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Microsoft Press Conference Recap E3 2018

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That was… actually pretty good!

Microsoft came out swinging this morning with a satisfying selection of first and third-party titles. However, I found myself questioning just how relevant a lot of the announcements were, with most of the reveals being multiplatform titles or lacking a solid release date.

Halo Infinite

Kicking off Microsoft’s conference was a teaser trailer for the latest Halo. Very little was shown aside from a couple establishing shots showcasing the improved engine. Leaks leading up to E3 suggested that Infinite would be a multiplayer focused instalment, touting the return of 4-player split screen in addition to a Battle Royale mode. No launch window was given.



 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

The sequel to 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest is highly anticipated at POINTNCLICK, but its initial reveal at last years conference felt like much of the same. Thankfully the new trailer shown this morning had plenty to show, from a bunch of new critters, to new abilities for combat and traversal.



Sekiro: Shadow’s Die Twice

The grizzly new From Software (Dark Souls, Bloodborne) title teased at Geoff Keighley’s game awards was revealed to be called Sekiro: Shadow’s Die Twice. Contrary to statements made by From Software in the past, the title looks remarkably similar to their previous Souls games, particularly the more fast-paced combat of Bloodborne. Sekiro: Shadow’s Die Twice is slated to launch in 2019.



Fallout 76

We got a sneak peek at Fallout 76 ahead of Bethesda’s press conference and it looks… Fine? It’s not immediately apparent what distinguishes the game from previous instalments aside from a map that’s 4 times larger than that of Fallout 4. Fallout 76 is due for release November 14th.



Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

From the creators of the original Life is StrangeAwesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a one off episode that takes place within the same universe. Beyond being a huge fan of the franchise I’m looking forward to how Dontnod approach a younger protagonist without it becoming grating. Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is only one episode and available for free on June 26th.



Crackdown 3

Not a whole lot to say about this one, the trailer showed very little in the way of new footage and felt more like a reminder that Terry Crews is a part of the game.



Nier: Automata Become as Gods Edition

A nice surprise to see Nier up on the Microsoft stage. This release will contain all previously released DLC and Xbox One X enhancements. Nier: Automata Become as Gods Edition will release June 26th.



Metro Exodus

This franchise continues to interest me, but I can’t see how it can compete with more competent shooters like Doom or Wolfenstein on the market. Metro Exodus releases February 22nd 2019.



Kingdom Hearts III

At long last Kingdom Hearts III confirmed that we will be exploring a world based on Disney’s Frozen. The character models fall a little flat when compared to their film counterparts however, so fingers crossed that its polished up in time for the final release. Kingdom Hearts III is releasing on January 29th 2019.



Sea of Thieves gets two new expansions

Two new expansions were announced for Rare’s co-operative pirate adventure. Cursed Sails is coming in June and Forsaken Shores will be launching in September.



Battlefield V

A new trailer for the Battlefield V War Stories was shown at Microsoft’s briefing. It’s looking to be a worthy successor to Battlefield One‘s beloved campaign.



Forza Horizon 4

This time taking place in Britain, Forza Horizon 4 looks gorgeous and has an interesting feature that changes the tracks depending on the in-game season.



Microsoft Acquires 5 New Studios

Microsoft has acknowledged that they rely far too heavily on third-party titles, and has decided to bolster their own first-party lineup by acquiring 5 new studios. Lead by former Crystal Dynamics developer Darrell Gallagher, is new studio: The Initiative. State of Decay developer Undead Labs, Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, Hellblade team Ninja Theory, and the guys behind We Happy Few: Compulsion Games. It’s a huge initiative (pardon the pun) and I appreciate Microsoft’s transparency surrounding their lack of exclusives.



Gears of War 5

Finally Gears of War 5 has been announced, this time, with a new character! Yay! Hopefully this signals a break away from the Fenix family character drama, and an effort to build a proper and enjoyable narrative. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if they split the game into 50-50 or 70-30, with the other part being played with Fenix father and Jr. Coming in 2019.



Gears of War PoP

When this was revealed I literally left the table. It’s a mobile game, it looks cute. Coming in 2019.



Just Cause 4

After the disappointing release of Just Cause 3, I hope this section of Avalanche Studios have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and are ready to make me fall in love with the franchise once again. Coming December 2018.



Battletoads

I have no affinity for Battletoads, but Josh and Cotter were definitely excited. Coming 2019



Dying Light 2

I am so excited for Dying Light 2. If they iron out some of the parkour kinks, and make the world and characters more interesting, we’re gonna be in for a whirl. Coming 2019



Jump Force

A catch-all 3D anime fighting game, with Death Note characters and Goku? Count me in. Coming 2019.



Tunic

Okay so, imagine, Zelda, with a cute fox! Revolutionary. Really, it’s cute as fuck. Coming 2019.



Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course DLC

For those of you who have finished Cuphead and want more, here you go! Coming in early 2019.



Devil May Cry 5

It looks like they’re blending DmC gameplay with a proper follow up for Devil May Cry 4. Honestly, I think that’s the best of both worlds.



Black Desert Online

The popular MMORPG is coming to consoles!



Session

The Skate 4 everyone wanted.



Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Become the Tomb Raider. Yet another cinematic trailer for the game coming out in September.



Gamepass Preview

Three new games coming to Gamepass: Fallout 4, Elder Scrolls Online, and The Division.



The Division 2

We got a look at an extended gameplay trailer of The Division 2. Still some awkward fake ‘friend coop talk’, but it revealed Crossbows, a new health/armour system, and the setting of the game, Washington DC.



Tales of Vesperia

Remaster of an old Japanese RPG 360 game. Coming out Summer (Australian) 2018.



Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds

In true Xbox One PUBG fashion, a cinematic gameplay trailer which resembles nothing of the actual experience in the game. Preview some of the maps already on PC.



We Happy Few

People have finally been given the focus on a ludicrously twisted narrative that people thought they were getting the first time around.


 

Twitter @JTCotterr

Cotter is a key writer at POINTNCLICK. He is a fan of RPGs, strong narratives and whatever it is that Kingdom Hearts tries to pass off as a plot. While admittedly a bit of a PlayStation fanboy, he endeavours to bring an enthusiastic take to the medium he's so passionate about. Unfortunately, no one calls him by his real name because we already have one of those.