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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

E3 2014: Microsoft - The Announcements Guide

Source: Nerd Reactor
Our comprehensive compilation of all of the major reveals from Microsoft's press conference.
As per usual, the first press showcase of E3 2014 (held by none other than Microsoft) was jam-packed with exciting announcements of new video game titles and updates on those products which we already knew about, and as ever, we thought it only fitting here at On-Screen to round up everything that was confirmed in one accessible guide for you, dear reader.

Let's waste no further time discussing this article's précis, then, and instead plunge head-first into a world of video gaming goodness courtesy of the creators of Halo, Gears of War and Fable:
  • NEW CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE GAMEPLAY VIDEO & XBOX DLC DETAILS RELEASED- It should come as no great surprise to long-term fans of the Call of Duty franchise that all downloadable content released for its latest instalment, Advanced Warfare (developed by Sledgehammer Games), will come to Xbox One (and presumably Xbox 360, but don't take our word for it just yet) before any other platform. Check out the latest gameplay demo below this list! Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare drops onto Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC this November 4th.
  • BONUS FORZA MOTORSPORT 5 DLC TRACK ANNOUNCED- Turn 10 Studios took to the showfloor to confirm that the Nurburgring racing track has been added to the roster of free DLC available for their Xbox One sequel Forza Motorsport 5. The track is available now on Xbox Live.
  • FIRST FORZA HORIZON 2 GAMEPLAY VIDEO RELEASED- A new gameplay trailer for Playground Games' stunning-looking open-world follow-up Forza Horizon 2 can be experienced in all of its glory below. Forza Horizon 2 kicks into gear exclusively on Xbox One this September 30th.
  • NEW EVOLVE GAMEPLAY VIDEO & XBOX EXCLUSIVES DETAILS RELEASED- Turtle Rock Studios may not have limited Evolve to Xbox consoles, but that's not to say that Microsoft's fans won't be rewarded for their loyalty: indeed, the game's multiplayer beta will début exclusively on Xbox One, with much of its DLC content following suit. Evolve will showcase its latest adaptations on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this October 21st.
  • FIRST ASSASSIN'S CREED: UNITY XBOX ONE GAMEPLAY VIDEO RELEASED- How do you top an open-world epic with pirates and naval combat? By bringing a co-op campaign into the fold, apparently! Yes, up to four players will now be able to form their own Brotherhood over Xbox Live and/or PSN in Assassin's Creed: Unity, a new instalment in the annualized franchise of stealth-em-ups which echoes Tom Hooper's directorial work so vividly that it might as well be called AC: Les Miserables! Assassin's Creed: Unity synchronizes on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this October 28th (no sign of Comet as of yet, but Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot did confirm that we'll see it later this year).
  • NEW DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION GAMEPLAY TRAILER RELEASED- BioWare had a surprisingly major stage presence at both Microsoft and EA's press showings, kicking off their E3 contribution with a new gameplay trailer for their upcoming fantasy RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition and revealing that we can expect "première content [read: DLC] on Xbox One". Dragon Age: Inquisition dons its armour on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this October 7th.
  • NEW SUNSET OVERDRIVE GAMEPLAY VIDEO RELEASED- By far one of the most promising Xbox One exclusives to have been revealed so far, Sunset Overdrive is developed by Ratchet & Clank's Insomniac Games and looks to be every bit as crazy and hilarious as its predecessors. You'll find the latest gameplay demo below. Sunset Overdrive causes chaos exclusively on Xbox One this October 28th.
  • NEW DEAD RISING 3 DLC CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCED- Try as they might, we sincerely doubt that any publisher or developer will be able to match the utterly absurd title which Capcom have given to their latest downloadable content pack for their acclaimed Xbox One third-person-shooter Dead Rising 3. It goes by the name "Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition DX Plus Alpha", and in essence, that title is essentially the developers allowing themselves to take the proverbial out of their company's re-release strategy. The DLC package is available now exclusively for Xbox One and allows players to control characters such as Ryu from the Street Fighter series (and other Capcom franchises) in a bombastic re-imagining of the original title.
  • DANCE CENTRAL: SPOTLIGHT ANNOUNCED- Although the revelation of a third instalment in the hit Dance Central rhythm franchise was pretty much inevitable, it came as a surprise to see that the game in question will only be a digital title! Expect to hear more details on its song roster and new gameplay features in the coming days. Dance Central: Spotlight launches exclusively on Xbox One (via Xbox Live) this September.
  • NEW FABLE LEGENDS GAMEPLAY VIDEO RELEASED- Lionshead have been mighty quiet for a while now, so it was great to see the fruits of their labour emerge last night in the form of a new Fable Legends gameplay demo. If only the game itself looked to match up to its predecessors, though- to be honest, right now, we couldn't be less fussed about this one. Fable Legends' multiplayer beta will launch this Fall and Legends will tell its stories exclusively on Xbox One in 2015.
  • NEW PROJECT SPARK GAMEPLAY TRAILER RELEASED- You can always count on Microsoft to slow things down to a grinding halt with new Project Spark footage on a yearly basis. Thankfully, the developers did at least reveal the first-person-shooter themed "Galaxies Mode" in the trail, but that's about it in terms of 'groundbreaking' news on this front. Project Spark launches exclusively on Xbox One this Christmas.
  • ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST & INSIDE ANNOUNCED- Never let it be said (at least not anymore) that Microsoft skimps on hot indie titles at their press conferences. Both Ori and the Blind Forest and Inside look like extremely promising Xbox One-exclusive platforming experiences, the former landing on Xbox Live this Fall and the latter in early 2015.
  • HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION ANNOUNCED- HD re-releases don't come much more plentiful than this one: Microsoft Game Studios and 343 Industries have announced the development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for release this year. Bringing together the four main Halo games (with Halo 2 featuring both classic and renewed visuals, the various multiplayer modes running on their original engines and playlists of levels from the series' past), a Ridley Scott-produced TV series called Halo: Nightfall which bridges 343's first entry and Guardians, and a guaranteed access code for the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta that's launching this December, this is sure to be a product which more than warrants its price tag! See the first gameplay trailer for the collection below...Halo: The Master Chief Collection finishes the fight (again) on November 11th.
  • RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER ANNOUNCED- Details were relatively scarce regarding Crystal Dynamics' just-confirmed sequel to their hit 2013 open-world survival reboot Tomb Raider, save for that it's called Rise of the Tomb Raider and will launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in 2015 (see the first CGI trail below).
  • NEW THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT GAMEPLAY TRAILER RELEASED- Not content with revealing new footage of their latest project at their own Summer Conference, CD Projekt RED had a whole new gameplay demo to show to the world last night, and boy, did it look rather smashing. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt tracks down its prey on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC this coming February 24th, 2015.
  • PHANTOM DUST ANNOUNCED- If you could've called this one, then feel free to give yourself a bumper-sized cookie. Hot on the heels of their revival of Killer Instinct, Microsoft Game Studios are bringing the Xbox cult classic Phantom Dust back to life (but that's about as far as the concrete details go, since the teaser trailer you'll see below is a CGI vid). Phantom Dust returns exclusively on Xbox One in 2015.
  • NEW TOM CLANCY'S THE DIVISION XBOX ONE GAMEPLAY VIDEO RELEASED- As if their other various timed DLC exclusive announcements weren't enough, Microsoft and Ubisoft revealed that new DLC content for the open-world MMORPG Tom Clancy's The Division would come first to Xbox One via a new gameplay trailer (below). Tom Clancy's The Division takes players hostage on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in 2015.
  • SCALEBOUND ANNOUNCED- It appears that the rights to Platinum Games' Bayonetta 2 are staying exclusively with Nintendo, but that doesn't mean that the studio don't have next-gen projects in the works. Indeed, the fantastical action RPG Scalebound was announced last night through a rather epic CGI trailer (below), and it'll wage war exclusively on Xbox One in 2015.
  • CRACKDOWN ANNOUNCED- Tragically for Microsoft Game Studios, news of the existence of a third Crackdown video games leaked just a few hours before Microsoft's E3 2014 conference, yet the first CGI teaser trailer (below) doesn't half do the title justice. Crackdown scales the walls of video game retailers and lands exclusively on Xbox One in 2015.
Finally, at the end of each of these round-up articles, we'll provide our thoughts on the various E3 2014 conferences. In Microsoft's case, we were relatively impressed by their offerings, even if no announcement necessarily blew us away in the same vein as Gears of War or GTA IV's Xbox 360-exclusive DLC did (and much the same can be said for Sony this time around). Moreover, if possible, we'd rather that the Xbox 360 (and the PS3, for that matter) aren't treated like returning prodigal sons in future, since their ongoing successes should be something that the publishers are proud of rather than attempting to ignore it altogether.

Keep it On-Screen for all the latest news from the E3 2014 showfloor this week!

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