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Microsoft’s E3 conference was filled with great game announcements but lacked new IP

While the Xbox One X was of course a key focus for Microsoft’s E3 press conference last night, there were plenty of great game announcements to be made too. Not only did we get release dates for Crackdown 3 and Rare’s Sea of Thieves, but we also saw the world premiere reveals of Metro Exodus (sequel to Metro 2033 and Last Light), Assassin’s Creed Origins and even Bioware’s new IP ‘Anthem’.

After spending some time talking about the Xbox One X hardware and Forza Motosport 7, Microsoft got the ball rolling with announcements. It came out of the gate strong too, with Metro Exodus. There was a five minute or so gameplay reveal, which sees you ditch the underground tunnels for a life on the surface. The game was shown running in native 4K, which appears to be the same for every new game shown on Microsoft’s stage today. The short gameplay trailer hints at Metro turning into an open-world affair but those mechanics weren’t really explored. We shall here more soon though as the game arrives early next year.

Sea of Thieves has been a highlight at every E3 it has appeared in so far but this time, we saw plenty of extended gameplay. This time around, we got to see PvP in action, along with dungeon crawling and treasure hunting. There is a lot to explore both on land and in the depths of the ocean but there are still some questions left to be answered. For instance, we still don’t have a solid release date but an early 2018 release window was put into place. Hopefully Rare’s latest can make it out to us before the next E3.

Assassin’s Creed Origins made its debut on the Microsoft stage, rather than at Ubisoft’s own conference. We saw alpha gameplay running in native 4K. The short gameplay sequence showed off some of the new RPG elements coming to the series as well as a brief look at the new Witcher-like inventory system. Combat has had an overall and I am pleased to say that I did not spot a single tower and I hope it stays that way.

Aside from Metro Exodus, my second favourite reveal of the entire conference was Anthem. This is the game Bioware’s main studio has been working on while other teams handle Mass Effect and Dragon Age. While rumours have pitched this as a Destiny style looter shooter, this game seems to have its own unique flair. The gameplay trailer did a good job of showing just how massive and detailed the world is. The fact that you get to fly around like Iron Man is also a bonus in my book.

Middle-Earth Shadow of War was another big highlight for Microsoft. We have seen quite a bit of this game already but I think this has been the best showing by far. The gameplay focuses on recruitment  for your army as well as additions to combat and the nemesis system.

In total, Microsoft showed off 42 games today, 22 of which were exclusives in some way or another. Every game was shown running in 4K with HDR, which is very encouraging for the future of the Xbox One X. Beyond new games, older games will be patched with Xbox One X support at launch, including Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2 and a bunch of third-party games.

The Xbox One X is Microsoft’s smallest and most powerful console ever but of course, that comes at a price. International pricing has yet to be confirmed but the console will cost $499 when it launches this November.

KitGuru Says: We didn’t see any first-party new IP from Microsoft’s studios this year but there were a ton of third-party studio partnerships going around. The exclusive reveals Microsoft did get were all pretty huge too, with Anthem, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Metro Exodus all looking like excellent games. Did any of you watch Microsoft’s conference last night? All of the games shown will be coming to PC too so there is a lot to look forward to. 

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