Microsoft at E3 2011
Microsoft started the week off right on Monday morning here at E3 with big announcements for the Xbox 360 along with their Kinect peripheral.
Modern Warfare 3
Microsoft opened their press conference with a brief demonstration of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gameplay, in which the player used scuba gear to place explosive charges on enemy ships occupying the Hudson River before boarding an enemy destroyer and battling enemies during a high-speed boat chase down the Hudson.
Next, a pair of lead developers from game development studio Crystal Dynamics took the stage to show off a brief gameplay segment from the upcoming Tomb Raider game, due out in 2012. During the demo we saw a 21-year-old Lara Croft navigating an early section of the game, a franchise reboot in which Croft has been taken captive by natives of a mysterious island and must escape through a series of catacombs.
Mass Effect 3
After a brief cameo from Peter Moore to hype four upcoming EA Sports games, BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka took the stage to talk about Mass Effect 3. Muzyka announced that Mass Effect 3 supports voice commands received via the Microsoft Kinect peripheral; players can speak and respond to character dialogue or issue tactical commands in real-time when the game goes on sale in 2012.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot briefly appeared to herald a new gameplay demo of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier that included our first look at the new weapon customization system. Guillemot also announced that Future Soldier and all future Tom Clancy games will support Kinect gesture control and voice commands, and the player on-stage took a moment to show off how weapons can be customized using gestures or voice commands.
New Xbox Live Dashboard Features
YouTube, Bing, are all coming to the new Xbox Live Dashboard, and they will include Kinect support. Microsoft also confirmed rumors that live television programming will be coming to Xbox Live, though no pricing plans, channel selection or release date were announced.
Gears of War 3
Epic mouthpiece Cliff Bleszinski and rapper Ice-T hit the stage to demo a short co-op gameplay segment from the upcoming Gears of War 3. Plenty of terse one-liners were traded but no new information was announced, though Ice-T did mention he was getting the old band together to record an exclusive new single for the game's release.
Halo: Combat Anniversary
A brief cinematic trailer accompanied the news that Microsoft is releasing a remastered version of Halo: Combat Evolved to celebrate the game's tenth anniversary. The new game will be called Halo: Combat Anniversary, and include a fully remastered campaign with improved graphics as well as new multiplayer maps. No pricing plans, release date or delivery method (retail or digital) have been announced
Fable: The Journey
Microsoft Game Studios Creative Director Peter Molyneux took a moment to announce a new game in the Fable universe. It's called Fable: The Journey, and it appears to be a Kinect-enabled first-person action game which tasks the player with creating new heroes now that the old ones have all disappeared. Once again, no release date or pricing information was revealed.
Minecraft debuts exclusively on Xbox 360 this winter, and it will include support for Kinect motion controls. No further details were announced during the press conference, but we'll try to track down a demo on the show floor to give you a better idea of how Minecraft plays on consoles.
Halo 4 was announced at E3 2011, and Microsoft confirmed that it will be the first in a trilogy of games for the Xbox 360. A short trailer was released, but no information is available regarding the games story and how it ties in to the first 3 Halo games. We'll be working the floor at E3 all week to track down more details, so stay tuned!