The Electronic Entertainment Expo kicked off as always with Microsoft's Xbox taking center stage to debut the future of their brand. With a conference centered around the theme "Game On", the tech giant wasted little time getting started.
Viewers were treated to a humbled Microsoft at E3 this year. There was a lot of discussion over how Microsoft would address the recently announced optional Kinect, how much time they would dedicate to programming and additional apps and how much spin would be used to mask the fact that their long-standing place at the top of sales charts has been rocked considerably since the announcement of new-gen consoles.
Stepping on stage at the show’s open, Phil Spencer did away with all the extraneous business speech from past E3 pressers and delivered a straightforward and brief introduction to an hour and half straight of strong, impressive gaming-related content. There was very little in the way of padding or self-congratulatory asides. Xbox dedicated their entire stage to a wealth of new and exciting games being delivered to their platform in coming years. Here are the highlights and biggest games shown at Microsoft’s 2014 Xbox Event:
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Developer: Sledgehammer Games [XO/PS4/PC], High Moon Studios [360/PS3]
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Official Synopsis: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare envisions the powerful battlegrounds of the future, where both technology and tactics have evolved to usher in a new era of combat for the franchise. Delivering a stunning performance, academy award winning actor Kevin Spacey stars as Jonathan Irons – one of the most powerful men in the world – shaping this chilling vision of the future of war.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is another major mix-up for the franchise, taking the future war concept leaps and bounds further, to include spider tanks, exo-suits and a dizzying number of gadgets. it looks like Advanced Warfare provides much more liberty to move around than previous Call of Duty games, both with more open environments and a lot of verticality in each area. The game looks gorgeous on Xbox One too, curiously so for a game that is still cross-gen and available on Xbox 360 as well.
Developer: Insomniac Games
Platforms: Xbox One
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Official Synopsis: The city’s overrun with mutants. Problem? Not for you. Sunset Overdrive is a playground of post-apocalyptic possibilities. Vault, grind & wall-run while using a deadly & unconventional arsenal. With hyper-agility, unique weapons, & customizable abilities, it rewrites the rules of shooters while delivering an irreverent adventure.
The hilarious trailer that preceded Sunset Overdrive‘s gameplay demo, which featured a character mocking the gritty, boring realism of military shooters, was an odd thing to see so shortly after Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but nevertheless made a strong impact with its flashy colors and manic, flashy gameplay.
Developer: 343 Industries [Previous games by Bungie]
Platforms: Xbox One
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Synopsis: An anthology of Halo games including Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. The compilation will run at 1080p and 60 frames per second, and 343 says the old game engines and multiplayer maps are completely untouched. The collection also includes beta access to Halo 5: Guardians and features the original live action Halo series produced by Ridley Scott.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Synopsis: In The Witcher 3, you play as Geralt of Rivia, one of a dying caste of monster hunters, and embark on an epic journey in a war-ravaged world that will inevitably lead you to confront a foe darker than anything humanity has faced so far—the Wild Hunt.
In the first look at extended gameplay from The Witcher 3, CD Projekt showed Geralt on the hunt for a griffin. Traversing a wooded area to bring down the beast he also instigates a melee with some human enemies. The Witcher 3 looks gorgeous on Xbox One, but the cut away to a cinematic as the griffin is brought down makes us anxious – we don’t want control taken away when we’re killing monsters.
There were a lot more debuts and demos shown at Microsoft’s presser. Here’s a list of all the remaining games with trailers linked for your viewing pleasure.
- Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha Prime
- Fable Legends
- Project Spark
- Ori and The Blind Forest
- Forza Horizon 2
- Assassin’s Creed Unity
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Phantom Dust
- Tom Clancy’s The Division
Microsoft set the bar pretty high by the end of their conference, making their show focused and tightly paced around the games they had on hand. There was a lot of actual gameplay on stage compared to previous E3 shows, indicating either that these games are further along in development, or that the developers and publishers are respecting the consumer more, and hiding behind fewer smoke & mirror tactics to weasel pre-orders from their fans. Whatever the reason, the winners are the Xbox owners, who have a whole slew of brand new games to look forward to through 2015.
What is your most anticipated game from Microsoft’s 2014 E3 conference? Let us know in the comments below or join in on the discussion on our GEEK Facebook page!