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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Gamescom 2015: Microsoft’s Briefing


With Gamescom being dubbed the second biggest video games conference after E3 (although we’d argue the Tokyo Game Show should at least have that second-place spot), several industry bigwigs are having briefings at this year’s event. Read on to learn about Microsoft’s briefing.

The slogan they are going with? "Jump ahead."

(Does anyone know German? I don’t. This should be fun! Oh, Phil Spencer. Phew.)

Rare Replay
It’s available today! Go get it! VIVA PIÑATA!

Quantum Break
What would a Microsoft event be if the first gameplay footage they show doesn’t involve shooting? Quantum Break certainly has a lot of it. Featuring Shawn Ashmore (Iceman from the X-Men films), Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), and Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), Quantum Break promises to be a video game and a live-action television show fused together. In the game, time is skipping, getting stuck in violent loops. Everyone seems to be affected except Jack (Shawn Ashmore) who can continue to move freely even when time is standing still or glitching. Shawn Ashmore took the stage briefly to discuss the show portion, which is about the villains whereas the game portion is about the heroes. Quantum Break is an Xbox One exclusive from Remedy Games and is slated to launch April 5, 2016.

Crackdown 3
More violence in the first of many world premiere gameplay videos! The developers are promising this will be a behind-the-scenes look at how they change "the way” we play games “forever,” but that was certainly an undelivered promise. They call Crackdown 3 “the ultimate sandbox,” because apparently games that aren’t open world don’r exist anymore. And they claim it’s delivering classic gameplay in a brand new way, but the only thing “new” is the 100% destroyable environments (which, granted, is pretty nifty). Crackdown 3 promises “unrelenting destruction and mayhem," if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s an Xbox One exclusive from ReAgent Games.

Scalebound
Dragons seem to be all the rage lately, and Scalebound wants to jump on that bandwagon. You play as Drew in this action-adventure RPG. He’s searching for an artifact with his dragon. His arms are scaly. The game has a 4-player co-op mode, with each player also having their own dragon. Scalebound is an Xbox One exclusive from Platinum Games and is set to launch in late 2016.

Microsoft took a bit of a break from Xbox games to discuss some other features coming to the console. Free-to-air HD Television in Europe is getting PVR capabilities; all shows recorded on Xbox One can be streamed or downloaded to any Windows 10 device. There’s a new Xbox chat pad (I just use SmartGlass but hey, no biggie) that has two programmable keys (super handy for instant screenshots). Xbox One backwards compatibility is another talking point, with over three million votes submitted so far for what games people want to play. Perhaps the best thing to come out of this is the news that all future Xbox 360 Games With Gold titles will be backwards compatible at launch beginning in November. Microsoft is also touting “the new Xbox One experience” powered by Windows 10, also coming in November.

Killer Instinct
The third season of Killer Instinct is coming in March 2016 and will feature guest characters, such as Rash fro Rare’s Battletoads.

ID@Xbox time! This is where we should hopefully see some great things. 150 games will be launched in the next 12 months for ID@Xbox; so many indie titles, so little time!

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
The same Bloodstained that raised over $5.5 million on KickStarter is showing off a little bit. It’s a 2.5D side-scrolling action-adventure game with RPG elements. The game features cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10. They have a small small surprise: a brand-new character, a demon hunter who remains nameless. (That’s a really poor surprise, guys.)

There’s a quick package of first-to-Xbox One indie games, such as Cities Skyline and Train Simulator. There’s also some Team17 talk: they are shipping Beyond Eyes, The Escapists The Walking Dead, and Worms WMD. There’s even a Worms WMD trailer showing all the wriggly wonderfulness!

Thimbleweed Park
Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click classic graphic adventure from the creators of Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island. Need I say more? I’m hopeful for this one!

The briefing now turns to Xbox One game previews. Sheltered (a Fallout Shelter clone from Team17) will be available to those in the preview program later today. Ark: Survival Evolved is coming to first to Xbox One via game preview, as are Rivals of Aether and Starbound.

We Happy Few
I need this game in my life immediately, but apparently I’m in for a bit more of a wait. The trailer shows a creepy, circus-esque London while the narrator sing-talks “London Bridge.” From Compulsion Games, We Happy Few will be on Xbox One first via game preview this winter before its proper release in 2016.

Now it’s time for a Windows 10 technology demonstration: blah blah blah, upgrade now, yawn.

Mojang is here! Minecraft Windows 10 edition available now, for free if you already had a PC copy (but you probably already knew that).

Cobalt
Cobalt is a new 2D side-scrolling shooter from Mojang that claims to have great couch multiplayer. It’s an Xbox One exclusive being released this October.

Dark Souls III
The only thing shown by Dark Souls III is the world premiere of a new trailer. Some of us a Digitally Downloaded are excited for this!

Homefront: The Revolution
There’s a new Homefront game. That’s the last you will ever read about it here.

FIFA 16
FIFA 16 features a new training system and (more importantly) women’s national teams for the first time ever. They’ve added “Ultimate Team” for Xbox users, adding 16 iconic legends to the game (including Baia, Gattuso, Litmanen, Deco, Zanetti, Giggs, Nesta, Best). Everyone who plays on xbox this season gets a free legend. EA Access members save 10% on FIFA Ultimate Team points (FUTS), and play a week early. FIFA 16 bundles are available starting September 15. EA Access members can begin playing September 17. The game officially releases on September 24.

Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5 is really just a new tool to make more Red vs Blue, right? No? Oh, okay. Halo 5 is an Xbox One exclusive launching October 27 of this year. This presentation is focusing on arena mode and unveiling a new map: Colisseum. They show a match between two international Halo teams on the new map. There’s a limited edition console coming out in time for the game (1TB hard drive, special skin). The first Halo World Championship is coming this winter with a lot of prize money up for grabs.

Just Cause 3
It’s time for another world premiere gameplay video, this time Just Cause 3. So much violence crammed into one little spot. That’s all I have, I got bored.

Forza Motorsport 6
The developers promise this will be the “ most comprehensive” Forza game to date, with 450 cars to race and 26 international destinations. Races can contain up to 24 players at a time. There are now ranked leagues, and within each league are ranked divisions. Divisions will receive new events weekly. Forza Motorsport 6 is being released September 15.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
Some more world premiere footage. The game is available October 10.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
You guessed here: here’s another exclusive new gameplay video! Microsoft is still touting Rise of Tomb Raiser as “Xbox Exclusive” even though we all know it won’t be. Base Camp is where Lara can upgrade weapons, skills, to customize her based on your playing style. Rise of Tomb Raiser will be available November 13 of this year.

… And one more thing ...

Halo: Wars 2
A trailer is shown for Halo: Wars 2. It will be available in fall 2016.

- Lindsay M.
News Editor
Gamescom 2015: Microsoft’s Briefing
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