So Xbox and Microsoft have pretty much stolen E3 which a huge amount of game, social and technology announcements and there has been a lot to take in. Plenty of great game titles are coming back and cross-play was a t the forefront of most titles mentioned. So what happened?
First off we were treated to the new Xbox One model which was leaked the other day. The console known as ‘S’ for slim will be 40% smaller than the previous model, have 4k ultra video, HDR gaming, a 2TB hardrive and will have a new controller with new textures. It was also revealed that the base price will be $299 so think of that in pounds, it’s going to be good money. Oh and head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, says it will also release in August this year.
The Coalition studio head, Rod Ferguson, kicked off the show by showing gameplay from Gears of War 4, one of the most anticipated titles of this year. The game is part of Xbox’s new ‘play anywhere’ which combines Windows 10 and Xbox One gameplay across all platforms and when you save on one platforms you can resume where you left off on the other at no extra cost. The title was shown through co-op cross-play on both platforms in a scenario following the abduction of character Kait’s mother by the swarm who are a new enemy.
The gameplay showcased a ferocious storm and a ton of enemies to fight through including drones and turrets which were tactically removed through co-op play of a catapult and shooting objects. Players will have to destroy swarm nests in a huge lightning storm and take on huge beasts. The game is set to release on October 11th.
This was followed by an old favourite, Killer Instinct, whose game has seen some character additions recently including Rash from Battletoads. It was revealed that General Raam from Gears of War will be added to the cast and will be free-to-play this week.
Up next was popular car racing title Forza Horizon 3, which takes place in beautiful Australia and graphically it was depicted well showing a nice mixture of off and on-road driving. Ralph Fulton of Playground Games showed off the world gameplay premier with a mixture of fast cars and off-road vehicles all merging together from different cross-play platforms. One of the big additions is how players can drop into other’s games at the click of a button and their surroundings will automatically adjust to the host. The game will release September 27th.
A sneak peak at Keji Inafune’s next title ‘ReCore‘ was showed instantly after which introduced different characters such as Joule, Mack, Seth and Duncan. The game includes a lot of robotics, space like weapons and scenery and a connection between the characters through the use of orbs. A very promising title to come your way.
Square Enix were next up and presented some co-op gameply from the new Final Fantasy XV game. It was a four-way battle against a titan including characters: Noctis, Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus. The demo didn’t grasp too much excitement for a game releasing September 30th but will surely feature more intense battles against huge creatures.
Next it was announced that Tom Clancy: The Division will be getting an expansion called: ‘Underground‘ which takes place in an urban underground which will have randomly generated missions and tons of battles.
Mike Ybarra of Xbox Live had plenty to tell us and said they are listening to players and are creating a faster, more reliable network and incorporating cross-play that begun with Rocket League. In Autumn they will be releasing ‘Clubs’ which is creating communities, ‘Looking for group’ which is for multiplayer and ‘Arena’ where you can play solo or with friends in tournaments.
Playing on from the mention of cross-play came Minecraft. For those who are fans of the ever-growing series this will surely be a favourable addition. Cross-play will connect Xbox, PC, iOS and Android together where players can play on other servers and realms how, when and where you want. The update to the series will be called ‘The Friendliest update’ as it is bringing everyone together. Oculus Rift will also be incorporated to the game which has been shown already; it makes mine cart rides looks extra thrilling. Finally, Minecraft texture packs will be coming to PC and mobile where players can customise characters and scenery to however they want. This update will be coming in Autumn.
A sneak peak was given to ‘Inside‘ which is from the creators of Limbo and once more creates that eerie grey atmosphere, but this time in what seems like a workplace environment. This game will release June 29th. This game follows and endless list of cross-play indie games that are coming soon including Cuphead, Yooka-Laylee, Outlast II an Deliver Us The Moon.
One of the more interesting titles was then revealed to us which was called: ‘We Happy Few‘. It takes place in Britain in 1964 and has a psychological 1984 feel to it. Characters have white faces and take a drug called ‘joy’. Those who don’t take it are called ‘Downers’ and it seems that this isn’t allowed in this totalitarian world. Definitely one to look out for.
A Witcher card game was announced called ‘Gwent‘ which is based off of the card game that was played in taverns in the Witcher series of games. Fans repeatedly requested CD Projekt Red and their prayers were answered. Like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends we have a new card game. It is a cross-play title which which has four factions of cards. Players will begin with ten cards and through campaign the player will be immersed into the game as well as the cards. Seeing as there’s only ten, players will have to think smart and bluff their way to victory. The beta will be available soon if fans register.
We were then treated to one of my favourite game series’ Tekken and Tekken 7 their new game coming early 2017. Gameplay which also jumped to and from cinematics depicted two characters ‘Heihachi’ and ‘Akuma’ fighting it out. There will be a new story mode and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is available for free download to Xbox Live Gold users.
One of the games I have been waiting for was finally shown after leaking the other day. Dead Rising 4 returns with war photographer Frank West whose camera appears to have turned into a smart phone. Oh yeah, the game is also at Christmas in the holiday shopping mall season. There is a big Christmas theme to weapons and will definitely be a favourite when it releases this holiday on PC and Xbox One. One of the most interesting weapon combinations was a triceratops head which was also a flamethrower.
Probably one of the most interesting games to come about in a long time and one of the most exiting for next year, ‘Scalebound‘ takes on the relationship between dragons and humans to fight against huge beasts like a crab-like creature in the gameplay shown.The game from platinum games has multiple weapons such as bows, lightnings and bombs. Players can ride their dragons in a four-player co-op experience to take on beasts. More info will definitely be coming soon.
A company that hasn’t made a real game in a long time, Rare are back with ‘Sea of Thieves‘ that was revealed at last year’s E3. A favourite company of mine shows off what a real multiplayer should look like with a neat pirate theme. There are endless exploring opportunities where players can find treasure and be attacked by other players. It was shown with gameplay from their fan base how players can attack other ships with cannons, steer ships and explore open seas in a real pirate experience.
Following this came two sneak peaks at State of Decay 2 and Halo Wars 2 both coming in early 2017. Halo Wars will have new enemies Banished with leader Atriox who has a massive army. The beta is live to play on Xbox One right now.
And to round off, Xbox are working on a new console called ‘Project Scorpio’ which has plenty of high-powered specs which incoporates 4K graphics and VR techonology. It will surely be a phenomenal experience…but don’t PC’s have better technology?