Microsoft’s 2014 E3 press conference was heavy on games and software and devoid of nearly everything else. The company announced a series of deals that would bring content to the Xbox One before other consoles, which is par for the course when it comes to Microsoft and big events. This was a fairly by the numbers affair, although it’s worth pointing out a few of the most interesting things that took place during the event.
The content shown for Sunset Overdrive was incredibly self aware, to the point where the game made fun of a colorless soldier huddled behind a crate during a "realistic" firefight. The game then exploded with color, and showed a game that looks like a combination of Tony Hawk and Dead Rising, which is a sentence I didn’t think I would ever write.
The juxtaposition of winking acknowledgment of the absurdity of the game’s premise and the relentless destruction of the mutant characters was a little weird, but the game looks like a welcome relief from the overly serious action titles and scowling men with guns that tend to fill E3. It’s also an Xbox exclusive, which is something Microsoft sorely needs.
Microsoft showed a montage of indie titles that featured a number of interesting looking games, but the brief scenes from Cuphead, a game coming in 2014, stood out immediately. Everyone in the Polygon press room reacted in some way when the brief moments of Cuphead’s play were shown, and the idea of aping the look of classic animation for a modern game is inspired. Watch the trailer, I bet you'll be just as excited.
The game is coming in 2014, and we know next to nothing about it, but this is one of those times when a game’s aesthetic is enough to grab our attention and hold it, even during an event filled with much larger games.
Master Chief Collection
This collection will contain four Halo titles, including an updated version of Halo 2, and the multiplayer of each game will be available in the package and will run on each game’s original engine. The idea of going back to what made Halo 2’s multiplayer so interesting on the Xbox One is exciting, and this move shows a sense of warmth and curation about the past experiences.
The package will also come with a possible 4,000 gamer score, the live-action Halo Nightfall series, and a beta invitation for the Halo 5 Guardians multiplayer beta that will take place this fall.
In other words, this is going to sell a metric shit ton of copies, and the package is filled with interesting things outside of the core game play.
Conker is coming to Project Spark
Project Spark is Microsoft’s game creation software, and anything that allows players to experiment with making their own content is a good thing. But the idea that Conker, a character that has always had limited appeal and tried to cash in on the "fun" of adult jokes in what looks like a children’s game may not be the best fit for the free-form creation game.
A few older games and existing fans may think this is neat, but overall the move makes little sense. It’s strange, and I’m curious to see if it makes an impression.
Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition
This is another game that tried to skewer some old video game tropes of reveals and it felt like Capcom has finally become aware of how ridiculous it can be as a company. The trailer was pure fan service and ditched any pretense of weight or seriousness. This is the sort of Capcom fan service and sense of fun that has always lurked under the skin of the Dead Rising series, and seeing that aspect of the game be fully embraced is delightful.
And again, this is exclusive to the Xbox One, and the DLC is available now. I'm starting to wish I brought my system to E3 with me, so you'll have to tell me how it is.
The press event included a ton more information than what's listen here, but these are just a few things that we feel are worth pointing out and giving a bit more attention. Mirosoft showed an interesting selection of games, along with the expected AAA games and super-serious scowling shooty-man demos.
Actually, can I sneak one more in here? Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime coming to Xbox One is amazing news. Okay, I'm done for real now.