E3 2013: Xbox Press Conference Recap
Microsoft said today would be all about games and delivered.on that promise.
Every gamer in the world was pretty much disappointed by the reveal of Microsoft's next gen console: The Xbox One. However, today Microsoft pretty much made a statement today with their press conference:
The reveal was about what the console could do. Here at E3, it's all about games, and goodness did Microsoft deliver on the games.
First up was a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. This is indeed a new take on the series as this will be an open-world where Snake could perhaps go anywhere. You could even do stealth movements on the fly, as Snake was shown riding on the side of his horse as it passed by a convoy of soldiers. Also showcased was the passage of time and weather where the hours you play in real life equal the same amount of time in the game. So if you play from dawn till dusk, so will Snake.
Speaking of Snake, there has been so much talk of who the new voice of Snake will be now that David Hayter made public he would not be back as the voice. That new duty belongs to Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland, who delivered great as Snake, now called Punished Snake apparently. Big Boss feels more grizzled now and you can really feel that with Kiefer's performance.
Another demo on display was Ryse: Son of Rome, where you take on the mantle of a Roman soldier. In the demo, we got to see a battlefield commander order his troops on the field to ensure victory. We even got to see famous maneuvers being deployed such as the Phalanx formation - the frontline soldiers put their shields up in front of them while soldiers use their shields to cover the rest of the men from oncoming arrow attacks. The combat for Ryse looks completely brutal as quick-time events were being used for finish off opponents.
Also a bit of news came out of the conference as it was announced that Xbox Gold members will now get 2 free games through Xbox Live each month.
Up next came an announcement right out of left field: Killer Instinct, the classic SNES fighter remade for next-gen, coming exclusively to Xbox One. Everything you remember from the original titles will be there: fast paced-combos, excellent animation and of course the announcer for when you pull off "ULLLLLTRRRRA COOOOMBOOOOOOOS!"
In another surprising event, Insomniac Games, a developer known for making games exclusively for PlayStation consoles, will be releasing Sunset Overdrive, a zany open-world shooter exclusively for Xbox One. This title had the markings of an Insomniac game with such crazy weapons as a record-launcher gun that could decapitate monsters and what looked like a player powered by an energy drink being used to do immense damage.
The show continued with the fifth installment of the Forza Motorsport series. The developers came onstage and discussed that this will be a racer that will no longer have AI, but a new system which they have dubbed "driveatars". This new driveatar will be able to act like a real player, learning from how other people drive and importing their actions into your game. This new feature could be very interesting to see online as it could completely get rid of "feeling like you are playing the computer."
Another big title that was first revealed during the console unveiling was Quantum Break. We really didn't see any gameplay, but we got a little more insight to the "game and TV experience": apparently some experiment that looks like it came out of a Flash comic has started to make time either stop or just skip around at time. The main character could touch things in the environment and unfreeze things as he displayed when he touched a woman caught in an explosion and unfreezing her. Also, I'm still questioning if Zack Morris himself, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, is a character in the game.
Microsoft's next reveal was a title called Project Spark which the developer stated was something where you could "start with nothing and present an entire game to everyone." The developer quickly gave the Kinect a few voice commands that instantly created a field come alive with mountains and grass. The developer then happened upon a rock that had no brain before placing one inside of it, bringing it to life in order to defend the player from a Goblin army - an army that the developer also created. Players will also be able to evolve their own creations, as a rock can become a rock fighter with a shield and sword right up to a giant Rock Mech. This title could bring a whole new type of player to the Xbox crowd that perhaps has only been using other titles such as LittleBigPlanet. At the end of Project Spark's demo, the developers showcased a few things that people has already created from games that looked like an homage to the game LIMBO to a game that worked pretty much like FEZ.
Following that came another exclusive sequel: Dead Rising 3. The game has been talked about as an open-world game that has no load times. Like Dead Rising 2, players will be able to craft wacky combinations of weapons that the new protagonist Nick Ramos showcased by combining a saw and a sledgehammer to create a Sledge Saw. The game will also incorporate SmartGlass technology that players can call in for assistance, like artillery strikes to wipe out hordes of zombies blocking your progression.
We didn't see much of the next game in action, but it was enough to ignite the crowd. Watching Master Chief trudge through the desert while a giant Forerunner vehicle emerged was enough to make the center erupt. At this point, anything dealing with Halo is something all Microsoft gamers want to see.
Closing out the conference, Respawn Entertainment showcased their first game exclusively for Microsoft consoles and PC. Titanfall looks like a multiplayer-centric game that all shooter fans will want to be a part of. Combining foot soldiers on the ground as well as giant mechs called Titans made for exciting gameplay, showing that just because you are on foot, doesn't mean you are automatically out of the game when facing Titans. The tide of the battle can quickly turn in your favor as you can pelt them with rockets or easily climb on the back of one and take it out.
Microsoft promised us that when coming to E3 the focus would be all about the games they were bringing to the console, and they have indeed kept that promise. This next generation of console looks rather exciting, to say the least, and with the exclusives on the Xbox One and the Xbox 360, it looks like Microsoft is still committed to gamers.
The Xbox One will be coming to stores this November for $499.