Not long finished watching Microsoft’s E3 briefing and have come away rather impressed. We got to see a new Gears of War being demonstrated in-game and hell, it looked bad-ass. Only a glimpse but the next-gen graphics and a new somewhat Chris Pratt inspired protagonist certainly peaked my interest for one of my favourite franchises. It was also good news to hear a fully remade version of the original Gears Of War would be out this year the wet our appetites for the next instalment.
It was also good to finally see some in-game footage of Rise of the Tomb Raider even if the footage shown was a bit heavy on cinematics and less on the actual gameplay – but the snow and weather and ice effects shown were very nice … and considering the game is out in November, I’d say what we saw was pretty much as it will be to play.
I was mildly intrigued with the announced Rare Replay Collection. The famed studio that made a big splash in the Nintendo days hasn’t exactly wowed audiences since it got acquired by Microsoft back in the early days of Xbox (can we forgive the abomination that was Perfect Dark Zero?) but the chance to rediscover countless Rare gems such as Banjo Kazooie and Conkers Bad Fur Day was mouth-watering. No word on if said games would be spruced up in next-gen clothing, but considering it’s a compilation, I doubt it. Rare also revealed a new I.P. in the name of Sea of Thieves, a multi-player open world what looks like pirate sea fairing-thing. Certainly interesting and the cell-shaded, cartoon visuals definitely appeal. Excuse me though if I haven’t got massive faith in Rare as a developer these days.
One of the real big announcements was that Xbox One was going to be backwards compatible with Xbox 360. Now considering the vast library of games for the 360, that’s a big coop for the new console even if backwards compatibility has always seemed silly to me on a new console. Can’t people movie on? But considering Microsoft’s struggles with their console this generation compared to the PS4, I think it’s a very wise move to get the former fan base back on board.
There was the expected Forza 6 and Halo 5 Guardians presentations (…wow!), and another glimpse of The Division with what has to be said slightly pared back graphics?? Add to this the recently announced Fallout 4 on Microsoft’s stage along with Rainbow Six Siege. Then we also came to Holo Lens and the recently announced partnership with Oculus Rift (owned by Valve??) to get excited about, but no word on a price point for either, and surprisingly Oculus Rift had very little being said about it.
So for day one, this was a good showing for Microsoft and Xbox One. There was still plenty of talk of Indie games and Windows 10 which I’m cautiously optimistic about … yet overall, I was suitably excited. No shows for the hyped exclusives Quantum Break and Crackdown, but you could say we still got more than a bumper show this year.
Over to you Sony.