This year’s Microsoft Press Conference started out with a surprise reveal of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gameplay. Hideo Kojima’s new Fox Engine looks absolutely amazing and will do marvels for the MGS franchise. The demo starts off with Snake on a horse (I believe that’s a first for Snake too) and shows off the expansive world you’ll be set in. No longer will you be limited by the linear progression of the levels as in the previous installments, instead you’ll have beautiful vistas to explore and an all new way to carry out Snake’s missions. In fact you’ll even have to scope out the perimeter and find enemy patrols and entry points via your binoculars making this a new tool for your espionage tactics and your freedom for carrying out the missions. Snake also gets a physical upgrade (sort of), as the CQC, close-quarters-combat, gets an upgrade and will be more dynamic than ever. You’ll even have real time weather effects and a realistic passing of time which may dynamically change your method of execution in the missions. In the demo it also showed off some of the new features for stealth such as leaning on the side of your horse as he trots by an enemy patrol to avoid detection. As awesome as it sounds, you won’t only be able to ride horses in MGSV. You’ll in fact have a variety of vehicles to utilize to get across the land such as tanks and jeeps. The other gameplay aspect shown off was more of a story detail. A handful of names were dropped in the trailer such as Quiet, Eli, Kazuhira, Skull Face, Emmerich, Ocelot, Code Talker, and Snake is actually Punished Snake this time around and will have a prosthetic left arm. Oh and they hinted that previous bosses and such would be in the game, but their hint was “Those who do not exist” so it could elude to a dream state sequence where Snake battles past enemies or something. The other MGSV news was the integration of Xbox SmartGlass for use with the game.
Don Mattrick came out to talk about how there will be 13 exclusive titles talked about today, but first they have a new look for the Xbox 360 that will better blend in with the Xbox One and home entertainment set up. Oh and it’s definitely available today, June 1st, so go out and go get one if you want a smaller, sleeker, and more quiet system. Also a revamp of the Xbox Live Gold Membership was announced to provide a similar service as the Playstation Plus membership. You’ll now receive 2 free games a month from Microsoft with the first two being Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3 and this service will begin July 1st.
They wanted to mention that there are still games coming out for the Xbox 360 even though the Xbox One is releasing and to name a few they showed off the upcoming free-to-play title World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and Dark Souls 2. WoT will feature intense 15 on 15 team based armored warfare with some of the world’s most powerful tanks. Max is a platformer from the developer Press Play and will detail the story behind a brother who used internet magic to wish his brother away into a terrible land and he goes in to rescue him from torture. This will provide some refreshing classic platforming action with great visuals. Nothing new about Dark Souls 2 really, but the trailer had some amazing fluid combat and beautiful lands to explore and desolate; expect it out March 2014.
Everything from here onward is Xbox One material only. The next exclusive title, Ryse: Son of Rome, will take place in ancient Rome and you’ll play as a Roman general who leads and commands his troops into battle. The demo looked pretty good with the start feeling like a D-Day reenactment. This will have 3rd Person action and will have quick-time events as finishing moves as well. As a general you’ll order your troops to team up and take out the enemy. Got a line of archers at your objective? No problem, just form up a phalanx and move your troop through. You’ll also have the ability to send your army to key points and take control of them such as taking over a catapult to destroy another enemy outpost. This game will be a launch exclusive Xbox One title and will feature the latest CryTech engine. If you’re a fan of the fighting game genre, Killer Instinct is returning as a crazy fun 1 on 1 fighter that will have characters such as Saberwolf and Jago. It will be an Xbox One exclusive and coming out in 2013. For the first time, Insomniac Games is bringing an exclusive title to Microsoft’s home console and Ted Price came out to talk about Sunset Overdrive. It will be a new first person shooter that will feature a fun parkour style game with the same crazy guns that Insomniac is known for. You’ll have an open world experience as well as animated characters.
Microsoft’s racer, Forza is returning for the 5th installment and they’re teaming up wth McLaren for an unbelievable racing experience.The biggest new feature is what they’re calling “Driveatar” and will essentially change the way we play racing games. No longer will there be a basic AI or even the need to play against human players as this will gather information from you and learn how you drive in the game. With the new cloud gaming, you’ll have your driveatar racing your friends while you’re offline and you’ll be racing theirs. Forza 5 will feature world famous cars and circuits and will utilize the cloud gaming.
Phil Harrison came out next to announce that Microsoft has helped 200 indie devs release their games including Mojang’s Minecraft and there will be an Xbox One version releasing as well. A few other games such as D4 was announced that will be an episodic murder mystery game that uses the Kinect sensor and has a graphic novel cell shading feel to it. The other game shown was Quantum Break, detailing that there will be a TV show to match it’s content and the game will allow you to create your own personal story with the show. You’ll get to play as Jack who survived a failed experiment that caused time to break down. You’ll be able to grab objects or enemies that are frozen in time and put them back in the normal flow of time.
This next game is going to rival Sony’s Little Big Planet as you’ll be able to play and create stories on the go with Project Spark. You can use your voice with the Kinect to use the in-game tools to build your world and teaming up with SmartGlass you’ll be able to intuitively edit the world and add objects to it. You’ll select key elements such as a forest and the game engine will auto-generate the environment for you. The really cool idea is that you’ll be able to create your own game with these tools. While one example was shown, the opportunities will be nearly limitless. As you create your game you can play it out by dynamically altering the level and doing your best to defeat the enemies. Craft your own story and game with Project Spark on the Xbox One.
Now for a couple details about SmartGlass. You’ll be able to start up your games from your device or even purchase items from the Xbox Live Marketplace. You can compare detailed statistics of your games between your friends to see who is the top player. Another interesting feature to the Xbox One is the Upload Studio which all you to basically have a game DVR and record and share game content among your friends and it even makes it a neat little highlight section. Also you will be able to instantly stream your gameplay with Twitch TV and your voice and gameplay footage is what people will get to hear and see. Microsoft also announced that they’re switching from Microsoft Points to real currency finally and that your Xbox Live Gold Membership will have a family sharing option. There was also a quick little announcement in this section about the next title from the creators of Panzer Dragoon. You’ll get to have intense dragon vs. dragon combat with Crimson Dragon as an exclusive Xbox One title.
Zombies are a huge part of society’s entertainment and Dead Rising has provided an excellent gaming experience to the zombie apocalypse. The next installment from Capcom is of no exception and with the world premier of Dead Rising 3, you should prepare yourself for some awesomeness. You play as Nick Ramos, who looks to be like a mechanic and you’re about 3 days after the outbreak when the demo begins. It starts off with about a 3 zombie group eating some guy and as you begin to take them out, you notice the fences are falling and oh look… dozens of zombies are coming at you. This is how it’ll be all the time with the open world experience on Dead Rising 3 and thankfully no load times either. They’re keeping true to the weapon combo mechanics and you’ll have mostly everything in the game be considered a weapon. Need a tactical flashlight? Duct tape a flashlight to your gun. Zombies will be aware of your presence, but the quick use of a distraction tool such as a flare will easily get them off your back as you escape to a nearby vehicle. Although vehicles aren’t a safe haven in DR3 as you run over hordes of zombies, some may actually attach onto you and try to take you out while you’re in the car. Using ramps and melee combat you’ll be able to shake them off you though. SmartGlass is playing a role as well, and you’ll be able to call in air support using your device to clear out a nice horde that has you surrounded. Expect to be fighting zombies with creative ways exclusively on the Xbox One this Holiday.
If you’ve played The Witcher franchise then you know it is an excellent role playing game and Witcher 3: Witch Hunt will be no exception. You’ll have a completely free roam experience and a multi-region open world to explore. There will be hand crafted non-linear quests to provide you with over 100 hours of gameplay. For the Xbox One you’ll get SmartGlass integration for inventory and character development along with Kinect voice commands. Witcher 3 will be the final entry for the main character, but is going out with a bang with new dynamic combat and some impressive enemies to slay.
Dice had a little presence at Microsoft as they showed off Battlefield 4 gameplay footage and the game looks amazing. Frostbite 3 is truly a marvel and provides some amazing tech. My favorite part of the demo is the ability to take down enemies with the map. It had you and your team on a sinking carrier and you shoot the restraints of a fighter plane so that it tumbles down the carrier and takes out a group of enemies that had you pinned down. Total awesomeness. Also the Battlefield 4 DLC, Second Assault, is releasing to the Xbox One first.
A few more little indie titles were discussed such as Below, which is an interesting little multiplayer adventure title coming out for the Xbox One. The other one is just a little tease from Black Tusk that will have a sci-fi stealth action title as an exclusive title. Just short little snippet about the next Halo as you see a beaten up Master Chief on a desert planet as a Forerunner giant mech comes out of the ground behind you. Master Chief seems to be out for revenge for Cortana, so maybe we’ll have some darker elements in the story. You’ll get to play Halo 5 at 60 frames per second in 2014.
As an Xbox One exclusive TitanFall, the first game from Respawn Entertainment, looks to set the standards in online multiplayer games. There are these mechs called Titan and they serve as a super suit basically for some crazy armored action. Once inside the suit you’ll play like a normal FPS, but just imagine you ate one of Mario’s mushrooms and got massive and more powerful. The waiting room is you on a ship waiting to drop into enemy territory and will provide a story driven experience to the multiplayer game. The gameplay mode shown was a “capture the objective” type and you’ll progress with your team taking out the enemy and assisting in seizing your objectives. After a short time period you and other players will be able to drop Titans on the map for you to use. You’ll have your standard weapons, but also some other sort of special powers to be used with your left hand. Killing a Titan, like a normal enemy, will allow you to “loot” them and pick up their dropped weapons. Be careful when out of your Titan, because they are really massive and can easily stomp on you for a quick kill. If you have taken too much damage as your Titan and know you’ll die soon you can quickly eject out and live to fight on. Expect this intense mech shooter to come out Spring 2014.
We finally have some sort of next-gen pricing and release window. You’ll be able to pick up the Xbox One in November 2014 for $499 in North America, £429 in Britain, and €499 in European countries.
They tried their best to make it about the games and while their main focus was gaming, they had a few moments about statistics and Xbox One SmartGlass features. It seems like SmartGlass was one of the major focuses of this year’s Microsoft E3 Conference. I would have liked to see more detail about certain games such as the next Halo. A lot of the announcements were quick trailers and a brief description of the game and would have been nice to hear more about some of the games themselves. Xbox One is releasing a bunch of exclusive titles over the first year of the release and they’ll certainly have a variety of titles for all types of gamers. With Battlefield and Call of Duty for the shooters, Spark for those creative kinds, Forza for the racers, and Dead Rising for those zombie lovers to just name a few. Will they win the console war? Or at least this year’s E3? Who knows until we see the rest of the conferences. Overall I’d say Microsoft did a good job showcasing great games that people will want to play on their new console.