Xbox destroyed expectations, shocking us all. With everything to prove and nothing to lose, a truly spectacular show has redeemed the green giant for gamers of every kind. They have put on perhaps the best E3 showing of all time. Promising that all fifty games shown will run best on Xbox, an easy claim to make with Xbox ONE X out-powering PS4 Pro, Phil Spencer succeeded in displaying 15 world premieres and 18 exclusive games.
HALO INFINITE (EXCLUSIVE)
Xbox kicked off their E3 Briefing at 1PM Pacific Time on June 10, 2018. The show begins with a scene of wildlife, thunderstorms, ancient carvings on a stone wall, massive animal footprints, and a camp outpost. Next we are shown a crashed plane or space ship of some kind. Beaches, troops with flare grenades, and ancient ruins are seen in the middle of the forest. And then, it happened. The Spartan helmet in hand, this is clearly a Halo game. We are shown Halo Infinite for the first time. The cinematic reveal led up to an announcement that the game will be powered by the Slipspace Engine. Phil Spencer then took the stage and announced that Master Chief is the main character of the game.
It’s announced that 100% of the proceeds of Fanfest (of EA and Microsoft) tickets are going to Gamer’s Outreach so that kids in hospitals can game with their friends and favorite worlds. Gaming is described as a medium that reaches across age, race, gender, and geography by Phil Spencer who says “Gaming is the great unifier” and proceeds to outline some of the bold stories that inspire the hero within us. “As Gamers, we are at a momentus time where creative vision and cutting edge technology together are delivering the art form we love,” says Phil Spencer who has been travelling the world in search of the full potential of Xbox ONE and the most daring visions for video games. 50 games will be revealed he tells us, with 15 world premieres and 18 games with exclusivity.
ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS (EXCLUSIVE)
There’s a new Ori game and it’s a console exclusive to Xbox ONE. In the trailer we are shown we see that the game has not lost its charm. Incredible 60 frames per second visuals were seen in the original which also had a high level of depth and combined a fascinating story with intensely crafted puzzles and action sequences. The new game looks even more daring, with horrifying and dark enemies that threaten to upset the balance. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is revealed as a 2018 game.
SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE (WORLD PREMIERE)
Ancient samurai scenes combine with fantasy as we see the nightmares that haunt From Software’s next title. The New IP will be published by Activision and has previously been teased with the Shadows Die Twice tagline. Bloodlines run deep, and enemies run rampant in the action adventure game with horror elements mixed in. Creative combat, brutal finishing moves, and even more brutal bosses await players in this upcoming multi-platform title that has never been seen until today. “Your death won’t come easily” we are told, as the player is denied his eternal rest and instead must continue fighting endless onslaughts of unique and devastating foes. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is coming in 2019.
FALLOUT 76 (WORLD PREMIERE)
Todd Howard (Game Director of Bethesda Studios) took stage next and mentions the upcoming Bethesda Press Conference. Phil Spencer convinced him to come along and announce something he tells us. The 16 year history of Bethesda and Xbox making moves together including Morrowind and Fallout 4 console mods is mentioned. Now Fallout 4 will be part of Xbox Game Pass as of today, Todd announces. And then Fallout 76 is given a World Premiere.
Fallout 76 is a prequel to all of the other Fallout games. It’s four times the size of Fallout 4. Set in the hills of West Virginia you are one of the first to emerge into an untamed and very different wasteland. The trailer is shown, in which we see many hints at what the game will be like. A color television broadcast shows us Vault 76 and the landscape of West Virginia. June 15th is the first time Pre-Order will become available for the digital version of the game in the Xbox Store. Players must rebuild America itself, the trailer tells us, “In Vault 76 our future begins”.
THE AWESOME ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN SPIRIT (WORLD PREMIERE)
Next, Donnod Entertainment and Square Enix show off a new trailer for the next entry in the Life Is Strange universe. On June 26th players can download the entire game for free. The game centers around a young boy whose imagination takes him to other worlds, fighting enemies unseen by others with superpowers unknown. This is likely the son of the main character from the first Life Is Strange games who says he misses his mom, indicating something. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is the name of the game. Dontnod has said the free title will give hints to the plot of Life Is Strange 2 adding “but only if you’re clever enough to piece the clues together!”.
CRACKDOWN 3 (EXCLUSIVE)
Commander Jaxon (played by Terry Wells) takes the focus next. Terry is voicing an intense trailer. Sumo Digital is developing the game for Microsoft Game Studios. The abilities of characters who can build up their character’s fire power and physical abilities are highlighted. The game will be available as part of Xbox Game Pass we are told for the first time. Driving up the side of buildings and morphing vehicles into tanks are part of the game. Enemies have everything from mechs to mad scientists. Crackdown 3 is given a solid date of February 2019.
NIER: AUTOMATA BECOME AS GODS EDITION
NieR Automata: BECOME AS GODS Edition is available for pre-order on the Xbox Store today for Xbox One and includes all previously released DLC. June 26, 2018 the game will launch for the Xbox platform. Xbox ONE X Enhancements are confirmed for the game which will include 4K graphics and probably a high frame rate.
Next we are shown the next entry in 4A Games flagship series which will be releasing on the Xbox as well as other platforms. Trust is a luxury players cannot afford in the world of Metro. Incredible graphics and accurate gunfights are a welcome return from the series which features brutal finishing moves, intense enemies, and all of the grime and grit you’d expect from a post-apocalyptic world. The game is given a release date of February 2019. Phil Spencer lets us know that the game has him on the edge, and that more will be shown for all of these games during the Inside Xbox showcase at 3PM.
KINGDOM HEARTS III
For the first time ever on Xbox, Square Enix will release a Kingdom Hearts game. In their team up with Disney, Square Enix shows a never before seen trailer of the upcoming game which will include a special world built for the film series Frozen. This world will give way to Blizzard Blades weaponry shown in the trailer. But that’s not all. For the first time in many years, we are shown a working gameplay system that looks ready for its 2019 launch. Fans can finally relax and get ready to be hyped for the game as it looks to be on the right track. Hercules, Toy Story, Minions, and other Disney worlds for Kingdom Hearts III are also shown. The iconic key-blade and its warrior are shown, Mickey Mouse even makes a brief cameo but is told he’s too late by our villain. The game re-confirms its February 22, 2019 release date.
SEA OF THIEVES EXPANSION (EXCLUSIVE)
Sea of Thieves is given a sizzle trailer in which additional content for the game available now on Xbox Game Pass is shown. A new land has been revealed, The Forsaken Shores. This is a place of darkness where fire and ash consume all. And from the depths skeleton crews will rise to curse the seas. An ancient evil has been set loose upon the Sea of Thieves. This expansion comes September with another previously announced expansion available sooner in July.
Northern lights, drowning sights, and the winter wonderland. Guns, ski slopes, and terrible sacrifices in an attempt for saving a life. Battlefield V receives its story teaser.
FORZA HORIZON 4 (EXCLUSIVE, WORLD PREMIERE)
Cars are blazing through the countryside at speeds that the police couldn’t dream of catching up to. The most recent racing McLaren, other incredible rides, and the dangerous twisting roads combine to provide the first sneak peak at a gorgeous looking game with dynamic weather and shockingly good graphics, destructible environment elements are shown as well. The new Forza Horizon 4 is revealed for the first time.
Ralph Fulton from Playground Games takes the stage to discuss further. Britain is the historic landscape of the upcoming game which indeed has a shared open world of changing seasons that play a huge part in making sure unique gameplay takes place. A live demo is shown showcasing a wide variety of race cars, buggies, and other rides. Xbox ONE X dev units are seen running the title which looks flawless. The live demo shows us that every racer in the game is driven by a real person. The game will have 60 frames per second for Xbox ONE X consoles.
Suddenly, the season changes, this happens for all players of the game at the same time in synchronicity. Unique gameplay occurs. For example, in winter, lakes freeze, snow and ice cover the terrain, the driving feels totally different. An easy interaction system for quick-chats. Single player gaming is encouraged as well as co-op that can begin at any moment. World events occur which offer rewards. New seasons give new events, new feelings to the drive, and it all happens for the entire community at the same time. October 2, 2018 is the release date for the game. Pre-order is available now but the game will also be available with Xbox Game Pass.
FIVE NEW FIRST PARTY STUDIOS
Phil Spencer takes the stage again and lets us know that he is aware how important exclusive games are. “We take our commitment to you seriously,” we are told by the head of Xbox who will now increase investment in existing franchises and amplify investment in new worlds that will deepen gamers’ love for gaming on Xbox. A brand new Microsoft first party studio called The Initiative has been formed in Santa Monica.
Undead Labs (creators of State of Decay) has also become a first party studio as part of the Microsoft Game Studios family which means their funding and marketing will be even bigger. Playground Games (Forza Horizon 4 devs) have also joined Microsoft and will bring their open world expertise to a new project in addition to continuing the Forza franchise. Ninja Theory (makers of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) has shockingly been brought to the Xbox first party studios family as well now! Compulsion Games (We Happy Few devs) has also been acquired by Microsoft and all of these studios will receive the funding and free will they need to do incredible things promises Phil Spencer.
WE HAPPY FEW
Gearbox Software and Compulsion Games get another trailer out for We Happy Few in which the world of happiness covering up the truth is expanded upon even further. Joy is a drug that is mandatory by law to be taken, to cover up and close out their free will and critical thinking. In a shockingly horrible world in which everyone is smiling, players must put an end to the Joy epidemic and bring the truth to light on August 10, 2018.
PLAYERUNKNOWN BATTLEGROUNDS: WAR MODE (EXCLUSIVE)
PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds received a hype trailer that you could just tell was going to be followed up by some sort of announcement. The game is a console exclusive for Xbox ONE and will receive a new War Mode. This mode brings new ways to play the battle royale blockbuster hit and will arrive in Winter 2018.
TALES OF VESPERIA: DEFINITIVE EDITION (WORLD PREMIERE)
We are greeted by a caption that tells us “The tale that enchanted the world finally returns,” and then Tales of Vespseria: Definitive Edition is revealed as including all content and characters, much of this hitting the western audience for the first time. Gameplay is shown for both the field and combat systems. Winter 2018 is given as a release date for the title which will be available on Xbox and probably PS4 as well.
THE DIVISION 2 (WORLD PREMIERE)
Washington D.C. is the most heavily protected city on Earth (home of 177 foreign embassies). It’s also home to tons of underground bases. But nothing stopped the virus. Shootings, riots, civilians left in the streets as America is on the brink of collapse. Rooftop survivors and underground bases are the last legs of survival. Urban warfare brings brother against brother as history repeats itself and war engulfs everything. Now, the remnant of the corrupted government is ready for a civil war. Agents of The Division are the only ones who can stop it. But how do you save a nation when its enemies come from within?
The Divison 2 powered by the Snow Drop engine aims to answer that question. Ubisoft and Massive’s sequel to The Division is given a gameplay demonstration after this hype trailer.
Players chat together as they explore a lush forest environment and story elements are revealed gracefully through overheard radio broadcasts. Loot and exploration are center stage as the players embark on discovery in an abandoned world. An abandoned world that is now being retaken, by multiple factions. The divided world of The Division has never been more alive. A control point is fought over with tanks, crossbows, chem launchers, and more at the arsenal of players and enemies. Tactics and strategy are seen as key in the cover-based shooter which now houses partially destructible environments. The demonstration continues generously showing a good amount of mission gameplay which cuts off as players attempt to take back the capital. March 15, 2019 is given as a release date with beta sign-ups are available today.
XBOX GAME PASS & FAST START
Ashley Spiker (Head of Engineering for Xbox Game Pass) takes the stage and lets us know again how important gaming is to Xbox and the Microsoft team. Instead of needing to choose between which games to buy, Microsoft is using Xbox Game Pass to provide over 100 games for one low monthly price. The success of the service is discussed. More games are being played, more time is being spent playing, and Xbox will provide faster access to games. Using machine learning the Xbox will now get “Fast Start” features for games that allow gamers to play games before they’re fully downloaded. This feature becomes available in a June 2018 update this month for Xbox ONE. The feature is also using AI to improve itself over time.
All new exclusive games from Microsoft Studios will continue to come to Xbox Game Pass the same day as their global release including Crackdown 3 and Forza Horizon 4. Ashen, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 will also be available on the service the same day they release. Today Tom Clancy’s The Division, Fallout 4, and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited have been added to Xbox Game Pass and all of them have Xbox ONE X 4K Gaming Enhancements. Outer Wilds, Afterparty, Kingdom Two Crowns, The Golf Club 2019, Fringe Wars, Below, Conqueror’s Blade, Waking, Raji, Super Meat Boy Forever, Planet Alpha, Islands of Nyne Battle Royale, Sable, Harold Halibut, Bomber Crew, Children of Morta, The Wind Road, War Groove, Generation Zero, Dead Cells, and more are also shown off in a sizzle trailer for ID@XBOX (Indie Devs) as part of the Xbox Game Pass.
SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER
Crystal Dynamics gets their moment with another Tomb Raider trailer that raises more questions than answers. In the next installment of the recently reborn franchise, Square Enix and Microsoft team up to bring a game better than film to the industry once again. Lara is in trouble again, and The Croft Edition is available for pre-order. Deadly traps and a gripping story of a villain who seeks to alter the course of humanity are center stage in Shadow of the Tomb Raider coming September 14, 2018.
SESSION (EXCLUSIVE, WORLD PREMIERE)
Hip hop brings in a skateboarding scene that causes the crowd to go crazy. Session is revealed. Not much is known yet, we might find out more at Inside Xbox.
THE BLACK DESERT (EXCLUSIVE)
Born and died three times, our main character narrates the next trailer. A Village of sorcerers with forbidden knowledge that lies beneath a vast desert, and the one who calls us, are all presented as motivations for this strange fantasy world. The hidden secrets will be revealed by… The Black Desert MMORPG coming to Xbox ONE. Beta begins Fall 2018 for The Black Desert on Xbox ONE.
DEVIL MAY CRY 5 (WORLD PREMIERE)
Smoke and a very long road ahead as a demonic army battles humanity. Capcom presents the next Devil May Cry game with more personality than ever. A robotic arm, swords, guns, demons, and hell on earth are all elements of the fast-paced action title revealed for the first time on the Xbox stage. The game will come Spring 201#
Producer Matt Walker and Game Director Hideaki Itsuno took stage to talk about DmC 5. “Thank you so much! DmC is back! English is hard, Matt, you do it!” Hideaki says, to which Matt follows up telling us the spirit of the new game. The development has been focused on Xbox ONE X for real-life visuals without sacrificing high-paced performance and controls. The team is convinced they’ve made their best project ever, and promises to have taken all fan feedback seriously while making the game.
CUPHEAD EXPANSION (EXCLUSIVE)
Cuphead is given a spotlight with Ms. Chalice being added as a new playable character in 2019 and a new isle being added to the game including new bosses, levels, and more.
A charming scene is shown as a cute fox picks up a sword and begins to adventure around an interactive world reminiscent of action adventure role playing games from yester-year. Finji is the development house behind a great looking title that has dungeon crawling and exploration in a way we’ve never seen before. There’s a boss teased at the end, then we are given a name; Tunic. Phil Spencer tells us that a labor of love created by a single developer is what Tunic is, commanding gaming’s largest stage, the power of the gaming medium. “Gaming is an incredible community,” Phil tells us.
JUMP FORCE (WORLD PREMIERE)
The first look at Bandai Namco’s next game is shown. The trailer opens up with a crazy narration: “There are worlds that exist separate from our own, where the impossible is reality. They consist of both good and evil. These worlds were never meant to meet, but things have changed.” to which we are next shown Dragon Ball Z warriors, One Piece pirates, and more uniting to fight for our survival. Jump Force looks to combine hand-drawn graphics with grim life-like visuals in a city-scape coming 2019.
DYING LIGHT 2 (WORLD PREMIERE)
15 years after a worldwide disaster, humans must preserve themselves from the terrors of the night and the horrors of the day. Hanging bodies serve as a reminder to stay in line. Bad and worse are the only choices for each day. First person combat is shown. Full role playing feelings are given as we are told choices matter and in fact create the world to come. Dying Light 2 is revealed for the first time ever.
Chris Avellone Narrative Designer of Dying Light 2 takes the stage. Techland is bringing a fluid parkour system with improved natural movement, deep and tactical first person melee combat, and of course terrifying nights where zombies emerge from the depths of the city. The game takes place in a “modern dark ages” scenario. This is also the first game from Techland in which everything changes due to player decisions.
A gameplay demonstration is shown. The movement system looks superior to any parkour that has been seen in gaming thus far. Multiple layers of change are brought about by the decisions gamers make in Dying Light 2. An example is shown in which one decision is made, but can happen in more than one way. The ripple effect of this decision can change the entire world, provide benefits, but will also give consequences. Those you put in power can turn on you, and no one is perfect. Hundreds of decisions carve the world into different cuts of meat. In the night, the game world is unspeakably horrible.
BATTLETOADS (EXCLUSIVE, WORLD PREMIERE)
Super hero comic quotes are shown. The font used tells us this will be some sort of epic, and it is. Battletoads has returned after much demand. Body morphing genre mash-ups, 3 player couch co-op, 4K hand drawn graphics, and more make up the game’s features. Battletoads comes to Xbox Game Pass in 2019.
JUST CAUSE 4 (WORLD PREMIERE)
A man who was born to fight wars that no one could win, without fear, and without failure takes lead on the next trailer. The Black Hand is the world’s most powerful enemy but even they fear what they have created. In a never-before-seen game from Square Enix we are shown Just Cause 4 which does a lot to focus more on story and up the ante on the franchise in every way possible. December 4, 2018 we will find out as the game launches.
GEARS POP! (WORLD PREMIERE)
Gears of War logo is seen and sawed through by a chibi character who is small and cute but still Gears. Is it a spin-off? Yes. Gears Pop! is announced for mobile platforms and comes 2019.
GEARS OF WAR TACTICS (EXCLUSIVE, WORLD PREMIERE)
Rod Fergusson of The Coalition takes stage to discuss the Gears of War franchise. He tells us Gears Pop! is just part of their announcement. Gears Tactics is revealed for the first time in which players create a whole new squad 12 years before the events of the first Gears of War and brings turn-based, strategic warfare to the Gears franchise.
GEARS 5 (EXCLUSIVE, WORLD PREMIERE)
There’s also a Gears of War 5 announcement. Something goes horribly wrong during a mission as we are shown the first ever trailer for the upcoming exclusive. Kate is crying, our main character has just experienced a devastating loss. Arguments within the ranks ensue, and there’s no time for mourning. Kate refuses to leave and reveals to us that she’s been having nightmares that could be a message. Something is happening to her and she doesn’t know what. Marcus is the only one willing to listen. He suggests they head North to find answers to Kate’s questions, but he can’t go with her. Jack will Kate join instead on the journey to right the wrongs of recent events, and learn the truth behind the nightmares and her Locust symbol necklace.
Next we are shown the frozen tundra, and Kate tells us we are going back to where it all began. Climbing down into middle earth, the two adventure to find out the secrets behind the entire war against the Locusts. Gameplay is shown and looks like a massive upgrade to the Gears of War franchise while still keeping everything we know about the series intact. But will Kate turn on Jack? What will happen next? “Gears 5” releases for Xbox Game Pass in 2019.
To close the show out, Phil Spencer let the world know Microsoft is researching Cloud Gaming to enable console gaming on any device. PC, Xbox, Smartphones, and more are the focus of this research. Microsoft AI is part of this adventure. The next Xbox is already being developed, Phil Spencer confirms. First party studios will be enlarged, beyond the five that were mentioned today. The Microsoft team is dedicated to gaming and will not stop. Xbox will have a successful road ahead of it. These claims are easily seen as bold but also realistic given what Xbox has shown us today.
But then… OUTRO INTERRUPTED!!!
Suddenly, hacking scenes are seen. Phil Spencer’s outro speech is interrupted. Everything is crashing and being hacked. We now are about to see something incredible and we know it. Username RED is entered, video upload YES is selected, and then… it happens.
CYBERPUNK 2077 (WORLD PREMIERE)
In 2077 set in the worst place to live in America with poverty and futuristic problems everywhere. The city always has a promise for you, a lie, an illusion; just around the corner, and it keeps you going. CD Projekt RED’s massively anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 is given the first ever cinematic trailer and world premiere. The game is expected to rival film and yet deliver gameplay beyond our wildest imaginations as well.
A final sizzle trailer was shown and we really felt the complete, wholeness of Xbox’s new lineup, strategy, and future. A new Xbox was revealed to be in long-term development, tons of games were announced (exclusive and otherwise), most of which were seen for the first time on the Xbox stage, and all of which will likely run better on Xbox ONE X than any other console. Xbox may have just “Won E3”. We will have to wait until “Inside Xbox” takes place at 3PM to find out more about each game, but the amount of games revealed today will indeed take months to fully cover. Excitement for Xbox and gaming overall has reached an all-time high after this show.