Let’s start off with the list of games announced from Microsoft at this years E3:
- The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
- Battletoads (No, Really)
- Cuphead – New playable Character and Bosses
- Crackdown 3
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Devil May Cry V
- The Division 2
- Dying Light 2
- Fallout 76
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears of War 5
- Halo Infinite
- Jump Force
- Just Cause 4
- Kingdom Hearts 3
- Metro Exodus
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- PubG – New map: Sanhok
- Sea of Thieves Update
- Sekio: Shadows Die Twice
Phew…ok, now lets take a more in depth look at some of the announcements.
Kicking their presentation off with their most recognizable franchise, Halo. While not many details for the new game, Halo Infinite, were given enough was seen in the brief teaser to get people hungry. The game seems to be returning to its roots a bit with the setting being another Halo installation and the player controlling what appears to be Master Chief. Few details are out about this game so people will need to wait until Microsoft reveals more than a teaser trailer. There was no official word confirming that this is Halo 6 but an article at Halo Waypoint did announce that Infinite would continue following Master Chief after the events of Halo 5. So it’s possible this may be a side story like Halo 3: ODST. From this point out, Microsoft seemed to have no interest in pumping their brakes.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps was the next game announced with a trailer that show cased what players can expect from the game and gave a release window of 2019. Next up was the wildly speculated game teased by From Software. Thankfully the reveal trailer gave up quite a bit of information including the name, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game puts you in control of a samurai in what appears to be the Sengoku period of Japan. While a new IP, it’s still clear that players can expect the punishing difficulty and intense combat that From Software is known for, and some kind of hat shield that looks awesome. Next up it was announced that Fallout 4 would be coming to Xbox game pass and Fallout 76 got a nice trailer. Though not much else was shown about the new game, not surprising considering Bethesda has their own conference. The studio that brought you Life is Stange is releasing a new game, The Awesome Adventure of Captain Spirit, for free June 26th.
Crackdown 3 announced their release date of February 2019 alongside a trailer where just about everything on screen was blown up of thrown around by Terry Crews. Nier Automata: Become as Gods burst onto the scene next, allowing Xbox only player to finally get their hands on the critically acclaimed title. Metro Exodus was again showcased this year, though they included the release date of February 2019 this time around. Gritty, hard, and unforgiving are the most applicable adjectives that can be used to describe the world based on the number of enemies that munch on you during the trailer. Probably one of the biggest surprises was the Kingdom Hearts 3 release date announcement of February 2019, making this a very crowded month for gamers. Accompanying this was an in depth trailer that showcased both gameplay and story elements. Some speculation has gone around that the sound design was a bit off, but nonetheless the trailer will get fans of the series hyped for February. From there we got a Sea of Thieves trailer showing the Forsaken Shores update in September and a brief Battlefield V story trailer. Forza Horizon 4 got a pretty deep dive with the team showcasing gameplay as well as explaining how the seasons make the map accessible in new ways; winter, for example, will allow players to drive on frozen lakes opening up new routes.
The next few minutes of the conference revolved around Microsoft’s acquisition of independent studios, Ninja Theory and Playground Games for example, and the opening of a brand new in house studio. First party exclusives is something Microsoft has lagged behind in, however with the renewed commitment to great exclusive content fans can expect to see yields of this labor in the coming years. We Happy Few got a new trailer and release date of August 10, 2018. This Orwellian style game gives off some seriously creepy vibes and luckily fans won’t have to wait long. PUBG is getting some new content in an update, and Tales of Vesperia is coming in a deluxe edition style rerelease. The Division 2 took center stage next with a gameplay demo similar to its predecessor’s first announcement trailer. It appears New York is being left behind in favor of Washington D.C. Some new abilities were shown off, though the audience will have to wait till a later date to get more information regarding this game.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider came up next and gave off some serious vibes of disaster as Laura beast modes it through another adventure. Session, a new skateboarding game, looked interesting and Black Desert came with a beautiful trailer showcasing the world and a bit of combat; a beta is available later this fall with registration beginning now. Devil May Cry 5 burst onto the scene full of music and badass (can I say that?) action. This game is a direct sequel to Devil May Cry 4, which released a decade ago, and puts players in control of Nero. The action seems to be the over the top style that Devil May Cry is known for, fans of the series will most likely be hyped most what was shown at the end of the trailer. Cuphead the Delicious Last Course is new dlc that gives players a new female character as well as a new area to explore and bosses to die against. Next was Tunic, a cute new game that seems to have come from the question of “What if Link from the Legend of Zelda was a fox?” Following that was Jump Force, a new fighting game that includes fan favorite anime characters from Goku to Naruto. Only a short trailer was shown so hopefully more details emerge over the rest of E3.
Dying Light 2 was announced, the developers claiming that it builds upon the original while also adding in player choice and consequence. It’ll be interesting to see what choices people make in this zombie apocalypse. Probably the most surprising announcement of the day was Battle Toads is coming back. Not much was shown besides an announcement trailer, but it gave the impression of a game that will be fun. Just Cause 4 was then showcased with a trailer displaying both action and gameplay, it seems the developers upped the ante on the crazy explosion scale. Also they added in a massive tornado that looks like it would wipe out entire cities in mere moments, so hurray for that additional carnage. The Gears franchise took over for the majority of the show from here on out. A cute Gears Pop game was announced that looks to prioritize fun over anything else; Gears tactic, a XCOM style game, came up next. Not much was shown on either of these games though both look very enjoyable. Gears of War 5 got an in depth look next, the game puts players in the shows of Kait from Gears 4. It seems some time has passed since the previous installment of the series as Kait and JD appear to be on rough footing with each other. Nevertheless players will have to wait till 2019 to find out what really happened between them, as well as what happened to JD’s hair.
By far the biggest announcement of the conference was the surprise trailer of Cyber Punk 2077 that came at the very end of the conference. While it didn’t show any gameplay, this is the first look fans have had since the initial trailer several years ago. The world seems vibrant and alive, if not overly violent, though no release date was announced. CD Projekt Red plays their cards pretty close to the chest when it comes to their games and this is no different, people will just have to wait till they are ready to drop more info. Microsoft came out swinging this year at E3 and it seems that there is a little something of everything for Xbox players. There is enough content being released over the coming year to keep even the most reclusive gamer busy.