Features xb00

Published on June 12th, 2017 | by IceCube

E3 2017: Microsoft Xbox Showcase Review

Xbox One X
That’s the official name of what was formerly Project Scorpio. It’s basically a beefcake Xbox console. For the spec nerds out there, it features:
6 TerraFlop GPU clocked at 1.172 GHz, 12GB of GDDR5 memory and 326GB/s of memory bandwidth. Not sure how good that is but the crowd sounds happy. It also features true 4K, though we’ve all heard that before. All your existing Xbox One games will run on the console, but better with faster load times. Surprisingly. it’ll be smaller than the previous consoles too. It looks good and was an essential move for Xbox as they attempt to recoup some of the lost audience from the start of the generation. Out Nov 7th.
Xbox-One-X-970x545

Forza Motorsport 7
Microsoft successfully did Porsche’s PR for them, revealing the new Porsche 911 GT2 9Rs to a crowd that didn’t really know why they should be excited for it. The music and strobe lights did all the excitement for them though. This car will be the face of the game, among over 700 others. The main focus of the gameplay demonstration was to highlight how good it looks. To be fair, it looks great – mostly the weather elements and clouds and lighting. Outside of looks, I do wonder how much more innovative this sequel will be.
xb04

Metro Exodus
*Sigh*… more f**king sequels of butt-average games. The previous Metro games were duller than an insurance seminar, yet for all their game-making ability they have no concept of what a new idea looks like. I’ll admit, the “gameplay trailer” does look mighty impressive. I might have even been exited by it if it weren’t soured by the horrid aftertaste of the Metro logo at the end of it. I’ve been tricked by Metro before. As great as this trailer looked, this finished game will be boring as batshit. Again.
xb03

Assassin’s Creed Origins
Just piss off already, Assassin’s Creed.
Ubisoft? Come on, man… Are we seriously doing this s**t again?
Egypt now?
F**k.
IT EVEN LOOKS EXACTLY THE F**KING SAME.
xb02

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
I don’t know this game creator “PlayerUnknown” as some people out there seem to. His name was spoken as if I was supposed to recognize it (…I don’t). Nor do I really understand what this game is offering exactly… Is it offering anything in particular? They mentioned a 100-player battle royale. It looks and sounds just like any old online-only shooter. What’s the point of another Battlefield with lesser graphics? Add it to the list of things we don’t need.
xb01

Deep Rock Galactic
Seems to be some kind of 4-player co-op, first-person shooter vs oversized bugs, but set underground with mining. It also has shitty Minecraft graphics. Looks like an indie game.  It’s too early to have an opinion other than I’m not interested in seeing any more.
xb24

State of Decay 2
THANK GOD something great to watch! Don’t overlook State of Decay 2 as just another zombie game, because it’s not. It goes ABOVE AND BEYOND the shit of generic games out there, and to know this, you only need to give the first game a fair go. The trailer did a good job giving new viewers a top-line view at how the game works. It feels like you’re living The Walking Dead and the world is deep and thoroughly engrossing. Get this on your pre-order list, stat. The announcement of this game isn’t new, but the trailer was.
xb23

The Darwin Project
Looks like a highly animated version of The Hunger Games. Basically young people killing eachother in open spaces, each with their own skills, with background commentary for imaginary home viewers. The final product could go either way. It could be a highly addictive success or a complete flop, but I’m curious to at least see more – even though it’s surely gonna be another online only title.
xb22

Minecraft
All current platforms for the game (mobile, VR, consoles, etc) are going to merge. It’s also coming in 4K so we can see all those hideous blocky pixels even sharper. The franchise is too big an popular to evolve, so this segment is really just a reminder that Minecraft is still here, and we’re all still stuck with its existence.
xb21

DragonBall Fighter Z
Xbox has never wasted show time on the crappy Dragon Ball games, so why now? Because they looked at the sales numbers. Yes, for some ungodly reason, this horrible game series sells like hotcakes. I have no idea who is buying it or what kind of crazy rationale is going on with their purchase decisions, but the numbers are real and confusing. I’ve played these games. They are always terrible. Absolutely, 100% terrible. This is not going to be any better.
xb20

Black Desert Online
Okay, intriguing! I’ve been playing this MMORPG a lot on PC and love it. It has the best character customization of any game since Saints Row: The Third. It also has the best combat system of any MMO I’ve ever played. However, overall, it is one of the most complex and confusing MMO systems out there, with a large learning curve required. I’m not sure how you could make it compatible with a controller in hand. I’ll be rooting for this game to do well, but will probably continue to play this particular one from my PC.
xb19

The Last Night
Looks like an indie platform title with exceptional heart and soul behind it. The aesthetic is moody while set in a Blade Runner like universe. It takes a lot for an indie game to grab me, but I’m gonna put this one on my list.
xb18

The Artful Escape
Kinda hilarious platform game set in a wildly-imaginative universe with a psychedelic 70’s music twist. Your character plays guitar notes to make it across the screen. It’s an odd one which at least earns points for originality.
xb17

Code Vein
This third-person action game was first teased at a Japanese games show a few months ago, but had the western audience drooling. Now is the first “Western” reveal, and I’ve gotta admit, it looks amazing. As far as I can tell, it’s a cross between God Eater Burst and Dark Souls, which is a FANTASTIC duo to merge. It’s great to see that a local release is now official.
xb16

Sea of Thieves
In principle, this game is great. It’s an open-world, first-person shooter set in an online world of pirates. You can set sail with other players, enter sea battles, search for treasure… anything a pirate would do that is PG-rated. I’d give this a go, but I’m not high on the chosen art style, which is a bit too tailored for the young audience. Nor do I have friends who are able to dedicate the amount of time you’d need to make the most of the game. If I had 12 loyal friends with an Xbox One console, online access, and the free time on any given night to play non-stop for hours, it would be great. Unfortunately I live in the real world.
xb15

Tacoma
I literally have no idea what I just saw here. Holograms on a space ship or something. It was kinda meaningless.
xb14

Super Lucky’s Tale
It’s good to see games made for the younger audience. Compared to the days of old, there’s not always much options out there. This looks like a new Banjo Kazooie/Crash Bandicoot/Jak and Daxter, slightly more light hearted and fun for all ages. It stars a fox character who collects coins, jumps on heads and burrows underground.
xb13

Cuphead
We’ve seen it before. It looks great. And it’s taken a surprisingly long time to get a release date. Now we got a little teaser to let us know it’s due Sep 29th. I’m keen to try out this retro cartoon-themed platformer. It seems to have really gotten the old-school aesthetic down pat, and something we’ve never seen done before.
xb11

Crackdown 3
Oh boy. This game wreaks of bad. Even as it tries to look its best in this trailer, it runs like an early Xbox 360 game with a lesser frame rate. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of the first Crackdown when it came out, but the sequel was horrible and this third one should just never have been. I don’t know what they’re thinking resurrecting this dead series. Meanwhile Terry Crews is up there embarrassing himself in the commercial. This is a bad idea that isn’t gonna go well. Just make a new IP already.
xb10

Ashen
Well, the clear Dark Souls influence is interesting, and the combat looks like it works. This third-person action game is about two cave dwellers in the dark and it has good feels to it – but I can’t help but be hugely disappointed with the art direction. It makes me lose interest in this game which I think I otherwise would have enjoyed.
xb12

Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Grrrfrrrkllrrrlkwrrrrmmmm… Just, yeah ok, but, yeah… Garrrhhh… pshhhh. Just… f**k… Just… frrrrk… Just make something f**king new! Now we have to wait for this game to be completed before we can see what’s next from these developers. This sequel is a time waste, and I’m tapping my watch.
xb09

Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Yeah, yeah, we know about this game already… We know exactly what it’s going to look like, we know how it’s going to play and we know everything else you have to say about it. Just release it and save your talk for when you have a new idea. Come on Warner games… I kinda enjoyed the first game but no way am I gonna go through the ropes of this game again.
xb07

Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Absolutely beautiful music and artwork. It’s enough to make me quell my rage at the sight of yet another sequel at this show.
xb08

Anthem
Bioware is dead. EA has taken Bioware and destroyed its soul. After the f**k-ups that were Dragon Age Inquisition and Mass Effect Andromeda, I no longer have faith in their ability to make great games. Anthem is a visual representation of what EA has does to talent. EA buys-out something with promise (Bioware), tears out its heart, trains it to wear a suit, drains it of love and creativity, watches them fart out a generic shooter with lots of explosions, inserts loud blow-horns to the trailers. The result of this game is EA trying to make Bioware perform a Destiny/Titanfall trick. The success of Anthem (and I mean real success, not high day-one sales) comes down to everything they didn’t show in the gameplay reveal. Particularly the characters, customization, RPG options (if any) and story. There is hope, but I’m not holding my breath.
xb05

Games to Watch
This is the part of the show that Xbox skims over. Probably the titles that didn’t pay for their ad space. Ironically, most of these games are better than many of the aforementioned above. I’ll list the titles montaged here that I glimpsed at, and mark it with a text smiley face :) or sad face :( depending on what I thought of it. Question Mark means I don’t know what to make of it and can’t decide:
– Osiris New Dawn   :)
– Raiders of the Broken Planet   :)
– Unruly Heroes   :)
– Path of Exile   :)
– Battlerite   ?
– Surviving Mars   :(
– Fable Fortune   :(
– Observer_   :)
– Robocraft Infinity   :)
– Dunk Lords   :(
– Minion Masters   :(
– Brawlout   :(
– Ooblets   ?
– Dark and Light   :)
– Strange Brigade   :)
– Riverbond   :(
– Hello Neighbour   :(
– Shift   ?
– Conan Exiles   ?

 

REVIEW SCORE

Top 3 Positives
The Xbox One X console and Backwards Compatibility for original Xbox titles were good news
– There’s a stack of titles (with little show coverage) that look promising.
– State of Decay 2 = everything.

Top 3 Negatives
 Really disappointing announcements from affiliated parties.
– Everything good is not new.
– What’s new is not good.

Overall, Xbox has more chances to impress than a single Publisher, but as a whole I can only judge them on their games, not the third-party, cross-platform ones. Unfortunately, they’re a flop. The best titles, we already knew about last E3. Where’s everything new? Another Forza? Gee, that’s original… Their saving grace is the new console and expansion of backwards compatibility.

Score
C-

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