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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

E3 2014: Microsoft's Conference

News by Clark A.

Microsoft's 2014 E3 press conference has just concluded. Didn't get to see the show live or simply forgot all the fine details? We're on the case with a summary of everything that went down.

Pre Show:

  • Microsoft revealed an app that will keep track of achievements with a series of fancy charts and statistics. You can ask the community for help unlocking achievements from the online community. Probably not a tool for those seeking immersion, but I imagine this will please achievement junkies.
  • A trailer for Killer Instinct Season 2 was shown as well, which revealed TJ Combo the first new playable character. This should definitely go over well with fans of the classic games.
  • A brief trailer for Happy Wars on Xbox One was shown, touting 4-player split-screen co-op multiplayer, new characters, and the delightfully vague "new gameplay".

Main Conference:

  • The conference kicked off with Microsoft's Phil Spencer affirming the Xbox's shared purpose with Nintendo and Sony in evolving the industry. He thanked fans for their input leading up to and following the launch of the Xbox One before affirming that the company will strive to make the Xbox brand the best by providing new IPs, a diverse line-up, and indie games.
  • A dramatic trailer for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare was shown to kick off the game trailers. Xbox owners will get access to game's add-on content first. Hardly a shocker, but it took place in what looked like a modern city with plenty of futuristic mechs and technology. Certainly a change of venues and technology, if nothing else.
  • Forza Motorsport 5 DLC was announced; "world's most iconic" race track, the Nürburgring. It has been recreated as authentically as possible down to every centimeter, apparently. It's available on Xbox One today.
  • Forza Horizon 2 was also shown. It features a day/night cycle and weather system, all in 1080p. Dedicated servers allow players to forgo lobbies and create user-made, socially connected clubs of up to 1000 players. It launches on September 30.
  • A trailer for the multiplatform EVOLVE was shown. Plenty of first person shooter action with fantastical alien beasts was showcased. The open beta will be available this fall.
  • Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Unity is set during the French Revolution. It marks the first time you'll be able to form your own brotherhood with friends on Xbox Live, which will "redefine the Assassin's Creed experience".
  • A trailer for EA's Dragon Age Inquisition was shown.
  • A trailer for the silly and stylish third-person shooter, Sunset Overdrive, was shown. It's an exciting and colourful take on the genre with blood spills and explosions accentuated with humourous Batman-esque exclamations. You can snag it on October 28th.
  • Dead Rising 3's DLC, Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition DX Plus Alpha, is available now. It features costumes and super moves from a myriad of Capcom franchises including Darkstalkers and Street Fighter to celebrate. I bet Digitally Downloaded's Nick will have himself a nice chortle.
  • Harmonix's Disney Fantasia Music Evolved will be launched on October 21st, only on Xbox. Dance Central Spotlight will be available in September as a digital exclusive.
  • Fable Legends' multiplayer gameplay was shown. You can play as villain like a "malevolent god" and orchestrate the evil happenings. The beta will be available this holiday season and, naturally, will be multiplayer-enabled.
  • Project Spark will be available for Xbox and PC and centers around players creating their own games in all sorts of genres. Microsoft's own Little Big Planet 2, if you will. Rare's Conker showed up at the end to slice up the logo and crack a joke about not having a game in 10 years.
  • Ori and The Blind Forest was shown. It looks like a rather gorgeous 2D side scroller with a story-book art style.
  • You had to see it coming and indeed it did - Halo had a blowout of information. You can play the entire Master Chief saga (Halo 1, 2, 3, and 4) with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which will be available on November 11. It's all on a single disk with a uniform menu and all games are unlocked from the outset.
    • Halo 2 is getting the full 10th anniversary treatment within The Master Chief Collection. It will contain the original Halo 2 multiplayer exactly as it shipped 10 years ago as well as updated stages better suited to the Xbox's modern abilities.
    • It'll be something to tide fans over until Halo 5 releases on
    • There are over 100 maps at 1080p on dedicated servers with 4000 Gamer Score.
    • Halo Nightfall, directed by Ridley Scott, is included on the disk
    • The Halo 5: Guardians beta will be available this holiday
  • A new IP called Inside was shown. It will debut on Xbox in early 2015.
  • ID@Xbox will provide indie developers with free kits and plenty of options to make games. A whole slew of titles were shown such as Knight Squad, White Night, Earthlock, Cuphead, Slap Dash, FRU, Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time, Mighty No. 9, Threes, and Below. Hundreds of games were promised.
  • The world premier of Rise of the Tomb Raider was shown
  • CD Projekt Red showed off some new gameplay for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It focused on hunting animals and bandits with various tools, as well as the ensuing blood baths.
  • Ken Lobb came out to announce a revival of an Xbox classic, Phantom Dust with a brief trailer.
  • Tom Clancy's The Division was shown, again, boasting new content on Xbox first.
  • Platinum's Hideki Kamiya came out to announce the Xbox One exclusive, Scalebound. It featured plenty of sword wielders and dragon-slaying action.
  • An Xbox One exclusive Crackdown was announced, led by the creator of the original game.
  • The show went off the air with a grand display of all the upcoming titles shown, as well as some such as Watch_Dogs and Ryse.

All in all, it was indeed a very game-heavy conference with several notable announcements. We knew plenty of titles going in, but the whole thing was dedicated to games in a way that previous conferences were not. I felt Microsoft put on a show well worth watching.

What did you think?

- Clark A.
Anime Editor
Email me at:
E3 2014: Microsoft's Conference
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