Tag Archives: Rise of the Tomb Raider

Microsoft E3 2015 Recap

Microsoft E3 2015

There was actually something genuinely surprising about the Microsoft press event yesterday, but it’s probably not what you think: there wasn’t even a sliver of a presence for Call of Duty. That showing has been happening like clockwork for the past forever and it wasn’t there this year.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad or even how I feel about it, but it’s certainly remarkable. But there was plenty of other news for the Redmond company and their little gaming machine that could (and then did and became a beast of an ecosystem for entertainment).

You can also watch the entire presentation if you’d rather do that.

Halo 5: Guardians

There was a substantial co-op demonstration that happened. And that just about sums that up. At this point I’m pretty sure you know if you’re going to buy a new Halo game or not, let alone get excited for hearing 343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross talk about the brand new engine that runs single and multiplayer at 60 fps.

Warzone, however, sounds pretty fun. It’s a new 24-player mode where you’ll face off against both AI and player-controlled enemies via drop-in, drop-out co-op. The maps are massive at four times bigger than you’re used to. Josh Holmes of 343 appropriately called it “ambitious.”

Backwards Compatibility

This is an ostensibly big move. This will open up an entire generation’s worth of games up to Xbox One owners for free (so far it’s just a smattering of titles) and will definitely set the system apart from the PlayStation 4 feature set, something they’re keenly aware of.

“We won’t charge you to play the games you already own,” said head of platform engineering Mike Ybarra, an obvious jab at the fact that PlayStation 4’s backwards compatibility works only so much that you can stream old games via PlayStation Now. Ybarra says it won’t take any extra development from studios and players just need the original disc to download a new digital version. It’ll be available to everyone this holiday season.

Fallout 4

Here’s so more Fallout 4 footage, including stuff we didn’t get to see yesterday during Bethesda’s event. I mean, it all follows the same path of content, but it’s bonus gameplay at some parts.

Game director Todd Howard also announced that PC mods will work for the Xbox One version of the game, but not right at launch; that will get added somewhere in 2016. And they’ll hopefully bring that same compatibility to the PlayStation 4 version.

Forza Motorsport 6

We already know there’s a new Forza game. Even if you didn’t know that, it seems like you could have assumed that anyways. Turn 10 Studios’ Dan Greenawalt says there will be over 450 cars and 24-player multiplayer. That’s kind of all the excitement I can muster for this.

Tacoma

Even if Tacoma just ended up being Gone Home in space, I’d still be cool with that. But developers Fullbright has earned more respect than that. It’s very obviously going to be about a singular experience and story-driven, but rehashing the same ground is (hopefully) beyond them.

Co-founder Steve Gaynor announced that their upcoming game will come to Xbox One and PC first before hitting Linux and Mac.

The Long Dark

Billed as “the first survival game on Xbox One,” The Long Dark is very obviously a survival game. You’re out all alone in a frozen wilderness and have to face the cold and wolves and whatnot.

The bigger tidbit coinciding with this is that Microsoft now offers Xbox One Game Preview, their own Early Access. The Long Dark isn’t out now, but you can play it on Game Preview right now. (Game Preview is not be confused with the Xbox One Preview program, although it exists within that and, yeah, you get it.)

Ion

Dean Hall, creator of DayZ, announced his new project Ion. It will also be available on Game Preview first and will attempt to realize Hall’s vision of “a game that wasn’t a game.” The press release describes the game as “an emergent narrative massively-multiplayer online game in which players build, live and inevitably die in huge floating galactic constructions.”

It aims to feature fully simulated environments involving power grids and heating and a bunch of other things to maintain space living. It seems pretty neat, though it may cross that line into too ambitious real quick.

Sea of Thieves

Rare is making a new game! What more do you need to know? Hopefully not much more because they didn’t give us much more.

Rare Replay

Coming August 4 to the Xbox One, the Rare Replay collection will feature just about every game you’d want to play from Rare’s history. This includes some serious bangers like Battletoads, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, Viva Piñata, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Blast Corps. If this doesn’t excite you then you must be dead inside.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition

This remastered version of the original Gears of War will come to Xbox One on August 25. It’ll have updated graphics (which Kotaku has a nice comparison of), integrated Gears of War 3 gameplay features, and the additional content previously exclusive to the PC version from 2007.

Gears of War 4

I dunno. Are you guys excited for a new Gears of War? I’m interested, I guess, but not necessarily looking forward to it. It’ll be the first one not developed by Epic Games. Maybe there will be a fresh take on some of the old staples of the series we’ve grown accustomed to? Gears of War 4 will hit during holidays 2016.

HoloLens

This is a pretty impressive demo for Minecraft with HoloLens, Microsoft’s 3D head-mounted display technology. In it, one player is on a Surface tablet playing the game while the other assumes a more godlike role through HoloLens, able to peer into the entire world and manipulate it from on high.

But it’s also very much unbelievable and in a not great way. Do you remember what we were promised with Kinect? Yeah. And having worked with this sort of tech before, I’m all the more wary. Still cool, though.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

There was also a trailer that came out, but that’s pretty much inconsequential compared to the gameplay demo they threw down. It’s coming across as even more Nathan Drake than before, but it still looks great. Drake’s defining characteristic is that he’s lucky as shit and knows it. Lara didn’t have that.

In 2013’s Tomb Raider, Lara started with getting impaled and it somehow went downhill from there. But this demo shows Lara dodging bullet after bullet and that’s kind of Drake’s thing. I’m not complaining, mind you, but it seems worth mentioning.

And that’s it! Actually, there was a lot more like the above promo for the new Xbox One interface, the Xbox Elite controller (which will cost a whopping $150), and a bunch of other games, but these were kind of the big hitters. It’s fantastic that Microsoft focused so hard on games this year. It felt refreshing.

It’s also worth mentioning that there was a distinct lack of Kinect talk, and with the lack of Kinect in the new Xbox One bundles, it calls to question if Kinect is being swept under the rug. I don’t necessarily buy it, but Ben Kuchera raises some good points over at Polygon.

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Highlights from Microsoft at E3 2014

Highlights of Microsoft at E3 2014

Boy, what a way to start out Day Zero of E3 2014. Microsoft really brought the heat with this one. It just dropped game after game, most of which included actual gameplay. If it just involved pre-rendered cinematics, then we’d have a real problem here (see: EA conference and this zinger by Justin McElroy).

Of course, it was rather strange that it included no hardware announcements. Or rather, it wasn’t that strange but equally unfortunate that there were no mentions of future plans for the Kinect, especially considering Microsoft recently removed it from the lower priced bundles. And then they highlighted Harmonix, a studio whose last two and two upcoming games require the Kinect. Seems incongruous is what I’m saying.

Also, can we get a shoutout or an lol at the fact that this presser was leaked almost in its entirety months ago? And while the light-up bracelets were pretty cool, it’s super distracting when you’re sitting there in the dark trying to watch a similarly dark trailer and you’re being blinded on either side of you.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Whether I think Call of Duty is a worthwhile franchise or not, this is a hell of a way to kick off a press briefing. Nine whizzbang minutes of shooting and being in the future and stuff. There’s nothing we really haven’t seen before (guy you’re playing as dies or get seriously injured, press button to kick down door, etc.), especially since we’ve seen more engaging mobility from a first-person shooter by way of Titanfall, but it was fun nonetheless.

Those smart grenades seem pretty, well, smart, though. Comes out November 4 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC with all DLC on Xbox first.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

While guttural in its ability to engage and excite, this gameplay demo for Tom Clancy’s The Division really only highlighted one thing: teamwork in real online multiplayer is a supreme shit show. Not once, even when I’ve played with friends of mine that are similarly committed to our ephemeral, digital cause, have we been as communicative and effective as this AI-driven team.

I’m not saying it can’t or hasn’t been done (professional gamers do it all the time), but it’s a bit of a disconnect once you realize these computer fellows are better at talking than your friends. Still looks pretty cool, though. Expect it sometime in 2015 if there are no more delays.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

No, you were not the only person to think that Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s title is awfully close to Rise of the Triad. But you were also not the only person to think this looks like a supremely interesting setup, not least of all because it humanizes a video game character (and a traditionally vapid one at that) in a challenging and compelling way.

And you can thank writer Rhianna Pratchett for that. She is indeed back for this one, though I’m sure we’ll still be treated to an unfortunately mismatched body count once more because it, after all, a video game. Releases holidays 2015.

Inside

Umm yes. Like, YES. Playdead Studios, for those of you who don’t know or have perhaps forgotten, is the team behind 2010’s Limbo, one of my all-time favorite games. And now they’re back with Inside, a strange little game that shows a child running through a desaturated, terrifyingly homogenized and robotic world, has some aesthetic similarities to Limbo but also seems to want to set off on its own path. Look for it in the first half of 2015.

Sunset Overdrive

Pretty nice mislead with the opening bit. Although I guess the hulky-looking enemies and the art style could easily lead to the conclusion that it’s not what it seems. But this gameplay demo video makes Sunset Overdrive at least look pretty neat. Expect it on October 28 of this year.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

You know what? That haunting Halo opening chorus still gives me chills. Has there ever been a more iconic, single second of video game music than that? Well, probably, but that doesn’t change the fact that that low, rumbling, growing aahhhh is fairly iconic at this point. And even though you’ve already played what Halo: The Master Chief Collection has to offer (Halos 1 through 4), it packages it in a way that puts all other game compilations to shame. Releases November 11 for the Xbox One.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

I love this Lorde over in this cinematic trailer, though it strikes me as odd that a game about the French Revolution would feature a song with lyrics like “everybody wants to rule the world.” But I guess it was intended to convey the troubles of seeking power, so it works.

Anyways, we’ve gotten off-track here. Assassin’s Creed Unity, despite looking exactly like more Assassin’s Creed, has be interested precisely because of the co-op. Comes out October 28.

Scalebound

Hey guys. Scalebound looks nuts. Just thought I’d throw that out there, but what else do you expect from Platinum Games? Exclusive to Xbox One, but no release date yet.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Here’s what we know about Ori and the Blind Forest: it’s from Moon Studios, it probably is a 2D action platformer, and it’s likely going to make your eyes happy and your heart cry. Good luck to us all.

Crackdown

I am ready. (To collect a million agility orbs.)

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