A few big name companies had pre-E3 press conferences today. I watched Microsoft's presentation and parts of Ubisoft's.
Halo 4 looks genuinely amazing. The new enemies, environments, weapons, gameplay and multiplayer videos I've seen have completely reassured me that 343 knows what they're doing with the franchise. That live-action trailer was pretty intense. The rest of Microsoft's presser was interesting up until they brought out Usher to announce Dance Central 3. His performance simply went on for too long. Other than that, we got glimpses of what Windows 8 and SmartGlass will bring to the table. Xbox Music is just a rebranding of Zune Marketplace. We're getting more Gears of War (good thing), Tomb Raider looked hot; Splinter Cell and, God forbid, Black Ops 2 looks mildly entertaining. Forza Horizon looks like a fun new take on the series. And we're getting some more exclusive arcade titles coming out next year. Anyone who says Microsoft didn't show off any games clearly isn't looking hard enough.
Assassin's Creed 3 sold me at PAX East and now they've released the naval gameplay videos and YESOHMYGOD.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted is basically a new Burnouth (good thing).
Rayman Legends looks great.
Star Wars 1313 caught my attention (mostly with those ridiculous graphics). I'm beginning to wonder if some of these games are being developed for 360 AND the next Xbox so that customers have more options.
Watch_Dogs, a brand new IP from Ubisoft, has piqued my interests. It seems to have an action-thriller edge too it, which is right up my alley.
The Last of Us, as expected, features stunning visuals from the Uncharted creators. The gameplay didn't blow me out of the water, but I'll probably keep an eye on it. Not that I even have a Playstation 3....
Not to mention, the Summer of Arcade titles for XBLA all look pretty excellent. Dust: An Elysian Tale is finally hitting the market after 3 years. Deadlight looks interesting. Wrecketeer could be fun to play with my nephew.
Nearly every comment I read about Microsoft's press conference is all "omg kinect everywhere!" What's interesting is how little Microsoft actually talked about Kinect other than the small enhancements from a few games and apps. You can whisper to hostiles in Splinter Cell. You can call plays in Madden. You can voice control the new NBA and NFL apps. Big deal? These integrations are unobtrusive. Everyone's got their undies up in a bunch because Microsoft hasn't announced any new AAA IPs. That will come next year, when we get to see the new Xbox.
It's going to be great come tomorrow when all the people that were accusing Microsoft of "more of the same games" get super stoked for a new Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Starfox. But hey, at least they'll be in HD now!
Now I'm just super excited for PAX East again...