The E3 press conference bonanza trudges on, and we are now getting into the thick of it. June 9th and 10th will have ten press conferences, and Microsoft is the one leading the herd. Just like before, I will be talking about my thoughts going into the press conferences, talking about announcements and ranking game announcements, and wrapping it up with concluding thoughts. So, let’s get into it.
Last year, I considered this press conference to be the best out of all other press conferences. Despite some misleading info like calling games Xbox exclusives despite showing up on PC, the sheer amount of stuff shown couldn’t be toppled. Game announcements, Xbox services announcements, company acquisitions, and more occupied last year’s show, and it made quite a showing.
This year, I went in expecting the same level of stuff. A couple hours on non-stop games, services, and more. Before the show started, a couple of things regarding Xbox came out, like game pass for PC and a look at Project Scarlett. Other than that, I didn’t know what to expect. So, let’s get into it.
Old Game Announcements
This year’s press conference brought quite a few repeats, so I split the games into two categories: games already announced, and new game announcements (or announcements close to this year’s press conference). The first list are games already announced. I apologize if any game is in the wrong list.
15. Gears POP!
Funko Pops can die in a hole for all I care, and the last thing I need is another Clash Royale clone. I don’t know who thought this game’s existence was a good idea, and I am frankly shocked that this game got any more stage time this year.
14. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Originally titled Dragon Ball Project Z, Kakarot looks along the lines of Dragon Ball Xenoverse (I think). I have no experience with Dragon Ball, and this new game didn’t really sell me on getting into the franchise.
I actually thought this game had released already. The more I think about the game, the less I am excited about it (thought my excitement level was never that high in the first place). I don’t think the game looks that great, and I think it is better off as a joke call for Gamestop.
12. Minecraft Dungeons
One thing I certainly wasn’t expecting was top-down isometric gameplay. While I do like games of this caliber, I think I would’ve preferred playing in first person. Still, I think the game looks like it could be some fun.
11. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition
There are so many games I keep meaning to play, and Age of Empires is up on that list. Maybe now that the first two games are remastered, I will get around to playing them.
10. Psychonauts 2
This trailer was mainly here as something to show after Xbox announced they bought Double Fine. I still haven’t gotten around to the first game, and maybe playing that would increase my hype for this game.
9. Gears 5
My interest in Gears has always been moderate, but as time goes on I have become a little less hyped about this new game. I think there are worse looking games than this one, but I also think there are better looking releases too. During this presentation, they announced a new co-op mode and a crossover with Terminator, and both made the game look a bit more interesting.
8. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
I already talked about this game earlier, and nothing new in terms of gameplay was shown here. It looks like a solid game, but I don’t think it is going to be as great as everyone thinks it’s going to be.
7. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Even though I still haven’t played the first game, I still have interest in this game just on how incredible the game looks. While this new trailer didn’t offer anything new for me, I am still amazed by its incredible art style.
6. Halo Infinite
I still haven’t played any of the Halo games yet (don’t worry, The Master Chief Collection is coming soon), but I am still hyped for this game. The one thing I am disappointed with is the lack of any new gameplay, instead showing a six minute trailer that offers very little in my opinion .
5. Borderlands 3
Pretty much everything you need to know about this game has already been shown. The one new thing about Borderlands with this reveal is a release date for new Borderlands 2 DLC. While I am not as hyped as much as others, I am still looking forward to its release.
4. Wasteland 3
I love a good turn-based strategy game, and I love a good apocalyptic setting. The mashing of apocalypse and Colorado looks neat, and I like the comedy aspect to the game. I am now definitely interested in playing Wasteland 2 so I can get ready for this game.
3. Cyberpunk 2077
While I am glad that they have finally announced a release date, I didn’t put this game at number one because I am having some fatigue with the game. I think the name has been out for too long, and shutting it out of my brain to keep myself from over-hyping it is the best course of action.
2. Outer Worlds
This game has interested me from day one with its space corporation vibe and total freedom of choice. This new trailer highlighted some fun-looking weapon and abilities, and I can’t wait until its October release.
1. Dying Light 2
Dying Light is one of the best zombie games out there, and I cannot wait to jump into some more zombie parkour fun. I am a little concerned that the game might be swamped with too many mechanics around the world you build with the choices you make, but every time I see a new Dying Light 2 trailer, I get pumped for the game again.
New Game Announcements
While these games don’t have to be new, they have to be new game announcements made at or near this press conference.
14. Microsoft Flight Simulator
I haven’t tried any flight simulator games yet, and this game didn’t really sell me on them. There is something to be said about flying around vast cities though.
13. Phantasy Star Online 2
No matter how cool this game sounds, the chances of me actually playing a game like this are slim. I have nothing against the game, but I can tell this is a game I probably won’t touch.
12. Blair Witch
All the way up to the title screen, I thought this game was going to be Outlast 3, which is something I hope doesn’t happen. As a result of me not being a fan of Outlast 2, I can’t say I am super pumped for this game.
11. State of Decay 2 Heartland
While I am no fan of hardcore survival games, I do hold a small interest in the State of Decay series. This trailer did sell me on the game a little, as for it looks like there are two stories to be experienced. One thing worth pointing out, however, are how poor the textures look in some areas.
10. Tales of Arise
The few snippets of gameplay shown in the trailer look like fun, and I always want to play as an anime lady with a gun. In all seriousness, this game looks alright.
9. Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions
Forza is back at it again with great content. The one racing series I keep meaning to dip my toes into are the Forza Horizon games, and I love that they do fun DLC like the Hot Wheels DLC for Forza Horizon 3. The reason why it isn’t higher on the rank is because it didn’t feel fair to put DLC that high up.
8. Crossfire X
Despite the vague trailer, I have heard about this game’s popularity out East, and I am excited to see what this game is all about. I could do with a new shooter to sink my teeth into.
7. Elden Ring
I still haven’t seen Game of Thrones, so I still don’t consider George R.R. Martin to be some immortal being (though I probably won’t even after watching the show), but I think a collaboration with him and From Software sounds neat.
6. Bleeding Edge
This game was the last thing I expected from Ninja Theory. I don’t know if I am quite sold on the gameplay, but I think the heroes look great, and I like the premise of the game.
5. RPG Time: The Legend of Wright
Even though I didn’t get a great sense on the gameplay, I love the look and potential of the game. The whole game looks like it was made in a notebook and with cardboard cutouts, and what the gameplay will be like seems nearly endless.
4. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
I think Star Wars has been overdone for far too long, so pretty much any Star Wars anything for me is taken with a large grain of salt. Despite that, there is something about this trailer that took me back to a younger age when I still liked Star Wars, and the whole trailer looked like it was having good fun. I really want to play a Lego game now.
3. Way to the Woods
I can’t say I am always into abstract games like this, but I am very interested in this game. I love the post-apocalyptic abstract setting, I think the journey to be had will be one worth experiencing.
2. Twelve Minutes
With a trailer that is equal parts beautiful and tense, and a premise that mixes Groundhog Day and crime, Twelve Minutes is a game that hooked me from the get-go. I can tell that this game and the next are going to be some of the top games for me this E3.
There are so many different aspects that sold me on this game. The building mechanics, the sense of adventure, the happy vibe, the beautiful art style, the delightful music, and much more. In terms of games, Spiritfarer was the highlight of the press conference for me.
Xbox Game Pass
The thing that I was most excited about going into the show was Xbox Game Pass for PC. After announcing some new games and talking about some of Game Pass’ features, they announced the PC version, which released on the day of announcement. Game Pass will include over 100 games, and The Master Chief Collection will launch into the service. The service will be $10 per month. They also announced Game Pass Ultimate, which will include Game Pass for both console and PC as well as Xbox Live Gold.
I have been waiting for a good subscription service to come by for some time, and I think Game Pass is the best one out now that doesn’t require streaming. From the looks of it, I think the list of games out now is solid, though I am a bit sad that I already own a good deal of the games on the list for multiple reasons. Still, there are games on that list that I am more willing to try on Game Pass, and I can’t wait to see what will show up on the service in the coming months.
Double Fine Acquisition
Last year, Microsoft picked up four studios, so it comes as no surprise they picked up another. What is surprising is who they picked up: Double Fine Productions. With hindsight, I think this acquisition could be amazing, as for I think it gives the studio more cash to use on more games. If this means a Brutal Legend 2, then I am all for it.
Elite Controller 2
A trailer for a new version of the Elite Controller was shown, going over new features and customizations. Personally, I think the first controller as well as the idea of an expensive controller is dumb, and this version isn’t selling me on anything. Still, I know there is an audience for this controller, and I am sure they will find the new controller handy.
As part of their streaming initiative, they talked about a Project xCloud. From the sounds of it, any console can use this service to stream games. I am still not sold on streaming, but having one service on all platforms sounds nice.
The show wrapped up with the announcement of a new console, with the current title being Project Scarlett. From the sounds of it, the new console will have frame rates up to 120 fps, 8k resolution, ray tracing, an SSD, and a few other details. The presentation was pretty vague, but it sounds like a hardware upgrade from the previous console similar to the PS5. The console will launch with Halo Infinite in Holidays 2020.
In conclusion, this Xbox press conference was pretty much like the last one. While it doesn’t have as many new games as last year, Xbox still brought a lot to show. Game Pass for the PC was the highlight for me, next to the announcement of Spiritfarer. It was another solid year of showing, and another promising step for Xbox.