Monday, June 4, 2012

E3 2012 Round 1 Microsoft Conference

Kicking off the event was the Microsoft conference. 

A mixed bag, mostly nothing unexpected and the continuation of many of their ongoing franchises and not many new IPs to speak of.
My personal highlights included:

Halo 4 


The trailer was delicious eye-candy for everyone especially long-term fans of the series. This outing was originally a surprise as Bungie had planned for Halo: Reach to be the last installment and left the helm soon after to 343 Industries, Microsoft owned and home to several ex-Bungie employees.

The nice thing about this game is that it brings together a few features from previous games such as the Halo ODST visor which allowed scanning of terrain for enemies, story pieces and other important elements. Looking at the technology it seems like we're going to be getting a dose of the Forerunners which if you care anything at all about the Halo mythos you'll know they're an ancient civilization who were destroyed by the monstrous Flood from previous Halo games - I wonder how they're going to be mysteriously alive in this installment? 

As Halo 4 is going to be 4 of 6 in a new trilogy, I hope they don't cheapen this installment because they have to dilute and spread the content to fill up 3 games worth of Halo.

Tomb Raider (2013) 


It's being developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. Presents a young Lara Croft in an origins story presented in a more dynamic and adrenaline pumping action way than the classic 'Raider days of the PlayStation days. The concept was to bring a young, unrefined, terrified young woman into the ass-kicking acrobatic fearless tomb raider we're more familiar with.

Last year they showed the initial teaser which showcased a number of scenarios which mainly involved Lara being brutalised by the environment, escaping from a trap and falling into a pit , feeling every bit of pain and flaunting the raw emotions of the character while trying to exploit the gamer by extracting every ounce of empathy possible.

                                          Here the Tomb Raider Trailer from E3

This year was no different but showing a bit more on the side of combat rather than the usual platforms and pitfalls gameplay. Inevitably Unchartered parallels will be drawn but this can only be a good thing as Unchartered is like the successful bigger brother and Tomb Raider 2013 will present to us a similar high quality action experience with a more emotional journey alongside an old friend. Welcome to the next chapter in Tomb Raider history (please help us forget Angel of Darkness).

Resident Evil 6 


The long running zombie survival-horror made an appearance showing off some scenes with Resident Evil 2 & 4's Leon S. Kennedy. It seems we'll be fighting zombies this time (yay), which I'm happy about as its been parasites for a long time now and they're just not the same anymore. I hope they bring back some of the more interesting horror elements rather than overdosing on the action, but maybe it's too late for the franchise to go back after seeing what 5 and Operation Raccoon City have brought to us.

                             Check out the game play trailer and see what you think.

Smaller things worth mentioning are:
- Usher's dance segment ending.
- Obligatory Call of Duty game Number 4325.
- ANOTHER Madden.

Let's hope EA have something interesting to show us this year. What did you think of the Microsoft conference? Was it what you were expecting? 

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