There was a kid in elementary school who used to put their fingers in the pie or even lick all the frosting on a cake so that no one else could have a slice. At 10AM Pacific, Microsoft pretended to be a grownup version of that kid; one who has taken it upon themselves to erect as many paywalls and exclusive barriers as possible. Here’s all you need to know:
Microsoft opened with their poster child, Halo 5: Guardians, and revealed a trite display of recycled gimmicks. Little more could be expected from the sore teats of a series that should be put to rest. It was without hesitation that Microsoft proselytized the word “exclusive” – a word they are well fond of – which made me question if Spencer or any of the upper echelon of Xbox know exactly who they’re marketing to. Freedom sucks and get used to console-locked games because that’s the market we’re heading into, as denoted by Phil Spencer himself.
“Anchored by first-party exclusives, we’ll see a lineup of games from creators, developers, and publishers of all sizes…”
However this cloud does have a silver lining. Not soon after, greed subsided and Spencer announced Xbox One’s backwards compatibility, something that should have been implemented on release in both Microsoft and Sony’s current generation consoles.
Don’t worry though! There’s a new controller for PC and console gamers, one with twitch shooter capabilities, hair trigger adjustments, and customizability because you all know how much I love superfluous peripherals. I admire their attempts to maintain the “exclusive” mantra and still try to market controllers to PC gamers because apparently Xbox 360 controllers aren’t good enough and mouse controls aren’t accurate enough.
It was perpetually cute as Microsoft straddled Bethesda’s hype on Fallout 4 into the Xbox presentations, announcing that Xbox One users will have access to PC created mods for Fallout 4. We all remember the absolute madness of Bethesda’s treatment of mods, so this should be an interesting endeavor at the very least. I’m not sure how the PC community is going to handle that, but I would find a bunker to hide inside until this blows over, or at least avoid Reddit for a a couple weeks.
All I know is that this is a magnanimous opportunity and Bethesda’s endowment to the gaming community increases exponentially. Let’s hope it doesn’t get mired in the shadow of a paywall.
EA has a feature called EA Access Vault. For five USD a month you gain access to EA titles exclusively(there’s that word again) on Xbox One.
Plants Vs Zombies: GW2 featured a trailer directly following, but I won’t offer any speculation until a gameplay trailer is released.
Microsoft didn’t pander nuance when they put together their conference as evidenced by the trailers sardined with uncomfortable pacing, but just like sardines, one might taste fine and the next is a powdery slush. The new Forza trailer came out and for literally no reason they lowered a sports car on to the stage, but inside the insane minds of billionaires I can only imagine Henry Ford III and Greenawalt had their hands in each other’s pants before walking out on stage to present this installment into the franchise.
If you’re into cars and the previous Forza games, I imagine you’d really enjoy this exclusive title. Just remember to resist any impulse purchases of flashy sports cars.
Now for my favorite announcement trailer of this presentation. Admittedly, this is a product of my obsessive fanboy compulsions and a deep-seated love for a quickly expanding IP: Dark Souls. So here is Dark Souls III in all its glory:
Most of the games revealed didn’t get their limelight and were machine-gunned onto the screen as afterthoughts which should have been replaced by technological innovations by Xbox or at least valuable assets outside “exclusive” content and the like, so I apologize for missing any games you might want to see.
Rainbow Six: Siege also built some hype, and although I don’t have high interests for this installment, I really hope it answers the call for an innovative squad shooter.
The indie developers backed by Microsoft also made some fascinating debuts such as Gone Home developers’ new IP, Tacoma, Aurora44’s Ashen, and Studio MDHR’s Cuphead. All of these look exceedingly entertaining and I know I’m going to be picking up my copies upon release.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was shown in a visually stimulating but ultimately vacuous gameplay demo that felt underwhelming and clichéd in parts. Rare has also revealed Sea of Thieves which is basically a multiplayer pirate game, but once again, it’s on Xbone… exclusively. It has an appealing aesthetic and simplified design, and allows players to band together as gangs of sea-faring hooligans, but woe is he got console-locked this year.
Mojang had an incredible reveal in the form of a hololens display which takes the form of a 3-D projection of a Minecraft world that can be manipulated, explored, and controlled as if you were a deific entity. It looks fantastic in every sense and I will subside my own qualms for now to truly appreciate the innovations in simulation technology. Bravo!
I won’t be able to put into words how I feel about this innovation, so here’s a fantastic clip.
Oh, and the new Gears of War is coming out exclusively on Xbox One, but what they tried to do completely precludes what they should have done. Ingenuity draws me in more than an insipid permutation of tried mechanics with updated graphics, and this really left me disappointed. See for yourself.
With that undulating ending rocking me to a lackluster sleep, I can only imagine what Sony has in store to get back at Microsoft. I imagine in their infinite wisdom the evident solution will be punishing Xbone players with Sony exclusives. I’m just glad Dark Souls III isn’t included in that list.
I have to say, outside of Fallout 4 modding capabilities, Mojang’s display of technological prowess, and the indie game presentations, the most entertaining feature of this E3 event was undoubtedly Twitch chat.