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E3 2018 Roundup: Microsoft make their mark

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it is more commonly known, is arguably the biggest event on the gaming calendar. Each year, top developers and studios showcase the products they’ve been working on, sharing with the world what they can expect in the coming months. This year, Microsoft dropped a lot of content and intel, leaving fans with little left to desire.

Halo: Infinite

Kicking off their showcase with one of the big ones, Microsoft unveiled the next instalment in the Halo franchise as Halo: Infinite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcYRdRxDoTg The game sees the return of the Master Chief on his "greatest adventure yet to save humanity". Microsoft explain that the trailer shows the future of the Halo franchise, going in to "new and expected directions". With Halo being one of the pioneers of modern esports with its run on TV courtesy of MLG around a decade ago, we hope Infinite can return the game to its former glory. The game will also be coming to PC, though no release date for either PC or Xbox was given. We can assume the game will be coming out at some point in 2019, however.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Following the praise garnered by 2015's Ori and the Blind Forest, Microsoft unveiled a sequel titled Ori and the Will of the Wisps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyVKItuMsKw The game is visually beautiful and is expected to be similar to the original Ori adventure it its content and reception. It is set in 2019 and will be enhanced for the Xbox One X.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ure830IMpTM You need not see any more than the trailer to know what this game can offer you. From Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice follows the theme of Japanese ninja lore, with the player cast as Sekiro, the "one-armed wolf". It is gruesome, dark, vivid, thrilling and everything one should expect from the creators of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Sekiro is set to be published by Activision in early 2019 on Xbox, Playstation and PC.

Fallout 76

By this point, anyone involved with the gaming industry has become aware of that Twitch stream from Bethesda. The stream turned out to be a teaser for Bethesda's upcoming title, Fallout 76. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXxRQqP4Uu8 Fallout 76 is a prequel to the rest of the Fallout series, shortly following the nuclear apocalypse which set up the previous titles. Players take on the role of the initial survivors of the apocalypse, in a world four times the size of that in Fallout 4. Fallout 76 is set to hit shelves on 14th November, just in time for Christmas.

Metro Exodus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orRAhy1fUd4 Post-apocalyptic shooter Metro Exodus got a release date at E3, announced to be coming out on 22nd February 2019, the same day as Days Gone and EA's Anthem. The trailer doesn't give much away, but it's looking pretty gruesome.

Nier: Automata

Nier: Automata was a surprise hit for Square Enix when it initially released on PC and PS4 last year, receiving great reviews and generally doing well commercially. Now, Square Enix are bringing it to Xbox, due for release on 26th June.

Crackdown 3

We originally saw this game in 2017, but the release was delayed until February 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-f7Gnl1cxg At E3, we saw more of the game and Microsoft confirmed that the game is called Crackdown 3. As the official game description depicts: "Homing rocket launchers, vortex cannons and transforming vehicles. Get ready to step up your boom and play as Terry Crews' Commander Jaxon in Crackdown 3. Coming February 2019." With vast amounts of fire and destruction, the game looks both graphically pleasing and a lot of fun.

Sea of Thieves DLC

Rare shared some of the new content coming to Sea of Thieves in 2018. https://youtu.be/hnaS9FELuyU The developer had already promised six free content updates in 2018, and with The Hungering Deep already released they gave a short yet brilliant glimpse into the next two content updates. The upcoming content updates are named Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores, the latter being "a place of darkness where fire and ash consume all". Cursed Sails is out in July, whilst Forsaken Shores is set for a September release.

Kingdom Hearts III delayed

One of Square Enix's most popular titles, Kingdom Hearts, is set to release its third iteration on 29th January 2019 on Xbox One and Playstation 4. https://youtu.be/IHzbDRFVkVM The game, a cross-over between Disney and Final Fantasy, was shown alongside new gameplay featuring characters such as Elsa and Olaf from Frozen, as well as cameos from Tangled and Wreck it Ralph. Any more information on Kingdom Hearts III will be covered in our Square Enix roundup.

Major investment in game developers

Somewhat away from the multitude of game trailers and release dates, Microsoft announced that they have bought a number of first-party game developers. These developers are Playground Games (Forza Horizon, Fable Legends), Ninja Theory (Hellblade, Devil May Cry), Undead Labs (State of Decay) and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few). Head of Xbox Phil Spencer also announced The Initiative, a new Microsoft Studios developer. The Initiative will be led by Darrell Gallagher, formerly of Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics.

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 is scheduled for release on 2nd October for Xbox One and Windows PC. https://youtu.be/VmQNo8xtcAg Playground Games' fourth iteration of their flagship title is set in Great Britain, complete with classic British cars and scenery. The game has been optimised for a 60 frames per second Xbox One X experience, and is also the first of the series to offer a full online experience.

New PUBG content

In winter 2018, PUBG is going to be the home to a brand new snowy map. Although a minor announcement, this is exciting for PUBG fans looking to spice up the game a little bit, implementing a whole new layer of meta-defining concepts and areas to the game.

Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course

Studio MDHR offered a short trailer on Cuphead's upcoming DLC for next year, entitled 'The Delicious Last Course'. https://youtu.be/sBMOXHrXJtI The Last Delicious Course brings new characters, weapons and bosses to Xbox One and PC players, courtesy of Cuphead and Mugman.

Devil May Cry 5

Popular hack-and-slash series Devil May Cry is waving hello to its fifth instalment. https://youtu.be/EuF6fIBYjKU The game will be available in Spring 2019 on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Battletoads

Not many details were shared, but this was an unexpected one. https://youtu.be/uPzKenEdlWc The series is coming back next year on PC and Xbox One, though there is almost no more information on it.

Just Cause 4

Just Cause 4 was announced, promising to pit protagonist Rico against the world's most powerful army. https://youtu.be/_ZKulp_ogo0 Just Cause 4 is set to be released 4th December 2018, but more information will likely be shared at Square Enix's press conference.

Gears of War galore

Microsoft announced more Gears of War content than anybody expected at E3. https://youtu.be/XAbDukbTSlI Gears of War 5 was, clearly, the focal point of the announcement, and with the growing esports scene for the game we hope Gears 5 can push the title even further upon its 2019 release. Microsoft also announced Gears Tactics, a turn-based strategy game similar to XCOM, as well as Gears Pop, a Funko-affiliated game for mobile.

Dying Light 2

Techland and Microsoft announced Dying Light 2, with RPG designer and writer Chris Avellone working on it. https://youtu.be/KRScQU_bS1s It seems very similar to the first Dying Light game, but with more focus on the choices players make and how that impacts the game. This is definitely something Avellone can construct into a gripping tale.

Cyberpunk 2077

After its 2012 announcement, you can't say CD Projekt Red have put a lot of time into developing the best game possible with Cyberpunk 2077. https://youtu.be/zvMYvYj8ylI The cinematic trailer does not offer much substance in the way of gameplay, but it looks beautiful. Hopefully the gameplay can replicate that same beauty upon its yet-to-be announced release date. What do you think of Microsoft's E3 conference? A Britain-based Forza Horizon and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice look like must-buys, but Halo: Infinite certainly satiates my thirst for esports and I can't wait to see the game in a competitive environment. [ginx-watch-live-button url='https://ginx.tv/category/e3/' text='Everything E3']

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