Monday, June 6, 2011

The Microsoft E3 2011 Conference Wrap Up

With Mircosoft fresh off the E3 stages, I am going to break down everything that was announced in more than likely one of the longest list this website has ever seen. There was tons of content announced and I was thoroughly impressed at how far the Kinect has come in just one year, it almost has me believing in it.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
An excellent way to open almost any stage show in existence, but this game still worries me. As these titles are continually pumped out it seems as though it is less about shooting, and all about scripting. This gameplay footage did absolutely nothing to show me otherwise. While it looks amazing in comparison to Black Ops, as these games progress the shooting seems less about strategy and precision and more about senselessly mowing down warmongering countries.

Tomb Raider
Never being a huge supporter of this franchise, the idea behind this game seems simply fantastic. To take the great and powerful Lara Croft and turn her into a scared and injured young lady was a very brave move. It is however unfortunate that this game is still another year at least from being released.

Mass Effect 3
One of the most unusual twist was in the form of Mass Effect now having Kinect support. This seems like an awesome way to command your units and will really add to the game. I'm still a bit hesitant to be talking to my television screen though, so I will probably stick to the flawless PC version of the Mass Effect Trilogy.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Not much was discussed about this topic, but that new trailer has me begging for more action. As more information is released I'm hoping this game relies more on tactical shooting and not Call of Duty combat. The Gunsmith Mode looks to add amazing customization to the game. I was less than impressed with the aiming mechanics on the part of the Kinect, but that's not very surprising.

YouTube on XBL
This one wasn't so surprising, because YouTube is everywhere. The only really shocking thing is why this merger didn't happen long ago. Either way, Xbox Live will now support YouTube.

New Features for XBL
There is a ton being added to Xbox Live all thanks to the Kinect, which is strange to say. I have long been a disbeliever of the Motion Control features, but these new voice command features have renewed my faith. Being able to command my Xbox to browse things faster and simpler is a welcomed feature, especially because compared to PSN the Xbox Live is a freaking disastrous mess. Bing has now also been added to help browsing the movies and games available on Xbox and the voice functionality will be thoroughly useful in this aspect. Live TV was announced, though I am unsure of how this will work out considering it all relies on partnerships and all the business contracts in the world. Lastly UFC has announced a partnership with Xbox and this is an amazing feature, being able to watch live fights and select the outcome and compete against my friends...this has all the features of the bar just without the smell and bad food.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Finally! The remake all of my friends have been talking about since the release of Xbox 360. They are remastering every single aspect which is great though I am worried which games combat system they will be using. My hopes are high that they will remain true to Halo and not try adding fancy features and destroy a beautiful thing. With the release date set for mid-November there is not much waiting to do before this game is on my doorstep.

Forza Motorsports 4
Very little was said just a fancy trailer that I'm assuming was pre rendered. There isn't much competition left in this field ever since Gran Turismo 5 dropped the ball. I was excited to see 80+ car manufacturers signed on for the game.

Fable: The Journey
This game looks like a cheap knock off of a dying franchise that was buried into the ground by lazy game developers. It's very sad to see how far the series has fallen since the original Fable blew everyone's mind. Another Kinect knock off that will easily be forgotten in a month after its sad.

This was an interesting surprise from Crytek, though I was hoping for an awesome gladiator game. Looks to be a unique title for the Kinect and with Crytek doing the work it certainly will look beautiful. That being said, it is a Kinect game and there have been very few successful games released solely for the Kinect.

Minecraft Kinect
It's not surprising that Microsoft picked up this title, but it's sort of a slap in the face to PC gamers. You take an awesome game for PC polish it up and add Kinect features. This reeks of game developers selling out...I just hope I'm wrong.

Kinect Disneyland
This is the exact type of game the Kinect was made for, simple childish games that can be easily picked up and put down. The game looks like it will be greatly entertaining for kids, but so is every single title that the Kinect releases. The difference being Disney slapped their name on it, enough said.

Star Wars Kinect
I'm unsure of how far along in development this game is, but I pray they still have tons of development going into it. This was probably the worst showing at E3 so far; every aspect seemed clunkier than usual for a Kinect game. The response time seemed like it took 5 seconds to even register, and the Kinect camera even seemed unresponsive at points. This game had great potential to be at the very least entertaining, but from what was showcased it is lining up to be a garbage title I could find for the offense Wii.

Seasame Street: Once Upon A Monster
This game looked and played better than Star Wars Kinect did, and it has Elmo and Cookie Monster. The presentation was adorable and at this point looks to be the most promising Kinect exclusive title...sadly.

Kinect Fun Labs
This seems like an amazing idea, but it is also over 6 months too late. There are already 1000's of better user created Kinect features already in existence. It seems as though Microsoft owes a couple dozen of its users for helping inspire them to actually make a program for it. Although to those that have done great things with the Kinect...I wouldn't expect to see a check any time soon.

Kinect Sports Season 2
It's already been done by the Wii, and it actually looks smoother on the Wii. Kinect golf looks like a blast though, aside from that if they expect me to pay for this, they are sorely mistaken.

Dance Central 2
You can port all the old songs from the original game over to Dance Central 2. This game seems to be the most functional game to use the Kinect camera. I don't dance, but if you love dancing you are sure to love this title.

Halo 4
Sadly Halo is returning for at the very least 3 more games. Hopefully they don't bury this game into the ground like Call of Duty is doing at this very moment. Very little was mentioned about the title, but it has been officially announced and that'll be enough for now. Welcome back Master Chief, may your stay be pleasant.

That pretty much sums up every single thing that Microsoft mentioned. As the videos of gameplay become available expect another article with those videos to emerge. Congratulations Microsoft, now it is Sony's turn...

Article by: Larry Harris 

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