Tasked with kicking Day 2 of E3 off, and being the first of the “Big Three” conferences seems like it would come with its fair share of pressure to perform, but Microsoft handled it immensely. While talk of the elusive “Project Scorpio” was on everybody’s lips heading into the conference, Phil Spencer and his team at Xbox made sure that that wasn’t the sole thing people were discussing after the conference had finished. Here’s a breakdown of what we saw:
- Project Scorpio a.k.a. Xbox One X
The news everybody knew about, and the headline act of Microsoft’s show, the now-named Xbox One X claims to be the most powerful console ever, and the smallest Xbox console yet. Boasting (and let me make sure I have this information right, because most of these words mean nothing to me) a 6 teraflops GPU that’s clocked at 1.172 GHz, as well as 12 GDDRS memory and Dolby Atmos’ surround sound technology, this console may appear daunting on paper to the average consumer. Alongside that comes the announcement that the Xbox One X would have a 4K UHD Blu-Ray player, and would supersample all 1080p games up to 4K. All of this processing sure builds up heat, and so the One X will also come equipped with a “Liquid cooled Vapor chamber”, to prevent the incredibly hard-working console from overheating. Capped off with a release date of 7th Novermeber 2017, and a pricepoint of $499 (sorry, European gamers), the Xbox One X was definitely the star of the show. From here on however, Microsoft let their massive (42 games shown) library of games do the talking.
- Forza Motorsport 7
Releasing on October 3rd, is the newest game in the Forza franchise. Forza Motorsport 7 boasts the most stunning graphics in the series to date, as the standard of racing games grows ever-closer to the real thing. With that, came the showcasing of the all-new 2018 Porsche 9/11 GT2RS, which made its worldwide debut on the stage, and would also be featured in the upcoming game. Not for me personally, but I’m sure somebody watching enjoyed it.
- Metro Exodus
What we saw of this still-mysterious title was all in-game footage, and it looked gorgeous. The latest iteration of the Metro franchise seems to be taking its story to an open world, scheduled for a release sometime in 2018. A lot of people’s takeaway from this conference, for sure.
- Assassin’s Creed Origins
While it hasn’t been the first we’ve seen of this game, it’s the first official announcement, and so we were treated with some gameplay. Set in Ancient Egypt, Origins shows us the beginning of the Order of the Assassins, as well as a lot of other cool things. Playing as Bayek, the last Medjai, we see the Assassin’s Creed franchise implement a lot of new RPG elements, as well as a level progression system, which rewards the player with ability points. This entry looks to focus a lot more on stealth, bringing the franchise back it its origins (sorry). Not only that, but we also get a glimpse at the different type of weapons we’ll get to use as Bayek, from lances, to axes, to his preferred longbow. For more information on Assassin’s Creed: Origins, you can check out the piece we wrote as the game was announced.
- PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
The massively popular PC title is coming exclusively to Xbox One, in Late 2017.
- Deep Rock Galactic
Not much is known about this game, apart from that it looks almost like a Minecraft set in space, with Dwarven-like characters. Not a great description, I know. But, expect to see more from this game over the course of E3.
- State of Decay 2
The sequel to the fan-loved Xbox Arcade game is coming to Xbox One in Spring 2018. In the short glimpse we were given, we saw that State of Decay 2 will focus a lot on multiplayer, as well as building and maintaining settlements in a world infested by the living undead.
- The Darwin Project
An exclusive title, this looks to be akin to Hunger Games meets Overwatch. A match made in heaven? Time will tell. It also looks like it’s gearing to try and take the eSports world by storm, if the annoying faux-commentator who shouted on stage throughout is of any indication.
Minecraft is getting a 4K upgrade in Fall 2017, as well as the release of the “Super-Duper Graphics Pack”. Revolutionary for console players, but dated for PC players, this pack comes in conjunction with Cross-Play, which allows players from all iterations of Minecraft to play together (they even showed an in-game Switch). With that, comes the ability to create and use custom player skins, and maps. Nice!
- Dragon Ball FighterZ
An all-new fighting game, inspired and licensed by the incredibly loved manga and anime series. This game looks great, and seems to play like the traditional, 2-D fighting games of old, rather than the recent collection of Dragon Ball games. Coming sometime in 2018, FighterZ looks to have a wide arsenal of characters, including 2015’s Golden Frieza. This wide array of characters will prove useful too, as the game will offer 3v3 combat, meaning you and your friends can team up and bash heads (and scream for unnecessarily long amounts of time) together.
- Black Desert
Or as we were shown, ‘The MMORPG: Black Desert’, the 2014 PC game is making its console debut on Xbox.
- The Last Night
A title that a lot of people are incredibly excited for, is The Last Night. While we don’t know much, it looks to be a Blade Runner-type side-scrolling acion game, set in a post-cyberpunk world. However the game turns out to be, right now it’s visually gorgeous.
- The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti
Another gorgeous side-scrolling title, although we don’t know too much about it. The trailer we saw had a psychadelic feel to it, and gameplay looked to involve using your character, Francis Vendetti’s guitar to create paths and dispel obstacles for yourself. Right on, man.
Another ruined cityscape, I hear you say? Well fear not, because this game looks fantastic, from what I’ve seen of it. With surroundings resembling Nier:Automata, and character designs resembling the Tales series, CodeVein’s mysterious tale of vampires is coming in 2018. One to watch.
- Sea of Thieves
Another title that everyone was anticipating, and we weren’t let down. I wonder how many people out there, myself included, didn’t know that they wanted to be a pirate until watching gameplay footage from Sea of Thieves? This game looks fantastic, offering the player and three friends a swashbuckling co-op experience where they’ll loot all the bounty, shoot all the scallywags and shiver all the timbers! We got just a glimpse of what this game has to offer, from solving riddles in order to find lost treasure, to partaking in sea battles, to defend your own ship and crew. Ending on a great action-packed scene where the player’s character physically shoots themselves out of a cannon in order to board an enemy ship, this game is sure to be a hit. Xbox exclusive.
From the creators of the indie hit Gone Home, comes Tacoma, exclusively to Xbox One. Release date of 2nd of August, 2017.
- Super Lucky’s Tale
When this guy popped up on screen, everybody thought it was Rare’s Conker, making his long-awaited return. Alas, that wasn’t to be, as Lucky appeared onscreen, showing us that he’s in fact, a fox, and not a squirrel. That minor disappointment was short-lived however, as we were shown some gamplay from this upcoming title. This Xbox exclusive features gameplay reminiscent of the Super Mario Land 3D series, and looks like it could be an incredibly fun title. Also, there was a farting onion. Releasing on 7th of Novermber, 2017.
Another exclusive, is the long awaited Cuphead game. Well, you don’t have much longer to wait, as Cuphead is officially coming to Xbox on the 29th of September, 2017.
- Crackdown 3
Featuring famous actor Terry Crews as Commander Jaxon, Crackdown 3’s feature was short, but will be remembered well. An old Xbox favourite, this title will be sure to bolster the sales of all of Microsoft’s consoles. Coming on 7th of November, 2017.
- A bunch of games were announced in a short montage
Osiris New Dawn
Raiders of the Broken Planet
Path of Exile
Minion Masters: Forced to Duel
Dark and Light
Another cool looking title, this Xbox exclusive, co-op RPG sees players team up to do… well, we don’t exactly know yet. There looks to be various degrees of action and exploration involved, but we’re still unclear as to what the game is actually about.
- Life is Strange: Before the Storm
The prequel to the beloved Life is Strange sees you play as Chloe Price, the troublesome best friend of the first game. Not much is known about the story yet, but we do see Chloe meet Rachel Amber, a girl who much of the first game surrounded. See what we said as the news broke:
- Middle Earth: Shadow of War
While we’ve known about this title for the last few months, this demonstration focused on the Nemesis system, a mechanic that sees your enemies either evolve or get replaced through their encounters with you. We also got to see how to recruit followers, by choosing to “dominate” them, rather than hack their heads off. Merciful, I know. This game also seems to retain the humour the first one was loved for, and that’s never a bad thing in our eyes. Releasing on the 10th of October, 2017.
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Accompanied by a beautiful piano piece from the composer himself, Gareth Coker, was an incredibly stylish and heart-wrenching trailer for the sequel to 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest. Get the tissues ready, this is gonna be a real tear-jerker.
- Original Xbox Backwards Compatability
Phil Spencer returned to the stage to inform us of how succesful the Xbox One’s backwards compatability program was, and also to tell us that this success would extend back to titles of the original Xbox, naming Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge in particular. This feature will begin rolling out later in 2017.
- Free Upscaling for certain titles
Free updates would be issued for over 30 Xbox One titles, to improve the overall experience when played on an Xbox One X. Some of these titles include: Final Fantasy XV, Resident Evil 7, Rocket League, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands to name but a few.
The new Bioware IP that was originally yesterday in EA’s conference was shown off here. Viewers were treated to entirely in-game footage, in a gorgeous game that looked like a cross between Destiny and Iron Man. Set in a vast-open world, the player will take control of a ‘Freelancer’, a combatant who leaves the safety of the walls in their own personal power armour, called Javelins. There are a range of Javelins to choose from, depending on how the player wishes to play the game; the Colossus offers a slower, yet heavier-hitting suit of armour, while the Ranger presents the player with a middle-of-the-road experience, balancing power and mobility. A lot about this game is still unknown, but what we’ve seen of this Xbox exclusive looks promising.
And there you have it! A run-through of what was a lengthy and successful E3 conference by Microsoft. What did you think? Are you excited for any of the games announced, or even for the Xbox One X itself? Let us know, in the comments, or on Twitter. Be sure to stay tuned for a run-down of Bethesda’s E3 conference later today! And if you missed what happened in EA’s press conference yesterday, check it out here.
Irish kid. Editor-in-Chief for Sick Critic.
You can follow Donogh on Twitter @Donoghh