E3: The Good, The Great, and The Best
Microsoft’s Xbox One has been going along nicely since its rather unfortunate release in 2013. They’ve steadied the ship, brought in Phil Spencer, and are now putting the gamers and the games first again. Here are a few of their best announcements.
Xbox One Backward compatibility
This particular announcement got the crowd very excited. Xbox One can now also play their Xbox 360 games on their brand new Xbox Ones. This is something that the PS4 doesn’t do; Sony have subsequently said that they are unlikely to follow in Microsoft’s footsteps. If there are any old 360 games in your library you have yet to play, there’s no need to get that old 360 console out of the cupboard, brush off the cobwebs and plug it in. You can now simply put the disc into you Xbox One and it’ll download the game for you. Not all the titles will be available straight away, but Phil Spencer promised that they will be soon.
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo has been Xbox’s big money spinner for years now, and if the new gameplay we witnessed at this year’s E3 is anything to go by, the next instalment in the Halo franchise will be bigger, louder and hopefully better than anything that has gone before it. In Halo 5, Spartan Locke is tasked with hunting the Master Chief and solving a mystery that threatens the entire galaxy, sounds pretty cool. Since Xbox have been lagging behind the PS4 for a while now, Microsoft will be hoping that Master Chief can help them get that much needed edge over Playstation. Halo 5: Guardians is set to come out this October.
Xbox really needed a new exclusive IP, and this E3 they delivered. Recore is a collaboration between Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune’s team Comcept and a team of former Retro game developers (the studio behind Metroid Prime) called Armature Studio. We all seem to love canine companions in games, and this game has exactly that. The teaser showed a female protagonist with her robotic bog sidekick trekking through a sandy boron landscape, until they happen across a cave with some rather menacing looking spider-like robots. This teaser (which has no dialogue whatsoever), along with the great pedigree behind the game, has a lot of people very excited to see more from this Xbox exclusive.
Dark Souls III
This was a bit of a surprise, especially since From Software have just released Bloodborne as a PS4 exclusive. So seeing the announcement of the next series in the Dark Souls franchise at the Microsoft event was slightly unexpected. Yet fans of the series were simply rejoicing to hear that they will be seeing a third instalment in this incredibly popular, infuriatingly difficult, gloriously bloody and gruesome action role-playing game. Prepare to die, all over again.
This Tom Clancy game was announced by Ubisoft way back in E3 2013 and we’ve been patiently waiting for it ever since. This E3 we got to see more gameplay footage from the open world third-person shooter role-playing video game and it was good. The Division takes place after a disease causes the United States government to collapse in just 5 days. You are part of a classified united called the “Strategic Homeland Division (SHD)”, or “The Division” for short, who’s primary objective is to combat the havoc that the outbreak has caused. Everybody has been dying to try out this massive online multiplayer game, and on 8th March 2016 they will be able to get their hands on The Division.
Rainbow Six Siege
The Rainbow 6 series is incredibly popular and it’s been a while since the last one. Rainbow Six Siege takes what went on in the franchise beforehand and builds on it. The franchise is well known has making its games as realistic as possible; no black and white screens here, if you get shot once that’s lights out. Rainbow Six Siege takes it to the next level, putting you into a hostage rescue scenario where teamwork is key. You will have to work with other online players to make sure you succeed. This game is slated for an October 2016 release, we’re looking forward to it.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The 2013 Tomb Raider reboot was a firm critics’ favourite of that year, and when a sequel was announced people got very excited to see where the rejuvenated Uncharted-esque, female-led franchise is going to go. A short teaser trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider was shown a couple of days before E3 to whet our appetites. With it being a timed Xbox One exclusive, it was no surprise to witness a gameplay trailer at the Xbox One conference, and it was more brilliant Lara Croft action. The footage showed Lara (played once again by Camilla Luddington) scrambling alongside a mountain in a snow storm in an attempt to find another one of those lost cities that you seem to stumble upon in these adventure games. Xbox One users should expect to be playing Rise of the Tomb Raider on 10th November 2015, it should be coming to PS4 and PC some time after that.
Gears of War 4
The Coalition (once known as Epic Games) are back with the fourth instalment in the Xbox exclusive franchise Gears of War. The series focuses on the conflict between three factions: humanity, the Locust Horde and the Lambent. The gameplay demo featured at Microsoft’s press conference features two human soldiers chasing a creature through ruined streets. Judging by this demo the game is going to be an even darker, grittier and gloomier reboot, which might just help the franchise go in a new and interesting direction. Expect to see Gears of War 4 near the end of 2016.