E32014: Microsoft’s Xbox Conference

So I sat down to watch Microsoft’s Xbox conference for E3 2014. Of course, it was mostly XBONE focussed, but some game news caught my attention. Things like CoD Advanced Warfare, Assassin’s Creed Unity, the new Tomb Raider, and more after the jump.


Essentially, my highlights from the conference were:
> Not a game, but most of these titles were announced to be receiving in some cases all or at least some of whatever add-on content they might get on Xbox first (for multiplatform games). This really only serves to reinforce my dislike for the modern AAA release model, and essentially makes sure that on-release buys are a thing of the past for me. As if the buggy releases and tides of DLC (often on-disc and developed pre-release too) weren’t enough… Hurray for gamers?

> Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. It looks like Advanced Warfare is embracing the near-future setting, with cool tech in-game to match. The visuals looked good, but there’s some speculation that the demo was running on a high-end PC instead of an XBONE. Launch date is 11 November 2014.

> The 4-vs-1 monster game, Evolve, got a trailer in. Not much new was said or shown, except that the first beta (I’m assuming that’s a public beta) and DLC will hit XBONE before PS4 (sigh).

> Assassin’s Creed Unity will have four-player co-op available all the time (for the whole campaign and everything), the setting is France/Europe during the French revolution (the peasants in the crowd had English accents though, lolol), and this protagonist (Arno Dorian) is younger, more agile, and a natural climber. The demo ended with heads on sticks.

> Dragon Age: Inquisition. I still plan to get into the first games, but revealed here was (surprise, surprise) timed exclusivity for certain content on Xbox, cool magic activities, dragons, fun-looking combat, and someone refusing to break under interrogation.

> The new Tomb Raider is called Rise of the Tomb Raider, and will expand on Lara’s journey toward becoming the legendary explorer we know she’ll be. A rather moving CG trailer did the announcement honours, showing a Lara who’s in therapy and (to flagrantly copy NAG Online) “has seen things, man,” though no gameplay was shown. Given the last Tomb Raider, I have faith in Crystal Dynamics. This one’s my favourite of the the conference and I’m very much looking forward to it, so the trailer wins an embedding below these highlights.

> The Witcher 3 is another sequel of games that I have yet to complete but want to. It looks pretty, the monster hunting looks like it’ll be enjoyable and challenging, and the combat looked solid.

Rise of the Tomb Raider:

Mentions? Yeah, there are some of those…

> Sunset Overdrive looked interesting in a “manic thing in the corner” kinda way.

> Capcom announced some wacky new content for Dead Rising 3 in celebration of their 31st birthday. It’s called (I think) “Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha” and it’s out now.

> Project Spark looks much like LittleBigPlanet, except here you’re creating things more like RPG games (think RPG Maker but in HD).

> Basically, the entire Halo saga is being released on XBONE with all sorts of tweaks and updates and bonus content in the form of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

> ID@Xbox showcased some of the indie games on the platform. Really quite impressive how many there were, given their rubbish indie support barely a year ago.

> Phantom Dust is… a fighting game? I think? The trailer was kinda cool, so…

> The Division is another entry in the Tom Clancy universe. The trailer looked good, showing off some interestingly minimalist HUD elements and a cool “flash drone” gadget during a minute or two of firefight. Not much new or particularly groundbreaking, but it was pretty.

> There’s a new Crackdown coming. I didn’t play the original(s?), but the trailer showed off one of the coolest building takedowns that I’ve ever seen.

My favourite video from the mentions? It’s a toss-up between The Division, which didn’t show much new but it’s one that’ll actually be on PC so I’m likely to get to play it), and Crackdown, because that building takedown was great. Crackdown gets the embedding treatment though, because new and shiny:

Also, you can catch Microsoft’s whole conference right here, if you like.

And that’s about it for Microsoft’s Xbox conference. I need to mention that Microsoft really made good on their promise here about showcasing the games on the platform and making sure that the gaming bit of their game console spends more time in the limelight. It’s a positive indication of Microsoft’s intentions, I think. I’m still not likely to get an XBONE (or any console, really) but at least I dislike it less.