It’s day 2 of E3 and up next to the stage is Microsoft with the expected showcase featuring the long awaited reveal of Project Scorpio, deemed the most powerful console ever made. We’d seen a few Project Scorpio ads making the rounds on YouTube with the tagline “Feel the Power”, and that’s exactly what we hope to see.
There were some price point leaks earlier in the day brought about by a tweet from Geoff Keighley, confirming that the console would be priced at $499 and was very confident in his expectation. Low and behold he wasn’t lying.
After a montage of games we got to play on the various Microsoft platforms over the years, we’re greeted with a CGI spectacle rendering classic characters from various franchises, leading up to the eventual unveiling of the long awaiting super console, The Xbox ONE X. Phil Spencer also mentioned the introduction of 42 games of which 22 are new exclusives which we will get into later in this post, but for now lets look at the next generation of console.
Xbox ONE X
The team at Xbox delivered on their promise of true 4K gaming with the Xbox ONE X, developing a machine accurate to the millimetre. Not only is the most powerful, but the smallest Xbox console ever built. Boasting specs such as eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz, 40 customised compute units at 1,172MHz, a liquid-cooled vapour chamber, 12GB DDR5 RAM with memory bandwidth up to 326GB/s, a 1TB 2.5-inch drive and a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, it truly does take the mantle of ultra console. Games run at true native 4K resolution, the benchmark for visual entertainment indulgence and the ONE X scales most games that you’re currently enjoying on Xbox One for even greater visual detail.
Other than the impressive hardware comes the expansion of the Xbox Backward Compatibility that will stretch as far back as the Original Xbox. This is great news for fans of the franchise and the classics that got you into the Xbox brand in its early years.
The list of features and sheer technological wizardry that makes up the Xbox ONE X goes on and on, but we’re not here for just a console, and as per Phil Spencer’s continues drumming, we get to see loads of new and familiar titles coming to Xbox running better than before.
Forza Motorsport 7
As if we didn’t expect to see it, Forza has made it to the show again, but this time they got something special. Porsche gave the audience a world first debut of the brand new Porsche 911 GT2RS, a purpose-built race-ready road car from the German automaker. 700 cars at your beck and call for when you feel the need to put rubber on tarmac across some iconic speedways from around the world. Forza Motorsport 7 races off the start line 4 October 2017.
A surprising return indeed. The first person shooter set in a bold post-apocalyptic world with a story from a Russian point of view has a new entry into the series. The footage opens with a pan over a desolate and frozen scene leading into a Dostoevsky quote. It then gets straight into the survival mode as you make your way through the ruins of a subway system underneath a destroyed city with creatures leaping from dark corners as you navigate through narrow spaces. From there you make your way outside and gaze upon the horizon giving you a sense of the game’s scope. With fluid and crisp visuals, this edition to the series will definitely take Metro beyond the rails it was built on.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
The latest instalment of the stealth assassin series is set in ancient Egypt where you will take part in the story of Bayek the Egyptian sheriff. In the gameplay footage, you see him scaling buildings in typical assassin fashion, with a watchful hawk gliding over the city giving you a bird’s eye view advantage enabling you to choose the best course to locate and eliminate your target. The environments are vibrant and rich in texture and with the addition of loot drops and a new levelling system, we’re sure you’ll be spending hours exploring every inch of Memphis and Alexandri. Live the tale of the brotherhood’s origin 27 October 2017.
I’m sure you’ve seen Dave Kozlowski doing a few streams of this massively multiplayer online survival game. With that, you would have witnessed some intense scenarios where you’re left to scavenge for weapons and body armour to defend yourself against 99 other survivors on a shrinking battleground. Developed and published by Bluehole, the game has made its way exclusively to Xbox One and ONE X.
Deep Rock Galactic
Ghost Ship Games is an FPS sci-fi shooter for 1 – 4 players. You explore, mine and destroy your way to your objectives as a bunch of dwarved space miners. Teamwork and picking the right class will help you get through obstacles and beat the beasties. The game features fully destructible, procedurally generated environments, so get ready to dig.
State of Decay 2
The sequel to the acclaimed survival horror game sees you returning to Small-Town America where the dead have risen and the world as you knew it has perished. Now humanity stands on the brink of extinction and it’s up to you to find survivors and build a community to help shape humanities future in this open world RPG. You’ll get to survive the zombie infested world sometime in 2017.
The Darwin Project
The cartoonish styled survival combat game with a reality show twist gets introduced by way of an eSports live broadcast and commentary as the action unfolds. In the footage, you see characters with various abilities opportunistically eliminating the competition to advance to the next round. The free-for-all game will make its way to Xbox One and ONE X exclusively.
It seems the popular sandbox game is going cross-platform with the Better Together Update allowing for cross-play with Nintendo Switch. Going forward we’ll see all versions on every platform being called “Minecraft”. Minecrafters rejoice I guess?
Dragon Ball Fighter Z
The Dragonball fighting series receives the Ark System treatment with its next instalment, Dragonball Fighter Z. Our favourite Super Saiyans duke it out with the likes of Cell, Freeza and Majin Buu in this frenetic show of brute strength and kung fu kick-assery. Expect to Kamehameha your opponents in early 2018.
Black Desert Online is an MMORPG made by Korean developer Pear Abyss. It is a sandbox-oriented game. it is an absolutely beautiful game with one of the most intense and thorough character creation tools you have ever seen. It is all about fast-paced, fun combat and lots to do.
The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti is a video game about great expectations, famous folk singers, lingering shadows, space Gods, hallucinogens, individuality, reptile shops, and wild imaginations. It’s an action-adventure exploration and rhythm game that takes you on a magical journey through a graphically explosive world filled with song and visual bliss with the debut of BEETHOVEN & DINOSAUR.
The Last Night
The Last Night is already being called Blade Runner in 2D. It is a two-dimensional cyberpunk open world with four unique districts. The game has been billed as a “cinematic platformer” so get ready to jump around and find secrets.
Code Vein from the God Eater team is an action RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world where you play a vampiric Revenant, who must drink blood to fuel his abilities. His weapons, called Gifts, transform as he drinks blood, but it appears that bloodlust is something that needs to be controlled and fought. Some Dark Souls comparisons have already been made, but the combat doesn’t have that solid clunk to the hits.
Sea of Thieves
Slap on an eye patch because and crew up to set sail with Sea of Thieves. Rare’s pirate co-op game will have you working together to man ships and find hidden treasure. Sea of Thieves hoists sails early 2018.
Tacoma is a game about an abandoned space station and the quest for answers. Made by Fullbright, the developer who brought us Gone Home, Tacoma was delayed last year. The game will launch on August 2 for PC and Xbox One. The trailer still left us with many questions, which fits perfectly with the game’s theme of discovery.
Super Lucky’s Tale
Super Lucky’s Tale is on its way to Xbox and Windows 10. The former VR exclusive platformer is a delightful adventure game where you’ll join Lucky as he runs, jumps, climbs and spins his way through a bright, colourful world filled with thrilling challenges, wacky creatures, and all the shiny things a little fox could ever want. The game is set for release on both platforms on 7 November 2017.
This classic run and gun action game with a great emphasis on boss battles is inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era. traditional hand-drawn cel animation, watercolour backgrounds, and original jazz recordings.
In the game, you’ll get to play as Cuphead or Mugman (in single player or local co-op) as you traverse strange worlds, acquire new weapons, learn powerful super moves, and discover hidden secrets while you try to pay your debt back to the devil. Cuphead is scheduled for release on 29 September 2017.
And who better to bust the game onto our screens than Terry Crews. Crackdown 3 simmered down after its initial showing at Gamescom, but this trailer has given it an adrenaline shot to the heart again. With enough explosions to make Michael Bay take notice, the trailer is an action-packed, wacky and over the top showcase aimed at the players who enjoy a good ol’ destruction fest. In the trailer, you’ll see players leap and bulldoze buildings in their way. Crackdown 3 is slated for release 7 November 2017.
The indie game enabler arm of Xbox showcased a plethora of titles coming exclusively to Xbox presumably in 2017 and 2018. The list of titles are as follows:
Osiris: New Dawn
Paladins: Champions of the Realm
Raiders of the Broken Planet
Path of Exiles
We Happy Few
Dark and Light
So many games, so little time…
This open-world survival, combat and exploration based videogame set in a fantasy environment set in a bygone world. Developed by AURORA44, the game sees you forming relationships and trusting other players to the extent where you invite them to your camp in their aid or to assist you in surviving the dangerous world you explore.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
The intriguing tale of Chloe Price continues with the announcement of the first episode for the second part in the episodic series. The trailer gives us a glimpse at the now teen Chloe and what appears to be an anarchy symbol perhaps alluding to her rebellious teen phase. Life is Strange: Before the Storm releases 31 August 2017.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
After the reveal trailer, many have been waiting to see what this upcoming open world action role-playing game would have. Developed by Monolith Productions and distributed by Warner Bros, Middle Earth: Shadow of War urges you to build your army to battle on Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths. In the footage, you get to meet the enigmatic yet sassy orc, Bruz, and see how to “recruit” new reinforcements which you can call to arms. Command your army on 10 October 2017.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
It seems we’re in for another ride on the feels train with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The visual spectacle makes its return for another spellbinding adventure through the artistically detailed magical forests. The brilliantly designed 2D platformer sequel has not yet received a release date, but if you were a fan of the previous emotional roller coaster, you’d be hard pressed not to pick this one up.
Finally, we get to feast our eyes on Bioware’s new IP. The RPG is set in a large open world that’s both exquisitely beautiful and treacherously dangerous. You and other Freelancers control Javelin exo-suits giving them superhuman abilities with unique skill sets for each suit, ranging from tank, assault, stealth and support as their feature attributes. The reveal footage delves into the lush environments with the ability to immerse yourself within the ecosystem such as diving into rivers and scaling peaks through jet propulsion of the exo-suit. A whole new world to explore with an interesting set of game dynamics and exo-suits to build, Bioware has definitely peaked our interest with their new offering.
The briefing closed off with the mention of free 4K updates for Gears 4, Killer Instinct, Forza Horizon 3, Halo Wars 2 on Xbox ONE X and ONE X enhancements on various titles currently out on Xbox One that you’ll be able to play on Xbox ONE X.
At a $499 price point, the ONE X is setting the bar for console manufacturers across the board with true 4K gaming and the ability for developers to create games that really push the envelope. Xbox said that they would build a console for the fans and seems they kept their promise. With a large contingent of games, although some will merely receive a 4K update in some instances, there is certainly a lot to look forward to with the extent of what the ONE X can produce. Here’s hoping that we get to see some mind-blowing games from all studios in the next year.