E3 2012: Microsoft Press Conference Thoughts

Microsoft kicked off E3 with their press conference, Entertainment Evolved. Here are my quick thoughts on the show:

  • Halo 4 looks like more Halo, which is a good thing. Forerunners were the logical direction for the series to take and I like how they are working the AI lifetime as a story point, so Cortana might not be entirely reliable. It also looks phenomenal from a visual standpoint. 343 looks to be doing this right.
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist also looks like more Splinter Cell. This time Sam Fisher is in Iran and killing “bad guys”. I am sure it connects to Conviction in some way but the demo did not reveal what that tie would be. If you are into that style of game this is going to be up your alley. I’ll be skipping this one.
  • Fifa and Madden will be “better” with Kinect this year. I do not see the point of this and I like my Kinect. They carted out Joe Montana though, so that is kind of cool I guess.
  • Gears of War: Judgement was the first time I’ve actually been excited for something Microsoft has shown. Baird as the lead? Yes please. 2013 can not come fast enough for me.
  • Forza: Horizon looks, like all Forza games, phenomenal. But what is it? A Need for Speed type game? A standard Forza sim? It would have been nice for them to give us some information on the game being as it comes out this October. Evidently ex-Bizarre Creations employees are working on this which leads me to believe it is more arcadey than past Forza titles. It also leads me to believe that the Project Gotham Racing series is dead.
  • Bing is still a thing if you are Microsoft. I have a Kinect, I don’t utilize this functionality.
  • Lots of new entertainment partners for people that use their Xbox as a media center. Nickelodeon and Paramount are big grabs.
  • And… it looks like the Zune branding is officially dead, Xbox Music is Microsoft’s new service.
  • Kinect as usual got a large push. Nike+ Kinect Training looks interesting for those using the device to get in shape.
  • Smart glass looks like something no one will really use but seems cool. Being able to use it on iOS and Android devices though is a good thing as it will not lock anyone with a tablet or smartphone out.
  • And then Tomb Raider saved us from the non-game related bull. Lara looks awesome and that bow and arrow is brutal. Gameplay seems very reminiscent of the Uncharted series but that is not a bad thing, considering Uncharted drew much of its inspiration from Tomb Raider. First DLC will be a timed exclusive to 360.
  • Ascend: New Gods looks like a generic fantasy action title in the vein of God of War.
  • LocoCycle gets a teaser trailer. Not sure what it is thoug.
  • Gore Verbinski makes Marble Madness 2013. Oh wait, its called Matter which will be for Kinect. Not much was shown but it looks intriguing and is quite pretty.
  • Capcom brought Resident Evil 6. I couldn’t be less excited for this game if I tried. Visually it looks great but this is even a further departure from the formula than Resident Evil 5 was. Where oh where is my beloved Resident Evil? Gone forever you say, I weep for my loss.
  • Wrecketeer looks like Boom Blox for Kinect, which could be a lot of fun. Laugh it up, I want this game.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth is the long-awaited South Park RPG. It looks on key and seems to get the humor of the show absolutely perfect. The fact that developer Obsidian is working on this still scares me but here is to hoping it turns out good because we all know Jews can’t be saviors.
  • Dance Central 3 is a thing. A thing I am very excited about. I was less excited about Usher performing on stage after announcing it. The game needs to evolve though or this could be the end of the dance line.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 looks like more Call of Duty. I’m sure it will be fun for CoD players. I think I am a bit burned out by it though.

Overall the Microsoft press conference was about what was expected. There was a lot of focus on media functionality and Kinect, with a solid showing of games. It certainly did not please everyone but after it was over I had a slew of titles to look forward to in the next year or so and that is always a good thing.


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Author: Chris Scott View all posts by
Chris is the Reviews Editor here at Vagary as well as the co-host of The Perfectly Sane Show and the Movie Dudes podcast.He is long time gamer and film fan that also happens to be full of opinions and a desire to share them with others, even if you don't want to hear them.
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  • Microsoft 2012: Too many montages of beautiful middle-class people enjoying their Multi Media Interactive Experience, too few showstopper games.

    Halo will be good, because Halo’s always good. CoD looks cooler than it has in a while, but press have seen that demo before, Resi 6 – bleh, Arcade games are dope I guess.

    Weirdly, Ubisoft seems to have “won” E3.

  • Chris Scott

    Games press has seen the demo before but these giant E3 press conferences aren’t designed for the games press anymore. They are designed for investors and the mainstream media. Halo is a big name, so is CoD, but what did the mainstream pick up? Smartglass. Same thing goes for Sony, the big story picked up for mainstream consumption was Wonderbooks, something “core” gamers could give half a rats ass about.

    So while we as gamers may end up dissappointed by what MS showed, they succeeded in being picked up by the mainstream media and getting their message out to a large audience. We’ll still get our games, and MS did reveal three new IPs, but these shows aren’t for us.

    As far as being the most entertaining, I thought Ubisoft was the best as well. They had some excellent presentations and their stage show was so amazingly awkward that it kept you on the edge of your seat.