Day one of E3 2013 is done. Time for some impressions, some cheers and some jeers. I’ll collect some trailers and other media tomorrow but for now it’s just text!
Microsoft’s Press Conference
Microsoft promised games and delivered on that promise. They started with Metal Gear Solid 5 and ended with an incredible in-game demonstration of TitanFall. In-between the two were a flurry of exclusives.
Microsoft confirmed a gameplay recording and streaming feature for the Xbox One along with Xbox Live! Gold features such as Gold membership sharing on one console and a PS Plus-esque free game offer. All of these features sound great, if I were to pay for Xbox Live! Gold. I refuse to pay for online multiplayer.
As expected, the Xbox One will debut this November for $499.99. I’m surprised there wasn’t a different lower priced SKU or a subsidized offering but there’s still lots of time to announce the latter.
If we’re strictly looking at the games being offered, I am in for an Xbox One. Three exclusives including Forza MotorSport 5, TitanFall (PC as well but I rather play with controller) and the next Halo game in 2014 are enough to push me towards an early purchase.
I mentioned the highlights but there were many announced Xbox One titles that just didn’t show well. However, when I consider it was a 90 minute presentation, it was decently paced. In the end, I was able to grab a trio or so of games that I would purchase an Xbox One for.
I expected this title to debut several months ago; I expected it to debut within the launch window of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. I commend Microsoft for even creating something original and exclusive for their devices but like most of their efforts outside of Xbox, it always seems a little late.
I am pleasantly surprised by what Vanguard Games have put together with Halo: Spartan Assault. I might even get it for Windows 8. It will debut for $6.99 in July 2013.
I didn’t play many 2012 releases until the waning months of the year. It wasn’t due to the lack of time; it was because I felt the “good stuff” didn’t drop until then. Mass Effect 3 was the only major release that I chose to pick up early on. I let many titles go by but even with that in mind, I somehow managed to play enough (or see enough) 2012 games to assemble a Game of the Year feature.
The 2012 Game I Wish I Bought & Played in 2012
I didn’t just want to play Fez in 2012; I wanted to experience Fez during its release window. There was something more to this 8-bit styled platformer and for a while its unraveling dominated my Twitter feed, podcasts and forums. Online centric games always warrant a day one purchase but it’s rare to see a single player game kick up so much fervour from the gaming community.
Microsoft assembled an all star cast of developers to manage and develop the Halo games after Bungie’s last game, Halo: Reach. I had high hopes 343 Industries’ Halo 4. I was hoping for new tech, new ideas and most importantly: a brand new start.
Halo 4 didn’t deliver across all those fronts but it did show that franchise is in good hands.
With the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Halo 4, I’m finding myself reading my own impressions again. I remember both enjoying Black Ops for its espionage and relative sound framing of the events. I hope Treyarch continues that steady pace and resists the temptation to go hog wild.
I also enjoyed Halo: Reach a lot making it my favorite Halo experience from Bungie. I remember the game being tough because of a very aggressive A.I but I also remember the tech shortcomings. I approached Halo 4 with those two impressions in mind.
I just finished Halo 4′s campaign. I died many times throughout the 8 hours or so but it was usually out of recklessness and experimentation. I didn’t die because I was cowering behind cover which was the case in Halo: Reach.
My overall impressions for Halo 4 is positive aside from two key points: A.I and gameplay design. Some may even say that they’re one and the same but I believe one of these took a step back while the other was a non-step. I’ll elaborate on all of this later.
I bought Sleeping Dogs for the PC. It was $25 (50% off) and I suspect it wouldn’t get that much cheaper in the coming month or so. After Black Ops II, the only 2012 game I have coming is Far Cry 3 which will likely be returned. I still have lots of 2012 games to play but the two key titles I’d like to get by year’s end are XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Dishonored.
Hopefully there are substantial deals in the coming weeks!
I didn’t watch all of GiantBomb’s Drew & Alexis Halo 24 hour marathon but I did check in regularly. At the time of writing, they’ve raised over $16,000. Very impressive work by everyone involved! The charity they raised money for was Extra Life.
I have never played a game for more than four or five hours straight, so I can’t imagine how I would fare in a 24 hour marathon. I don’t even know what I would play for that long of a stretch. The Uncharted trilogy? A bunch of Call of Duty campaigns? One long session of Civilization V?
I’m almost finished configuring my new home server. The only significant omission is some kind of web access interface.
I’m still playing Final Fantasy XIII-2. I think I’m 75% complete. Up next? No idea. Hopefully a game from the last month or so. Maybe XCOM will go on sale!