K E Y P O I N T S
Halo and the iconic Master Chief are back with a brand-new game: Halo Infinite. It’ll continue the current storyline and features a huge new Halo to explore.
Sea of Thieves is getting two huge new expansions that bring the undead and a whole new world to the online Pirate adventure.
The Division 2 will move the game to the US capital of Washington DC.
Forza Horizon 4 takes the fun racing series to the UK for the first time.
Gears 5 is coming.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirms there will be a new Xbox console coming.
Dark Souls’ creators From Software are making a brand-new game called Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
A surprise reveal at the end gave us our first look at CyberPunk 2077, the new game from the makers of the Witcher series.
V E R D I C T
Los Angeles - After an hour-long wait in the burning Californian sun, Xbox needed to pull something big out of the bag at this year’s E3 show.
Xbox has struggled to compete with PlayStation in the last few years and with the return of one of gaming’s most iconic characters, Master Chief, it appears as though it’s finally on the offensive again.
While almost nothing is known about Halo Infinite, the iconic chords of the theme song drew an almighty roar from the 7,000 strong audience packed into the vast Microsoft Theater. What we do know is that it will continue the storyline from Halo 5, will send the Master Chief to a brand-new Halo and that it will feature an all-new game engine which Xbox proudly showed off with some stunning screenshots (see below).
There is no release date, and judging by what was shown don’t expect to be playing Halo Infinite before 2020 at the earliest.
Xbox couldn’t just get away with a new Halo though, PlayStation’s dominance in the video games market has almost entirely been down to its huge range of critically acclaimed exclusives like God of War, The Last of Us Part II and the almost mythical Death Stranding.
Microsoft’s response was, I’ll be honest, pretty impressive. The tech giant has bought not one, but five entire gaming studios, all of which will now be working to churn out video games exclusive to Xbox and PC.
Throughout the action-packed show Xbox revealed fan favourites Gears (of War) 5, Devil May Cry 5 and an exclusive look at the all-new Division 2.
Fallout 76 won some cheers although the sneak peek we were given was just a taster of what we’ll see later in the week.
One of the most exciting announcements was the arrival of a brand-new game from Dark Souls developers From Software. Sekiro: Shadows Die will feature many of the same mechanics as the Dark Souls games but will be set in a Samurai-themed world.
Dark Souls has a devoted fan base so getting the exclusive reveal was a seriously savvy move by Xbox.
Like all E3 shows, the production value of the show was through the roof. As I watched them drive through the Autumnal English countryside in Forza Horizon 4, huge swathes of red leaves fell from the roof.
While games were the focus Xbox also revealed some exciting news within the company including its work on AI, the ability to play console games on your smartphone and of course the inevitable confirmation that it was hard at work on a brand-new console.
What Xbox desperately lacked though was brand-new IP or in other words, games that aren’t sequels.
This absence was only slightly redeemed as the show came to a close. As Xbox boss Phil Spencer said his goodbyes the entire arena shutdown, with error messages appearing on all the displays.
Rather than being a technical error this was the world premiere of CyberPunk 2077, potentially one of the most anticipated games of recent memory.
While no gameplay was shown, the cinematic trailer showed of the game’s futuristic setting including a sneak peak at the dystopian future that you’ll be exploring.
In many ways that last game summed up the struggle Xbox has ahead of it. CyberPunk 2077 won’t be exclusive to Xbox, and to finish on that note suggests that while there are some amazing games to look forward to on Xbox, many of them still have numbers at the end of them.
T R A I L E R S
Sea Thieves Expansion
Forza Horizon 4
Devil May Cry 5
T A K E H O M E M E S S A G E
For many gamers, just the news that Halo Infinite exists would be enough to keep them happy. Xbox didn’t sit on its laurels though, the company then continued on a rollercoaster of world premieres and exciting developments within the company.
The next 12-months will be really exciting for Xbox fans and for the first time in a while it feels like PlayStation will really have to show off something special. What Xbox needs though is a lot more exclusives, and fast.
HuffPost UK has travelled to the E3 video games conference with the help of Activision. Our journalism remains entirely independent.