t list them all, but guaranteed you hold a huge amount of reverence for most of their library. But they’ve kind of stalled since Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, having only futzed around with Kinect Sports and Killer Instinct. But Sea of Thieves looks like the perfect return to form for them, an ostensibly weird, bubbly curveball that is probably right up an alley you never knew you had.
Tacoma — Q1/Q2 2017
Sweet fuck Tacoma. Where to even begin. Developers Fullbright will be following up Gone Home, a modern landmark title that almost single-handedly legitimized the genre many would come to know as “walking simulators.” (I prefer forensic narratives.) It topped an amazing year of unbelievable games. To say expectations are high for Tacoma would be an understatement. (It’s also releasing for Linux and macOS.)
Cuphead — Q2/Q3
The raging hard-on that Cuphead elicited two E3s ago is still happening industry-wide. It seems antithetical to almost every trend that has come around in recent years while still playing into contemporary expectations. Hand-drawn animation, super difficult Super Meat Boy-style gameplay, brutally whimsical attitude, and silent movie era aesthetic. If you’re not 100% sold on giving this a try, then you probably forgot what fun is.
Crackdown 3 — 2017
I still think about Crackdown to this day. Those agility orbs? Both dreams and nightmares about them. With the promise of the power of the Xbox One, the new cloud-powered physics computations in a fully open and destructible world, and David Jones’ return to directorship of the series (after an unfortunate detour into APB: All Points Bulletin territory), I’m ready to do it all over again.
Scalebound — 2017
Another E3 2014 reveal delayed from 2016, Scalebound is a component piece to the rehabilitating legacy of PlatinumGames. Nier: Automata is the raw, undiluted gameplay that the studio traded on with Vanquish and MadWorld but this is closer to a byproduct of their trademark blend of hyperactive gameplay even more chaotic and irreverent attitude like with Bayonetta. Like, fuck, he has headphones on while fighting alongside a dragon.