XBOX does it again at E3 – Grade B+\A-

Last year with the launch of XBOX one X the teams at Microsoft delivered and unforgettable E3. This year they hit the stage again with what I feel their competitor’s nightmares are going to start sounding like, “Exclusive”… “World Premiere”

50 new games, 18 exclusives and 15 World Premieres, XBOX came to E3 with a variety of weapons. From family friendly games to iconic titles and industry leading company decisions, the rest of the press conferences best bring their A game because not much can compete with what I just saw.

To not bore you with running down all the titles, as that can easily be found else were with a simple Google search, I’m going to rather hit some of what I felt were highlights for them. Either because the game looked incredibly cool or it was a much anticipated announcement of an legendary title, mostly the latter.

Before I watched the press conference I was sitting at lunch with my friend who is a huge XBOX fan and specifically a Halo fan. He told me “If I don’t see a Halo 6 this year, I’m giving up on them.” A new Halo game has been something fans have been asking for, for years. Many people believed the best time to announce that was last year with the one X, however I felt though the hype would be there taking too much away from the new hardware with the most iconic XBOX title ever made, might just be too much. Well this year it happened. Halo Infinite, what appears to be the long awaiting next line in the great Halo story. Not much was talked about, no game play was shown, just a trailer ending with Master Chief holding his helmet on the side of his leg looking out over a beautiful landscape. Phil did say “this will be the biggest Halo we have ever made.” That’s impressive to say the least, but that’s all we got to go on. Either way, if you wanted to start off your event with a bang, based on crowd reaction, that was 10 ton mega bomb. KERBOOM!

They followed this up with a “wham bam thank you ma’am” line up of games for well over an hour. Gears 5, Ori game play, new Forza, Kingdom Hearts, Battletoads, Tomb Raider, PUBG, The Division 2 and the list goes on. Not all with game play but many included game play including an extended scenario of the Division 2 which even got me excited, and I’ve never played Division 1. Kingdom Hearts, Ori, Black Desert, and others peaked my attention as an RPG player as many times it seems shooters and simulation games are the wave of the future and it is nice to see titles like this reaching and getting attention on the XBOX platform.

Their creative trailer of Gears 5 had the crowd cheering but then quickly confused as the logo was chain sawed open to a POP figure of the main Gears character followed by other iconic characters and villains in a short hilarious trailer for Gears POP (not sure if that will actually be a game or not, i’d play it). Once the comedy and confusion set in, they hit us with Gears 5, which how the trailer was left puts you wondering if one of the main characters may take a turn like the Queen of Blades in Star Craft, only time will tell.

Arcade games are back. Battletoads, a classic arcade style game which has entertained generations of gamers is coming back in a new title. Though we only got a cute trailer for it, not even seeing the main characters, only some pixelated animated things like the jump bike and a long tongue, the narration was hilarious and the logo received a HUGE pop from the crowd. Along with that, we saw Ori game play which looks like it mixes a great platforming system, cool combat and beautiful art, a new age feel to a style of games which we have loved for ever. Fighter gamers should also be excited for what is coming over from Japan, as “Jump Force” was announced which featured characters of Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, One Piece and more in a 1 v 1 arcade style fighter game.  Finally in this group, Cuphead. A game which filled the internet with rage due to it’s challenging game play is coming back to us with new levels, bosses and playable characters! Let the salt flow.

Along with the long list of game announcements the XBOX team announced expansion to their amazing Game Pass offering ensuring that new exclusive games make it to the Game Pass on release. They also are working on a machine learning system which will allow Games to launch quicker. Amazing ideas and concepts coming from that engineering team. Along with future advancements to the Game Pass talks about teams already working on a new XBOX and the acquisition of 5 new Studios to the Microsoft \ XBOX family.

From the moment Halo Infinite played, to the conference hack to show of the new game Cyber Punk, Microsoft and XBOX put on a clinic on how to show off amazing games, tease the crowd, play on your emotions and bring your a dump truck full of information in such a short amount of time. All of the titles look beautiful on the 4K power of the XBOX One X and the game play we saw, looks just as incredible. Overall I give XBOX a B+\A- on this year’s E3, close to but not equal to last years solid A\A+ due to the lack of game play in their major titles.

 

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