Monday 4 June 2012

Today's Review: Microsofts' E3 Press Conference

Yeah... Usher...

I don't normally watch the live streams of the E3 conferences, but I thought this year I would give it a go. I quickly learned that this was a bad decision.

Sure, it wasn't awful, it was just very mediocre. Hey, Microsoft, what new games have you got? Halo 4? That's cool I guess. A new Tomb Raider, called Tomb Raider, they gave up numbering them a while ago. Ubisoft have a new Splinter Cell too, they never bothered numbering those, so they can reboot and skip around as much as they want. This one even has a cool "Execute" feature, which is basically a "kill everything in a cool cinematic way" button. Well, with all those awesome original games out of the way, it's time to talk about what's really important.

Yes, being able to shout at your TV while playing FIFA and Madden, it's what I've always dreamed of. Also a whole buncha channels being added to the TV section. I'm sure they don't make this much fuss when they announce new Freeview channels. But wait, there's one more surprise up Microsoft's sleeve. After a bunch more Kinect stuff, that is.

"Hey guys, the Wii U has some awesome innovative features stuck right into the new controller. How can we match that without bringing out a whole new console?"

"Eh, there's an app for that. Oh, there isn't? Well, make one."

Yes, now you can use your smart phone or tablet as a "second screen", with the ability to swipe movies and other content up to your TV screen, or access information about what you're watching or playing. Sound familiar? Probably, because it's what the Wii-U does without requiring you to hold both a controller and an iPad. But hey, I guess there's room for some good stuff here, hopefully not just showing a map for those geographically challenged while watching Game Of Thrones.

Well, with all that "lifestyle" stuff out of the way, it was time to talk about some real games. Original games. How excitin- oh, it's a few trailers and no information. Cool. Thankfully Matt Stone and Trey Parker came out to totally own Microsoft within a sentence, say their South Park game is pretty cool, and then make their excuses and leave. Best part of the show.

"You mean even better than Usher saying how he put some of his dance moves into Dance Central 3, but then deciding to show you them on stage anyway?" Yes, of course, what's wrong with you? His dance sucked anyway. I can't slide all the way across the floor like that in a Kinect game.

So yeah, that was pretty much it. Apart from the 10+ minutes of generic Call Of Duty gameplay stuck at the end. I tried to watch it, but apparently the internet exploded at that point and everyone logged into the stream, so I encountered much lag.

Sure, it was okay, I guess. But it's really just a sign of where the gaming industry is headed. Lacklustre sequels, a lack of focus on new and original content, and stupid gimmicks that no one really asked for. Microsoft, I am disappoint.

My rating: 2/5

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