So Phil Spencer didn’t lie when he said that this year’s E3 would be nothing but games.
Even though it was all games, I was still left with mediocre feelings. Let’s go through it all!
Microsoft presented itself on an odd choice of stage preference. Instead of having a huge stage, the stage was lowered to the floor. Phil stand practically ten feet away from the crowd as he talked about what makes E3 special. Behind him, also on the floor was an LED screen, then two more a little further to where he was standing (one on the left, and one on the right). These would be spots where developers would stand and display their demos. I liked this more intimate feeling that Microsoft is producing.
There was a high point in the stage that was set far back, but no many people stood up there to discuss their games. Most of the talking was done on the floor.
First, MS opened up with Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. I wasn’t too impressed by the demo that we saw. It just doesn’t feel like CoD, even though the series heavily established itself as a more modern day shooter. I wouldn’t mind if they went back to WWII on next gen. Actually, I would really appreciate a good WWII game now.
Forza news was the next thing to see. A new track for Forza 5 was announced (The Nurburging) as free DLC and is available right now! They also quickly discussed Forza Horizon 2, which I am personally incredibly excited for.
Then a quick trailer for Evolve, which is a game brought to you by the creators of Left 4 Dead. So sorry everyone, no Left 4 Dead 3 anytime soon, although this game looks pretty good too. A beta will be launching just before the game’s launch later this year.
Ubisoft took the stage to show off Assassin’s Creed Unity, which takes place during the French revolution in Paris. I was impressed by the crowd density in this game. When you have to sneak through a crowd, there is actually a crowd there awaiting for you to… um… sneak through. Ubisoft showed off the first ever 4-player co-op mission, which seemed like something long awaited. Now you and three others can take on some missions in assassinating certain targets. You can also create your own Brotherhood of assassins in order to create an assassin’s community.
A trailer for Dragon Age Inquisition was also shown. No discussion about the game, just a trailer.
Sunset Overdrive appeared next, poking fun at the world of bland military shooters. This game seems to be a mix of Crackdown and Infamous. You’re quickly zipping around the environment, using many of the surroundings as weapons to fight off the zombie mutants.
In the same vein of zombies, Capcom showed off a Dead Rising spin-off… called (and I kid you not) “Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha.” It’s out today on Xbox Live. It’s a co-op title where you are also dressing as characters from the Street Fighter franchise.
Harmonix came on stage to briefly discuss Disney’s Fantasia and Dance Central Spotlight. Aimed for this holiday season. No demo, which I think is a good thing.
Lionhead came out to talk about Fable Legends. A co-op game (I’m seeing a pattern here) where four players go through the world of Fable, against the villain who is cast by another player. This villain gets to set the traps and monsters for the heroes to fight. It reminds me of Dungeons and Dragons, without the ten hours of sitting there and making characters.
A new trailer for Project Spark was also released. As a person with a Windows 8 computer I should be playing this, alas, I don’t have the interest in this. Although they are adding some futuristic elements to the game, and Conker! So there is something.
We were presented with an emotional trailer for the game Ori and the Blind Forest. It looks like it’s going to be a rather interesting platformer title. It looks cute and I’m most likely going to play it.
Then my personal highlight from the presser: Halo. Not only did they announce Halo 5 for next year, but Halo 1,2,3, and 4 will be coming out to Xbox One in November. This will include all the games, full iterations, with their muli-player functions totally untouched. That’s over 100 multi-player maps, across 4 games. Of course they used Halo 2 as the selling point for this, which was the right move. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will also come with a movie series that leads up to Halo 5 Guardians. The collection will also include a beta for Halo 5.
At this point in the presser, we were told that everything we saw was all dated for this holiday season. We were shown a trailer for the first game of the 2015 year, Inside. It looks like it was made by the creators of Limbo (I only say this because Phil changed his shirt to one that just said “Limbo” on it). It looks intense, creepy, and very familiar to that of Limbo.
Then, Microsoft did their own little Indie line-up video which included games like Threes (I don’t know why), Hellraid, Cuphead (which looks cool), Hyperlight Drifter, and many others. Although it isn’t nearly as impressive as what Sony showed off last year, I’m happy that there is some development there.
We got to see a trailer for the next Tomb Raider game, which will also be on Xbox One, and will launch in holiday 2015. Very excited about this one.
CD Projekt showed off some gameplay of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I could obviously tell this is a game still in development, because it doesn’t have that Witcher look to it just yet. I am happy that one is coming out, even though I didn’t get far in the other Witcher games. Anyway we saw how the player would hunt and kill off a giant griffin, then hang it’s head off your horse as you ride into town all “no-biggie” looking.
The team from Killer Instinct came out and showed a trailer for Phantom Dust. I never played the original so I cannot really comment on this one.
We got a new gameplay video from The Division. It featured four players who traveled from the subway up to the outside world. We saw how easy it was to jump right into the game, and also saw that someone else was playing on a tablet. It wasn’t as mind blowing as the first trailer, but it did the game some justice, and something to really look forward to. I just hope the game doesn’t focus on being strictly multi-player, and lets me explore NYC on my own terms.
Platinum Games showed a trailer for it’s new game Scalebound. It looks like a game where there are giant monsters, and you gain abilities from killing the monsters. Then you fight bigger monsters when you get the abilities from the already gigantic monster you just murdered.
Then we last saw a trailer for Crackdown (wow, funny that I mentioned that earlier). In the trailer we saw millions of dollars of destruction happen all in the name of killing a single criminal held up in his outpost on top of a luxary apartment building. If my assumptions are correct, I guess the game will have destructible environments, and allow you versatile ways to kill off the enemies that you are sent to kill. The game will also, most likely, feature 4-player co-op.
Overall, I thought Microsoft kept the promise of “GAMES GAMES GAMES” alive. I wasn’t disappointed, but the high moment was the news about Halo. We didn’t get to see anything about Destiny, Diablo, or anything else I was really looking forward to, but I guess that’s because Sony will present them later today. I liked the direction that Microsoft is going with the Xbox One. I like how Phil carried himself on stage. He was cool, collective, and understands what gamers want. He also changed his shirt like a thousand times. So there is some sort of dedication there.
Microsoft didn’t necessarily show me why I must have an Xbox One, but it did make me go “Oh shit, Halo.” Which is good enough for me.
EA is up next.