Well, if you wanted to see games from Microsoft you got that here. Microsoft really brought their A-game (AAA games) this year and set the bar high as far as press conferences go. When your first five games include “Call of Duty Advanced Warfare,” “Forza Horizon 2” and “Assassin’s Creed: Unity,” it can hit a height of momentum that’s hard to keep through the show, but Microsoft manages to keep the big hits coming.
“Call of Duty Advanced Warfare” did not disappoint with its demo, showing that the series still has different things to bring to the table with this new futuristic, lite sci-fi environment. “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” also showed some technical achievements having a crowd full of detailed NPCs. The scale and detail of the vast outdoors match the indoor environments as well, and the transition between the two looked seamless. Even more impressive was the four player co-op we got to see with four new assassins. We can definitely expect to see more during Ubisoft’s press conference.
The biggest thing to come from Microsoft was all things “Halo.” We were introduced and detailed on “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.” This collection is a remastering of “Halo: Combat Evolved,” “Halo 2,” “Halo 3” and “Halo 4” all in 1080p and running at 60fps. “Halo 2,” given that the game releases on its anniversary, gets a full makeover in the same vein of “Combat Evolved” back in 2011. The game will have dedicated servers and with that you will be able to play on every “Halo” map ever released. If that all wasn’t enough, if you buy this collection you not only get Ridley Scott’s “Halo: Nightfall” series but early access to “Halo 5: Guardians” multiplayer beta as well. WOW!
Another standout of the show was no doubt “Sunset Overdrive.” I loved the way the trailer poked fun at other shooters, then completely showed that it had the right to do so. The game just looks fun with its over the top and beautifully colorful environments. The bouncing, the grinding, the sliding all look fluent and just a blast to play. The main character (who is customizable) has a wise cracking, more adult Sonic attitude. Another thing that kept with the funny was the new “Dead Rising 3” DLC with the ridiculous and just as over the top name of “Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition DX Plus Alpha” which is available right now for $10 for those who have the original game.
While not the lowest points, there were some moments that were good, but not spectacular. “Fable Legends” looked great, but it couldn’t live up to the hype that came before it. Same with “Project Spark,” which was nice but didn’t have a wow factor outside of the random Conker cameo. “Phantom Dust” is another game that lacked excitement.
More standouts, however, would be “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” where a demo of a wild hunt of a gryphon was shown in all its spectacular glory. “The Witcher 3” is a beautiful game no doubt and strikes every chord in terms of what I want in a game. An awesome trailer, and quite a shock was “Rise of the Tomb Raider.” I’m really excited to see any gameplay from Lara’s new adventure. I also think it’s smart to show that her psyche has been affected. “Scale Bound” was another great trailer coming from developer Platinum Games. With the white hair and headphones, I had to draw comparisons to Quicksilver. Obviously the dragons and suit changed that.
Microsoft did have indie titles to show which was a needed touch. A sizzle reel of games such a “Threes,” “FRU,” “Mighty No. 9,” “Hellraid” and “Below” presented a plethora of titles Xbox users can expect to play. The standout indie game comes from “Limbo” developer PlayDead with their new title “Inside.” The game looks great and has the same feel as “Limbo,” but it does have somewhat of a color pallet. I’m really excited to see more of this game, and Microsoft securing this as an exclusive was smart on their part.
Finally, we have the game that was widely speculated, but has been a wild card in terms of being revealed, and that game is “Crackdown.” Interestingly, it doesn’t have a “3” or subtext proceeding it. The fact that their was co-op shown in the trailer and the over-the-top action sequence gives us a pretty good look at what we can expect in the final product.
Overall, Microsoft set the bar high for other press conferences to collapse under or to bound over. The “Halo” content was great with so much packed into a stunning collection. “Sunset Overdrive” was a great weapon to display to viewers to get people more interested in purchasing the Xbox One. The balance between exclusives, exclusive content and third-party games was equal and effective. There were some weak moments, but they were quickly forgotten with heavy hitters like “Rise of the Tomb Raider” and “Inside.” I don’t yet have an Xbox One, but Microsoft has convinced me to drop the cash sooner or later.
What did you think of Microsoft’s press conference? Is there anything they left out? Let us know in the comments below.
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