By CHONG JINN XIUNG
E3 kicked off with Microsoft announcing that its next-gen console, the Xbox One, will launch in the United States in November for US$499 (RM1,500).
To woo gamers, the tech giant highlighted tons of exclusive titles that are headed for the new console. One such game is Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome which is set in ancient Rome and you will play as general Marius Titus of the Roman army.
The explosive demo reminded us of the Normandy landing in World War II - Romans were blown away and peppered by arrows as the invasion party landed on a beach.
The game’s combat is an interesting mix of swordplay and strategy. For instance, you can order your soldiers to form a phalanx and use their shields to protect themselves from the rain of arrows. Ryse will be a day-one launch title for the Xbox One.
Microsoft’s next exclusive game - Killer Instinct - drew cheers and applause from the audience. It is a reboot of a popular 1990’s fighting game. Not much was revealed but from what we could see it looks similar to Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.
Next up was Forza Motorsport 5. It is only expected that this game will feature hundreds of cars
including luxury brands like Lamborghini, McLaren and Ferrari. It’ll pack a new artificial intelligence that will try to mimic a player’s driving style to make it look as if the gamer is racing with real-life players.
If you are the type that likes creating your own games then you will like what Microsoft had to show next. Called Project Spark, it’ll allow you to craft your own game be it a platformer, shooter or third-person adventure.
Capcom, meanwhile, is still betting on zombies. Dead Rising 3, like other games in the franchise, will be an exclusive title. It remains an open-world game and you’ll get a new city to explore. To survive the zombie-infested city you will have to be smart -- for instance, you can use a flare to distract them while you slip past.
But when it gets tough you can use - and we are not kidding - your phone to call an artillery strike. You can thank Xbox Smartglass for this feature. .
A new Halo game for the Xbox One was also announced but it was disappointingly lacking in details. 343 Industries would only show a trailer of Master Chief facing off a gigantic
Promethean enemy. At this point the game doesn’t even have a title.
The company promised more details … next year.
Microsoft saved the best for last - it showed off gameplay footage of Titanfall, a new game from Respawn Entertainment.
This new IP will allow players to traverse vertical terrain by using jetpacks and take control of giant mechs called Titans to defeat foes.
The game is set to release next year in time for spring.
All in all, we are happy that the Xbox One is still a hardcore gaming device and not a glorified set-top box. Even if the console becomes available here at some point, it is unlikely that the other features like Netflix will be available here.
We can’t wait to try out the demos of the exclusive titles headed for the Xbox One, as well as multi-platform ones like Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
And before we sign off - it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Microsoft. The sound system failed when Crimson Dragon, the spiritual successor to Sega’s Panzer Dragoon and Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 4 was presented.
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