As Microsoft takes the stage at E3 2017, expectations are high for new announcements. With the new Xbox One Scorpio system, a slew of new titles, and inevitable surprises, we’re hoping for a knockout performance. Sony has been pushing Microsoft into a corner for the past couple years, so it’s do or die time. Let’s see what they have in store.
2017 Press Conference
Xbox One X
Microsoft came out swinging as Phil Spencer took the stage to announce the official details on Microsoft’s long awaited power house console. Officially titled the “Xbox One X” (which I think is dumb, but it could be worse), the console will release on November 7th, 2017 worldwide at a price point of $499 USD.
Running at native 4k, all of your current Xbox One accessories will be compatible with the XOX. For those without a 4k television, Spencer promised that the XOX will make games look even better on 1080 displays. Additionally, much like the PS4 Pro, developers will be rolling out patches to improve performance and presentation on existing titles. Expect patches for all the big games like Resident Evil VII, Rocket League, Final Fantasy XV, and more.
Forza Motorsport 7
For the first world premiere, Microsoft stuck to formula as they showcased the newest entry in their popular Forza Motorsport franchise. Running on an Xbox One X, the game looks absolutely gorgeous. It runs at a native 4k and 60 FPS on the XOX, but looks stunning regardless.
Porsche also used Microsoft’s E3 press conference to unveil the Porsche 2018 911 GT2RS, a brand new super car that most likely costs more money than I’ll ever obtain. It’s a pretty car though.
Forza Motorsport 7 launches on November 3rd.
Fans of Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light will be glad to hear the series is getting a sequel in the form of Metro Exodus, launching in 2018.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Ubisoft’s newest Assassin’s Creed title has been quite leaky, as we got a lot of information before this reveal. The game takes place in ancient Egypt and has a great use of color. There’s new weapons and a healthy dose of RPG mechanics, seen by the variety of weapons.
There’s a good amount of environmental variety as well, with huge pyramids, craggy plateaus, and lush rivers. Horses make their return as a form of transportation, and bow and arrow attacks seem to be the hot new trend of 2017.
Assassin’s Creed Origins releases on October 27th.
If anything, Microsoft proved they have their finger on the pulse of the gaming community with this next announcement. Hugely popular modder Brendan Greene (better known by his alias, PlayerUnknown) took the stage to announce that his massively played combat arena, PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds will be exclusively released on Xbox One in “late 2017”.
The hit game has only been on PC until now, and PS4 users might be a bit upset that they won’t get to play it on their console of choice.
Deep Rock Galactic
We also got a trailer for the new title Deep Rock Galactic. The trailer was brief, but showcased four players spelunking through some caves. The title seems to be based around co-op play, with a focus on first person action. The game has a notable art design, both utilizing color and sharp edges.
State of Decay 2
We also received a lengthy trailer for the upcoming State of Decay 2, a third person zombie survival game. Much like the first one, players will attempt to survive a world infested with the undead, creating bases and scavenging supplies. This trailer seemed to focus on the aspect of team building, as you decide who to recruit into your four player co-op party.
The game looks similar in design to the original but with improved visuals.
The Darwin Project
Next, we saw a bit of The Darwin Project. Not much could be drawn from the trailer, but we did get to see a bit of gameplay. The game seems to resemble a MOBA, or perhaps is just multiplayer combat orientated. Hopefully we’ll get to see a bit more as E3 progresses, as the stage show was a bit annoying.
Pro tip: When you’re showing gameplay for a new game, don’t have an obnoxious eSports announcer screaming over the game. It’s not “hype”, it’s super obnoxious.
Lydia Winters took the stage to announce Minecraft’s “Super Graphics Pack” that really bolsters the use of lighting effects. It’s still Minecraft, so don’t expect incredibly realistic textures. They also stated that Minecraft will go cross-platform with consoles.
While I like how this sounds, I find it hard to believe that Microsoft and Sony have finally decided to break bread on the cross-play features we’ve wanted for so long. Realistically, if there’s a game that would incite cross-play from fans, it’s probably Minecraft.
DragonBall Fighter Z
Fans of DragonBall have a new title to be excited about, as DragonBall Fighter Z was showcased in a new trailer. Unlike previous DragonBall fighting titles, Fighter Z is decidedly 2D.
The game will feature 3 vs 3 battles, similar to Marvel vs Capcom. The game is slated for release in “early 2018”.
With a mix of classes and play styles, third person action MMO Black Desert seems to be shaping up nicely as well.
The Last Night & The Artful Escape
I’m just going to lump these two together, because both were very brief trailers, and both were also incredibly cool looking. Not much can be inferred from both trailers, as they are equally mysterious yet enticing.
The Last Night combines pixel art and 3D environments for an absolutely amazing effect, and the atmosphere is trenched in style.
The Artful Escape is the complete opposite in style, exploding with vivid color. The main character rocks out on an electric guitar in a 2D landscape, but it’s not clear what kind of game it is.
Bandai Namco also showed their hand with Code Vein, an upcoming action RPG dealing with vampire themes. It looks very cool, and I’m excited to get my hands on it in 2018.
Sea of Thieves
The long awaited return of developer Rare lies with Sea of Thieves, the cooperative pirating experience. The game has been in technical alpha for a bit, so it’s not the first time we’ve seen gameplay. However, the new gameplay video did show off a cool sunken ship section, as well as a quest into an island cave for buried treasure.
Sea of Thieves looks like a damn good time with friends, and I really hope Rare is able to craft some special. We’ll see when the game releases in “early 2018”.
We also got a very brief look at Tacoma, the Xbox exclusive title from the developers of Gone Home. The game will be releasing on August 2nd.
Super Lucky’s Tale
Briefly, I thought we were going to get a new Conker game. In fact, I think quite a few people thought the same thing as we saw a bushy tail fly across the screen.
However, it’s not Conker we’re welcoming, but a new fox friend presumably named Lucky. This 3D platformer looks like a blast from the past, and I’m honestly super excited. It seems like Yooka-Laylee may have spearheaded a return of the 3D platformer, but we’ll have to see how Super Lucky’s Tale pans out when it releases on November 7th.
The long awaited Cuphead finally got a release date of September 29th. I’m personally amped up beyond belief for this game, as are many fans who’ve been waiting for the release since it’s announcement several years ago.
Terry Crews popped up on screen to deliver his signature hyped up yelling. This led into a new gameplay trailer for Crackdown 3. The trailer highlighted the co-op nature of the title, as well as the insane destruction associated with it. I was a huge fan of the original Crackdown, but was pretty lukewarm on the sequel. Hopefully the third time’s the charm when Crackdown 3 releases on November 7th.
Also, agility orbs are totally still a thing.
Xbox’s indie department showed a laundry list of new titles, all of which looking absolutely fantastic. With a mix of first person horror, card games, building simulators, and every other genre, ID@ Xbox’s new lineup looks absolutely incredibly. Here’s the titles of every game they showed in their hype reel.
Osiris New Dawn
Raiders of the Broken Planet
Path of Exile
Dark and Light
Developer Aurora44 displayed a trailer for their upcoming character action game Ashen. The art style is very distinct, with an almost creepy vibe. Characters have no faces, and the models seem slightly clay-like. It looks incredibly interesting, and I can’t wait to give it a try.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Square Enix announced their followup to the episodic narrative driven hit, Life is Strange. This prequel follows fan favorite character Chloe before she had her blue hair.
The three episode series will debut on August 31st.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Developer Monolith Productions has been hard at work on the sequel to their smash hit, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. This time around, more emphasis has been placed on the popular nemesis system.
As seen in the stage presentation, players can now build up an army and attack enemy fortresses. Generally speaking, it’s more Lord of the Rings madness all wrapped up in a tidy third person action bow.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Blind Forest is probably my favorite “Metroidvania” title to release on current generation systems. The sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, was announced towards the end of the presentation.
We didn’t see any gameplay, but rather were introduced to the darker tone. In the trailer, we see Ori comforting a small bird as it looks upon the skeletons of its family. If anything, Ori and the Will of the Wisps seems to amp up the emotion.
Original Xbox Backwards Compatibilty
In a stunning move, Microsoft also announced that in “late 2017”, select original Xbox titles would become backwards compatible on Xbox One. They only announced the fan favorite dog fighter Crimson Skies as a confirmed title, but they plan to reveal more with time.
If anything, this is a major shot at Sony, who lacks sufficient backwards compatibility on Playstation 4.
Microsoft closed out their press conference with a first look at Bioware’s new title, Anthem. After the soft reception of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I’m keeping my hype in check.
The game looks pretty good though, focused on co-op action with exo suits. Players choose from a selection of exo suits that resemble classes; you’ve got your standard tank, DPS, etc.
Players disembark from the safe walls of civilization into a huge open world. The overall visuals are incredibly impressive, as I found myself uttering a “wow”. At the very least, the facial animations don’t suck.
That’s all folks! Stick with us on A 90’s Kid for all the E3 impressions and news you could want!