E3 is always an exhilarating time of year. New game announcements, a look to the future, and the passion that surrounds all gaming. The following will be my thoughts on the Microsoft Press Conference.
Microsoft came out swinging with Hardware announcements and a great lineup of games coming to Xbox One and Windows 10. The stage was energetic, the crowd was excited, and it was clear that this was an event for the gamers.
The conference began with the official reveal of the Xbox One S. A slim version of the already existing Xbox One with 4K capabilities. The new Xbox One S will be available in early August at a starting price of $299.
After that they moved onto showing Gears of War 4. Now this is a huge title for me, as I’ve been a Gears fan since the beginning. The gameplay shown was nice, it showed off some new graphics, some weaponry, and how you and your teammates will work together to survive the new threat of the Swarm. It was especially cool to see something like a Siegebeast (A Locust weapon from Gears of War 3) back in a decrepit form, as an echo to what came before. The trailer wrapped up with showing an aging Marcus Fenix welcoming home his son.
Some new features coming to the Xbox One are: Clubs, Looking For Group, and Arena.
Clubs are akin to Guilds. Allowing you and other players to set up their own..well…clubs!
Looking For Group will let players advertise themselves as looking for those that play a certain game.
Arena is a place for professional players to compete and observe.
These features are cool but I can’t say that they’re anything I’ll personally use. Though according to Microsoft, there has been an outcry for features like this. I’m happy that fans are receiving them.
Next up was a new trailer for Recore. This game was shown off last year at E3 and looked particularly interesting. The reliance of robots to aid you in your journey sounds like a fun concept and was expanded upon this year. Showing off around six new robotic allies, it seems like this game will offer some great diversity and exciting gameplay.
Now, I’ve never been a Final Fantasy person but the next installment: Final Fantasy 15, is looking great. In the gameplay demo shown, the team of new characters fought off a giant boss. Though it was clunky in some areas, when it worked, it looked great.
Fans of The Witcher may have been excited to see that the in-game card game “Gwent” is getting a standalone game. My experience with The Witcher is next to nothing but with the recent DLC and now Gwent being announced, I think it might be time to jump into the action. Gwent will be similar to Hearthstone, as it will be a mobile card game and not actually feature physical playing cards.
A big sequel was also announced: Dead Rising 4. With the return of original game protagonist: Frank West, this new game takes place in the same town as the original but this time, around Christmas. The Christmas theme will play a huge part in the game as you mow down the undead with candy canes and blow them to bits with “Jingle Bell Rock” playing in the background. It’s sure to be a huge hit.
The next game shown was “We Happy Few” a very bizarre game that instantly brought Bioshock to mind. As the trailer showed a happy world quickly turn to chaos, it showed just how unique games can still be. We Happy Few was a standout title for this conference and offered the most diverse looking setting and gameplay. It’s one I’m particularly excited to get my hands on.
The good folks at Rare made an appearance. No, they didn’t show Banjo or Conker but they did show “Sea of Thieves” a new online Pirate adventure that was announced last year. This time, we saw actual gameplay with friends and just how fun the Pirate life can actually be. As the players all took their places on the ship; they worked together to set sail, fight in battles against other Pirates, and even prevent their ship from sinking when it began taking on water. Sea of Thieves is a game I’m definitely keeping an eye on and can’t wait to hear more about.
Halo fans have been hoping for a sequel to Halo Wars for a long time now but this year, their wishes were granted. Halo Wars 2 introduces a new villain and sets up an entirely new story, a trailer for it was shown and it looked to be just what fans were wanting. A Beta was also confirmed!
Scalebound is a game that I have not heard a lot about, in fact, I forgot it existed. Boy, was that a mistake. This game looks like a great time, mixing together the fun of Devil May Cry into something completely new. It was fast, fluid, and is something I’m going to be checking more into as time goes by.
There were a couple of other announcements but for this article, I’m discussing the things that interested me the most. The last bit that Microsoft showed was a teaser for the future. A brand new console with the codename: Scorpio.
Scorpio was described as being “The most powerful console to date.” Sadly we didn’t get to see it, or any gameplay from it but the developers really seemed excited for it, which gets me excited for it.
That wraps up the Microsoft 2016 Conference. Overall I thought it was pretty solid, there were a few rough patches (One involving Minecraft that I specifically left out of the article) but I felt like they did very well this year. I’m looking forward to all of the content they’ll be bringing and especially looking forward to seeing what Scorpio is all about.
Thanks for reading!