The upcoming Tokyo Game Show (TGS), which this year will be hosted online as a streaming event, looks set to give us our precious first looks at a host of next-gen games from developers such as Ubisoft, Konami, Capcom and miHoY. Below we take a rundown of what we can expect to see from Square Enix and Microsoft Xbox, both of whom have big plans for this year’s expo.
Final Fantasy & more
2021-22 is shaping up to be a bumper season for Japanese developers Square Enix, who have a huge range of titles currently in the works. Their Tokyo Games Show presentation will likely give us our first real look at Final Fantasy XVI, slated for a late 2022 release on the PS5. In addition to this there’s plenty more coming from for Final Fantasy fans, with action-RPG spin-off Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin set to make an appearance and hopefully assuage some of the bemused criticism the game’s 2021 E3 presentation generated.
We can also expect to see a fuller overview of the developer’s first foray into the world of multiplayer battle royale games with the impending release of Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier. Taking place in the universe made famous by FF: VII, one of the most critically acclaimed titles of the 90s, this new game represents a radical departure from what we’ve come to expect from the long running RPG series.
Elsewhere, Square Enix are working hard to bring us more games from within the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the hotly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy game shaping up for a November release. Fans of the critically acclaimed Hitman series will also be hoping for any news or updates as to a potential release date for Hitman 4.
Xbox makes an appearance
Elsewhere, the biggest news from this year’s show is the announcement by Microsoft’s Xbox team that they will be hosting a presentation at the event, with the promise of some “exclusive news”. As the only game platform to be hosting a 50-minute streaming slot at the show they will have free rein to showcase any number of hotly anticipated upcoming titles. That they are making an appearance at the TGS has raised some eyebrows, given the show is traditionally more closely associated with home favourites Sony and Nintendo.
This may point to the American company wanting to capture media attention and market share in the far east, where it struggles to compete with the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. Recent years have seen greater effort by Xbox to platform Japanese developed titles, such as the Xbox Series X/S launch title Yakuza: Like A Dragon. More announcements in this vein are considered likely in this context.
Halo: Infinite gameplay?
The other important factor to consider is the TGS, like all major games events of the past couple of years, has taken the form of an online streaming event in lieu of obstacles preventing physical expos going ahead. This means that the TGS stands to attract a much larger and more global audience than it is typically accustomed to. This opens it up as a suitable platform for developers to make global announcements of their projects. With respect to the Xbox, this can mean only one thing—the first real look at Halo Infinite’s campaign footage. We’ve seen surprisingly little of the single player game since the now infamous gameplay preview back in July 2020.
That footage, which was roundly criticized for its poor visuals, led to Microsoft and developers 343 Studios to delay release of the game for a full year to bring it up to a standard befitting a next generation title. Since then, several screenshots have been released that suggest marked improvements in this area, and players have got the chance to get hands on with Infinite’s multiplayer game in an open beta. But little if anything by way of footage of the main game has seen the light of day. With Halo: Infinite now set for a December 8th release, both on Microsoft Windows and the Xbox Series X/S, Tokyo Game Show is the last major event in the calendar with which Microsoft could use to stoke up hype around the game before its release.
Photograph by Jezael Melgoza