E3: Microsoft’s Mission Is Complete.

YOU HAD ONE JOB MICROSOFT! Show us the games. We as a gaming collective didn’t want to see or hear anything that wasn’t dealing with a game we will end up playing in the near future. Apparently the message was well received, because Microsoft spent 90 minutes showing a plethora of titles. Some were expected, some were unexpected. Some were well received, some weren’t. None of this is really the point. The biggest takeaway from this conference was that Microsoft is no longer content with their usual approach. They are no longer going to watch Sony amass a diverse library of titles without doing everything they can to keep up. They are no longer going to put the “battle for the living room” first. They finally got it through their thick skulls that the games come first, and everything else comes second. Everybody clap for competition! It’s a beautiful thing.

So let’s recap what we saw everyone. This will be lengthy. Buckle up. I’ll chime in with my thoughts on the games, but I want to be clear about something. This was a great presentation, regardless of how many of the games did or did not excite me. It wasn’t about me wanting to play every game shown. That never happens. It was about knowing that the XBox One will have plenty of diverse options at the buffet. Let’s get started.


Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare

MS started as they have so often in the past. Call of Duty has been their lead off batter for a few years now, and time exclusive DLC is usually mentioned alongside a demo. Nothing changed here, as the XBox One will receive DLC before the PS4. The demo looked good, especially the section with the homing grenades. I also liked the makeshift shield fashioned out of a car door. Everything looked crisp as COD usually does. I haven’t cared about the series in YEARS, but I will admit this demo made me want to know more.


Forza Horizon 2

Before Forza Horizon 2 was shown, it was announced that the famous Nurburgring track would be free immediately for Forza 5. A trailer was then shown for Horizon 2, showing off weather effects and drift techniques. It looked very impressive to me, even more so than Forza 5 admittedly. A release of September 30th was announced, much to the delight of XBox One owners.


I have been super excited since the announcement of Evolve, and what I saw just increased the anticipation. The 4 vs 1 dynamic is extremely appealing to me. The Kraken was released, and it looked bad ass. The 4 hunters didn’t look helpless either. Turtle Rock’s baby is progressing nicely, and I look forward to seeing more in the months to come.

assassins-creed-unity-logoAssassins Creed: Unity

Man oh man. I can’t explain how excited I was for the addition of co-op. I can’t imagine why it took this long honestly. I do wonder how the story plays out with 4 assassins running around during the French Revolution. It might be a separate mode possibly. The game looked beautiful, especially the huge crowds in the streets. The movement looks greatly improved as well. Getting around looks even easier. I haven’t played AC since Revelations, but I might have to jump back in. Return to the Animus on October 28.

1372267319-dragon-age-inquisitionDragon Age: Inquisition

This was a loooooong trailer. The game looked really good, although the series lost some goodwill with Dragon Age 2. It reminded me a lot of Skyrim, although I have never played neither Skyrim nor Dragon Age. I guess it’s the feel. In any event, we don’t have to wait long to get our hands on this title. October 7th is when we shall face the dragons.

8742c3fd-e9d1-4205-bd1e-c67261adb69cSunset Overdrive

I’ve been singing the praises of this game for quite some time. The trailer shown was awesome in my opinion. It was very humorous and colorful, and it explained the premise of the game quite well. There was a gameplay demo afterward, detailing the fast paced grind-and-gun play style. I get a Jet Set Radio vibe here, and many others agree. An 8 player co-op mode was announced, immediately making me think of Resistance 2. (Pours out liquor) I believe this is a sleeper hit waiting to happen, and it is the first game I want when I finally get the XBox One. Well, the second. The first comes later. Can you save Sunset City on October 28? Of course you can.

Super-DR3-Center-NEWDead Rising 3 Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX+ Alpha DLC (AWESOME NAME CAPCOM)

This was a hilarious video man. There is a 4 player co-op mode included, complete with numerous new costumes and bonus stages modeled after Street Fighter. It looked absolutely fantastic, especially if you love Street Fighter like me. Fans of the game were very pleased with the presentation of this DLC, and even more pleased to find out it was immediately available. Great execution here. I can’t get over this name. I’m still chuckling.

dance-central-spotlight-coverDance Central: Spotlight

It’s Dance Central. I don’t know how much I can say about it. I enjoy the series, and welcome a new entry. Let’s move on.

Foliage_Beech_Canopy_Screen05Fable Legends

I cannot tell a lie. Fable wasn’t impressive at all. I just don’t like the direction Fable is headed.  Lionhead doesn’t seem to know exactly what to do with it. I did like the villain aspect of multiplayer, but overall it was very underwhelming. It just didn’t look very fun to me, and I’ve seen this sentiment shared elsewhere. There will be a multiplayer beta this fall, so gamers will get a chance to test drive before purchase.

high_res_project_spark_wallpaper_by_everlive2-d6wzvc7Project Spark

I LOVE how the legion of Little Big Planet haters are jazzed for Project Spark. It’s funny to me. Anyway, Project Spark seems to be a build-your-own-game toolbox that opens up a world of possibilities for XBox One gamers. Sounds fun, but looked somewhat boring in the trailer. The community will no doubt easily surpass what we saw though. Conker showed up at the end, and we all thought he was set to star in a brand new adventure. Well he is…..if you create one for him. He is available for use in Project Spark.

externalimageOri and the Blind Forest

Ok Microsoft. This is when I knew things were different. Let me be clear, Microsoft has always had great indie offerings. The problem was they never advertised them. You never got the sense that they were proud of their smaller offerings. Games such as Shadow Complex, The Dishwasher, and Castle Crashers were never pushed into the limelight as they should have been. Well seeing this title let me know Microsoft will make a bigger effort to showcase some of their more unique offerings. And that makes me happy. This is a beautiful game reminiscent of the recent Child of Light. I can only hope it brings as much joy as that game did.

e3-2014-halo-master-chief-collection_hero_1920x706_343_v2-3b1e1448f4714da1aa11aed84f4694481-640x325The Master Chief Collection

Say hello to game 1. I was an avid Halo hater from the beginning honestly. Back then I hated FPS games period. Over the years I have grown to…..tolerate them. Some are better than others, but Halo doesn’t repulse me like it did once upon a time. So I made it my business to see what the fuss was about. What a way to do it. All 4 games in one package? Custom playlists stringing together missions from all 4? Play through all the campaigns with friends? What better way to play catch up. A brilliant move by Microsoft, even if it was a no brainer. And the retouched graphics? What a leap in quality. Relive Master Chief’s story on November 11th. They didn’t say much about Halo 5, although they did show a CGI trailer. The beta will be included with the Master Chief collection.. Halo Nightfall will also be included on the disc. That’s a whole lot for your 60 bucks.


Remember Limbo? If not, you should. It was, no, IS an awesome game. The team behind Limbo is back with Inside, and it looks every bit as great as it’s spiritual predecessor. The trailer was very well done, and the fact that it got time to shine before the indie montage is very telling. Sometimes, we need a break from the usual. That’s true for anything, but it especially holds true for gaming. It’s been proven time and time again that unique experiences can succeed if they are done right. Inside is a safe bet to do just that. I’ll be inside for sure in early 2015.

(Insert indie game trailer here with some good looking titles set to a very loud soundtrack)

1402338741-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-logoThe Rise Of The Tomb Raider

You know, it’s not lost on me that Microsoft showcased this title despite Sony having its prequel on the PS4. I could be reading too much into it, but you know. Anyway, Tomb Raider was awesome, and the trailer for this sequel did nothing to make me think it won’t surpass the bar that’s been set. I can’t wait to see Lara continue her ascension to greatness.

The-Witcher-3-LogoThe Witcher 3

Uh…..well…..this made Dragon Age look like child’s play. This game looks incredible. I mean, he attacked a freaking Griffin, then tracked him down by following the trail of blood he left. He calmly finished the job, and even found time to flirt a little with the damsel he saved. I’m sold man. Give me more. Definitely impressed by what I saw.

phantom-dustPhantom Dust

I’m not one of the people who played this game back on the original XBox, so I can’t speak to its quality. But most who played it were elated to see its return. I hear it was something of a cult classic, and most of those become so due to high quality and low visibility. I can only assume it is a good thing that it will be exposed to a whole new generation of gamers.

news_reveal_web_101398The Division

The game that I have affectionately dubbed “The Chosen One” showed up and showed out. I could have done without the banter during the demo though, because NO ONE talks like that when they play. It just doesn’t happen. Anyway, I don’t really have the proper words to express how amazing this game looks. I don’t even mean visually, although it is spectacular in that aspect. I mean everything about it. The feel, the city, the game play, the minority report-ish overlays that pop up…..it’s all so perfect. Perfect. I guess I did have the proper word.


Platinum Games are known for their over the top action, and Scalebound looks to continue that tradition. We don’t know much about what type of game it is based on the trailer, but suspense never killed anyone. The main character looks suspiciously like Nero in my opinion. Even his weapon reminds me of Nero’s weapon. I do find the creatures intriguing, hinting at something past the normal action we may be used to. I look forward to finding out more in the coming months.


Crackdown made it’s triumphant return, generating some excitement despite the second game being a piece of crap. The first title was well received, and we can only hope for a return to form. The trailer itself contained the same superhuman action fans are used to, but no game play was shown. That’s to be expected, as the game is probably very early in development. After Crackdown, there was a sizzle trailer summing up everything shown…..and I swear they snuck the Gears of War logo in there at the very end.

By the end of the conference, I felt like Microsoft couldn’t have done a better job. They showed a nice amount of games that will be available this year. They showed what next year will look like. They made a bigger push with the indie games. They trimmed the fat when it came to app announcements and tv stuff. The only real gripe I personally have was a feeling of familiarity. For years, Microsoft has been about 4 exclusives. Halo, Gears, Forza, Fable. They didn’t really do much to change that yet, so most of these announcements felt expected and familiar. Sunset Overdrive and Scalebound help, but they need more in my opinion. Quantum Break would have really helped, but that was held back in favor of Gamescom. Despite this, it was still an excellent showing. Microsoft needed to bounce back after the negative vibes last year’s show left gamers with. They did exactly what they needed to do, and when you set these games next to a 399 dollar XBox One, things get really interesting. I look forward to the rest of 2014 in gaming, and thanks to this conference I now look forward to owning an XBox One very soon.






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