I’ve said this in previous articles, but I’ve never been a fan of the Microsoft E3 showings. This will be my fourth year attending the event, and each year I am left wondering why the Xbox team doesn’t think that gamers want new games. Last year seemed to be a joke with an announcement of a new gen “8.5” console and backwards compatibility. I’m sorry, Xbox, but telling me I can play the games I’ve already owned for five years and that they might look extra pretty when your new console releases next year doesn’t do it for me.
Now, before you start calling me a Sony fanboy and fill my inbox with hate mail, let me tell you that I for a long time was a big Xbox fanboy. The original console came out on my birthday, and I still have a copy of Voodoo Vince sitting on my shelf. For the past few years, I’ve genuinely felt that Sony outclassed them. Just show me more new games, Microsoft! Your Hololens might as well be wizard magic to me if it doesn’t play Halo 6!
Well, Xbox fans, the seals have broken and the frost giants have come because Microsoft has finally done what fans are begging for and devoted an entire press conference to the games. And by god, was it glorious. I’m going to do them a kindness and pretend that whole Forza Motorsports 7 Porsche thing didn’t happen, as I don’t know a single gamer that can both afford a Porsche and be super excited about the new Forza. I’ll also admit that it started a bit rocky, with the unveiling of the new Xbox One X specs. I’m sure that some people out there nerd out over processing power and whatnot, and good for you. For me, it all just sounds like a dick measuring contest. Plus, my friend Joseph mentioned that the Xbox One X sounds like a teenager’s super edgy gamertag, and I just cannot for the life of me get that out of my head.
My despair was short-lived, however, as soon Phil Spencer strolled back out, laden with the swagger of man that knows he’s about to drop some serious bombs, and said (keep in mind I’m paraphrasing here), “Right, it’s game time. We have 42 new games to show you, 22 of which are exclusive.” From there, it was a cavalcade of awesome for the hour and fifteen minutes until the credits rolled. Just watch it if you haven’t seen it:
Now I didn’t really buy into this whole mid-generation HD console hype, but I’ll be damned if the games didn’t look phenomenal on the Xbox One X. It isn’t the kind of insane jump like we got from the PS2 to PS3, but I’d be lying if I said that Assassin’s Creed Origins didn’t drop my jaw. So for fans with 4k TVs looking to upgrade, it won’t be a waste. Releasing November 7th at a $500 price point, it’s too much for me to buy into. They promise that the Xbox One X will make every game look better and run faster, which is even more important when you consider that it comes fully backwards compatible not only with the Xbox 360, but an extensive original Xbox library. Like I said before, still not personally worth the asking price, but a treat for hardcore fans.
All right, now that I’ve got all the technical recap out of the way, I can get into the games! So far, my buddy David Gelmini and I have done our best to bring you the biggest news from E3, including the big announcements from the Xbox E3 Briefing. After we were done and ready to close up shop, there were still some titles I wanted to make sure that you guys took the time to check out. Each of these games was given the spotlight for a moment but easily could have slipped your gaze if you had to go make sure your dinner wasn’t burning or something. Keep in mind that these are all titles that got new footage in the conference, so don’t get mad at me that I’m not including the brief snippets for games like Hello Neighbor.
5) Black Desert:
Available for some time on the PC, Black Desert is famous for having one of the most robust character creation tools in any MMO (or even regular RPG for that matter). Graphically, the game is a marvel to behold. It caught a lot of flack on release for some poor mechanics and cash grab micro-transactions, but I have plenty of friends that swear by its genuine hardcore MMO quality. Console MMOs are especially rare, so take a moment to check out the trailer and see if it’s your thing. I’m all for bringing new genre’s to new platforms, and maybe Black Desert can finally bridge that gap.
4) Ori and the Will of the Whisps:
Must… not… cry! If you played Ori and the Blind Forest back when it released in 2015, then you are over the moon right now that the sequel is really coming. Easily one of the most poignant and touching platformers ever made, the original game made you feel some real feels. It was dark, deeply wonderful, and had a way of filling you with whimsy and dread in the same breath. With the sequel looking to paint an even darker picture, I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
3) The Last Night:
So we don’t actually see a lot of concrete details in this trailer, other than that it looks like Blade Runner done in 2D pixel-punk. So instead of trying to break it all down, I’m just going to link the official description:
“Xbox One console launch exclusive. The Last Night lets you explore a two-dimensional cyberpunk open world, built with four unique districts each with distinct architecture, cultures and industries. Experience action and infiltration gameplay in the great tradition of cinematic platformers and travel between districts using taxis, ferries, or monorail while trying to keep a low profile and remain undetected. Meet a diverse, inclusive cast of complex characters to interact with through meaningful, branching dialogue and enjoy varied gameplay such as driving down epic highways, flying drones, and hacking droids to do your dirty work.”
2) Deep Rock Galactic:
I’m just going to go ahead and name off some things I love. Cooperative monster shooters. Mining for loot. Space dwarves. Starship Troopers. Melting bugs with flamethrowers. Awesome retro graphics. Blowing bugs apart with shotguns. Tense combat against overwhelming hordes. Snarky space dwarves. Big machine guns, which I can use to chomp through bugs. I want Deep Rock Galactic.
If I wasn’t familiar with Fullbright’s previous game, Gone Home, I wouldn’t have even thought to include Tacoma. The trailer certainly doesn’t give us a lot to go off of. But if I know anything about this design team, it’s to expect a hell of a lot more than what meets the eye. Gone Home is one of my favorite narrative adventures of all time, bucking the normally contrived and boring trend and telling a genuinely moving human story while still being creepy as hell. With an expanded budget and more experience, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Tacoma.
Well, that’s all I have for you now gaming fans! Check in soon for my Bethesda recap, and see what Sony has in store for us tomorrow. Let me know below what you thought of my list and if you’re excited for the Xbox One X!