Live E3 2011 Coverage – Microsoft

In Videogames on June 6, 2011 at 7:38 AM

This post will feature live, up to date info on the Microsoft press conference.  In order to keep the news up to date just hit your browsers refresh button.  Coverage for the Microsoft press conference begins at 9:30 PM PST/12:30 PM EST.

9:30 AM – The light’s are green.  The music is dramatic.  It looks like we’re about to begin.

9:31 AM – Super dramatic opening video for what looks like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.  During the demo the controller disconnects, so major points for Microsoft right off the bat.  The demo begins underwater as a group of what looks like NAVY Seals navigate an oil pipeline and sunken wrecks, dodging floating mines all the while.  The scene looks absolutely gorgeous.  The player plants a mine on the sub and apparently that’s the mission.  The sub goes kaboom and we got topside to reveal a city in absolute disarray.  The squad now mounts the floating wreck to infiltrate.  There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of gameplay going on but more following the NPC squadmates as they romp the crew to shreds.  A few gunshots here and there but not a whole lot is actually going on.  “In the intrest of time…” the demo just magically fast forwards to the end because I guess they figured we were getting bored with the actual gameplay portion of the demo.  They storm a room and Modern Warfare 3 goes full-blown F.E.A.R. bullet time as the squad takes out the control room in slow-mo glory.  Now its escape time as the squad outruns several seacrafts in a motorized raft.  The action and graphics are amazing.  I cant’ tell if the player is navigating the boat or just firing bullets, but I’d assume the latter, which is a letdown.  More graphical showing off as the city’s destruction is revealed in a fly over escape.  The demo ends, applaud commences, and Infinity Ward comes out to talk about Modern Warfare 3: “the biggest, most exciting and epic Call of Duty ever.”  They leave by mentioning that MW3 is out on November 8, 2011.

9:41 AM – Out comes my favorite person in the world, Don Mattrick.  Mattrick starts the conference with a series of games, led by Tomb Raider.

9:43 AM – Crystal Dynamics comes out to reveal Tomb Raider in what they call a “true origin story of Lara Croft.”  The demo begins with Lara tied up on what I think is a pirate vessel.  She has to use her “survival instincts” to escape, which means lighting herself on ropes on fire to free herself and falling like 20 feet onto stone and screaming in agony A LOT.  Lara Croft, now looking like Atreyu from the Neverending Story, explores the area with a torch.  A random person attacks and the player is forced to wiggle the left stick to break free.  Set pieces glow, showing how Lara can “use her survival skills to escape.”  By using her survival skills that means moving a barrel to lift a platform in a physics based puzzle we first saw seven years ago in Half-Life 2.  Another guy grabs Lara and the result is the same…left stick shakage.  Lara escapes the crumbling tomb to reveal tons of crashed ships and planes, which would lead to an assumption that she’s in the Bermuda Triangle.  That’s it.

9:49 AM – Here comes EA Sports’ Peter Moore, and he’s here to discuss Kinect support for Tiger Woods, FIFA, Madden, and a mystery fourth title.  He also says voice options will be enabled for the Xbox version of Sims 3: Pets.

9:51 AM – Here comes Bioware and I guess that means the mystery fourth title is Mass Effect 3.  Mass Effect 3 is all about “kick ass action and choices with consequence in an epic universe.”  Kinect support will come in the way of voice recognition.  The demo starts with Mordin and Shepherd talking.  Voice recognition apparently amounts to saying your preselected choice rather than selecting it with a controller.  But that’s not it!  You can also voice command your squad mates’ movement and special abilities, though the execution in the demo seemed very vague.  It did tease Liara as an included squad mate though.  “Epic, awesome, fun.”  Big applause.  More info to come at the EA press conference.

9:56 AM – Ubisoft game.  I’m guessing this is Ghost Recon.  This one sin’t so much a demo as it is a ridiculously overzealous slow-mo trailer of people dying.  And it is confirmed Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.  Yyves Guillaumot comes out to speak in a really thick french accent.  Now some guy named Chris will show us a demo.  He uses Kinect support to navigate a menu of weapon customization.  The customization actually looks ridiculously deep.  The audience claps large for a changing of the gun’s gas system.  He fires using Kinect by opening his fist and looks pretty dumb doing it.  Guillaumot claims that you can’t do what they just showed without Kinect, which is a blatant lie but whatever.

10:01 AM – Here comes some Xbox Live stuff.  This is just a demo of how to navigate your Xbox menus with Kinect voice features.  I don’t own a Kinect but I thought they already did its same exact demo at last year’s E3 and Kinect could already do this.  They now announce YouTube will come to Xbox Live, even though its already on my computer and PS3.  They also announce that Bing will be on Xbox live, which will basically just be a search engine to find things on the Xbox marketplace including movies and other games.  I don’t really see a practical application for this until Xbox Live gets a full browser or integration with television.  In the coming months Microsoft will announce more partnerships.  One of those includes Xbox Live TV with partnerships including Sky TV.  Again, I thought they already announced that last year.  It launches this fall so I guess this is just a reminder.

10:08 AM – Here comes Dana White to announce the new UFC game. Apparently its not just a game as UFC will feature interactive menus during live fights to make predictions with tracking menus and check stats and fight histories.

10:10 AM – Out comes Phil Spencer.  “From this point on, everything shown will be exclusive to Xbox 360.”  They start with the “biggest exclusive on any console this year…Uncharted 3.  Oh wait, my bad…it’s Gears of War 3.

10:12 AM – With that announcement comes Cliffy B.  He brings out Ice T, cast member of Gears 3, to play co-op with him.  Cliffy and T will be fighting an infected sea creature, which I think you do in the other two Gears games so at least they’re consistent.  Despite co-op play the screen only shows one player as Marcus and no other user control so I’m not sure who Ice T is playing as…maybe Cliffy’s imaginary friend.  Lots of bullets and blood and high tech futuristic space stuff…you’re typical Gears of War fare.  Nothing to fawn over.  Cliffy B laughs at his game’s writing but no one else does.  Ice T then announces the return of Body Count to do a special song in tribute of Horde mode.  Sounds amazing…

10:18 AM – Next comes a Crytek game, which I assume is the one they announced at last year’s E3 but haven’t spoken of since.  The trailer looks very similar to Assassin’s Creed in layout but on a much grander scale.  And…Kinect support.  Ryse.

10:19 AM – “Ten years ago, Halo changed the way we play videogames.”  I guess.  So this looks like a Halo remake for 360.  Comes out November 15, 2011, a week after Modern Warfare 3.

10:21 AM – Here comes Turn Ten to talk about another Forza 4.  The trailer claims this is “all in-game footage.”  Kinect suppport includes voice support and head tracking.  Nothing spectacular here.  October 11 release date.

10:24 AM – Out comes Peter Molyneux to blow smoke up his ass.  He announces Fable: The Jounrey, which I guess is Fable: Kinect.  The trailer shows off some crazy black smoke, which I guess is the mysterious goo that killed Albion at the end of Fable III…either that or the Smoke Monster from Lost.  The demo begins with a horse ride using Kinect that looks absolutely absurd.  He flicks his hand forward to use some magic skills.  Different motions do different moves though they all look pretty similar.  I’m starting to figure out that I think this is a rail shooter.  The demo ends right before a boss fight.  2012 release date.

10:28 AM – Out comes Phil Spencer to talk about Minecraft with Kinect support.  Then he announces a partnership with Disney for Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, which is an interactive Kinect Disneyland theme park.  This is by far the best thing that will happen at E3 ever.  They ride Peter Pan’s Flight, which is nothing like the actual ride at Disneyland but it still looks pretty rad.  Next the go to Alice in Wonderland, which again is nothing like the ride and looks pretty similar to what was going on in the Peter Pan game.  Basically all these things look like Kinect Adventures but with Disney themes.  These kid actors playing are ridiculous though and maybe ruined the entire thing.

10:33 AM – The biggest applause I’ve ever heard of a rail shooter as they show off Kinect Star Wars.  This looks much better than it did last year but I’m still wary about the gameplay.  The only part that legitimately excited was the Pod Racing.  Graphically this is by far the best looking rendition of the Star Wars universe I’ve ever seen.  We finally get to the gameplay portion and its every bit as bad as I imagined.  The guy playing looks like the fat lightsaber kid as he aimlessly flails his arms chopping up droids with no skill whatsoever.  The player hasn’t been hit once, which leads me to believe they just made the demo ridiculously easy for E3 purposes or this is the dumbest game ever made.

10:37 AM – Now here comes Tim Schaffer as introduced by Cookie Monster.  Schaffer unveils Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster for Kinect.  The game applications of this demo seem a bit strange, but it certainly looks like something kids would love and that is a good thing.  The execution looks like a series of mini-games as presented through an interactive storybook.

10:41 AM – Kudo Tsunoda, Kinect’s creative director, comes out to stroke his ego and talk about how rad Kinect is.  He basically says Kinect will let you do things on the Xbox that you could’ve done only on the PC for years, which to me doesn’t sound like a great selling point since PC’s are awesome and I don’t need something that just lets me do everything I already could again but with no mouse and keyboard.  One of the new features will be avatar creation using Kinect’s webcam, similar to what 3DS did earlier this year with theri Mii’s.  Another guy comes out to show off Kinect’s finger tracking in Kinect Fun Labs.  He then begins to draw in 3D on a photo taken on stage.  Not sure what the application for that is.  Kudo applauds for it but no one else does.  Now they show off object capture, similar to what they showed in the tech trailer with the skateboard last year.  This seems like a rehash of every feature they promised last year, just showing them in impractical application now.  Once again Kudo gives a round of a applause that no one else follows.  He then announces Kinect Fun Labs going live today.  Now we get a video for Wii Sports…oh I mean Kinect Sports Season 2 showing off Football, Golf, Tennis, Darts, and more.  “Playing Sports in Videogames is now more realistic than ever.”  That might be the funniest thing said all day.  There’s a lot of lag on the Kinect motion for the demo of Golf.  She sinks her putt in a ridiculously dramatic fashion in what leads me to believe that this entire thing is prerendered and everything she did was a lie.  Next they show off Football in what can only be considered as overacting for a soap opera.

10:53 – Here comes Harmonix to show off Dance Central 2 complete with voice control and a campaign mode!?  Really, campaign mode in a dancing game.  Awesome(ly bad).  They then announce that every song in Dance Central 1 can be in Dance Central 2, making the original worthless now.  While I personally could care less about this demo, it once again shows that after a year Harmonix still has the only practical application of the Kinect I’ve found yet.

10:55 AM – Don Mattrick comes back out and I just threw up in my mouth a little.  I think Mattrick is closing up the ceremony with a quick recap.  If that’s all we get then this is pretty underwhelming as literally nothing new came of this conference since they just rehashed all the Kinect stuff they’ve been talking about since its reveal.  Overall that was extremely subpar.

10:57 AM – Mattrick leaves us with a final game, “the dawn of a new trilogy for the Xbox 360.”  If by new, he meant old then he was spot on because this is the new Halo game, fittingly titles Halo 4.  In the trailer Master Chief heads straight towards the Death Star.  And with that we have EA up in 90 minutes.

  1. FIRST

  2. moderated comments? you suck

  3. btw,you need to find a way to make this shit auto-refresh

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