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Gamescom Opening Night Live: the biggest announcements

The highlights from more than 40 game reveals

Master Chief speaks with Cortana in Halo Infinite Image: 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Host Geoff Keighley brought a slew of news, trailers, and updates to Gamescom 2021’s Opening Night Live kickoff show in a two-hour livestream on Wednesday. There was a lot to digest, and you can catch up with it all in Polygon’s StoryStream, but if you just want the biggest highlights, well, here they are.

Saints Row’s reboot revealed

There’s a new Saints Row — and it’s just called Saints Row. Developer Volition showed off the look and feel of Saints Row, coming in 2022, in a debut trailer at Gamescom 2021. The new Saints Row is coming Feb. 25, 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC via the Epic Games Store.

Want to know more? Here’s an in-depth look at the next Saints Row, based on a preview of the game.

Midnight Suns is a new Marvel strategy game from XCOM creators

Firaxis is making a Marvel superheroes game inspired by (but very different from) XCOM. Marvel’s Midnight Suns is led by Jake Solomon, designer of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2, and it features characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Blade, Ghost Rider, and Wolverine in turn-based tactical battles. It’s coming to console and PC in March 2022.

For more, read Polygon’s interview with Solomon for first gameplay details.

Halo Infinite gets a release date (and a new controller and console)

Microsoft made it official at Gamescom: Halo Infinite is coming to Xbox and Windows PC on Dec. 8, 2021. What’s more, Microsoft is releasing a very nice-looking Master Chief-inspired Xbox Elite Wireless Series 2 controller and a Halo 20th anniversary Xbox Series X console later this year. You can pre-order them now, if you’ve got the cash.

Horizon Forbidden West delayed, Horizon Zero Dawn updated

Guerrilla Games made another release date official at Gamescom: Horizon Forbidden West is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in February 2022, a little later than originally planned. To make up for the bad-but-expected news about Forbidden West’s release date, Guerrilla released a new patch for Horizon Zero Dawn, enabling 60 fps gameplay on PS5.

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut has a bunch of new stuff

Want some “new fun”? Death Stranding: Director’s Cut for PlayStation 5 has that and more, Kojima Productions revealed in a nearly nine-minute video preview of new gameplay features. In the extended look at the Director’s Cut, Kojima Productions shared new delivery tools, like a cargo launcher, and boots that decrease fall damage. Buddy Bot, too, was shown in more detail; it’s a new feature that lets Sam Porter Bridges carry more cargo, or even ride along as Buddy Bot does all the hauling. There’s also a firing range where players can practice with weapons — and “train and compete” for high scores. But wait, there’s more!

First look at Call of Duty: Vanguard gameplay

The first gameplay footage for Call of Duty: Vanguard makes it look as much like a horror game as a World War II shooter. Vanguard’s first campaign footage comes from a level in the game set in Stalingrad, with the character Polina Petrova (voiced by Laura Bailey), one of four characters at the heart of Sledgehammer Games’ global conflict that spans four theaters of war.

Persona 5 is crossing over to Super Monkey Ball

Following Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles “Tails” Prower, Beat from Jet Set Radio, and Kiryu from Yakuza as the latest guest star coming to Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is ... Morgana from Persona 5! That’s right, Sega and Atlus are one, meaning all bets are off as to who’s getting in the ball next.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge adds April O’Neil

Joining Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello in the new Konami arcade game-inspired TMNT beat-’em-up is ace reporter and licensed Turtle Van driver April O’Neil. She’s got serious fighting game moves, and she can kick ass just as capably as the rest of the Ninja Turtles. A new gameplay trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge shows off all-new gameplay, with April as the draw.

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