Microsoft for me is the most interesting press conference. Not because I am a huge die hard Xbox fan, but because Microsoft is in a very unique position due to losing ground to their competition in terms of sales and number of quality exclusives. I thought the presentation was overall pretty good and loved that Microsoft didn’t hold back and came out swinging with game after game after game. Here’s a quick look at what caught my interest from their show.
Disclaimer: There are some titles revealed that are omitted from my summary, simply because I don’t have an attachment to the series they are a part of, or had any experience with past entries of the series. So I am avoiding discussing titles that I may never play, as the trailer may not have piqued my interest and I simply don’t want to talk about games for the sake of talking about them.
Xbox One X
We all knew going into this E3, that Microsoft’s answer to this was going to be Project Scorpio. With the specs already known to the general public, they wasted know time showing off the sleek new iteration of Xbox, which they are calling, the Xbox One X. I have to say, I don’t like this name. It doesn’t roll of the tongue easily, and sounds too similar to Xbox One S. I also think it will add to the confusion that Xbox One now supports, original Xbox games, which can be confused for Xbox 1.
We know the console will debut November 7th this year at $499 US. This is a pretty steep price, and I can only imagine what it will cost here in Canada, but I don’t think this was a huge surprise. You can see the world premiere trailer below.
Now names aside, the real thing that matters are the game. The damn thing can be called Xbox Bananas for all I care as long as it plays good games, and plays them well. Microsoft did well to showcase as much as they could for their new and current line of Xbox consoles. Although I found the presentation didn’t really showcase why the Xbox One X was needed and the benefit of the added horse power wasn’t too obvious to me. Also, I found there wasn’t a whole lot of exclusives, which is an area I thought the Xbox One really needed to improve upon to go toe to toe with the PS4.
Original Xbox Games
I know this has nothing to do with new games, or showing off what the Xbox One X can do, but this stood out to me. In a world where backwards compatibility seems to become less and less important, the inclusion of this speaks wonders about Microsoft. Say what you want about the PC industry juggernaut and their failures in the gaming market right now, their desire to have all 3 generations of their Xbox games be playable on one unified platform is inspiring. I really think other companies to follow suit and be doing the same. I don’t think this move will when them over, but it’s still a very awesome feature to have.
I never played the original Metro, but head a lot of great things about it. Now that they have unveiled an awesome trailer of what looks to be mostly game play, the game looks stellar. Visuals look super crisp and these monsters are simply terrifying! I may have to jump on the band wagon and see what the whole Metro fuss is about now.
Dragon Ball FigherZ
I may not be too into fighting games, but this game looks impressive. Brought to you by the same team as Guilty Gear, this games looks and moves just like an anime. It has all the whacky camera panning, the oddly paced transitions. I may not be an anime expert by any means, but this looks incredibly faithful the Dragon Ball. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
The Last Night
I’m kind of a sucker for stylish retro looking indie games. The Last Night looks super cool and rad. Odd Tales is developing this game, and I highly urge people to head over to their website to check out some stunning captures of the game here. The game mixes 2D looking sprites with 3D dimensions with some very cool weather and rain effects. I’ll definitely be picking up this bad boy for PC. No release date set but Steam indicates 2018.
Cuphead has to be one of the most impressively animated 2D games I’ve ever seen. After being shown over the past several E3’s, a release date has finally been set for September 29th. The game moves beautifully and features some old style carton animations. I will definitely be trying it out on PC once it’s out.
Sea of Thieves
Can’t say I’ve ever been too thrilled about Sea of Thieves, a pirate multiplayer co-op game by Rare. The game does seem pretty neat, I just simply can’t find time to play huge multiplayer games like this, but it’s looking like it’s shaping up to be a fun experience. The game play trailer they showed has definitely generated some buzz. I’m hoping this game does ultimately turn out good and it’s what fans are hoping for. I don’t think this is the killer exclusive Xbox One needs, but it’s still a welcome addition.
I’ve never been drawn to Crackdown, but it’s promise of mass destruction is something that’s become a signature favourite of it’s fans. Crackdown 3 looks like it’ll be delivering more of the same, but bigger BOOMS! I think having Terry Crew’s pump you up to blow shit up is great. I would hope they include him in more of the actual game, it seems quite fitting.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
I have to admit, this is a series I need to desparetly catch up on, as Shadow of Morder is in my backlog, but I may move it up. Shadow of War looks fabulous. Bruz the Chopper stole the show. He is hilarious and unexpectedly charming to. Shadow of Mordor featured some great smack talk from orcs and some awesome presentation of the bigger generals. It was like something out of a WWE event, where they had an entrance with everyone chanting their champions name. Shadow of War looks to expand on this with a deeper heir achy system, and some of the same good ol’ smack talk between the orcs.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
I’ve never played Ori and the Blind Forest, but it was a beauty. Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks as stunning as ever. No release date is set, but I’ll be keeping my keen eye on this one.
Last and certainly not least, is Bioware’s game play reveal of their new IP, Anthem. This promises to take on the likes of Destiny. I absolutely loved the trailer. The game looks rad, and something like a cross between Mass Effect and Xenoblade Chronicles X. You’ll know what I mean when you see the high tech exo suits flying seamlessly through the lush sci-fi looking jungle. I never jumped aboard the Destiny train, but this game appeals to my for the fact it looks fuckin’ rad, but also the thoughts of featuring an in depth Bioware type story is what really speaks to me. It’ll be a while until we can get our hands on this, but I eagerly await the release.
I thought the presentation overall was as good as Microsoft could have made it. They weren’t afraid to show off everything stellar game coming out, although some are still ways off, I’m sure they’ll work to generate some hype. The inclusion of original Xbox games I think is a great move. I really feel that Sony and Nintendo need to follow this. I don’t think it’ll turn the tables for Microsoft, but as a fan who owns games from several generations, the ability to not be able to play PS3 games on a PS4 surely hurts my chances of ever getting one.
However, given that there simply aren’t that many exclusives, I simply don’t see who the Xbox One X is for. I think the specs are great, but given the price point, and the fact that even the Xbox exclusives are also available on Windows, I still don’t see a reason why I must own an Xbox One X, or an Xbox One for that matter. The games are good, but the fact that I can get pretty much all of these on any other platform means I will look elsewhere to enjoy these titles. Again, I think Microsoft did well to showcase many games, but I feel they still haven’t addressed the biggest gap they have to their competition, and that’s quality exclusives that I can only play on an Xbox console.