E3 2016 – Microsoft Conference
Microsoft brought out some big guns in this year’s conference. New consoles, new games and a significant amount of gameplay footage made this a very solid showing for the Xbox maker. The conference was also heavily focused on PC gaming as well with every Xbox title also coming to PC. But enough of that let’s get onto the announcements.
– Microsoft kicked things off with the Xbox One S announcement. A new version of the Xbox One that supports 4K video, has a 2 TB HDD and is much much smaller than the existing Xbox One. No pricing for Australia as yet.
– Gears of War 4 was next on the show floor and a hefty gameplay demo was shown. It included some nifty weather effects that seriously change up gameplay and a new weapon that has bouncing razor blades but apart from that it seems like more Gears of War. The most exciting part of the announcement for me was confirmation of Horde mode. I can’t wait for more Horde.
– A long rumoured Killer Instinct announcement was next. General Raam was announced as a new combatant. No actual gameplay was shown however so it will be interesting to see how this big lumpy dude goes in such a fast paced fighting game
– The biggest surprise of the show for me was Forza Horizon 3. Not the fact that it was announced but the fact it is set in Australia. I am a massive fan of Forza Horizon 2 and now I know the next game is set in my very own backyard I am even more excited for the sequel.
– ReCore was next to grab the spotlight. It highlighted the 4 different robot’s that can assist the main character in-game. It actually looks really interesting and should be a great spin on the traditional 3rd person action/adventure title. I am much more excited for this now.
– Final Fantasy XV then took the stage with a boss battle gameplay section. To be honest I found it rather confusing and chaotic. It did quite a poor job of selling the game to me and hasn’t increased my desire for the game. I will reserve judgement though because I have a feeling it is a hard game to show off to the public.
– Next up were some smaller announcements. The Division’s first major DLC pack is coming to Xbox One first, on July 29 and Battlefield 1 will be available a few days early for Xbox One and EA Access members.
– Feature update time was next in the show and some interesting things were announced. Background music, native language options and Cortana will be coming soon. Other new features including Xbox Clubs, a new social-network style tool, and Xbox Arena, a competitive gameplay platform for tournaments, will be coming later in the year. Props to Microsoft, they are certainly improving the native OS in exciting ways.
– Obligatory Minecraft section was next. To be honest I ducked out for more coffee at that point. Sorry about that.
– Microsoft then announced custom controllers. Called the Xbox Design Lab, players will be able to customise the look of their Xbox controller. No word on price but it is something that I am pretty interested in. Who wants a plain black controller these days?
– Inside reveal trailer was next and it showed…..not much. It gave off a creepy vibe and considering it is coming from the creators of Limbo I am sure it will be good but it is hard to get excited about what they showed.
– The traditional Indie showreel came next. A host of quality games was shown and it is totally worth check out the trailer. Perhaps the only disappointing thing is there is still no release date for Cuphead.
– We Happy Few was the next game on show and boy does it look creepy. Kind of a cross between Bioshock and the movie Equilibrium, We Happy Few looks to be a winner. The aesthetic alone should make it worth the price of entry. Check out the trailer, it was one of the best of the show.
– CD Projekt Red then took to the stage to announce Gwent. Not much on show for the game but hey… it’s Gwent. A beta for Gwent is coming in September and will be exclusive for Xbox/PC.
– Next, up we got a hefty Tekken 7 trailer. The game looks great but I am worried it is going for a bit too much flash that could potentially break up the flow of the game. I am not good enough at fighters to comment too heavily though. They also announced that the game will be coming in early 2017 and will feature a fully fleshed out story mode.
– Another of the leaked announcements was next. Dead Rising 4. Frank west is back and it is Christmas time at the shopping mall. Honestly, this series is getting crazier with each entry and I am more than ok with that. Dead Rising 3 was easily the best of the Xbox One launch titles so I am keen to see what they come up with a few years down the track.
– Scalebound then kicked it up a notch with a nice gameplay trailer featuring a co-op boss battle. 4 players taking on a gigantic spider type beast. It was very impressive stuff and only increased my desire to play this ASAP. Platinum looks to be on to a winner with this one and Microsoft could have a hit new franchise on their hands.
– Sea of Thieves was next and we finally got to see it in action. Apart from the annoying voice-overs, the game looks quite interesting. A definite MMO teamwork feel to it. Not sure I am 100% sold on the game but I am certainly excited to see more.
– My favourite reveal was next and that was State of Decay 2. I loved the original and I am super excited to play a version of that game without all the bugs/glitches. Coming in 2017 to Xbox and PC, State of Decay 2 just leapt into my most wanted list.
– The last game of the show was Halo Wars 2. A short gameplay trailer and a long cinematic trailer was shown. The big news however was that the open beta is live now on Xbox One and will run all week. So get downloading folks.
– The final announcement for Microsoft was the confirmation of Project Scorpio. A new console in the Xbox One family. It is a massive hardware upgrade over the original Xbox One and will be coming late next year. Microsoft promised that all games will work on all versions of the Xbox One so it will be very interesting to see how they handle the hardware differences.
That is Microsoft down folks. Stay tuned for the remaining conferences later today.