So E3 has come and gone about a month ago now, and the Fallout has settled (pun intended).
We had our surprises and our disappointments, but I just wanted to talk a bit about Microsoft's conference in particular, and why it stood out to me.
Now we know Microsoft have not been doing too well in the current gen competition; don't get me wrong, by no means have they been doing poorly. I just mean that Sony have really outdone them, but they've also let themselves down with lack of exclusivity and quality.
Remember Scalebound? Yeah. I sure do.
Either way, Xbox have really been building up their features such as Backwards Compatibility and Game Pass, but that's a matter for another time. Right now, I want to talk about the games presented at Microsoft's conference and why I really loved the lineup and surprises. Some games I have already mentioned on the site such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, so I will only be talking about the main surprises for me personally.
This year they brought a lot to the table: specifically 50 games. Now that's a lot of games, and I'm sure we don't really want to see me ramble on about each and every one of them, so I won't.
The way in which they hosted their conference however, was absolutely fantastic: it was just game after game, broken up every so often with a quick talk.
The pacing was very well done, and it was great to see all of these new reveals, as well as teasers for that of which we already knew.
So, with all of this bombardment, what stood out? Well let's get into that right now.
Forza Horizon 4
Surprisingly, I am actually excited for Forza Horizon 4; I have not played a racing game since Gran Turismo 3 and 4 on the PS2, and never really had reason to. Growing up I always edged more and more towards big, open, adventure RPGs. I'll be honest though, I do miss these kinds of games sometimes.
Fortunately, there is no better time for me personally to get back into a game like this: Forza Horizon 4 boasts a massive open world, in the UK nonetheless, and really focuses itself on the familiar landscapes and countrysides. On top of this, their new big feature is dynamic seasons, which will alter the way the game plays, and the areas of which become accessible, such as frozen lakes.
Honestly I can't wait to play this game, and what's even better news is that it comes free with the Xbox Game Pass, so as soon as it's released I'll be jumping back in to speed across some open roads and fields.
If, like me, you were once again thoroughly disappointed at the lack of an appearance of the long awaited 'Skate 4', then this next title should have perked you up a little: Session looks to be somewhat of a spiritual successor to the Skate series, and has been thriving on Kickstarter for quite a while now. The game takes a similar look and feel to that of the well-know EA series, and has worked hard over the years to refine the controls so that players can have a truly 'real' feel in a skateboarding game.
I don't know if Skate 4 will ever see light of day, but at least we have this game to look forward to for PC and Xbox One. I just hope that in all of its seriousness and realism, it still finds a way into the hearts of fans who love the wacky humour and stunts; I mean, at least something reminiscent of the famous Hall of Meat mode, in which you have to injure your skater as much as you can in the most ludicrous situations possible.
Are we a bit messed up?
What do we all love as much as we love Zelda-inspired games? Foxes.
So with the upcoming indie game Tunic, we have an adorable blend of both of these things. It uses a top down perspective and simplistic graphics to achieve the feel it sets out to provide, and it definitely shows. If you're a fan of cute adventure games, Zelda-likes, or just love supporting indie titles, then by all means go and check this game out. Tunic is set to release in 2018, so keep an eye out for that one.
Dying Light 2
Ultimately one of the biggest surprises of the show for me, even though I now feel like I really should have been expecting it; Dying Light 2 has been revealed as the next game in the overwhelmingly popular series. Honestly, this game is so much more popular than I think anyone realises, and it definitely deserves the praise and support.
Dying Light 2 looks to build upon the foundations of the original game, and offer fans an expanded RPG experience. This time around there is more focus on the open world itself, and how in which it will change based on decisions and actions you make. Whether it's general moral, or all out structures and factions, the game will change one way or another to become more unique to each playthrough.
If you were either a fan of the first game, or thought it could use improvements and refinement, then I definitely think that you will enjoy this new entry. The game seems like it's not only going to add many more forms of zombies and threats in the dark, but will also heavily focus on conflict between the living. I personally can't wait to see how this game contrasts to the original, and it will be fun to play a zombie-genre game that I know the developers can exceed in.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
As a little surprise from Square Enix, we saw a new trailer for 'The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit', or just Captain Spirit for short. This game is based in the Life is Strange universe, and follows in its footsteps for both visual and gameplay design.
It seems to be all about being a kid, and enjoying the creativity and imagination that comes along with it. However, it looks like it will also tackle the realism of life in contrast to this innocence, and how each might affect the other.
There isn't much else I can say about this short-story, other than I think everyone should give this game a go, as I certainly will too. Even better is that the game is free, and is actually available to play right now, so get to it!
Just Cause 4
For some reason I absolutely love the Just Cause 4 reveal trailer. I think it's due to a healthy mix of gameplay, the music, and good editing.
Either way, I have been playing the Just Cause series for more than 10 years and I cannot wait to jump into Rico's biggest (and probably last) adventure. The game is building upon everything it has ever done, adding even more fun to the gadgets introduced in the third entry; and if a new map and some new gadgets aren't enough for you, they added hurricanes.
Just Cause, the series known for its utter chaos, is getting hurricanes and storms. This is going to be amazing. The trailer shows Rico driving into the hurricane, which no sane man would do, and there is no real reason for him to do this, but let's be honest...that's what we all had in mind. Although, I quite like the idea of flying a plane into it too.
Anyway, Just Cause 4 looks like another brilliant game for the series, and it comes out December 4 this year. So get ready with some ideas of destruction, because there will be plenty of it.
Finally we have the big boy of the show; the one everyone wanted to see more of. Fair, since it had been about 4-5 years since we received the first reveal trailer.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a new RPG coming from CD Projekt Red, the developers behind the Witcher, and is going to be a massive FPS RPG set in a Cyberpunk universe.
The new trailer basically showed off what players wanted to see: we got characters, districts of the city, guns, vehicles, it basically just started showing us how this city setting plays out.
If you haven't watched the latest trailer, or even the original, go and do so now as the game looks to be very impressive so far, and we have hardly seen anything yet.
All in all, Microsoft had a massive lineup of games, but I wasn't expecting to be so impressed, even by the likes of Forza; but I'm very glad I was surprised, and I have a little more faith now in the direction that Xbox is looking to. Don't screw it up Microsoft.
They have even taken on developers into their company now, such as those behind the Forza series and State of Decay. This is another good move on their part, as it gives them a solid ground to release 'first party' games, and it also further improves the quality of the Game Pass as it receives all first party games on day of release. Alongside all of this they have recently become friends with Nintendo, allowing for cross-platform play and save data; a very good move on their part (we're looking at you Sony).
Keep going Microsoft, you're doing good.