E3 Post-Mortem – Microsoft

So E3 is probably old news to most people.  I’ve had some time to mull over it a little bit.  I think the big 3 console makers had very strong showings and there are probably a few games out there that might encourage me to pick up an Xbox One or PS4.

But first…

 New Games

I’ve been a bit conservative in my game purchases recently but Xbox’ Games for Gold keeps a steady flow of digital games coming.

  • Charlie Murder (Xbox Live Arcade)
  • Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
  • Super street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition (Xbox Games on Demand)
  • Dark Souls (Xbox Games on Demand)
  • Gotham City Impostors (Xbox Live Arcade)

I picked up Mario Kart 8 shortly before my last post.  That game included a promotion for an additional game via digital download.  I personally prefer my games as physical discs whenever possible.  I ended up selling my digital download and instead purchased Pikmin 3, which is great fun!  The story is a bit short but I also haven’t delved into the mission mode which looks like it could be fun as well.

I’ve always been interested in trying out the Dark Souls’ series but never got around to it.  Now I have Dark Souls on my Xbox just waiting for me…I still haven’t gotten back to it.

Looking Back at E3

Well E3 has come and gone and I think by now just about everything’s been said but I’ll go ahead and add my piece to it anyways.  Additionally, this was my first year attending E3.  It was a tad strange as I watched the E3 press conference during the drive up to Los Angeles (I wasn’t driving) and then playing everything I just saw announced a couple hours later.  Its a very different experience than something like comic-con where the exhibit hall is a big marketplace.  Unfortunately, at E3, you rarely get to take it home.  That’s not to say you don’t walk out with anything.  There are quite a few giveaways and prizes and whatnot.  A major draw were the Smash Bros shirts that you won for winning a match of Nintendo’s new fighter.

But of course, the reason you go to E3 is to see what’s coming out and to get people excited for your product.  Booths ranged from modest, just a bunch of laptops running a game, to massive structures promoting a single game.

Simply said, E3 was great this year.

Microsoft

I’ll begin by talking about Microsoft’s Press conference.  The worst that can be said about it is that it was kind of boring.  More so in presentation, I think, than in content.  The format of trailer, gameplay, trailer wore thin after a little bit and I didn’t think the reveals were particularly exciting but the games look fun and it was great to see Microsoft focusing on games instead of TV, Sports, Call of Duty that seemed to be their motto after the Xbox One announcement.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfar

Forza and Call of Duty  were expected so nothing really to report there.  Its hard to believe that at the start of Xbox 360 generation Call of Duty was still a grounded WW2 shooter and now is a fantasci-Fi action movie.  I’ve seen Evolve several times now and while fun, I can’t say I’m as enamored with it as most journalists seem to be.

Assassin's Creed: Unity

I’ve been playing the Assassin’s Creed series recently, trying get caught up before playing Black Flag and I’ve always loved how the series intertwines with history and historical locations.  I really think it could do without the First Civilization stuff but I suppose that’s the price to pay for a game that tries to incorporate some real history.  Anyways, the next game, Assassin’s Creed: Unity takes the series to revolutionary France which I find incredibly exciting and the four-player co-op looks like an amazing experience.  If anything, this is one of the few games that really makes me want to get a Next-Gen console.

Dragon Age III: Inquisition

The Dragon Age III video looked interesting but given Bioware’s more recent efforts I’m really going to have to reserve judgement until I play it.  Sunset Overdrive had a huge presence at the show and while I think it looks very fun, the overwhelming presence seemed a bit much given my expectations.  I don’t have much to say about Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha since I don’t have any particular desire or means to play the base game but I like that Capcom’s having some fun at their own expense.  Fable Legends looks interesting, particularly the asymmetrical multiplayer.  Saying you can now play as the villain is both accurate and misleading as it looks like you can definitely play a bad guy as in you can be the one to send hordes against the heroes but as far as the story goes it doesn’t look like you’re actually the big bad of the story.  Still Fable has been fun, but not exactly great, in the past so I’ll wait to see more before deciding how excited I should be.

Halo-5

The Halo announcements were also expected.  Halo 5 we knew was coming and I’ve been expecting something similar to the Halo: Master Chief Collection.  Halo has been a semi-annual series for a while now starting with Halo 3 in 2007, skipping a year and landing with Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST in 2009, Halo Reach in 2010, Halo Anniversary in 2011, and Halo 4 in 2012.  I expected a Halo 2 remaster in 2013 but it looks like they’re skipping a year and including that with  the Master Chief Collection this year, followed by Halo 5 in 2015.  I enjoy the Halo campaigns but not nearly enough to look forward to the next game but I’ll probably get around to playing Halo 4 and 5 at some point.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Witcher 3 looks incredibly fun.  I just need to get around to finishing the first two games.  Rise of the Tomb Raider also looks like it’ll be good.  I enjoyed the reboot though I still feel that it was somewhat unnecessary and the gameplay didn’t really focus on what made me enjoy the original Tomb Raider series in the first place but I’m definitely curious to see where they take this new series.

The Division

The Division is a new game under the Tom Clancy brand.  The game looks like it could be fun though I feel the Clancy brand has become somewhat diluted starting sometime after Advanced Warfighter and Rainbox Six Vegas games (purists will argue these games were too much of a departure already), becoming increasingly more fantastical and arcadey  as opposed to its grounded and simulation beginnings.  The Division looks like a good game but I’m not sure I’ll be enjoying it for the same reasons I enjoyed the Clancy brand games previously.

I’m not sure what to think of Scalebound at this point.  I love Platinum Games so I’m keeping an eye on this.  I’ve yet to play a Crackdown game but they’ve always looked fun and Crackdown 3 is no different.

 

Now that I think of it, I don’t think I played anything at Microsoft’s booth.  They certainly had tons of consoles there but the two main attractions at their booth were the new Forza, complete with a shiny Lamborghini and Sunset Overdrive, which was just everywhere at the show, including a giant inflatable mascot suspend a hundred feet above the entrance to the convention that you could chat with.