Microsoft kicked-off E3 2018 this year with a handful of console exclusives, and a lot of gameplay trailers. Over 6,000 people packed into the Microsoft Theater to watch the event, which featured franchise favorites “Tomb Raider,” “Battlefield,” “Devil May Cry,” “Gears of War,” “Halo,” and more. Aside from the games, Microsoft also announced several game development studios that the company has taken into the fold, including the developers of “We Happy Few,” one our favorite in-development sandbox games.
Before the smoke cleared and the green lights dimmed, Microsoft detailed 52 games on stage and 18 of them are console launch exclusives. The exclusives include “Forza Horizon 4,” and the new “Halo Infinite” installment. Microsoft announced a new studio during the event called The Initiative, and will be adding Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games down the line. The Initiative will be lead by Darrell Gallagher.
If you enjoy Xbox Game Pass, there are new titles joining the service. The big ones to look for are “Forza Horizon 4,” “Fallout 4,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division” and “The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited”. Other games launching on the service on their street-date are “Warhammer: Vermintide 2,” “Ashen,” “Afterparty,” and “Phoenix Point,” as well as “Crackdown 3,” “Gears 5” and the “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”. No exact release dates were given at this time.
“We’ve been thrilled to see the positive impact Xbox Game Pass is having on the gaming ecosystem, including increasing the number of titles gamers play nearly 40 percent and increasing gameplay hours by almost 20 percent,” said Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Gaming at Microsoft. “With the ultimate freedom to explore and play over 100 great games, Xbox Game Pass delivers our members an incredible value in gaming.”
On the peripheral side, the Xbox Adaptive Controller (Xbox One, Windows 10) will be available for pre-order on June 11th. The controller was designed for gamers with limited mobility, and will be available exclusively through Microsoft Store for $99. Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch rival has doubled in just six months to more than 20M users.
Battlefield V made the list of game-play videos, and the game is launching on October 19th. Microsoft previewed one of the single-player campaigns called Nordlys, following a young Norwegian resistance fighter during the German occupation. Microsoft introduced a brief story trailer, that basically only previews the character for a short moment. “Crackdown 3” was delayed but still made it to E3 this year. The game was developed by Microsoft Studios in collaboration with Sumo Digital and Elbow Rocket, and is set to launch in February 2019. One of the surprises of the night was “Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course,” which introduced Ms. Chalice. The new DLC add-on will add a new island, weapons, and new charms. “Black Desert,” the popular MMORPG which is currently available on PC, is also coming to Xbox.
Fans have been waiting for Cyberpunk 2077 since it was first announced by CD Projekt RED, and we learned a little more about the game today at the event. Cyberpunk 2077 is an open world RPG set in a future metropolis called Night City. According to Microsoft, “You play as V, a hired gun on the rise, who just got their first serious contract. In a world of cyber-enhanced street warriors, tech-savvy netrunners and corporate lifehackers, today is your first step to becoming an urban legend.”
Capcom hit the stage to introduce “Devil May Cry 5,” set to launch on the Xbox One in spring 2019. Techland also hit the stage to announce “Dying Light 2,” a sequel to the open-world zombie hit. We also learned that “Fallout 76” will indeed take place in West Virginia, where you are one of the first to emerge into the wasteland. The game will be a prequel to the other Fallout games.
Microsoft spent a lot of time introducing “Forza Horizon 4,” which adds changing seasons and social-play to the game. The game is set within historic Britain, and is available with native 4K and HDR support. The game will allow you to collect over 450 cars, and will launch worldwide on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass on October 2, 2018. The game will also be an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
If you were hoping for more Gears of War, you’re in luck. Microsoft confirmed “Gears 5” as an Xbox One And Windows 10 exclusive. According to the publisher you will play as Kait, and “journey across the biggest, most beautiful Gears world ever created”. Players will have the option to play solo or co-op, with local split-screen or online options available. This game will also support 4K Ultra HD resolution with HDR at 60FPS. “Gears 5” will be released in 2019 on Xbox One and Windows 10, the game will also come to Xbox Game Pass on the same date as its global release.
Gears wasn’t the only franchise favorite in the mix, “Halo Infinite” is also coming as an Xbox One And Windows 10 exclusive. Master Chief is coming back to the legendary franchise, which was developed by 343 Industries and created with the studio’s new Slipspace Engine. “Just Cause 4” wasn’t exactly a surprise, since it leaked a little early, but fans were still excited to see the game on stage. Players will hit the world of Solis, located in South America and have customization grappling hooks and a lot of physics fun.
For the first time ever, Kingdom Hearts is coming to the new Xbox. “Kingdom Hearts III” will have players journeying with Sora and his friends as they travel through various Disney properties. “Metro Exodus” was another game that wasn’t exactly a surprise, but well welcomed. Metro Exodus comes from 4A Games and will have players scouring the Russian wilderness in nonlinear levels. The game is based on the novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky.
Smaller titles like “Nier: Automata Become As Gods Edition” and “Ori and The Will Of The Wisps” were also announced with short videos. “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” is set to release on Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2019. “Sea Of Thieves” is getting new content in July, and you can expect Skeleton ships. The “Life is Strange” crew previewed “The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit” at the event; the game follows a young boy that uses his imagination to deal with his troubled-youth. The new title takes place within the “Life is Strange” universe, and the developers stated that this installment does link to the brand-new story and characters of “Life is Strange 2”.
As a console launch exclusive, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” had a big trailer but not a lot of details. The video teased two new maps: Sanhok, a smaller-scale map, and a snow map that is currently in development. New footage also debuted of War Mode, a death-match mode that also previewed the new Ballistic Shield. Microsoft did confirm that Sanhok and War Mode will debut on the Xbox in late summer 2018, but no exact dates were given.
Activision brought “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” to the stage with a debut trailer, the new game was made by FromSoftware and directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki. The new title is a third-person adventure RPG, and is scheduled for release in early 2019. If you’re excited for “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” there’s a new trailer available that you should watch. Lara is busy saving the world from a Mayan apocalypse, and the trailer is probably the best one shown at E3 this year. Finally, “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” now has a trailer, and the game will be an online open-world, action-shooter RPG set within Washington, D.C.
As we mentioned before, “We Happy Few” is coming to the Xbox family. The game will launch on Xbox One and Xbox One X (with 4K and HDR support) on August 10, 2018.
Microsoft also announced its Biggest Xbox Sale of the Year where gamers can find discounts on hundreds of games, accessories, Xbox Game Pass and Live Gold subscriptions, plus $50 off ANY Xbox One from the Microsoft Store.