Microsoft had a lot to prove after, what we can quite confidently call, a dismal unveiling on May 21st. E3 was, what many believed, to be Microsoft’s last chance to prove its worth to gamers, and that is precisely what Microsoft did earlier today. The Xbox One is, without a doubt, a gaming machine first and gamers are in for a real treat later if Microsoft’s E3 is anything to go by. The focus was clearly on thing ; games and boy did we get enough of those. In fact, it was just too much to process in the end. Here is a quick look at some of the games that graced Microsoft’s E3 showing:
Metal Gear Solid 5
What better way to start a show than unveiling the seminal Metal Gear Series.Metal Gear Solid 5 looked absolutely incredible running on the X1 and with its open world gameplay and unbelievably stunning visuals, MGS 5 is going to be a must have title for any X1 owner. We look forward to seeing more of this amazing title in the days and months to come. Needless to say, we aren’t the only ones!
Crytek’s new engine certainly is impressive and Ryse looked like a perfect candidate to flex the engine’s muscles on the X1. The gameplay has clearly shifted from its original Kinect focus to that of the traditional controller and the game looks all the better for it. The set-pieces and number of characters on screen were incredible although the gameplay did seem somewhat repetitive with an over-use of quick time events. However, we only saw a brief glimpse at the game and we hope there is more gameplay variety. It certainly however, looked amazing and truly next-gen.
A very ambitious and promising title, in the vein of Little Big Planet, Project Spark looks set to revolutionise the formula set by the latter game with what appears to near-limitless freedom in design and all with an impressive looking engine to boot. What really impressed us were the brief glimpses of supposed creations from other players and it appeared that engine was extremely flexible in what players were allowed to create. Project Spark looks set to be an instant classic.
Dead Rising 3
The classic zombie-thriller game is back and debuting on the X1 just like its predecessor did on the original Xbox 360. We were floored by the sheer number of zombies on screen however; this is true next-gen gameplay and we can only imagine what developers will be able to squeeze out in the future if this is what they are achieving at such an early stage in X1’s life-cycle. The game seems to have ditched the more comic approach of its predecessors in favour a slightly more serious tone and, like Ryse, Smartglass appears to play an integral part in the gameplay. What’s more impressive is that the game is an open-world sandbox and with the incredible number of undead on screen, we suspect that you will need all the back-up you can in the form of aerial strikes as shown in the gameplay reveal.
We were genuinely surprised by the reveal of the Master Chief. The manner in which it was revealed was very clever and we were floored when we finally saw Master Chief’s armour being unveiled over the rags he was wearing. No gameplay was shown but the game is set to be revealed in 2014 and we should be seeing more of the game in the coming months. What was confirmed however was that the franchise will, for the first time, have dedicated servers and run at 60fps! Colour us very excited!
Insomniac, known for the classic franchise Ratchet and Clank, made their debut on the X1 with, what looked like a wacky looking, multiplayer-centric arcade shooter . We aren’t entirely sure whether what was shown was gameplay or CGI (we suspect the latter) but we hope to see more of the game soon.
Forza Motorsport 5
Turn10 really are in a league of their own as far as innovating the racing genre is concerned. Forza Motorsport 5 looks set to do away with AI and replacing it with the cloud-powered, Drivatar feature which allows the system to mimic your driving style in almost every way. Couple this with the fact that game simply looks incredible and what you have is a killer-app in the making. The Forza series has always benefited from its excellent community features and Forza 5 is building upon this in a way we never imagined. This is easily shaping up to be the definitive racing game of the next-generation.
Things didn’t start off too well for DICE as the presented was marred with technical difficulties and the mocking of the crowd certainly made awkward viewing but once things started working, our jaws were permanently on the floor courtesy of the new Frostbite engine that is, for a lack of a better word, awesome. The physics in the game are truly next-gen and whilst only the single player was shown at the main conference, the multiplayer gameplay shown on the E3 floor was even more epic. Have a look below:
You wanted it, you got it! Fans have requested this game for so long and Rare finally delivered. The game itself looks like it will be a lot of fun and we really can’t wait to get a hands-on to see how well this plays. This could be the title that finally reinforces faith in Rare again, as many have felt that they haven’t lived up to their true potential ever since Microsoft acquired the studio. Killer Instinct was also shown with X1’s unique game capture feature and we can see ourselves spending hours uploading montages of our killer combos for the world to see. Good times!
Remedy really are in a class of their own when it comes to thrillers. Max Payne was so far ahead of its time (no pun intended!) and Quantum Break really wowed us with not only its jaw-dropping visuals, but also its unique time-focused concept. There appears to be a very deep narrative behind the game and we hope that Remedy can really utilise the concept when it comes to the gameplay. If Alan Wake is anything to go by, Quantum Break will be another leap forward for gaming.
Last but not least, to wrap up the show, were Respawn entertainment’s much awaited game Titanfall. Titanfall looks like a godsend for those ultra-competitive FPS players who want a blisteringly fast-paced, unrelenting shooter. But this is isn’t your standard shooter fare; West and Zampella (who left Respawn earlier this year due to ‘family issues’) are a force to be reckoned with and it is safe to say that the COD franchise would be nothing without them and their genius. The gameplay on display was just pure carnage; with players literally dropping down from space, donning jetpacks and best of all, huge mechs dropping from orbit. This could be a huge coup on behalf of Microsoft, as the game will appear exclusively on the Xbox One and also on PC.
The Xbox One appears to have really made a u-turn as far as its perception as a games console is concerned. Whilst issues regarding DRM, always online and used game restrictions still need to be addressed, fans can at least rest easy that the Xbox One will deliver in the area that matters most. The ball is now in Sony’s court.