Microsoft had a great showing at last year’s E3, and it’s no surprise that they’ve been touting this year’s presser as nothing short than the “best first party lineup ever on Xbox” – which more-or-less means we’re going to see a slew of solid first party titles that’ll be releasing over the next few years. Microsoft has done a lot of positives over the last year and a half to rectify the troubles they had after E3 2013, and the Xbox One is slowly (but surely) gathering a lot of momentum following a handful of great exclusives releasing last year and the promise of Halo 5, Forza 6 and Rise of The Tomb Raider all hitting shelves this year. With that in mind, here’s what we want to see from Microsoft at their annual E3 press conference.
Rise of The Tomb Raider – Gameplay Demo and Release Date
I loved the Tomb Raider reboot when it launched in 2013 and I loved the Definitive Edition that released just a year later. When the sequel popped up not even six months after the Definitive Edition’s release at Microsoft’s press conference, I was fairly blown away. It’s safe to say I was even more awestruck when Microsoft announced at their Gamescom presser that Crystal Dynamics’ latest Tomb Raider entry will be exclusive to Xbox, albeit for only around six months. Nonetheless, and amongst outrage from the internet and back, it was an incredibly precise and tactical business move that (at that time) pitted the game to directly rival Uncharted 4 when they were both scheduled to release at the end of 2015. However, now that Uncharted 4 has been delayed until next year, Rise of The Tomb Raider is in a league of its own, even if it’s just for three months – that’s quite a long time and I’ve no doubt there will be Xbox One consoles shifting across store counters when the game launches.
It makes sense to finally announce when we can expect to pick up Rise of The Tomb Raider this year and following an intriguing trailer that launched a week ago it’s a surefire bet that we’ll also see a lengthy gameplay reveal of the game as well. I can’t wait to see how Lara’s next adventure turns out, and it’ll be interesting to see when the game releases considering it was apparently delayed until December this year before a release date was even announced – perhaps it’ll be an early December release when there’s nothing big to compete with. It definitely makes sense.
Gears of War 4 – Reveal Trailer
While The Coalition (formally known as Black Tusk Studios) have only been working with the Gears of War license for a little over a year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the highly anticipated sequel announced at this year’s Microsoft presser. Considering Gears is one of the biggest exclusive franchises on Xbox, it’d make sense to get the hype train running and end the conference with a reveal of this calibre. We already have the next Halo game coming out this year, Remedy’s Quantum Break is out next year, Forza 6 has already been announced and Rise of The Tomb Raider would have already had time on stage – it seems like a no brainer to get Xbox fans excited about a colossal franchise that is deserved of a grand sequel.
While Gears of War is getting the remastered treatment — as leaked by many users — I think this is the way to end a big conference in style. I’m also holding hope for an Alan Wake remaster too, because that combined with a Gears of War 4 announcement would cumulatively blow my mind.
Halo 5 Guardians – Gameplay Demo
After being quite disappointed with Halo 4, I’m hoping 343 Industries kick it up a notch with the next instalment in the series. Their recent release – Halo: The Master Chief Collection had numerous issues and made me question how the next title will hold up, especially on launch day.
Halo 5 has been teased quite a bit lately and we’ve discovered the core of the story from what’s been shown by Microsoft. What we haven’t seen yet is a full blown reveal with gameplay and the like and it’s pretty much guaranteed at this E3 that Microsoft will heavily focus on this title.
This Halo will be the last straw for me, don’t disappoint!
Perfect Dark One – Reveal
OK I made that title up but it would great if Microsoft announces another Perfect Dark. With the last game released in 2005 called Perfect Dark Zero, I think it’s time we get another instalment in the series. One of Rare’s strongest games and an absolute classic – the return of Joanna Dark could be provide an excellent push to drive the Xbox One.
This franchise is big and hopefully we can something from Microsoft about Perfect Dark this E3.
Call of Duty Black Ops III – Gameplay Demo and Zombies Reveal
Treyarch is back in the pilot seat of this year’s annual Call of Duty game, and after enjoying Advanced Warfare quite a bit I’m approaching the franchise with a renewed sense of intrigue. For me, Treyarch have always delivered the best of the series, with World at War and Black Ops still holding the places of my favourite entries so far. While Call of Duty has long been synonymous with repetition and tiredness, I’m really hoping to see more of Black Ops III and wanting it to deliver something really great to fans.
One of the hallmarks of Treyarch’s impact on Call of Duty is the iconic zombie mode, first added in World at War. Since then zombies might as well have been its own game, delivering story, fantastic gameplay and a variety of maps across three games. With zombies confirmed to be returning, a lot of fans are excited to see what awaits them, so a reveal of zombies alongside some gameplay and a trailer would definitely go down well in the press conference.
Viva Piñata – Reveal Trailer
If Perfect Dark has a chance to come back, then why not Viva Piñata? As one of Rare’s last and best games, I’ve been patiently waiting to be able to grow a garden full of piñata animals once again. All jokes aside, the colourful title was a fantastic game with some solid gameplay and fun challenges.
The game would also begin to fill part of the void in the Xbox One’s current line up, delivering a game that not only caters to a wide audience ranging from kids to adults, but also doesn’t cost extra for add ons like Skylanders or Disney Infinity. At the end of the day I’d really like to see the title return because it really hasn’t eaten enough of my time quite yet.
What are you hoping to see at this year’s Microsoft press conference? Let us know in the comments!