Wow so Microsoft had 50 games on their E3 stage. There is a lot to digest here, having skipped through the conference again, watched the individual trailers and read the press release I’m still probably going to miss some things. But I will do my best to tell you about every game shown.
First talking about first party. It was clear that what many of us had feared. Microsoft’s first party is in a rough spot right now. The only exclusives coming soon are the ones most people expected. Forza Horizon 4, which is set in the UK which I’m very excited to play, will release on 2 October 2018 and is their sole big first party title for the holidays. It looks stunning and has a new weather feature which changes through the different seasons of the year. More on the game later in my deep dive on the game’s I’m excited about. Crackdown 3 was shown again and it looks a lot better, visually, than it did last year. It looks a fun open world game to mess around in but not exactly the exclusive that gets my blood pumping. Gears Of War 5 was announced, which again looks stunning and I’m sure it will be a good game but again not one I’m all that hyped for. It’s coming at some point in 2019 (I expect Fall like previous games).
Although Microsoft did give us a look at the future and they are building on their first party line up of studios and re-invigorating their most important IP, Halo, with a new game in the works called Halo: Infinite. It wasn’t stated during the show but reading 343’s blog post on halowaypoint.com it is the next entry in the franchise and a sequel to Halo 5: Guardians. It seems to be a full reboot in a similar manner to God Of War, where it is still a sequel but taking the franchise in a brand new direction. It is being built on a brand new engine called Slipspace and has an all new visual style that looks absolutely amazing. The game looks to be at least 2 years away but it’s good to know that it’s coming and frankly, as a huge Halo fan it was necessary to re-invigorate the franchise and give us all a Halo to really look forward to so I absolutely cannot wait.
They have also purchased and/or built 5 new first party studios for current and future exclusive games on Xbox One and beyond. The Innitiative is a brand new studio we heard about a couple of months ago that is based in Santa Monica and has already recruited some top tier developers. They have acquired Playground Games, developers of the Forza Horizon series and they are building a new open world action RPG that they didn’t show it was only mentioned by Phil Spencer. Again it’s likely to be 2-3 years away so maybe at next E3 we will get a reveal of what the game is. They have acquired Ninja Theory, who’s latest game was the amazing Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which is an absolute must play in my opinion and I can’t wait to see what their next game is.
They acquired Compulsion Games, developers of the amazing looking We Happy Few which launches this year 10 August 2018 on Xbox One, PS4 & PC. Sure it’s still coming to multiple platforms but presumably their next project won’t be. They purchased Undead Labs, creators of the State Of Decay series with the latest entry State Of Decay 2 releasing just a few weeks ago and has already had over 2 million players. I loved the game myself and have just recently finished my first playthrough and waiting on the DLC, the first slice of which is out on 4 July 2018 fittingly titled The Independence Pack. I’ll be excited to see the new DLC and whatever their next project is.
There was also talk about the next Xbox console that they are building it and some new service based stuff like new games coming to Game Pass and a new feature called Fast Start that allows you to start games a lot quicker in the middle of downloading/installing them. But I’ll look at that in more depth in another article as I’m still gathering info on them. For now I’m going to jump to third party.
Boy, there was a lot of amazing third party games announced most of them revealed for the first time with lots of sequels to beloved franchises and new IP from great developers. Most of them are coming within the next year with January-March 2019 being the most crowded it really is a second Christmas rush! I will write individual articles for some of these games that I’m most excited about with some more information hot off the Press so stay tuned for that. Here I’m just going to give you a rundown of them.
First up From Software revealed their brand new IP that was teased at The Game Awards last year, Sekhiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game has a Japanese fantasy setting where you play as a samurai warrior fighting big fantastical monsters in a very Souls-like action RPG. I’m very excited for this game and it is coming soon in early 2019.
Nier: Automata is coming to Xbox One very soon with the Become As Gods Edition which has all the DLC for £39.99 and is releasing in just a few weeks on 26 June 2018. Kingdom Hearts got a new trailer featuring Frozen, Tangled and some other Disney worlds previously shown. The game looks absolutely stunning and this trailer made me smile all the way through and warmed my heart so I cannot wait for 40+ hours of that feeling. It is coming on 29 January 2019.
Battlefield V got a new single player story trailer for one of the game’s War Stories which although it didn’t show gameplay looks very good. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider got a new cinematic trailer which looked gorgeous. A gameplay demo is promised for Square Enix’s press conference today so stay tuned for that. If you need a rundown of the times of each conference click my link here.
Devil May Cry V got announced looking amazing I’m really excited for it afterward being underwhelmed by Ninja Theory’s reboot and Devil May Cry 4 before it, I’m hoping this one returns the series to past highs and the trailer certainly looks very promising. It is coming soon too in Spring 2019. Dying Light 2 got announced with an impressive looking new trailer although no release window was given it looks like one to look forward to in the next couple of years aswell.
Jump Force is a new fighting game mashup of the Dragon Ball Z, One Piece and Naruto universes featuring multiple characters from each of those franchises. It had a great looking trailer and no release date was given so again presumably that is a ways off still. Fallout 76 was shown off by Bethesda, the game is a prequel to the original Fallout set 25 years after the bombs dropped and is an online multiplayer game with survival elements where players can either team up or fight against each other as they explore the wasteland of Western Virginia. There was more information on the game at Bethesda’s own E3 conference which you can read about in Kerris’ coverage on the site.
We also got another look at Metro: Exodus which continues to look very impressive and here we get a good look at gameplay. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic Russia and is a sequel to Metro: Last Light. Other third party titles on show were The Division 2 which got a stunning full gameplay demo, Dying Light 2 which came as somewhat of a surprise and it looks very very interesting. The first game was really good and the sequel looks as though it could be even better. There was also a number of indies and smaller titles announced which I’ll cover in a stand-alone article coming soon. Notable mentions were Ori & The Willow Of The Wisps which looked stunning as it did last year, a skateboarding game called Session which started as a Kickstarter project to make a spiritual successor to Skate and the trailer looked very very good. Another nice surprise was a spin-off game of Life Is Strange called The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit which is a completely free standalone game that will lead into Life Is Strange 2 and it is out in just a couple of weeks on 26 June 2018. We got an update to Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds with 2 new maps coming soon to the Battle Royale game, an update on upcoming Sea Of Thieves DLC in which two new addons will be adding to the coming in the coming months. Microsoft closed the briefing with a new trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 which looks incredible but is clearly still a few years away.