All aboard the hype train
The Xbox One started E3 2016 with the first press conference of the day with an impressive game and hardware showcase. Clearly, Microsoft has learned from its early missteps with the Xbox hardware offering with the announcement Xbox One S and Project Scorpio, likely the fastest gaming console to hit the market next year.
But, what about 2016 and the games releasing for the Xbox One S? Here are the best games shown during the Microsoft E3 press conference that we just can't wait to play this autumn and into next year.
Gears of War 4 (Oct 11, 2016)
The next entry in the locust-swatting franchise will continue the tradition of fending of alien bug-like menace with the main goal to destroy mankind. However Marcus Fenix isn't leading the charge. Instead the series is shifting to his son, JD Fenix and his new COG crew. This was the first time campaign was footage shown in clear daylight, where the new team used the environment against the swarm.
Marcus Fenix isn't entirely absent from this installment. Marcus briefly appeared at the end of the presentation, but he looked old and worn out by previous encounters. Might this be the last time he appears in the series?
Dead Rising 4 (Holiday 2016)
Frank West last appeared in Dead Rising 3: Super Ultra Arcade Remix Hyper Edition in 2014 as a cameo, but it just proves that the series simply belongs to West at the helm.
The silliness that the series captures so well makes it a joy to play and a smart course correction by Capcom. This one's going to be a mindless blast later this year.
Halo Wars 2, (Holiday 2016)
Microsoft revealed the sequel in 2015 at Gamescom, but it has been a while since debuting in 2009. The first Halo Wars released on Xbox 360 when Ensemble Studios handled the franchise before closing in 2014.
The series is now in hands of Creatively Assembly, the studio most known for the Total War series. If you're an Xbox One owner, you can play the new Halo Wars while it's in open beta during E3 week. That's as in "right now."
State of Decay 2 (Fall 2017)
State of Decay is probably the closest game to capture what a Walking Dead game should be like. Friends are few, as zombies swarm the environment.
It's easy to get close to your characters, since permanent death dramatically affects how you traverse the landscape. Fetching supplies always involves a risk and reward proposition.
The biggest issue the series has always suffered is one the technical side, where glitches have erased player saves. Developer Undead Labs has a hit franchise on its friends so long as it can keep the technical quirks out.
ReCore (September 15, 2016)
ReCore was announced at E3 2015, but this year we got some solid information on the upcoming action adventure game. It was announced the game would be hitting Windows 10 and Xbox One, on September 13, for starters.
Recore is from the mind of Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune on board as producer. The most surprising news about the game from Microsoft's keynote is that the game is priced at just $39.99 in the US. Doesn't this look like a $60 game to you?
Scalebound (Fall 2017)
Scalebound is an action game from Platinum Studios, most known for Bayonetta 2 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, are developing an Xbox One exclusive that allow players to fight on top of a giant dragon.
During the E3 demo, four players, each with their own dragon, took on a disgusting purple crab boss at the same time. The game asks players to be cooperative while piloting their dragons and use their weapons as well.
Scalebound was first revealed at Gamescom 2015, and and is currently set to release in 2017 for Xbox One and PC through Microsoft's Play Anywhere program.
Sea of Thieves (2017)
After Battletoads, Perfect Dark Zero, Viva Piñata and Xbox Live avatars, what does Rare do next?
Sea of Thieves is a first-person multiplayer game from Rare Studios.
The title was last announced last year at E3, but briefly. As someone who loved Sid Meier's Pirates, I just can't wait to see how this developer's spin on making you the pirate on the open sea pans out.
We Happy Few (Xbox Game Preview program in 2016)
This veritable A Clockwork Orange: The Video Game will be coming to both Steam's Early Access and Xbox One's Game Preview program on July 26th. The series is set in an alternative 1960's Britain, in which reality and fantasy are pinned against each other in a deeply dystopian conflict.
The game focuses on telling a story through the eyes of our male protagonist who is forced to choose between reality and Joy – literally and figuratively. Joy also happens to be a hallucinogenic drug that has inoculated the populous. No biggie.
Each decision you make has consequences, so it will be interesting how they tie player choices into the story, too.
Forza Horizon 3 (Fall 2016)
The Forza series has been technical showcase for the Xbox brand for years now, and Horizon looks scorching beautiful from early gameplay we saw on stage. This time around for Forza Horizon 3, Turn 10 decided to take the open-world racing series to Australia.
The new game will launch with 350 cars –150 more than Forza Horizon 2. Of course, barn finds are still apart of the fabric of the series, so expect to drive around looting in order to get the best cars in the game.
What separates the Horizon brand from Motorsport is how it integrates street elements with open-world elements. Blasting the Horizon radio station and engaging in races with friends automatically looks like it could drive even more excitement than, and that's what Horizon is about – the joy of illegal street racing together.
Follow along with us all week for the rest of our E3 2016 coverage, commentary and critique.