Microsoft

Halo kicks Microsoft off with some video and a live gameplay trailer of the campaign. They are pulling a Halo 2 and for half the game you won't be Master Chief, but Spartan Locke who is hunting the chief down because he's turned bad but probably not. Each protagonist will have a squad with them and it looks like you can issue simple commands like 'shoot that guy' but it's mostly to accommodate the drop-in/out co-op. In Locke's squad is Nathan Fillion's character from Halo 3: ODST which is pretty rad. They also showed a new multiplayer mode Warzone which looks like a big team battle but also AI enemies litter the field as well. Alright?

Next up was ReCore brought to you by a Megaman co-designer and the makers of Metroid Prime. Only a cg trailer, but there was a cool robot dog and its lady owner fought other robots. It looked neat, but is an Xbone exclusive coming spring next year.

Then Microsoft dropped a bit of a bomb on the show. They announced that the Xbone will now be backwards compatible with xbox 360 games! Apparently all a game publisher has to do is approve a game to be compatible and it will happen. So either Microsoft has got some sort of emulation going on or they are throwing money at a port house in the third world somewhere to port all those last-gen titles. They showed as an example Mass Effect, which was nice I guess but the main point seemed to be that you can still use the more modern features of the Xbone like taking video and streaming your gameplay while playing these older games.

            Just look at this fucking thing

            Just look at this fucking thing

Want to spend $150 on a controller? Of course not! But for crazy people they announced the Elite controller for Xbone and PC. It has a crazy amount of customizability which is cool but most people won't give a damn about adjusting how much throw a trigger has. You can swap out the parts for other options like getting rid of that crazy as fuck d-pad they have there. 

Todd Howard from Bethesda came out to show a very similar demo of Fallout 4 to what Bethesda had the night before. But hey this show was on TV and theirs was not. He announced that Fallout players on Xbox will be able to download mods which is awesome, but probably with someone whether it be Bethesda or Microsoft acting as a filter.

EA came out to rep their EA access thing. Where you pay them a monthly fee and get a dozen games available to you, and a few days early access to their games. They are adding Titanfall and Dragon Age Inquisition to the list of games. This thing is only for Xbone though, and I don't think anyone really cares about it. Finally he announced another Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare cleverly appended with a '2'. The trailer was pretty dumb and tried to use Danger Zone to be cool but failed. The game seems the same but with new classes and the horde mode has you play the zombies this time.

A car is being lowered from the ceiling. A guy from Ford is on stage. Forza 6 sure is a car game! It looks nice and has wet roads and pavement. Wait, the car is being lifted back up during their trailer. Bye! Forza seems like another one of those games.

A bonfire! Dark Souls 3! The leaks were true, hurray. Another cg trailer though but they showed a pretty large man in armour without a face who started to catch on fire which looked pretty rad. It's coming early next year.

Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's The Division showed a moody trailer (gameplay at Ubi's show) and Xbone gets the beta first coming this December. They also mentioned Rainbow Six: Siege and that you will get 2 previous Rainbow Six games with it because of the new backwards compatibility for 360 games. I feel like old games as incentives are gonna be a thing now. Siege gets a trailer showing multiplayer complete with fake voice chat.

Gigantic starts out looking real good, a third person action game with a cool art style and characters. Then I find out it's a MOBA. It's Dota with a different view and the other team's base you have to kill is actually a big monster that can move around. Super reductive but also super not interested now. There'll be a beta in August and it'll be on Windows as well however.

Okay, Indie game montage time. Cool stuff in there like Cuphead, Below, Westerado, and of course Goat simulator. Tacoma takes the stage from the people that brought us Gone Home, but this one is in space! Wandering around an abandoned space station listening to audio logs and watching hologram records of people. Ashen has no faces. Action RPG about trust between people or something. The art style is cool even if the people have creepy manikin faces. Also a giant floating furry whale thing with horns. Beyond Eyes is apparently about being blind, but is super colourful and looks like a painting. The world is blank white apart from the character's immediate area which I suppose she is touching/hearing/smelling. All she does is walk on some train tracks then fall over when a dog walks up to her, so no real sense of what you do in the game. Unless that's it.

CUPHEAD. Cuphead gets a new paragraph. This game looks so fucking good holy shit. They're drawing and animating this thing like a real 1930s cartoon and it looks so incredible. Of course I hope the gameplay feels good as well, but WHO CARES LOOK AT IT. It's been moved to 2016 which is a shame but they can have all the time they need.

Early access works super well for making people money, so now you can do that on your Xbox. They're letting you demo the games first so you can decide if they actually are what they claim to be, which is nice.

Dean Hall, the dude who made DayZ spends some time confusing Americans with his accent and talking about his next game ION which is an MMO about colonizing space, it seems to also be focusing on survival and good old emergent gameplay.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is still a stupid name. It looks real pretty in their stage gameplay demo. Unfortunately the gameplay part looks like 'hold up to go forward' and 'press x at quick-time event.' The trailer shown after looks much better, showing Lara actually solving some puzzles and god forbid raiding tombs!

Rare used to make cool games before they got stuck making Kinect garbage. Well here is 30 of them in a collection. Pretty much all their games from your childhood apart from Goldeneye and Donkey Kong are in there. It seems that Microsoft is letting Rare make a cool game again? Sea of Thieves looks like a co-op pirate game MMO type thing where you have a couple of you running a ship, and can fight other people's ships, find treasure, and fight skeleton pirates. It looks pretty and will be on Windows as well.

There's a free to play Fable game, Fable Legends. Co-op horde mode or tower defense or something? Xbox and Windows players will be able to play together, so that's neat at least.

Now the VR section. Last week Oculus announced a partnership with Microsoft, and everyone who buys a Rift gets an Xbone wireless controller with it. They are also working with Valve with the HTC Vive headset, and have their own thing Hololens. So they want all VR to work on well Windows, which is fine and smart. They bring out a lady from Mojang to talk about Minecraft with Hololens. They project a fake screen onto the wall that only the dude wearing the headset (and the specially rigged camera) can see. Then walk over to a table and project the game world onto it, giving you a birds eye view of minecraft. It looks rad as a way to display your creations, but I don't think you'd actually play like this? It's really cool tech though and if you're a parent with a kid who loves Minecraft it would be pretty awesome to be able to have this in your house.

Remember the backwards compatibility thing? Well Gears of War isn't one of those because they want you to buy the remaster of it in August. They showed the new one though! Gears 4 looks like one of those games, although the demo is super dark and sometimes hard to see what is going on. Ge4rs won't be out till late next year.

That's what Microsoft showed at their press conference.

Fucking Cuphead, man.