Culture

Sgathaich: E3 Overview.  Part 1 Microsoft

SgathaichLast year I tried to do an overview of E3, but while writing it I realized I should have started earlier and written it about each of the main 3 (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo) after each of their conferences, so not liking the quality of my work I scrapped it (only the best for you dear readers). So with E3 currently on I shall be for these next 3 days be writing and posting my opinion of what the main 3 have shown in their conferences (note I am a Nintendo player so it will have the most enthusiasm, but hey that means if one of the other two does something that impresses me that means it was genuinely good).

Microsoft are not in a good state right now console wise. The Xbone has not done well. While Nintendo have managed to do amazingly the last year thanks to the Switch and Sony are still in the lead with the PS4. The Xbone has to compete with the same audience as the PS4 and is nowhere near as strong a game catalogue. The State of the Xbone is made worse in that it has no exclusive titles currently lined up for release this year and The phenomenal Switch releases (too many to mention without dragging on) and the amazing God of War have shown exclusives really do matter (also that anyone saying linear single player games are dead knows nothing  as God of War sold insane numbers). So let us start off this E3 observation with Microsoft. (EA had one earlier but it sucked)

First up we are shown a forest in the rain at night, the technology of the men on the scene though doesn’t match up with the seeming age of the animals – being Ice Age or earlier – and then it zooms out and we see the iconic helmet of the master chief, and the Halo music plays. Opening up with Halo was a wise decision as it’s their flagship franchise and thus Halo Infinite is announced… and that annoying line about creativity from companies making that same game, rather annoying but Halo is still a welcome sight and thus the Xbox conference starts. The man who comes on stage also talks about gaming as a means to bring people together, in cooperation or stories. Much improved from starting the conference by doing a glorified car advert (not joking, they even brought the car on stage).

Watch: Halo Infinite – E3 2018 – Announcement Trailer

Phil Spencer head of Xbox stands on the stage. He starts using the term Creativity a little too much, I see so many companies use that term while then doing the same thing so I’m a little hesitant about that term these days.

So right away we get into exclusives. First up is ORI, this game genuinely looks different from the brown shooter style, it’s a magical forest, appears to be a platformer with inventive sprite like creature designs, ok so there is creativity here.

Followed by a world premier Sekiro: Shadow Dies Twice. A dark Japanese style story with a what I can only assume are undead samurai, perhaps those into dark souls will like this one.

Watch: Sekiro: SHADOWS DIE TWICE E3 Trailer

Then Bethesda studios Todd Howard taking the stage. He brings up a Bethesda event that happens later(not covering that as I’m covering the big three, sorry, sure it’s good though) Fallout 76 4 times the size of Fallout 4, an odd mix of country cheer with a post apocalyptic setting (and not in a depressing manner).

Another world premier Square Enix The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit – a free to download game. A story of a child who is bringing stories to life with his imagination, feels almost like an Oscar bait movie, but in a good way.

Another exclusive – it’s just Crackdown 3 again so not too bothered (more looking for NEW announcements in this).It all looks good.

Nier Automata: Become as Gods Edition. I praise Nier Automata but as this is just an enhanced version I won’t delve too deep here.

Metro Exodus –  I believe I saw the start of this at the first, but then the presenter says how inventive it is with its grim post apocalyptic style setting… when we have seen countless others, one even earlier in this view. Though this one is in a cold Russian setting.

Kingdom Hearts 3. – One a few people I know are excited about. This one however isn’t exclusive to the Xbox but its trailer is welcome.

Watch: Kingdom Hearts 3 – Official Frozen Trailer | E3 2018

Another exclusive – Sea of Thieves Expansions, a rather amusing trailer more like a short animation but funny.

Next is Battlefield V… It’s EA and we saw even less than we did at their conference.

Exclusive world premier, looks like a racing game… and Mario Kart ruined all those for me so it just seems dull. Forza Horizon 4 from playground games Ralph Fulton takes the stage, revealing some more of the game such as it being set in Britain, mentioning both Scottish and English landscapes. Driving around in a shared world with other players. this is definitely the most attention and in-depth look to a game so far, which is a shame as I mentioned Forza isn’t my thing. Showing off how the world changes thanks to the season, the example shown is winter. I’ll admit they are making it more inventive than most of the real shooters I noticed so I am pleasantly surprised… and then it was ruined by the phrase “creative” yet again. That’s going to grate on me by the end I feel. IT should be noted its also coming out on PC

Watch: Forza Horizon 4 – E3 2018 – Announce Trailer

Phil comes back on talking about a new Microsoft studio. First the initiative. Also revealing they have acquired the companies, Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory the company that has made Hellblade  and finally Compulsion Cames.

A console launch exclusive oh wait, it’s just pubg, if you like  it its fine but it’s something that’s been around for ages now. I have a ton of games to go over in 3 days so I think you can excuse me for not going on too much about games that don’t interest me, Forza they spent a long time on.

A world premier…. a definitive edition of Tales of Vesperia… they say world premier for an old game… sigh. Remember the eyes of the world are on you and maybe not make a big announcement for an old game, or at least don’t say World Premier …  (the game is good not judging it on that, just on being said a world premier) hmm getting too negative.

Another world premier –  Division 2 – stylish trailer then leads into a small showing of gameplay, a multiplayer game. In a fire fight,  it’s rather surreal. It’s odd seeing people sound so uninterested while playing a game. This is the second most showed game in this conference.

Next Head of Engineering  Xbox Game Pass, talking about Game Pass. I have no interest in this so won’t go over it.(I’m more looking at the games) Next is a quick session of games, with each nothing compared to what we got before. Real shame as some looked rather neat, but I’m sure those uninterested division players were sooo important.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider. –  It’s a Tomb Raider game, not my thing but they have gone to make the trailer rather cinematic,showing Lara Crofts interactions with others and finding some strange danger before a town is flooded.

Watch:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Gameplay Reveal | Square Enix E3 2018

Console launch exclusive – a skateboarding game session … not much to say on that.

Console launch exclusive-  an mmorpg Black Desert, interesting to see a new MMO on a console so I may keep an eye on that one. A console launch exclusive really means it’s an exclusive on Xbox for a limited time before coming out elsewhere. People pointed out that detail last year.

World premier  – Devil May Cry though not the classic universe… yeah it’s that westernized DMC stuff… sigh. Though we get people from Capcom to talk about it, maybe they will explain why they don’t return to the Classic Dante we know and love.  Devil May Cry 5 so tying it into the main series rather than the unliked reboot –  but still uses that style that turned people off. Apparently made it for the fans… the ones that want classic Dante.

Expansion to Cuphead-  oooh love that style. Seems we are getting a third character and a whole new island to explore.

Console launch exclusive – CUTE FOX!! I’m getting a very Zelda vibe from this ( not helped by the cute fox getting a sword and green tunic, and cutting grass)  Called Tunic. Not bad, I welcome more diverse games but it looks REALLY like Zelda, maybe just inspired by it.

Watch: Tunic

Something  from Bandai Namco – first look for us – world premier Jump Force, Naruto one piece and DBZ same universe. Then we see Light Yagami and Rikku, neat. Though I can’t help but my inner nerd go on about how Everyone else is kind of useless against Frieza.

World premier – oh look another post apocalyptic world. Dying Light 2 Chris Avellone. Seeing a demo showing how the actions you take affect the game world, for good or ill. They do a good example showing how a single choice effects how the world developed. and ending showing us, as night things attack.

Exclusive world premier BATTLETOADS! trailer was fun but showed nothing.

Watch: Battletoads – E3 2018 – Announce

World premier –  Just Cause 4 – yeah all the Sammy Open World looking stuff, I cant see much here sticking out. I’m probably wrong to the people who have played the franchise but as an outsider I often just see the same stuff over and over.

World premier – Gears of War – oh wait it isn’t –  it’s Gear POP.. heh, rather amusing even had a Wilhelm scream, that put a smile on my face. Funkopop wait… MOBILE!? and Gears tactics are also announced a turn based strategy

Here it comes GEARS 5 ( what I can get excited about games I’m not going to buy).  I’m seeing a Snow and Ice theme  OOH a rather emotional scene building on events that were revealed at the end of 4. Kait seeming to have the lead role. I would say this is probably the highlight for me, in a game series like Gears of War, seeing the story get this emotional is genuinely a surprise and I look forward to seeing that one progress.

And now back to Phil. He did just mention they are working on a new console and working on a 1st party studio.  Though I complain there was a good degree of diversity in Xbox’s conference.

Ooohh something at the end it seems a hacker is attacking oh wait…Cyberpunk 2077 a Cyberpunk world, think Blade Runner. I don’t know much about the game but some people I chat with were saying they thought it was cancelled.

Ok, so now it’s actually finished I can say it was a decent showing, a good diversity of some games. The ones they chose to focus on weren’t of much interest to me until Gears of War was shown. It did sadly fail to show a true console exclusive coming out this year but there were some things I’m sure Xbox fans will go nuts about. It does seem the Xbox lot did know that this one had to matter and they have made sure to show us a lot. A good number of exclusives… BUT some of those exclusives are only exclusive for a while and others are coming on PC as well so don’t get caught up by that little piece of word play.

See you tomorrow for the Sony conference.

Watch:

Gears Of War 5 – Official Cinematic Announcement Trailer | E3 2018


 

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