Here we are, E3 2013 has just come to a close. With that entire festival out of the way, it’s time for me to keep my promise and deliver my opinion of each press conference. Well, two press conferences and one pre-packaged video.
Microsoft is first up, with all eyes on their conference to find out what is going on. In my last article, I didn’t shy away from lashing out at Microsoft for adding a ton of restrictions on the Xbox One and muddying what was known of its used games policy. Just one day prior to their conference, they announced the policy in full and it was just as bad as I feared: Used games are a thing of the past on the Xbox One. Resale is essentially dead and lending games is now impossible.
That alone puts Microsoft at a nigh-impossible disadvantage in my eyes. By restricting user rights so much for little to no known advantages, they shot themselves in the foot, then knee, then mouth. They have actually managed to make me hate the Xbox One on a level that pushes me to actively lobby against its purchase.
The only way Microsoft can win me back is if they come out and either give me a laundry list full of advantages they could potentially have over Steam’s system, or just plain saying “just kidding!” Since neither seems likely, they’re basically playing for my continued ownership of my Xbox 360 and nothing else.
METAL GEAR SOLID V – THE PHANTOM PAIN
I’ll admit, this is a bold move. Being the first to show a numbered Metal Gear Solid game’s trailer is great. The game also looks amazing on what I can only assume is Xbox One hardware, which is quite impressive. It’s just too bad that I know it’s also coming to Sony’s console(s), so I’ll be getting it for that.
Kiefer Sutherland as Big Boss (Punished Snake) sounded very strange. However, we’re growing ever closer to the storyline being complete. If Kojima is aiming to remake Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, he’ll need David Hayter for Solid Snake.
Don Mattrick & Hideo Kojima
Good to know Kojima’s happy to work on Xbox One, I guess.
So 13 Xbox One exclusives will be demonstrated… okay, sure! Let’s find ou– oh, time for some 360 news.
A console redesign seems superfluous at this point. The second Xbox design was good enough and doesn’t overheat, so I don’t see the point of it.
XBOX LIVE Gold
Gold members getting two new games per month is a great addition. It finally makes Gold look like a worthy competitor to Sony’s PS+.
Then he goes on to name three multiplatform games, all of which I either don’t want or will be getting on PS3.
World of Tanks
I’ll admit, I played this game for all of two hours on PC before giving up on it. It’s a free-to-play game that is already clunky on PC, so I loathe finding out how it’ll work on 360.
Max: the Curse of Brotherhood
This actually looks fun and interesting. The colorful aspects make it look like a great change of pace from the other exclusives we usually get to see on 360. My only problem is that it seemed to show off Kinect functionality, which could be a huge deal breaker for me.
Dark Souls 2
Yet another multiplatform game. I haven’t even touched the first game yet, but this looks like a AAA version of that game. I’m a bit nervous about that because its budget might outgrow its niche popularity.
Wearing a brown t-shirt under a formal jacket makes you look like a stereotypical dudebro who got talked into “classing it up”…
RYSE: Son of Rome
So this Xbox One exclusive will essentially be God of War set in Rome. Not that it’s a bad thing if done right, which I saw glimmers of through the gameplay video. Unfortunately, this being a new IP robs it of recognition and subsequently makes me not really feel too sad that I won’t be getting an Xbox One.
Jago, Glacius, Sabrewolf… Yeah, this seems like the first genuinely awesome game Xbox One will get. Too bad I don’t really care about fighting games, else right now I’d be really mad that it’s exclusive to Xbox One. Oh, there’s also the fact that it’s being made by Double Helix, which makes me less than enthusiastic for the game’s prospects.
This game looks like Ratchet & Clank meets Resistance. It’s literally Insomniac ripping off its two most recognizable Sony IPs and blending them into what seems like an online Xbox One game. Since it looks like a parody of Insomniac’s own previous efforts, it feels like less of a game to me.
Forza 5 Motorsport
I’ll freely admit that I haven’t played Forza much. However, it seems like an appropriate competitor to Sony’s Gran Turismo.
What killed my interest in the speech was the yapping about cloud processing. “Driveatars” just don’t seem like something I care about, since I suck just enough at driving games to make my potential Driveatar crappy or downright troll-worthy online.
Independent games! Good to know Microsoft put its money where its mouth is. Phil’s speech on indie games is inspiring.
Hrm… I really was expecting more. PC players can already do what Xbox One boasts, so why play it on a console when you can just video-out your computer?
The interaction during a time-frozen explosion seemed fun, but I still have this annoying feeling that this game being tied to a TV show is the worst idea ever. The characters are deep in uncanny valley and really stiff, kind of like actors pumped full of Botox. No-go for me.
This game looks stylish, but nothing more was shown. Too hard to make an informed decision, but it actually had me interested.
Didn’t this start out as a 360 create-a-game project? Anyway, it looks like a more freeform version of LittleBigPlanet. The voice commands are really impressive, but the SmartGlass integration makes me feel like this could be best served as a PC project. In fact, I’m sure there will be a similar title on PC.
Also: You’re not allowed to use the name “Rock Man” and not have it be a little blue robot. Never do that again. Minus two points to the presenters. Minus two other points for forcing the color commentary beyond what were necessary voice commands in the game or multiplayer interactions.
The use of Light ‘Em Up adds half a point for great use of music licensing. The game montage was worth watching to see what you can do in Spark.
Nope. Not interested. Not a single feature shown here matters to me, since I’d rather go in-game than launch an app on my phone or tablet.
Oh, and I hope that “accidental joke” incident was unscripted, but the way the tides turned in such a scripted way right after the UploadStudio demo was over makes me think something’s up.
Err, okay. Live streaming games are great, but I hope Twitch sharing can allow one to hide the chat bar.
Real Money Store – Death of Microsoft Points
Xbox Live Gold Sharing
Took long enough.
Whoops, no audio. Ah well, looked good. However, isn’t this supposed to be a Kinect game? If so, I’m out.
Dead Rising 3
In what seems to be the most disappointing sequel showing in the entire conference, the game seems to be (and was later confirmed to be) aiming for the Walking Dead and/or Call of Duty crowd. Now, while I absolutely hate everything that has to do with zombies, Dead Rising still had some merit for being the only series that made nods to the Mega Man Legends series with Servbot heads and kept a colorful level of interaction and nods at the player. This game seems to shun all of that in favor of being an open-world Walking Dead game.
The game also being exclusive to Xbox One makes me kind of happy I won’t ever have to deal with it.
The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt
This is a multiplatform game and is also coming to PC. The game promising 100 hours of non-linear gameplay makes me very happy and I’ll make sure to take advantage of that when I buy it off of Good Old Games.
Aww, so funny that the game presentation bugged up. Also, I’m not really interested in Battlefield. A series that was always best on PC will remain so.
Looks… intriguing? Seems like a Roguelike with fun looking little guys. Xbox One exclusive, it seems, so I’m never playing it.
Black Tusk Studios Project
If this ends up being another FPS, I won’t even give it a second look.
I got so excited when a huge monster came out of the sand, thinking it could finally be their answer to Monster Hunter or Shadow of the Colossus… then Master Chief’s hood was blown back. Meh.
November Launch in 21 Markets – For $499
Wow, just wow. This machine doesn’t seem worth that much money, even if it DIDN’T restrict used games and require an online connection.
Final game, with huge mechs and jetpacks. Looks great and likely plays great, but it’s not entirely exclusive. Since it’s coming out for PC, I might think about getting this game for that platform on Steam when it gets dirt cheap.
Microsoft dropped the ball in a massive way here. With only two remotely interesting Xbox One games, I’m not swayed in the least. With the total lack of backtracking on used games policies or required connectivity, I’m driven to advocate against the console in favor of Sony and Nintendo.
Microsoft didn’t even make me interested enough to keep my Xbox 360. Nothing shown or confirmed as exclusive even moved me. I’ll just finish up my depressingly short backlog of 360 games and likely dump the console once that’s done.
There you have it. Microsoft is strictly no-go for me from now on. Next up is Sony, who also has its own new console.