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The Top 5 Announcements of the E32018 Microsoft/Xbox Conference

Hey, FanBros! It’s no secret that Microsoft has had a rough year in terms of sales figures, compared to it’s two leading competitors. So, it was important that they hit the ground running coming into the conference, this year. How did they fair? Let’s take a look at the Top 5 highlights we’ve picked from this year’s press conference.

5. Microsoft Acquires Five Development Studios:

In the hunt and need for exclusive content, Microsoft made the wise decision to pick up five different studios to produce exclusive content for them:

  • Playground Games (Forza Horizon 4)
  • Compulsion Games (We Happy Few)
  • Undead Labs (State of Decay)
  • The Initiative (new studio)
  • Ninja Theory[!!!] (Hellblade, Enslaved and DmC)

It’s a smart move to address that Microsoft knows exactly what their issue has been and needs to be solved quickly.

4. Halo Infinite: 

It looks like we’ll be seeing a new installment to the franchise with the main focus again on Master Chief(and potentially Cortana). But, what has me in particular more intrigued is the new SplitSpace engine being introduced. If what the trailer offered was a brief view of it in action, then I’m on-board. The gorgeous shot of the Warthog at full speed along the dirt road with the same level of detail in the background during heavy movement has me excited for a game that could be potentially massive with that type of effect.

3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice:

If you enjoy the struggle of a From Software game as much as I do, then this was a pleasant surprise. While I wasn’t expecting their Shadows Die Twice hints prior to this to emerge so literal, it was a great showing and seems to be a “flexing response” to Sony’s Nioh released early last year.

2. Gears 5:

If I had one complaint about Gears Of War 4, it’d be it’s unwillingness to change when given the opportunity. Discovering the politics of the new characters combined with the interesting new enemies in the form of the constantly deployed robots was a great shift in a new direction. But, it’s decision to take a step back and have former characters and enemies return to the spotlight, felt like an unfortunate hesitation.

Fortunately, Gears 5 throws that out the window with it’s leading role starring Kate Diaz on a quest that’s far darker than we’ve seen from this franchise in the past. And after this franchise’s pretty disgusting portrayal of women, it’s a great step forward to have a lead character who’s a lady who openly defies that storyline in the cannon.

1. CyberPunk 2077:

I may love this announcement too much. CD Project Red  graced us with one of the Top 3 games of all time: The Witcher 3 . While I wouldn’t mind deep-diving back into that universe, the genre that I need explored more efficiently is absolutely the cyberpunk genre(which is strange, because you would think that it was tailor-made to constantly be mined for video games!). Every image that popped during this surprise finale trailer was full of rich story, history, circumstances and creativity that I want in my hands, right this moment.

 

While I remain impressed by each of these, it still felt like Microsoft spent a large chunk of their conference negotiating with their fans to promise them “We will get better!”. And it also doesn’t help that most of their show consisted of non-exclusive, third-party games. We’ll see where the XBox stands in comparison to it’s major console competitors as our coverage continues with E3 2018!