Yet again, Microsoft delivers another press conference lacking in content relevant to gamers and proves there are some kind of chimps running the operations teams. This would be the third time Microsoft has delivered a lackluster show that leaves you bored. The Xbox 360 is a dying console, for being on stores shelves for roughly 9 years the technology is becoming old news, not to mention the games. While many people will disagree with me, I stand firmly behind my following statement. Microsoft is lacking in exclusive IP’s. When you think of 360 you think of Halo, Gears of War, and Fable. All of which are getting new games this year (barring Gears of War: Judgment).
Before the event took place, I had an idea that most of what Microsoft was going to show was Halo 4 and the new Gears of War. I was right, but I was not prepared for the stupidity that was to come. Upon seeing the Halo 4 trailer I was taken back to the Halo 3 and ODST like action viral marketing. I am by no means a fan of the Halo franchise. Quite frankly, I find the entire series to be a carbon copy of an Orson Scott Card classic and many of the fans are drooling mindless apes with money to burn. I cannot deny that the live action marketing for Halo as been above average. The trailer shifts to a cinematic that is in game. For the sake of going on and on I will jump ahead. I notice the HUD for Halo has not changed (keeping things consistent in this case is good) and the art style is still very ugly.
Before going into the Halo 4 announcement I knew these things, Halo 4 is starting of the “Reclaimer” trilogy which will delve into the Forerunner history. It will be on a new planet with seemingly low intelligent beings due to the lush forest landscape. MC will be getting new armor. All of these things were shown in the trailer. Nothing new was shown barring the new enemies that wield Forerunner technology. I can see why a fanboy would be creaming their pants for this trailer but it was just boring. Like many of the Halo games it lacks a way to execute new information properly. Kind of like some of my editorials.
Next is Gears of War: Judgment. I had a sinking feeling Gears of War 3 was not going to be the end of this franchise. When I saw the promo art of a burly man in handcuffs I yelled, “PREQUEL!”. While this has not yet been confirmed the trailer shown gives the impression of Judgment taking place before or during a certain war. I would like to say Pendulum Wars but we will have to wait and see. The character models for Baird and Cole seem to be smoother and they look younger. This kind of thing is pointing to a prequel starring the supporting characters of the Gears of War titles.
It seems as though Gears of War is hopping on the “fourth game is a prequel” wagon and do we really need it for this series? Many people would have the thought process of “GEARS GAMES ARE AMAZING!!!! I WANT MOOOOOAAAAAAAR!” Realistically speaking we do not know a lot about the characters of the Gears franchise; maybe because the characters are so poorly written and developed a new game has to take place just to make them interesting.
More “new” game old franchise announcements, Fable: The Journey is Molyneux’s new, “I love to talk and make promises I won’t keep” game. The trailer shown is very cinematic and I doubt it shows any real time gameplay. The Journey is a Kinect only title taking place in Albion. It appears to revolve around throwing Hadouken’s and using the Ex-Cerberus Lash ability. Yes, I reference other video games for the sake of wording. Don’t get your hopes up people, the Fable series is known for being the spot of fecal matter left on the toilet bowl of gaming. The trailer shows a lot of flashy movements and VFX but nothing to draw me in.
Onto the new Xbox SmartGlass. While I cannt judge anything on this idea of the new peripheral Microsoft has a tendency to forget about projects like these for extended periods of time. Remember the new Xbox 360 dashboard that was supposed to include 1vs100 and new features on launch? Do you remember that the delay was never even mentioned and it just showed up in a random update? If you answered no to both of those questions you were too busy playing multiplayer. “Project Natal” was the same way. The news coverage for it just dropped off the face of the earth for roughly 6 months before surfacing again.
I feel as though after this announcement it will share the same fate as the previous examples. While the launch will most likely be filled with bugs, the idea that Microsoft has is very nice. The execution must be accessible and easy to use to be successful. However, Microsoft is an open beta test company. They will willingly release a product with known bugs and have the consumers bitch about the issues to fix.
Last but not least, Microsoft is making a God of War clone without the polished look and feeling GoW has. Ascend: New Gods appears to be a action game where you play as a deity and kill everything. From the gameplay trailer it looks like a poorly animated GoW clone. Where are the gamers who are up in arms about Microsoft stealing ideas? Everyone seems to be on Sony’s case about a SSB clone. Microsoft stole from Motorola and have been making clone games for years. Oh yeah, elitist Xbox fans do all the talking.
To wrap up Microsoft’s press conference. It had nothing too new to showcase. It is too early to show off a new Gears game. Nothing new was revealed for Halo 4. They are making a GoW clone. The new Fable is going to be all wank and no jizz. SmartGlass will be something that is dropped but will surface again in coming months. If I was to give the conference a grade, it would be an F+ because it was still better than last year.
E3 is a time for video game publishers and developers to showcase what they have for consumers in the approaching months and years. Before the actual event of E3 that takes place in the Los Angeles Convention Center publishers such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will hold a press conference for the media and broadcast over television. For E3 2012 who gave the best show? The companies that held conferences this year at Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and Ubisoft.
I was only able to attend Nintendo and Sony’s but I watched Microsoft and Ubisoft on the internet. I have to say, there was not much for companies to show. Some were surprisingly good, while others were lacking in content. In this editorial I will be giving my two cents on who had the best press conference for E3.
Starting from the bottom of the barrel, the worst of the worst, is Microsoft.