June gloom. It’s part and parcel of coming to E3 a month later than a few years back so at least it meant whilst queuing at the Galen Centre in Downtown LA I didn’t get burned! After swift entry into the venue I was greeted by the usual black and green room. Instead of multiple stages, the usual big Xbox sign on a black stage with a round stage in the centre. What could this be for? Will Usher appear in a plume of smoke to tell games journos to stand up and clap and dance again? Actually no. A car was lowered into it at one point for Forza 6.
And then after a demo of the 4 player coop in Halo 5 Guardians Phil Spencer dropped a bombshell. Xbox One backwards compatibility. Play any of your 360 games on Xbox One. Either download or put your disc in to play for free! Sticking with hardware, a brand new Elite Controller too with paddles on the back, hair triggers and full customisation was shown that looks absolutely beautiful.
Ubisoft announced Rainbow Six Siege and, thanks to backwards compatibility you get Vegas and Vegas 2 for free!
We saw more of Fallout 4 which hits on 10 November along with the PipBoy companion app for mobiles and tablets and the reveal of Dark Souls 3 for all you fans of games that are so hard hey make you cry!
Electronic Arts’ Peter Moore came on to talk about EA Access and the good news is, Gold members can download the app and play any game from the Vault free this week. Titanfall is also coming to the Vault. He also announced Plants vs. Zombies 2. This time the zombies have taken over and the game features more crazy capers as flora fights to reclaim suburbia.
Brand new IP Recore was also shown where a female protagonist and her dog fight nasties in the desert. The interesting twist is that your buddy can be anything as you pull out its core and add it to other machinery to make robot dogs or gorillas etc.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was next with a gameplay demo which picks up from the recent trailer. Lara with a flare walking brought a snowy tunnel and emerging into a wintry wasteland up a mountain with a companion. Seamless cut scenes with gameplay and amazing visuals as they climb an icy cliff edge and inevitably take a tumble. Uncharted beware. It’s out Nivember 10th.
It’s going to be a great year for gamers. The Rare collection including Perfect Dark and Conkers Bad Fur Day and more is out August 5th. And an exclusive from them announced as well. A shared adventure game in a fantastical world called Sea of Thieves. Pirates setting sail on realistic looking seas and exploring haunted treasure islands and of course boat fights.
Like VR? Well you’ll be able to play your Xbox One games on Oculus Rift and if you get Oculus, you get an Xbox One controller with it.
Of course Microsoft have their own VR called HoloLens. We were treated to a demo of it using Minecraft. But there is more. The game was transferred from the wall to a table where we could walk round it, look inside buildings and manipulate things right in front of us. It’s like playing God as gamers walk round the world you create and watch over. Really magical!
The loudest cheer of the morning went to the hardware announcements but this all changed when Gears of War came back to the party. Gears of War Ultimate Edition is coming August 25th featuring the first trilogy remastered and the public beta is playable now!
A demo of e latest game in the series was also shown featuring a male and female character, some seriously nasty weather and of course Locusts! It’s just called Gears 4 and is out Holiday 2016.
So there we have it. Lots to look forward to. I think I may give up my job and just play games for the next 18 months!