No one is going to argue that Bethesda didn’t start off this year’s E3 with a bang.
Up next was Microsoft, and having promised a spectacular lineup, boy did they do a great job.
Halo : Guardians
Halo 5: Guardians, of course, kicked off Microsoft’s press conference.
The game’s campaign was previewed for the first time and demonstrated everything we’ve come to expect from a Halo game. It’s Halo, but bigger and better.
Halo 5: Guardians’ campaign sports seamless four player drop-in/drop-out support, and looks really rather good too.
Its lighting effects are what we expect from the latest generation of consoles, and there are a number of particles being thrown around at any one time.
Throw in the always comical grunts, solid gunplay, a story to invest in and more explosions than is strictly necessary and you’ve got Halo 5: Guardians.
343 Industries also demonstrated Halo 5’s new 24 player multiplayer mode, Warzone.
Warzone introduces the largest multiplayer maps for a Halo game yet. They’re apparently 4x larger than any map prior.
Finally, Warzone features AI players, much like Titanfall, and a objectives for each side to overcome. It looks like a blast, literally.
From Keiji Inafune, the developer responsible for the likes of Dead Rising and Lost Planet, and the creators behind Metroid, comes Recore.
“As one of the last remaining humans, forge friendships with courageous robot companions and lead them on an epic adventure through a mysterious, dynamic world.”
It’s one of the first truly new titles announced at this year’s E3, a surprising feat for Microsoft, and it’s nice to see,
We can’t wait to see more from this sci-fi-esque, eastern inspired world.
Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller and Backwards Compatibility
We all knew this was coming, but Microsoft has announced a new, re-designed Xbox one controller, the elite wireless controller.
The controller is fully customisable: that means swapping out the analogue nubs, the D-pad and more. It will also feature buttons underneath the grips (otherwise known as back paddles), hair-trigger locks for FPS titles, button remapping and some other pretty nifty features.
The controller will also feature the 3.5mm headphone jack introduced to all new controllers.
The elite wireless controller is set to launch in Fall 2015 (that’s Spring in South Africa).
Phil Spencer, determined to make Microsoft look good at E3 2015, also announced backwards compatibility for all Xbox 360 games.
Virtually every game will be natively supported. All developers need do is give Microsoft the go-ahead. That means that Xbox 360 retail discs will be supported and you should be able to download any game you already own for free from the Xbox Live store.
Best of all, many of the Xbox One’s more advanced functions, like DVR or live streaming, will be useable on Xbox 360 games.
Bethesda stepped on stage and showed largely the same coverage from their own press conference. You can check out our coverage here.
That said, they showed off a few more things, and reiterated how fantastic Fallout 4’s power armour will be.
Power armour changes your HUD, gives the player vertical movement and access to heavy duty weaponry. Even Deathclaws and Super Mutants will have to think twice before engaging with you.
Beyond that, they made sure to emphasise the ambition of this new world of theirs.
The only new detail announced was that mods created on the PC version of Fallout 4 will be transferrable to Xbox One. That’s very nearly a killer app all on its own.
Bethesda’s games are something else with mods, and the console crowd will finally get to experience why, to a certain extent at least.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
This was a fairly obvious announcement, but still managed to take us by surprise, simply because we were not expecting what we saw.
The game will feature brand new playable classes, abilities and stages to go all-out in.
Expect zany fights to take place in this absurd Zomburbia, as zombies and plants once more take a stab at each other.
The sci-fi, gratuitously colourful approach was not expected, but we love it all the same.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Bundle
Tom Clancy’s The Division will have an exclusive beta for Xbox One which is in the works for December.
The other Tom Clancy game showcased was Rainbow Six Siege.
The game will feature destructible environments, with focused co-op squad gameplay, team dynamics and strategy, along with interesting weapon play.
Along with Rainbow Six Siege for Xbox One, you will receive a bundle consisting of Rainbow Six Vegas and Rainbow Six Vegas 2, and will come free with Rainbow Six Siege. This will be available for a limited time only.
Both Rainbow Six Vegas and Rainbow Six Vegas 2 are coincidentally backwards compatible Xbox 360 games
Rainbow Six Siege will launch later this year.
Dark Souls 3
Dark Souls 3 is coming to the Xbox One, and was officially confirmed via this sweet new cinematic trailer; ’nuff said.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
What is there to say about Rise of the Tomb Raider that we don’t already know?
It’s coming exclusively to the Xbox for a period of time before it hits the other platforms and looks great.
It’s got particle effects that make you go wow; it’s all about Lara falling off or crashing head first into everything; and demonstrates that Lara Croft has the worst timing in the known universe.
Rare Replay – $30, 30 games
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Come August 4th, in celebration of Rare’s 30th anniversary, we’ll see the launch of Rare Replay.
Rare Replay is a compilation of Rare’s 30 best and most beloved games for the Xbox One. It’s great value for money, if nothing else.
Sea of Thieves
Rare’s most ambitious game yet is Sea of Thieves. It’s an open world, cooperative pirate MMO. Yes!
Take part in a pirating ship experience, explore the open seas, fight skeletons, send traitors off the plank and take on enemy vessels in glorious sea combat.
Microsoft has partnered with Valve VR and Oculus VR to incorporate the technology into Xbox One and Windows 10 for PC.
The Oculus Rift has now been confirmed to launch with an Xbox One controller as a result.
Excitingly, Xbox One games will be playable on the Oculus Rift through Windows 10 streaming, which is a win-win for PC gamers as well.
Microsoft HoloLens was also showcased and promises to offer untethered virtual computing in conjunction with Windows 10.
But the most epic and groundbreaking moment of the show was when Minecraft and HoloLens came together.
We were given a glimpse of what holographic technology can do. With Minecraft and the HoloLens, we saw our god sim fantasies come to life as the world of Minecraft became controllable in 3D rendered holographic glory before our very eyes.
A developer was able to manipulate his own Minecraft world as we witnessed another player moving around and interacting with the environment.
It was truly the realisation of where we could be heading in the future.
Microsoft showed off some new Fable Legends gameplay giving us some insight into the game’s story.
We already that the game is going to free-to-play when it launches, but Microsoft has revealed any games that you do happen to purchase will be transferable from one platform to the other.
Fable Legends is releasing for both the Xbox One as well as Windows 10 by the way, just in case you didn’t already know that.
A predictably dark demo showed off two soldiers exploring an even darker, more terrifying world than we’ve come to expect from the Gears of War universe.
The game showed off some traditional Gears of War mechanics and a few other things besides. Most curiously, there’s an all new enemy that doesn’t seem to be related to the Locusts we’ve come to despise.
Expect Gears 4 to release in Spring of 2016.
There were also a number of indie titles shown off, all of which can be seen here, and a few other games as well. But these were our favourites, what were yours?