Xbox kicks off E3 2015
Microsoft may be second up to bat this year, but the publisher came out swinging, and it's clear that it's out for blood. There were the expected announcements from Halo, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Gears of War 4, but perhaps the biggest bombshell was the arrival of 360 backwards compatibility to Xbox One this holiday. With so much information coming at you so fast, it can be a bit difficult to parse through it all - and that's where we come in.
If you've missed out on the big announcements from the Microsoft press conference at E3 2015, we've gathered together all of the most important information to keep you on top of the gaming news. Check out all of the details on every major game announcement and more by clicking through the following slides.
Halo 5: Guardians is all about that four-player co-op
Microsoft opened the show showing off a cinematic trailer and gameplay demo for Halo 5: Guardians, and it looks like it's as much about Master Chief as it is the squadron looking for him. The demo opened with four players on stage, moving through the aftermath of an explosive battle. As the team made their way through the ruins, the city began to buckle and fall apart around them - looks like Halo 5 will have its share of explosive set-pieces to maneuver through. Teamwork seems to play a huge part in Halo 5 as well. Halo's always offered four-player co-op, but now each player takes the role of an actual character in the story, and not just a carbon copy of Master Chief. Also, your Halo 5 campaign progress will carry over to the multiplayer - a first for the series.
Recore is a new game from Keiji Inafune and the creators of Metroid Prime
Well, we weren't expecting that: a CGI trailer showed off an Xbox One exclusive called Recore, a game from Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and Armature Studios, a team made of developers who worked on the original Metroid Prime. A woman and her robot dog wander through a desolate desert and stumble upon a broken android. Spider bots descend from the crags above and begin attacking, and her dog rushes forward to save her, sacrificing himself with an explosive blast. He leaves behind a glowing blue orb, which she then uses to revive the hulking android and opens a door - a door hiding an even bigger robot menace.
Xbox One is now backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games
Phil Spencer just dropped a bombshell at E3: your Xbox One will now be able to play Xbox 360 games natively. Nearly 100 games will be made available over the holiday, while more are coming over the next year or so. Digital games you own will be made available on your account automatically, while physical games will work as they're made available. Microsoft showed off a bit of how it works with Mass Effect, and even took a screenshot - so Xbox One features like online play, streaming, and more will work with these backwards compatible games. Oh, and backwards compatibility will come at no extra charge.
More Fallout 4 goodness shows off combat with some power armor
Todd Howard took the stage to show off a bit more of Fallout 4. A local militia is losing troops, and they've asked you to help defend them. You'll find a laser musket - a new crank-based weapon that sends out high-powered beams toward your foes. You'll also get your hands on a suit of power armor, complete with gatling gun. Take that, Brotherhood! Oh, and mods that are created on PC can be played on Xbox One.
New Xbox one controller lets you fully customize your play
A video showed off the capabilities of a brand new Xbox One controller, and it'll be compatible with Windows 10 and Xbox One. You can swap out thumbsticks and D-pads, mess with trigger sensitivity, throw on paddle shifters for racing games, and more.
Titanfall, Dragon Age: Inquisition comes to EA Access
If you subscribe to EA Access, your list of free games just got a bit bigger. You'll be able to play Titanfall for free this week, and epic fantasy-RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition will come later this year.
Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 coming next spring
A CGI trailer showed off a bunch of wacky zombies and plants doing their thing. Pirate Zombies, Oranges, and giant mechs dropping from the sky. Not much else is known, but it'll be coming in 2016, and it'll probably be similar to the first game - team-based shooting and goofy, kid-friendly humor.
Forza 6 looks to continue the series legacy in car porn on September 15
Race cars continue to go fast in Forza 6. It'll feature 26 tracks and 450 cars in 1080p at 60 frames per second. It's coming September 15.
Dark Souls 3 looks appropriately grimdark, coming Spring 2016
The clearly-should-be-niche uber-difficult Dark Souls franchise is starting to become a regular staple, as Dark Souls 3 has been officially confirmed. It's coming Spring 2016.
Xbox One players get an exclusive beta for The Division in December
Things are looking appropriately grim in The Division, Ubisoft's upcoming action-RPG, and you won't have to wait too long to get a chance to play it: Xbox One players will get an invite into the beta in December.
Rainbow Six: Siege coming in October, comes with Rainbow Six: Vegas 1 & 2
The long-awaited entry in the Rainbow Six franchise is finally coming out on October 13, and Xbox One players will get a little treat, thanks to the newly added backwards compatibility. Modern classics Rainbow Six: Vegas 1 & 2 will be free to anyone who purchases Rainbow 6 Siege on Xbox One, but will be made available this holiday when the games are made fully backwards compatible.
Microsoft still loves indies
Xbox One affirms its commitment to indies, as they revealed the addition of games like Behemoth's Game 4, Westerado: Double Barreled, Ark: Survival Edition, and more in a sizzle reel. Steve Gaynor of Fullbright also took the stage to show off Tacoma - game that puts you on a derelict space station as you try to figure out what went wrong. It's coming in 2016. Another indie called Ashen looks really neat - two characters explore isolated ruins while avoiding pitfalls and monsters. Beyond Eyes is about a blind girl tries to explore her surroundings, and the environment shifts and forms as she proceeds. Cuphead still looks as old-timey and Mega Man-y as ever. And Ion throws another "lost in space" game into the mix.
Xbox Game Preview is like Steam Early Access on Xbox One (but better)
Xbox One is jumping into the early access game with Xbox Game Preview. It's a way for developers to put games up early and get feedback from players as the team develops. But unlike Steam's Early Access, each game on Xbox Game Preview will come with a free demo. The Long Dark and Elite Dangerous will be available this afternoon, with Sheltered and DayZ coming later.
Rise of the Tomb Raider looks really cold
Microsoft showed off the first gameplay footage of Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Lara's going to have her work cut out for her. Lighting crashes around her as she climbs up a perilous mountainside, with icy outcroppings breaking apart as she makes her way to the top. Of course, things don't go as smoothly as she'd like, as the mountain begins to break apart and an avalanche comes barreling toward her. Expect action-packed set-pieces and - gasp! - actual tombs on November 10.
Rare Replay gathers 30 classic Rare games in one collection
Battletoads, Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Banjo-Kazooie, Viva Pinata - Rare has a pretty stellar catalog of classic titles, and 30 of them are coming together in Rare Replay. With 10,000 Gamerscore (!!!), Rare Replay will be available on August 8th, 2015 for $30. That's one hell of a value.
Rare is back in business with Sea of Thieves
A teaser trailer showed off Sea of Thieves an open-world pirate-themed adventure filled with other players. Ship-to-ship combat, undead skeletons, and buried treasure are to be expected. Characters ran around with names over their heads - so is this an MMO? Not much else is known, but it's nice to see Rare coming back to actual game development.
Microsoft reminds you that Fable Legends is a thing that exists
Yep, it's still coming, and it's still going to be free-to-play. Move along.
Microsoft affirms commitment to VR with partnership with Valve VR and Hololens
Kudo Tsunoda took the stage to announce a partnership with Valve VR, and to affirm their commitment to make Windows 10 easy for VR platforms of all shapes and sizes. Microsoft even showed off how Hololens would work with Minecraft. A full 3D representation of the Minecraft world on a table, and you can move around, edit buildings, even peek inside them by moving your head inside. The world can be lifted and shifted around so you can see the world underground. Or maybe you just want to be a dick and summon lightning strikes to attack your friends. You have to see it to believe it - it's really cool.
Gears of War Ultimate Edition upgrades the first game for Xbox One
The very first Gears of War is getting a 1080p/60fps upgrade for Xbox One on August 25th, and a public multiplayer beta will be hitting today.
Gears 4 is really happening, y'all, and it's coming holiday 2016
Microsoft showed off the first gameplay demo for a new Gears of War - though it looks like they're dropping the 'Of War' bit. Two unknown COGs take a nighttime jaunt through an abandoned town hunting down monsters, and of course, things quickly go awry. Wind starts to kick up (a 'wind flare'), as a massive tornado filled with lightning builds off in the distance. The two race toward shelter - and find themselves inside an abandoned library filled with glowing pods. Lambent liquid oozes from the pod and shorts out the main character's flashlight (who is referred to as JD by his partner). They make their way to a courtyard and are beset by monstrous dog-like beasts with tentacles pouring out of their mouths - it certainly doesn't look like one of the Locust. It'll be out Holiday 2016.