Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CGI is the word of the day at Microsoft's E3 Conference

Let’s kick off Wednesday’s article by talking about Microsoft’s E3 press conference! Sorry for the delay on the Ubisoft article, I had meant to have it up last night, but due to time constraints and some poor planning on my part, I ended up not having the article out on time. So, again, my apologies for that, but let’s get started!

The newly promoted Phil Spencer hosted the conference for Microsoft this year, and I have to say, I thought he did a great job. He promised games this year, and boy, we got games! I thought Spencer had a great stage presence, and while some of the #MyFavorite bits between games felt a bit weird, the conference had a great overall feel to it. And of course, a big part of that was due to them getting straight to the point and focusing on games first and foremost.

First off was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which was a near future Call of Duty game. It looked pretty nice, but at the end of the day, at least to me, it seemed like a current-gen, nice looking Call of Duty game. The interesting thing is that it’s been done by a new developer, so whether Sledgehammer Games proves to do a good job is something to be shown, and, as said, it’ll be interesting to see how they do.

Next up they showed a new track for Forza 5 and some footage of the co-op in Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Neat stuff, but ultimately, they weren’t big parts of the presentation, and definitely not something I was all that into.

What was easily one of the most hilarious parts of their conference was what originally appeared to be a trailer for a military shooter (me and a couple of other people thought this was going to be Battlefield: Hardline at first) and then turned into a pretty hilarious, and definitely meta trailer for Sunset Overdrive. The trailer was a treat, but looking at the gameplay, I’m a bit indecisive about it. It’ll probably be fun, but right now, I’m not too sure. It feels like something that probably needs a little bit more fine-tuning. I can definitely see that being a fun game, and the customization that seems to be a big part of it looks great too. Insomniac knows how to make a good game with crazy weapons, so I have faith that they’ll probably deliver.

The next most hilarious part of the conference followed shortly after was the Dead Rising 3 DLC, with the most appropriately ridiculous name ever: Super Ultra Dead Rising 3’ Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha. It’s a DLC that features all sorts of costumes from Capcom characters and zombie M. Bison. It seems something that’s so tongue in cheek, but benefits really well from it.
Fable: Legends was shown, and it seemed sort of awkwardly made in terms of character designs and animations, but the idea behind it, especially with the dungeon master mode, seem great, and I hope that there are favorable impressions in the beta come Fall.

Microsoft also had a great troll with Conker being featured in Project Spark, and looking at the sadness on Twitter, I both wanted to laugh, and give my condolences. It felt hilarious and harsh at the same time.

Ori and the Blind Forest was, overall, probably my favorite game I saw at the Microsoft conference. Although we didn’t see a lot of it, it looked incredibly beautiful and serene, and I hope that they show more as soon as possible.

Oh, and there was Halo. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (what a name) was announced, featuring all of the numbered Halo entries (i.e., 1, 2, 3, and 4) for the Xbox One, with Halo 2 multiplayer and 4,000 gamerscore, if you’re into that sort of thing. Oh, and it ships with Halo 5: Guardians beta, again, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Next up was a bunch of indie games, including a game called Inside from the people who made Limbo, and plenty of others, including Cuphead, an indie game that looks straight out of a 1920’s cartoon, and Inafune’s Mighty No. 9.

Then we got some more AAA in form of a quick CGI trailer for a  Tomb Raider sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is only slightly silly of a title, and some gameplay of the fantastic looking The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

What was probably the biggest surprise of the show came to be an HD remake of the old game Phantom Dust, from Ken Lobb and the team that made Killer Instinct. The trailer looked cool, and it got me a bit hype despite not having any connection to the original.

Oh, and Tom Clancy’s The Division showed up again, because we really haven’t seen enough Ubisoft games. It still looked very nice when they showed it that morning, and I’m still, admittedly, pretty suspicious of what the final game will look like.

The rumor of Microsoft getting a game from Platinum Games came true. A CGI trailer for the game Scalebound was shown, which featured a Dante looking character sporting some Beats by Dre. Although the main character’s design isn’t my favorite, the dragons looked great, it’ll probably have some crazy action, and it’ll probably be a game that pushes me towards actually getting an Xbox One in the future.

The final surprise of the show was a CGI trailer for the new Crackdown game. It looked pretty ridiculous, and they seemed to be highlighting the idea of a lot of destructibility. It’s probably still at least a year out, considering they showed a short trailer, but it could be exciting. I know Crackdown was a game I’ve heard plenty of people clamoring for.

Overall, Microsoft had a really good conference. The name of the game Microsoft played was games. Well, games and CGI trailers. A lot of the first party games seemed to be pretty early on, given by the fact that there were so many CGI trailers with no gameplay shown. Of course, games take time, there’s no doubt about that, but I really hope they show some gameplay of these games soon, because that’s a very important part. Either way, I thought Microsoft had a pretty good showing, and I’m interested to see a lot of the final products of what they showed. They promised games, and they gave games, simple as that. It was a great recovery from their stumbling last year.

I’d give Microsoft’s conference a 7/10, because they had a strong showing, but there just wasn’t enough gameplay and a bit too much CGI trailers. But they showed a lot of games, some of which seem pretty neat and interesting.

Tomorrow I’ll be going over Sony’s press conference, so thanks for reading and see you then!


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