The Microsoft E3 Press Conference for 2013 has just finished and boy howdy have they brought the games! Here is what they presented this morning. We’ll have more information as well as images and videos as we find them.
Keep in mind this information is hot off the press, so not everything will be 100% accurate and solid. And speaking of ‘solid’ we start off the conference with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
Snake and Ocelot appear on horseback. For all their talk (heh) about Kiefer Sutherland, this trailer doesn’t feature a lick of dialog from our intrepid hero. Revolver Ocelot talks plenty though, and ends up his monolog by saying "Now go -- let the legend come back to life!"
Lots of claims in the trailer: Realtime Weather, new stealth techniques, various modes of transport, "tactical espionage" redefined, unparalelled level of freedom, realistic passage of time, deeper stealth action. Several shots with Snake and his prostethic hand. Game title makes sense with the helping of Miller, a soldier who ends up losing a hand and an arm, as well as Snake's own loss of a limb. This is a beautiful game, built to show off the best of next gen. But it is NOT exclusive on XBox One, it’s just going to be on the console. That’s important to note.
As stated before there will be 13 exclusive titles coming to the XBox One, but before they get to those, it’s time to prove they still love the 360.
They announced a new redesigned Xbox 360 based on the Xbox One, available for sale today. Splinter Cell Blacklist, Lightning Returns, Arkham Origins, GTA 5 will all be coming to Xbox 360. In addition they talked about three new titles coming to the 360.
Good for Wargaming! They really are taking over the gaming world one tank at a time. The trailer looks very impressive and a lot more dynamic than the PC gameplay. It's actually a great fit for the Xbox 360 community since it's pretty much CoD in tanks.
15 v 15 armored warfare. Tailored gameplay specifically to the Xbox controller. Will be F2P with Xbox Live Gold subscription.
An adorable little game from a small studio in Denmark called Press Play, 3D sidescrolling platformer about a big brother who uses a spell to get rid of his little brother but then has to go and save him. It feels very Labryinth to me.
This trailer is incredibly brief, with lots of hack n slach sword combat but not much else ...ah it's Dark Souls II. Quite a pretty trailer. Still don't hate myself enough to play it.
New Franchise is next up, one that delves into Roman history, trailer featuring stonework shattered forming into a statue of a centurion. This game you play a centurion in the Roman army. Once again we have a game with so much realism it's hard to tell these characters are rendered. Looks more like an sequel to 300. The armies storm the beach, jumping from the boats, dodging arrows, and huge fireballs. The men around you are wounded, maimed, screaming, and the boats are burning. Then you see your character slaughter his enemies with quicktime event precision that reminds me of Assassin's Creed and God of War. After combat you destroy a tower to rally a phalanx of soldiers and that enables you to advance on the archers and take them out with spears.
This is all incredibly faithful to actual Roman combat techniques. I have to say if this were less bloody my father would love this game. Unfortunately it's gory, but in all the right places for a mature next gen title. After taking out the archers you head up to the battlements and then it's up to you to destroy on of the towers. You do that by send in your men, clearing out the area of enemies using your sword combat, and then calling in a catapult strike. In charge your brothers in arms, and the castle taken, and the logo rises from the smoke.
You will be playing as General Marius Titus. I actually remember this title. Now it will be an exclusive XBO launch title. Color me impressed.
Up next a title that should make all the fighting fans rejoice. a fighting game revived exclusively for XBO. It's just a teaser trailer listing out some of the characters in the game.
Insomniac Games next game is an adaptive open world shooter called Sunset Overdrive. This is an everchanging cloud-powered game, with a beautifully high-style asthetic. The trailer features over the top cartoony parkour, a character with a gun that shoots LPs, and what looks to be a nuke shotgun. That's going to be fun.
This will also be exclusive to XBO
On stage is a Maclaren P1 car (there are only two in existence), to show off that you can race this car in the game. He's saying that the new generation is about detail that makes experience more human. Cloud processing drives (pun intended) your "drivatar" the player characters (as well as the NPCs) learn from your driving style, speed, etc. It will race in the game even when you're not playing so they can learn as they practice. This is about creating a complete character, not just an AI. They are learning like a person would. And now I have to try a racing game, darn them.
The trailer shows off plenty of car porn slow-mo shots, lens flairs and details like dirty hoods and headlights, as well as realistic dents. This will be an exclusive launch title.
Now they are talking about the commitment of XBO to indie developers. This is important because much of their new policies seem to leave the indies out in the cold (including the dropping of the indie arcade). Minecraft Xbox One Edition announcement trailer follows. I am not sure if this can be still termed indie, but I suppose it is. Still just showing off Minecraft does not prove they will still support indie developers, nor how they will do so if they will.
Another XBO exclusive
This is another game like Defiance that combines a TV show and a video game. In this trailer the main character has to investigate time rifts that shutter and freeze. He steps up to the rift and pulls out a woman into the present to save her life just before it collapses. She says "someone was trying to steal our research." Interesting.
Next up, an episodic murder mystery game, cell shaded but gritty at the same time. Just a teaser trailer for the game called D4.
Making a game is turned into a game itself, using Kinect voice play he selects the biome, Woodlands, and the time of day for lighting 4PM. Then he goes in with Smartglass and his tablet then can carve out rivers, paths, and detail terrain. Then heading back into the game with Kinect you can drop your character into the landscape and build the elements that make your town, including a town square, creating a unique pet, and then make mobs to fight. He received items from the Spark community, which enabled his to change his pet using a spider brain into a big rock fighting pet.
Now we're shown what battle with other players looks like. You can use your abilities to manipulate the terrain during the fight, creating lava pits, build massive support units out of the terrain. This looks AMAZING.
Xbox Live will be connected to Smartglass, as is shown with Ryse, where you can set up your multiplayer matches using your tablet, and you can play the singleplayer while the multiplayer matches are found using the requirements you set. You can record clips, edit them and share them to the cloud straight from the console. Another option, you can livestream to Twitch.tv with voice and chat integrated through connect.
You will not be limited to 100 friends. They are moving from Microsoft points to real money. And they are FINALLY allowing Xbox Live Gold sharing, with all accounts in the family, which is wonderful for homes with multiple gamers under one roof (like mine).
The trailer shows dragon combat, but there is not sound right now. It looks like a shooter on the back of a dragon.
Now will be an open world zombie game. Nick Ramos is the new hero, trying to escape Los Perdidos California. The trailer is prettier than the first two games, and the hero is a mechanic, and everyman, wielding his wrench to fend off zombies. This town is a suburb of Los Angeles, and it's completely saturated with zombies. Everything is a weapon, and you can craft items in the field rather than having to find a workbench. He just taped a flashlight to a handgun -- a perennial favorite.
Using the cloud processor they are able to create more realistic crowd density now, and there's no loading time as your progress between areas because of the console's beefy engine. Now Nick has tied a handsaw to a sledge hammer, and then after using against a couple zombies jumps into a car. During his drive a zombie manages to break into the driver side window and chomp on him. Yep even driving around zombies are still a threat.
Smartglass can be used to help deal with massive outbreaks as they use a smartphone to call in artilery support. Will be available Holiday 2013.
Coming to Xbox One, 100 hours of dark, mature nonlinear gameplay, completely open world, optional voice commands with Kinect, Smartglass inventory management. Here's the first gameplay trailer. This is actually the lowest res game they've showed next to Dark Souls II. I guess the fantasy games don't want to spend too much time on high detail graphics. The trailer shows a small bit of gameplay, but not much other than a few sword swings. They did not mention if this is the console exclusive.
60 FPs gameplay failed to load the first time. The second time it started right up. I have to say they do love lens flair. Right into the action, first person combat in the interior of a boat, but the boat doesn’t stay whole for long. After it’s ripped in half the two pieces collapse on one another and you’re forced to jump onto the deck of the carrier, dodging falling planes as then roll into the Angry Sea (chuckle). I suppose this might seem extreme to some, but it just seems like a tame version of some of the stages in Uncharted 3 to me. There are some very pretty clouds in the sky though, and water washes over the deck of the boat periodically, obscuring vision for a few moments. They jump into the ocean and swim for smaller boat to escape the area, but piloting the boat has it’s own challenges since you have to deal with the waves as well as the enemies. All in all a pretty basic game. The first map pack will be on XBO first. Um woot?
A roguelike game now. A small artful game, and when I say small it’s because the characters are tiny on the screen. The game is a dungeon crawler called Below.
Exclusive new IP from Black Tusk. The detail in the game is insane. In the teaser tailer they show the fingers of the character and you can see the ridges of his fingerprints, and then they pan into the gun and you see the fingerprints on the bullet. Amazing.
Now another trailer featuring a man walking through a rocky desert, they pan up and show that it’s an alien world, and suddenly the rocks rise up around him. I’m reminded of Dune here, but what comes up out of the desert isnt a worm, it’s a massive mechanical bird. Ah...Master Chief is revealed. Very slick. Coming to 2014. Will be a new FPS, running at 60 FPS, but they won’t tell you anything else. Bah.
And finally we receive the price point for the new console: The Xbox One will be $499.00, 499.00 Euros, 429 BP, coming November 2013.
One last exclusive title as they close: The trailer shows off mechs, wall jumping combat, where the character runs and fights with his mech and then jumps into it. Ooh, stealth. The name of this? Titanfall.
Cloud computing used to provide new experiences they say. So let’s see some gameplay. They are in a lobby, which looks like a carrier ship. Once the players join the game, they “drop” into the combat field. It’s a multitiered map with many levels of combat areas, a destroyed citiscape. Using jump jets the player wall runs through the rooftops to rain bullets down on his enemies. This feels less like a multiplayer map and more like a multiplayer mission. If that’s the case that’s actually pretty exciting. I like the idea that you can work together with other players to complete missions. It makes the game more realistic and reminds me of Scenarios in World of Warcraft. Titanfall refers to when a mech drops from the ships above. Once inside the mech there’s a ton of fun abilities including some gravity grappling. When the mech starts to take too much damage the player ejects and jumps onto the back of an enemy mech, which he then starts to take apart. Impressive as a final game. Coming to Xbox One Spring 2014
Ultimately it seems that Microsoft really has remembered that they are making a console. Should they have waited on their Xbox One reveal and focused on the games first? I don’t see how. They needed an E3 presentation to be about their gaming software products, and so they had to show off the console and what it can do besides gaming at the reveal. Now that I have seen the impressive lineup coming to XBO I can understand why they did things the way they did them. Granted if Microsoft had just started by saying “we know this is gaming console first, but E3 is all about the games so bear with us as we show you what else the Xbox One can do” they would have had a lot less blowback.
For now though, I am definitely glad to see what they have to offer. I can’t wait for Sony’s response tonight.