Monday, June 9, 2014

E3 2014: Microsoft's Press Conference

Microsoft started off the chain of Press Conferences that is the start of E3.  Last year they didn't do so well and received a lot of backlash for some of the more questionable decisions they made.  This time, Microsoft saw the error of their ways and decided to make this year's press conference all about the games and nothing else.

The majority of the press conference was about games that are coming out within the next six months or so.  Among these games include titles like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Forza Horizon 2, Assassin's Creed Unity, and Dragon Age Origin.  New titles like Sunset Overdrive were also announced, along with footage of Fable Legends, Ori and the Blind Forest, and the intriguing Project Spark which allows players to create and share games.

Naturally, Halo did make an appearance at the Press Conference.  Aside from the fact that Halo 5 won't be out until 2015, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was announced.  Coming out on November 11th of this year, The Master Chief Collection has all four of the main Halo games on one disc.  Halo 2 will be getting the Anniversary treatment, with updated graphics and possible additions to the story like they did with the first game.  For fans of Halo 2's multiplayer, there was some good news that the Anniversary edition will be bringing it back completely untouched.  On top of all this content, The Master Chief Collection comes with access to Halo 5's multiplayer beta and the live action series Halo: Nightfall which will help bridge the story to Halo 5.

After the Halo presentation, a series of games were briefly shown.  All of the games presented after this are ones that will come out sometime in 2015, including The Witcher 3 and Phantom Dust.  The conference was then brought to a close by CG announce trailers for Scalebound and a new Crackdown game.

Throughout the press conference, Microsoft did a series of interviews with developers about their favorite games among other things.  It seemed like they were trying to build something with this, but then nothing happened.  More than anything it felt like they were just wasting a few minutes here and there in an attempt to create transitions between presentations.

As usual, the conference consisted of trailers, live demos, and CG trailers.  Most of what was presented was pretty good except for the live demo for Tom Clancy's The Division where the players gave a truly awful, sad excuse for acting out what was happening in-game.  It actually topped the forced enthusiasm from the live demo of Destiny last year, which is impressive in all the wrong ways.

Overall though, Microsoft did a great job this year.  They've made up for last year and proved that they are still about games and not entirely all about expensive gimmicks like the Kinnect.

RBFB Rating: B+

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