Ah Microsoft. Once a shining beacon of console glory, Microsoft has fallen out of favour in a big way this generation. Having only sold half the units that the PS4 has, it’s clear the Xbox One is on shaky ground in the sempiternal console war.
The boys in green are bringing a decent amount of exclusives this year, and so it’s going to be up to them to win back consumer support with reasons to buy their console over the ever popular Playstation 4. As if that wasn’t enough, Microsoft's also competing with Steam via its new Windows Store. Only time will tell if MS has bitten off more than it can chew.
There’s very little information on this game other than what we saw at last year’s E3 reveal. It’ll be coming to both Xbox One and PC. Boasting talent from the Metroid Prime, Dead Rising and Lost Planet teams, it’s clear the game will be some sort of action/adventure game. From what we’ve seen so far, the dynamic between the protagonist and the robot will be the core focus of the game. It’s a coin toss whether or not it’ll be a sandbox game or a more Uncharted/Tomb Raider style of level design. My guess is the latter.
In lieu of everyone’s favourite green clad Spartan, Microsoft is bringing its other exclusive franchise to bear with Gears of War 4. The recent multiplayer beta drew in 1.6 million players, so it looks like MS may be onto a winner with this one. As players have had a good look at the MP component, expect to see footage centred around the narrative direction of the game, as well as showing fans the ways in which they plan to up the horror aspect of the game to fall in line with Gears of War 1.
It’s not been officially announced beyond just being a part of the Forza brand, but the next Forza game is to be officially unveiled at this year’s E3. It’s already revealed that the Lamborghini Centenario will be the cover car, which has led fans of the series to believe that the Horizon series must be the next setting. Horizon has the type of tracks the Centenario is designed for, as well as Forza 6 only coming out last September. We’ll be getting an official title as well as some official gameplay for this one, with a release date for later this year.
Rare used to be one of those studios that you always relied on for amazing and unique games. Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Conker’s Bad Fur Day - all masterpieces in their own right. Now they’ve left their ill-fated Kinect development, they’re looking to bring back their glory with Sea of Thieves. Supposedly their most ambitious game yet, we’re still to see any lengthy gameplay beyond the lush environments seen in the 2015 E3 trailer. This year will be the time for a full gameplay reveal with more information on what players will end up doing in this pirate themed multiplayer game.
It was a surprise hit, bolstered mainly by the allure of the Halo 3 multiplayer beta, but no one would have expected a trilogy from the first game. The sequel wasn’t bad either, despite the lack of transforming supercars and the third looks to be even bigger with destructible environments. We’ve already seen a lot, so expect the announcement to give us a concrete timeframe of release, and perhaps even the launch of the multiplayer which was teased as arriving in Summer 2016.
Keeping their feet firmly entrenched in the 3rd person action adventure genre, Platinum Games have recently delayed Scalebound, citing the ambitious nature of the project. Considering the release date is now 2017, it’s unlikely this year will be a major gameplay reveal. Likely it’ll be a short demo, hoping to keep hype alive for the game and possibly the announcement of a more concrete release date.
The first Alan Wake was an awesome little horror game that felt thematically unique, despite basically being Secret Window by Stephen King. There have been rumours that Remedy have been working on an unannounced title, plus the trademark shenanigans with Alan Wake's Return so my money is on a new Alan Wake game. There was so much amazing world building across these games that it’s prime for resurrection in a full blown sequel. It’s still quite soon after Quantum Break but I’m calling it now.