E3 2012: Xbox 360 coverage

Read all about Microsoft's announcements from E3 2012.

Ryse is still being built, not 'shipping in the next twelve months'

"We're still building Ryse," corporate VP of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer told me in an interview last week, shooting down any suggestion that the game has been canceled. "We're focused on games coming in the next twelve months, something I say every year, and it's not something we'll be shipping in the next twelve months." If you're keeping track at home that means, at the very least, a hefty three-year window between the reveal of the project and a possible summer 2013 launch window.

"We're not the biggest first party."

"Yes I can play it on my 360," Spencer told me, preempting the...

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'Deadlight's' XBLA flashback

Developer Tequilaworks' Deadlight is awash in its influences. For modern audiences, those will likely mean one particular avenue of connection — to the hopelessness of George Romero's Day of the Dead and other similar genre fiction. It's not just that there are zombies and the fall of civilization but also the aesthetic and particulars of the setting, a dingy 1980s Pacific Northwestern U.S. full of anachronisms like loading screens that feature cassette tape spindles winding in reverse.

But to other, older players, players that grew up at the dawn of rotoscoping with Prince of Persia and...

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We ask NetherRealm, 'Just how violent is 'Injustice: Gods Among Us'?'

John Edwards, Lead Designer at NetherRealm, the creators of the recent Mortal Kombat reboot, said the studio's upcoming DC Comics superhero fighting game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, won't include decapitations or disembowelment.

"There's a place for Mortal Kombat," said Edwards, "and there's a place for this, also."

Injustice includes a bit more comic book goofiness than its viscera-stewed predecessor. Harley Quinn, for example, has a special move that involves placing an explosive pie between the legs of her combatant. While in the Fortress of Solitude, fighters can be knocked into the...

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From Final Fantasy to Hitman: Square Enix's dramatic transformation

Square Enix has, recently, transformed itself from a mostly Japanese-centric game maker to a studio creating some of the more interesting Western games on the market.

Where Square was perhaps once best known for games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts, a growing number of gamers are starting to identify the publisher as the name behind big titles like Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Sleeping Dogs.

A big part of that radical transformation, says Mike Fischer, head of Square Enix's Americas branch, was the company's acquisition of Eidos and...

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Square Enix: 'Nuns, Guns and Agent 47' represents the vision of the developer

"Nuns, Guns and Agent 47," the Hitman Absolution trailer that ignited a firestorm of controversy surrounding accusations of rape culture and sexualized violence, "truly represented the vision of the developer," the president of Square Enix's Americas tells Polygon.

"I'll tell you the one thing that really bothered me about the reaction was people who said this was just like a crass marketing move to get attention, because it truly represented the vision of the developer," Mike Fischer said during an E3 interview.

The trailer sparked a strong reaction when it hit in late May, with some...

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Guardians of Middle-Earth shows traditional MOBAs can be fun on console

Developers Monolith could have been content with bringing the highly complex, nearly exclusively computer-based MOBA genre to the console. But with Guardians of Middle-Earth, the developers didn't just transport the gametype to a new platform, they also tweaked and improved it.

Commanding well known, and some lesser known, heroes and villains of the Middle-Earth saga, players find themselves leading a constantly spawning army of underlings against a like-sized force out to take down the enemy base. The maps upon which you do battle are all symmetrical, littered with the same number of...

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'Need for Speed: Most Wanted' may be the 'Burnout Paradise' sequel we've been waiting for

The reps from Criterion Games were the happiest people I met at E3, passing around beers to friends, joshing with the racers getting demolished in their new game, Need for Speed: Most Wanted. They made off-the-cuff comments about the freedom they have as a developer to do whatever they want with the series following the success of their last Need for Speed, Hot Pursuit. They're grown-ups, but they were giggling like kids given the keys to one of EA's finest rides.

The latest iteration of the annual racing franchise, like their beloved Burnout Paradise, takes place in an open-world filled...

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Penny Arcade Episode 3 developer on the pros and cons of working with a license

Though not on the E3 show floor last week, developer Zeboyd Games set up in a hotel across the street with an almost-final version of Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness — Episode 3. And during an appointment, Zeboyd programmer/designer Robert Boyd broke down the main differences he sees between working on an original product and a licensed game.

You may recall a bit of a development hiccup when Penny Arcade Episode 2 developer Hothead Games moved on to other projects, and Zeboyd picked up the story with a dramatically different art style and approach, mirroring a 2D...

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Madden NFL 13 puts shouting at your TV to good use

The Kinect functionality built into Madden NFL 13 is built around the assumption that, hey, you're already shouting at your TV while you play, so why not make those shouts mean something?

This year's Madden will allow you to select and alter plays with the power of your own voice using a simple interface that's ever present, at the bottom of the UI. Your commands are spread out before you, changing as the situation demands. Shout a player's name, and then "Streak" to change his route from the line. You can also call audibles, or shout "Hurry Up" to go no-huddle when time is tight.

Despite...

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A bombast-free E3 still managed to deliver some thrills

This year's E3 gathering of all things video gaming in Los Angeles was, by the bombastic, sensory-overloading standards of past E3 shows, a bit workmanlike.

It was a show that seemed more focused on the near future, the impressive and probable, than the hyperbole of what may come down the line.

There was only one new piece of hardware to talk about. Despite having four chances to impress gamers, even Nintendo thinks it flubbed its sales pitch for the upcoming Wii U.

Speaking to CNBC, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said he felt the company could have done a better job during its...

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'Virtua Fighter' in 'Dead or Alive 5': What's in it for Sega?

Fighting game crossovers seem more common than not these days, but it was still surprising when Tecmo announced three months ago that Virtua Fighter characters would appear in Dead or Alive 5, given how serious the VF series has taken itself in the past.

Unlike most fighting series crossovers, though, this one — at least, for now — is a one way street. Akira and Sarah will appear in Dead or Alive 5, but Sega has announced nothing about DOA characters appearing in a Virtua Fighter.

It's classic marketing that the underdog likes to position themselves next to the leader, and while Virtua...

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Lost Planet 3 will make you care about a space trucker

"He's got a wife and a kid, and he's had to take this dangerous job, because times are tough," my Lost Planet 3 demo handler told me while giving background on the game's protagonist.

"He's just a blue-collared everyman," he explained. In response, I rolled my eyes hard enough to emit an audible sound.

And yet, within just a few minutes of playing, I was actually kind of invested in the plight of Lost Planet 3's plain-looking protagonist, Jim, who must face equal portions of deadly, ice-encrusted monsters and the drama of a tension-fueled workplace. He misses his wife and son, and neither...

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Tony Hawk talks about reviving a dying genre

There was a time when famed pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk thought that the video game that popularized skateboarding for many gamers and helped make him an almost household name, was dead.

"Yeah, I thought that was a definite possibility," Hawk told Polygon in a recent interview. "But at the same time I felt that we could review our very first games and bring them into the new architecture and the new technology of what's available now. I felt like the time had come, and I really pushed Activision that way.

The result is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, the twelfth in the long-lived series and a...

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'Medal of Honor Warfighter' multiplayer is more cooperative, morally confusing

You hear this line repeated at every Medal of Honor demo. "Medal of Honor has always been about authenticity and respect for the soldier." This presentation, in a stuffy booth on the side of EA's E3 compound on the Los Angeles Convention Center show floor, we're hearing it from a pre-recorded video of Greg Goodrich, the broad shouldered Executive Producer at developer Danger Close.

Goodrich is responsible for a lot of the partnership building between the Medal of Honor franchise and its stock of military advisors from across the globe. His relationships with the men who've experienced...

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Injustice: Gods Among Us: Or, Batman fights Superman

Injustice: Gods Among Us, an upcoming fighting game starring the iconic heroes and villains of the DC Comics universe, has one of the more flavorless titles at this year's E3. In fact, I had to dig up the press release to recall the name. Then look it up again after I'd forgotten it by the time Microsoft Word had loaded. The title has something to do with the story, but any details about said story are yet to be revealed, giving us nothing really to hang the name to on our brain walls.

I dwell on this because the game itself is much more memorable. It features Batman and Superman and...

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'Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse' attacks the Amish with sniper rifles, exploding diapers and chicken on September 25

A few years ago, the creators of Family Guy threw series stalwarts Stewie and Brian into various parallel universes in "Road to the Multiverse," an episode that was critically praised and quickly grew to become a favourite among its fanbase. Now Activision has partnered with the show's creators to take that to consoles. Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse throws Stewie and Brian back into a series of twisted worlds, including one dimension in which the Amish rule and bad beards are the order of the day.

The publisher showed a short hands-off pre-alpha demo during E3, featuring gameplay of...

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'Dragon Ball Z Kinect' is a creative spin on the gesture-based fighter

A couple months back we laughed at the idea of a Dragon Ball Z game for the Xbox 360 Kinect. Previous DBZ games - based on the anime of the same name - were all about simultaneously mashing every button at once in hopes of landing a hit. But by making the move to motion-based controls, Dragon Ball Z Kinect turns out to be a rather creative and physically demanding brawler.

Players select from a roster of series' characters and jump into first-person POV battles against their chosen opponent. Fights move fluidly and there are a slew of move options that can be executed at will, including...

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance hands-on had plenty of slicing

Solid Snake's story may have ended in Metal Gear Solid 4, but his robot buddy, Raiden, remains. And, for the first time since Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden wil take on the starring role in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Konami had a playable build at a recent press event, so we were able to put the game through its paces.

The moment the demo started, it was clear that Revengeance controls nothing like previous Metal Gear titles. Raiden moves fast, able to zip around the world like Ryu from Ninja Gaiden. Cover? Bah! Who needs cover when you have a giant samurai sword.

The combat is almost...

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The uphill battle of 'Happy Wars'

Happy Wars, the upcoming action arena battler from ToyLogic, faces problems a number of Xbox Live Arcade titles have faced over the last few years.

I think I get what ToyLogic is going for. The characters are cute, and mutter meme-y taunts and laments as they fight and win – or not – and the clear influence of tower defense titles and battle arena games like DOTA is present. The difference being a matter of approachability: Happy Wars is so lighthearted and simple that anyone should be able to jump in and give the game a go.

But I'm not sure who's going to stick around. Combat is simple...

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Assassin's Creed 3 introducing new stealth options, auto-blending

In addition to a pretty intense ship-to-ship battle that Ubisoft premiered during their E3 press conference, the company showed a brand new Assassin's Creed 3 demo on the E3 show floor. Set in Boston during the summer of 1773, the level demonstrates some of the new stealth mechanics being introduced in this entry.

Connor, AC3's hero, is able to discover randomly-generated quests scattered throughout the world. They're optional and usually involve saving locals from ne'redowells. In this case, a woman wanted someone to save her friend from being tortured in the stocks. The friend was...

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Songlines creation-myth sandbox for Kinect invokes the sublimity in humanity

Songlines, a Kinect game featured at this year's E3 IndieCade, weaves a colorful story of world creation. Players take on the role of a rainbow-riding deity from indigenous Australian creation myth to sculpt a habitable world using body gestures.

The game is based on Australian aboriginal mythology and is a retooling of the culture's creation story. The artwork and music are influenced by the aborigine traditions, with its frequently-present pattern of swirling circles and concentric dotted lines modeled after ancient cave paintings discovered on the continent.

Designer Samantha Vick and...

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Team17 opens a fresh can of 'Worms Revolution'

Kevin Carthew has worked on the Worms series for 14 years. During this time 19 Worms games have spawned their wriggly selves from the ground to make the series an iconic turn-based strategy staple on PC, console, and mobile devices everywhere. But as the series ages, Carthew is determined keep Worms wriggly and relevant, and he plans on doing that with Worms Revolution.

"The history of the brand is kind of a strange one," Carthew told Polygon at E3. "We've made a lot of Worms games and sometimes those games have been re-releases of the original title. With Worms Revolution, we're conscious...

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Dishonored is a story built on morality, chaos and whales

Dishonored is the story of morality's greyer shades, of freedom of choice - and of whales, according to the game's lead designer Ricardo Bare. Arkane Studios, the development team behind the upcoming steampunk-like saga of protagonist Corvo Atano, built a city from the ground up featuring its own lore, history, plagues, religion, and spin on the industrial revolution. Their Dunwall has gone through a revolution in technology. It's a coastal town whose entire technological infrastructure and economy is based on a whaling industry in which huge ships go out to sea to capture the animals, kill...

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'Dungeon Fighter Live' launching on Xbox Live Arcade in July

Dungeon Fighter Online may be the biggest game that the average North American gamer hasn't heard of, with over 300 million players spread across South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and (most recently) North America. Now we've got a new chance to get familiar with the game on this side of the world. South Korean developer and publisher Nexon announced at E3 that Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre will arrive as an Xbox Live Arcade downloadable game in July 2012.

Both Dungeon Fighter Online and its new Xbox 360 spin-off focus on arcade-inspired action reminiscent of classic Capcom and...

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Watch this: Microsoft's Xbox E3 keynote

Every year's biggest E3 highlights tend to be concentrated in the three marquee keynotes — those carried out by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony — and one of them has now been posted online in its full glory for repeat consumption. Microsoft's Xbox Media Briefing from Monday includes a deluge of new things to get excited about, such as the return of Master Chief, a teaser for the next instalment of the Gears of War franchise, new languages for Kinect voice controls, and of course, the introduction of the SmartGlass companion app. If you don't quite have the full hour and 50 minutes to digest it...

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Quantum Conundrum interview: a question of scope

Now that Quantum Conundrum has a firm release date (June 22nd for Steam), developer Airtight Games is taking some time at this year's E3 to sit back and watch people get their hands on the final version. But producer Greg Poulos took some time to talk with us about finishing Quantum Conundrum, the importance of scope, and what he's hoping fan reaction will be.

Quantum Conundrum is just about here, obviously. Do you have any thoughts as you approach the game's final stretch?

We're just really excited to get it out there, since we are just a week or so away, so there's not much we can do...

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'Splinter Cell: Blacklist' has a new voice for Sam Fisher; here's what happened to Michael Ironside

When Splinter Cell: Blacklist releases in 2013, it'll be the return of Sam Fisher, one of the most popular video game characters today. But there will be something very different about this super spy: his voice. Yes, the gravelly baritone of Michael Ironside will no longer be the voice of Sam Fisher.

Max Beland, the creative director of Blacklist, explained the change in an interview with Polygon.

They had a passing of the goggles, so to speak.

"It was probably the hardest decision of my career," he said, speaking of changing the voice from Michael Ironside to a younger actor, Eric...

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'Dance Central 3' brings the throwdown to your living room

Dance Central 3 was announced yesterday at Microsoft's E3 press conference. The title boasts over 40 new songs as well as the ability to import tunes from Dance Central and Dance Central 2.

Today we got a chance to go head-to-head with our peers in Dance Central 3's new multiplayer face-off mode. Up to eight players divide into two teams as evenly as possible for a battle-royale of moves. The Kinect snaps a photo of each team and will randomly select a member from each group to face-off in battle. Each round consists of a dance mini-game, and the player with the highest points at the end...

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Gears of War: Judgement developed by both Epic and People Can Fly

When Epic announced the latest Gears of War last week, it was a bit cagey about who was developing the game at first, which led Epic president Mike Capps to take to Twitter and confirm "YES YES YES!" that People Can Fly was involved.

Now at E3, we've gotten more specifics on who's exactly building the game. The word Epic likes to use is "partnership," with Epic overseeing and having staff in-house working on the game, to the point that it's is being developed more in-house than People Can Fly's last game, BulletStorm.

"One of the things is we're letting them drive a lot more on the...

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'Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed' brings some variety to the table

We got a chance to go hands-on with Sega latest Sonic title, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The game features a score of characters from Sega's most beloved games racing on dynamic and often perilous tracks in vehicles that transform.

The courses are based on environments from Sega's previous titles. For the demo we jumped on board with Shadow the Hedgehog, a middle-weight racer, and took off on a track taken from Panzer Dragoon, a 1995 rail shooter for the Sega Saturn.

Right out of the gate, the controls felt tighter and more responsive than the previous title, making for a solid,...

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Tekken Tag Tournament 2 gets Snoop Dogg arena

The Doggfather of hip-hop, Snoop Dogg will make an appearance in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 when the game ships.

Dogg will appear in a bonus arena level themed around the musician, Namco Bandai revealed at E3 today.

Players who pre-order the game will received early access to the level, which features Dogg watching the fight from afar perched on a golden throne.

In addition to his in-game appearance, Snoop Dogg worked on a new song and music video titled "Knoc Em Down" which prominently features Tekken. In the video, people at a part play strip Tekken and then get into a real fight using...

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New 'Halo 4' Spartan Ops trailer tackles co-op, 'Covies,' and Promethean swarms

One of the biggest changes to the Halo series coming with Halo 4 is the introduction of Spartan Ops, which takes the classic Halo co-op gameplay and spins it off into its own adventure. Spartan Ops' episodic additions will tell the story of the UNSC Infinity as it intersects with the events of Halo 4 and beyond.

Check out the new trailer below for a look at one of the Spartan Ops missions in action. It looks an awful lot like Halo co-op, but when that includes all of the new enemies, visual upgrades, and other bonuses that Halo 4 is bringing to the franchise, that's not a bad thing.

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'Dead Island Riptide' announced

Deep Silver today announced the development of a new entry to their Dead Island franchise.

Dead Island Riptide is currently in full development by Techland for consoles and PCs. An extensive reveal of the game is planned for later this summer.

The first Dead Island game was released last fall to mediocre reviews, but built up a strong following of fans. The game first garnered attention with its eye-popping CGI trailer that depicted a vacationing couple and their young daughter being attacked and killed by zombies.

The trailer lead to a movie deal with Lionsgate.

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'Forza Horizon' is a blend of arcade racing and simulation

This year's Forza Horizon isn't Forza Motorsport 5. Horizon is more like an off-shoot...a different spin on a long-running racing franchise that aims to bring in new fans while appeasing some of the old.

For whatever reason, Ralph Fulton of Playground Games doesn't like the term "arcade" when it comes to describing Forza Horizon. No, he prefers the term "action racing." I attempted to press him on what that really means. What it sounds like is a racing game that's less worried about being grounded in reality, but still has a respect for real-world cars and physics.

That's how the game...

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Gears of War: Judgment multiplayer is a wicked blend of Horde and Beast

Gears of War: Judgment may focus on a different protagonist (Baird) and a new time period (just after Emergence Day), but the core tenets of multiplayer remain, but it's still a cover-centric shooter that encourages teamwork over insane reflexes. And the new multiplayer mode, Overrun, is the best example of this.

Overrun is best described as a mash-up of two modes from Gears of War 3: Horde 2.0 and Beast mode. The concept: two teams of players face off with one side playing as COGs and the other playing as different species of Locust. The COGs have a simple objective: Protect a generator...

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South Park: The Stick of Truth 'is the most authentic South Park game ever produced'

You could find South Park: The Stick of Truth in the back corner of Microsoft's Xbox 360 Showcase event, with project director at Obsidian Entertainment Zane Lyon speaking into a microphone at three rows of seated viewers watching the demo with headphones on.

Elsewhere in the showcase, demos happened without the necessity of headsets. The Gears of War: Judgement multiplayer area had no such formality, nor did the Fable: The Journey setup. But for South Park: The Stick of Truth, it's all about presentation.

"This is the most authentic South Park game ever produced," Lyon told us, adding...

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Microsoft Xbox SmartGlass: an in‑depth preview

This morning Microsoft made good on last week's rumors with the announcement of Xbox SmartGlass, a companion app for mobile devices and Windows 8 PCs that lets you control and interact with videos and games you play on the Xbox 360. We were given an early look at the app running on a Windows 8 tablet and a Windows Phone device, and while there were some bumps in the road we have to say we're quite impressed at the product's potential. In its most primitive form, SmartGlass is a Wi-Fi remote app for video. When launched, the app goes into "listening" mode, and seamlessly syncs up with any...

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Video: Watch the Xbox Smart Glass reveal

The Xbox Smart Glass, Microsoft's latest tendril from the Xbox 360 into your living room, was revealed today during the company's E3 keynote. Using Windows computers and mobile devices, Smart Glass will provide games with an additional display and input method. In case you weren't following along with this morning's live stream, we've prepared the following video for you to see the reveal for yourself.

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Far Cry 3 E3 footage shows tigers, foul language

Kicking off Ubisoft's E3 2012 press briefing today, a new batch of Far Cry 3 footage showed the game playing up its edgier aspects -- beginning with a naked woman, continuing to a scene where the most discernible word was "fuck" repeated a bunch of times, and finishing with tigers that the player could use like explosive barrels: freeing them to attack enemies, lighting everything on fire, and then killing the tigers after.

For an abbreviated version of that footage, check out the game's latest trailer:

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Video: 'Halo 4,' new 'Gears of War,' and more from Microsoft at E3

Microsoft's E3 2012 press event at the Galen Center in Los Angeles was relatively short on surprises, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending) long on Usher.

The highlight was new footage from Halo 4, with details about the game's Big Bad and some sexy new combat footage. A new Gears of War was announced, as was a Kinect partnership with Nike. Then Usher took the stage to promote Dance Central, for what The Verge's Ross Miller wishes was the finale to the event.

Miller has the story, direct from the Galen Center.

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'Far Cry 3' co-op blends teamwork with some friendly competition

You probably already know that Far Cry 3 will have a pretty expansive single-player campaign. You may even know that it will have an adversarial multiplayer component, complete with weapon unlocks, custom classes, the works. What you may not know is that, on top of those pretty meaty modes, there's also going to be co-op. Yep, an entirely separate co-op campaign where you and three buddies will team up to take on the island's various pirates and cult leaders.

The mode follows in the footsteps of Left 4 Dead in that each player takes on a different set character with their own backstory. At...

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EA and UFC sign multi-game partnership

As part of Electronic Arts' E3 2012 press briefing, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White appeared on stage to announce a deal between the two companies for a "multi-year, multi-product partnership." That's about it for details, since today's news was about the deal rather than a specific game, but given THQ's recent struggles, it makes sense that the UFC brand would find a new home.

Perhaps notably, White didn't acknowledge his 2009 comments about EA Sports, when he said EA was initially dismissive of UFC, then saw THQ's success with it and made their own mixed martial arts...

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'Dead Space 3' has an ingenious take on co-op

Making a game scary is really tough. All sorts of factors, from sound design to ammo availability to lighting, come into play, affecting just how scary a game can be. But there's one thing that makes a game instantly not scary: company. Sure, there were intense, witch-driven moments in co-op matches of Left 4 Dead, but the second one of your friends started tea-bagging a zombie or telling you about his day at work, the illusion died and you were back to playing a game. Even worse, think about Resident Evil 5. It's simply impossible to be scared when you have an AI companion with you at all...

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'Zeno Clash II' announced, set to release in 2013

Atlas today announced Zeno Clash II which is scheduled to release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in 2013.

Zeno Clash II is the sequel to the award-winning first-person melee brawler from developers ACE Team. The game will offer full drop-in, drop-out co-op multiplayer.

Fans will also now be able to explore the setting of Zenozolk, which is described as an open world that users can "fully and freely explore."

The original Zeno Clash released to PC in 2009, followed by an XBLA release in 2010.


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'Fable: The Journey' set for October release with new gameplay trailer

Fable: The Journey is scheduled to release October 9 in North America according to a new gameplay trailer shown during Microsoft's E3 press conference today.

European fans can expect to see the game October 12.

The footage from the upcoming Kinect game offers a look at in-game combat against skeletal enemies and werewolves as well as a number of spells available, including fire blasts and a lasso-like ability.

Take a look at our recent hands-on preview of the Lionhead Studios title.


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'South Park: The Stick of Truth' getting Kinect support, 360-first DLC

Following the reveal of the South Park: The Stick of Truth release date at Microsoft's E3 press conference, THQ has let us in on a few new details of the upcoming game, including DLC news and pre-order bonus info.

For those rushing out to the store to pre-order, you'll receive the bonus "Good Times With Weapons" pack for South Park: The Stick of Truth. This includes the Bulrog Chicken Attack, Cartman's Kick-ass Sai, and a Samurai Costume for the main character.

If you happen to specifically pre-order the Xbox 360 version of the game, you'll also get the "Mysterion Superhero" pack, which...

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Explosive 'Gears of War: Judgement' trailer throws back to the Locust War

Today Microsoft unveiled the new trailer for Gears of War: Judgement at its E3 press conference,

The trailer once again shows the city of Sera on fire, under siege by enormous spidery Corpsers. Franchise stars Augustus Cole and Damon Baird are dragged before the tribunal for the Coalition of Ordered Governments and charged with leading the city to its destruction.

Gears of War: Judgement is a prequel to the Gears of War series, and will release exclusively for Xbox 360 in 2013.

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Halo 4's first gorgeous gameplay, live action trailer from E3 2012

Microsoft unveiled the first gameplay from Halo 4's campaign at its Xbox E3 briefing today, showing how developer 343 Industries will start its new Halo trilogy.

Featuring more than five minutes of Halo 4's first-person action and story-driven campaign, the debut gameplay video shows Master Chief facing new enemies and deadly technology as he races to save the shipwrecked UNSC Infinity.

See old Covenant foes and a brand-new threat, plus a montage of the spectacle to come later this year, in Halo 4's E3 2012 gameplay trailer.


Microsoft also showed off a live action mood-setting trailer for...

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'South Park: The Stick of Truth' launching March 5th

THQ's upcoming South Park RPG has a new subtitle -- The Stick of Truth -- and a release date of March 5th. At Microsoft's E3 press conference, the game was introduced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the popular cartoon.

Parker and Stone took the stage at Microsoft's event and talked about their work on the game thus far. According to the creators, it's the first time they've had to actually map out the city of South Park.

Not ones to miss the opportunity to crack a joke, Parker and Stone also wisecracked about the SmartGlass technology introduced by Microsoft earlier in the...

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'Dance Central 3' announced, featuring upcoming Usher single

Harmonix today unveiled Dance Central 3 during Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference today.

The game was revealed earlier in the day in a tweet by recording artist Usher who features in the upcoming dance title.

The new rhythm game will allow users to learn moves to his upcoming single Scream, Usher announced.

The Harmonix developed Dance Central 3 is scheduled to release Fall 2012 for $49.99 USD.



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Gore Verbinski and Microsoft announce 'Matter'

As part of a series of three new game announcements in Microsoft's E3 press briefing this morning, the company announced a new game called Matter from Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski. A brief trailer showed a Portal-like aesthetic and shape-shifting environments, but we know little about what the game will include beyond that, nor which studio is developing the game.

Given that Microsoft announced it alongside games from Signal Studios and Twisted Pixel, it seems possible that Matter will be an Xbox Live Arcade game rather than a retail title, but we don't have platform...

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'LocoCycle' coming in 2013 from Twisted Pixel

An exclusive racing series is coming to Xbox 360 in 2013. Developed by Twisted Pixel, 'LocoCycle' seems to borrow some of its style from TRON, what with the shiny, titular cycle. Not much is known about the actual gameplay, but the trailer does seem to imply that assassinations play into the game in some way. Car combat, perhaps? More information as it develops.

From the official press release:

Presenting I.R.I.S. Two-time Valedictorian of the illustrious Big Arms Academy's School of Assassination. Proficient in over 40 forms of unarmed combat, earning Sensei status in Jiu-jitsu, Aikido,...

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Ascend: New Gods revealed as Xbox 360 exclusive from Signal Studios

Microsoft unveiled the next game from Signal Studios, developer of the Toy Soldiers series, at its E3 media briefing today. It's a bloody medieval action combat game infused with magic called Ascend: New Gods.

The gameplay demo showed a heavily armored warrior battling rank and file beasts and what appeared to be a giant minotaur, climbing up the monster's arm to fight the creature a la Shadow of the Colossus.

The Xbox 360 exclusive game is due to hit Xbox Live Arcade in 2013.


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Tomb Raider's first DLC available early on Xbox 360

During a presentation at Microsoft's E3 press conference, representatives from Crystal Dynamics announced the first piece of Tomb Raider downloadable contact will be available first for Xbox 360.

The news came after an extended gameplay demonstration that showed the new, younger Lara Croft blasting mercenaries with flaming arrows, shooting debris in a roaring river, and hurtling through the forest on a flimsy parachute.

Tomb Raider will be available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on March 5, 2013.


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Xbox SmartGlass comes to Windows 8 tablets and PCs

Microsoft has just unveiled SmartGlass, allowing you to use a phone or tablet to control content on your Xbox and get bonus content on that second display, but the company kept mum on its interaction with Windows 8 until just a minute ago. Microsoft has now revealed that, as expected, the feature will work with Windows 8 tablets and PCs. The company also teased cross-play between PCs and consoles. It's good news for PC owners — you won't be forced to buy into a Windows Phone or a tablet using Windows 8 to get in on the bonus interactivity offered by SmartGlass, you just need to upgrade your...

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Internet Explorer for Xbox arriving this fall, includes Kinect and SmartGlass controls

Microsoft has been testing a modified version of its Internet Explorer browser on Xbox 360, and the company unveiled its latest work at E3 2012 today — Internet Explorer for Xbox. Built into a web hub of the Xbox 360, Internet Explorer works from Microsoft's SmartGlass service (using third-party devices) to allow Xbox owners to surf the whole of the web.

Microsoft believes keyboards don't belong in the living room for browsers so it's also supporting Kinect voice and gesture controls with Internet Explorer on Xbox. There's no word on whether Adobe Flash is supported, but Internet Explorer...

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Microsoft announces Xbox SmartGlass app for Windows 8 and mobile devices

The rumors were true: Microsoft has just announced Xbox SmartGlass, an app for Windows 8, tablets, and mobile devices that lets users view and interact with new content in association with games and video on their console. On the surface, the app serves as a remote control, allowing users to control what is playing back on their Xbox 360, as well as letting them start video content on one SmartGlass device, and seamlessly pick it up on another. The standout feature, however, is how SmartGlass will serve as a secondary screen, providing additional content related to whatever video or game is...

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'Madden 13' and 'FIFA 13' with Kinect allow you to call plays with voice control

EA Sports's two juggernaut sports franchises, FIFA and Madden, will be "powered by Kinect" this fall.

During Microsoft's E3 press conference, a demo of FIFA 13 showed that substitutions can be made and formations can be called via voice control with Kinect. No longer will players need to pause gameplay and flip through menu screens to manage their team. They'll just need to talk to the television.

Also shown was the ability to argue a ref's call. Curse him out, and prepare to be penalized in-game.

For Madden 13, Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback (let's not mention the 49ers) Joe Montana was...

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Nike+ Kinect Training announced for Xbox

At Microsoft's E3 press conference today, Nike announced Nike+ Kinect Training for Xbox, a comprehensive fitness system that ties into your FuelBand and has a social component that allows you to work out with and compete against friends. It's got an in-game trainer to make sure that you're appropriately motivated, and any Fuel points that you earn on the system tie in with your existing account. Considering Kinect's motion-sensing chops and the uptake that Nike's gotten with the FuelBand, this could be a big seller — look for it to launch in holiday 2012.


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'Forza Horizon' release date set for October 23, 2012

The first trailer for the next installment of Microsoft's exclusive racing series made its debut at the company's E3 2012 press conference. Forza Horizon appears to bring more of an arcade, street-racing atmosphere to the simulation franchise, if the trailer is any indication. The visuals are, as expected, stunning, with licensed cars racing through suburban alleyways and down highways all over the globe. In addition to a fast-talking commentator and a dub-step soundtrack, the trailer revealed the game's release date to be October 23, 2012. Turn 10 will once again be developing.


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Xbox Music service announced, coming to Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows 8

We heard that Microsoft was planning to unveil its "Woodstock" Xbox Music service at E3 this week, and the company has revealed details on its plans today. Yusuf Mehdi says Microsoft will release Xbox Music on Xbox, Windows 8, and Windows Phones. Microsoft didn't mention exactly when we can expect to see Xbox Music, but the company demonstrated what it will look like in a demo video played on the big screen.

The Metro interface is present throughout, and there's a clear social element with a friends list visible. Microsoft is keeping the Zune Smart DJ feature as part of Xbox Music, and a...

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WatchESPN, NBA, NHL, among 35 content providers coming to Xbox over the next year

At today's E3 2012 keynote, Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi announced that 35 new providers will be bringing content to the Xbox 360 this year, with a big emphasis on video. "Over the next year we plan to double the content you can find on Xbox," he said. The new providers include Paramount, Nickelodeon, Machinima, and Univision, along with a number of new ways to watch sports on your console. Chief among them is a new WatchESPN app that will include live video from ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, and ESPN U. Meanwhile, a new NHL Game Center app will feature 40 live games to watch each week, and the NBA Game...

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Microsoft demos improved Bing voice search for Xbox, coming to 'dozens' of countries later this year

Microsoft has shown off an updated version of Bing voice search for the Xbox 360 in multiple languages during a live demo during its E3 press conference today. The company's CMO of the entertainment division, Yusuf Mehdi, did voice searches in both English and Spanish to find movies and shows. The feature is an evolution of the current voice search offered on the Xbox 360, and it searches through all apps and services on your console — including Netflix and Hulu, as well as the typical selection of movies and shows available to rent directly from Microsoft. Mehdi showed off searching for...

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Splinter Cell: Blacklist revealed at Xbox media briefing

First details of the next Splinter Cell game have been released just prior to Ubisoft's E3 2012 press conference.

Media for Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Blacklist, posted earlier today by Gamekyo, show Sam Fisher fighting in a Middle Eastern setting with handguns, rifles and hand-to-hand with knives. Fisher fights in broad daylight, but still bears his trademark night vision goggles.

A gameplay demo for the game was shown at Microsoft's E3 briefing, showing quick, violent third-person action segments of Fisher infiltrating a militant camp and killing a team of heavily armed soldiers. B...

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Our live blog of Microsoft's E3 2012 press event starts at 12:30PM EDT

Microsoft's E3 2012 begins today and we're live from the Galen Center in Los Angeles to bring you the very latest on all things Xbox. In previous years we've seen the introduction of Kinect, a redesigned Xbox 360, and updates on the latest console games due for the year. We're hoping to see a lot more about Halo 4 this time, and perhaps a sneak peek at Microsoft's new Xbox music service.

You can follow all the news and our very own live blog here at The Verge along with our friends at Polygon. Microsoft's E3 2012 conference kicks off at 12:30PM EDT.

Follow our live blog here.

The event...

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