E3 2014: Microsoft Press Conference

Posted by Calum 09 June 2014

With the title of “Game On” Microsoft promised games. Holy god did they deliver. With a solid 90 mins of nothing but games coming to Xbox, this certainly seems like a tough act to follow.

Phill Spencer kicked things off with footage of the new Call of Duty, Advanced Warfare. What was shown was a very nice looking, futuristic Call of Duty game. What this includes is exoskeletons, spider tanks, laser rifles and two new things. New environmental interactions, with the player taking a door off a car as a shield, and stunning facial animations. This and a decidedly somber tone towards the end of the gameplay leads me to think that maybe Call of Duty has finally grown up. I`ll definitely be interested to see what happens next with Sledghammer’s offering.

The Forza team then arrived, announcing the famous Nurburgring for Forza 5, avalible right now. Also showing Forza Horizon 2, a slightly more arcadey take on driving, and it certainly looks liek a very pretty driving sequal. Coming November 30th, it certainly could be a lot of fun.

Evolve was next, bringing a brand new monster type with it, the Cuthulu-esque Kraken. With all the media surrounding that game, adding new things to it can do nothing but good, and i’m majorly excited to play that game.

The brand new co-op dynamics of Assassin’s Creed Unity was shown off, proving that co-ordinated stabbing of people in the face with your friends in a video game can look really fun. Paired with a really amazing depiction of revolution era France, this could be a really interesting step for the Assassins’s Creed Franchise.SunsetOverdrive_online_roman_candle

What followed was one of the most striking performances at the conference.Insomiac’s Sunset Overdrive. A¬†trailer with everything from good humor to 4th wall breaking, leading into gameplay that look just like a lot of fun. If I were an Xbox One owner, i’d be VERY excited by this game for when it comes out on October 28th. This was instantly followed by a crazy trailer for some new Dead Rising 3 DLC, the amazingly named Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha. Appears to be an insane multiplayer arcade romp in the Dead Rising universe. Seems perfect to just mess around with your friends in Capcom themed costumes (featuring the Tofu man from Resident Evil)
Speaking of mulitplayer fun, Fable Legends appears to be just a multiplayer Fable. Varying classes and gameplay between them, seems like it could be a lot of fun especially the new villan mode, which has airs of Dungeonland and Dungeon Keeper, with one player setting up encounters for the others.

Game creator Project Spark showed a CG trailer, which looked interesting. If the game delivers on everything it promises, it could be a very interesting tool for gamers to be creative. Oh, also, Conker (of Bad Fur Day fame) is in Spark. I know, im both shocked ad excited too,

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Ori and the Blind Forest was then revealed, a brand new title from fresh studio Moon Studios.It ¬†looks utterly gorgeous. I don`t know what that game is, or how you play it, but man it’s bite the back of your hand beautiful.

Master Chief is coming back in The Master Chief Collection. A combination of Halo 1 anniversary, Halo 2 also being given the anniversary HD remaster, and 3 and 4 just as is. They made an important point to say that the Halo 2 remaster will have multiplayer “exactly how you remember it” This collection also includes Halo Nightfall, the Ripley Scott live action halo series, and the Halo 5 multiplayer beta. Lots of Halo coming your way folks.

The conference then shifted veiw, to the future. All the new games announced at this point are for 2015.

This started with the new game by Limbo developers Playdead, called Inside. It looks a lot like Limbo with colour, but very eerie. As expected not a whole lot of actual gameplay, but i expect the Limbo devs to produce something very solid.

A brand new Tomb Raider was also revealed, The Rise of the Tomb Raider. An amazing CG trailer was shown. Get excited, that Tomb Raider reboot really was amazing.

Witcher 3 gameplay followed, which showed a just stunning environment and very witcher style combat, but with more fluidity. Swapping between spells and potions appears easier in combat, which is an amazing improvement to the series. I`ll be playing this, you all probably should too.

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From out of nowhere, a reboot of Phantom Dust, the card-based RPG from 2005. The CG trailer looks pretty cool Lots of magic and spells being flung.

Tom Clancey`s: The Division had another amazing showning this year. Gameplay looks to be incredibly tactical and varied, with every member of your team playing a very crucial role. To me, it appeared to be taking some queues from MMO style thinking, actually using phrases like “drawing aggro” We were both very excited by The Division last year, and this gameplay has not helped that die down one iota.

A surprising showing from Platinum Games, showing Scalebound. This appeared to be a Monster Hunter style multiplayer RPG, including controllable dragons and “totally not Beats by Dre” headphones on the main character. Cool idea, and i`ll play anything Platinum puts out.

Finally, the return of Crackdown everyone wanted was confirmed. Lots of neon and city wide destruction appeared in the trailer, as well as orbs to pick up. Great idea to bring this series back, especially after the success of games like Saint`s Row.

In total, this was an excellent showing from Microsoft. What they needed to was either convince people to buy an Xbox One or tell Xbox One owners that their decision was a good one. They did both incredibly well.