This Xbox Series X exclusive looks like the Bioshock Infinite sequel I’ve always wanted

Clockwork Revolution screenshot
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Xbox Games Showcase 2023 featured dozens of pretty excellent-looking games. It was a big moment for the Xbox Series X console, and has done a great job of convincing me I made a wise decision when I opted to buy back into the Xbox ecosystem in early 2021, having abandoned the platform in the middle of the Xbox One generation. 

I’m not surprised to see that Fable 4 and Starfield have dominated the post-showcase conversation — they were the most anticipated games ahead of time — but I am disappointed that one game, in particular, isn’t getting a whole lot of attention: Clockwork Revolution. 

Developed by inXile Entertainment (a Microsoft-owned studio based in Tustin, California), Clockwork Revolution closed the Xbox Games Showcase, and it looks like the Bioshock Infinite sequel I’ve been wanting for nearly a decade. In fact, as excited as I am to explore the cosmic in Starfield, right now, Clockwork Revolution is my most anticipated upcoming Xbox Series X game. 

Welcome to Avalon

When the Clockwork Revolution trailer began during the showcase, I’ll happily admit that I initially believed it might be our first look at Bioshock 4. In fact, I wasn’t completely sure that it wasn’t a new game in the popular shooter series until the Clockwork Revolution splash screen revealed it was instead an entirely new IP. 

A Microsoft spokesperson has subsequently told IGN that “any similarities are unintentional,” but it’s not hard to see why the comparisons are being made. Clockwork Revolution’s setting of Avalon definitely has more than a whiff of Infinite's Columbia about it. And that’s not a bad thing either. Bioshock's floating city among the clouds remains one of gaming's greatest-ever locations. If Avalon can match up, Clockwork Revolution really will be something very special. 

Yet, for as much as I adore Bioshock Infinite’s world, characters and story, its shooting mechanics are a little too pedestrian for my liking. However, inXile describes Clockwork Revolution as a “time-bending steampunk first-person RPG,” which sounds like a very compelling mix and could even elevate this Xbox Series X exclusive beyond its most obvious comparison point. 

Turning back the clocks 

Clockwork Revolution screenshot

(Image credit: Microsoft/inXile)

Clockwork Revolution’s official website explains that after fully customizing the game's main character (a feature not offered in Bioshock Infinite), you’ll stumble upon an “incredible invention” that enables you to travel into the past. Using this device, you’ll discover the hidden history of the steam-powered metropolis of Avalon, but your interactions with the past will have a butterfly effect on the present city and the characters who inhabit it. 

That's a pretty phenomenal premise for a video game, and the confirmation that the game will be “narrative-driven” and that the world will “react in unprecedented ways” has me seriously keen to hear more. I’m also curious to learn more about Clockwork Revolution’s RPG systems and how these will impact the story as well. 

When will we get to play Clockwork Revolution 

Clockwork Revolution screenshot

(Image credit: Microsoft/inXile)

Unfortunately, when we’ll actually be able to step into the world of Clockwork Revolution remains unknown. There is no confirmed release date or even a vague launch window for the title at the time of writing. The announcement trailer ends with a tease that the game is “coming in due time,” but that’s all we know right now. 

In better news, the Xbox Series X release calendar is shaping up nicely with Starfield and Forza Motorsport confirmed to launch later this year, in September and October respectively. Fantasy RPG Avowed and action-adventure Senua’s Saga: Hellbalde 2 are on track to release in 2024. These should keep Xbox gamers plenty busy while we await further news about Clockwork Revolution. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.