Thoughts On Microsoft's E3 Conference

Microsoft's E3 conference has been and gone, what did you think? Here's are some scattered thoughts on what we just watched.

Leanest. Conference. Ever.

That was lean. Super lean. There was barely a wasted second. A machine gun scatter shot. Game after game after game. You may not have liked the games you saw. You may have felt underwhelmed with what you did see, but you can't deny there were things to see. A lot of them. Overall, I thought Microsoft did a great job.


Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Barely Looks Like It Happens on Earth

I say leading with Call of Duty was a mistake. Advanced Warfare looks great, but that series has a lot less currency amongst the people watching these kinds of conferences now. The entirety of twitter seemed to sigh when the conference opened with the game. Going straight from this to cars? I was like... JESUS. Here we go. This is E3 alright.

Car Game Demos Make Me Snooze

As popular as car games are, they tend to serve a very dedicated, niche audience. And if you — like me — have no interest in cars, demos like Forza Horizon 2 are snooze-worthy. It's funny — games like Forza sell in droves, but I'm not sure if the E3 audience eats that sort of thing up the way Microsoft thinks they do. Maybe it's just me.

It's probably just me.

Sunset Overdrive Had The Best Trailer Ever

Sunset Overdrive Comes Out October 28


I hope the game can live up to that trailer, but I seriously doubt it. What a smart, clever, subversive little commercial for a video game that was. If you missed it, I highly recommend you check it out. It reminded me that games can be goofy, genuinely funny and subversive.

I'm really hoping that Sunset Overdrive has some sort of Tony Hawk's style combo system. I've been dying for a shooter like that. This game has my attention.

Conker Is In Project Spark?

Seriously, what was that all about?


Assassin's Creed Doesn't Need Co-Op

OK, Now THIS Is A Next-Gen Video Game

Am I in the minority here? Am I going crazy? Assassin's Creed: Unity chose to focus on co-op gameplay and I can't help but feel as though that is a huge mistake.

I don't want to play that game with other people. I want to feel alone and powerful in that game, period.

The tragic thing is there are so many ways Assassin's Creed could be taken to a next-generation platform and Ubisoft appears to be ignoring them. Why not experiment with using momentum in the parkour, why not refine the climbing in the game? Why focus on fixing the controls and making them feel more precise?

What's happening right now with this series is feature bloat. They keep building and building on top of this flimsy structure instead of going straight to the root of what makes the game interesting and refining that.

That being said: the massive crowd scene in that gameplay demo was pretty spectacular.

Edit: Now that we've seen a little more Assassin's Creed from the Ubisoft presentation, I have to say I'm a little more convinced. I still think the core of that game needs a little reinventing, but man. I am still going to play the absolute shit out of this.

Halo. Everywhere.

Everything We Know About the Halo Master Chief Collection

It's actually sort of tragic that my favourite part of the Microsoft demo was old Halo. Like really old Halo. I can't help myself. The Halo Master Chief Collection is crazy.

I just love Halo 2 so much, and for a remastered Halo 2 to be part of this incredibly huge package featuring practically ALL Halo content up until this point? Man, it's almost too much to handle. After the disappointment of the first Halo Anniversary game, it is such a relief to see that 343 has decided to port the original Halo 2 multiplayer across and take it online. From what I've been told everything — the glitches, the maps, the combat, everything — will be the same with a new visual makeover and 60 frames per second and all that.

It was a cool moment for me, someone who put hundreds of hours into Halo 2. Particularly when they got all the old Halo MLG pros on stage to demo it. Amazing.

And the sheer amount of content. I've been told the game will have actual playlists. Playlists. If you want to just play Warthog single player missions, there's a playlist for that! You can just kick off multiplayer and leap from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and back again. That's kinda mindblowing. This package is going to be the Spotify of video games. And that's a good thing.

The Indie Montage Thing Has To Stop

Personally, it sort of stings me to see all these incredible indie games just being all washed over and brutally murdered via montage. Let's take some time to talk about these games, explain the concepts, give them a bloody chance at survival! During Microsoft's little indie montage I saw at least three games that excited me more that the next racing/shooting/murder game. Come on guys — let's take one or two and show them off properly. Let's be brave enough to lead with one of them.

Inside Looks Amazing

That is all.


    Pretty much my thoughts, it is a bit sad that the most exciting thing for me was Halo 2, a title from what, 2004?
    Sunset overdrive looks pretty cool, but will be waiting to see if it actually works.
    And yeah, COD and Forza horizons? Yawn.
    Would have been good to get a better look at one or two of the indie titles.

    Nice clean presentation though, no crapping on. But at the end of it, little on the exclusive front to lure me in.

    See I think the Co-op for AC is a step in the right direction, the last few games I felt the power was being taken away from the player with things like "press x to assassinate all the guys" and having to rely on NPCs, bringing in other players might just be a big boon for the game.

    It was definitely the strongest Microsoft conference that I've stayed up to watch (only done so for the last 3/4 years, I think). Definitely gave the kind of message I wanted to see about the Xbone.

    I haven't owned a CoD since Modern Warfare, but I like the look of the new one. I might buy it, but I probably won't because I'm a bit lame.

    I like car games, but trailers and demos and stuff for car games are boring. It's just a tonne of steel going "Vrrrrmmmmm."

    The Sunset Overdrive trailer was rad, but the gameplay looks way too slow. Go Vanquish up in this, triple the speed of everything that happens and I'd be more interested.

    Project Spark looks and sounds cool, but I don't understand why the fuck Conker appeared, and why he didn't at least have a poorly bleeped swear to keep his soul strong.

    And as both an AssCreed and Halo tragic I know I'm going to end up having to get both of them.

    I'm excited by the prospect of Halo 3 HD as long as it plays exactly like Halo 3 did. I didn't like the 343-ified version of Halo Reach and Halo 4 was, frankly, terrible.

    I didn't know people were clamouring for Crackdown but I do find it amusing that one was announced after I spent the weekend playing Saints Row IV and my wife repeatedly pointed out how the data clusters scattered were just like Crackdown's eleventy-billion orbs. I guess I'll give it a go.

    I'll probably check out Sunset Overdrive. I don't know if I'll ever jump back into DR3 but new DLC might convince my wife to.

    I don't think Assassin's Creed needs co-op but I have some friends who are creaming their shorts thinking about co-ordinated strikes and hunting targets as a pack. Will probably make for some decent Let's Play fodder for groups like Achievement Hunter, if nothing else.

    I keep forgetting Project Spark is a thing. Is the inclusion of Conker some sort of unspoken challenge for people to make their own Conker game now?

      I didn't like the 343-ified version of Halo Reach

      I... don't understand this comment.

    Xbox One users....please vote for my User Voice request to get OneGuide working in AUS for FTA TV & Foxtel:

    So for a device launched as an all-in-one for your living room - we still have NO idea when/if we will ever get any capability other than snap input TV as window in Australia :(

    AND was there an update on the Elder Scrolls online? 6m pushback in release ETA with little fanfare.

    Halo Chief Collection is going to make my kids go bonkers though!


    I didn't watch the conference itself (these things take too long, I prefer to just scoop up all the info after it's over). Agree completely about the indie montage thing, though. Apart from the multiplatform stuff (which always seems to me like a waste of time at the platform holders' conferences), about the only AAA exclusive they showed of any interest to me was Sunset Overdrive. The indie stuff looks more interesting, but if they just kind of skimmed over it, it seems like they're giving it short shrift when it could actually be the real point of difference between them and Sony.

    I haven't actually sat down to watch everything but already the Halo community is pissing me off.

    I don’t get all the love for that Sunset Overdrive trailer.

    I know it was “subversive”, but leading by making fun of another games mechanic (cover systems) and adding some fully-rad and totally unnecessary swearing just instantly strikes me as a game which is trying really hard to stand out but doesn’t have a best foot to put forward.

    From what I’ve seen of the game it does look like it actually delivers something new, it’s just that the trailer doesn’t show any of it.

    I went to bed after the conference thinking "Still don't need an XBone yet". Glad to see some things this morning (afternoon) when I woke up that have excited me again, but nothing exclusive to Xbox has gotten my full attention yet.

    Credit to MS focusing on games. I'm down for Sunset Overdrive. I might give halo a bash and see what the fuss is about.

    Assassin’s Creed Doesn’t Need Co-Op


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