E3: Microsoft Conference 2015
Plenty was talked about at Microsoft's E3 conference today including games like Gears of War 3, Halo 5, Fable Legends, Forza 6, Gigantic, Ion, and Tomb Raider, and here's the big news for all you PC playing jurors out there.
The game that people have been waiting for since 2006 for, Fallout 4 was a star on that glistening Microsoft stage today.
There was tons of talk about stuff like the brand new and expansive crafting system that works for building structures in the world as well as weapons and armor, to character creation, and we even got a little sneak peek at the world which people lived in before the nukes dropped. I could write about Fallout 4 for hours, but you're better off checking out what we've wrote about it in our Bethesda conference masterlist.
Boy, we've heard just about nothing about Fable Legends since last E3, but it's still in development and still one of Microsoft's featured games coming to Xbox One and PC this year. The only new information about this title is they showed off a new location and a new Fable-esque looking plant-based villain.
It's a free-to-play multiplayer game with a team of up to four being the "heroes" and one person being the "villain." As you might have guessed, the goal for the heroes is to make it through all of the villains various minions and eventually defeat the villain himself while the goal for the villain is to kill all the heroes.
The Mad Max game looks amazing, but man, it had some rough competition this year with Fallout 4 being announced just hours before it.
To be fair, Mad Max has a totally different version of the apocalypse than Fallout 4's colorful and populated prediction. As everyone who's seen the movie recently knows, Mad Max is all about surviving in a post-apocalyptic desert filled with crazies and warlords using nothing but your wits, lots of junk, and willpower. That aforementioned junk is used to do everything from breaking it over peoples head to building completely usable and upgradeable cars for all the car based combat that is sure to be in the game.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Laura isn't a scared little adventurer after the events of the first game, she's ready to go out into the world and raid some tombs already!
As expected, it looks absolutely beautiful and fast paced. Xbox took a page out of Uncharted 2 and decided to show off a frigid mountain environment leading up to an ancient temple and it worked. Nothing too marvelous was shown off as far as gameplay goes, you have your standard climbing with picks, sliding across ropes, and swinging from edge to edge while beating QTEs to survive dangerous situations, but the game is coming right along and is looking like another good entry into the rebooted Tomb Raider series from what we've seen so far in the trailer.
Microsoft didn't mention anything about Rise of the Tomb Raider coming to PC, but with the previous game on PC and the success that it met there it's a pretty safe bet that it'll be coming to Steam sooner or later.
Dark Souls 3
Speaking about games that will be coming to the PC sooner or later, Dark Souls 3 actually exists, and was a big player in the Microsoft conference this year.
That's exciting news and Dark Souls 3 looks like a proper entry into the legendary series, but there's fear in the air about it already. There wasn't any gameplay which should strike fear into the hearts of any fan, and all that was shown was a cinematic.
The cinematic was pretty and all, but in a series that's main focus is gameplay, that's worrying. When we see gameplay and an official announcement that Miyazaki is leading the project is when everybody should start losing their minds about Dark Souls III, but until then, all the development details are still just rumors unfortunately.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Everyone knows about Plants vs Zombies, and even if you don't the name kind of says it all. All we know about Garden Warfare 2 is that it has the cinematic shown above. No gameplay yet, but plenty was shown off like a pirate zombie, super hero zombie, magician plant, and plenty of other presumably playable classes for the 3rd person shooter that came out of left field last year.
Taking the award for weirdest looking game at E3 so far is ION, a game that has a trailer with a naked man in the feeble position under a bag by the end of the trailer.
I never thought I'd type those words, but you see weird trailers in this line of work. Anyways, we don't know much about ION. Similar to Garden Warfare 2, all we have so far is a cinematic, but it's safe to assume there will be plenty of space exploration and creepy space atmosphere to yell about later on when we get some gameplay.
HoloLens, Minecraft, Virtual Reality and Elite Controller
And finally there's the virtual reality news. Last generation is was motion sensing technology, this generation it's all about that VR tech, and Microsoft decided to show off their HoloLens technology using the help of Minecraft and Windows 10.
The star of the performance was the hologram that was conjured on stage that showed the Minecraft world the people on stage were playing in. The hologram showed everything from the house they had built, the farm they made, and even showed an underground stronghold after the HoloLens user pinched the hologram and dragged it around to show what was hiding just underneath the surface. Even more impressive was the fact that he could say command phrases such as "mark this" and "lightning strike" to affect the world they were playing in.
The HoloLens unsurprisingly uses the Xbox One controller, but so will the Oculus Rift when it comes out. Oculus will eventually use their own controller that was specifically made for motion sensing and VR, but until then, it looks like Microsoft is really taking over the VR controller market.
The HoloLens is "powered by Windows 10" which has some Windows 7 and 8 users worrying. Whether it'll be compatible with operating systems before Windows 10 remains unclear.
The Xbox One Elite Controller was shown off at E3 this year and that $150 hunk of controller has four interchangeable paddles, Hair Trigger Locks, remappable buttons, and swappable components. In other words, it’s a super duper “elite” controller for the price of three regular controllers.
As a final entry, here's a list of the indies that Xbox managed to show off today.
Cuphead - A 2d platformer that looks and plays like an old Disney cartoon.
Gigantic - A MOBA with a cartoony aesthetic, stylish heroes, and a fun to look at design.
Beyond Eyes - A mellow adventure game about a blind young girl sensing the things around her.
Rise & Shine - A 2d platformer complete with weapon pickups and boss fights.
Gemeni - A colorful game about orbs floating through stuff (your guess is as good as mine).
Below - An atmospheric dungeon exploration game by Capy Games.
The Flame in the Flood - an adventure game featuring woman, her dog, monsters, a boat, and presumably a flood that has a flame in it.
Ashen - A 3d Action game that looks an awful lot gameplay-wise like a Souls game but very indie when it comes to graphics.
Solus - First person exploration game that has you searching through what looks like the most hostile planet I've ever seen.
Westerado: Double Barreled - Stylish western-themed pixelated shooter with shootouts on foot and horseback.
Happy Dungeons - Cute looking 3d action game.
Recruits - Short top down military shooting game.
Castle Crashers: Remastered - It's Castle Crashers...but remastered.
Tacoma - You're an astronaut on a space station facing an emergency situation.
Full Mojo Rampage - Top down shooter with the looks of something akin to Binding of Issac.
Zheros - Action game set in the future featuring a bulky and manly space man that punches robots.
Sword Coast Legends - An action RPG after that Baldurs Gate gameplay experience.
Goat Simulaor: MMMORE GOATZ EDITION - Goat Simulator with more locations, intractable, and things to do.
Game 4 - Funny turn based arena combat game made by The Behemoth.
Phantasmal: CIty of Darkness - A horror shooter akin to games in the F.E.A.R series.
Warhammer: The End Times Xermentide - 3d first person action game forcing you to chop apart huge monsters in a fantasy setting.
Outward: The Adventure Sim - Skyrim but indie and with survival mechanics (camping, eating, etc.)
Sheltered - Live in an underground shelter, survive the post-apocalypse, hide from zombies and fight bears.
ARK: Survival Evolved - Play the best-selling game on Steam on Xbox One. A survival game with crafting and dinosaurs.
Dovetail Games Fishing - Fishing game
SpaceDust Racers - Cartoony kart racing game.
The Mean Greens - Military shooting game where you play as those plastic green army men that every boy who lived in the 90s had at some point.
The Long Dark - Survival game where you face an apocalyptic snowstorm with barely any supplies.
SUPER HOT - The coolest shooter I've ever seen. Single player shooter where time/bullets/enemies only moves when you move.
Microsoft’s presentation were solid but a little scarce on gameplay. Most of what Microsoft showed off was cinematics and cutscenes that, in the end, don’t really tell us all that much. With the exception of Fallout 4 and Mad Max, we still don’t know how any of these games play like.
Tomb Raider gave us a show of how pretty it is and some platforming, but gunplay is a total mystery, and no plot teasers were given out. Dark Souls III, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, and ION, and Fable Legends were the worst off with basically no substantial information given at all! Most games look amazing these days, I’m still wondering what the games feel like to play and how it feels to shoot those guns!
The indies were the star of the show strangely enough. Cuphead looks like one of the most original games I’ve seen in years, Capy Games and The Behemoth are sure to pump out amazing games, Ashen and Happy Dungeons look fun to play. Gigantic was also there at the show after months of not hearing anything about its development, and it’s looking more and more like a MOBA that could contend with this new generation of indies like Overwatch and BattleBorn. And I’m really excited for the future if it has all these indies behind it.
Minecraft has never looked cooler and the HoloLens is sure to improve games with its VR tech, but I’m not convinced that Microsoft has “won” E3. EA and Sony still have a lot of great titles under their belts and their own tech to show off before the night is out.