After playing a bit of Forza and Frogger on the twisited roads of Southern California I arrive in a corner of LA that is marked by retired space shuttles and Olympic parks. This is where Microsoft will lay out their line up for gamers tuned in to E3. The region is like much of Los Angeles. There is a stark contrast drawn out by the mortar lain university of hopeful scholarship and the tent towns on the sidewalks and under bridges.
E3 press conferences can be like that too. Because they are trying to be all things to the widest target possible, the final product can sometimes be a mish mash of awesome and dull. Laat year, Microsoft showed off the hardware but didn’t bring the games. This year we were told that this was the best line up of games in XBox history.
With five exclusive titles (Halo 5, Fable Legends, Forza 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Gears 4), blockbuster cross platformers (Fallout 4, Tom Clancy’s The Division, and Recore), promising indies (my favorites: Beyond Eyes, Gigantic, and Cuphead), and classics being made available (backwards compatability and Rare Collection), it does seem like it is time to upgrade from the 360.
Of course, my previous post addressed Fallout 4, and soon we will go deeper into some of the other titles. So let’s just take a moment on the overall impression this year’s Microsoft briefing left me with.
Instead of feeling like I was being shown too many core games or too many casual games or too much about hardware advancements, it seemes like there really is some of all of that coming. The show felt long and a bit tedious, but it never labored too heavily in any one area. If anything, there were some things I felt could have been expanded longer, but they were left short to fit in yet another title or squeeze in yet another feature.
One thing I definitely think could have been given more time was the Holo Lens. Minecraft looks amazing rising up from a table top. The interactive virtual imagery is the future gamers have only been able to imagine up until now. It’s the Holodeck and Legos meshed into one, and I worry if he gets his little hands on this advancement, my nephew will never bathe or sleep again. But I wanted to see more. What are the practical applications for Oculus Rift on other games. Here is where only casual gameplay was represented when we definitely wanted to go deeper and mine some more material.
You know, to craft a stone cottage or something.
Overall, I think Microsoft hit the mark and achieved their goal. It is hard to argue this isn’t the time to upgrade, isn’t the greatest line up in their history.