Microsoft has held its Xbox E3 2018 media briefing in downtown Los Angeles, unveiling its biggest line-up of games ever.
Fifty games were showcased, among them 15 world premieres – many drawing enormous cheers from the amassed crowd, which included some of the most hardcore Xbox fans on the planet.
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The company was eager to tease even more games, too, announcing it’s doubling the number of studios it owns. So in the future we can expect new stuff from developers now owned by Xbox like Playground Games, The Initiative, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games.
Highlights from the briefing included previously unheard of titles and the return of a few classic franchises.
Here are my top seven picks of the most exciting games shown off at the event.
There’s no better way to start an Xbox event than by revealing a new Halo game. This one is built on Slipspace, a new engine that creates a picture quality that’s jaw-droppingly pretty. The game looks to be set on an enormous game world with franchise favourites like the Warthog. Master Chief is back and the trailer ended with him slipping a chip into the back of his helmet – possibly Cortana.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
From Software – the folks behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne – are working on this beautiful but creepy-looking samurai game. Set in feudal Japan, it’s gory and looks to feature the challenging big boss battles that define From games. “Take revenge, restore your honour, kill ingeniously,” says the game’s description, giving a little more insight into what we can expect.
Forza Horizon 4
We’re now at a point where car games basically have graphics that are better than photo-realistic. Kind of like how looking at nature footage on an OLED TV is better than actually looking at nature with your eye, the visual fidelity showcased with this was next-level. The new Forza is set in Britain and has an emphasis on how much the changing seasons impact gameplay.
The Metro games, based on the Dmitry Glukhovsky novels, have managed to forge out a lot of individuality in the crowded first-person shooter market. The next looks to open up the bleak, terrifying post-apocalyptic setting with larger open areas to explore. And of course, advances in hardware technology mean Exodus has much more visual finesse than its already stunning predecessors.
Devil May Cry 5
Another reprisal of a franchise with a huge cult following, this is a brilliant looking game and also made for the funniest presentation of the press conference. Director Hideaki Itsuno’s enthusiasm on-stage was infectious, and his pouty Western sidekick made for a hilarious contrast. Following on from 2008’s Devil May Cry 4, this sequel has a lot to live up to – and the trailer suggests it’ll deliver with aplomb.
Dying Light 2
Perhaps the most surprisingly interesting demo at the media briefing was this sequel to the 2015 zombie game. The factions of human survivors seem a lot deeper and the developers strongly emphasised how drastically player choices will steer the narrative. “Each player’s game experience will be unique,” they promise.