Today was the big Xbox press event, and they were coming into it a bit behind after the Xbox One reveal. They had to deliver on their promise that they were going to show us the exclusives, and many other games that had been promised to us. They started off the show with a bang by showing us Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The graphics for this game were quite nice looking, and it appeared to be a rather large open world that we would be able to explore through multiple modes of transportation. We also got to hear the first taste of Kiefer Sutherland as Snake.
Before they got to the Xbox One exclusives, they did have some news about the Xbox 360. There is now yet another console design for the 360 which is now available in stores. As expected they announced that your Xbox Live gold membership would carry over to the Xbox One. World of Tanks is making its way to the 360 this summer, with controls optimized for the 360 controller. It will be free for XBL gold members. Starting in a couple of months, gold members will be getting two free games per month. They also announced Dark Souls II.
They then announced their support for indie game developers by showing a trailer for Max the Curse of the Brotherhood. It looks to be a platformer with some interesting mechanics. Then they launched into the first exclusive for the Xbox One. Ryse: Son of Rome. Its an action based game that does have some interesting mechanics with it. You are a Roman General and as such, you can command squads of soldiers to assist and work with you in many different ways. The game will also have Smart Glass integration, which seems to be a center-point for many of the games announced throughout the show.
By popular demand, they have brought back Killer Instinct. Killer Instinct will make use of the Smart Match system, which allows you to queue for a match and then go off and play another game. The Smart Match system matches you with other players based on language, skill, and reputation. Now that is something that even I am excited about. Next up they introduced us to Sunset Overdrive, a new franchise being developed by Insomniac. It is an open living world. The trailer gave us a small glimpse of the world, it does appear to be a bit cartoony with some wacky physics going around, but the game has piqued my interest.
We then got to peak at Forza 5. The game will use cloud processing to create something called your Driveitar. This collects information about how you drive in different situations and uploads it into the Forza cloud system. Then when you are not playing, your Driveitar is racing against other players around the world, and when you log in, it will have earned you some credits in those races. This creates a more challenging experience, since the Driveitars can learn different tactics as you go along. Minecraft will also being heading to the Xbox One. They talked about the potential for creating larger worlds, and having more multi-player.
They then moved on and talked about Quantum Break, the second game that will have a television show counterpart. The premise is that there was a failed experiment, and now time stutters and freezes. The graphics looked great from the in-game footage we were showed. Next on the docket was an indie episodic murder mystery called D4. It appeared to have a type of cel-shaded graphics, similar to Borderlands.
Next was Project Spark, a rather interesting game. It allows for collaborative development of games and worlds. It will be available on Xbox One and Windows 8. It utilizes Kinect and Smart Glass. Xbox One will have a built in Game DVR and app called Upload Studio for you to edit, upload and share in-game videos with your friends. They also announced that they have formed a partnership with Twitch for integrated live gameplay streaming. They announced that there would no longer be a limit on the number of friends you could have in your list. The much awaited end of Microsoft Points was announced, along with XBL Gold Sharing.
Next up was the title from the developers of Panzer Dragoon, called Rising Dragon. It is an aerial based combat game where you are riding a dragon. It was then announced that the next title, Dead Rising 3 was an Xbox One exclusive. It features a large open world in a fictional city in California. The game does appear to have a bit more realism than previous entries in the series. At this point its pretty clear that most of the games will have Smart Glass integration. Whether this is a blessing or curse remains to be seen.
Next up was Witcher 3, which features an open world with multiple regions to explore. It also features horse travel on land, and small boat travel for sea. It features voice commands for the Kinect, and like about everything else Smart Glass integration. Next up was the Battlefield 4 gameplay trailer. They had a little bit of an issue with the trailer, but managed to fix it before any long amount of time had passed. Trailer looked great, complete with the ability to use the environment to your advantage.
They then displayed an exclusive new indie game called Below. Nice short gameplay trailer, looks to be quite an interesting game. They also announced a new AAA franchise in development by Black Tusk, and that we should expect to see more about it later in the year. Next was the announcement of a new Halo game for the Xbox One, called Halo Assault, which will run with 60 FPS. Also announced was a live action TV series being helmed by Steven Spielberg.
Xbox One will be hitting the stores this November for $499 in the US, 499 Euros in Europe, and 429 pounds in England.
They left us with one last exclusive, Titan Fall. It appears to be a first-person shooter, with mech component to it. Seems you will be able to mount up into mechanized combat suits on the battlefield, as well as running around on foot. Seems to be a pretty cool concept.
I think Microsoft did a pretty decent job with the presentation, but I'll reserve my final judgement for after the Sony presser. I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments about what you think they did right.