2017 E3 Roundup – Microsoft

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Mike has covered all of E3 already and here I am just getting to the Microsoft conference. If you want to skip my thoughts, here are quick links to what Mike has covered already:

Day 1.

Day 2.


And if you want to ready my coverage of EA, you can do so by click here. Now, if you’re still with me, let’s giddy on up to my Microsoft coverage.

I’ve always had a contentious relationship with Microsoft—so much so, that I didn’t get my XBox 360 until 2009 (spoilers, I became a huge fan and have the XBone S). And I remember seething after the Microsoft E3 conference that announced the XBone. How times have changed. I’ve gone from strictly being a Nintendo fanboy, to PlayStation (I followed Final Fantasy), to almost exclusively using my XBone. I will eventually invest in the Switch, but likely will not invest in the PlayStation 4 (unless a Sony exclusive jumps out at me in the future), but at the moment, I’m a big fan of my XBone.

Microsoft kicked their 2017 E3 conference off by announcing their next console system: XBox One X—a powerful system offering true 4k at 60 FPS.

I understand the community’s excitement over this, but at a price tag of $499.99, this is a system I’ll likely be skipping since it’s part of the XBone family. There would have to be something that came out that demanded the XBone X over the S to have me event think about it. That being said, everything I’ve seen looks beautiful and makes me excited for the true next gen console the cook up. What’s exciting is that they have a huge collection of games (42+) that are being worked on, with almost half of them being exclusive to XBone.

There was a lot shown during this conference, but if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t completely impressed—which isn’t a knock on the conference, I actually enjoyed watching the entire thing. I’ve never played the Metro series of games, but Exodus looks fascinating.

When the glass on the mask ended up breaking, and you could see it in your view, I popped big time. The game doesn’t make me want to go back and look at the previous two installments in the series, but I am definitely intrigued by the game. It’s gorgeous to look at and reminds me of Fallout.

I’ve been wanting to start playing the Assassin’s Creed franchise—I have Black Flag and my nephew plays it whenever he’s over, but I’m a completest when it comes to that series and want to start from the beginning. Nothing makes me want to do that more than Assassin’s Creed: Orgins.

Ancient Egypt is a setting that makes sense and is fun to look at and the RPG elements they’ve added to the game is right up my alley. E3 has done a great job at reminding me that I am a fan of games and need to pick up my controller more, and I foresee a lot of Assassin’s Creed in my future. One of my favorite aspects we see in this gameplay trailer is using your falcon to scout ahead… it’s. just. so good.

After seeing some trailers for some first person shooters, the next game to really grab my attention was State of Decay 2.

ALL THE YES. Another franchise I’ve just heard of (and certainly want to look into) and this blew me away. I love that it seems to have a some of the Telltale method in there, allowing you to choose your own path. Build your own place to live, or at least survive. As of now, this is likely the game I’m most looking forward to. Mike tells me there’s another ‘Zombie’ genre game that blows this one out of the water, which seems really hard to do at the moment.

One of the most exciting things to come out of E3, which has been a dream of mine since online play on the console was in it’s infancy, is Minecraft‘s ability to play with other players regardless of platform. This allows players to play a game with their friends on their console of choice—which, in my days of preferring PlayStation over XBox, would have allowed me and the rest of my friends to play games together more often! As excited as I was for some of the games this year, this news from Minecraft is the biggest thing for me.

There were two other properties that peaked my interest; Sea of Thieves (which has a Monkey Island feel too it) and Square Enix‘s (I was worried we weren’t going to see anything from them—by far my favorite publisher) Life is Strange.

Sea of Thieves seems (a real journalist would research beyond the E3 trailer, but c’mon) to be a fun shared world game about pirates. You can be part of a crew (lead a crew perhaps?) on piratey adventures. The trailer was a fun watch and seemed to be breaking the fourth wall, explaining the game as we watched. There seems like there could be a lot of fun opportunities for PvP, pirates vs skeletons, pirates vs pirates, capture the loot, etc. I’m excited to see what comes of this game, this (as of now) is in my top 5 of games from this years E3.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm is, as I’m just finding out, a prequel to Life is Strange, an episodic graphic adventure (which, at 32, has become one of my favorite types of games). There’s something about this trailer that really connected me to this story… as someone who isn’t familiar with this franchise, it gives me a big “CW Teen Drama” feeling, which isn’t bad at all. With it’s release in August of 2017, the original will be high on my priority list to purchase so I can get fully engrossed in this. Ever since I’ve started play Telltale games, Back to the Future was my first, I’ve been a huge fan of these games that play more like a movie, putting this title as my second most anticipated game from E3.

Microsoft had a lot of content to show off during their conference and, despite the overall feeling of ‘meh’, the last two conferences have reminded me that there is a gamer living inside of me. I’ll be back later tonight (for real, I’ve already watched) with my coverage of Bethesda‘s E3 conference and will likely round everything out tomorrow with UbisoftSony, and Nintendo.

Kevin M. Gallagher, Jr
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