Xbox back on form
Microsoft recently held its press conference at Gamescom 2014, and packed in plenty of big announcements. The most significant among them is that Rise of the Tomb Raider is Xbox One exclusive, but there are loads of other news bombs to check out too.
Here is a breakdown of everything that happened during the 90 minute show. Some awesome and exciting, some dull, some baffling--but overall this was a vintage showing from Microsoft, and a tough act to follow. Your move, Sony.
It all started with... a revolution
Then came FIFA and Peter Schmeichel
Invasion of the indies
You can read more about them here (opens in new tab)
Next up... COD Advanced Warfare
Microsoft's long-standing relationship with Activision continues. The Gamescom presser brought fresh single-player footage from Advanced Warfare (opens in new tab) of PMCs battling each other on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Inevitably, there's loads of shouting, and the bridge eventually collapses. It looks genuinely great, and the addition of EXO suits (and the fact they have jet-packs) means that the action has a new dimension, with players able to jump up and around each level to do their murdering more efficiently.
Also, there's a Call of Duty bundle coming. It's due in November and contains a 1TB Xbox One console with a fancy bunch of decals, a proper headset, and a copy of the game. How much? It'll be 429 / $499. Seems good to me.
Evolve was... underwhelming
Rise of the Tomb Raider is Xbox One exclusive
Yeah, then this happened. Crystal Dynamics took to the stage and dropped the megaton announcement: Rise of the Tomb Raider--the new, proper Lara Croft adventure--is a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. Impressive stuff.
Quantum Break brought slow-mo murder
There's a proper breakdown of the footage right here (opens in new tab)
Screamride was announced and looks very cool
There's a first look right here (opens in new tab)
Forza Horizon 2 is much improved
There are some cool features in Forza Horizon 2, which will allow players to explore the huge, open game-world together. The cars look shiny, and the AI is made more realistic by Drivatar. If you want a full, hands-on preview just click right here, buddy (opens in new tab). There are six new, free cars for Forza 5, by the way including the Rolls-Royce Wraith. Grab the update for that... now. Go!
Ori and the Blind Forest brought the whimsy
Sunset Overdrive showed more attitude
Halo: The Master Chief Collection resurrected Sanctuary
Microsoft showed off some gameplay from Halo 2 Anniversary, and it looks boss. The difference between the original game and the remastered version is striking, although the gameplay remains largely untouched. The demo was painfully brief, but Microsoft also took the opportunity to announce the Halo TV Channel for Windows PCs. It's a hub for all things Halo, and you can launch MC Collection from it, so that pretty much confirms a PC version, right?
Also, there was a quick match played on the reimagined version of Sanctuary, the classic Halo 2 map. It looked massively frantic, but retained the spirit of the original. Excellent news.
And there was a little news about the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta
There you have it--Microsoft's Gamescom briefing in a nutshell. The final piece of news is that Xbox One will get pre-orders and pre-downloading, starting with FIFA. Exciting? Not really. What are your thoughts? Bowled over by the Tomb Raider exclusivity? Can't wait for Halo? Leave your comments below.