Eddie Mac on E3 2k12: Microsoft Presser
So the console I use the most leads off this year’s conference? Works for me. I like watching these and just going with a stream of consciousness on my thoughts, using the all new, limited edition, BULLETPOINT feature (note, may not actually be new or limited). Jump with me and let’s get a little nerdy, shall we?
- Microsoft leads off with Halo 4, can’t say that’s too surprising. Surely the beginning was just live action not crazy good CG, right? The graphics once Chief shows up look sexy as hell, as he sees some giant alien ball that looks mean and evil. MC fights some Covenant before a Brute gets roasted from behind by something not you. This leads to you fighting what appear to be demon robot dogs that shoot fire. Fairly minimalized HUD, looks good, easy to see everything you need. Those look mean. Whatever this new enemy type is, they look bad as hell, and explode awesomely when they get got. One can even deploy a little buddy that will make a shield for the big dude and catch grenades you throw and chuck them back at you. Another can teleport around super fast. MC takes one of their guns, which looks pretty rowdy, and now can use Predator style IR vision. Tagline is “An Ancient Evil Awakes” Looks pretty sweet.
- Boring Microsoft guy is boring
- New game starts up of some bro carrying a broken dude speaking very not english somewhere in the Middle East. Broken dude gets dropped off for some med aid, and you mark some enemies. Splinter Cell? Two doctor terrorists get roasted, main guy gets a much more painful end. Yep, there’s Sam Fisher. Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Apparently the story is terrorists from many different countries are teaming up to go after America. Fisher is still stealthy and super good at killing. Looks great, seems to be much quicker than SC games of old. You can mark and kill on the move, dubbed creatively “killing in motion.” Nailed it Ubisoft. Sam keeps going, pulls the old rip over a balcony trick, then tazes the water near the body when his 2 buddies come to see what happened. That was awesome. Ohhhh, then calling in a predator with Kinect…also awesome. Pretty sweet trailer, and spies vs mercs is coming back. I used to play a ton of this on one of the first 360 SC games.
- EA Sports now, looks like just talking Kinect. Fifa 13 up first. Apparently you will use voice commands to control the action, so it’s really just quick menu navigation. This could be pretty helpful for offside traps. Ref Feedback keeps track of your reactions? That’s not good. Pretty funny the dude gets caught offside and they bleep his response, which leads to his player yelling at the ref. Goofy, but fun, although this will lead to me getting an untold number of yellows for my reactions while playing. May have to turn the Kinect off for that. Now some Madden info, this will likely be similar. Special guest? JOE MOTHERFUCKING MONTANA! <3 u forever Joe. Joe seems as excited as would be expected, lol. You can do stuff like flip the run, audible, hot route,etc all with your voice, as well as call for a no huddle. Pretty cool, but it seems like there’s a sizeable delay between saying hike and actually hiking, that could be a problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s due to lag from the setup they have for the presentation though. Joe runs through a few plays, though I’m disappointed he missed a wide open Vernon Davis in the endzone for a check down. But the next play finished off a a great drive to score a TD for Joe because he’s the best around…and is likely playing on rookie. Oh Joe, your acting is just as good as it was on SNL so many years ago.
- Quick trailer for the Fable Kinect game. Looks pretty goofy, but could be fun if it’s at say…$20?
- Phil Spencer out now, gives love several studios, then a new trailer for a new Gears of War game. Since 3 finished it out, this is a prequel. Never really got into the Gears games, they’re fun and well made and all, just never got around to em really. Gears of War: Judgment is the name. It looks super violent and explodey as one would expect.
- Now Forza Horizon gets a trailer. As you can probably guess, it’s super pretty and essentially car porn. Now to see why Horizon is different: Apparently it involves more “open road” so perhaps more of an open world as opposed to the heavily regimented style of past Forza games just doing specific events? Either way, game looks sexy as hell. Way too much dubstep though. Lots of collision damage shown, some heavy crashes too.
- Now a strategy guy comes out to talk…entertainment. Wampwamp. More games pls. Starting out with more Bing search, feel the excitement. Now showing off how it works in spanish…clearly the exact same. Though I do wish I could make my Xbox Friends be called amigos instead. Nickelodeon joining the party? Why. Machinima? Awesome. Now adding in support for NBA and NHL like they have w/ MLB, that’s pretty sweet…but I guess PS3 has NFL locked up. ESPN getting more through Watch ESPN, hopefully I’ll be able to watch it, since I can’t watch ESPN3 now due to having Time Warner internet and Uverse TV (the reciprocal of either would get it for me, so stupid). Nice usage of Chelsea Dagger during the sports montage. Pretty cool, though the worry, as always, is lag. I’m yet to see a reason to use Xbox for say UFC over just ordering it through my regular PPV when it will be behind a few seconds. Now music…whatever. Now for Kinect: the future of fitness? Interesting, Nike + integration with Kinect, that’s kinda cool. This is some seriously impressive tech if it actually works as well as it could.
- New guy on to talk about tablets and phones and the whatnot… Xbox Smartglass being introduced to tie everything you have together. Dude mentions Windows phones/tablets, iPads/iPhones, and others will work. Shows watching a movie on his tablet, then flipping it to his TV at the same point, with his tablet now giving movie info….Uhhhhh this is awesome. Nintendo has to be pissed. The whole WiiU thing just got sniped, but with stuff people already own. Now showing Game of Thrones playing on HBOGo on Xbox, with his tablet giving a map of Westeros. That is aweeeeeeeesome. Now what game creators would do? Shows Madden: VMU STYLE PLAYCALLING SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Seriously, that was the greatest thing about the Dreamcast ever. Oh snap, and drawing new plays? Nb4r, Nintendo, I’m so sorry, you just got got. Now for Halo 4 concept: Gameplay going on TV, tablet shows data on the waypoint you just got, pop up notifications, etc. This is some alien technology from the future. I may actually buy an iPad for this. Now we get internet on the Xbox. LOL Internet Explorer. Cmon yall, couldn’t get Firefox or Chrome on board?? New trailer for Prometheus being shown through the Xbox browser now, as a side note, ohhh man that movie is going to own. Now more internet, now to Aston Martin’s page for some reason. Finally back to games now
- Tomb Raider. Can’t say I really have any interest, but woww, game looks damn good. Lara owns some bros with a bow and arrow which leads to having to go from cover to cover. The environment is super destructible, with cover lasting for only a few shots. Some quick time events shown to pull yourself up a ledge. OH SNAP, Lara can set her arrows on fire, and proceeded to roast some dudes. Killing with Fire is always better than not killing with fire. She then shot a dude in the leg with an arrow, ran up and after a contextual button press, stabbed the dude with another arrow. Ok, you have my attention now. Lara falls through some water, somehow gets a parachute and lets you skydive some before taking a painful looking fall. Xbox gets a timed exclusive on the 1st DLC.
- Now for some exclusives. First up: Ascend: New Gods, from the makers of Toy Soldiers (whatever that is). The game looks sort of claymationy and has some giant monsters going to war. No clue what that was.
- Next, what looks like a motorcycle while a voiceover talks about a female agent being awesome. Twisted Pixel game called Lococycle, don’t know anything else. Next a pinball looking thing heading to what looks like something out of tron. Kind of looks like super futuristic Marble Madness. The game’s called Matter, made for Kinect. Again, no clue.
- Now some Asian bros come for Resident Evil 6. Meh, not a big fan of these games. I like moving while I shoot. The logo also still looks like a giraffe getting a blowjob.
- Now an excited sounding lady from the XBL team. Talking about Wreckateer, which sounds super fun. Think Angry Birds, but with Kinect, and cannons instead of birds. This will be amazing to play when drunk with friends I bet.
- South Park video starts with a Cartman voiceover and the city in ruins. Preview for the South Park RPG, which will probably be worth it, just for hilarity. You get to put yourself in the game as a new kid to help save the town. This will probably be a must for any fans of the show. Oh shit, they’re letting Trey and Matt talk? This should end well? Trey immediately starts making fun of Smartglass tech, you are awesome. They want to make it look like you are in an episode of South Park.
- Now Dance Central 3 #dismissivehandwank /ff
- Wait, I stopped FFing just for a second because this turned into an Usher concert….Why? /ff
- Looks like were closing with COD Black Ops 2, still with Xbox timed exclusive on DLC. Sadly I was right, so far no GTAV. Still, time for explosions. Start off with a Mason voiceover and now we move to LA where you are escorting the (female) President through an under attack LA from Drones. Jeeeeeeesus that is a shitton of drones attacking LA. Pretty much everything is blowing up and your ride crashes, leading to a groggy start to the level we’ve seen many times before. Luckily you find a Stinger turret that can lock on to up to 6 drones at once. Oh, here you see the first of the branching choices they talked about before where you can either rappel down an overpass or snipe from up above with a sniper rifle that can see through shit and break through walls. Reminds me of the old Perfect Dark sniper rifle. It is awesome. I know people say these COD games are typically the same, and sure, that’s probably true. But this has several different looking things, and who cares, if a formula is fun, why not some more. Now we’re skipping to a new part of the level down on the ground. You have what look to be UAVs flying with you that you can order around and tell where to move and shoot….awesome. There are bullets everywhere, as you run around, then a skyscraper crashes. This is just full of great carnage. Now you take over a Vertical Takeoff jet, pretty, pretty cool. Not an on rails section mind you, you control the plane to give cover to the president’s convoy. Yah, that looks awesome. like I said yesterday, didn’t like Black Ops’ multiplayer, but the Single player campaign was great. Hopefully both are good this time around.
That’s all for Microsoft. Nothing crazy surprising from a software standpoint. Halo and COD both look great. The Smartglass concept could be amazing, the question is how much can you actually do, how much support will you get from both games and different tablet manufacturers. The way they showed you flipping a movie from your tablet to your Xbox/tv looks a lot like Apple TV, gotta figure they want to block that. Like the integration of Kinect into Fifa and Madden as just voice commands, could be way easier. Sadly since they said Madden, I’m guessing not in NCAA. I’m gonna try to get through the EA and Ubisoft pressers at some point today, but will likely watch the Sony live at 8 (and the same time as Spurs game, so I’ll be half speed. Not to mention all the other demos from Spike and G4’s coverage. There will be lots of thoughts during the week, but they’ll come when they do.
What’d yall think about Microsoft’s presser? Anything you figured was definitely coming you didn’t see? Anything you really liked? Think Nintendo is pissed as hell right now? Lemme know what you thought, and come back later for my Sony thoughts.