It’s a fairly safe bet to say that Microsoft are losing the ‘console war’ with Sony. With the PS4 outselling the Xbox One considerably (and as an Xbox fanboy, that’s hard for me to say), Microsoft had to come out at this years E3 swinging for the fences to entice audiences back toward the Xbox One.
The first, and perhaps most important part of the conference was the reveal of ‘Project Scorpio’ Microsoft’s answer to the PS4 pro. Xbox One X is reportedly the most powerful console yet and has true 4K gaming. It was revealed that Scorpio is actually named ‘Xbox One X’ and will retail at $499, £449 CA$599 and AU$649. They also went over the specs again but you can view those all over the web. It’s also the smallest Xbox ever. Xbox One X is launching worldwide on November 7th.
My Thoughts: The price is a concern, I feel that it won’t connect with the casual consumer but for the power of the console I’m not surprised by the price at all. I suspect the price will drop around six months or so after the initial launch so I might pick one up in a year or so.
After that we got the beginning of what was to be 42 game announcements. We started off with Forza 7, which looks like all the other Forza games with better graphics and new cars. Forza 7 will launch on October 3rd.
My Thoughts: It has an audience that are loyal so it will sell well regardless of the fact it’s basically Forza 5.
Then we had a gameplay trailer for Metro Exodus, the latest in 4A games Metro franchise.Executive Producer John Bloch gave more details after the showcase while talking to twitch, which included that it would be an open world game, set directly after Metro Last Light. Protagonist Artyom returns as he journeys across post-apocalyptic Russia and eventually board the Aurora, a steam train that’s been heavily customised, to look for a new place to live in the East. The game is set be released sometime in 2018.
My Thoughts: The gameplay trailer looked great and the details that have come out after make the game seem really interesting.
Next we had Ubisoft come out and show us the brand new Assassin’s Creed game, Assassin’s Creed Origins. The reveal confirmed the leaked ancient Egypt setting and the name of the Protagonist, Bayek. They also showed some gameplay elements that have been added to the franchise, including RPG elements and an enemy level system. It also looks like combat has been changed to add a bit more of a challenge to the game.
My Thoughts: Looks like the year off for the franchise has done it some good, despite Assassin’s Creed Syndicate being a great game, I think this one has the potential to be one of the best in the series.
PC hit Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (or PUBG) was confirmed as coming to Xbox exclusively later this year. Followed by trailers for Deep Rock Galactic, a co-op FPS game by Ghost Ship Games and State of Decay 2. State of Decay 2 will launch in the Spring of 2018.
My thoughts: PUBG looked fantastic and the PC crowd seem to love it so I’ll definitely be getting that. Deep Rock Galactic looked very interesting so I’ll be keeping an eye out for more details about that. As for State of Decay 2, zombie survival games have never really been my cup of tea but it looked good.
Next up was a look at The Darwin Project, a survival game coming out exclusively to Xbox One and Windows PC. Set in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, it showed players with different powers battling each other in a Hunger Games style battle royal.
My Thoughts: Very Interesting looking game, will be definitely be keeping an eye on this one.
Following that was Mojang announcing that Minecraft was going to be completely cross-play across devices such as PC, Mobile, VR, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Minecraft is also getting a 4K update later this fall.
My Thoughts: The cross-play thing is really cool and I hope it succeeds but I the 4K visuals are pointless.
After that we were shown more trailers which included Dragonball Fighterz, a fighting game set in the Dragonball universe; Black Desert Online, a fantasy MMO; The Last Night, a cyberpunk adventure game; The Artful Escape, a Rock and Roll adventure game and Code Vein, which looked like anime dark souls. Black Desert Online was the only one to get a release timeframe of early 2018.
My Thoughts: The Last Night and Black Desert are the pick of the bunch for me. Both games look really interesting. Dragonball Fighterz isn’t for me, but will do very well nonetheless. I’m not a fan of souls style games, so Code Vein doesn’t interest me and The Artful Escape looks a little strange but it is certainly intriguing.
Rare’s newest game, Sea of Thieves was given an extended showing at the conference, no new mechanics or gameplay features. Sea of Thieves is an open world co-op game where you and other players become a pirate crew and explore the world. Early 2018 is the set release window for the game.
My thoughts: This looked incredible, it was my personal game of the conference.
Three long awaited games were given release dates next. Fullbright’s adventure game Tacoma will release August 2nd, StudioMDHR Entertainment’s run and gun adenture game Cuphead will release September 29th and Sumo Digital’s Crackdown 3 was given a November 7th release date in line with the Xbox One X.
My Thoughts: For those that want these games, they’ve been waiting a long time, so its good that they finally have release dates. I’ll certainly be trying Crackdown 3 and Cuphead.
The ID@Xbox followed those announcements by revealing 21 indie titles coming to the Xbox One in the future. Those titles were:
- Osiris: New Dawn
- Raiders of the Broken Planet
- Unruly Heroes
- Path of Exile
- Surviving Mars
- Fable Fortune
- Robocraft: infinite
- Dunk Lords
- Minion Masters
- Dark and Light
- Strange Brigade
- Hello Neighbor
- Conan Exiles
My Thoughts: All of them only really had a few seconds to showcase what they were about, so not much to say, but the buzz online around Ooblets means the game has my interest.
We also had trailers for Ashen, an open world survival game; Life is Strange Before the Storm, a prequel to the massive hit Life is Strange and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the follow-up to Ori and the Bind Forest.
My Thoughts: All the games looked good, and two of them are follow ups to great games, so all of them are worth checking out.
Monolith Productions also showed some Middle Earth: Shadow of War gameplay, including the new nemesis system which allows you to recruit Orcs to your cause as you fight Sauron and his Nazgul army. Shadow of War will release on October 10th this year.
My thoughts: I like the additions to the nemesis system a lot, and if the game is mechanically the same as the first game, I’m sure it will be fantastic.
Phil Spencer then announced backwards compatibility is getting better. Original Xbox titles will be playable on Xbox One in the fall of this year. Classics such as Crimson Skies, Splinter Cell and even Halo 2 may be playable on Xbox One very soon.
My Thoughts: A logical step for Microsoft, this will generate some sales from the nostalgia market and why not use a library of games that are sitting dormant?
The final part of the show was the full reveal of Bioware and EA’s new IP, Anthem. Anthem is a Co-op open world game that gives off the vibes similar to Mass Effect: Andromeda. Anthem involves using different types of mech suit with specialist abilities and upgrading them with weapons. Anthem is set for release in the Fall of 2018.
My Thoughts: It looks like what Andromeda should have been, hopefully it lives up to already high expectations, despite how little we know about it.
Overall, Microsoft’s E3 showcase was a solid show. However, the price of the new Xbox One X is a concern which may affect them going forward.