Microsoft Xbox’s E3 2018 Press Conference Summary
This Sunday, Microsoft has redeemed itself beyond our expectations. During their E3 2018 Briefing, they presented no less than 50 games, 18 exclusive titles and 15 world premieres. Let’s recap all of that gaming goodness!
The first trailer was dark and gloomy, with wildlife running away from danger in expansive landscapes. Running on the Slipspace Engine, the graphics were beautiful. When a squad emerged from the field and the iconic Master Chief helmet first appeared, the crowd burst in applause.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
A beautiful platformer game was the original Ori and the Blind Forest. It is with delight that we learnt that the sequel is well underway. Showing us gorgeously whimsical graphics and well-crafted and diverse environments, the trailer got us hyped for this side-scrolling platformer adventure.
We are back in the skin of Ori, a small luminous creature. It looks like there will be combat mechanics with a whip and a bow, varied puzzle elements and our friendly owl will aid us on the way. It is worth noting that the orchestrated soundtrack was divine.
Rooting itself in Japanese lore, this samurai game is not unlike an eastern Dark Souls, which makes sense because it is developed by From Software, creators of the Dark Souls and Bloodborne series. Relying on stealth and combat mechanics, the main character uses a whip to travel around the world. It is during the first fight with a heavy-handed enemy that the character meets his demise. But this is when the game shines. Rising from the dead, the samurai grabs his sword from the floor and launches back at the enemy. We can expect an undead mechanic to this already interesting samurai game.
The world premiere of Fallout 76 answered many questions and doubts. For starters, the map will be 4 times the size of Fallout 4. The game is set on the hills of West Virginia, in a luxuriant wilderness full of trees, mountains and vibrant colors, unlike any previous wasteland. The trailer gave us some nice screenshots of Vault 76 as well as the outside world, 300 years after the nation began. As one of the first survivors, we emerge in a power armor, which is an iconic moment in all Fallout games.
There seems to be an emphasis on rebuilding the world from the ground up. Perhaps there will be an overhaul of the crafting and building systems implemented in Fallout 4. The John Denver song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” set a nostalgic tone to the whole cinematic.
“When the fighting has stopped and the fallout has settled, you must rebuild.”
Date: June 15 (Pre-order)
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
First believed to be Life Is Strange 2, Captain Spirit is rather an original story with new characters set in the Life Is Strange universe. Dontnot Entertainment takes after the same artistic style that made their franchise a fan favorite. In his country home, a young blond boy dreams of being a super hero. Wearing a red cape and drawing a red mask on his face, he uses his super powers to fend off villains and monsters such as evil snowmen lurking in his backyard. We see the protagonist shoot fireballs from his hands, which reminds us of the super power component in Life Is Strange that played a big role.
Although this game is sure to tackle some serious themes, such as the boy’s mother being dead and the father and son relationship, the tone of the trailer is light and heart-warming. There is a strong focus on limitless child imagination and how kids tackle their fears. We cannot wait to see more.
Date: June 26, 2018 (Free download)
The trailer showed us Terry Crews in some over-the-top action sequences. With the help of his superpowers, he yelled at the top of his lungs as he blasted everything in sight, from aliens to vehicles.
Date: February 2019
Nier: Automata: Become as Gods Edition
Nier: Automata will be coming on Xbox One soon! For the occasion, we got some gameplay footage. The Become as Gods Edition will include all previously released DLC content.
Date: June 26, 2018
Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Metro, Exodus will offer more exterior environments and ruins above ground. Winter has settled over the train tracks; the world is as hostile as ever. The trailer shows off some gameplay gun fights, cool weapon customization, ziplines, the ability to take your goggles on and off and even a sea serpent gnawing at your boat.
Date: February 22, 2019
Kingdom Hearts III
At long last, we are getting the world of Frozen to the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Sora, Donald and Goofy all make the acquaintance of Elsa, Anna, Olaf the snowman and Kristoff. Much like the movie, Elsa has ice powers that she cannot control, which gets her to outcast herself in the snowy mountains of Arendelle. This is exciting because of the gameplay possibilities of a snowy universe, namely ice skating and shield snowboard.
Other than that, the trailer showed the worlds of Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled (where Rapunzel used her hair to swing on trees), Hercules, Monster Inc. and Toy Story. The Gummi ship is also back.
On the story side, we had a glimpse of Aqua and it does not look good.
Date: January 29, 2019
Sea of Thieves
The multiplayer game Sea of Thieves is getting two brand new DLCs. On one hand, Cursed Sails will come out in July and will expand on dead skeletons cursing the seas. On the other hand, Forsaken Shores is due in September and will give us a brand new land to explore.
Date: July and September
Featuring the Frosbite Engine, we got a trailer for Battlefield V, as announced at the EA Press Conference yesterday. Set in winter and putting a strong emphasis on the snow, the game will perhaps include a weather or level of heat mechanic.
The new Forza game looks absolutely gorgeous and will focus heavily on the seasons, the time of day and the weather. Set in historic Britain, the cars will speed by green pastures, in the snow, in the city, on the coast and even down icy slopes.
That is not all, the multiplayer appears quite expansive. The open world will be shared so players experience the same random season, time of day or weather. Each season will have specific effects. For instance, autumn will have leaves littered on the ground, winter will freeze lakes over, making new areas accessible and sprint will give players muddy terrain and downpours.
Players can also chat with each other and answer calls from within the game world. So while the game can be played alone, it is strongly recommended as a multiplayer experience.
Date: October 2, 2018
Acquisition of new studios
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, then took the stage to announce that Microsoft had acquired 5 game studios: The Initiative (based in Santa Monica), Undead Labs (State of Decay), Playground Games (Forza), Ninja Theory (Hellblade, Devil May Cry) and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few).
We Happy Few
We got a more narrative glimpse at the anticipated game We Happy Few, set in a dystopian world where people consume joy in the form of a pill. A woman in a white mask was arguing with a bearded military man over the use of such a pill and how it fostered a fake world. She was set on hiding the truth.
The trailer then showed us dead bodies swooped under the rug and people forced to experience “joy”. Having already had a demo, we can only wait a little longer to dive head first in this world of oppression, murder and violence.
Date: August 10, 2018
A new winter map will be available for PUBG in winter 2018. In addition, the Sanhok map is coming on Xbox One this summer.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
The definitive edition of this Japanese RPG game will be out this winter, including new content and characters.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
Following after the first game, the sequel will center on communities who live in siege 6 months after the virus outbreak. Focusing on urban warfare, there will be more interactions with the environments. As for gameplay, enemy leveling seems similar to the first game and new gadgets and seeker mines were added.
Date: March 15, 2019
Xbox Game Pass and FastStart
FastStart allows to start games twice as fast. It relies on machine learning and adapts to how gamers play. It will launch in the June update and will include Halo: The Masterchief Collection (later this year), Forza Horizon 4, Crackdown 3. Games will be available on the pass at the same time, such as: Ashen, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Afterparty and Phoenix Point.
Games like Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited and Fallout 4 are available today for the Xbox Game Pass. They were enhanced in 4k for the Xbox One X.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Date: September 14, 2018
A skateboarding game with no other information.
This MMO RPG is set in a vast desert where a Black Stone holds mystical powers. There will be giants, dragons and monsters and you can choose your class (mage, warrior, rogue or berserker).
Date: Fall 2018
Devil May Cry 5
After a very long pause, Capcom’s Devil May Cry is back! Nero now has a robotic arm but that does not prevent him from kicking some demon butt. The visuals and gameplay appear really improved upon from their last entry. Also note that at the end of the trailer, we catch a glimpse of Dante.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
A brand new DLC will come out for Cuphead, featuring recurring characters like Cuphead and Mugman. The DLC will include a new playable character, Ms. Chalice, a new isle, new bosses, weapons and charms.
This Zelda-like game puts us in the shoes of a little fox who finds a sword in the woods. The whimsical electronic music, dynamic combat and cute artistic style is also similar to Oceanhorn. No date was announced yet.
The trailer presented anime characters like Naruto, Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece), Goku and Riyuk (Death Note) in a new combat game in 3D. While the models were well made, we could not see much gameplay as of now.
Dying Light 2
The sequel to the post-apocalyptic parkour zombie game is here. Dying Light 2 will rely on his predecessor’s first-person parkour mechanics and expand further on the world and society structure. Set in what is called the “Modern Dark Ages”, the player’s choices will bear genuine consequences.
There will be factions in the city and depending on who you choose to ally with, some story and gameplay elements will differ. This brings the interesting concept of choice and strategy. No date was mentioned.
This childhood classic franchise was announced as an Xbox exclusive.
“You always knew the three of you would be needed again.”
The game will feature body morphing genre mash-ups, 3 player couch co-op and 4k hand-drawn 2.5D graphics.
Just Cause 4
The next Just Cause game brings Rico back in all his glory.
Date: December 4, 2018
A Gears of War game featuring the Pop Figures is coming next year.
Set in the Gears universe, Tactics will be a classic turn-based strategy game. Judging by the franchise it is drawn from, we can expect much action and massive boss battles.
The more serious announcement of the Gears series is undoubtedly Gears 5. We are taken to a cinematic trailer showing Kait (voiced by Laura Bailey) mourning the loss of a fallen friend. She is having strange dreams coming from a necklace and wishes to investigate in a place up north. Del Walker agrees to assist Kait in her mission. The trailer then picks up and treats us with intense monster battles, this franchise’s bread and butter.
We also were introduced to Microsoft AI, which will allow players to stream their games on any device, whether it be their Xbox, PC or phone.
The trailer we got gave us so much to speculate on. It starts off in a subway wagon, where some punks are hanging out. The futuristic city looks pretty cool, with shiny billboards everywhere and gigantic garish screens against the skyscrapers. Although the colors are eclectic and the atmosphere is buzzing, something feels off. People are both fascinated with robots of any shape or form but revolted by some of them, resulting in violent gun fights. The theme of robots against humans seems central to the story and gameplay.
For more info, you can check out cyberpunk.net.
And for more on E3 2018, stay tuned on IMGMR.com!