Gamescom 2014 - Microsoft Press Conference Highlights

Written by Jon Sutton on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 3:00 PM
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Gamescom 2014 is upon us and after Activision kicked the event off in style with the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer reveal last night, and now Microsoft has step up to the plate and delivered its Xbox media briefing in Cologne.

Everything's covered here Microsoft, including Xbox One's scintillating holiday period lineup and detailed look at what we can expect from Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. A new title from Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 developer Frontier looks like it should be PC gaming gold, while Microsoft controversially snaps up Xbox exclusivity for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

First up is the rather lovely looking Assassin’s Creed Unity, which some twinkly pianos and a little look at a slice of Parisian life. It sounds like Thomas Crown Affair but with a lot more book burning, guillotining and piles of corpses. Arno looks like he’s meeting with a mysterious group of assassins near the end, although there’s not much more we can glean from this rather brief look at Ubisoft’s latest.

The first ever-so-slightly smug Microsoft suit to take to the stage is Phil Spencer, who thanks Xbox fans for picking up the Xbox One around the world. More than 29 new markets are getting the Xbox One beginning November 22nd, including more European nations.

Xbox One holiday lineup revealed, with Spencer bigging up AC: Unity, GTA V, Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FIFA 15, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Ori and the Blind Forest, and finally Halo: The Master Chief Collection. “Xbox One is the place to play games” says Spencer. Well that's that then I suppose.

Exclusive content on FIFA Ultimate Team in FIFA 15 for Xbox One. New Xbox One FIFA 15 bundle, containing the base Xbox One console with a copy of FIFA 15 for £349/400 euros. Peter Schmeichel gets dragged up on stage to tout the new legends being added to FIFA Ultimate Team, and he’s piecing together some of his favourites, including Beckenbauer, the Laudrup brothers, Sir Bobby Moore, and erm.. himself. Platform-exclusive content, don’t you just love it?

Chris Charla ID@Xbox director is on-stage next, revealing the indies that will be coming to console first on Xbox One, including Dungeon of the endless, Funk of the Titans, Ghost of a Tale, Goat Simulator, Massive Chalice, Knight Squad, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, No Time to Explain, Plague Inc: Evolved, Rivals of Aether, Smite, SlashDash, Space Engineers, Spectra, Pneuma: Breath of Life, Threes, Escapists, Volgarr The Viking, SpeedRunners, and Superhot. Phew, quite a list there, and some of those are looking mighty impressive. Got my eyes on Ghost of a Tale in particular, looking neat.

He’s going into depth on Space Engineers now, which is coming first on console to Xbox One. It’s available on Early Access via Steam on PC right now if you’re interested. It’s a sandbox game about building spaceships and space stations to go mining.

Now it’s Kickstarter success Superhot, which has been funded and will be hitting PC as well. It’s a FPS but time only moves when you do, forcing you to strategically dodge bullets in what amounts to turbo slow-motion.

Team 17’s recently acquired The Escapists is getting a run out now, a 16-bit inspired prison RPG in which your aim is to plot an escape from jail. Again, it’ll be on Xbox One before PlayStation 4, but it is already listed on Steam for a Q3 2014 release on PC. It looks awesome so be sure to check it out.

Charla claims Smite is the first MOBA designed specifically for a traditional gamepad. It certainly looks familiar from the footage release, it’s got more lanes than you can shake a stick at and some screen-filling attacks. A quick check reveal it's been out on PC for a couple of years now, can't vouch first hand for its quality just yet though. 

Ooh and not it’s the hotly anticipated Below’s turn. It’s an atmospheric top-down hack ‘n’ slash with a unique ethereal visual style and some lovely lighting effects. Still not giving much away on Capybara’s latest, which will be arriving in 2015 for Xbox One and PC.

Glen Schofield and Michael Condry from Sledgehammer Games are next, and they’re talking Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. For those who didn’t see it, the multiplayer reveal went up earlier today. Schofield says fun and a meaningful narrative are the key tenets of CoD: AW. Single-player segment called Collapse being demonstrate, back on the Golden Gate Bridge seen in the E3 2014 reveal.You get to drive a vehicle in a chase down a packed motorway, the level of detail is pretty stunning at times. Hats off to the guys and gals at sledgehammer. Hasn’t even fired a bullet yet, what’s happening?

Ah there we go! It’s quite familiar Call of Duty gameplay from here on out, albeit with the addition of exo-suits and some rather nifty high-tech grenades. Best of all though you can rip car doors off and hurl them like a frisbee. New Xbox One bundle, £429, with a 1TB hard drive and headset included. No Kinect though, is that a value offering?

Phil Hobb from Turtle Rock is up next, introducing a new map for Evolve, which will have timed exclusive content on Xbox One. More of the same really.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is now exclusive to Xbox One, and is arriving in Holiday 2015. You’ll get to explore huge areas and conquer tombs with what Microsoft’s Phil Harrison claims the world’s best combat bow. Not our words, his, “We will continue to bring you the best combat bow in gaming.” Competition must be tight for that accolade. Massive exclusive there though, bit of a surprise after no mention was made of this at E3 2014. I shudder to think at the amounts of money changing hands for that one.

Our first look at Quantum Break gameplay now from Remedy, where the player has the ability to manipulate time. It’s looking a little bit Max Payne and a little bit Alan Wake, unsurprisingly. It’s a third-person shooter essentially, with extensive time-altering effects to alter the course of battle. Wake me up when it’s not 1999 etc etc. It does look pretty neat when time’s almost completely frozen though, allowing the protagonist Jack to explore these ‘stutters’ that can occur.

Fable Legends also gets a look in, it’s more of the same as we saw at E3 2014. It looks quite a shake up from what we’ve experienced previously with the Fable series though.

Whoop, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 developer Frontier is up next, with a futuristic theme park game that looks all kinds of awesome. Called ScreamRide, the aim seems to be to test the very limits of the human body, putting them through extreme rollercoasters and G-force and causing as much destruction as humanly possible. Desperately looks like it should be on PC, we’ll bring you more news as we hear it.

Forza Horizon 2 also got a brief run out, with a couple of new cars on display. I’d love to tell you what they are but I don’t know an estate from a pick-up so I probably wouldn’t be much help.

Indie darling Ori and the Blind Forest got a more extensive look, and will be arriving later this year on both PC and Xbox One. It’s not often I say a game looks hot but I’m saying it now, Ori and the Blind Forest looks to be leading the “AAA” indie revolution.

Sunset Overdrive is arriving pretty soon, 31st October in fact, so there’s another look at Insomniac’s latest, as well as yet another Xbox One bundle, this time a white Xbox One console and copy of Sunset Overdriver for £399. The white console looks rather tasty, consider me tempted. Insomniac's shooter doesn't look too shabby either, we know from their Resistance and Ratchet and Clank history they've got the goods, so this could be one to watch.

Eek Halo now. Microsoft’s adding a Halo channel to the Xbox One dashboard. Who knew you could overdose on Halo, because you definitely can now. Character bios, the Halo Nightfall TV show, online stats. It’s a lot of Halo. The Halo 5: Guardians beta runs from December 29th 2014 through to January 18h 2015, and you have to grab a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection to gain access. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will play exactly as you remember playing Halo 10 years ago the chappy on stage say. Progress. It’s got more than 100 maps included though from all four games, so it does seem like a value proposition.

And that's your lot from Microsoft's press conference today at gamescom 2014, what do you make of Microsoft's announcements? Anything you're disappointed didn't get a showing? Miffed about the Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity? Let us know!

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04:48 Aug-15-2014

Where is gta v?

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16:27 Aug-12-2014

"Smart man is a better man than other men, but a cunning man is a man that turns his rival's weakness to be his advantage." Nice move, Microsoft.. Really nice move.... Cries a lot

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15:40 Aug-12-2014

What bout Horizon 2 on 360??????????????

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15:41 Aug-12-2014

Dont think it is. think its XBOX one exclusive


EDIT; nope it is on 360, but will be watered down probably

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16:18 Aug-12-2014

Its developed by a different studio so waiting is it worth the buy as Horizon 1 was ?

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junior admin badge
15:32 Aug-12-2014

and there is tomb raider gone to the Xbox how unfair from Microsoft =(

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19:38 Aug-12-2014

Relax its prolly just s timed exclusive it will come to PC, unless SquareEnix had gone insane or just stupid !

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11:46 Aug-13-2014

Titanfall.

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