Microsoft opened up its show with 343’s long teased Halo 5: Guardians. Presenters boasted what they claimed was “the biggest and most ambitious Halo campaign yet,” with features like seamless co-op drop-in and a story playable from the perspective of Spartan Locke and Master Chief. The new competitive multiplayer mode “Warzones” pits two teams of twelve against each other in an environment full of dangerous AI. Players can jump into this next chapter to the Halo series when it drops on 10/27/15.
Microsoft Studios’ world premiere of the Xbox One, first-party exclusive ReCore came in the form of a CGI trailer. However little was explained about this new IP by Armature Studios with Keiji Inafune (co-designer of Capcom’s Mega Man character), the trailer at least teased at a probable mechanic that involves transferring node-like “cores” – one can assume they’re called – between otherwise idle, robotic frames.
Microsoft announced new backwards compatibility features for the Xbox One that will allow for 360 titles run natively on Xbox One. Previous 360 owners will find their last-gen digital purchases, as well as their saves, add-ons, and achievements, transferrable to their Xbox Ones consoles. Disc-based games can be also be utilized to access digital versions at no additional cost. Furthermore, backwards compatibility will support cross-platform multiplayer, so Xbox One owners will still be able to tap into 360 online communities. The 360 library will launch with about 100 titles and expand as developers grant approval for their titles.
The Xbox One Elite Controller, built for Xbox One and Windows 10, will mark Microsoft’s first customizable controller. Its will feature exchangeable components, button remapping capabilities, as well as paddles and triggers with adjustable sensitivities.
Bethesda Game Studios game director Todd Howard presented Fallout 4, announcing that the Xbox One version of the next-gen title will support the free library of PC created mods, previously only compatible with PC versions,
The subscription-based, streaming service EA Access is currently only available on the Xbox One and allows subscribers to download their growing library of titles for $5/month. Presenters announced that EA Access will begin to allow subscribers limited, pre-release access to a selection of titles. Next-gen titles Titanfall and Dragon Age: Inquisition will join EA’s Vault this fall.
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 made its debut with colorful, cartoony gameplay footage. This sequel to 2012’s Garden Warfare will include all new playable classes, new online game modes, and allow veterans of the series to transfer their unlocks from the previous title.
The Xbox One Exclusive Forza 6 Motorsport is set to be the biggest Forza entry yet, featuring 450 playable cars, 26 race locations, 24-player multiplayer races, and 1080p/60fps “realism.” Fans of the series can jump into this latest entry to the series on 9/15/15.
The world premiere of From Software Inc’s Dark Souls 3. Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Dark Souls and Bloodborne returns to the director’s chair for this third entry to the series. The CGI trailer doesn’t reveal any gameplay but manages to set a dark, brooding tone for the forthcoming title, also hinting at the return of the Giant Lord from Dark Souls 2.
Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division finally announced its official release date March 8, 2016. President of Ubisoft Americas Laurent Detoc announced that Xbox One owners would get access to the game’s BETA this December – months before any other platforms, although he did not disclose the whether it would be a closed or open BETA. Detoc went on to expound of Ubisoft’s upcoming Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege, slated for a 10/13/15 release. The Xbox One version of the SWAT tactics title will come packaged with Rainbow Six Vegas 1 and 2, made possible by the consoles newly announced backwards compatibility.
Gigantic is a MOBA-inspired, third-person shooter coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 in Q… with a closed BETA accessible in August. This competitive-multiplayer focused title pits two teams of 5 against each other. Players select their character from a diverse roster of characters, each with unique looks, stats, and abilities, and must aid their team’s monstrous guardian to defeat the opposing teams similarly giant guardian. A gameplay trailer showed off smooth, fast-paced gameplay paired with artfully crafted, watercolor-esque visuals.
Gears of War 4 will likely see a Holiday 2016 release. It’s E3 presentation showed off a possible return to form for the series with its new developer The Coalition bringing the dark, ambient horror aspects of the Gears series to the forefront of its gameplay demonstration. Gears fans may temporarily get their fill with the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition releasing on August 25th. This remastering of the series’ first entry will feature updated visuals and run at 1080p/60fps and be exclusive to the Xbox One.
A rapid-fire reel showcased a long list of upcoming indie Xbox One titles, including:
Cuphead by Studio MDHR, a 2D action side-scroller with incredibly authentic-looking, 1930s-esque animations and designs.
Rise & Shine by Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team, a beautifully designed, side-scroller shooter about a little boy in the lost in the middle of a war.
The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare by Virtual Basement, a third-person shooter that seems to take influence directly from 3DO’s classic Army Men 3D, pitting plastic green soldiers against a tan army.
The Flame In the Flood by The Molasses Flood, a rogue-lite survival sim about a girl and her dog braving a vicious wilderness.
Phantasmal: City of Darkness – Eyemobi horror shooter
The Solus Project by Grip Games, a single-player, sci-fi survival title that will have players exploring a hazardous, uncharted planet.
Westerado: Double Barreled by Ostrich Banditos, the sequel to Adult Swim Games’ pixel-art, top down, cowboy-adventure shooter.
Sword Coast Legends by n-Space, an old-school, Baldur’s Gate-style fantasy RPG, packed with strategy, lore, and Dungeons and Dragons-like storytelling.
Outward: The Adventurer Life Sim by Nine Dots Studio, an open-world, fantasy RPG that blends Souls-like action with survival-sim elements.
Goat Simulator: More Goats Edition by Coffee Stain Studios, 2014’s third-person, sandbox gimmick title packaged with online MMO elements, DLC, and plenty more goat-y feature.
Game 4 by The Behemoth, a cartoony, medieval-themed hex-grid strategy title that packs a unique and charming presentation.
Ark: Survival Evolved – Studio Wildcard – first-person dinosaur shooter
Recruits by QUByte Interactive, a top-down, twin-stick-shooter that charges players will sending multiple platoons into Vietnam-era combat.
SUPERHOT by SUPERHOT, a unique, first-person puzzle-shooter wherein time passes only as players move.
Tacoma by Fullbright, a first-person, sci-fi mystery that takes place aboard a space-station.
Ashen by AURORA44, an open-world, survival-game that challenges players to survive the a dangerous environment full of monsters on a sunless planet
Beyond Eyes by tiger & squid, players will take on the roll of a 10-year-old blind girl as she searches for her cat using only sound and smell to visualize the environment around her.
Rare’s Sea of Thieves‘ world premiere received great audience response and was remarked by developers to be “the most ambitious game Rare has ever created.” This upcoming high-seas, first-person, pirate adventure will have players performing the duties of ship hands and captains alongside and against other players as they battle galleons, search for hidden treasure, and compete for booty. This Xbox One exclusive marks the experienced developer’s first new IP in … years (launch?). Rare’s 30-game compilation Rare Replay, coming 8/4/15, may hold players over until their new IP finally launches. This Xbox One exclusive collection takes 30 of the developer’s now classic titles, including Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, and Battletoads to name a few, and brings them to next-gen gamers, offering 10,000 gamer points to completionists and a $30 price tag.
Square Enix’s timed exclusive for the Xbox One Rise of the Tomb Raider will succeed 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot/origin story, following a young Lara Croft raiding her first tombs. An E3 gameplay trailer showed off the game’s beautiful visuals through an over-the-top, Hollywood-esque sequence of Lara battling an avalanche.
Fable Legends developed by Lionhead Studios will bring an asymmetrical challenge to the series as four playable heroes face off against one player-controlled villain and their waves of mobs, à la Left 4 Dead. The four heroes will feature unique abilities and play-styles while the villain will be able to customize and control waves of monsters and set traps in real-time. This Windows 10 and Xbox One will be the first free-to-play title in the Fable series and will feature cross-save capabilities between platforms.
Microsoft recently partnered with Oculus Rift and Valve to join the race for a console-compatible, home AR system. The Microsoft Hololens was unveiled via a demonstration of Minecraft’s potential HoloLens compatibility. A shocked audience watched in awe as the game world was projected onto a tabletop and interacted with through vocal and touch commands. E3 goers also got to check out the headset at the Halo 5: Guardians booth wherein the headset helped turn a demo room into a Spartan HQ complete with waypoints and holographic tables.