Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Infinite Deluge: Microsoft At E3

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Microsoft is increasingly being left behind in the current generation. The PS4 is taking up 71% of the market between the two, and the red-hot Nintendo Switch is not helping the matter. They had to come out swinging this E3, and it seems they took to heart the phrase “quantity has a quality all its own.” In one conference, they made 31 announcements. Here’s the ones that really stood out.

Tickle That Nostalgia, Baby

Xbox is nothing without Halo, and its been three years since Halo 5: Guardians. But the new game is NOT Halo 6. It’s a new Halo. What does that mean? Nobody knows. It will focus on Master Chief. And it’ll be a new Halo. That’s pretty much all Microsoft and 343 Industries are giving up at this point. They gave us a very pretty trailer, however.

An Honest To God Expansion In 2019

Cuphead was probably the prettiest game of the last year, and that beauty obscured an extremely challenging but incredibly fun style of gameplay that mixed old school platformers with bullet hell.  StudioMDHR is not resting on its laurels, and the new expansion will feature all of the things people love about the game. New bosses, new locations, and even a playable lady cup. That’s right, fellas, the SJW’s have gotten to the cups.

Gears of What?

The other Xbox stalwart, Gears of War, had a very strong showing this year with three new properties being announced.

  • The first big announcement was a mobile Gears, developed in tandem with Funko Pop!, you know, the people who make those deformed monsters that have metastasized across all books and gaming stores. Based on the trailer, it looks like they’ll be taking the same approach to the title that LEGO did with Star Wars. How the “adorable” Funko style meshes with the dark and violent Gears will be interesting, but we won’t find out quite how it works until next year.
  • Taking cues from sister series Halo, Gears is going tactical next year. Unlike Halo, Gears Tactics will instead be taking heavy cues from Firaxis Games’ XCOM series, being a turn-based strategic shooter.
  • Finally, at the end, Microsoft revealed their ace in the hole: Gears of War 5. While we have no real idea what has changed since Gears 4, and we don’t know what has changed gameplay wise, the trailer promises a slightly quieter, more introspective direction for Gears focusing not on a roided out muscle man but, gasp, a woman.

The other big announcements from this conference, CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, From Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts 3, were covered by Bo here, here and here.

Image courtesy of Xbox

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