The Microsoft E3 conference this year, while better than what has happened in the past conferences, there was something that still lingered from previous years. Obviously there was the official reveal of the release date and price point of the Scorpio, now known as the Xbox One X. After they sang the praises of their new console, repeating the specs that have been released to the public for a while, they moved on to Forza Motorsport 7. While it is a beautiful game, that will likely be good fun for those that prefer that style of racer, there was really not much shown that was new, and no real info was given. The release date of the game is October third, and will have 700 cars in the game, including the new, premiered Porsche 911 GT2 RS. They mentioned how they have a "diverse" library of 44 games to show, with 22 of them being "exclusive" in some capacity. The first game shown was the premiere of Metro: Exodus, while very beautiful, there is not much information to go on, other than presumed to be a sequel due to the title.
This is a trend continued throughout this conference, while there are a few standouts, most of the games get a short comment, and a trailer, before moving on to the next game on the docket. Assassins Creed: Origins was next, and it got a bit more attention given to it. The game is confirmed to take place in Egypt, while no specific time period was given, it was shown with the character fighting Roman Centurions, so It is at the latest, the time of Cleopatra. Other than this the gameplay trailer showed off some new additions to the game itself. The eagle vision that has existed since AC 1 is changing, it is no longer an inherent ability that you have to identify enemies and your assassination target, rather you have an eagle that flies above the area you are infiltrating in order to scout ahead, and mark targets. The world itself looks larger, and more filled out than in previous games. Also, the combat looks to be changed yet again, and for the better it seems. Lastly there seems to be a fair amount of RPG style changes to the game that appear to give the player more choices, with a level and ability point systems.
There was a quick shot block of exclusives shown that are of a smaller scale, depending on who is asked. The first of these games was Player Unknown's Battleground, which is console exclusive to Xbox. After that they revealed an interesting looking mining/horde style game called Deep Rock Galactic, which if nothing else looks interesting. There was a segment showing State Of Decay 2, which has a release window of spring 2018. After that was a game called The Darwin Project, which was confused initially with Culling Time, due to the similarity in gameplay and appearance, there was not any release information given. After those games were shown, there was a bit of time given to Minecraft and some interesting info. Firstly, there is something that is called the Mincraft Community Marketplace, nothing concrete was given towards that, other than it includes cross-play between PC, Mobile, and Consoles. With that they revealed that the game will be receiving 4K capabilities, along with a "Super Duper Graphics Pack."
After that was another block of games, starting off with the new DragonBall fighting game, from Arc System Works, which is going back to the side scrolling 2.5D fighting style, also includes 3 v 3 battles, and the cell shaded look is quite stylish. They then moved on to some games that were identified as "Console launch exclusives" while that is annoyingly vague it likely means, that when they finally do arrive on consoles, it will release 'first' on Xbox. The three games shown at this point was the buy to play MMO Black Desert, a game called The Last Night, and a pretty interesting music based platformer called The Artful Escape. After a pretty cool trailer for the Bandai Namco game CodeVein, which releases in 2018, they went into a pretty cool showcase of the game Sea Of Thieves, developed by Rare.
After an entertaining romp through Sea Of Thieves, which still has no release window, they moved right along to another block of exclusive games. Tacoma was shown first with a trailer and a release date of August 4th. After that was a cute platformer called Super Lucky's Tales releasing on 7, Nov, 2017, then once again they showed off Cuphead, which finally has a release date, with 29, Sep, 2017. Then quite the entertaining trailer which had Terry Crews was shown for Crackdown 3, which received a release date of 7, Nov, 2017, after another trailer montage, and some more chatting about the greatness of ID@XBOX, the console launch exclusive game Ashen is show, which looks pretty good, they transitioned directly into the trailer debut for Life is Strange: Before The Storm. The game is a prequel to the first, has three episodes, and releases on 31, Aug, 2017. Middle Earth: Shadow Of War got a lengthy trailer showcasing the more fleshed out nemesis system, and a release date of 10, Oct. After a somber trailer for Ori: And The Will Of The Wisps, they mentioned that there were currently 300 backwards compatible games playable on the Xbox One, but they are also going to be adding original Xbox games to the line-up, more information will be released as it is closer to launch.
Continuing on they mentioned that a few first party games, and 30 third party games, will receive upgrades on the X, and that the new console will cost 499.99, and release on 7, Nov. They then went into the EA promised gameplay reveal of Bioware's newest IP, Anthem. In closing, while it was an improvement over their offering last year, there are still quite a few things that they need to change. Mainly, they need to spend less time talking about how cool things are, and show them instead. The largest issue however, is that they spent so much time talking about how powerful the X is, and 4K this, and HDR that, that they failed to prove the viability of the console through the games themselves. Added to the fact that to play all of these "exclusives" you do not actually need to own an Xbox One X shows there is a diminished interest in the console as a whole, especially at the price they are asking. They need to streamline their presentations, while there were interesting parts throughout, there remained too many points where it dragged to a slow crawl. That being said, at this point they are the best conference this E3, but there is tons of room for improvement. Here is hoping that they constantly learn and improve.