E3 2018: Microsoft

Second cab off the rank this year was Microsoft, and their Xbox Briefing this year was stuffed full of great surprises. It looks like a solid year for gaming on Xbox, and the future of video games as a whole! Note that not all of the following are Xbox Exclusives (I’ll note it where I can), so even if you are not an Xbox One player, you should definitely take a look at some of what was on show. There are a LOT of videos that follow, so allow yourself some time!

Halo Infinite (Xbox Exclusive)

Slightly disappointing as there was just a cinematic trailer to show off, but hopefully we will see more of the future of Halo as time marches on.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Exclusive)

The sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest looks great – I might have to go back and play the original! Due out sometime in 2019.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

I’m generally not a huge fan of Souls-a-like games, but this looks pretty awesome. I’ll have to check it out when it releases in 2019 (although I’ll likely play on PS4).

Fallout 76

There will probably be more to see later today when Bethesda holds their Press Conference.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

This looks like a fun emotional story set in the Life is Strange universe. And even better? It’s apparently “100% free” and releasing for all on June 26 (PC, Xbone, PS4). Will definitely be playing this one, even if only briefly.

Crackdown 3 (Xbox Exclusive)

Well, this was to be expected. Looks… like every other Crackdown game that has come before it. Will likely be fun, but we shall see! It’s due out February 2019 (ouch – lots of competition there), and will also be available via Xbox Game Pass on the day of release.

Nier: Automata “Become as Gods Edition”

Nier: Automata finally comes to Xbox One! This was my Game of the Year for 2017, so it comes highly recommended by me. The “Become as Gods Edition” comes with all of the previously released DLC, and will be available for Xbone on June 26th. I’ve linked last year’s PS4 trailer because I can’t find one online (yet) for the Xbox version!

Metro Exodus 

A new title in the Metro series, which was technically announced last year, but it still looks good and now has a release date – February 22, 2019.

Kingdom Hearts 3

I’ve never been interested in the Kingdom Hearts series… until I saw this trailer. This looks like the stupidest fun ever, and I want in. Now with added release date! January 29, 2019.

Sea Of Thieves updates (Xbox Exclusive)

Two new updates coming soon for Sea of Thieves! “Cursed Sails” is due out in July, while what looks to be a more major update, “The Forsaken Shores”, is coming in September!

Battlefield V

Check out my EA article for the trailer.

Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Exclusive)

An “open-world” Forza Horizon title with changing seasons? This looks more compelling than it probably should… For me, at least, you may be a huge Forza fan, how would I know? Due out October 2nd, 2019, and available on the same day via Xbox Game Pass. So yes, I will be playing.

New Microsoft Studios

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Phil Spencer once again appeared on stage to announce the formation of a new Microsoft Studio – The Initiative – and to announce the acquisition of four existing studios into the Microsoft fold: Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games. This is absolutely huge for Microsoft, and was a clever move, allowing them to release more first-party games for their platform(s) in future, which was something they were sorely lacking.

We Happy Few

This game has been a long time coming, and with the acquisition of Compulsion Games by Microsoft, I wonder if this is now an Xbox Exclusive? This isn’t exactly clear at present; however, I’m guessing it isn’t as it is being published by Gearbox. Either way, we won’t have long to wait – We Happy Few is due to release on August 10, 2018.

PUBG update

Well… PUBG has an update coming, with what looks like a bunch of new additions and game modes. This is definitely a good thing, as Fortnite has been cutting its lunch for some time now, so something needed to be done. The trailer says “Winter 2018”, so expect a release around Xmas time. The trailer during the Xbox Briefing also said this would be a “console launch exclusive” so… PS4 confirmed?

Tales of Vesperia

I’ve not played these games, but I have to admit, this looks pretty good. Due later this year.

The Division 2

The video above is long, because trailers are usually shitty, and I wanted to share the gameplay video (even though the scripted conversation is painful as always). I really liked the first game, and if Ubisoft managed to craft a solid end game, then I’m well and truly on board the hype train. The Division 2 is due for release on March 15, 2019.

Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is getting a “FastStart” system to get players playing games apparently 2x faster. This will be available for select titles in a June update later this month. Also announced – Microsoft has added The Division, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (I’m assuming this is the base game, and not the recent Summerset release), and Fallout 4 to the Game Pass, all available for download today. 

Xbox ID@Xbox Games Montage (Xbox Exclusive)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Sony got the exclusives on this one for 2018, but Microsoft got the jump on the trailer. This is due for release on September 14th, 2018.

Session.

Yeah, I’m not sure about this one. It’s a skateboard game, but I’ve got a feeling the skateboard hype train left the station long ago.

Black Desert Online

I’m a fan of action-RPGs and MMOs, so this looks like the kind of game I would play. The Open Beta is due out on Xbox One in Spring 2018 (for Aussies), so sign me up! In fact, I just did so – you can also register your interest here.

Devil May Cry 5

The Devil May Cry series is a hell of a lot of fun, and this looks to be no exception. The writing in this trailer is atrocious, though (my opinion only!), so I’m hoping the gameplay will be good enough to get me through. Due in Autumn 2019 (for us Aussies).

Cuphead DLC – “The Last Delicious Course” (Xbox Exclusive)

‘Nuff said, I guess. This is due in 2019, but if the delays for the core game are anything to go by, expect it in 2025.

Tunic (Xbox Exclusive)

A Zelda clone with a cute little fox, and apparently being developed by a lone coder. Could be good fun.

Jump Force

If you are across the Shonen Jump family, you know they have a number of solid manga titles in their portfolio (the video above shows Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, and Death Note, but there are many more). Many years ago, I grabbed Jump Superstars on the Nintendo DS simply because I wanted to play as many of these characters as possible. Now it looks like we’re getting another mash-up game on modern consoles, and I’m pumped for it. Due sometime in 2019.

Dying Light 2

Dying Light was one of the best games released in 2015 – it came out of nowhere and was just GOOD, which is all a game needs to be. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a sequel for years, and today’s briefing provided – not only that, it looks as if the developers have tried to build in a system that tracks player decisions and projects this upon the environment itself. I’m looking forward to how this plays out, although there is no release date as yet so it could be a long wait…

Battletoads (Xbox Exclusive)

No gameplay. This was an “announce something for announcement’s sake” kind of trailer. It would have been better if they left this off until a later date if you ask me. Release is 2019, but who knows how long the game has even been in development for if they don’t want to show anything?

Just Cause 4

The Just Cause series is getting a little long in the teeth, in my opinion. Yes, they are dumb fun, but I just don’t think they have enough “character” to hold attention for much longer. But who am I to say? It’s hugely popular, so I’m sure it’ll sell by the bucketload. This one is due on December 4, 2018.

Gears Pop 

I’m really unsure what this is, but apparently, it’s a Funko Pops! affiliated game for mobile platforms. Yep.

Gears Tactics

No trailers available online for this one just yet, but Gears Tactics is a turn-based take on the Gears universe. I’d heard about it a few years prior and thought it had been scrapped. I’m glad it hasn’t because the footage that was shown looked intriguing, although they did only mention PC. Still – these kinds of tactics games do play better with a keyboard and mouse.

Gears 5 (Xbox Exclusive)

If the previous announcements didn’t give this away, then here it is – Gears of War 5 is coming. No release date just yet.

Cyberpunk 2077

OK, calm down people, this is not a drill. The long-awaited trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 has been released and it does NOT disappoint. I need this game in my life. Keep in mind this was made by CD Projekt Red, who made one of (if not, THE) best RPGs ever made, The Witcher 3, and you might understand my excitement.

Hyper Universe

This one wasn’t shown on stage, but I found the trailer on the Xbox YouTube page, and it looks interesting – Hyper Univers is a free-to-play 2D side-scrolling MOBA (none of these things make sense in the same sentence), and it looks pretty good! This one is due on August 7, 2018, and I’m gonna check it out, because I have a soft spot for free-to-play games these days.

Keep an eye out for my summary of the Bethesda conference later today!

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