The Microsoft Press Conference kicked off with a bang this year. Starting things off was some new footage of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. What was shown was new footage of an underwater submarine, where the main objective was to plant charges to surface the sub. Once that was done, we got a taste of a war torn New York City. Complete with sinking war ships, chopters, and drivable speedboats.
But that wasn’t all we got to see. There was also the new Tomb Raider reboot that made it’s debut to the public for the first time. We got to see a new Lara Croft try to find her way out of a mysterious cave after her plane crashed landed. The main focus was to show everyone how Lara this time around would be primarily about survival and exploration.
EPIC Games also showed some more footage of Gears of War 3. A scene where Marcus and Cole are aboard a ship in the ocean fighting a giant squid like locust monster. Alongside this, Mass Effect 3 showed off some new features that involved Kinect voice recognition, allowing players to use voice command to make choices during dialogue.
Most of the conference was dominated by a heavy push for Kinect intergrated software. Microsoft promised everyone that more Kinect hardcore and sophisticated games would be present this year, and they delivered. We got a glimpse of new titles like DisneyLand Adventures, Dance Central 2, Sesame Street Once Upon a Monster, Kinect Star Wars, and Kinect Sports Season 2. All of the games used the Kinect’s features in different ways, some including the new voice command introduced during the conference. What was interesting was how different the lineup was for Kinect, and just how much support the Kinect has received from most of the bigger titles shown during the conference.
During the conference, other new surprises were shown, including BING on Xbox Live, UFC coming to Live, and how Kinect Voice Command would change the way we interact with our games and console. Most of the games featured during the press event were confirmed to have Kinect support and features, the only one to not be confirmed for this was Modern Warfare 3.
Finally, the conference ended off on a nice teaser of the earlier leaked HALO 4. The teaser was brief, showing Master Chief awakening from his slumber from the end of Halo 3 (after the credits if you beat the game on legendary). He awakes to Cortanna screaming for his help and after grabbing her, he flings himself down a corridor of the ship he is in toward the outside of space. There we see a giant machine of some sort, and his ship is heading towards it.
Prior to the trailer earlier in the conference, the Halo remake called HALO COMBAT EVOLVED ANNIVERSARY. It is the same game we played for the first time years ago, only this time it comes with an updated graphics filter, Campaign Co-Op over Xbox Live, Classic Halo maps with Halo Reach looks, and Fire Fight mode for the masses. It was a great way to get everyone excited for Microsoft’s Exclusive.
Overall, Microsoft’s Press Conference was much better this year then last year’s E3 2010. While much of what was shown was either expected or much of the same from past E3s, this year felt like a much better presentation. The line-up of games got more people excited about this coming year for Microsoft. With a bunch of great third party games, an awesome exclusive over the horizon, and a ton of new features coming to their online network, Microsoft is looking forward to a good year for their Xbox 360.