E3 2021 is technically over, but that doesn't mean the summer events are ending as the Xbox Games Showcase Extended 2021 happened today. The extended version was basically them catching up on a few items they didn't have time to get to during the regular broadcast. But with no other events happening today and no convention restrictions to slow them down, they took their time on some key elements that some felt were skipped or overlooked, and a few we didn't get to see initially like the return of Xbox Design Lab. We have some of our favorite highlights below, as you can read the full recap from Xbox Wire, and check out the complete stream below.
Playground Games Shares New Details on Forza Horizon 5
Creative Director Mike Brown shared how Forza Horizon 5 is a love letter to Mexico, filled with a vast, diverse, and ever-evolving world of striking contrast and beauty. Players will be able to lead breathtaking expeditions across Mexico with its striking contrast, where they'll discover living deserts, lush jungles, historic cities, hidden ruins, pristine beaches, and a towering snow-capped volcano – the highest point ever in a Horizon game thanks to the power of Xbox Series X|S. Coupled with collaboration with Mexican artists to produce mural artwork, music acts to produce original compositions, and voice actors to help bring it all to live, this is an authentic world we can't wait to dive into.
Xbox Design Lab is Back!
Today, Senior Director of Strategy & Business James Hunter announced Xbox Design Lab is back with the newest generation of Xbox Wireless Controllers to help you personalize and create a controller that's unmistakably yours. Players can color customize with 18 available colors – including new ones like Shock Blue, Pulse Red, and Electric Volt – for nearly all the external parts of the controller such as the body, back case, D-pad, triggers and more. Xbox Design Lab is available in the U.S., Canada, and most Western European countries, starting at $69.99 USD.
Xbox Games Showcase Double Fine Update on Psychonauts 2
Double Fine Productions Studio Head Tim Schafer shared a deeper look at Psychonauts 2 during our show today. Schafer previewed a ton of new gameplay of Raz venturing between many of the worlds… er… brains we'll be hopping around in and what some of Raz's ramifications for infiltrating these minds may have in store. We also got a better look at the overworld in Psychonauts 2 with many areas to explore like the quarry, abandoned mines and caves outside of Psychonauts HQ, and a roadside attraction called The Questionable Area – this is also where Raz's family has camped out. This whole presentation hinted that there's lots in store for Raz, his family, and his friends to discover as they explore the connection between his family and the Psychonauts. There was a lot shown here and it just makes us that much more excited to jump into Double Fine's latest adventure when it launches August 25.
Digging Deep with Grounded's Shroom & Doom Update
Coming June 30 will be Grounded's massive content update, Shroom & Doom. Today, during the Xbox Games Showcase: Extended, Grounded Game Director Adam Brennecke and Community Manager Aarik Dorobiala shared new details on the upcoming mushroom system for Grounded. Every mushroom that you find in the yard can be harvestable and get "mushroom stuff" out of them that introduce base building elements like Mushroom Bricks, giving a host of new options for base builders in the game – you can even make a castle! We also got some new details on the Brood Mother, the first major boss encounter in the game. They also revealed some of the community-inspired features that they're bringing into the game, flipping buildings, sprinting up ladders, sitting in chairs, and being able to tame an aphid to have as a pet, and achievements! Get ready to check out all this content when the Shroom & Doom Update comes to Grounded on June 30.
Halo Infinite Multiplayer Deep Dive
343 Industries Associate Creative Director of Multiplayer Tom French, 343 Industries Lead Sandbox Designer Quinn Delhoyo, and 343 Industries Multiplayer Designer Alex Bean joined the show to detail some of the many things we saw in the multiplayer gameplay trailer for Halo Infinite. Topics included learning more about Spartan Commander Laurette who oversees the Spartan Academy, Academy features that will teach the fundamentals of the game, a training mode that lets you experiment with weapons and play against bots, and more detail about the Personal AI, a new customizable element that will communicate objectives, items, and more throughout a match. The team also went into detail on Big Team Battle – a 12 v 12 vehicle-infused mode that brings the Halo battle fantasy and the Halo sandbox to life. Lastly, they shared additional details of armor customization, like the Yoroi Spartan armor that will be available to unlock for free within the first season of Halo Infinite by playing special events.