E3 2016: Microsoft Press Conference Reactions Roundtable
The second day of conferences took place today and first, we got to enjoy the Microsoft Conference. Without further ado, let us jump into our reactions on the Xbox conference.
First and foremost, I have to say that I was hooked and effectively attracted by this one game that presents a very deep and important theme. Said theme can also serve as a psychological point of discussion or criticism on our current society. The millennial generation of youngsters have come to embrace the value of self-happiness to a whole new level and I feel that no game has ever presented it in a dangerous manner quite like We Happy Few.
In this indie game, you take the role of one such individual who decides to go against the values of society and renounce the desperate desire to be happy at all cost. Here, everyone takes a certain drug which makes physiologically creates a sentiment of happiness and thus, lack of urgency and care. This is extremely similar to the “soma” drug presented in the famous Aldous Huxley novel A Brave New World, for my fellow intellectuals. The action begins when people find out you are not taking the drug and begin naming you a “downer”. In the world of We Happy Few, a downer is a menace to society at it disrupts the way things are made to be.
The cartoonish yet sinister art style seems really intriguing and even the people in this world all wear happy masks to hide their true faces. One can’t help but wonder what lies behind these lies and I guess we will have to play the game to find out.
On another note, there were a few other announcements that I really enjoyed from the Xbox conference. One such announcement was the reveal of Controller Design Lab. I have always wished I could own my personal customized controller. However, they are a big hassle because I need to own a controller and then send it to a designer who could do the work and that can cost over $200 easily (shipping and handling not included). This is a great move by Microsoft.
Another interesting reveal was definitely the Xbox Play Anywhere. This feature will continuously blur the line between Xbox and Windows 10 as players will be able to play their games either on their Xbox console or on their Windows PC.
All in all, the Microsoft conference was interesting, but wasn’t entertaining as much as it was informative. However, the point of a conference is to announce their lineup of games and products for their fans in the coming months. The great thing is that many game that were present during the conference will be made available to the public before the end of the year. Furthermore, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer ended the conference with a good hint for the future. Project Scorpio was officially announced and it is supposed to a powered up Xbox One. In fact, the console will be 4K-ready, VR-ready and the most powerful console on the market upon its release. The Microsoft conference is indeed a success in my book.
Every year, Microsoft books the Galen Center and has the conference in the morning. For those who were able to book hotels nearby, getting there early for the lineup is a piece of cake, but for those who didn’t, they get a great taste of one of the main features of L.A., the traffic. Traffic aside, getting to the conference is easy and as usual, well organized. The Staff is vibrant and has an amazing smile on their face, which turns your gloomy mood into hype in an instant.
As you find your seat, the green lighting and theme overwhelms you – every year, the design shares the same color theme, but offers something different. However, the key components are present this year once more: a stage for speakers to stand on, the green theme backed by a black contrast, four stations for when Microsoft wants to show off co-op games, and a crowd jacked on coffee and energy drinks.
From the get go, Microsoft showcased the new Xbox One S, which I believe was a great idea to start things off – leaving the game as a main attraction is what players want. Now thinking back, Microsoft didn’t really wow me when it comes to games. Yes, they had a few nice reveals here and there, but not having actual gameplay as a support wasn’t enough for me – a trailer nowadays doesn’t speak for the game. On that aspect, I can’t say that my highlight was a game. However, Microsoft did announce something that I found to be quite appealing.
First of all, Microsoft will be upgrading their services and will offer Xbox Live players with Looking for Group, Clubs, and Arena. Thanks to this, players will be able to connect with more than just their friends; they will be able to meet new players and make new connections – this is what online gaming is all about!
A second highlight I would love to mention has to be We Happy Few. The game’s theme invites players of all ages, but that’s the catch…it is as sinister and freaky as games such as the P.T. demo, Friday Night at Freddy’s and Slender Man.
As for my deception, I was really unhappy with the gameplay I saw from Scalebound – it was supposed to be a four player co-op mission where they must kill a huge creature. Unfortunately, the gameplay felt blend and didn’t feel like there were any teammates helping out – they didn’t even seem to be present at all.
The problem with a conference that early in the morning is that nobody have energy. Even the speakers. They tried to hype us up but moste people in the room was to tired for big reactions. Us gamers are night creatures.
They talked about their new baby; the Xbox One S. It’s smaller, slimmer and…whiter. There is nothing else special about the new console as it is pratically the same thing as the original One model. The cool thing they will do from now on tho is that you will be able to buy custom controlers. You can choose the color of the buttons, the casing and even have your name (or Gamertag) written on it. It will start at 79.99 usd; it’s a wonderful birthday gift for your player 2.
During the conference they spoke about cross play for Windows 10 for many of the titles. That’s amazing since you won’t have to buy multiple copies or if you normally play on PC and your friend on Xbox One. That’s a smart move.
We then moved on to Gears of War 4 and the game looked badass! There is a new enemy race that you are going to fight against (if you got tired to fight the Locusts). There is also a awsome new gun that shoots flaming round blade (like Megaman). Then they mentioned that they will add General Raam from the franchise to Killer Instinct. Cross play and cross franchise, they should have called the new console the Crossbox One (I can hear you, booing in the distance).
We got a new trailer for Recore showing more of the ”core” friends. I hope the game will be as good as the concept is. It’s such a good idea that it would be a shame if it’d go to waste.
Final Fantasy XV now has a release date; September 30th. I hope your boss don’t mind if you take a 1 week vacation.
The division has new DLC. Underground Dungons and stuff. Next!
Battlefield one was covered yesturday, go read the article about EA (I’m still excited).
Then they jumped to Minecraft talking pretty much just cross play and dedicated servers so your friends can come to your world when you are offline. Also: Minecraft VR.
Do you want to be depressed? Of course not! Then don’t play We happy few becaus this game. THIS GAME! The gameplay doesn’t look that impressive for now but it will be a rollercoaster ride from start to finish, I’m sure of it!
Dead Rising 4 was next, or like I’ve called it during the trailer; Dead Rising Christmas Edition. It will be more of the same but since DR 3 was good, this one will certainly be too.
We got another look at Scalebound and let me tell you one thing. DRAGONS!!! It will be a a more brutal How to train your dragon, and if you think that’s a bad thing; you are wrong.
Avast me maties! Arrr ya ready to take on thy sever seas? Then hop on the deck and flop like a fish! ‘caus I’ve got thy game just right for ye. Sea of Theives should quench your taste of adventure! Be prepared ye old buccanners.
The last thing of the conference was the announcement about Project Scorpio. The new console will come out next year and will be compatible with all the games and pereferals of the Xbox One and One S, work with VR and 4k ready. It’s just an upgrade for the original model but we will see, it might get them closer to Sony in terms of sales.