Microsoft’s Press event for the Xbox One during E3 last year was one of the worst press events in the history of E3. The instances of no sound, the rape joke, a focus on multi-platform games and a lack of exclusive titles. Microsoft has a lot to make up for.
In the year between these two events, Microsoft has unexpectedly delivered on content for the Xbox One. While the expectations where hideously low before, their console is currently better than the PS4 by offering more exclusive titles (for the time being) as well as the room and willingness for improvement.
Phil Spencer wanted everyone to make sure that this event was about exactly what gamers were wanting it to be about: games. I have to say, they really delivered this year and it reminded me what press conferences at E3 are supposed to be like. I won’t mention EVERYTHING they talked about, but instead, I will talk about the games you should be keeping your eye on.
Sunset Overdrive: Insomniac Games: Release Date – October 28, 2014
Now this is a game that will change the direction of the Xbox One. Insomniac Games has been delivering quality titles to us in the forms of Sypro, Ratchet and Clank and Resistance. They know weapons, they know level design and they sure as hell know how to make you laugh. The trailer shown during this press event not only showed the humor of Sunset Overdrive but also the serious nature of it. The gameplay that followed was a live demo of what to expect. This trailer did everything I wanted it to. It gave me an idea of how missions will be done, what kind of gameplay Insomniac is attempting to portray and it gave a release date. Possibly the best part was “Available Only on Xbox One”. I am finding this term to be like a white bengal tiger – endangered and marvelous to look at.
Evolve: Turtle Rock Studios: Release Date – October 21, 2014
From the same people that created Left 4 Dead, Evolve takes four players and pits them against a large monster, also controlled by a player. The monster however, will go through a variety of stages as the level progresses. Hence the name, this monster evolves and the bigger the monster, the more trouble the hunters will have in killing it. The game is coming for current gen consoles and PC. Frankly, it looks pretty damn cool and I am sure this new multi-player experience will spark how developers do co-op gaming.
Scalebound: Platinum Games: Release Date – N/A
Platinum Games is known for some pretty good titles. Wonderful 101 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance have been met with some pretty positive reviews. Their current Wii U Project, Bayonetta 2, is certainly lacking in new information but we have some more news regarding their brand new IP. It is called Scalebound and the trailer was nothing to throw rocks at. This game looks like it could be any number of things. However, the characters fight a large crab enemy and has a dragon on his side. With the help of a large sword, the guy is able to utilize a skill most likely granted by the dragon he rides. Knowing Platinum Games, Scalebound will most likely be a high octane melee combat action game. The visuals in the trailer looked great and any new information about what kind of game this will end up being will be greatly appreciated. Oh, and did I mention this game will also be available only on the Xbox One system?
Fable Legends: Lion Head Studios: Release Date – N/A
I lost a lot of faith in the Fable Series. While I enjoyed the first game, it aged horribly and the three following games were just plain terrible. Once Peter Molyneaux left Lion Head I was wondering what would happen to the Fable IP. Obviously the game was still popular but it dropped off the map. During the press event, we got a trailer as well as a live demo of what Fable Legend has to offer for Xbox One users. I never thought I would say this about a Fable game, but I am excited. Multiplayer/Co-Op is a running theme this year for the Xbox One and Fable Legends will allow five player matches: four heroes and one villain. The heroes all fight your dungeon crawling archetypes but the villain is a more interesting role. Playing as the villain will allow the player to place traps and enemies to stop the heroes from progressing. The idea is not all that original, but I like how well this idea works with Fable Legends. Oh yeah, that whole, only available on the Xbox One thing is there too.
Inside: Playdead Studios: Release Date – N/A
We got a trailer for the new game from the creators of indie gaming hit, Limbo. The result was an eerie side scrolling platformer that clearly has a story to tell. The dystopian futuristic environment with a loud conformist march track playing in the background was clever and eerie all at the same time. There is not much information currently, I am sure we will discover more about the game during the three days of E3 on the show floor.
Crackdown: David Jones: Release Date – N/A
People really need to learn how to title games. This new version of Crackdown may feature the same name as the original. But Phil Spencer promised we would see more Crackdown, and gamer are getting it. As one of the original launch titles (sort of) for the Xbox 360, the game was well received by critics and gamers for the over-the-top action and weapons combined with outrageous super powers. The second game however, fell flat as it failed to deliver on anything new to bring to the table. The new game looks great and I am interested to see what information is released in the coming months. Only available on Xbox One. Man, I cannot say that enough.
Here are some honorable mentions for the other announcements made during the event:
Rise of the Tomb Raider: We are getting a sequel to the 2013 reboot and it looks pretty damn good. We are now able to see Lara’s transition from archeologist to Tomb Raider even if it is just a small amount.
The Halo Hype: The Halo Master Chief Collection is certainly making waves considering it not only contained Halo 1-4, but the second game is getting the anniversary treatment complete with Halo 2’s untouched multi-player experience featuring every single Halo map ever created. It also contains Halo Nightfall and the beta for Halo 5.
Indies Everywhere: Microsoft is making indie developers more accessible with ID@Xbox and the montage video showed some pretty interesting games. Allowed indie devs to self publish opens the door for some really great content.
The French Revolution Has Co-Op: Assassin’s Creed Unity was leaked some time ago and we have slowly been getting information. Microsoft showed our first current-gen installment in the AC franchise and it looks awesome. You will be able to form your own brotherhood of assassins in Unity to take on mission with 1-4 player Co-Op. It looks great, and it is breaking the mold for the franchise.
My final thoughts about the Microsoft Pre-E3 Press Event is this. Good job, you earn my praise Microsoft and you are giving me a reason to be happy to own a Xbox One. You fell hard last year, but this time around you showed you have something to offer to gaming again.
Checkout our image gallery from the event HERE