Microsoft E3 2015 Conference Wrap Up
Halo 5: Guardians
An extended gameplay demo was on show as the first trailer of the Microsoft conference. The trailer was from the perspective of the Spartan 4’s and had the player using Agent Locke. It certainly looked impressive with some highly detailed environments and new abilities for the Spartan 4’s. It also featured large amounts of Nathan Fillion so that is always a good thing.
A new multiplayer mode called Warzone was also shown. This seems to be large scale battles with both AI and human competitors. It will feature the biggest multiplayer maps in the franchise’s history so here’s hoping they get the balance right.
Microsoft then came out with a big surprise. Keiji Inafune’s studio Comcept and Metroid Prime’s Armature are working on a brand new Xbox One exclusive called Recore. The trailer seems to contain snippets of both of these studio’s previous works. No word on a release and as the trailer was only cinematic it is probably a long way off.
Microsoft as always sneak a few tech things into their E3 show and this year was no different. First up was the announcement of a new “pro” controller with sensitivity settings and interchangeable parts. It looked like a nice bit of gear but it will probably only find its home with niche players.
The next tech announcement was a real shock. Backwards compatibility is coming to the Xbox One. How it will work is that if you own the game digitally it will just automatically appear in your Xbox One library, if you own the physical game you simply need to insert the disc and the game will download. Apparently all multiplayer features will work exactly as they did on the 360 and all of the added One features like Twitch will work with the games. Initially a batch of 100 or so games will compatible by the Xmas holidays with the promise of a steady stream of new additions at time rolls on. It is a nice announcement for those that are looking to free up one of those HDMI ports on the TV.
The final Tech announcement has to be seen to be believed. Words cannot do it justice so please just watch the trailer. Ladies and Gentlemen…. HoloLens
The gameplay trailer from the Bethesda conference was shown again and it still looked great but the real reason Fallout was at the Microsoft conference was to announce that Fallout 4 on the Xbox One would come with Fallout 3 and the ability to use mods from the PC version. The modding thing in particular is a pretty big deal and it is nice to see functionality like this come to Xbox.
In what seems to becoming a tradition, a sexy new car that no one can afford was brought in to showcase the next iteration of Forza. Forza 6 gameplay was shown and while it is hard to get excited about this sort of game from a stage trailer it certainly looked the goods. The game is coming soon, September 15 to be exact, so rev heads everywhere won’t have to wait long to dive in.
The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege were both shown on stage during the conference. The Division had a disappointing cinematic trailer but it was announced the beta would be coming to Xbox in December. Rainbow Six was basically only mentioned to point out that people that buy the Xbox One version of the game would be getting Rainbow Six: Las Vegas 1&2 for free. It seems that the backwards compatibility angle is going to be a real point of difference for people that own both consoles.
A good amount of time was spent on upcoming indie titles for the Xbox one. We will be doing more on these titles as the weeks go by but for now check out the indie show reel. The big news however was that Xbox is introducing an early access system for indie titles that will allow players to buy into the game before release. The big difference between Xbox early access and Steam early access is that the Xbox games must come with a trial version so people can play the game before spending there money. The system should be available as you read this so it might be worth checking out.
The first gameplay footage from Rise of the Tomb Raider was shown and it looked impressive. Graphically stunning locations and exciting gameplay seem to be the order of the day. This is certain to be a big hit upon release and if it builds on the excellent Tomb Raider reboot it could be a GOTY contender. The release date was also announced as the 10th of November 2015 which also happens to be the day that Fallout 4 is released. Don’t be surprised if Microsoft bring that date forward or pushes it back a week or two.
Rare came on stage and got all their old school fans excited with the announcement of a RARE 30 game collection for the Xbox One. Everything from Conker to Battletoads all on one disc.
They also showed off their brand new IP Sea of Thieves which looks to be a multiplayer pirate game. There were elements of exploring, naval combat and swordplay. Not much else is known at this stage but this could be the very game that brings back RARE to the forefront of exciting game design.
Gears of War
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition was finally confirmed. Out this year and the multiplayer beta is available now so jump in and get those chainsaws revving. Perhaps more interesting was the first gameplay footage of Gears of War 4. It was perhaps a tad too dark but apart from that it is pretty much everything a Gears fan could ask for. Two new characters were on show and there was no Marcus in sight. The trailer also showed off some new enemies and it was unclear if they were Locust or not. The game isn’t due til Holiday 2016 so expect a lot more detail to come over the next year.
Dark Souls 3 made its first public appearance at the Microsoft conference with a cinematic trailer. So did Plants Vs Zombies 2 Garden Warfare and a new free to play MOBA called Gigantic. Fable Legends also had a gameplay trailer on stage. Check out the trailers below.