E3 2017 – Part 2 – Microsoft Press Conference

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.

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E3 2016 – Part 2

After the Bethesda conference on Sunday, I was pumped for Monday as it looked like it would be turning out to be a pretty good E3 after all. Sure there was some crappy stuff with the EA conference not really showing anything, but I had some pretty high hopes for the three press conferences that were to be showcased on Monday, so here we go.

Microsoft Press Conference

So, I don’t even own an Xbox, never have and probably never will, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to see what Microsoft has going on and in the works. They started the show by introducing the Xbox One S, which I thought looked pretty badass. Up next was the exclusive Gears of War 4 which will now have a cross-play feature between Xbox One and Windows 10. I’ve always wanted to play Gears of War because it looks like a pretty awesome franchise and 4 looks pretty amazing from what they showed. It also came with a release date of 10-11-2016 and there’s going to be a collectible controller.

Next up was Killer Instinct which kind of reminded me of a more successful version of Playstation All Stars Battle Royale. New Gears of War characters are going to be added and it had the crowd going crazy. This was followed by Forza Horizon 3 which is a racing game and I had zero interest in it because I’m not all that big into racing games to begin with. Then there was ReCore which looks like an interesting concept and you can tell that a lot of effort went into it, but yet again it was not something I would play so no jealously there.

Now I know I’m going to get a lot of hate, but the Final Fantasy XV demo did not impress me one bit. I’ve never played this franchise or have the desire to but it just looked like a bunch of people running around and dodging a big hand. This was followed by some DLC for The Division which will come to Xbox One first along with more information on Battlefield One which was just a repeat of what was shown at the EA conference. Next came some hardware stuff. I have to say that there was that slight kick in the balls to Playstatoin when they said they wanted to have a faster and more reliable network and the addition of Cortana who I personally find useless. Other than that they announced features that Playstation already has such “Clubs” or as us PSN people like to call them “Communities”. There was also an announcement of want ads for multiplayer and even though Playstation doesn’t have that, there’s PSNProfiles.com which you can basically do the same thing. There was also mention of the ability to be able to sign up for competitions. Then there was the introduction of customizable controllers which I have to say, had me pretty jealous since I would like to customize my Playstation controller like that.

After that was some Minecraft stuff which had me bored since the presenters were…a little too enthusiastic about Minecraft along with the new game from the creators of Limbo called Inside. Just another reminder that I still haven’t played Limbo yet. This was followed by a montage of indie games that are coming soon. Next up, We Happy Few which looks amazing and has a kind of BioShock feel to it where nothing is really as it seems to be. I’m really hoping for a PS4 release for this one as well as the next game which was shown which was Gwent. I’m assuming this was created to compete with The Elder Scrolls: Legends which has basically the same concept. While I’m not interested in The Elder Scrolls one, I do have a lot of interest in Gwent because in the short time I spent playing The Witcher 3, most of it was spent playing Gwent. Like The Elder Scrolls: Legends, there will be a single player campaign along with multiplayer.

Although I’ll pass on the Tekken 7 game and Dead Rising 4, which is basically killing zombies to Christmas music, I’m totally jealous of Scalebound which looks just really cool and Sea of Thieves because who doesn’t want to play as a pirate? Then there’s State of Decay 2…sigh…is it time to jump ship to Xbox? No, I have to resist the urge even though these games look pretty sweet. The trailer for Halo Wars had me realizing why I choose Playstation every time because I have zero interest in Halo and then the big finale.

Project Scorpio is announced for Holiday 2017 with the tag line “No one get’s left behind” and then Microsoft drops the mic and ends the show because they knew that Playstation wouldn’t be talking about Project Neo.

Ubisoft Press Conference

What better way to start a press conference then by dancing right? Which leads into the perfect opportunity to promote the next Just Dance game. Everyone lets out a huge sigh of relief because the world would simply end if there wasn’t another Just Dance game released for this year. While that was a whole ten minutes wasted, after a brief opening from Aisha Tyler, who killed it again like she does every year, we finally get into the serious games. Up first is Ghost Recon: Wildlands. While this game looks awesome as you hunt down a drug cartel, I’m not sure it’s for me. I like that there’s solo play and co-op but you really have to play with people who know what they’re doing because if not it’s just not as cool as it looks up on the E3 stage.

The next game up is South Park and it had a really weird intro making me thing that someone went and made a Purge video game, which I think would be really cool, but it turned out to be The Fractured But Whole which was one of the games I was looking forward to this year. I love how this game looks like an episode and is said to be a continuation of The Stick of Truth. The scenes that they showed were hysterical and the new game play was pretty sweet as it’s still turn based while allowing you to move around the battle area now. This is supposed to have a release date of 12-6-2016, but I’m thinking it’s going to be delayed. There’s also some more talk about The Division DLC and how this game is a long term commitment for Ubisoft which makes me happy because I can buy it whenever and it’ll still be relevant.

Ubisoft then announces it’s plan to get into the VR competition and at this point, I know it looks cool, but I’m not sure it’s going to be as big as everyone thinks it’s going to be. I really think it’s just going to be a super expensive fad. To show off their move into VR they decide to show Eagle Flight because who hasn’t wanted to play as an Eagle soaring through the air picking up rabbits and taking out other Eagles trying to get their prize? Anyone? Anyone? No One. Here’s the thing with VR, when they show it, it just looks like a first person game and you really can’t see what it’s going to look like. How do you really know that when you play whatever game it’s going to be that awesome? I know I’m on the border of getting some major hate, but that Star Trek VR game that was shown next looked so damn basic. It really looked like something from the 1990’s and not something that was made today, I know the actual Star Trek stars were playing and it was really cool, but was it?

Next, another game that I’ve been waiting for, For Honor. This year the trailer was even better than last year and I’m even more excited about this game. Not only is there multiplayer, but there’s also a single player campaign which I found surprising. I thought the combat style looked pretty sweet and it’s even nicer that this game finally has a release date of 2-14-2017. Yes, the release date is far away but I think it will pay off if this game has a little extra polish. On a side note, dear future girlfriend, please don’t be offended when I spend the day playing For Honor instead of doing all the things couples do for Valentine’s Day. Thanks!

No Ubisoft conference is complete without an oh-no moment and Grow Up, the sequel to Grow Home was one of them. I really can’t believe this mess of a game is going to have a sequel. Seriously, mind blown. Oh-No turns into Huh? as Trails of the Blood Dragon is shown and then a cringe worthy moment as there’s a promo and more for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie. I thought that when they said there would be no Assassin’s Creed they meant no Assassin’s Creed in any way shape or form. Guess not.

Finally is the WatchDogs 2 trailer, which I’ve avoided until this press conference just because I wanted to see it on the big screen of E3 first. I like that there’s a new location, new character who’s also a member of DeadS3c, but I kinda wish the new character was a badass hacker chick. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they got rid of whatever his name was because he was boring as shit, but still it would have been nice to have another lead role filled by a female. What’s nice is that it has a release date of 11-15-2016, but I don’t know if it’s a day one purchase for me. Contemplating if I’ll pre-order or not, I get a head shaking moment as I hear that there’s going to be a WatchDogs movie. Sigh.

Ubisoft ends the show with a new IP and I’m thinking this is going to be fun, but was soon proven wrong as it’s this weird sports, open world type game called Steep. Total pass, I completely zoned out by the end of the show and thought this was a horrible way to end their overall pretty good press conference.

Kudos: Seriously, another kudos to all the support from the gaming community for the tragic events of the night club shooting. It was nice that it was mentioned and that these companies didn’t act like nothing happened any they were more important than an actual tragedy.

There’s one more press conference to go and that’s the Sony one. The one that I wait for all year long like a child on Christmas Eve. It’s the big one for me and usually my favorite as I see a bunch of games that I know I’m going to have to buy. By the end I’m usually surprised and already making my list, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I thought of it.

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