Microsoft Kicks Off E3 2014 With a Plethora of Games
Microsoft's E3 2014 Press Conference was 90 minutes of almost non-stop trailers and gameplay; a far improvement over last year's conference. Microsoft broke it down into two segments: games coming out some time this year and games coming out in 2015. It was a great way to organize the conference, making it crystal clear which games would be available soon for those that have become a bit frustrated with the lack of new-gen titles.
For 2014 games, Microsoft kicked things off with gameplay of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which will have timed-exclusive DLC for Xbox One. Turn 10 Studios took the stage next to announce that the famous Nürburgring course will be launching today for Forza Motorsport 5 as free DLC, and then followed up with the announcement that the open-world Forza Horizon 2 will be arriving September 30 with dramatic weather and seamless multiplayer, all at 1080p. Evolve was shown next with footage of an all new monster; the beta and DLC are timed exclusives. Four-player co-op gameplay was shown for Assassin's Creed: Unity, which takes place in 18th century Paris during the French Revolution. A trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition was shown, which will also have timed-exclusive DLC.
An awesome CGI trailer (see above) was shown for XBO-exclusive Sunset Overdrive followed with gameplay within an amusement park; 8-player co-op was also unveiled, called "Chaos Squad", though footage wasn't shown for that. Then we had an insane trailer for Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha, which is XBO-exclusive 4-player co-op DLC for Dead Rising 3, available today. Harmonix came out to mention Disney's Fantasia Music Evolved and announce Dance Central Spotlight, but didn't show gameplay. Lionhead showed off some five-player multiplayer action for Fable Legends, where four players join forces as the heroes and a fifth person was the villain, able to control units and traps from a top-down perspective, much like an RTS. Spark was shown next, with what seemed like an unveil for "MMO-support" along with the announcement that Conker would be making his return in Spark for players to create their own Conker games. A gameplay trailer for Ori and the Blind Forest was shown, which is an XBO-exclusive indie 2.5D platformer, with nice vibrant environments.
Then, to cap off the 2014 section of the conference, Microsoft announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a collection of all four original games on one disc (Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4), along with Halo: Nightfall (the upcoming digital live-action series) and Halo 5: Guardians beta access coming this holiday season. As you may have noticed in the prior parenthetical, Halo 2 is getting the "Anniversary" treatment. But that's just part of the awesomeness in this collection: everything will be unlocked from the start, allowing players to create custom playlists across the four games (cherry-picking missions); there will be one hundred multiplayer maps running on their original engines; and it'll all run at 1080p at 60 frames per second. Oh, and all that for just the normal price of $60.
For 2015 games, we were shown the spiritual successor to Limbo, entitled Inside. Next was an ID@XBOX trailer featuring a ton of indie games coming to XBO: Below, Aztez, Knight Squad, Plague Inc. Evolved, Lifeless Planet, White Night, Earthlock, Cup Head, Hyper Light Drifter, Slash Dash, Fru, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Mighty No. 9, Grave, Threes, Fenix Rage, Woolfe, #IDARB, and Hellraid. Next up was my personal fanboy-favorite moment: the world premiere CGI trailer for a new entry in the Tomb Raider franchise: Rise of the Tomb Raider. Then there was some sweet Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt gameplay of a monster hunt. Then following up the reboot of Killer Instinct comes another XBO-exclusive reboot, Phantom Dust. New gameplay for Tom Clancy's The Division was shown, which will have timed-exclusive DLC. And then, capping things off were two more XBO-exclusives: Platinum Games' Scalebound, which looked like XBO's Shadow of the Colossus or Monster Hunter; and a multiplayer, open-world reboot of Crackdown.
Overall, it was an outstanding conference for Microsoft; possibly the best one the company has ever had. Sony certainly has its work cut out for itself this evening. You can discuss all things E3 in our official forum thread.
Source: E3 2014