E3 is all wrapped up. The conferences came through thick and fast over the last week. Each of the gaming giants attempted to put their best foot forward and impress a global audience. Today, we’re delving into Microsoft. The technology company had a lot to offer with the prospect of XBOX Scorpio driving the hype-train.

The question is, how did they do? Did Microsoft knock it out the park? Or was the conference a total swing and a miss?

Good!

 

Xbox One X

The third update to the Xbox One and the big daddy of the console market currently! Microsoft showcased some incredible titles showing off the power of the system. Obviously at home or viewing was a little compromised by the live stream not being 4K…. and watching on a HD screen. But I am sure it would have looked fantastic in person! With the direct rival to the PlayStation 4 Pro being launched in November and plenty of titles set to arrive with updates for 4K gameplay, it will be interesting to see how this titan fares when it hits the shelves this Holiday season.

Dragon-Ball FighterZ!

Oh my god, this looked fantastic! Now I am not a big Dragon-Ball Z fan. The last episode I saw was probably when I was like 7 or 8 and even back then I just seem to remember distinct extended screaming and big flashing lights. But this game looks amazing! Being developed by the team behind Guilty Gear Xrd and using the 3v3 format this title looks like it is out for direct competition with Capcom’s Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite. With brilliant anime inspired visuals and combat that just looks insane I cannot wait to get some hands-on time with this title.

Assassins Creed: Origins

The return of the good old Assassins Creed franchise after a year-long hiatus. Expectations were high pre-conference and Ubisoft really needed to show us where that extra year of development time went… And, at least for me, they did. The addition of the Eagle to assist you in mapping an area before going in is brilliant and if this gets rid of the need of climbing really high buildings to expand your map I am all for it. The combat appears to have been worked on as well, with techniques such as parries and dodging being brought in to a vast arsenal of combat tactics. Graphically, the game looks outstanding. Ubisoft’s reincarnation of Egypt looks nothing like what we’ve seen before and as long as they don’t fall too hard on old tricks, Origins could be the best new addition to the series since Black Flag.

Ori and The Will of the Wisps

One of the most engaging and emotionally charged trailers of the show, Ori was a breath of fresh air in a conference that had started to get bogged down in lackluster reveals. It managed to take me from starting to switch off to totally switched on. The graphics, music, atmosphere it was all amazing. Blending terrifying sights with beautiful landscapes the game just looked great. I haven’t even played the original Ori and The Blind Forest but after this spectacular trailer I really, really want too.

Original Xbox Backwards Compatibility

Microsoft are looking to expand their library even further with the addition of a whole other generation of games. Some of the quality of titles available back in the old days of PS2 and Xbox were amazing and as a small child I only had a PS2. So, the thought of having the opportunity to return and play some of the titles that I wanted as a child is great! This will obviously only work for certain games but if Microsoft’s approach to the Xbox 360 library is anything to go off then we could see a huge amount of old school games made available! Just please… let Star Wars Republic Commando be one.

Cuphead release date!

It’s finally out on September 29th 2017! Cuphead has been bouncing around conferences with its charming 1930’s style graphics since 2014 and we now have a concrete date of when we can play it and I couldn’t be happier about that!

Now we all love some positivity but who are we kidding… you are really here for the bad…

Bad

 

Minecraft 4k…

Of all the titles to focus on, of all the titles… Minecraft!? I cannot lie when they announced it, I think I had a hernia I was laughing that much. All smack talk aside however, when announcing at the end of the show that titles such as Gears of War 4, Resident Evil 7 and Killer Instinct will be receiving 4K updates for Xbox One X. Let’s be honest no one is playing Minecraft for its graphical fidelity. Putting a focus on 4K Minecraft just seems like a massive missed opportunity.

State of Decay 2

Now don’t get me wrong, I think State of Decay 2 looks pretty good… but 6 minutes for what is essentially a third person zombie online survival game just seemed a little overdone. I know this will be an unpopular view due to how much people like State of Decay but after so much focus on online multiplayer games, a 6 minute trailer for another one felt like too much.

Sea of Thieves and it’s 8 minute demo

Oh boy the controversy continues to flow. Sea of Thieves is not my cup of tea. The demo they showed off in my opinion looked very scripted and quite boring. The exploration aspects where quite nice and normally I would be at least a little interested, but the game wasn’t doing it for me. For me, the combat looked quite dull and the tone they were going for was charming to start with… but after 3 minutes I was ready to see something else.

Lack of any massive exclusives

Where was the heavy hitters? We opened with a decent look at Forza 7 and then… nothing? No new Gears of War information and nothing about Halo 6? It was good for the indie developers that Microsoft had so little to show in terms of actual flagship exclusives because we got to see a fair amount but the E3 showcase for Microsoft appeared to be one part Xbox One X, One part third party titles that will look good for Xbox One X and one part indies.

Lots of filler

So much time was spent chatting about the Xbox One X specifications and cool features. So much time spent on smaller indie titles. That’s not to say I hate indie titles but with so much time dedicated to smaller studio pieces it really began to highlight just how little Microsoft had in their exclusives bank for this E3.

Xbox One X’s price tag…

So, I am not against paying more for an upgraded console. I paid £350 last year for my PlayStation 4 Pro and I love it. But with the price tag of the Xbox One X coming in at a staggering £450 one has to ask; Why so expensive? Microsoft talked figures and 4K HDR gaming, and all the techno babble to back it up was there. But what I didn’t see was how much better a game looks on Xbox One X compared to the Xbox One S or even the Xbox One. That is quite important to show when you’re expecting people to drop £100 more than the competition’s 4K HDR console. I know the Xbox One X is a superior system in terms of raw under the hood power, but I saw little at the conference that showed me where all that power was going. I hope as the months tick closer they start to show comparisons between the other two models because if not I cannot see the PlayStation 4 Pro really feeling that strain when they are priced cheaper and offer similar experiences…

 

So there we have it, my highlights and face palm moments from Microsoft’s E3 Show! Honourable mention goes to Anthem which looks good but I didn’t see enough to get truly excited or dismayed by, it just looks good. With Sony and Nintendo yet to make their announcements Microsoft has had the lovely honour of being first up and although their conference had some high notes, for myself it didn’t really do it.

 

Final Grade!

C

 

Jack Gash
Freelance Writer for Quillstreak, Living in the North East equivalent of Blight Town. Loves those gosh darn Fighting Games but have a variable interest across genres! Gets really excited about landing combos.

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