So yesterday Microsoft had a lovely conference full of goodies for us to get hyped about. Are you hyped yet!?
Before the conference began what was I hoping for? Well I was excited to see Platinum Games’ Scalebound, I wanted to see more on how Quantum Break would combine TV and game in one big package and I hoped they would have another big surprise up their sleeve for us. They did that and more which is impressive as always. It wasn’t all silky smooth as a few of the speakers were clearly nervous and tripped over themselves a little, which is understandable as I wouldn’t do so well in front of hundreds of people in the room or the millions at home watching online, so big well done to all of them for stepping up and powering through!
Microsoft didn’t disappoint, we got our first proper look at Scalebound which sent our own Scott Sedman into a frenzy, I look forward to seeing the IGN First content on that this month and learning even more about it. It looked good although the combat appeared a little slow and clunky, could just have been the stream I was watching but the game is not finished, it’s a year away still so plenty of time to tighten it up and make sure it’s as smooth and fluid as we’ve come to expect from a Platinum game. I have to admit the 4 player co-op came as a shock, it adds a whole new dynamic to what I had thought would be a single player experience.
Quantum Break is taking shape, much changed since we last saw it a while ago now, it is looking mighty impressive. The visual effects were outstanding and they have really managed to capture the actors playing the characters in this Game/TV crossover. Shawn Ashmore and Aiden Gillen are good actors and I’m sure are more than capable of pulling off the task that has been set for them. If anything it inspires confidence that Remedy are not messing about with the TV element here if they can attract actors of this quality to the project. I can’t wait for more on this, I really can’t.
As for the rest of the conference: we saw more Tomb Raider which looks fantastic as always; Forza 6 which looks to be moving the franchise in the right direction with new features and technology; Halo 5 multiplayer was shown for the first time, including a look at how they are planning to support the E-Sports scene; plus a vast assortment of Indie titles from their ID@Xbox programme which is slowly gaining momentum and increasing its quality offerings to bring it up to the high bar that Sony has set for them. We got looks at Crackdown 3, Just Cause 3 and Homefront: The Revolution, 3 games with similar methods to gameplay; fully open 3D environments with 100% destructibility (or as close to that as possible) and super cool action to go along with it.
They all look like great fun, but the real surprise was that 343 and Microsoft announced that Halo Wars 2 was in development. Halo Wars was a bit of a cult hit when it launched back in 2009, it wasn’t a huge commercial success like the entries in the main franchise line but it managed to be successful on a more low key level. I know friends that played it for several years before moving on, it was their go-to online game. So it was a little surprising to see it get a sequel, 2015 has been an unusual year but a fantastic one at that. It was the year that The Last Guardian returned to peoples’ radars as a genuine game and not just a joke, it was the year that Shenmue 3 was announced after the fans had begged for years to make it happen.
2015 has been a magical year in terms of announcements so let’s hope it continues. What did you think of the conference? Are you excited about the games announced so far? What are you hoping could be announced? Let me know here in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter @adamthomas1994.
As always, thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for more on Gamescom 2015.