Cover Story

Rowan E3 2018: Xbox
June 19, 2018, 08:24:17 PM
Obviously, there were gonna be presentations that were not covered in other presentations, primarily because some of the games covered were gonna be in-house developed. That's why I'm here. Here's the info from the Xbox conference.

Of course, the conference was opened up by a teaser for Halo Infinite. XBox CEO Phil Spencer came out, made a simple comment about Haloe Infinite being the biggest adventure for te Master Vhief yet, then moved on. He brought up Fanfest, which I personally never heard of before (I live under a rock, shoot me), saying that the proceeds from tickets bought there were 100% going to Gamers Outreach, a program dedicated to putting gaming in the hands of children that are hospitalized, so that they can play with their friends online.
Spencer went on to mention that, in his belief, gaming as an art form was the single greatest inifier across all ages, races, creeds, etc. and that as such, the XBox team has scoured the world for Developers big and small, looking to express their own creativity utilizing the "full potential" of the Xbox One. Displaying through the course of the conference were 50 games, 18 of which were exclusives and 15 of which were world premiers.

The first game was an exclusive: Ori and the Will of the Wisps. A sequel to the first Ori game, the video showed a beautiful landscape and a new character, a baby owl that is at least partially playable in some form. Coming in 2019.

Following that was the premier of Skiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game features a protagonist who is back from the dead. He has lost an arm, which is replaced by something else, which I couldn't quite make out in the trailer. If you like Japanese hack n slash, this might be up your alley. Coming in 2019.

Next up, Todd Howard from Bethesda came out, with his typical witty humor. I really like this guy. Anyway, he mentioned a long history with Xbox, all the way back to the original console with Morrowind, up to Fallout 4. He then mentioned Bethesda titles are coming to Xbox Game Pass, starting with Fallout 4 launching the day of the conference. He then went on to talk briefly about Fallout 76, which I covered in detail with the Bethesda conference, which actually happened a few hours after the Xbox one.

Following that was a premier of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which I covered in the Square Enix conference.
After that, Crackdown 3, another exclusive. Featured were weapons and vehicles, and a very excited (and loud) Jax. Coming February 2019.

Next was the exclusive relase of Nier: Automata Become As Gods Edition, featured in the Square Enix conference.

Following that was Metro Exodus, coming February 22. Nice and beautiful trailer, to be showing a wasteland.

Next was Kingdom Hearts 3, which was covered in the Square Enix conference.

Next was an exclusive version of Sea of Thieves, the popular mobile game. The witty banter from the soothsayer in the trailer was very amusing. Especially when it was vlear that the guy only wanted to sell the "trinket" he'd brought her.

Up next was EA's Battlefield 5, which, you guessed it. I coverd in EA's coference..

Forza Horizon 4 was next, an exclusive world premier. Ralph Fulton from Playground Games came out to cover the game. Taking place in historic and beautiful Britain, Forza Horizon 4 will be an online, dynamic season game. And it's completely real time. The seasons and events happen the same for everyone playing at any given time. Interactions with other players is easy. As the seasons change, you gain access to other parts of the land, apparently (I think an example given was being able to cross a frozen lake during winter). It looks fun, and that's from a guy that does not play racing games. There are even World Events for the community as a whole to participate in, to acquire rewards. The game goes live on Xbox One and Windows 10 on October 2, and will be released on Game Pass the same day.

That Spencer guy (who is he, again?) came back out to announce a new Microsoft game studio, called The Initiative. I already am not a fan of this studio, as I've previously made it clear that I'm not a fan of sxclusive games, and that's what this studio is all about: collecting new talent to make exciting new games, exclusively for Xbox. But hey, if you want/own an Xbox One, it's a good thing, so don't mind my personal bias. Als ojoining the MS umbrealla are Zombie Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games.

Following this announcement was We Happy Few, which is developed by the aforementioned Compulsion Games, under Gearbox Publishing. I'm not gonna lie, this game creeps me out. Too many people in clown-like masks, smiling, all because of a drug called Joy, that makes people into overly happy and mostly mindless members of society. We Happy Few is due for release August 18.

Next up was a cosole launch exclusive: the popular Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), featuring new modes of play and new environments. Release is set for Winter 2018.

Following was the world premier of Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, including characters and content brought to the West for the first time. Release is set for this winter.

Also premiered was Tom Clancy's The Division 2, which was covered in the Ubisoft conference.

Ashley Speicher, head of Xbox Game Pass, came out next, to address a major issue in the gaming industry: having to choose which games you'll buy. I made it clear at some point in the past that I am a PC gamer, but Xbox has made a big selling point with this Game Pass program. Not having to buy EVERY game you want to play is very nice, and that's what Game Pass is all about.
Also mentioned was FastStart, a replacement for the current Ready to Start. RtS is apparently a manually set feature that makes it faster to set up your game. FastStart actually does the job automagically, utilizing machine learning in how you play your games. Kudos for that. It's coming this month in the June Game Pass update.
Also mentioned were upcoming releases for Game Pass, including Halo: Master Chief Edition later this year, as well as Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3 upon their individual releases. Also coming are games from other publishers, including Ashen, Warhammer Vermintide II, After party, and Phoenix 2, same day as their global release. Speicher then went on to announce the immediate release on Game Pass of Tom CLancy's The Division, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and Fallout 4 on Game Pass. She closed out her segment by thanking all of the developers working with Xbox Game Pass to get these games out to players.

Following was the trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, previously covered in the Square Enix conference.

After that was the console launch exclusive of Session and the MMORPG Black Desert.

Next? The premiere of Devil May Cry 5 (yes, I did just say 5). Matt Walker and Hideaki Itsuno (game producer and director,respectively) came out to talk about it. It's been ten years since DMC4 came out, apparenly, and they're finally answering the fans' request for more. Fully costumed actors were scanned in to make visuals a real deal, but gameplay was also been worked on to make sure it is an enjoyable and worthy game yo play for the fans of the franchise.

Following that was another trailer, this one for Cuphead, featuring a new playable character and new playable area, coming in 2019. Also coming in 2019 is the action adventure game where you play as a fox (the game seems a lot like Zelda, but I haven't looked at it much), Tunic.

What's next, you ask? How about a makor collision of IPs, thanks to our friends at Bandai Namco? That's right. Jump Force. "But Rowan, what IS Jump Force?" you might ask. Well, the footage was rather fast, but I know I saw Naruto, Goku, that stretchy guy from One Piece, Frieza, and Light and Ryuk from Death Note, so that's four IPs right there. Note that not all characters portrayed are gonna be playable. I presume this is another fighting game, with a theme similar to the Marvel vs Capcom games, where you have worlds merging in some way. Coming in 2019.

And then, stunning visuals for Dying Light 2. Chris Avellone, narrative designer, came out to describe features of the game. Beyond the fluid parkour with natural movement, deep and tactical melee combat, and the terrifying nights when the undead emerge from the sewers to consume any idiots still out on the streets are all to be expected like in th eoriginal game. However, there are some improvements. Now, your action all affect the game. "From how it looks, how it plays, to the events that occur, everything in the game can change based on your decisions."In the demo shown, a scenario occurs where you are tasked by the Peacekeepers, one of the many factions in the game. You are supposed to negotiate with two survivors that are hoarding a water supply, and your decision to free the water up for sharing amongst the survivors of the city or to side with the survivors affects how the game proceeds.

The next is an exclusive world premier, oh my! The teaser starts off with comic styled word bubbles on a black screen. This one is a blast from the past for sure. That's right, the "three of you" are needed again. The...Battletoads?! Hand drawn graphics, three player "couch coop," and an all new story. Battletoads will return in 2019.

Nwzt was an action packed, story based trailer for Just Cause 4, covered in the Square Enix conference.

Studio head for The Coalition, Rod Fergusson came out to reveal a bevy of games. He's been at it with the Gears of War franchise for 13 years, and the studio has worked hard over the years to bring something to the table for an expanding pool of gamer types. The first gamr, a collab with Funco, is Gears Pop! for iOS and Android. Gears on the go has a nice ring to it, right? Next up was a PC game, Gears Tactics, in which you form a squad 12 years before the events of Gears 1, and go after some big baddie (I haven't played any of the Gears games, sadly, so I'm a little lost on the lore of the Franchise). The gameplay footage was similar to other RTS games like Shadowrun Returns and the Xcom series. And finally, the highly anticipated Gears of War 5. Kate, whom I believe was one of the protagonists from Gears 4, is suffering from grief at the beginning of the trailer, as an ally has just been lost. Also of importance, is a possibility that she is carrying something in her (as I've already said, I know very little about the series, so I am lost on exactly what is happening), that is considered a threat to humanity. To obtain orders, she disobeys direct orders and heads north from the scene with a companion (I think his name is Jack). Later on, she goes so far as to pull a gun on Jack, asking why he came with her, obviously not trusting him. This would be a good time to get into the franchise, if you haven't already.

That Phil Spencer guy must be part cockroach or something, cause he was back yet again! This time it was to closem however, with a speech on the technologies that Microsoft has dedicated to the advancement of gaming as an art form. AI, cloud technology, and yes...even the next Xbox. With the five new studios acquired, Microsoft is showing that they are dedicated to bring us as gamers the newest, the best, and the most memorable gaming experiences (and to line their pockets, of course!) for years to come.

Hello, Guest

August 14, 2020, 05:59:46 PM


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