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Microsoft @ E3 : It is all about the games
Jun 10, 2014
By John Powell - G4 Canada
No talk about cable television. No talk about social media. No talk about an app for this or an app for that. Microsoft promised a press conference about games and that is what they delivered at E3, the annual video game convention in Los Angeles.
“This week we share a common purpose with our friends at Sony, Nintendo and the developers and publishers in our industry. That purpose is to showcase the passion, creativity and potential behind the fast growing form of entertainment in the world: games,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president, Microsoft Game Studios, as he took the stage.
Spencer recognized the importance customer feedback playing a large role in shaping the evolution of Xbox One.
“Your feedback showed up in the console we launched in November and in the update we have delivered since. You are shaping the future of Xbox and we are better for it. Today, we are dedicating our entire briefing to games,” he said.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Microsoft press conference without Halo’s Master Chief and he did make an appearance as The Master Chief Collection was officially announced.
Available on November 11th, the release will feature Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 all in one package. Halo 2 has been given the full anniversary treatment with the game being retouched and give a fresh coat of paint. Right out of the box, all levels and maps will be unlocked so that gamers can customize their experiences and create their own playlist from all four Halo installments.
All 100 multiplayer maps will be included as well as 4,000 gamer score up for grabs.
As a part of the package, Halo Nightfall, the live-action digital series produced by Ridley Scott with a storyline that leads up the events in Halo 5: Guardians is part of The Master Chief Collection along with the code to participate in the Halo 5: Guardians Beta which will debut new game modes and features.
Although no one game stole the spotlight, gameplay footage from the forthcoming Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare and the quirky Sunset Overdrive was impressive. Advanced Warfare featured a drop team landing in a South African city as giant mechs stomped on by and helicopters whizzed overhead. Utilizing jet packs to navigate the rumble, the soldiers battled swarms of flying bug-like robots and enemy combatants.
Sunset Overdrive showed off more of its enticing off-beat humour and hyper-stylized graphics with the wise-cracking hero swinging through an amusement park taking out mutants, a giant boss and sliding along the rails of a roller coaster. We cannot wait for October 28th.
While there was no pervasive theme, the one reoccurring element of Microsoft’s presser seemed to be co-op, multiplayer campaigns. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Fable Legends and Tom Clancy’s Division highlighted that component.
Ubisoft revealed what the “Unity” in Assassin’s Creed: Unity meant. In the title, players will be able to form their own Brotherhoods online and tackle missions together. On the E3 stage, a Brotherhood of players seamlessly scaled and stealthily fought their way into a posh mansion at the time of the French Revolution and fed a rich brat to the huddled masses below.
Fables Legend, a new take on the classic Xbox franchise, took on a more impressive Dungeons and Dragons RPG feel with a party of characters co-ordinating attacks as they explored a jungle shrine.
In a New York City desolated by a deadly virus, a squad of multiplayer soldiers worked together to take down hostiles in Tom Clancy’s Division, which seems to be a throwback to the older tactical Rainbow Six games with non-stop, free-flowing action.
The announcement of a Crackdown reboot also showed off another co-op, multiplayer title. In the footage, three players teamed-up to bring down a baddie and his high-rise headquarters using explosives and a sniper.
Some other returning franchises include Tomb Raider: Rise of Tomb Raider, portraying a younger Lara Croft much like the 2013 entry and a reboot of Phantom Dust, an original Xbox release which was a pseudo-card-based action-strategy game. The game trailer seemed to portray a more action-based game.
To watch the full press conference, click here
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.