Day 2 of E3 has come and gone, with showcases from Microsoft, The PC gaming community, Ubisoft, and Sony. Each conference had a ton of content, and there was far too much to cover in a single article, but here are the highlights from each.

Microsoft

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The day started with the Microsoft conference, which showcased a variety of games, multi-platform crossplay, and an intriguing but rather confusing series of advertisements for the new Xbox 1 consoles. The Xbox 1 S is a smaller, sleeker version of the standard Xbox 1 with an increased HDD capacity (no release date has been set), while Project Scorpio is the working title for a new, more advanced version of the Xbox 1 with 4k visuals, an 8 core processor, and full VR support, slated for release in 2017.

These new and improved versions of the consoles have been met with a mix of excitement and skepticism from the gaming community at large. Questions abound: how much will this cost? How often is Microsoft planning on releasing these “improved” versions of their standard hardware? Microsoft has assured us that “no version of Xbox 1 will be left behind”. Still, many remain worried that eventually the Xbox 1 they paid for will be left in the dust, as games are optimized for its more powerful cousins. Will it even be worth it for developers to make games for Scorpio, or will they continue to focus on the standard Xbox in order to reach the largest audience possible? Answers are still forthcoming.

A recurring topic during the conference was Xbox Play Anywhere: the ability to play games you buy digitally on both Xbox and Windows 10 with the same save data. Of course, with all the problems and controversy surrounding the Windows 10 gaming platform, this may end up being less attractive than it initially seems. Still, the added freedom this provides players is always welcome.

One of the highlights of the conference was FORZA HORIZON 3Set in an open-world Australia, the game promises seamless multiplayer with your friends along with a diverse set of environments.

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We also got a new gameplay trailer for WE HAPPY FEW. This game has been on many people’s radar, including mine, for a long time. It seems almost unrecognizable from the procedurally generated rogue-like that we’ve seen on early-access. Still, this story-driven trailer was beautiful, intriguing, and incredibly unsettling.

The long awaited GWENT game has finally been announced. Based on the much-loved card game from THE WITCHER universe, one certainly hopes GWENT can stand on its own in the ever-expanding digital card game genre.

We saw some new gameplay footage of SCALEBOUNDa game about teenagers fighting monsters with the help of dragons. The scale and scope of this game is interesting, but the trailer was a bit garbled and confusing, and it featured a protagonist that suffers from what I like to call “punchable face syndrome”. Still, I’m willing to give the people who made BAYONETTA, METAL GEAR RISING, and THE WONDERFUL 101 the benefit of the doubt for now.

A rather strange trailer for a game called INSIDE was presented. It’s from the creators of LIMBO, and seems to be a similar 2.5D puzzle-platformer, but we know very little other than that.

We got some new gameplay footage for SEA OF THIEVES a colorful, stylized, cooperative pirate game where you and your friends search for treasure and fight off other players in naval combat.

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We got new trailers and select gameplay footage from DEAD RISING 4 and STATE OF DECAY 2. The zombie fighter genre may be somewhat overplayed, but DEAD RISING 4 definitely stood out with its humorous Christmas theme and wacky combat.

TEKKEN 7 is coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox 1, with a new story mode to boot.

Fans of the HALO franchise will be excited for HALO WARS 2, which is hosting an open beta that already started by the time you’re reading this

Some other highlights included a gameplay demonstration of GEARS OF WAR 4, an impressive combat demo for FINAL FANTASY 15, featuring a boss fight with a colossal giant, and RECOREa third person sci-fi shooter where you team up with various robotic pets.

Here’s a link to the entire Microsoft Conference:

PC Gaming Show

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The PC Gaming Show was chock-full of content, with new releases from AAA studios as well as more independent, experimental projects.

We got some gameplay footage of DAWN OF WAR 3the upcoming strategy game set in the long-running Warhammer 40,000 universe. It seems there will be an increased focus on mech units, and the gameplay will supposedly be a hybrid of the traditional RTS mechanics of DAWN OF WAR 1 and the more action-oriented DAWN OF WAR 2.  

A rather strange standout was GIANT COP, which seems to be a 70’s themed game about a pair of giant hands spying on and micromanaging the lives of people in a scenic beachfront city. You really need to click the link to understand what this game is all about.

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KILLING FLOOR: INCURSION is a VR spinoff of the horror-themed shooter KILLING FLOOR 2, with an even larger focus on terror. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on if you’re a horror fan, and have enough disposable income to afford a VR headset.

We got some new footage of MOUNT AND BLADE 2: BANNERLORD, showcasing the new and improved siege mechanics.  The game is the sequel to the critically acclaimed sandbox RPG, MOUNT AND BLADE, and promises to provide modders with all the tools the developers have to expand the game as they see fit.

OBSERVER  is an intriguing horror game that asks the question: what if someone could hack into your mind and use your worst fears against you? It’s an interesting concept to say the least.

Obsidian’s new RPG, TYRANNYtakes place in a fantasy world where the bad guy already won. We saw a new trailer for it, and if its anything like Obsidian’s previous RPG, PILLARS OF ETERNITY, then we are in for another story-heavy, choice-driven tactical RPG.

MIRAGE is a first person action game by the developers of CHIVALRY. It shares CHIVALRY’s visceral combat system, but adds spell casting and a colorful art style to the formula as well. Personally, I’ve been hoping a game like this would show up eventually, combining the brutal combat of CHIVALRY with a more high-fantasy setting, and it’s incredibly exciting that it is finally here.

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DUAL UNIVERSE was one of the more ambitious games showcased today. Put simply, imagine a sandbox MMO that combines EVE, NO MAN’S SKY, and MINECRAFT. Basically, you build everything from scratch using voxels (basically very small, smooth MINECRAFT bricks), and persist in a massive, near-infinite universe along with every other person playing the game. It’s the sort of game that sounds amazing on paper, but will require a lot of work to pull off properly.

You can watch the full PC gaming Show here.

Ubisoft

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The Ubisoft conference got off to a rather weird start, with its bizarrely choreographed showcase for JUST DANCE. I honestly thought I was on acid until I noticed everyone else in the Youtube comments section having the same bewildered reaction.

WHAT AM I LOOKING AT?!?!?!?!
WHAT AM I LOOKING AT?!?!?!?!

Ubisoft announced two new DLCs for THE DIVISION: “Undergound” set in the subway and sewer systems beneath Manhattan, and a less detailed “Survival” DLC. But in light of THE DIVISION’s troubled release, fraught with bugs, hackers, and a rapidly declining player base (on Steam at least), will anyone be left to play it?

We caught a glimpse of  GHOST RECON: WILDLANDSincluding a cinematic trailer and promises of an open world cooperative experience. The gameplay looked interesting, but it came along with some rather annoying, overly dramatic actors pretending to be players. We think this practice just ends up distracting from the reality of the game.

TRIALS OF THE BLOOD DRAGON, a bizarre yet exciting mashup of TRIALS and FAR CRY: BLOOD DRAGON, was both announced and released today on PC, Xbox 1, and PS4.

We also got to take a look at STEEP, a game about extreme sports and stunts set in the Alps. In the modern world of VR and 4k graphics, this is the perfect time for a game like this to come out. Personally, this was one of the announcements that stirred the most excitement today. It comes out this December.

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STAR TREK: BRIDGE CREW, the VR game that places you on the bridge of a starship, was leaked a day or so ago, but we got some real footage and an official trailer for it at the conference. The game looks fun, but I’m a bit skeptical. How many of us have 3 friends who own a VR headset? It seems like an impressive tech demo, but not something that will be popular until VR becomes more common.

One major standout was FOR HONORa visceral and atmospheric hack-and-slash with 3 unique factions and massive battlegrounds.

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SOUTH PARK: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE had me laughing out loud with its classic immature humor. The story is described as SOUTH PARK’s version of Marvel’s CIVIL WAR, and allows you to create your own superhero class. As an added bonus, if you pre-order the game, you get the previous game, THE STICK OF TRUTH, for free.

But the biggest highlight of the show was WATCH DOGS 2Most would agree that the first game was enjoyable, but overhyped and under-performing, but the latest game seems much more colorful, livelier, and a bit more light-hearted. A little fun may be exactly what this series needs to reach its potential, and we are definitely excited.

Here’s a link to the full Ubisoft conference:

SONY

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Last but not least, Sony closed out the night starting with a surprise gameplay demo of GOD OF WAR. As previously rumored, they seem to be nixing the classic Greek aesthetic for a Norse one, with Kratos and his young son living in a distant mountain range. We’re not sure if this is the same Kratos as the one we’ve come to know, or if this is an entirely alternate universe, but it definitely has us intrigued.

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DAYS GONEa zombie-apocalypse game about bikers in the pacific northwest, got both a trailer and a gameplay demonstration later in the night. Despite being yet another zombie game, the style and setting of this one may set it apart from the masses.

THE LAST GUARDIANafter all these years, has finally received an official release date: October 25th 2016. What can even be said about this game, and its place in the gaming community? It’s from the maker of ECO and SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS, and centers around a boy being guided through a dangerous world by an adorable monster. This game was announced in 2009, and we’ve been left in the dark ever since. Hopefully, after all this time, the payoff will be satisfying.

We caught a glimpse of a gameplay trailer for HORIZON: ZERO DAWN, an action-adventure game set in the distant future and centering on a primitive tribe fighting off ancient machines. The open world is lush, colorful and full of strangely mechanical wildlife. It seems to have a Bioware-style choice and dialogue system as well. It all comes together to create a rather strange combination of genres and settings, but the gaming sphere needs more creativity, and we look forward to seeing what this game has to offer.

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We saw a trailer for DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN, a futuristic crime drama where you play as an android detective. It seemed pretty cool, like a cross between LA NOIRE and DEUS EX, with branching paths and multiple endings. That being said, it’s a David Cage game, so it’s hard to say anything with certainty until release.

RESIDENT EVIL 7 seems to be going back to its survival horror roots, if the first-person, OUTLAST-style trailer is to be believed. Apparently the game will be VR compatible, but we don’t recommend it for the faint of heart.

The Playstation VR is releasing on October 13th for $399. With all these new VR platforms being released, this one may get lost in the fray, but hopefully the Playstation VR’s promise of 50 exclusive games will attract those willing to pay the hefty price point.

Most of the exclusives shown were VR counterparts to already existing games, so we’ll have to wait and if any of them are worth the price of entry.

The new CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE surprised everyone with its rather impressive space-combat, complete with zero gravity, grappling-hook combat (you’ll have to click the link for that to make any sense). Honestly, I’m somewhat excited for this, and I’ve never been a fan of CALL OF DUTY at all. I think a lot of people just assumed this would be another vaguely futuristic FPS, but now that they seem to be going all the way with the sci-fi theme, it may be a worthwhile experience.

In one of the more exciting news for those who grew up on their Playstations, the CRASH BANDICOOT trilogy is getting a remastered edition. Additionally, he’s also coming to SKYLANDERS: IMAGINATORS, which will also let you create your own character.

SPIDER-MAN is getting a new game as well. We didn’t see much gameplay, but hopefully it can live up to its beloved predecessor SPIDER-MAN 2

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But the show was stolen by Hideo Kojima, one of the most beloved game developers of all time. His new game, DEATH STRANDING, starring Norman Reedus, seems mysterious, creepy, and more than a bit weird, exactly what we’ve come to expect from Mr. Kojima.

You can watch the full Sony Conference right here:

Comicsverse is your one-stop-shop for E3 2016. Stick with us in the coming days for highlights, analysis, and links to each conference!

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