Monday 12 June 2017

E3 2017: Microsoft's Conference [Events]

Microsoft put up an excellent fight and came away stronger than EA ever could hope this E3. Scorpio has a new name – the Xbox One X. A focus on power, to bring the best looking games possible, even on 1080p screens. Compatibility, to allow all games and accessories to cross over to the more powerful hardware. Craftsmanship, allowing all that power to fit inside a shell smaller than the original One. A liquid-cooled vapour chamber allows server-scale cooling in the console. All this for $499.
The Xbox Backward Compatibility program gets an upgrade in the form of original Xbox games being released soon. Crimson Skies will be one of the first on the service, and these games are being reworked to look their best on Xbox One.

And as for the games… Well. Forty-two games, twenty-four of which are console exclusive. Ready to count them down?
Forza Motorsport 7, bringing Dubai into its roster of locations, and the Porsche 2018 GT2 RS into the 700+ car roster. Dynamic weather has been improved, and everything looks crisper. Skybox, lighting, road surfaces, and much more.
Crackdown 3 finally gets a release date of November 7, the same day the Xbox One X launches worldwide, and looks absolute chaos in the neon-lit city. Super Lucky’s Tale also launches November 7, and is a more cartoony-looking game. A 3D platformer in the style of Yooka-Laylee, it follows a fox on an adventure.
Sea of Thieves got an in-depth gameplay showcase, as the players explore a sunken ship for treasure, as well as an island. Players can launch themselves from cannons to battle the crews of other ships in combat, and hunting for treasure on islands will bring forth enemies that protect said island treasure.
Assassins Creed Origins explores the first assassins in Ancient Egypt, as they sneak, climb, and attack their objectives, using a literal birds-eye view in the form of an eagle to scout from the sky. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is coming to Xbox One later in the year, as is exploration-based game Deep Rock Galactic.
State of Decay 2 is coming Spring 2018, with a new game Tacoma coming August 2. The Darwin Project looks to be a survival game, where players hunt each other in a winter setting. Players being an actual term, as this is an entertainment program, where control is given to the director – who effectively can turn the entire battle just for fun.

Nine games down then, and quite a few more to come. Metro Exodus takes first-person gameplay and applies it to exploration. Black Desert is looking to do roughly the same thing on a smaller scale and in third person.
An urban city at night with pixelated characters in a 3D world. This is The Last Night. A 2D game with a paper-made style shows a man with a guitar running across landscapes in The Artful Escape. Code Vein has armoured people taking on creatures. Retro game Cuphead gets a release of September 29.
Square-Enix takes on a Life Is Strange prequel following Chloe in a three-part episodic game exploring her past. Dragonball Fighter Z takes on chaos with 3v3 matches in its 2D fighting. Ashen has battles with spiders and other shadow creatures, with talk of reclaiming the light from the dark.
Minecraft is going on an expansion. Crossplay across all platforms is coming, as well as a new massively-detailed texture and lighting update for those who want to swap from the simple pixel textures. All that is coming in the fall. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War expands the world of Mordor, giving the ability to recruit people and attack fortresses.

That takes us up to twenty games. If Crimson Skies is among that number, that is twenty-one. Anthem from EA makes twenty-two. The gameplay from this shows a massive world to explore as people called freelancers, who protect humanity using armour dubbed Javelin exoskeletons. These are customisable, and they seem to have a class structure as different types of suits work differently. The massively-online multiplayer game looks to have a grand scale attached.
As for the rest of the games… They were a part of the sizzle reel for ID@Xbox games. Those shown looked diverse, so it seems there is at least going to something for most people.

Microsoft certainly focused on the games, though I defy anyone to say they weren’t tired of always seeing or hearing ‘exclusive’ before nearly every single game. I’m still undecided on Forza Motorsport 7, and several of the games looked as though they’d interest me. However, I’m going to wait for more information. As for the… how are we shortening the name? XBO-X? I’ll stick with that. The XBO-X itself is certainly an interesting piece of hardware, but is it really worth the upgrade? More power in a smaller form factor is great, but those who will benefit most are those already with the screens to match.