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E3 2014 Gamer Pespective: Microsoft Press Briefing

I will warn everyone here and now, that I am not going to hold anything back, right now, in telling you all how I felt about the press conferences today. Okay? Okay. Now that that is clear - here we go.

Microsoft opened their press conference with footage and gameplay of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which as a game looked fairly fantastic - regardless of the recent so-so games that we’ve seen. Hopefully, the game lives up to the footage which saw- which included quite a lot, from jump/stabilizer jets to exosuits, to giant tanks that somewhat resembled that of a Scarab from Halo, along with hover bikes, and these neat little grenades that cycle through modes such as a smart bomb mode where they sprout little helicopter type propellers and seek out targets. Though I found all of this quite impressive, there were things from previously released trailers, and some content from today’s reveal that I didn’t care for all that much - first was the fact that the enemy AI seemed kind of lame and unintuitive. Second, which wasn’t that bad, but I am tired of Call of Duty ripping off concepts - there are these swarms of little kamikaze machines that fly around, that are about the size of a football, and what bugs me about this is that it reminds me a lot of one of the major parts of Time Crisis 4 - but that’s just my opinion. Lastly, my biggest problem with this game is the monologue that one hears when watching the first trailer released for the game, given by Kevin Spacey - it is completely riddled… No, obliterated, with propaganda, to the point that I would borderline consider it brainwashing. Again, this is merely my opinion - as a game, I think it has potential, but I do not like their choice in what they did with that Kevin Spacey monologue, as I don’t know how much more of that propaganda will be in the final game.

Okay, enough ranting about that. Next up we had Forza Horizon 2… I can’t really say anything bad about Forza - the games are beautifully made. Visually great, amazing physics engine, and a great selection of cars. I really enjoy cars, myself, but I wouldn’t call myself a car ‘buff’ or anything of the like - I don’t like cars that much. So, I can’t say that I am gung-ho about this title, either. I’m sure all the hardcore fans of the franchise will love this addition to the series.

Another game that we got a small glimpse of was ‘Evolves.’ The hashtag they used as a tagline sums it up pretty well, too - #4V1. Four players play as hunters or something of the sort, that take on this giant beast, that is controlled by another player - thus the 4V1. As I said, though, we only got a small glimpse at the game - we don’t know much about weapon choices, if there is a class or skill system, how many characters we’ll have to choose from, whether there will be other maps or not, or if there are any other monsters that you can face up against or take control of. It definitely looks like an interesting title, though, with a neat concept.

Okay, had this been for last year’s E3, I would be exploding with discontent right now. We got a glimpse at the next Assassin’s Creed game, and it looks amazing! Had you asked me, or were to ask me about how I felt about Black Flag - I’ll just say that there would have been a bit of profanity, and a decent amount of anger. But! Assassin’s Creed: Unity has taken us back to the great gameplay that we expected from Ubisoft after AC2 - plus we have multiplayer co-op, now, which is absolutely amazing. If you know me, you know that I love games with great gameplay that allow you to play cooperatively with one’s friends - my favourite thing about games has always been playing and interacting with friends while playing them.

I’m not really going to touch on Dragon Age: Inquisition, for the reason that I’ve never played any of the previous games, and I don’t know if people will set the wolves on me if I happen to say something that they don’t like, and I sound misinformed about the games - because in reality I am. So I’ll just tell you ‘Hey, there is a new Dragon Age game coming out, chaps!’ and leave it at that.

Then, there is Sunset Overdrive… Definitely an interesting game from what I’ve seen - the comedy mixed with the game (or at least, the game’s characters) being very self-aware of being a game definitely brought a good hearty chuckle out of me. Other than that, it honestly still looks like it could use work - which obviously it is going to get, since it is still in development, but there really isn’t anything else I really have to say about it. I did have one thing I was curious about, though - we got to see part of, or all of the roster of multiplayer characters, but I would like to know is whether or not those characters are going to all be made available to play as for singleplayer.

Another game we saw a bit of was Fable: Legends… I’ll be honest, I don’t know what to say about this title - I’m one of those people that don’t like it when a company takes a series of games, and then releases a new one that doesn’t really look or feel like the previous ones in the series. So, personally, I didn’t really care for it - but you’re fully welcome to disagree with me on that.

A neat little game that they also showed was a game called Ori and the Blind Forest. I thought the art was absolutely adorable, and I thought that the gameplay looked pretty neat. They didn’t really tell us anything about what was going on story-wise, but I’m definitely looking forward to any future info they release on this title.

And then there is Halo… Hmm… So much, yet so little to say about it. It’s cool to see a collection and a Halo 2 Anniversary Edition come out, but I can’t say I’m stoked for it - too many other things that are way more interesting. Halo 5, though, I will say that I am excited to see how it turns out, and it looks, so far, pretty promising.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, though, looks absolutely amazing - visually impressive, the way you can smoothly transition between hunts and quests without any progress penalties, oh and the combat! Before, the combat system of The Witcher and Witcher 2 was so clunky, but now, so fluid! The transition between melee combat and using magic, along with changing stances - absolutely pristine! Needles to say, I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.

Along with the games I’ve mentioned thus far, there were a few others, though I don’t feel anything significant enough was revealed, for new titles, or enough additional info for the one’s we already knew about, to really highlight them, but here are the other titles that we saw a little glimpse of as well - Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, Dance Central: Spotlight, Project SPARK, INSIDE, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Killer Instinct, Phantom Dust, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Scalebound, Crackdown, and Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha (yes, the name is as ridiculous as the game). If you disagree with me on whether or not these titles had significant information revealed about, again, you’re free to do so - it’s just my opinion.

Overall, I’d say Microsoft had at least a couple, maybe a few really neat titles, as far as I could tell from what I’ve seen so far, but it didn’t impress me too terribly much - hoping that they have more interesting content at their booth at the convention over the next few days.

By Davis Wiitala - 06/10/14

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