Let's not mince words here, last year's Microsoft conference left much to be desired. With an emphasis more on the Kinect, sports, and the Xbox One's less than desirable features rather than games, the company was significantly overshadowed by Sony and the PS4. After scaling back on the Xbox One's negatives and showing a renewed interest in reclaiming lost ground, Microsoft came to E3 this year determined to make up for last year's faux pas. In the 90 minutes Microsoft, they not only accomplished this goal but exceeded expectations as well.
Here is the info that you need to know:
- Starting off the show was a playthrough of the latest edition of the long running Call of Duty series, Advance Warfare. Showing off impressive graphics and various mechs and technology, the new title seemed like your typical COD campaign if took a sci-fi twist. As with previous titles in the series, Xbox One and 360 will again get first dibs on DLC.
- Footage of Forza Horizon 2, which previously was announced by IGN prior to the conference, was shown, along with the announcement of a October 7th release date in the US. Also shown was new DLC for Forza 5, a recreation of the infamous Nürburgring track in Germany. The DLC is also free.
- New footage of Turtle Rock's upcoming monster hunt, Evolve, was shown at the conference, with the reveal of a new Cthulhu like monster called the Kraken. The beta and DLC was announced to be premiered first on Xbox One.
- Insomniac's new wild IP, Sunset Overdrive, had an extensive gameplay demo shown at the conference. A release date of October 28th was announced, alongside confirmation of a rumored 8 player online co-op mode called "Chaos Mode".
- In the biggest announcement of the show, it was revealed that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would be coming out on November 11th, with all four Halo titles on disc. Halo 2's multiplayer was also revealed to be coming back, fully intact as it was when it was originally released. It will also include a beta key for the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta that will begin in December.
- A renewed interest in indie gaming was also shown, with the following games being shown in some form:
- Knight Squad
- Plague Inc. Evolved
- White Night
- Hyper Light Drifter
- Lifeless Planet
- Slash Dash
- Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
- Mighty No. 9
- Fenix Rage
- Finally, Crackdown 3 was revealed, with a stunning trailer. The game will feature a new campaign, which will be fully playable in co-op
The Verdict: Overall, Microsoft bounced back this year will a stellar showing of what's in store for the Xbox One. While much of what was shown was pre-rendered and there was no mention of the 360 anywhere, it shows a very different Microsoft then the iteration of the company only a year ago. If Microsoft keeps it up, they could be a worthy adversary to Sony and the PS4, whom currently is in the lead this generation. GRADE: B