E3 2018: Microsoft XBox Recap

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We are into our second E3 2018 Press Conference wrap up for you and sweet baby Cthulhu did it have a lot of games. If you missed it you can already catch our previous recap of EA Play from Sunday morning or the full schedule of all the major E3 press events.

Microsoft’s XBox press conference was the first of the E3 2018 hardware maker’s conferences but with the XBox One X being announced and released only last year we didnt expect to see much in hardware but maybe some prepherials (or something about VR). But no, Microsoft was all about the games this year showing off 50 titles in total which meant no time for love Doctor Jones. So let’s jump into it.

The press conference started strong with a teaser for the return of Master Chief in HALO Infinite on a brand new Slipspace game engine.

We didn’t stop for a chat about what we just saw, as we mentioned there were 50 games shown so it was full steam ahead to Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The sequel to Ori and the Blind Forrest (released on Windows 10 via Steam and XBox).

Fast following we see a new title from Activision. Sekiro has you playing as a Cyborg Samurai of sorts in a game that can’t help but give us some God of War vibes but might just be because we have been playing too much God of War.

Given the press conference later today, in a surprising move Bethesda then showed up to show off a little Fallout 76 and drop that pre-orders will open June 15. A small trailer was shown which will no doubt be shown again later today but they did drop the knowledge that Fallout 76 will be 4x bigger than Fallout 4.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain spirit was next, from the makers of and set in the Life is Strange universe. This hits a lot of the same notes but is from the perspective of a father and son that lost his mother and dips into fantasy life of spaceships and fighting monsters over time travel.

TERRY CREWS! Ok not in person as part of the press conference but he was part of the trailer for Crackdown 3. Oh and it finally gets a date, February 2019.

Nier Automata then popped up with XBox Enhanced support being added. There was some mention of XBox Enhanced support throughout the conference but it wasn’t a single big announcement like last year.

Nier was before jumping into the very cool looking Metro Exodus gameplay. Will it be able to tear you away from Fallout 76? We don’t know but we do know February 2019 is going to be busy as it is also due then.

Next up the end of console exclusivity for one of Square Enix’s most popular titles with Kingdom Hearts 3 on XBox One. We got to see a bit of gameplay as part of this trailer that jumps through some of the more modern Disney franchises. We picked up Frozen, Wreck-It-Ralph, Hercules Toy Story and Tangled but doubt that will be all.

Sea of Thieves was up next with Microsoft touting their 4 million player base before announcing the next expansions for the game available later this year featuring volcanic islands and zombie pirates.

Battlefield V made an appearance next with a trailer we did not see during EA Play yesterday that focused on the War Stories (single player) modes. This one playing as a Japanese solider.

Next was the new Forza 4. This edition will be set in Britain (the last being set in Australia) and feature changing seasons in an open shared world. During the conference there was some pre-rehearsed gameplay after the announcement trailer, but we expect there will be more hands on over the next week popping up.

One of the big announcements was the growth of Microsoft Studios increasing the amount of XBox Exclusives.

As part of the conference it was announced not the addition of one existing studio but five! The new studio ‘The Initiative’, Undead Labs (State of Decay), Playground Games (Forza), Compulsion Games (We Happy Few) and most surprising Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword, Devil May Cry and more).

Following this dropped a story trailer for We Happy Few. At this time the game is still refused classification in Australia due to exceeding R18+ guidelines. But from all reports the game developers are aiming to overcome that with some changes to the game.

PUBG was next showing off the continued commitment to the game with a new game mode being added “War Mode” plus something else new towards the of the trailer, Snow.

The next installment in the JRPG/Anime’esque Tales of Vespera: Definitive was announced next as heading to XBox One. Not a lot here as the remastered/updated title will also be on PlayStation, Steam and Nintendo Switch but good for the XBox owners who have been missing out.

Following the move from Bethesda we saw Ubisoft make an unexpected appearance before their big Press Conference too with The Division 2. Moving from winter set New York to a more summer Washington DC it looks like we will be able to have shoot outs in the more iconic locations of the US capital. To go with the announce trailer we also got a little scripted gameplay of a shoot out in Air Force One.

Straight out of The Division was talk about the Microsoft Gamepass, the subscription service that gives you access to new games. Key points were more access to newer games, some same day as release but the key take away is the new Fast Start system. This Fast Start system is a next level past pre-loading games and expected to allow games to start twice as fast.

With 50 games to be shown we went straight into a montage (with flashes of Super Meatboy, Below, Warhammer among others) followed by a Shadow of the Tomb Raider trailer. This being the final game in the ‘new Tomb Raider’ trilogy due out later this year.

Just ploughing straight ahead out of Tomb Raider (because we only halfway through) was a teaser for a new street Skateboarding game, Session.

Black Desert was announced last year but the press conference included a new story mode trailer.

Which lead into another major announcement with Devil May Cry 5. Separated from the announcement of Ninja Theory being added to Microsoft Studios this is still being published by Capcom. While we might have to wait for the Sony conference to be sure but hopefully this means PlayStation owners will not miss out in 2019.

Next was new DLC for the deceptively unforgiving and brutal Cuphead which also adds a new playable character.

And then we got a look at a game which might be best described as if Link from Zelda was a cute Fox with Tunic. We really do like the look and clean lines of it though.

Bandai Namco returned for another game that looks like it was made to challenge the “Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover ever” statement bringing Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and One Piece together in a single game in Jump Force.

And the we got a little break from the trailers again to talk about Dying Light 2. Much like the first one in FPS style, the brief walk through told us that there will be multiple branching path decisions that can influence the gameplay world.

In the instance shown raiding a water tower two paths were laid out… taking over the Water Tower which would improve resource availability or teaming up and building a black market allowing more access to other resources.

Stock up on replacement controllers as you smash them in rage quits because Battletoads is returning. More of a teaser than anything, we heard that the game will follow the original 2.5 mode and offer 3 player gameplay when it comes out in 2019.

Rico returns for Just Cause 4! Ok, if you haven’t pulled down a bridge using nothing but cables and physics or attached a rocket to a cow before you probably can’t appreciate how excited we are for this game, but if you have then you probably played Just Cause 3 too.

And NEARLY finished as we turn to Gears of War. There was a lot to absorb here with a new Gears of War/Funko Pop collaboration mobile game in the works, a PC turn based Gears game ‘Gears Tactics’ set mentioned before Gears of War and finally Gears of War 5 was shown.

And that is it! Well it was almost it with the Press Conference drawing to a close the stream was cut into with a Red Screen of Death to announce Cyberpunk 2077 from Witcher 3 publisher CD Projekt. You can watch the trailer below but we couldn’t help but notice on the “crashing” screen that we saw as part of the press conference that some of the lines of code looked a lot like XBox Game codes.

And that is it. If you have over an hour you can watch the full press conference below or if you don’t have the time check back as we give you recaps of all the major press conferences out of E3 2018.