Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference was so jam-packed with trailers and release dates for new games that you may feel like skipping dinner.
Phil Spencer, head of XBox, took the stage early to tell fans they would be witness to 15 world premieres and 50 games overall, many of them XBox exclusives. What followed was nearly two hours of back-to-back trailers, announcements and teases, so it’s understandable if you missed something or were sent reeling over the back of your couch like Vince McMahon.
Luckily, Autosave is here to deliver all of that information in more manageable portions.
The Main Course: Sequels
Master Chief returns in Halo Infinite
We don’t know much else beyond that, but a shot of the iconic helmet from Chief’s suit of armor marked the climax of a particularly scenic outdoor reveal.
Devil May Cry Back for a Fifth Game in Spring 2019
Series producer Hideaki Itsuno announced a fifth entry in the Devil May Cry series, the first official game since 2008. In a short on-stage speech, he called it the best one in the series. Noticeable changes include Nero as protagonist with shorter hair than mainstay, Dante, along with a wisecracking sidekick, Nico, who knows her way around a van.
The Division 2 Takes Corrupt Government Plots on a Summer Vacation
The second game in the popular Tom Clancy property promises more team-based tactical play in the sweltering heat of a D.C. summer, along with a sweet map overlay and new loadout management options.
Terry Crews 3… Er, Crackdown 3 Finally Coming Out
After being delayed multiple times from its original date in 2016, the next entry in the Crackdown franchise has one more official release date: February 2019. This was leaked and subsequently announced before the Microsoft event, but the conference showed off an impressively mo-capped Terry Crews vaulting around baddies and buildings as he yelled in typical Crews fashion.
Metro Exodus Leaves Station February 22, 2019
Based on the popular political sci-fi series by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro Exodus picks up two years after Last Light with the story of Artyom and his journey beyond the frozen city of Metro. Aboard a train with his wife, Anna, the two search for a better life. Players can expect more of the series’s iconic survival horror aspects, gun crafting, and narratively weighty choices.
Kingdom Hearts 3 Earns a Release Date and Meets a Snowman
Ending the long running joke of asking when the next Kingdom Hearts game will be coming out, the third in the Disney-filled JRPG will be playable January 29, 2019. In a new trailer, Sora, Donald and Goofy run into the cast of the Movie Frozen, save Toy Story’s Hammy from the foot of a monstrous toy boss, and talk about not giving in to the darkness, of course.
Forza Horizon 4 Wants You to Tear Up the English Countryside
Coming October 2 to PC and Xbox One, the next entry in the popular racing and car simulator adds quite a few new toys and game mechanics. Players have access not only to extremely pricey foreign sports vehicles but dune buggies, dragsters, motor bikes and… a hovercraft?
The gameplay demo focused on the changing season and how that will affect your time in the game’s idyllic English climes. Winter might freeze over a lake and open new areas, while summer makes racing in the coastal sands a treat. Additionally, a shared server world will allow droves of drivers to gather for world challenges that, when completed, earn everyone rewards. The new Forza Horizon is as much about cooperation as it is competition.
Dying Light 2 Weighs the Consequences of Your Actions
Announced by Chris Avellone, the sequel to the 2015 hit zombie survival game brings players back to a world struggling to eat during the day – and for survival at night. The game’s parkour-style navigation is still around, but Avellone was on stage to highlight how narrative choice will have concrete and far-reaching impacts on the world of the game.
How the player negotiates with the several factions vying for power within the crumbling cityscape might give the people access to running water, but it will also increase the pseudo-police presence or roaming gang-style violence people must deal with. These choices apparently branch out and close off paths based on hundreds of choices the character can make.
Just Cause 4 Lets You Drive into a Tornado
The game series known as much for wacky YouTube videos as much as anything else will be releasing a fourth title in December of this year. Protagonist Rico faces down yet another paramilitary force in a sprawling environment replete with cars, helicopters, skyscrapers and planes – the fodder for all sorts of hijinks. Front and center in the trailer, though, was a massive and stationary tornado, which Rico drove straight into at the end of the video. Who knows how that affects grappling a cow to two different planes, but we’re excited to find out.
Microsoft Studio Picks Up Five New Developers
Along with announcing the creation of its own studio, The Initiative, led by Darrell Gallagher, Microsoft has added four others to the Studio umbrella.
Compulsion Games (We Happy Few)
Playground Games (Forza series)
Ninja Theory (Devil May Cry 1-5)
Undead Labs (State of Decay 1 & 2)
These five new additions bring the total to 10 studios now developing first-party titles for Microsoft and Xbox.
Gears of War Announces THREE New Games
Not content to announce the conventional one sequel, Rob Fergusson managed to squeeze three reveals in the Gears franchise while on stage.
Gears Pop!: First, the IP is teaming up with the culturally ubiquitous Funko Pop! company to develop a Gears game for mobile devices using the large-eyed, small-bodied designs of the wildly popular collectible figurines. Available sometime next year, the game will play on both Apple and Android devices.
Next, Gears Tactics plans to take the franchise in the direction of tactical turn-based shooters like X-Com, while keeping the brutally violent tone of previous games intact. No release date has been announced, but Microsoft said the game will be a PC exclusive.
And finally, a sequel in the main franchise, simply called Gears 5, will continue the story of Marcus Fenix and co. but with Kait Diaz as the protagonist. Expect this game to deliver players the classic Gears gameplay seen in the last four games.
Indie Side Dishes
Awesome Adventure of Captain Spirit Reminds us of Being Kids
Don’t Nod’s newest game is set in the Life is Strange universe (and lets us know that’s a thing that now exists) with a game that looks very similar but stars a whole new cast. In the trailer, we’re shown a young boy and his father living in the cold northern… somewhere. Dialogue that hints at alcoholism and bullying at school play out over scenes of the boy, face painted with a bright red mask, plowing up snow monsters and driving his spacecraft (dad’s old truck) across the universe.
Something tells me the crayola aesthetic hides a story aimed at players’ hearts.
Junior High Anime Fanfic Explodes in Jump Force
Ever wondered if Naruto could beat up Goku? Or if Luffy and Frieza were on similar power levels? Of course you did, and so did Bandai Namco. That’s why their new game, Jump Force (named for the popular manga periodical, Shounen Jump), throws together a mess of popular manga IPs in what looks to be a versus-style brawler. A tease of the addition of Death Note characters at the end, too.
Dessert: Everything Else
- FromSoftware, creators of the Souls games and Bloodborne, announced their new title: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, available in early 2019.
- Cyberpunk 2077, from CD Projekt Red, showed off a new trailer but no information on a release date. Promises to be quality over speed in a hidden message from the devs.
- Sea of Thieves will receive two DLCs this year: Cursed Sails (July) and Forsaken Shores (September)
- We Happy Few releases August 10, 2018
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds teased a snow-blown map set for winter of this year, and riot shields sometime prior. Sanhok, the East-Asian map, will be live June 22nd.
- Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition announced for winter of this year
- Crea-Tur Studio showed a teaser for Sessions, a skating game due sometime in 2019
- Cuphead is receiving a DLC titled “The Delicious Last Course”, which features new playable character Ms Chalice.
- New Battletoads game announced, which will include “3-player couch co-op”.