E3 2017 Microsoft Conference Recap: Trailers And Impressions
Microsoft has a big show and we've got the details.
E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is an event held in Los Angeles where hardware manufacturers and software developers and publishers from the video game industry present new and upcoming products. Our own GameWarp has the coverage. Next up: Microsoft
The next to present at the E3 showcase on Sunday is Microsoft. Before entering this conference, everyone already knew that their main focus will be introducing their new hardware upgrade, Project Scorpio that they only teased last year. The question is how will they justify that this new hardware is worth a gamers’ investment? Many Xbox owners also want to see what announcements in terms of games that will perhaps make it seem like they can join the exclusives party like Sony has presented in the first half of 2016 and looking forward.
At the same time it is with a sense of hesitation that we enter into this conference as we no doubt all remember the horrible reveal for the Xbox One, which served not only to highlight many obvious flaws in Microsoft’s marketing strategy but also gave Playstation plenty of ammunition to beat down their rival as they took great delight in highlighting the fact that Playstation 4 was free from such issues.
If anything could be said about this conference it would be that it was hectic to say the least as they bombarded the audience with trailer after to trailer, rarely pausing for introductions to games, which did at times feel a little overwhelming in places but it certainly served to throw down the gauntlet down for the other conferences while finally giving Xbox owners the console exclusives they’ve sorely been lacking. If you missed the show you can also catch a replay here.
Xbox One X
Wasting no time in giving the audience the tentpole of the conference (and after a brief rundown of their past accomplishments), Microsoft kicked things off with the Project Scorpio reveal now named “Xbox One X”. Considering Microsoft’s history of never giving their consoles the most obvious of names as seen with their decision to follow the 360 with Xbox One?
As to be expected this reveal quickly descended into Tech Porn which the audience both in attendance and the live chat it certainly seemed to resonate with them. Microsoft especially keen to show off the power of the new machine and the potential it holds for developers used it to enhance all their trailers and gameplay demonstrations. For those who like their tech stats here’s what the new machine will offer.
- 6 Teraflop GPU clocked at 1.172 Ghz
- 12GB of GDDRS memory
- 326 GB/s of memory bandwidth
- True 4K – True 4K means that it will have HDR, wide color gamut, Premium Dolby Atmos Sound and 4K UHD Blu-ray playback.
Xbox One X will also be compatible with all the Xbox One games and accessories and the games will render in 4K to improve the 1080p output. In terms of their console features, the Scorpio technology offers the most advanced console processor and a liquid-cooled vapor chamber and new optimized power management. Xbox One X is also the smallest Xbox ever made and will launch on November 7, 2017.
Forza Motorsport 7 (Exclusive)
Forza one of the flagship titles of the console this latest addition to the franchise has been designed to embrace the power of the new machine like many of the titles we saw in the conference as they set out with the aim of making the “Most technically advanced and comprehensive racing games ever made” which was only reinforced by the demonstration given by professional drivers Shannon McIntosh & Verena Mei in particular the Porsche GT2RS which was not only revealed at the conference for the first time but also included in the game. Forza Motosport 7 is coming on October 3, 2017.
Perhaps one of the more bizarrely overlooked first person shooters the Metro 2046 series brought many interesting ideas to this saturated genre and it’s great to see this new game being given such love by Microsoft for its third entry in the series which looks more intense and atmospheric than before. Metro Exodus is inspired by the the novels, Metro 2033 and Metro 2035. Metro Exodus is an upcoming 2018 title.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Of all the E3 reveals this title had certainly lost some of its surprise thanks to its promotional team accidently releasing several pieces such as the t-shirt and pre-order card which basically revealed the setting for this latest entry in the long running series which this time takes place in Egypt, Siwa in what is seen as being a reboot of sorts for the franchise.
Adding RPG elements and a an even more detailed environment to explore than before which will embrace the power of the new hardware. This time you play as Ba Yek an Egyptian sheriff who it seems also has a sideline as an assassin as he battles the forces corrupting Egypt leading up we can expect to the formation of the Assassin Brotherhood. How grounded in history the game will be remains to be seen especially with the trailer showcasing footage or Ba Yek battling a giant cobra making us wonder if the game will include a mythological element.
Looking at the gameplay Ba Yek might be the most lumbered lead character as he can be seen carrying a heap of equipment while the towers so familiar to fans of the series are gone being replaced by his hawk which played similar to the drone in “Ghost Recon: Wildlands”. The combat meanwhile seemed to have more in common with the likes of Dark Souls or The Witcher than the previous games bringing with it more mobility and fluidity than before. Assassin’s Creed Origins will be released on October 27, 2017.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (Exclusive)
Currently available on Steam early access, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds get its Xbox exclusive. For those unfamiliar, this game strives to bring Battle Royale to console. It is built with the help of community feedback and also supports up to a hundred players in a match. A brief presentation announcing that it will be released in late 2017.
State of Decay 2 (Exclusive)
Wow! Another zombie game, right? Well from the footage we saw this one is thankfully trying to do something other than give us just another run and gun against the zombie hordes, with the promise of base building and player choices over the path your survivors will take. With this sequel looking to build on what we got with the first game though how still remains to be seen as at the time of writing details are frustratingly limited. State of Decay 2 will be released in Spring 2018.
The Darwin Project (Exclusive)
A multiplayer survival game from Scavengers Studio but the demonstration really didn’t give us much to go off other than showing a few of the special moves that various characters can perform.
We did also get to see the Show Director mode which will contain tools to influence matches and from the release issued by Microsoft confirmed that as you progress more tools will be open on the director dashboard and giving you the ability to change the game by giving an underdog an edge, punish contestants by restricting zones, triggering airstrikes or even giving away a player’s position. There is also a promise of interactivity through Microsoft’s “Mixer” streaming platform but like with the game details are still limited.
Despite some saying that the popularity of the game is in the decline from this presentation it certainly wouldn’t seem to be the case as Microsoft move to combine the platforms to create one combined world which would encompass Mobile, VR, Windows 10 and consoles on massive community run servers. At the same time Fall 2017 will see the game receiving a 4k update with the “Super Duper Graphics Pack” and yes that’s what they are really calling it.
Sea of Thieves (Exclusive)
A favourite from last years conference the demonstration we got this time gave a much better impression of the gameplay as well as a fantastic sense of self aware humour which makes us keen to dive into our own pirate adventure. Not only will the game let you hit the high seas with your crew, but also explore islands and sunken wrecks for treasure but also engage in plenty of swashbuckling action as the demonstration showcased with the crew not only battling skeletons but also engaging in a heated sea battle which included the ability to fire yourself from a cannon onto the enemy ship! Yes the naysayers will still cling onto their copies of Black Flag, but this game is clearly more about care free fun than any kind of realistic nautical experience. Sea of Thieves will be coming early 2018.
Ironically this was introduced as “a thrilling game…the likes of which has never been seen before” which is kind of fitting seeing how many times this game has been announced and delayed. Now we have a release date maybe we might finally get to see this highly unique shooter.
The game itself is a hand drawn two person shoot em-up reminiscent of “Gunstar Heroes” while more keyly presented in old school 1930’s cartoon style with a Jazz soundtrack and consisting solely of boss battles and while the delays have been frustrating it’s hard to still not get excited by the prospect of this game which we can see being responsible for a lot of snapped controllers. Cuphead will be released on September 29, 2017.
Crackdown 3 (Exclusive)
Spearheaded by the one and only Terry Crews, here the series looks to not be straying too far from what we got with the first two games, though clearly being designed to make the most of the new hardware as we got a very pretty showcase of mass destruction and carnage. Crackdown 3 will be released on November 7, 2017.
ID@ Xbox Game Reel
Taking a break from the bigger games, the independent game creators get their spotlight in a game reel featuring these titles:
- Osiris: New Dawn
- Raiders of the Broken Planet
- Unruly Heroes
- Path of Exile
- Surviving Mars
- Fable Fortune
- Robocraft Infinity
- Dunk Lords
- Minion Masters: Forced to Duel
- Dark and Light
- Strange Brigade
- Hello Neighbor
- Conan Exiles
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Here on Game Warp, we were big fans of the original game and needless to say, we are super excited about this prequel for which we got an incredible first trailer for and giving us a taste of the story which will focus on Chloe and Rachel over the course of three episodes with the first set to be released on August 31st.
No clues this time if it will include the ability to time travel and while the game might not be coming from the original developer, Dontnod Entertainment who themselves are currently working on a sequel to the original game, this still retains the graphical style while making us all the more eager to return to Arcadia Bay.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
The sequel to Shadow of Mordor expectations were already high for this title based on the popularity of the original game and the gameplay presentation so it made sense that we would get a more in depth demonstration of the gameplay at the conference including fortress assaults and an expanded nemesis system. The footage also showcased a fantastic sense of humour to the game which certainly fans of the films will appreciate and hearing banter and threats being exchanged between characters only made this world seem the more real and if the same wasn’t already a standout title, it certainly was after this demonstration. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is coming October 10, 2017.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The sequel to “Ori and the Blind Forest”, this game looks stunning and while the trailer didn’t exactly give much away, it certainly provided plenty of gorgeous visuals as we can expect this platformer to play similar to the original game though at the time of writing, its release date is still to be confirmed.
While we got a taste of this game during the EA Conference here we finally got to see this latest offering from Bioware in motion for this open-world third person RPG which sees players donning exosuits called Javelins which can be upgraded with a variety of abilities and customized to their preferences. The showcase here showing players having the ability to fly, swim and generally battle the huge enemies which populate this world while being able to assemble friends to join in the middle of the exploration seamlessly. While the details are still limited, we did get to see the squad system which allows you to team up with three other players to explore what promises to be a vast and expansive world. Anthem looks a promising new IP coming in 2018.
Exclusive: Deep Rock Galactic
Exclusive: The Artful Escape
Exclusive: Black Desert
Exclusive: The Last Night
Code Vein (Coming 2018)
Exclusive: Tacoma (August 2, 2017)
Exclusive: Super Lucky’s Tale (November 7, 2017)
While there certainly might have been plenty to be excited about with the sheer amount of titles showcased let alone the focus on Xbox Exclusive titles, equally exciting was the latest expansion to the Backwards compatibility library which will not only be getting new additions but will also see original Xbox games being added to its roster starting with the fantastic “Crimson Skies” making it clear that Microsoft are really pushing to make Xbox gamers proud of their console once more.
A super packed show as you can see but what are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments section below.