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This year Microsoft’s media briefing did not disappoint as Phil Spencer promised to devote the “entire briefing to games!”  Immediately, you could hear the applause around the theatre.  Last year, there was a lot of disappointment as Microsoft spent a lot of time talking about other features on the Xbox One like the Kinect and the TV features.  They seemed to learn from this mistake as they enthralled us all with game after game!

Further excitement came when Spencer stated that all the games shown during their media briefing would first get add-on content on the Xbox One!

The briefing began with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. We saw new footage that included gameplay.  I’m not a huge fan of the Call of Duty franchise, but I may just check this one out.  It also helps that Kevin Spacey is in the game. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be out on November 4, 2014.  Here is the gameplay that was showed:

Dan Greenwalt, Creative Director, came onto the stage to talk about Forza Motorsport 5 and unveiled the “nuburgring” which is available TODAY for free to those that own the game. Ralph Fulton, Creative Director, presented Forza Horizon 2 which will be available September 30, 2014.  The game will be in 1080p, have 200+ cars, include various weather conditions, and drivatars.

I’ve been highly anticipating with glee, Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Microsoft and BioWare unveiled a new trailer for the game, which will be available October 7, 2014.

Another game that garnered a lot of excitement from the masses is Sunset Overdrive. We saw a bit about this game last year, but this year we got to see a lot more of this game!  Ted Price, the Founder and CEO of Insomniac Games, came on stage to talk more about the game.  Sunset Overdrive will be available October 28, 2014 and  is exclusive to Xbox One.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a new IP from Moon Studios that looks absolutely stunning.  I’d love to see more of this game before it comes out this fall, but so far I like what I see.  Ori and the Blind Forest will be available Fall 2014.

A Microsoft briefing wouldn’t be the same without some Halo for us all! Bonnie Ross, Studio Head at 343 Industries, presented a spotlight on the much anticipated Halo 5:

Then we were presented with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection.  The collection will include Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4, Halo: Nightfall, and access to the Halo 5: Guardians Beta.  Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be out on November 11, 2014.

A very nice surprise to the mix was the Rise of the Tomb Raider world premiere! We will get to follow Lara Croft after the last installment to see how she rises from what she went through to become the character we know and love.  Rise of the Tomb Raider is expected to be available Holiday 2015.

Ken Lobb, Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, expressed his passion for reviving games that garner cult audiences as classic games.  He then presented Phantom Dust, an absolutely beautiful game.

Scalebound is a new IP that shows a lot of promise from Platinum Games.  This game is one of my favorites so far from what I’ve seen at E3. It is absolutely beautiful and I would love to see more

Microsoft wrapped up the media briefing with Crackdown.

Other games that were shown included Evolve, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dance Central, Fantasia Music Evolved, Fable Legends, Project Spark, Inside from Playdead, The Witcher 3, and The Division.

I’m VERY impressed with Microsoft’s E3 Media Briefing. They brought it with the games and I even got a look at new games that definitely interest me.

To look at the rest of the trailers that were shown at Microsoft’s media briefing, check out their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjBp_7RuDBUYbd1LegWEJ8g.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

By Houston Christopher On 15 Nov, 2012 At 03:15 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Halo 4. If someone were to ask me to describe it in two words I’d say “simply astonishing”. This is how a video game should be made. There is little to nothing wrong with this package and is a must buy for any fan of the genre or anyone who owns an Xbox 360.

Right off the back you are greeted with fantastic visuals from the simplistic yet beautiful menu design to the in-game visuals to the cg cutscenes. Characters look very realistic and almost rival LA Noire in terms of character models. The grand scale places are simply breathtaking and awe inspiring to say the least. Even subtle nuances such as the effects from gun bursts and grenade explosions look good. It’s pushing the power of the Xbox 360 to its limits and it is well worth it. Usually there are two things that people think about when Halo gets brought up into conversation, awesome story and fun multiplayer. 343 Studios really showed they cared because both of them are amazing.

The campaign while not long in length, compared to the previous titles, is still excellent and may be my favorite one to play through. The story starts with you waking aboard the ship you were last on at the end of Halo 3 and are greeted with a familiar foe in the Covenant. Soon enough you learn that they are not your biggest threat. Prometheans, a new cybernetic enemy faces off against you trying to resurrect the Didact. All the while trying to return Cortana to her former creator because her life expectancy as an A.I. has expired and there may be hope of restoring her.

 

Without trying to spoil to much the story is very gripping and not as hard to follow as prior entries in the series. It gives Master Chief more personality and helps the player to better connect with him. While the ever moving story of the fight is appearing the true story is between Chief and Cortana. It’s moving and makes you care all the while giving a deeper story that makes you think about military issues and the way society views soldiers. The only real problem with the campaign besides its length is that it feels very traditional in mission layout. No mission truly stood out but they were all enjoyable nonetheless.

Then there is the multiplayer, forge, theater and Spartan ops offering. Spartan Ops is the replacement for Firefight and it’s pretty good. Nothing really to brag about so far, but still entertaining. It picks up immediately after the main campaign and is episodic in content…and it’s free. The four player cooperative mode may be a nice distraction but nothing is enticing you to replay it due to the lack of scoring. Either way it’s a nice inclusion.

Multiplayer, the bulk of where time will be spent with most people doesn’t disappoint. The feeling of it is basically them taking all of the good parts of the Halo: Reach multiplayer and mixing it with it’s own and adding a bit of modern shooters to boot. It’s incredibly addictive and overall fun. This time around you get a custom class loadout to make that lets you pick your starting weapon and armor abilities along with specializations (perks) for your player. These may be more ammo for starting guns or extra grenades to increasing the range of the radar. It works and adds a new dynamic to the classic halo formula. Did I mention ordinance drops? They are essentially drops from out of nowhere that benefit the player if they have done well. You’ll get several tweaks to how you play and you choose from 3 different things. You could get a drop that has Overshield, Sticky Detonator & Plasma Grenades. It’s always random and you can hold on to it however long you desire.

Then there is forge mode where they made it easier to build maps and custom game types. Its basically the same mode that you love with tweaks in place to make it that much better. The same goes for theater mode. It’s good and is still great.

Overall, Halo 4 is like a swansong for the Xbox 360 offering so much in just one game. It’s definitely worth the price of admission in overall terms of sheer bang for your buck. It will go down as one of the best game of this year and perhaps the best game in the lifecycle of this generation. Just go and buy it.

 

9.75/10