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Contraband - What We Know So Far

Fans of multiplayer mayhem have got to keep an eye on "Contraband." Announced through a trailer that premiered at the 2021 E3 Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, the upcoming game describes itself as "a co-op smuggler's paradise set in the fictional world of 1970s Bayan."

It may come as a surprise that "Contraband" has been a work in progress for nearly four years. The game will be developed by Avalanche Studios, the makers of the successful "Just Cause" games that are popular enough to merit a movie adaptation set to star big names like "Aquaman" star Jason Momoa. So, even though it's a brand-new game, "Contraband" has some big shoes to fill.

It's impossible to know now exactly what similarities may be present between the Avalanche Studios titles, but by the looks of things, "Contraband" will likely feature a similarly sprawling fictional world plus a variety of missions to keep players engaged. Though there's plenty left for gamers to learn, here are all the key details that have been shared about "Contraband" so far.

Does Contraband Have a Release Date?

At the moment, no release date has been announced for "Contraband." Since the game only has one trailer to its name, it seems likely such a big collaboration between publisher Xbox Game Studios and developer Avalanche Studios would get more pomp and circumstance ahead of its release. However, fans might have to wait for it.

On the other hand, the game has been in the works since 2018, so it's possible the team behind "Contraband" could have it ready to release at a moment's notice. There's no telling now when fans can get their hands on the game, but there is some info about how it will be released.

"Contraband" is technically an Xbox console exclusive, but that doesn't mean the rest of the gaming world is out of luck. In addition to its launch on the Series X|S, it's also been confirmed that the game will be available on PC, as well as added right from the get-go on PC-compatible Xbox Game Pass – a decision the creators made to attract more players, according to an interview with GI.biz.

Is there a trailer for Contraband?

As of now, there's only one trailer out for "Contraband." The announcement trailer gives gamers a coy glimpse at what's to come for the title.

The scene is set with a shot of a record labeled "Xbox Game Studios" queuing up as "Do It Again" by Steely Dan sets the tone. The shot pans to a record sleeve announcing the partnership with developer Avalanche Studios, with a gold sticker that lets fans know this game is "from the band that brought you 'Just 'Cause!'"

The music plays on as the mysterious room is further revealed with various tables packed with everything from a lava lamp to paper files to a map that seems to draw out an elaborate escape plan. With a little more info about the plot of "Contraband," this initial look at the game will serve as a rich source of Easter eggs and clues for players to discover as they wait for the game.

Things solidify further as a line of pinned-up photos with captions announces that "Contraband" is "a co-op," "open world" game. There's backpacks and motionless people in view as the camera pans to a big room with a huge truck in its center. A neon sign briefly in view reads "Ketok Magic," which appears to be an Indonesian car term – perhaps a hint for the game's plot and location. The trailer wraps up with a shot of another completely still person under the truck like a mechanic. Finally, the title is shown inside a locking box on top of the truck, the perfect spot for "Contraband."

What will Contraband's gameplay be like?

Though there's still a lot left to discover about "Contraband" gameplay, a few telling tidbits of information give players at least a glimpse at what's to come. Though the trailer may seem vague at first glance, Avalanche Studios CEO Pim Holfve himself confirmed that the trailer has "a lot of clues." Speaking to the multiplayer nature of the game, Holfve also shared that "our worlds are super reactive, so when you have three additional people reacting or making the world react, it can be mayhem."

According to additional intel from Windows Central senior editor Jez Corden, shared during a Feb. 17, 2022 World of Gaming stream (via VGC), the design brief reveals that the game is "sort of based entirely around vehicle combat," and it will be a "very different type of game." Gameplay revolves around "plan[ning] smuggling runs and heists" and carrying them out by focusing on "disabling enemy vehicles" with weapons. Contrary to games with "massive killing sprees," "Contraband" takes a new approach in that "the idea is to not kill your opponents" unless absolutely necessary. It'll be a "tactical kind of action game" that should be rich in strategy.

All in all, "Contraband" looks like it'll be a unique title made to stand out. Fans of cars and chaos are sure to be along for the ride.

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