Xbox Series X event: Assassin's Creed Valhalla and everything just announced

Gamers finally see what Microsoft's next-gen console can do, including more details about the new Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
2 min read

Microsoft finally treated us to some gameplay reveals for its eagerly anticipated Xbox Series X console, which is slated to ship late this year. The highlight was Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which lets you go "a-raiding" with longships, in a far more recent and moody Dark Age English setting than the most recent previous games. The gameplay will be a lot more hardcore as well, and you get to build settlements.  

Watch this: Microsoft debuts game footage of Assassin's Creed Valhalla for Xbox Series X

This was the first of a series of monthly shows about the Xbox Series X, called Xbox 20/20. The company showed off third-party launch titles, all Xbox Series X optimized. The company says there are at least nine games thus far to bear that honor. In July we'll get the same for Microsoft's own Xbox Game Studios games.


Games that support the whizzy new technologies in the console will be badged as "Optimized for Xbox Series X." 


One of the big additions to the console is the 1TB solid-state drive that promises to not only make games load faster but also boasts the ability to let users jump right back in where they left off across several games, with a feature called Quick Resume. Another highlight is Smart Delivery -- where supported, if you buy a game for your Xbox One it'll automatically include a Series X copy and Microsoft will feed your console the appropriate version of the game. 


Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Wave goodbye to sun-drenched classical locales.

Screenshot by Bryan Van Gelder/CNET  

Codemasters' Dirt 5 shows a lot more locations and seasons. A travelogue with drifting. And new cars, of course. Troy Baker and Nolan North provide voices, and there was an allusion to notable cameos.

Watch this: Microsoft shows off Xbox X Series X gameplay for Dirt 5


Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan VanGelder/CNET

Ebb's Scorn Horror has a creeptastic H.R. Giger, Alien-like look. The latter will be available on Game Pass, but didn't show any gameplay.



Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan VanGelder/CNET

Deep Silver's Chorus, a single-player game with a sentient starfighter, is coming in 2021.


Vampire: Masquerade -- Bloodlines 2.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan VanGelder/CNET  

Paradox will be giving us Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines 2. Dead human puppets. Yikes.

Of course, there's football: Madden 21. Not an Xbox exclusive, but it will support Smart Delivery when it arrives later this year. Superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes introduced some footage, and may not have been wearing pants. Well, we're all working from home.

Call of the Sea will also be available on Xbox Game Pass.


Call of the Sea.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan Van Gelder/CNET  

The Ascent is a co-op action RPG where you have to stop corporations and gangs from taking over while you figure out what's going on. Because that's what you do in cyberpunk.


The Ascent.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan Van Gelder/CNET  

The Medium.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan Van Gelder/CNET  

Bloober's The Medium is about... a medium straddling the real world and a horror-filled otherworld trying to solve a child's murder, with music by Arkadiusz Reikowski and Silent Hill's Akira Yamaoka.


Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan VanGelder/CNET  

Sega brings its Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which dials the franchise up to 11 in a most Sega-like fashion.


Scarlet Nexus.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan VanGelder/CNET  

Bandai Namco's Scarlet Nexus' protagonist is a psycho-kinetic trainee hoping to become an elite warrior.


Second Extinction.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Bryan VanGelder/CNET  

And Second Extinction offers co-op hunting of mutant dinosaurs.