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Microsoft E3 2015 Recap: Anticipation For What’s To Come
Microsoft’s presentation showed that it’s not always bad not being the top dog in the console race. On Monday, we got a taste of what they plan to roll out over the course of 2015 and 2016. Viewers were shown what titles are getting a guaranteed release this year, games to make an entrance in due time, and exciting peripherals on the horizon. But most importantly, Microsoft renewed focus on games available on the Xbox One.
Arguably one of the biggest announcements was that the Xbox One will be getting backwards compatibility. Similar to the Xbox 360, Microsoft will be rolling out updates that gradually add more games to the backwards compatibility roster. This may not matter to many players who have made the full conversion to current-gen, yet there are people who might have missed on some of the previous cycle’s games and were less keen on investing in a 360 to play them. It also becomes much easier to have access to one’s gaming catalogue on one machine, especially when every game on the previous title will not receive a remaster.
Microsoft went in with a bang. Being the flagship franchise meant that Halo 5 would be getting the star treatment as far as presentations go. While only getting a moment of structured gameplay, the moment successfully conveyed what we’ll be in for on October 27th. What’s also interesting is that we saw much more information regarding the Gears of War franchise than anticipated. Not only did we learn that the Gears of War multiplayer beta is now live, but we were treated to a gameplay preview of the next entry in the franchise. Gears of War 4 looks even more appealing because this new enemy doesn’t seem to tread as aggressively close to the Locust Horde. I personally feel that an entry to the franchise that takes some space away from the same enemy forces of the last four games can only do good for Black Tusk Studios. After wall, we do already have an indisputable resolution for that conflict. Gold members can expect to receive two codes for the Gears of War beta; one for the beta itself and access key respectively.
Presentations from other studios bore some pretty exciting news too. Bethesda’s Todd Howard came forward to inform viewers that not only will Fallout 4 come with Fallout 3, but that players on the console will also have access to PC-created mods. EA’s contribution came in the form of Plants vs. Zombies 2, which added a sufficient level of Kenny Loggins to the show.
Another important reveal came from the studio Rare. It’s been some time since Rare has been associated with games without Kinect functionality. The presentation showed us not only Rare’s latest game, Sea of Thieves, but also presented us with a trailer or Rare Replay: a compilation including 30 year’s worth of games for the price of half a new retail game.
Perhaps the biggest reveal and breath of fresh air came in the form of the game “Recore”. It’s exciting to see a game coming from gaming icon Keiji Inafune and From Software. Taking place in what appears to be a dessert, the reveal trailer depicted a young female protagonist accompanied by an unlikely companion- a sentient orb that acquires the body of any inactive automaton it is placed into.
AAA titles weren’t the only games we found out about. During a montage, Microsoft showed 27 titles coming to the console through [email protected] We already knew about some titles like the artistically-intriguing Cuphead, though newcomers to the console like The Long Dark were still appreciated.
In addition to their usual slew of game announcements, Microsoft wowed the crowd with the Microsoft HoloLens and Elite controller. The HoloLens has already seen a demo for both Minecraft and Halo, and AR could very well have a market if done well. The Elite controller may already have a market in the competitive demographic, with its various configurations to accommodate the player, such as interchangeable analog sticks as well as D-Pad, and paddles on the underside of the controller.
It’s easy to compare a Microsoft Press Conference to the reveal of the Xbox One in 2013. But even with that in mind, Microsoft still came to play this year. Backwards compatibility matters a lot to some, while Halo has been hyped pretty strongly over the last few weeks. This year showed a variety of different games ensuring the console has something to offer for everyone.