ID@Xbox Goes to GDC Part 2

By Rebecca Smith, 1 year ago
Following on from the first 32 titles revealed as part of Microsoft's ID@Xbox display at San Francisco's GDC, we continue the list with the next 11 titles.

1) Magic Duels

You would have to be new to Xbox to have avoided knowing about the last five instalments of the Magic: The Gathering franchise from Stainless Games. Well, Magic Duels: Origins is the latest title to be released and is based on the storyline from the Magic Origins set of cards. This time, though, the game is going free-to-play with "100% earnable content", including the first playable Planeswalker cards, although there are regular DLC expansions that reflect the latest card sets.


The solo Battle mode offers endless AI opponents, while multiplayer options include the favourite Two-Headed Giant mode. A Quest system offers weekly individual and community challenges. The improved Deck Builder will offer step-by-step guidance to constructing your deck and there's a new Skill Quest tutorial system. Will you take up the challenge?

2) Paranautical Activity

While you might not have heard of this classic first-person shooter, you have probably heard about the controversy surrounding its developer Code Avarice. After an argument on Twitter, one of the team decided to send jokey death threats to Valve's co-founder Gabe Newell. The result was that the game was unceremoniously pulled from sale on Steam. Only after the rights were sold to publisher Digerati Distribution could the game return for purchase. Now it is heading for the Xbox One too.


The rogue-like FPS combines the feel of Doom and Quake with the procedurally generated levels reminiscent of games like Binding of Isaac and Spelunky. There are hidden levels, over 100 items, over 40 enemies and bosses that are described as "ridiculous". Take a look for yourself:

You didn't know that eyes had arms and legs either, huh?You didn't know that eyes had arms and legs either, huh?

R2-D2 needed alternative employment before filming began for the latest Star Wars.R2-D2 needed alternative employment before filming began for the latest Star Wars.

Demons hate exploding crossbow bolts.Demons hate exploding crossbow bolts.


3) Pixel Galaxy

When a game uses "the crazy clump-building of Katamari" in its description, you would likely imagine a peaceful game where you roll around a level at your leisure while devouring everything in sight. Serenity Forge's Pixel Galaxy is the complete opposite of this. While your white pixel does move around the levels to collect extra blocks and make your ship bigger, it does so while avoiding missiles, lasers and many, many bullets. If you're to survive, you need to build a shield of pixels around your original white pixel and use their abilities to avoid death.


The enemy pixels have their own characteristics that can turn them from being your worst enemy to your most powerful weapon in the blink of an eye. Bosses have their own special attacks and movement patterns, but they also all have weaknesses. On the contrary, the waves of normal enemies are randomized and they move in unique patterns. No two playthroughs are identical. There is six difficulty modes, with the hardest being called "normalest". Only the hardiest of gamers need apply.

The ChariotThe Chariot

The RadianceThe Radiance

StreamsStreams


4) Raging Justice

Makin Games' 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up takes place in a city that is being held to ransom. Two cops, Nikki Rage and Rick Justice, aim to prove that no-one is immune from the law. Use surrounding objects to help take down your foes; use a bar stool in a bar fight or mow down enemies with a ride-on lawnmower.


Will you be the good cop and arrest the criminals, or will you be the bad cop who pummels his enemies into the ground? Whatever path you choose, there are consequences and alternate endings. Players can also choose to tackle their enemies alone or to recruit a friend online for a co-op assault.

Bar room brawlBar room brawl

Take it to the streetsTake it to the streets

Fairground funFairground fun


5) Reagan Gorbachev

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev were ardent enemies. Team2Bit can't really ignore that fact. so they've set their top-down stealth game in an alternate 1980s universe. During the Reykjavík Summit, militant extremists captured the two leaders and the only way that they can escape is to work together. You can sneak through the levels or you can choose to kill everybody along the way -- your arsenal includes equipment as diverse as poisoned darts, katanas and high-powered rifles. Will you rescue the leaders on your own or will you recruit a friend to help you out?


Lock picking is a fine art. There's nothing like a bit of pressure to make things go wrong.Lock picking is a fine art. There's nothing like a bit of pressure to make things go wrong.

Guards tend to notice sword-wielding escaped hostages, even through walls.Guards tend to notice sword-wielding escaped hostages, even through walls.

The argument turned ugly over whose turn it was to break.The argument turned ugly over whose turn it was to break.


6) Redout

34 Big Things' second title to be announced at the GDC takes the form of an arcade racer inspired by the likes of F-Zero and WipeOut. Your ship hovers just a few metres above the ground and is capable of moving at speeds of over 800 km/h. At that speed, you'll feel every twist and every turn of the track. Each of the five racing teams has a unique hovership that you can upgrade as you climb the ranks in the game's career mode -- install and upgrade equipment such as the EPP (Extra Power Pool), EPSS (Enhanced Protection Shield System) and FRD (Faster Respawn Device) to get an advantage over your opponents.


The racing takes place on 25 race tracks across five different environments, including dirty suburban sprawls, frozen landscapes and desert plains. There are seven event types: Time Attack, Speed, Survival, Race, Last Man Standing, Arena Race and Score-Based Endurance. If you tire of taking on AI opponents, you can choose to take on up to three friends in local multiplayer. It's time to put the pedal to the metal.

Put ScreamRide to shame by aiming ships at solid icebergs at high speedPut ScreamRide to shame by aiming ships at solid icebergs at high speed

There's no time for sight-seeing at this speedThere's no time for sight-seeing at this speed

Cairo looks a little differentCairo looks a little different


7) Run

Torch Games' stealth game puts players in the shoes of Isaac Wain, a former agent who suffers with schizophrenia. Falsely accused of the murder of his wife and daughter, he is sent to prison. If he is to find the person who really murdered his family, Isaac needs to escape from the prison, but that won't be easy.


The core gameplay is focused around stealth. Sneak around the prison, explore everywhere and solve puzzles to find your means of escape in each level. You'll collect items and craft new equipment to progress. However, the situation is complicated by Isaac's feelings, choices and even his schizophrenia. You'll hear strange noises and weird voices, and see ghostly people, all of which add a dark atmosphere to the game.

Are you ready to run?Are you ready to run?


8) Screencheat

When people play a competitive shooter in local splitscreen, there are usually arguments and accusations that revolve around looking at each others' screens. In most games this would be classified as cheating. In Surprise Attack's competitive first-person shooter, it's a necessity because your opponents are invisible. The only way that you'll ever find them is by looking at their screens and working out their location based purely on the maps landmarks and colour patterns. Beware, the trailer contains some choice language.


There are five maps and eight weapons from which to choose, including the Blunderbuss, grenade launcher and Chefolet pulse cannon. If you can't find any local friends, you can also play online with your opponents appearing in splitscreen as if they were in the room with you.

9) Shadow Blade: Reload

Dead Mage's side-scrolling platformer charts the adventures of Kuro, a young ninja tasked with protecting a medallion from falling into the wrong hands. Players will travel through seven chapters filled with traps and enemies. Be fast, be stealthy, be a ninja. Sneak past enemies or climb over their dead bodies. When you've finished the campaign, try your hand at Challenge Mode where you can really test your ninja prowess.


Kiamoto thought that his robot suit was a fair match for a ninja with a sword.Kiamoto thought that his robot suit was a fair match for a ninja with a sword.

Kuro had to find another way of obtaining liquor at this time of night.Kuro had to find another way of obtaining liquor at this time of night.

The medallion won't protect you from that laser.The medallion won't protect you from that laser.


10) Shovel Knight

Yacht Club Games' Shovel Knight is a man on a mission. He must defeat the evil Enchantress and save his beloved. His weapon of choice is the multi-purpose Shovel Blade. He tries to be honest and helpful and tries to stick to the knight's code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly. The problem is that there are a lot of villainous knights of The Order of No Quarter standing between him, the Enchantress and his beloved. Will he make it?


While the platforming game mechanics are simple to learn, challenges lie ahead for the unwary. Collect upgrades and Relics to enhance your skills. Follow your quest progress through the Overworld Map, which allows your quest to pan out in a unique order. Once you're finished, New Game + allows you to look for more secrets and replay your adventure all over again.

When surrounded by treasure, the catch really has to be worth it.When surrounded by treasure, the catch really has to be worth it.

Don't poke a sleeping dragon with a shovel. They don't like it.Don't poke a sleeping dragon with a shovel. They don't like it.

When impressing the women, the shovel is mightier than the sword.When impressing the women, the shovel is mightier than the sword.


11) Slain: Back from Hell

Wolf Brew Games' Slain harks back to the good ol' days of Metroidvania. Players assume the role of Bathoryn who seeks to liberate seven towers from their seven deadly overlords. He must travel through a doomed gothic-inspired land before ascending each tower. If you fail in your quest, you'll be "mauled by werewolves, disintegrated by floating monstrosities, squashed by great weights or torn apart by hidden blades". Failure is not an option.


Each level has two parts - the approach to the Tower and then the Tower itself. The approach focuses on combat skills and ends with a mini-boss. Defeat the mini-boss and your platforming and puzzle skills will be tested as you ascend the Tower towards the overlord. Save points are rare. All that can save you is your ability.

The Blood Tower was one of the first to fall. Dark knights and other blood hungry monsters roam the sanguine ruins of this once-noble keep."The Blood Tower was one of the first to fall. Dark knights and other blood hungry monsters roam the sanguine ruins of this once-noble keep."

The Wolfwoods. Where the ancient Great Wolves of old are said to be buried. But how quietly do their corpses lie?"The Wolfwoods. Where the ancient Great Wolves of old are said to be buried. But how quietly do their corpses lie?"

It's not just the enemies that can kill you.It's not just the enemies that can kill you.


Part three will conclude the list with the final 11 titles revealed at GDC. Don't stop reading now!
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.