Part of watching and blogging about E3 is watching the competition’s conference. Everyone knows that I’m a complete Sony fangirl and have always been, but after the reveal last year of the mysterious project Scorpio, I knew I couldn’t miss this year’s Microsoft Conference. There were a bunch of different things covered during the conference from the new upgraded console, to games, to other things, and there was just so much that if I put every single note that I took into this blog, it would be short story sized. So what I’m going to do for you so you don’t have to read every single note that I took, is break it down into what I found the most interesting.
Let’s start with how Scorpio was revealed to be Xbox One X, it’s a mouthful right? Anyway, it’s basically the PS4 Pro and comes with a huge price tag of $499.99. It also releases November 7th and has some pretty impressive specs. It’ll work with your normal TV, but if you want the full experience you need to upgrade to a 4K TV making everything even more expensive. Size apparently doesn’t matter when it comes to the Xbox One X, really even typing the whole name out is just weird, because this is the smallest Xbox ever. Not only is it the smallest Xbox ever, but it also has 22 exclusive games and all of them will be shown off along with another 20 that are cross platform games. Let’s start with the exclusive games.
The first exclusive they show off is Forza 7 and this is because every racing game looks good on a new console. That doesn’t mean they’re any good, but it’s a nice show off and everyone does it. Playerunknown’s Battleground really couldn’t hold my attention for the short time it was showed, but I did take notice of State of Decay 2. On the outside this game looks amazing, but look up close and the game starts to breakdown just a bit. Animations are stiff and let’s not even talk about the facial animations because those were worse than Mass Effect: Andromeda. There was also a game that kind of looked like a Battleborn type game and that was The Darwin Project. A lot of the games started off looking interesting but then got weird real fast and these games included Black Desert, Code Vein, Deep Rock Galactic, Tacoma, Cuphead, Ashen, and Ori: The Will of the Whispers. Yes these games were weird and made me glad I didn’t own an Xbox, but then there were those games that made me say “Damn, I wish I had an Xbox.” The main game that did this was Sea of Thieves because who doesn’t want to play as a pirate? The game of course looks campy, but I think that’s part of it’s charm. Another game that piqued my interest was The Last Night and The Artful Escape. There was also a montage of games that I couldn’t even keep up with the names or anything as they flew across the screen. I thought that Crackdown 3 with Terry Crews looked like a screwball type of game, sort of like Saints Row and it felt like Super Lucky’s Tale was a rip off of Sonic. Let’s face it, the main character looks like Tails from Sonic and Tails.
Now onto the games that I would actually be able to play because they aren’t Xbox exclusives! This part was exciting because they showed off a lot of games and there were a couple of surprises thrown in there as well. Let’s start with Metro: Exodus. Now I’ve played Metro: Last Light, I never finished it but I played it enough to know that this game looks pretty cool and it would be something that I would buy on sale. I kind of figured this one out halfway through the promo, but it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. After that I wasn’t even expecting to see the next game which just happened to be Assassin’s Creed: Origins. I wasn’t expecting it because I figured Ubisoft would want to show off their game at their conference. Anyway, the game looks amazing and looks like it can reboot the whole series from this downfall that it’s in right now. If that will actually work, no one will know, but it does release 10-27-2017. Then there was the promo for the game that had me the most excited. Right now if you read this blog on a regular basis you’re probably thinking that it was Anthem, but it’s not. We’ll get to why later, but I got totally excited when I seen the Life is Strange: Before the Storm promo. We get three episodes of Chloe before she was the Chloe that we know and she’s the main playable character. This totally came out of left field because I just seen they were working on Life is Strange 2 so I was not expecting this. Then there were the games I didn’t care for even if they’re playable on every platform and that included Dragon Fighter Z and Shadow of War. To me, Shadow of War just looked weird because while the cinematic’s looked good, the gameplay just looked off.
It wouldn’t be a Microsoft conference without some Minecraft stuff so there was some of that thrown in for good measure. There are updates and you can now play Minecraft in 4K when the Xbox One X comes out. Who knew right? Minecraft in 4K. Mind blowing. What really impressed me is Microsoft’s dedication to backwards compatibility, especially since they are trying to expand to the whole Xbox catalog. That’s a pretty cool thing that Sony will never do because it means that PS Now was a failure.
I saved this for last because they closed the show with it, and that’s Anthem. Not only do you guys know me for a Sony fangirl, but I am also a BioWare fangirl. After the EA conference I was super excited for this because it looked amazing until I seen the actual preview and my excitement went out the window. This game basically looks like Destiny. I feel this is a big risk, no huge risk, for BioWare who really can’t afford that right now. These guy’s tell stories and I’m not sure what kind of story they’re going to tell with this game. I’m not even sure it’s going to work because even though they’ve said you can play alone, it really looks like there is no single player to this game and it forces you to play with other people. If you have a group of people, great. If not, you’re kind of screwed and I’m not really feeling it. I like my BioWare games to have memorable characters and not be Destiny 2.0.
Overall I felt like Microsoft had a good show. I was surprised that Scorpio turned out to just be Xbox One X instead of a brand new console meaning that the Xbox One would have an extremely short life span, but that’s how things worked out. This also means that all those rumors about a PS5 are totally not happening any time soon as they are going to milk this generation’s consoles until at least 2021 or even longer.