Last year, Microsoft exceeded my expectations, so I was looking forward to this year’s show. With Halo 5 looming on the horizon, would this press conference convince me to get an Xbox One?
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Microsoft’s E3 2015 Press Conference
As a big fan of the Halo series (single-player and lore, rather than multiplayer), I was looking forward to seeing more from Halo 5: Guardians. The press conference did not disappoint, with new gameplay footage. I was a little disappointed that it focused on Locke’s team rather than the Master Chief’s, but I’m fine with two characters sharing the spotlight like in Halo 2.
Some aspects of the gameplay reminded me of Star Wars: Republic Commando, which is great because that game was awesome. (Side note: now that the Star Wars Extended Universe is non-canon, doesn’t that mean they can wrap up that Republic Commando loose end? The only reason they couldn’t was just in case LucasArts wanted to do something with it. The new canon should make that void.)
A new Halo 5 multiplayer mode was also shown, but I’m more interested in the story. I’ll want to play Halo 5 eventually. The only question is when.
The next game brought with it some names I didn’t expect to see.
Yes, Keiji Inafune and the creators of Metroid Prime are working on a sci-fi game called ReCore. Of all the surprises, this is one of the most interesting to me. I’m not sure what genre of game it is, but the protagonist, setting, and robots look like they have potential. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.
Microsoft moved on to a truly exciting announcement: backward compatibility!
Before the Xbox One was announced, I hoped it would have backward compatibility. I hadn’t replaced my broken Xbox 360 yet, and if the new console could play 360 disks, I intended to just go with it and possibly an original Xbox for the few games I have. Well, that time has passed and I replaced my Xbox 360.
Backward compatibility is still fantastic news, though, and I hope my unplayed games will be a part of the program. It will start with 100 titles playable on the Xbox One, with more to come. From what they said, it sounds like the hardware solution I dreamed of: the Xbox 360 games will be available digitally, and if you put in an Xbox 360 disk, it will recognize it and let you download the digital game.
Eighteen games have already been revealed. I hope this list expands to include Lost Odyssey, Tales of Vesperia, and many others. Xbox 360 fans, share in the comments what games you most want to be playable on the Xbox One.
They went on to show a new, “elite” controller that you can customize. Cool, but I’ve never had a problem with standard controller designs. Bethesda returned to show more Fallout 4, which I cared for as little as I did last night. For Fallout fans, however, you’ll be happy to know Fallout 4 on the Xbox One includes Fallout 3.
EA talked about EA Access, which I don’t care about, and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, which I do care about. I never did get the first Garden Warfare, but PvZ is a quirky series I’m pleased to see expand.
Forza Motorsport 6 was next. Since I don’t like racing games, it meant little to me, but after that, another great trailer appeared!
Ah, Dark Souls III! It seems rather quick after Bloodborne, but it was still an enjoyable reveal (pity it was leaked beforehand). I have a lot to catch up on to be ready for a new Dark Souls game…
From there they went on to show Tom Clancy’s Division and Rainbow Six Siege, which I have no interest in. Up next was a free MOBA game called Gigantic, which was very cute and colorful.
Then it was time for a short indie montage, with trailers shown afterward for Tacoma, Ashen, Beyond Eyes, and Cuphead. Of these, Tacoma was the most interesting to me, with an eerie abandoned space station. Beyond Eyes just looks beautiful.
Microsoft then discussed a new early access program called Xbox Game Preview, which is how some players can already check out the backward compatibility feature. Unless Steam’s early access, this program will allow you to try the games for free. I think that’s great. Paying for in-development builds is one of the main things that turns me away from early access.
Next, the creator of DayZ announced a sci-fi game called Ion. I don’t know much about DayZ, but I’ll need to see more of Ion before I make up my mind. Rise of the Tomb Raider was next, and while some parts looked pretty cool, I’m not sold on it yet either.
And then… it was time for Rare to take the stage.
While not the new Banjo-Kazooie game I was hoping for, Rare Replay will bring 30 games from Rare to the Xbox One in a single collection for only $30. 30 games for $30 is hard to beat, especially when you consider the games in question…
- Atic Atac
- Lunar Jetman
- Sabre Wulf
- Knight Lore
- R.C. Pro-Am
- Cobra Triangle
- Snake Rattle N Roll
- Digger T. Rock
- Solar Jetman
- R.C. Pro-Am II
- Battletoads Arcade
- Killer Instinct Gold
- Blast Corps
- Jet Force Gemini
- Perfect Dark
- Conker’s Bad Fur Day
- Grabbed by the Ghoulies
- Perfect Dark Zero
- Kameo: Elements of Power
- Viva Pinata
- Jetpac Refuelled
- Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
- Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise
That’s an impressive collection of Rare history (thanks, IGN, for the full list). As exciting as it is, though, part of me is a little disappointed that Rare didn’t announce a new sequel…
…but it did announce a pirate-themed MMO, Sea of Thieves. Now, I don’t like MMOs, but I do like pirates. Will Tales of Berseria be my only pirate adventure, or will Sea of Thieves win me over? We’ll see.
The game showed after that looked interesting, but it was just Fable Legends, which has been shown before. After that, they dove into the world of virtual reality: partnerships with Valve, a connection between the Xbox brand and Oculus Rift, and Microsoft HoloLens. And while I’m not a fan of Minecraft, I have to admit that the HoloLens Minecraft demonstration looks really cool.
Finally, it was time for Gears of War. An enhanced remake of the first Gears of War game was announced for the Xbox One, Gears of War Ultimate Edition. I’ve never played the series and have had no interest in it, but some parts of the next trailer–the much-anticipated Gears of War 4–looked pretty cool.
Microsoft’s E3 press conference was good. It had some games I’m not interested in at all, of course, but also some great announcements. Still, I think Sony and Nintendo both have a chance of beating it. Let’s see how it goes…---
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