X Gon’ Give It To Ya
Microsoft kicked off E3 2017 with a press conference chockful of announcements and reveals. Let’s run down the list one by one and see what the house that Master Chief made has planned for 2017 and beyond.
Xbox One X > Xbox Scorpio
The Xbox Scorpio has been officially revealed as and named the Xbox One X. The smallest Xbox consoles to date, the One X will be fully compatible with all of Xbox One games and accessories, hosting the same library of games. The main draws include the 4K definition picture and sound, improved load times across titles, and a feature called Super-Sampling that will improve the console’s image output if you haven’t gotten around to upgrading to a 4K television. The console will be out in stores on November 7, 2017.
That was not the only piece of news for the console as their backwards compatible catalog will be expanding. The system will expand soon include games from the first generation Xbox console. This will open access for players to dig out their old retro games that were previously unplayable on the newer model consoles.
(P.S.: Xbox One X=XBOX. Well played, Microsoft. -Donovan)
Forza Motorsport 7
Along with debuting a flashy car, the 2018 Porsche GT2RS, the Forza Motorsport 7 trailer showed off the game’s immersive environments. The weather will roll in while racing, with rain storms forming growing puddles on the track as the race continues. The sounds of engines will also bring in the immersion to the atmosphere. Having 700 cars on the roster, players will have a lot to pick from once it drops on October 3, 2017.
The developer 4A Engine announced a sequel to Metro Last Night at the conference. The game showcased a gameplay trailer that highlighted the survival aspects of the game, along with beautiful visuals. The small touches that came to my attention were the broken glass of the visor, the distorted color through binoculars and the sound of the binoculars zooming in. John Bolch detailed the game further, giving insight to the level of setting and exploration the game will have. It will start in Moscow but will expand into other locations. The level designs being ‘sandbox’ rather than linear formats that were present in the first Metro title. The game is forecasted to be released next year in 2018.
This game has already begun to spread through the PC gaming culture. Now it is beginning to expand with an exclusive port to Xbox consoles. The game is a massive multiplayer online survival game, a battle royal between players. Along with the port will come unspecified updates to the system for the upcoming Xbox One X console.
It has been a long wait for those captivated by the charming 1930’s style of animation this game holds. The wait will be coming to an end on September 29th, 2017.
Life is Strange Before the Storm
The sequel, now prequel, to the hit episodic sensation Life is Strange, this game takes place prior to the events and looks to focus on Chloe’s character before Max returned to Blackwell. Including the appearance of Rachel, who had already been missing by the start of the first game. If the first game is any indication players can expect a compelling narrative that deeper explores the characters from the first game.
Ori and the Will of the Wisp
An exclusive title for Xbox and Windows 10, this game is a sequel to the hit Ori and the Blind Forest. A new journey that expands past the forest. Players will take a journey uncovering hidden secrets and unlock the mystery of Ori’s true identity. A release date is announced at this time.
The Darwin Project
Scavenger Studios is putting their own twist on the battle royale genre of games. The multi-player title puts players into a brutal cold landscape making the environment as deadly as the other players. From the trailer different abilities are shown, including heat vision and barriers on top of close and long range weaponry. The trailer also shows that the game will have a connection to Mixer interactivity, seeming to allow those watching to provide support for a player. There is no current indication of when it will be launching. When it does, it will be exclusive to Xbox but will eventually see a PC release.
We received a small taste of this title during the EA Play conference. During the Xbox conference we got a deeper look at the world of Anthem and the gameplay it offered. The gameplay itself is a multi-player adventure; players are meant to team up and explore the open world. Each player character is known as a freelancer using suits called Javelin to have enhanced physical capabilities. There are variations on the suits that make them balance differently. The two shown the most so far are the Ranger, the balanced suit that can be flexible in capabilities, and the Colossus, the heavy hitting tank suit. The wilderness environments look great. The jetpack mechanic of the suit looks like it will be a fun way to explore and move around the world.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
We all know how Assassin’s Creed games go by this point, and this game was leaked to high heaven time and time again leading up to E3. That didn’t stop the newest title in the series from actually looking kind of interesting. Foregoing the modern set pieces of the more recent games, Assassin’s Creed: Origins aims to bring the franchise closer in line to its…well, origins, as it focuses extensively on the series’ mainstays: an ancient civilization (check), a revenge plot (check), and gorgeous landscapes that you can’t wait to take leaps of faith off of. Please tell me I can dive off the Sphinx, Ubisoft. That’s all I ask!
Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic looks to be a combination of Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress, and No Man’s Sky (good lord, was that a sentence I never thought I’d have to say). You play as one of four dwarves mining in space, with the main focus being collecting various minerals and items and defending your finds from hordes of alien creatures. It sounds downright silly-and just the kind of goofy game the Xbox One needs to stand out amongst the shooters and the dramatic tales.
State of Decay 2
For something they spent a good five minutes on, Microsoft really didn’t knock this one out of the park. Even before the reveal that it was a sequel to State of Decay, it just felt like the obligatory E3 “here’s our zombie game” moment (Sony went for that last year with Days Gone). Sure, the editing in the trailer was nice, and it was structured well-hell, it might even work as its own short. But as a way to get people excited to play the game, it just fell flat. It looks like any other game. It’s a shame, but hopefully that’s just a matter of a bad first impression.
We’ve got a few things of note here: cross-platform play is now a thing, there’s going to be independent servers akin to Overwatch and Team Fortress 2, and there will be an update in the fall with some shiny new graphics. Otherwise, it’s Minecraft. Not much more to say.
Dragonball Fighter Z
Anime is saved. Video games are saved. The FGC is saved. EVERYTHING IS SAVED, PRAISE BE TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR ARC SYSTEM WORKS-
I mean, this game is looking pretty solid. It’s got the Guilty Gear Xrd engine (which works beautifully with the visual style of DBZ), it’s a Marvel-style three-on-three 2.5D brawler, and it’s a Dragon Ball Z game. I’m sold, and I’m probably not the only one.
Black Desert, a PC MMORPG, was announced as an Xbox One launch exclusive at the press conference. It looks…alright? It kinda seems like Final Fantasy XIV-lite, but hey, most MMOS want to be FFXIV nowadays. It’s got adventure, crafting, and even a little war thrown into the mix. Hopefully more details come out as to how this will work on consoles, and that it will avoid the fate of a certain other developer’s MMO experience on consoles.
The Last Night
This one looks like a fun time: an artsy, noir-ish game with a very Blade Runner kinda sheen to it. We don’t know much about the story, but the game’s YouTube video advertises infiltration, action, and a cast of deep characters. So…there’s that to look forward to? Not much to say here, but it looks promising.
The Artful Escape
This game looks like a trip and a half. With an almost paper doll-like art style, some vivid and unusual visuals and designs (is he riding a multibird or something?) and a sharp sense of wit with the “when it’s damn ready” release date, The Artful Escape looks to be a hell of an interesting experience.
It’s an anime game by Bandai Namco. They didn’t really say much about it. We talked about it before-you can find that article here!
Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves looks like it might be a return to form for Rare. The game’s newest trailer not only showcases some fun-looking treasure hunting and battle mechanics, but it has that classic Rare sense of comedy throughout. The art looks even better now than it did before, and it’s got a great sense of atmosphere and character. A pirate’s life is honestly looking pretty grand if the game keeps up this pace.
Tacoma, the latest title from the developer of Gone Home, has been a gaming convention mainstay for the past year or so, and it’s looking better and better as it gets closer to its final release in August 2017. It’s got an eerie, isolated feel to it, and the emptiness of the landscape coupled with the unnatural virtual figures aboard the titular space station only adds to that. It’s creepy-and that’s great.
Super Lucky’s Tale
There’s not too much to delve into with this kid-friendly platformer. It’s a port from the Oculus Rift, so that’s kind of cool. It looks like it’s in the vein of Banjo Kazooie and Super Mario 64. Can’t (normally) go wrong there. It’s harmless. I swore that was Conker for a bit though.
Terry Crews really wants you to buy this game. Also, there’s a futuristic city and explosions and all that good stuff that we want out of an open world shooter. But the most important thing is that Terry Crews wants you to buy this game. Why would say no to him?
Ashen looks, sounds, and overall seems to be a classically inspired action fantasy game. The trailer showcases the struggle of a bunch of average people (all without faces, an interesting design choice to be sure) fighting against creatures of darkness. There’s a strong atmosphere of dread throughout the trailer akin to the darker elements of The Lord of the Rings. Will it be more Dragon Age or Dark Souls? We’ll find out soon enough.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Speaking of LOTR, this sequel to Shadow of Mordor, you…basically do what you did in Shadow of Mordor (recruit people, face off against arch nemeses who want you dead, act all brooding and dramatic) but with more of an action RPG approach compared to the original’s beat-em-up nature. It’s got some solid voicework, and it looks to have some good charm to it. Still, one does not simply outdo Shadow of Mordor. Let’s hope they get the job done right.
That’s all from Microsoft; tune in tomorrow as we dive into Sony’s press conference!