Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:47pm 14/06/16 | 1 Comments
A new look at Gears of War 4, the debut of Forza Horizon 3 (set in Australia!), the return of Dead Rising, the high seas pirating of Sea of Thieves, and more indie titles than you can shake a stick at! It's the Microsoft E3 2016 showcase. All the trailers, with a rundown of the event, in one neat little package.
In terms of production value Microsoft's E3 conferences are always slick and stylised affairs. Multiple screens, synchronised light shows, and more presenter podiums than you'd think would be allowed for a worldwide broadcast. They rarely, if ever, are boring. And this year wasn't any different with the show kicking off with the announcement of a re-designed Xbox One S, in all its white, shiny, and 40% smaller glory. At this point in the life of a console, a slimmer re-designed model is nothing new, but with the inclusion of 4K video support the Xbox One S is as much future-proof as it is a slimmer and more cost effective model.
But hey, we want to see games. Not close-ups of an all-white Xbox One controller with advanced "grip technology". And so from the brief look at the new Xbox One S next up was a closer look at Gears of War 4, and in particular a section of the co-op campaign. Needless to say, after last year's really dark and barely visible section of the game, this time the action took place in a place so visually frenetic that it was hard to not be impressed. And with the title being released for both Xbox One and Windows 10, with cross-platform play, this is definitely one to keep and eye on when it's released in October. For the Horde Mode 3.0!
Next up was the expected return of Forza, where the annual car franchise would be getting a new entry in the Horizon series with the release of Forza Horizon 3 this September. And in addition to the running theme of everything coming out for both Xbox One and Windows 10 with cross-platform support, the game was also revealed to be set in Australia! As in that country that we all live in. Time to throw another shrimp on the Barbie, Cobbers!
Ahem, this actually looks pretty awesome.
After the teaser trailer from last year's show this time around a gameplay trailer was showcased for Recore, a new quirky and interesting sci-fi adventure game from Keiji Inafune and the makers of Metroid Prime. Even though it's kind of hard to make out exactly what's happening, it certainly looks very cool.
Next up came the indie train, and the many indie game passengers aboard its, umm, carriages. After a cryptic trailer for the stylish looking Inside from the developers of Limbo, came an even stranger showcase with a gameplay demo of the very weird but wonderfully dark and stylish We Happy Few. A preview that will make a lot more sense once you take into account the synopsis that reads, "The citizens of Wellington Wells are taking a happy drug called "Joy", and living in denial over their grim existence and a terrible past. Can you survive among them once you stop taking your Joy and become a "Downer"?.
Following that came the surprise, not unexpected, but very welcome announcement of Gwent The Witcher Card Game from CD Projekt RED. Boasting a re-designed look that's both completely different yet way more detailed than the version seen in The Witcher III, it was revealed that a closed beta is expected soon and the game will support cross-platform play.
The next game showcased could probably be chalked up as a case of Street Fighter V envy. And with the brief look at Killer Instinct earlier in the conference, and the nobody really cares one way or another news that the game was getting a Gears of War baddie, came a new look at Tekken 7. Which, judging from its appearance will also be getting an Xbox One release. And as an added bonus Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for Xbox 360 was made freely available to everyone as a backwards compatible title.
Speaking of long running series, up next came a trailer for Dead Rising 4 which looks to be set during the holiday period and will go back to the series roots by staging a large chunk of the action inside a zombie-infested shopping centre. And as per the last few entries will also feature an insane number of weapon customization options.
After being missing in action since last year's confenrece, Platinum Games' Scalebound returned with a fresh look at a giant crab boss-fight, and a new release date of 2017. Much like the demo of Final Fantasy XV which also showcased a giant boss-fight, it certainly looked impressive, but probably would have been better off with showcasing a standard level. And fewer headphones.
The breakout hit from last year's Microsoft showing was definitely Rare's pirate-themed open-world swashbuckling multiplayer title Sea of Thieves. And barring some slightly annoying player reactions, you could probably say the same thing about this year too. Sea of Thieves looks fantastic, and with a gameplay demo giving us a glimpse at working with a team to steer a ship and take part in a high seas battle, we can't wait to get our hands on the final game.
Closing the show was of course, Halo. With a new cinematic trailer for the Creative assembly developed Halo Wars 2. And as an added bonus, Microsoft revealed that a Halo Wars 2 beta was happening right now, that will run all week, on Xbox One. Which is pretty exciting considering the full game wont release until January 2017.
So there you have it, Microsoft's E3 showing was certainly interesting. A bunch of new social features like global Looking For Group functionality and Club (i.e. clan) support is coming soon to Xbox One. In addition to a new slimline Xbox One S and a new 4K and VR-capable Xbox One for 2017 under the name 'Project Scorpio'. And when you take into account that just about all of its first and second party titles will be released for both Xbox One and Windows 10 under the Xbox Play Anywhere banner, Microsoft solidified its position that the Xbox brand is no longer exclusive to the console market. And to be honest we're pretty excited that we'll get to play Gears of War 4 on PC alongside people on Xbox One.