Microsoft Presentation E3 2012: Too predictable?
Amazing content, but no surprises?
by Chris Fox
©2012 Chris Fox
The trailer slipped seamlessly into a real time demo taking place in a dense jungle seen through Master Chief’s HUD.
Also to be seen were the various Halo aliens that I, personally, have zero interest in. However, exciting weapon play and a new, exciting adversary spiced things up.
The Demo ended and the audience lost their shit. Pretty standard E3 fare thus far.
The question is, while this looked amazing, were there any big surprises to come? As it turns out, no.
But lots more amazing footage, mixed with some that was just a bit underwhelming.
Splinter Cell is back…
Don Mattrick took to the stage and told us how this Christmas the Xbox experience will be available on everything from tablets to toasters.
Suddenly, without a word of warning, it was time for Splinter Cell Blacklist.
Sam Fisher kills silently in a mountainous area this time around, featuring bullet time multiple kills and fluid cliff scaling.
Kinect, after no doubt feeling left out so far, is said to have voice and motion functionality in Blacklist. This comes in the form of shouting, “Now!” to have a team mate take an enemy down.
The wonders of the technological age or blunders…? Expect Blacklist in Spring 2013.
Sports is ‘better with Kinect’
Madden and FIFA have been promised to be (yep, you guessed it) “Better with Kinect”.
Thankfully, this again was mainly through voice commands. In FIFA, the user shouts out substitutions and formations to carry out these commands.
Like in Mass Effect 3, I still believe this is the best way to use Kinect.
Also, you get penalised for swearing at the referee in FIFA! Huh, not all good news then. Why play a football game if you can’t openly call the referee a @£$%ing $£@&?
Similar voice commands are present in Madden.
Although, being English, all the terminology seemed to be in a language I couldn’t understand.
Gears of War/Forza Dubstep
Up next, Phil Spencer had the job of telling us that all of the great games are on Xbox.
I guess he’s not a Journey fan then.
He is a Gears of War fan though as he then lead us into a trailer for the recently announced Judgment.
Marcus had no need for bandanas back in those prequel days.
Quick as a flash, Forza tore onto the screen. You’re not going to believe this but the fast and furious Forza footage was only bloody accompanied by a Dub Step soundtrack!
You can sell anything with Dub Step; Forza, Internet Explorer…
A friendly reminder…
Next, Yusuf Medhi reminded us that bing voice search exists.
You can now search through genre and in Spanish.
This is what we wait twelve months for. Hot Damn.
Further viewings of Sports, Movies and TV in various different ways were demonstrated to us. Xbox music will bring an iTunes style experience to 360 consoles, PCs, tablets and phones.
Again, thank you Microsoft for reminding us how to listen to our music and view our movies. We’d all forgotten how to do it. God bless you guys. The rest of E3 may as well be cancelled, what more news do we need?
Sponsored by Nike…
Nike and Kinect team up to deliver the news that, “if you have a body, you’re an athlete”.
My mother will be so proud (finally). Nike + Kinect Training will give you the body you always knew you could achieve or your money back.
Or at least they said something along those lines, I was destroying a pepperoni pizza at the time.
Xbox Smart Glass: or Xbox U
Basically, it looks set to give 360 owners the Wii U experience, streaming videos, games and other information to tablets.
For example, Halo Waypoint will display maps and schematics on your tablet or phone while you’re playing Halo 4.
Exactly how many hands you’ll need to do this, I’m not sure.
The much rumoured announcement for internet explorer for 360 was announced, but the real question is can you download Google Chrome through it? It looks like Internet Explorer it is…
Stunning Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics decided to save the audience and actually start talking about games.
The Tomb Raider footage was absolutely stunning, featuring Lara dispatching some baddies with a bow in real time.
Stunning smoke and particle effects were to be seen. This game is looking astoundingly impressive and even though I’m sad we won’t see it this year I’m glad we’ll get the most polished product possible.
It’s also nice to see Tomb Raider borrow from Uncharted, which obviously borrowed a whole lot from Tomb Raider.
The ever repeating cycle goes on. The set pieces in Tomb Raider flow seamlessly in and out of gameplay and in the same minute we saw Lara tumble down a waterfall and fly over trees using a parachute.
The first DLC will be available first for 360. I wish I had Microsoft’s money.
New Exclusive IPs
Signal studios (Toy Soldiers) will bring us Ascend New Gods.
Two armoured mythical beasts tore each other asunder as the trailer kicked off and also featured Shadow of the Colossus style boss fights.
LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel (‘Splosion Man) was teased next. And I mean teased. That’s all the information on that one.
To round off these three exclusives was the announcement of Matter. If you like shiny orbs getting up to all kinds of shenanigans, you’ll love Matter (it was another short tease).
Enter Evil zombies….
Resident Evil 6 from Capcom was up next, kicking off with real time Leon S. Kennedy in what looks like a burning Raccoon City, but is probably that other American town that looks a lot like like Raccoon City.
Traditional shuffling stupid zombies were present.
Combining this with RE4 gameplay can only be a good thing. This footage alone makes up for the debut of Sheva in RE5.
Leon demonstrated a brand new quick fire mechanic as well as running away from an explosion… obviously. Excitement levels for Resident Evil 6 are infectiously high. I think we’ve seen the show stealer. [Editor: Really? Or are you being sarcastic again!]
Castle smashin’ and South Park
Alex Ruiz talked Wreckateer next, as well as actually talking with in game characters.
Think Boom Blox set in a medieval world.
This game looked very family friendly, but could also make a great party/drinking game with easily operable kinect movements.
The South Park RPG The Stick of Truth from Obsidian was next and looked amazingly like an actual episode.
Cartman provided excellent narration for the trailer and then Matt Stone and Trey Parker take to the stage and then tear into the connectivity theme of E3. Lovely stuff.
Who needs games when you can have Usher?
Harmonix worked with Usher for the completely unexpected Dance Central 3.
Usher then took to the stage. He sung, he danced… he romanced.
This was then coincided with an out of sync video of Just Dance 3 playing the same song.
Sill though, it’s nice to know that Usher has had some input to the game, dance move wise.
Black Ops: ‘explosive’ finale
Don Mattrick then returned to the stage to conclude with the announcement of the return of timed exclusivity for all Black Ops 2 DLC.
Live action game play then followed which took place on a bridge with a very serious explosion problem.
Set in the near future, exciting anti-aircraft weaponry was shown off as well as mandatory sniping. Of course it being the future, you can now do it through walls and cover using some sort of ‘see their silhouette’ scanner.
Black Ops 2 closed out what was a very predictable conference from Microsoft.
We look forward to more gaming announcements from the other E3 players.
©2012 Chris Fox
Filed under: 1st Party Titles, 3rd Party Games, Console gaming, E3 2012, Events, Game Impressions, Game Industry News, Gaming Videos, Hardware News, Industry News, Microsoft Games, New Game Information, New Xbox 360 Games, Press Release, Software News & Updates, XBLA News-Reviews, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 3rd Party Games, Xbox 360 Game Previews, Xbox 360 Game Reviews, Xbox 360 News, Xbox 3rd party exclusives, Xbox Community Network, XboxLive Marketplace Tagged: | Ascend New Gods, Black Ops 2, Crystal Dynamic, Dance Central 3, Don Mattrick, Gears of War Judgment, google chrome, Halo 4, Leon S. Kennedy, LocoCycle, Matter, Microsoft, Nike Kinect Training, Resident Evil 6, South Park The Stick of Truth, splinter cell double agent, Tomb Raider, Wreckateer, Xbox, Xbox Smart Glass, Xbox SmartGlass