E3 Conference: Xbox Gaming Rundown

Microsoft Xbox kicked off Day 2 of this year’s E3 Press conferences and what a show it was. Showing not only game trailers but highlighting many Xbox exclusives, they also introduced new gaming hardware including the Xbox One S. Xbox Live also announced its two new features: Looking for Group and Arena. Let’s dig in.

Before we get to come clips, here’s a few quick bits. Minecraft is getting “A Friendly Update” and “City Textures pack” which will surely keep fans up to all hours. Next, a spin-off of sorts from Witcher 3, Microsoft also announced their upcoming stand alone online card game Gwent, based on the fan-favorite game inside Witcher. Xbox’s exclusive combat game, Killer Instinct also gains a new character taken from their upcoming Gears of War 4 release, General Raam. Nice. And finally, Tom Clancy’s The Division gets an Underground expansion which will be released on June 28, 2016. It’s like Christmas.

But the biggest news goes to their announcement of Xbox Play Anywhere where games can be played on both Xbox One and Windows 10 with a saved game. It also introduces crossplay where Xbox One and Windows 10 users can play together. Can you say, “Sweet”? Let’s get to the big titles. First up, racing.

Forza Horizon 3

One of the first trailers to wow the audience is Forza Horizon 3, which is set in Australia. Microsoft quickly jumped to showcase their Xbox crossplay with four players doing a live demo. Not only can they play this across different Microsoft platforms, it also has a truly seamless online mode where inviting your friends to a game will transfer them immediately into the environment and track you are racing on. Forza Horizon is set for release on September 27, 2016. Why does that seem so far away?

Impression: With solid gameplay in front of us, Forza Horizon 3 proves that it is the most social Forza (or probably any car game) to date. There is a wide variety of vehicles (cars, buggies, etc). Not only that, it really enforces wanting to play with friends and trying out the instant change in environment and all that it can offer. Looking at this jaw-dropping trailer, it’s pretty clear the phrase free time will only be a euphemism for Forza Time.

Final Fantasy XV

Live stage demo are the way to, and Xbox almost outdid themselves showing off Final Fantasy XV with a playthrough of The Trial of Titan. It not only shows off the battle mechanics but also the enemy design. On top of that, the gameplay also shows a glimpse of the other characters in this new installment coming in the not soon enough September 30, 2016.

Impression: We have already showed our excitement for Final Fantasy XV with our platinum demo playthrough a few months ago. The gameplay here bumps up the excitement to eleven. It demonstrates a free battle system rather than turn-based plus the world is done very well. Not to mention the characters are really fun and charming to watch. Hopefully, as we learn more about the story, they will be equally as appealing in their personality. This is definitely one to look out for.

We Happy Few

We Happy Few has been in Steam Early Access for quite some time and finally, they reveal a trailer. We Happy Few is set in a dystopian world of 1964 England after Allies lost World War II, more specifically in Wellington Wells where the civilians take a happy drug called “Joy” to live in denial. What happens–and will you survive–when you stop taking the drug and turn into a “Downer”? We Happy Few is set for release this summer.

Impression: Creepy, awkward, weird. There isn’t enough words to describe the uneasiness We Happy Few brings but in a good way. It has a thrilling tone  and makes us desire to discover this dystopian world along with the characters having a face painted in white. What other crazy things are in store for us? We Happy Many.

Tekken 7

Tekken 7 finally gets their reveal. It has both a competitive combat mode and also a story mode. Yet again another gameplay demo for Tekken 7 in a battle, along with a cinematic trailer. They promise better graphics, highly detailed characters and dynamic environments.

Impression: Tekken 7 has been a rather hit-and-miss franchise. Some of its offerings are fun and others have their issues. However, they do have an impressive range of characters that have appealed to us. The first look at gameplay is super promising. The hope is that the story mode will offer a profound campaign that makes it competitive with other combat games (Street Fighter V, we’re looking at you!)

Scalebound

Scalebound is one of the titles here that has been on our radar for a long time and it is one of the last games in this showcase before hitting the VR titles. The game itself has been delayed but has only built upon its hype. To ease player’s concerns, Microsoft brought with them a multiplayer co-op gameplay trailer for the Xbox/Windows 10 exclusive.

Impression: Dragons, good voice acting, enthusiastic dialogue, incredible beast design: This gameplay trailer shows off a lot of great qualities. Its full of magic and fantasy, action and adventure. This live demo is one that might be enough to motivate non-Xbox owners to convert over. We’re having trouble breathing.

Other game and trailers revealed at Microsoft’s Press Conference:

  • Gears of War 4
  • ReCore
  • Inside
  • Gwent
  • Deadrising 4
  • Sea of Thieves (VR)
  • State of Decay 2
  • Halo Wars 2
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