Now onto part 2 of my Microsoft Press Conference commentary from E3 2013. This time I’m focusing on the Xbox One console platform. So far, as a hardcore gamer myself, I’ve found the information regarding the Xbox One rather lackluster.
First on the block for Xbox One, RYSE: Son of Rome. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Game Studios, has lead the charge with this visually stunning live gameplay demo. RYSE, is coming to us straight from Crytek, a studio known for creating beautiful, in depth worlds and phenomenal game play. RYSE definitely delivers. Playing as a Roman soldier, you’ll be able to battle multiple opponents, command troops in real-time, and call in for support. This title will be available at the launch of Xbox One.
Next up to bat, Insomniac Games, and their new open world stylized shooter, Sunset Overdrive. While Insomniac is a familiar name in the gaming world, it is surprising to see them on the Microsoft stage what with all the titles that they’ve created for Sony over the years. It was only a trailer, but the game itself definitely looks like it would be fun to play.
And onto the main course with Forza Motorsport 5. Turn 10 and Microsoft Game Studio have hit the road screaming with this continuation of a great racing franchise. The new tech in the Xbox One coupled with the improved game engine, FM5 is mind blowingly beautiful. The texture and feel of the cars looks as though it’s going to leap off the screen. You can almost sense that new car smell. The new technology thanks to cloud computing, removes classic racing AI. Everyone has a ‘drivatar’, a learning program that gives the races a more human feel. Your drivatar reacts as you would in a race, even while you’re offline. You could be at work or school and your drivatar will earn you credits from racing.
They touched on Minecraft, a short demo of Quantum Break, trailer for D4 and a quick game play demo of Project Spark.
To further add to the tech demo of Xbox One, Microsoft touched on the SmartGlass integration with the new console and Live membership. This lead to the demo of Killer Instinct for the One which rolled right into the Game DVR and Upload Studio. This allows you to record game moments, and share them online with your friends. You can also stream your game play live now on the One via Twitch. Microsoft is doing away with the 100 friends limit on Live and is also changing from Microsoft Points, to real world local currency for Live purchases.
Finally, Capcom Vancouver, brings it to the crowd with a live demo of Dead Rising 3, another Xbox One exclusive. Just like the previous Dead Rising games, there is no loading time, and the game environment is massive. Capcom brought back the weapon creation and customization we’ve grown to love with this franchise. Everything is a weapon and you can make your own. SmartGlass integration is added to allow for calling in friendly fire when in a hotspot.
After some minor technical issues, DICE was able to take the stage and showcase the new Battlefield 4. The live demo was running at 60fps and looked stunning. It would seem that Microsoft was just quickly showcasing the new titles and studios. Quick glimpses of a yet titled game by Black Tusk Studios, the apparent return of Halo. There was no mention of any information about their games sales model, the lack of backwards compatibility, and the inability of buying used games or trading games in through retail outlets. Microsoft also announced Xbox One will launch across the world this November at $499/€499/£429.
The final highlight was Titanfall. Brought to us by Respawn Entertainment, founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella, formerly of Infinity Ward. Titanfall is a mecha combat/pilot/fps all rolled into one. As the demo showed, there are multiple ways to play. You don’t have to rely on your mech/Titan. You can pick and choose how you’re going to complete your combat scenarios.
All in all, it was an impressive line-up, albeit disappointing news as well with regards to the online policies, gaming sharing/trading and such. One thing is for certain, Sony has it’s work cut out for it.