Wednesday, 12 June 2013
E3 - Xbox One - It's all about the games
Posted by Mark
Microsoft promised that their E3 Press Conference would be all about the games. They certainly meant it! Last nights conference started by jumping straight into one of the most highly anticipated games of 2014...
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain!
All conferences should start with Snake from now on. Metal Gear Solid V is looking incredible and is on track to be the best of the series. Plus the new trailer is the first time we all get to hear the new voice of Snake, Kiefer Sutherland. Hideo Kojima made a brief appearance to announce MGSV for Xbox One and then it was on with the show.
Promising thirteen Xbox One exclusives to be shown during the show, and getting a round of whoops and hollers for just saying that, it was definitely the time to talk.... Xbox 360. More specifically the new Xbox 360. With a redesigned look, based on the popular Xbox One design, the new 360 is now slimmer and quieter than before. Have a look at the new console...
Lets hope that all the kids that want Xbox One for Christmas, don't get one of these from non-gaming Parents! I predict a Christmas Tragedy. To be honest its not a bad looking box and to bring it line with the Xbox One design does actually makes sense. Microsoft are trying to meld of their platforms into one particular look and feel, to create a Apple-esque brand. The new Xbox 360 is available today (in North America).
Finally with the hardware announcement out of the way, it was time for the games. Why not start with a big announcement? World of Tanks is coming to Xbox 360. The PC online smash is coming to Xbox 360, courtesy of the team at Wargaming.net. The Xbox 360 version seems to have captured the frantic action of the PC original. The best news though is that it is free to play for Gold members. Take a look at the announcement trailer.
Several other games were shown for the 360 including Max and the curse of brotherhood, which looks like a more colourful Limbo and Dark Souls 2 which is just epic and bound to cause frustration to gamers like me all over again.
Finally though with the arrival of Phil Spencer on the stage it was time to look at the first Xbox One exclusive title and it was Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome. This isn't the first time Ryse has been seen at E3, in fact it has been seen twice before. Interestingly this is when the game was going to be a Kinect title, where the player took the role of a soldier and hacked and slashed in front of the kinect. Its a very different game now. During the 7 minute gameplay demo, Ryse showed that now it is more of a mix of Call of Duty's depiction of war and God of War's combat system. As the first game shown on the Xbox One, Ryse is absolutely gorgeous to look at and the level of detail going on in the initial invasion is incredible.
things then moved on to a brief glimpse of a fan favorite finally returning to consoles. Rare's Killer Instinct is back and as a free to play game (with only one character playable, with the rest requiring a fee to unlock) and will be available as a digital only download on day one.
Insomniac Games took to the stage to announce a new ip for the Xbox One, Sunset Overdrive. Resembling a mixture of Blink, Borderlands and maybe some Jet Set Radio. It looks great and I am sure it will do well. It just didn't grab me and I felt the trailer looked like it borrowed from other titles.
Dan Greenawalt from Turn 10 arrived on the stage to reveal Forza 5 and what the sutdio have done for this version of hte best racing simulation on the Xbox. Graphics and lighting have obviously have had a huge overhaul and the cars are looking more photo realistic than ever. The polished finish of the body work, the leather interiors and the dashboard lights and instruments all real.
Racing has been improved with the inclusion of Drivatar. Yes, Drivatar... say it with me, one more time. Drivatar! What is Drivatar (I can't stop typing it now)? Drivatar is a cloud based learning agent that learns more about you and your style of driving. It then uploads this data to the cloud and will start racing on your behalf whilst you are away from the console. The idea being that when is single player you would be racing a collection of these Drivatars created from other players and designed to mimic their owners drive styles. This should then make for a more human opponent. How well this will work is to be seen, but if one studio can get it working its Turn 10.
Phil Harrison then took to the stage to talk about Microsoft's commitment to bringing great indie games to the Xbox and to announce the Xbox One version of possibly the biggest indie success story ever.
Yep Minecraft is coming to Xbox One and really shows off the raw graphical power of the Xbox One(I jest!). This new version supports larger maps and more players when online. You already know it will sell by the bucket load.
Remedy sent Sam Lake (the original Max Payne) out to tell the gathered masses about Quantum Break, a new Game/TV Show crossover that they are developing. Set in a world where a scientific experiment that has gone awry, has created stutters in time. These stutters can be localised areas where time is frozen for short periods of time. All I can tell you is that Remedy are saying that how gamers play the game will affect he outcome of the TV show. Not much else was revealed apart from a teaser trailer, which looks very interesting.
Next was the turn of Project Spark, a sandbox for your ultimate creative urges. Essentially, LittleBigPlanet for Xbox One, with intergrated voice commands, courtesy of Kinect 2. It looks a lot of fun and very easy to grasp. Using a Smartglass enabled tablet or phone you can perform precision changes to landscape and enviroment. It all looks very charming and should be a nice alternative to all the gunfire.
The onslaught of games continued with an trailer for Crimson Dragon, the spirtual successor to Panzer Dragoon Orta. Dead Rising 3 was announced by Capcom Vancover and the gameplay demo showed a city sized open world enviroment, with a far more gritty tone to the game than the previous titles. CD Project Red then showed the first trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Once again another game to go fully open world.
The final presentation of the night belonged to DICE and Battlefield 4. Showcasing a demo called Angry Sea. Just sit back and enjoy the ride on this...
Wow! Battlefield 4 is looking incredible and well worth the entry price for next gen. Speaking of which, Microsoft did confirm the release date and price of the Xbox One.
It will be availiable in 25 countries this Novmember and will cost $499/€499/£429.
Oh and it was going so well, too. With issues with DRM, used game policies, Kinect privacy concerns and now a high price point as well. We will have to see what the buying public will make of the Xbox One when it launches this November.