So another E3 is in the bag for Microsoft and it’s a mixed bag of tricks. On the one point we got some really cool gameplay footage. The other we got a new console. Then we got some very tricky usage of the verbiage “exclusive” however I’m going to go through the announcements one by one and we will see what Xbox brought to the table this year!
Xbox One X- AKA Scorpio
So we all knew that the conference was going to be focused around Microsoft’s new Teraflopping console. Without missing a beat we saw it first up and hey, it looks good. It is a super powerful console, will have full 4k capabilities, and it launches this year. We got some updates on pricing, but I’ll discuss that at the end. The console looks like it is going to be a very high end console. It’s specs are really spectacular for a console.
I do have some concerns to talk about quite quickly though. First off is the liquid cooled CPU, now I have made my own PC and my biggest concern here is if it is done right. If it isn’t we are going to have a lot of XBOX one X’s out of the gate with major issues. Time will tell, but I’m sure that Microsoft will get this right. If not then we will see come November 7th. Positive notes is that everything from Xbox one is completely backwards compatible, which only makes sense. 4k patches will come out for related games and so on so forth. The bad comes later.
(Smallest console so far, it looks great, but bad news comes later)
So forza 7 gets announced. It does come out a full month before the Xbox one X, which seems kind of odd considering this would have been a perfect shoe in for a launch of a new “console”. I’m personally a bigger fan of the off-shot, Forza horizon, but I can’t complain. The game does look quite pretty and racing in Dubai will be a different change of pace for a racing game. I won’t be buying it, especially because we get a new Forza every year. There will be over 700 cars and it does look like fun.
It get’s weird though. So the developers behind Forza have some kind of exclusive deal with Porsche and they decided to do the weirdest announcement possible at a gaming expo. They revealed the exclusive Porsche at the E3 stage. I mean…cool. It’s a car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool that the two worlds are intermingling, but I don’t think Porsche knows that gamers probably don’t care. However still really big win for Microsoft and it launches in October so racing fans can rejoice!
(Pretty game, constant weather changes and new locations)
So this one really came out of left field. I really thought this series was pretty much dead in the water, but what do you know.. It’s back. Trailer started I was pretty excited and then the second I saw the gas mask I knew. Metro was back. It’s not a console exclusive but still cool to see it running in 4k. We got some looks at some of the more open world area’s. It definitely looks better than 2033 or Last light. We also got to see some enemies and the way they interacted with the hero or heroine. Really don’t know details yet.
It was obviously a scripted event and would have loved to have seen more real gameplay. The ways that enemies acted and even the big multi-nippled bear at the end seemed to be a complete scripted event. There is a cool crossbow though and the game is on track currently for a 2018 release date. I personally can’t wait. I platinumed 2033 last year and ended up falling in love with the setting, so here’s hoping that this ends up clawing it’s way into my heart.
(Early impressions are super positive on this, can’t wait to see more!)
Assassin’s Creed Origins-
Alright so besides the fact that this was super leaked early. It looks amazing. It really seems like the extra year off has brought some new light into the series. It did seem kind of weird that Xbox One X was showing off games that would only be upscaled, but minor complaint. AC Origins is set in Egypt, new character and new setup. We did get to see gameplay and it looks pretty impressive. I personally can’t wait.The gameplay section showed off the character entering a type of palace or guarded area. It seems like levels from AC: Unity are back, I can’t remember if Syndicate had them or not. Oh well.
You have a hawk that can scout out the area before, showing you the levels of everyone around. You can plot the way forward and it seems like we are back to focusing on stealth again. Which I am personally okay with. The approach the trailer showed was a little bit straight forward, but I bet there are plenty of options. It looks like there will be a quest system and possibly quite a bit more. Overall it looks like that extra year will definitely make this a better game.
(The new gameplay looks amazing and can’t wait for this in October)
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and State of Decay 2-
So biggest thing here is PUB is finally coming to a console. It’s not my kind of game, but I know that there is a lot of people playing this on PC…okay 3 million. Still really awesome for this game to be coming to console finally. It is probably only a limited Xbox exclusive but still a huge win for Microsoft and will most likely sell well. The trailer looked really good and I may even consider playing it eventually if it comes to PS4. I don’t play multiplayer on Xbox so it’s not really that interesting at the moment to me.
State of Decay 2 on the other hand got quite a lengthy trailer, and it was bad. I love State of Decay but this trailer did very little to nothing to explain what would be different this time around. It really just looks like SoD 1 and that’s not a bad thing necessarily, but I expect a little bit more. The trailer was almost 5 minutes long and we really got no explanations of what would be different. It does seem to be multiplayer focused this time around…(yay….sarcastically). The game is also releasing in spring 2018 and this really needed to be out this fall for Xbox, because currently Spring 2018 is going to be pretty packed. Still good to know its alive.
(It looks just like State of Decay 1 and doesn’t seem too impressive at the moment)
Darwin Project and Minecraft-
We got a short trailer and really weird segment for a game called the Darwin Project, another console launch exclusive. It looked…Pretty much like every other MOBA ever. It didn’t look necessarily bad, but we didn’t get anything that showed how it is going to stand out. The short trailer made it seem really cool. Then the shout caster got on stage and started commenting on the match which made no sense at all. Other than that it was shortly over and I and the audience I think were all confused.
Minecraft was there…Surprise. I guess the butt load of money that Xbox spent is still going into the game. We did get to see a lot of the new updates that would be coming. It seems like support will still be there. Cross console play is coming and oddly enough Microsoft left Sony’s console out of the trailer (little sore there are we Microsoft?). A lady got up on stage said some words and was super awkward the whole time. Expect gifs and memes of that coming soon. There is going to be a graphic update, I’m assuming it’s paid. It makes Minecraft look better I guess? Oh and 4k is coming…to a game that looks like crap. Yay.
(Darwin project looks interesting, but I want more info on what the game is)
Dragon Ball Z and Black Desert Online
Then we got a trailer for DBZ FighterZ and it looks pretty freaking good actually. It is a 2.5d fighter and seems to being going after a Marvel V. Capcom type feel to it. There will be 3v3 fights and it seems like there will be a pretty good roster. From Majin Buu to Cell. There wasn’t a whole lot of information but the trailer seemed to give a pretty positive impression of what is to come. Then we got a trailer for the Korean MMO Black Desert Online. Very little was revealed about it. It does look good, but very little is known at this time. It is coming out early 2018.
(The game looks really good and is breaking away from what the recent titles have done)
The Last Night and Artful Escape-
So the last night is so far the biggest game that I was excited for at that point. It is a 2d Cyberpunk adventure game and it looks freaking amazing. It looks like it is hitting all the right buttons and is PC and Xbox exclusive. I will definitely be buying this and playing it day one. The artful escape was also shown off, I had never heard of it before and I still know almost nothing about it. Some guy is walking then he jumps and a guitar appears out of thin air. It looked interesting. Maybe we get more info later?
(This game looks really cool and weird and I really want to know more)
So then we are treated to an anime style game that is surprise surprise Bandai Namco’s new vampire anime RPG/Dark Souls clone. I am super pumped for this game and it looks to be hitting all the right notes. The trailer briefly showed off combat which seems to be Dark Souls-like. No look at hud or anything of the sort, but the overall theme and look is really impressive right now. I can’t wait until this game comes out, but nothing of note was really revealed about it.
(Code Vein is appearing to be a game I will love, I want to see a lot more of this game though)
Sea Of Thieves-
I have personally been watching this game like a hawk. I really expected this year to be the year it came out, but it’s not. It is going to be a early 2018 game and i’m kind of bummed. The more I see of this game the more I get disappointed. It looks like a ton of fun, but it seems like you have to have a very dedicated group of friends to play this. We were treated to almost 10 minutes of gameplay and it was awesome, but really revealed to me that I wouldn’t be playing it.We got to see a journey through a sunken pirate ship as you loot it. Sharks came out chased the party and hilarity ensues.
Then we found out you can go on dry land and explore ruins. There seemed to be an interesting type of puzzle for finding new treasure and it looked to be quite interesting. There were fights with skeletons but they were completely ranged, I would have liked to have seen the types of variety in combat. Eventually there was a giant ship battle and you shoot yourself out of a cannon to fight the opposing team on their ship. Overall really cool trailer and I can’t wait, but I have a feeling it won’t be for me. 2018 feels like a big kick in the pants as well since 2018 for Microsoft is pretty barren.
(This game looks so good, I just know it’s not going to be my kind of game with multiplayer focus)
Tacoma, Super Lucky’s Tale and Cuphead-
So Tacoma got a brief introduction and a trailer with release date. August 2nd hell yes. I can’t wait to play the game, but will mostly likely be a PC purchase. If you don’t know this is the developers behind Gone Home and will most likely be coming to PS4 shortly, but so far just Xbox One and PC. So then we get the weirdest reveal yet which is Super Lucky’s Tale. It was an oculus rift game and is coming to Xbox one on November 7th, same time as Xbox One X.
So from the trailer this looks like it is going to flop pretty hardcore. It’s platforming seemed really bad and boring. It looks like a collect coins and continue on your way type thing. On oculus rift this may seem like a good game, but for console gaming, it’s a hell no. Weird choice to show off at a conference. Cuphead finally got a release date and I don’t even need to tell you, but yes. I am buying it. It is releasing in September and it’s about damn time.
(60$ and looks like absolute crap…no thank you)
Crackdown 3 and Shadows of War
I wanted so badly for Crackdown 3 to come earlier in the show. So much of what had been shown at this point was really getting old, however finally we got something exciting. Crackdown 3 is featuring Terry Crews (YEAH!!!!) and it’s humor game seems to be on point. We get a short trailer which is exactly what we needed with finally some good Microsoft exclusive news. Yes everyone, November 7th 2017. A good Microsoft Christmas game.
We finally get a pretty in-depth look at the New Shadows of War. We got a really good look at some of the new ways the nemesis system is being used and I can’t personally wait. The game looks like it hitting all the right notes for me. Combat seems mostly untouched, but that’s just at first glance. There is a lot of new mechanics here that I am excited to see how they work. It looks like it is going to be a very solid game. The trailer went on a little too long and the game seemed a little unpolished at first look, but it could just be an old build.
Ashen And Life is Strange Pt Deux
So we get a trailer for another Dark souls lite game in the form of Ashen. I wasn’t super impressed with the game. I have played too many games that try to do the Dark Souls formula and I end up underwhelmed. It was a pretty cool trailer but it’s minimalistic design left me underwhelmed. It looks okay, but I need to see more before I get really excited, oh and it is exclusive to PC and Xbox.
Life is strange is also getting a second season…kind of? It is going to be the back story of one of the main characters. I feel a little odd about it, first I loved Life is Strange, but I don’t know if this is the right move. It is going to be 3 episodes and Episode 1 releases August 31st. This could be good, but I would have preferred either a proper sequel or a story set in this world, but I won’t have to wait long to see if I enjoy it.
(The art style is unique, but I don’t think its for me)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps-
So I will be honest. I haven’t played Ori and the blind forest. I own it, but I haven’t had time to play it yet. I will now that the sequel has been announced. There was a guy on stage playing piano the whole time and the game looked absolutely beautiful. Overall it looks really good. We got no release date or anything else, but I have a feeling that won’t matter to fans.
(Didn’t expect this announcement, I really need to play the original)
Xbox One X, Backwards Compatibility and Anthem
So the next big announcements were regarding the backwards capability and what was going to come next. So over 385 games have been added from the Xbox 360 catalog which is pretty impressive. The biggest reveal though was that OG Xbox games were going to be coming later this year. No real word on what titles but Crimson Skies was shown in the teaser. I am excited this is coming, but it will be interesting to see what else. We then get to the Xbox One X news.
Xbox One X is going to be getting 4k updates for some games like Gears for free. Which seems like common sense. We then get hit with a huge bombshell. 499$ for the Xbox One X. Ouch…. The price is super high, but I’ll discuss that in another post this week. Anthem was also given a lengthy demo and I can’t wait. Not a lot of news about when it is coming but all I can say is it looks damn good.
(Early impressions are really high, but so were Mass Effect Andromedas…)
So overall the conference was solid but structurally weak. It started off showing a lot of things I cared about. The Xbox one X started off looking impressive, but Microsoft seems to not understand that 500$ for a new console just isn’t going to be good. The Xbox One released with that price point and it killed them in the beginning, it’s powerful, but it doesn’t cook my breakfast. If you have an Xbox One there is no reason to upgrade, especially since it is only going to run slightly better with those specs. Yes they are crazy specs, but console gaming isn’t there yet.
I went in thinking I was going to be buying an Xbox One X, but now I’ll just stick with my original. We did get to look at some new games, but most didn’t catch my eyes. 3rd party was very prevalent this year and it was kind of sad to not see Microsoft not double down on it’s own games like Sony has been in years past. No new exclusives were announced which hurts even more. Yes there was Forza 7 but is that really a surprise?
We did get release dates for games that were a long time coming. Cuphead and Crackdown 3 are going to be big games this year for me and will probably be the only big Xbox games I buy. Player Unknowns Battleground will most definitely do really well, but it’s not for me. Sea of Thieves and some of the other 3rd party games looke interesting, but overall I didn’t feel like I was watching a Microsoft conference. I felt like I was watching a 3rd party show-off. Most of these games are on PC and they look like they may do okay on Xbox One.
Overall I didn’t feel like there was any reason to buy an Xbox One X and I didn’t feel like Microsoft proved they were doing anything to fix their catalog of games issue. It was a solid conference but it’s definitely missing something. On an out of ten scale it was a solid 6. No new 1st party exclusives and very vague dates on other exclusives that have been in the wings for years.