You Can Go Hard, or You Can Go Microsoft – Microsoft’s E3 Presentation Round-up

Well, first one down, only 10,000 left to go.

Microsoft talked a lot of game in their press-conference just a few hours ago. Lucky for you, I’ve distilled it into it’s purist form.

A 700 word blog post.

Click on.

Microsoft were the first (if you discount Nintendo’s ‘Hardware shocase’ thing from last night) to have their conference today. So here’s what happened in a nut-shell

Halo 4

Coming out swinging. The first section was all about Halo 4 and it was done in a pretty slick manner. We were treated to a live-action sequence which then soon blended pretty well into CGI which then blended pretty well into an actual demo of the game.

I’m no Halo fan, but it looked very nice. Multi-player, killer robots and Cortana the sexy AI all made an appearence. If that’s your thing, good for you.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

This is more like it. The latest in the Splinter Cell series was shown. Pure game-play demonstrated features, such as tagging targets, returning from the previous game.

The action looked extremely fluid, with levels having a serious pace to them. It’s not your traditional Splinter Cell, what with this particular section taking place in broad daylight. Also, Kinect.

Sport Games With Kinect

To keep on flogging the dead horse that is Kinect, Microsoft were keen to show off the fact that Madden and Fifa will have voice recognition.

This allows you to swear at the ref and also make tactical changes on the fly. That’s as long as Kinect understands you over the noise of the dishwasher and your Xbox’s noisey fan. Super.

There was also a trailer for Fable: The Journey, but I feel I’ve spent more time on that than it deserves and I’ve spent no time on it at all.

Gears of War : Judgment

A trailer for the new addition to what is now a ‘saga’ and not a trilogy. Good bit of word-play there, people. Milk that baby dry.

XBox Tablet

A new device called ‘XBox Smartglass’ is essentially a tablet that ties together your phone and XBox. The trailer shows the possible features that are available. We’ll see if it takes off, what with it being somewhat late in the 360’s life.

Tomb Raider

Finally, some gameplay! As you’d imagine, from the seeing the trailers leading up to today’s showing, the game has a very Uncharted look and feel to it. Lara looks a lot less vulnerable as she dispatches several enmies in this short run-through. Bow and arrow a guy, push a man off a cliff, shank someone in the neck, it’s all part of Lara’s skill-set.

I like the idea of the environments being as important as they are. Cover looks pretty weak, with wooden barrels soon reduced to splinters, meaning you have to keep on your toes. The same goes for your adversaries as well. Lara can shoot oil drums to make them explode and knock out support structures to send boulders falling on top of baddies. Not exactly original, but it seems to have a lot of style, polish and cinematic gusto which should see it become a solid game.

With the game out next year It’s pleasing to hear (SARCASM ALERT!) that DLC is already being mentioned, with the 360 getting a timed exclusive deal. Well done them.

Other Bits

  • The ‘Magic of Voice Search’ – Really?
  • Forza Horizon – This looks neat. But Need for Speed made by the Burnout team appeals to me more
  • More video providers – ESPN, Nickelodeon, Universal Pictures. Microsoft continue to make XBox ‘more than a games console’, or something.
  • Resident Evil 6 – Don’t get me wrong, I love this series. It’s just that this isn’t looking too different, in any way, from RE5. So with that in mind, I demote it to a bullet point. Video here.
  • In bed with Nike – A like the idea, but have a feeling it’ll just lead to slightly more in-depth ‘get fit’ games.
  • Internet Explorer – Finally, the XBox is getting a web browser. ‘Nuff said.
  • South Park Game – It’s alive and it’s looking good.
  • Dance Central 3 – Usher danced his arse off on stage. Why? I don’t know. This game’s coming out though.
  • CODBLOPS2 – WHAT!? WHY IS THIS ONLY A MINOR BULLET POINT!? Because I don’t care. Shoot things, they shoot you back. You know if you want it.

That’s it for Microsoft as far as I’m concerned. Feel free to watch the whole conference if you wish, but there’s nothing in there that’s of any real note.

Tomorrow I’ll be going over the Sony, EA and Ubisoft conferences. So I’d best get some sleep. Have a good E3 everyone!

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