The Xbox E3 Press Conference had some big announcements from a new console to a new developer joining the Xbox Game Studios. And, of course, over 60 games were announced too. Here are some highlights from the press conference :
Developed by Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division, it is due for release on October 25. Set in a space colony in the farthest reaches of space, Halcyon, the game imagines a dystopian future where corporations own and run everything and late stage capitalism reigns supreme. Nobody has risen against the oppressive corporations until a stranger arrives on the planet. He has the chance to both be both a villain or a hero according to the narrator. Replete with No Man’s Sky-esque environments, explosive weapons, and a dash of 1984’s Big Brother, Outer Words promises to be a fresh take on the sci-fi RPG.
The newest release from Ninja Theory, the makers of Hellblade and Devil May Cry is opening for Technical Alpha on June 27th. It’s a 3rd person competitive team multiplayer game with 4 players on each side. Different part human part machine characters are available for play, with a guitar wielding flame-thrower-for-a-mouth goth also present in the roster. Gameplay details are hard to come by so we’ll have to wait till the Alpha drops to see how it fares to other titles in its genre like Overwatch.
Star Wars Jedi : Fallen Order
Starring Cameron Monaghan of Shameless and Gotham fame as the protagonist, Cal Kestis, this title bucks the trend of previous Star Wars games. It’s a single player title built on the Unreal Engine instead of EA’s Frostbite 3. Cal Kestis is a Jedi in an age where all Jedi are thought dead. He joins forces with Saw Gerrera, the Clone Wars Veteran voiced by Forest Whitaker. Cal’s puppy like drone companion, BD-1 also makes an appearance. Developed by Respawn, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order releases on 15th November
After years of speculation, the CD Projekt Red title finally has a release date. Releasing on April 16th, 2020, the open-world RPG is set in a dystopian Night CIty, California. Players assume the role of V whose appearance and skills can be customised endlessly. It also stars Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand with the dialogue second only to the main character. He came on stage for a few minutes to talk about the game and shouted “You’re breathtaking” in reply to an audience member who called him the same.
Xbox Game Pass
A new subscription service exclusively for PC was announced with it costing 10 dollars per month in the US. Microsoft promises to build up the library to more than hundred ‘high quality’ games by August. At present it includes games like Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Metro Exodus and Prey with a number of other titles. Another tier called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate was also announced costing 15 dollars per month. It includes the game pass for console, PC and an Xbox Live Gold subscription to boot. Beta for the PC game pass is open.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
The popular flight sim finally gets an update after 13 years. The game is touted to use satellite data and the Microsoft Azure AI. The footage was full of sweeping realistic landscapes ranging from snow capped mountains to metropolitan cities like San Francisco. The graphics looked stunning with the plane models looking highly realistic. Considering all the footage was purported to be actual in game footage captured in 4k and in real time, this is one trailer you have to watch to realise how far graphics have come in the last few years. If you always wanted to circle around the Space Needle in Seattle with your Cessna, this is your game.
The indie game studio was announced as the newest developer to join Xbox Game Studios. They also had a new trailer for the sequel to their Unity based platformer, Psychonauts.
The fifth title in the Gears of War series, it will have a female protagonist, Kait. Marcus Phoenix will still be in the game but the main focus will be on Kait who will pick up from where the fourth installment left off. The game will also feature a new game mode called Escape with it having both online and local co-op. As a promotion for the upcoming release of Terminator : Dark Fate, the game will also have character skin packs featuring Terminator. According to an Xbox official tweet, the game will also get a map editor which is a first for the series.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
The second version of the premium controller has been completely re engineered from the inside-out. The tension of the thumbsticks has been made easily adjustable with an adapter. The bumpers have been redesigned and the hair trigger locks are now shorter allowing for faster fire. Three different profiles can be stored on the controller. The controller also has an internal rechargeable battery with over 40 hours of playtime on a single charge.
Project xCloud is the newest initiative by Xbox to enable console streaming en masse. Your existing Xbox One systems will function as a personal home server to stream games wherever you go. Previews will start in October.
The next generation console from Xbox has a custom designed processor made in collaboration with AMD. It’s supposed to be four times as powerful as the Xbox One X. This console also uses GDDR6 high bandwidth memory which in conjunction with the processor gives the console 8K capability and the ability to output upto 120 frames per second. It also has real time ray tracing. Xbox has made a new form of SSD in-house which enables it to be used as virtual RAM and thus reduces load times. Project Scarlett is set to release in the Holidays, 2020.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the sequel to the Ori and the Blind Forest has some monstrous antagonists and refreshed graphics, with the 3D assets playing nicely with the environments of the 2D side scroller. February 11, 2020
Minecraft Dungeons, a reskinned Fable with Minecraft style Graphics and top down 3rd person view, this dungeon crawler has 4 player co-op and online multiplayer. Stated for release in Spring, 2020.
Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition: We finally get some more footage and information about the remastered RTS strategy classic. With 4K graphics and fully remastered audio, this title aims to capture all of those nostalgia dollars.
Lego Star Wars : The Skywalker Saga: This title was announced as having all the nine movies in it with a dash of the classic Lego humor and charm. It still remains to be seen how the game tackles cramming 24 hours of movies into one single game where usually each movie is dealt with a single game.