Microsoft Press Conference – E3 2015

Day 0, as it is called by gaming media, has started for E3 2015 and it starts, as always, with Microsoft’s Press Conference. Like last year, the expectation is games, games, and more games and they pretty much gave us games…in trailer form. Here’s some of the highlights:

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Halo 5: Guardians

The show began with an impressive look at Halo 5: Guardians, with what looks to be more of a squad based shooter much like Rainbow Six Vegas (well, as it looks). The game is built-in with drop in and drop out 4 player cooperative campaign. The game looked very impressive and featured some good combat situations for the demo.

Also, the multiplayer demonstration was…well, it’s a trailer really.

It’s also nice to see that returning characters from the previous games, such as Nathan Fillion’s character from Halo 3: ODST. Release date is in October.

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Hardware Updates

Microsoft announced a new Elite controller, which will have hair triggers and all sorts of customizable buttons and sticks to outfit the controller. The controller is customizable, so you can switch out sticks, the D-pad and other settings on the controller.

They also announced backwards compatibility natively with Xbox 360. They said there will be 100 games compatible by the end of the year. This will be released during the holiday season.

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Trailers! We Got Trailers!

Sheesh, there were tons and tons of trailers. Fallout 4 was shown with new gameplay footage and an announcement that PC Mods will be useable on the Xbox One version.

Recore, a game by Kenji Inafune, was also announced. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 also announced right after EA came up to remind everyone about EA Access. It will be out Next Spring.

Of the big games, Forza Motorsport 6, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Dark Souls 3 and Rainbow Six: Siege shown off. Siege will come with Rainbow Six Vegas 1 and 2 for free and will release 0n October 13. The Division will have a Beta in December.

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More Free to Play Games

Gigantic was shown as what looks to be a team based brawler. Beta will be in August and is exclusive to Windows 10 and Xbox One.

Fable Legends shows another trailer and will be free to play on Windows 10 and Xbox One. No official date was announced, but it’s still slated for 2015.

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Impressive Indies

The indie games were really impressive for this year.

Westerado, Ark: Survival Evolved, Below and Superhot were shown in a quick trailer montage, along with other indies.

Shown in trailer form was Tacoma, the newest game from Fulbright Studios, makers of the game Gone HomeAshen was shown from Aurora 44 with a trailer featuring a unique art style primitive like mannequin characters. Studio MDHR showed Cuphead, a game that looks like a playable 30’s cartoon. Really impressive.

By far the most impressive indie was Beyond Eyes, a game from the company tiger and squid. The game looks stunning with a watercolor painting like look or like a children’s book come to life.

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Xbox Early A…I mean, Game Preview!

Microsoft is going into the Early Access Game with Xbox Game Preview. Available now is The Long Dark and Elite: Dangerous.

DayZ will also be on the program as well. The creator of DayZ showed Ion, which will be released on the Xbox Game Preview program.

All games on the Preview Program will have a demo before you can purchase the game.

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Rare Indeed

Rare’s newest game is called Sea of Thieves…which is a pirate simulator? Looks really good and hope to get more information soon.

Rare also announced the Rare Replay pack, which has 30 games from the Rare catalog, including Battletoads, Viva Piñata, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie. It’ll be $30.

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Rise Above It

An extensive gameplay demo was shown of Rise of the Tomb Raider that was very well made. Featuring the same quick time events from the last game, including some nice ambient lighting and impressive environments.

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Holo, Nice To See You

Mojang came out to show off Minecraft for HoloLens and it’s left many, including myself, very impressed.

The tech looks impressive, but with Microsoft’s way of overcompensating and under delivering with the Kinect, it’s a cautious type of impressed. Do yourself a favor and check out the demo, it’s seriously impressive.

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Cognitive Dissonance

Finally, Gears of War Ultimate Edition was announced for a fall release and a Beta starting right now. This is a remake of only the first game. In regards to Halo that gave you all the games including ODST, that’s a pretty weak package.

Announced for Holiday next year was Gears of War 4, featuring a very impressive lighting and construction features. The game looks and feels like a survival horror game in ways, very atmospheric.

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This was a meaty press conference from Microsoft, including an impressive HoloLens tech demo with Minecraft. This year seems to be flush with good releases, such as Rise of the Tomb Raider and some remasters like Gears of War and Rare ReplayHalo 5 also had an impressive showing.

What I can’t say was too impressive was the slate for the following year. Yes, Gears 4 looks impressive and the indies definitely have my interest piqued, but unless some hits come from their new Game Preview program, it doesn’t seem like much else interesting.

Then again, they did announce a ton of interesting stuff last year for next year, so that’s also something to consider.

Trailers made the crux of the conference, but they were at least interesting.

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