It's press conference day once again for E3 and Microsoft opens the show with expected announcements and also some surprises. Claiming that this upcoming year is "the greatest lineup in Xbox history" is quite something, did Microsoft back that up in a big way?
Halo 5: Guardians started things with a co-op campaign demo. 343 Industries stated that there are two teams you'll play as throughout the campaign with one led by Master Chief and the other led by Spartan Locke, which was demoed. Plenty of co-op dynamics were shown such as recovering downed teammates. Prometheans from Halo 4 are back along with the Covenant, but it was unclear how the story is playing out in the trailer after the demo.
The other Halo related announcement is a new multiplayer mode called Warzone, which you can see the trailer here. At first glance, this is Halo's take on Titanfall's Attrition mode, which is team deathmatch with bots helping out as all. This mode is playable at the E3 show floor, so we'll see more of it throughout the week.
Recore is a new IP by Kenji Infaune and Armature, who were former Retro Studios employees that worked on Metroid Prime. This game, slated for Spring 2016, is about a girl and a sphere that can control other objects such a robotic dog in the trailer above and then a bigger robot. Lots of crazy potential with this game and I can't wait to see more.
Phil Spencer comes up the stage to announce that backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games is happening now for Xbox One Preview members and everyone else this fall. Mass Effect was demoed off for a brief bit above with features the Xbox One showcases. This works similar to how the 360 handled Xbox backwards compatible games with a limited lineup working now such as Perfect Dark Zero, Viva Pinata, Super Meat Boy and more. The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller was also announced for release this fall with customizable parts to suit your preferences that we seen in third-party controllers.
Todd Howard from Bethesda returns from last night's press conference to show more Fallout 4. Some new stuff was demonstrated that wasn't seen last night, but Todd announces that PC mods will be coming to the Xbox One version of the game. Fallout 3 is also coming out for those that buy Fallout 4 on the Xbox One assumingly by that backwards compatibility ordeal.
EA's Peter Moore was next to talk about EA Access, still exclusive to the Xbox One and free for XBL Gold members this week only. Titanfall is out this week on that service and Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming sometime this summer. He then concluded with the announcement of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 for a spring 2016 release.
Forza Motorsport 6 takes the stage with the new Ford GT brought down from the top of the stage as Henry Ford III and Turn 10's Dan Greenwalt talk about what's new with this sequel. Only a trailer was shown after their talk, which I would of wanted more, but then here's this shiny new car to look at for those that were there. The game is out on September 15th.
Despite a lot of information being leaked last week, Dark Souls III is official now with a new trailer by Bandai Namco and From Software. The developers claim that this is the conclusion of a trilogy, so we'll see if they live up to that because I have a feeling most Souls fans are suffering from fatigue playing a lot of Bloodborne and that Dark Souls II remaster on current consoles. This highly anticipated sequel is currently slated for early 2016.
Ubisoft had a double header to show off at Microsoft's presser before their own this afternoon with Tom Clancy's The Division and Rainbow Six Siege. The Division once again at an E3 looking like it's still ways off from release. Xbox One owners will get an exclusive beta this December however. A new map was also shown for the new Rainbow Six, still slated to be out this October. Rainbow Six Vegas and Vegas 2 will be also coming to Xbox One via backwards compatibility this fall as well for those that buy Siege. We'll see more of these games at the Ubisoft press conference later today.
Gigantic by Motiga is a third-person action MOBA game with a beta out this August. Nothing much else shown besides the trailer here.
It was then ID@Xbox's turn with another indie montage and then a showcase of games by some of the indie developers themselves. Cuphead (above) continues to look amazing and Tacoma by the Gone Home folks is interesting. Other games that were showcased were Beyond Eyes, Ashen, and ION by Dean Hall, the guy behind DayZ. ION will be also a part of newly announced Xbox Game Preview Program, their take on Steam Early Access with Elite Dangerous as one of the games up now under that.
Rise of the Tomb Raider finally gets a gameplay demo as we see Lara transversing through a snowstorm in an intense sequence. No combat was shown but the trailer at the end did show more tomb raiding, which was lacking in the reboot. This Xbox exclusive is out on November 10th, same day as Fallout 4... good luck Lara.
Rare is finally back on the spotlight with a collection of their past games called Rare Replay, out on August 25th. Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini and Battletoads are some of the 30 games in this $30 collection with 10,000 achievement points. That's not all for Rare as they also announced a new game called Sea of Thieves. It looks like an online co-op pirate action game? Too early to say as this game is out next year.
The more impressive highlight of the Xbox presser is a new demo with HoloLens. First however was the announcement of a new partnership with Valve VR especially for Windows 10 owners. With HoloLens, Minecraft was being demonstrated with a table displaying the entire world Mojang created for the demo. It was a crazy sight to see it displayed and a great showpiece what HoloLens is capable of for those that haven't see it in action yet.
Last but not least is Gears of War stuff by The Coalition's Rod Fergusson. Gears of War Ultimate Edition is finally official with it out on August 25th with the usual remastered improvements and gameplay tweaks. A multiplayer beta is out now for only this week, which I'll try out later today. The new Gears though, simply called Gears 4 for now, is coming out in 2016's holiday season. The campaign demo could of used more intense action we experienced in past games, but setting up the tone and atmosphere is good enough for me. No word on the new characters and storyline yet, but we'll likely find out sometime this week.
That's it for Microsoft's E3 press conference! Plenty of new game announcements as they have the potential to be pretty cool along with the expected blockbusters like Halo and Gears. The HoloLens stuff looks already impressive, but I'm not on that "buy it on day one" mood yet as I would like to see it with the games we usually see besides Minecraft. Excited for Microsoft's lineup for the upcoming year after this presser? Let us know in the comments below.