E3 So Far!

Hey all!

The other day I told you what I was hoping for at E3 and i'm pleased to be able to say i've got almost everything I asked for so far!

Lets go through my main notes from Microsoft, EA and Bethesda's conferences.

ANTHEM


Bioware's new IP has a name and a stunning 6 minute gameplay reveal from the Xbox conference. Not only does it look beautiful, it also looks like great fun - it incorporates plenty of Destiny's co-op and loot-driven progression that I love while also satiating my love of robot suits that would put Iron Man to shame. If the combat is as fun as Destiny's, this could be a huge hit.


Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus


After the cliffhanger of Wolfenstein: The New Order I am so thrilled that not only are we getting a sequel with the great characters we were introduced to last time, but that it'll be out this year.


Star Wars Battlefront II


Battlefront's 2015 reboot fell flat from a lack of content and depth, let alone the lack of a single-player campaign. The sequel looks set to rectify these issues, however, and despite not getting any single player gameplay at EA's conference I was left amazed by the visuals shown in the multiplayer game which we got to watch from multiple perspectives. The visuals in the first game still hold up almost two years on from release but my goodness - the sequel actually looks better than the prequel films. Wow.

Dishonored - Death of the Outsider


Only a CG trailer was shown for this one but my request for more Dishonored seems to have been heard. It seems "DOTO" will be a standalone expansion featuring a new protagonist with her own abilities. The option to re-play as Corvo or Emily has been mentioned too, essentially giving you three games in one. Also, they bought back the creepy song from the first game's marketing which is another win. Oh, and its out this year. 



FIFA 18


The Journey is back, and i'm not particularly fussed. The bigger news for me is improved dribbling (the biggest flaw in my game!) so fingers crossed for an improvement there!

Project Scorpio/Xbox One X


I've had a few hours to collect my thoughts on Microsoft's new iterative console. We now have a name - The Xbox One X, and while clunky I think its grown on me. Lets get the negatives out of the way first.

As excited as I was by the possibility of a new, more powerful console, Microsoft's conference failed to get me sufficiently motivated to buy one. While we were told that the games shown would be playable in native 4K (a step-up from the Playstation 4 Pro's upscaling techniques), a lot of the games shown had art styles that weren't likely to impress. Minecraft in 4K for example doesn't excite me in the same way that seeing something like Gears of War 4 in 4K would.

Despite a very diverse range of games, Microsoft showed a lot of games that are also playable on PC or will be playable on Playstation in the future with very few "true" exclusives. Worse yet, Sea of Thieves and State of Decay have been pushed back to 2018, leaving the hopes of 2017 on Crackdown 3, a title launching with the Xbox One X which didn't have a large amount of gameplay shown. Perhaps i'm being a pessimist, but there wasn't a lot to sell me on the upgrade - and I already own the Xbox One S.

The positives, however, are that Microsoft's conference was packed with no mention of Halo or Gears of War (short of a brief mention of a 4K patch). Perhaps the strategy is to position the Xbox One X as the definitive place to play third-party games and showing Anthem's first gameplay suggests that this could be the case.

A big positive for me is that IF I do decide to upgrade, I have an instant library of 4K games - while Microsoft noted five first party titles (Gears 4, Halo Wars 2, Forza Horizon 3, Killer Instinct and Minecraft) will be receiving 4K support in the new future, they also announced 30 titles from third parties are having patches added too. With some of the titles on that list being The Witcher 3, Wildlands and Dishonored 2, i'll benefit from a 4K library almost instantly which is certainly welcome.

Finally, on the theme of compatibility - a massive kudos to Microsoft for enabling the Xbox One, One X and One S to all run Xbox titles from not only Xbox 360 but the original Xbox also. A huge announcement considering Playstation 4 is unable to emulate any prior generations.



In the next day or so we have Nintendo, Ubisoft and of course, Sony to check out so i'll check back in later this week with some updated thoughts. While E3 is off to a great start, I think Sony will really push Playstation 4 Pro as a 4K box which is $100 cheaper, and they're bound to have some huge exclusives too. Ultimately though, competition is good for the consumer so we should be thankful for it!

What were your highlights of E3 so far?



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