Monday, June 6, 2011

Microsoft E3 2011 Keynote Highlights

Modern Warfare 3 has wonderful graphics and looks to not change much with gameplay, but has a darker visual tone, just like the reveal trailer.

Tomb Raider looks to have improved its visual style to appeal to newer generations. The environmental aspects of the game do a good job setting the mood. The demo is certainly intense and has players yerning for Lara's escape.  Lara's voice acting could use some work, but the game itself looks quite promising. The game launchs Fall 2012. Here's a trailer including all of Lara's weird moans.

EA Sports announces Kinect support for many of their large sports games.

Mass Effect 3 looks delightful, but the voice controls they just announced seem less like a necessary addition and more like a new feature that doesn't mean much beyond saying that the game has it. Many games like tacking on features just to say they have them, and this seems to fall in line with those. The trailers for this have been included in the EA presser.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier started off with a bang and one of the coolest trailers I've seen in a while. The voice commands were top notch, but the Kinect gestures in combat were, predictably, sloppy.

All future "Tom Clancy's" titles will leverage Kinect.

Xbox Live updates abound. More content and more providers. Youtube on Xbox live! Bing on Xbox made me roll my eyes first, but it seems far more useful than I thought. You can search, with voice, for anything on the Xbox marketplace or the internet. Xbox Live also now has live television as well (though no announcement on exactly what channels).

UFC Live on Xbox looks exciting. Some sort of "predicting the fight" functionality for points seems like a compelling argument for watching UFC on Xbox.

Gears of War 3 looks like the previois titles. This is fine though, most fans just want more of the same. The Silverback suits look like a jolly good time.

Ryse looks like a Kinect demo technical demo and less like a game.

Halo Anniversary edition looks like it has updated graphics. It doesn't look updated enough to warrant another buy, but for Halo fans, certainly a buy will be mandatory.

Forza 4 looks just a beautiful as it has in previous game trailers.

Fable: The Journey seems to be less about "the chosen one" heroes and more about being made into a hero. The Kinect controls look like most Kinect controls do--entertaining, but ultimately pointless. To be released in 2012. Here's the trailer courtesy of IGN:

Microsoft seems to have landed an exclusive deal with Minecraft and it will be making its console debut on 360 with Kinect controls.

Disneyland on Kinect looks like it would be great fun for children. It will probably not have much staying power, but it seems entertaining enough.

Kinect Star Wars looks about as sloppy as you'd expect. It's almost embarassing to watch.

Tim Schafer talking about his Sesame Street game is as entertaining as the game looks. It is most assuredly for children and their parents, but it looks far from being shovelware.

Kinect Fun Labs is a lab space for Kinect applications that have been developed by programmers on the net. From being able to make your avatar with Kinect, to drawing in 3 dimensions, to scanning in objects, Kinect Fun Labs seems to be a fun way to utilize the hardware if you've already gotten bored with it. It's live today on Xbox Live.

Kinect Sports Season 2 seems to have added a few more games as well. The golf demo looks fun and adds voice commands for switching clubs. I hope I don't have to scream quite as loud as they did for football. Their demos all look scripted, but fun. The game's visual style and backgrounds are far better than Wii Sports.

Halo 4. There was a trailer. It was grand. Due out next year. Here's that trailer from Machinima:

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