As I was sitting at the office watching the Microsoft press conference, I started jotting down some thoughts on what I had just seen, and here are those notes. I stopped once it got to the section about the exclusive games, but for the most part I was personally a little disappointed by the presentation.
Microsoft Opened up with the Modern Warfare 3 demonstration, and while yeah it looks great (at least on my stream) it basically seems like the same type of game as MW and MW2. I can say that I was really let down by this demo, and the lack of any sort of exclusivity announcement (update: They said that new maps would be Xbox Exclusive for a period of time once released at the end of the conference) – why not open with a new in house developed IP, to show us why we should stick with the Xbox rather than the other console this can be played on?
The Tomb Raider demo really piqued my interest – after seeing the new trailer late last week combined with this new interactive demo, I’m ready to pre-order this. Crystal Dynamics definitely has something on their plate here. Too bad I have to wait until 2012 to play it.
YAY! Mass Effect 3 – but wait, it supports Kinect?! On the plus side, it’s not using the motion controls in some rough way, it’s looking like it’s utilizing the voice for both combat and for dialog tree choices. The dialog tree stuff seems fine and dandy, but the voice work for battles looks like it could be a little convoluted – especially if you tend to swap party members often. Remembering who’s in your party and the special attack of each member seems like a large commitment, and personally I’ll be leaving the Kinect off when I play this. Because really, that last thing I need is my wife wondering why I am yelling at the TV at 2 in the morning while the baby is trying to sleep.
Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon trailer was definitely pretty to look at, but their Kinect demonstration for the Gunsmith portion of GR: Future Warrior was actually quite impressive. Looks like we’re seeing more use of gestures for controlling things in the game, whether it be designing your own gun or even testing it out on the range simply by ‘grabbing’ the gun off your back. Firing was done via a burst motion with your fingers and surprisingly the accuracy looks quite sharp even when zoomed in with a sniper rifle. Now whether or not this translates to me wanting to do this while playing the game is a different story.
Oh look – another new Xbox Experience dashboard. I kind of zoned out during this, because really why would I care about using Bing on my Xbox? Sure, I’ll check it all out when it’s released (this fall) and the live TV sounds like something that could be useful – but I’m naturally a skeptic, so I’ll just wait and see.
The run through of the exclusive games was too much of the same ol’ same ol’ for this old boy. Ryse showed some promise with the Kinect but after seeing how other Kinect based fighters have fared I’m skeptical yet again. As a Dad gamer, I was happy to see the Sesame Street title displayed – even though my little girl is too young right now for something like that I know that in a year or so when she’s wanting to play games a title like this will come in handy.
And of course, the BIG REVEAL of a new trilogy for Xbox…and it’s Halo 4. My disappointment was pretty massive with this, as I am very tired of shooters and to be brutally honest, I really don’t care for that franchise – so it was a big yawn for me. Where are the new groundbreaking games? Why do only shooters get remakes and sequels? Why was there nothing mentioned of the Alan Wake follow up for XBLA talked about?