Depending on who you listen to, Microsoft effectively “won” E3 2014. Despite the fact that every major publisher had significantly good shows this past July (barring you know who), it was Microsoft that stood out the most for the sheer simplicity of its presentation. It not only showed off games but it showed off games that we’d want to play. It even managed to make Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a glorified collection of HD remakes, a spectacle and gave us great reasons to get excited for Halo: Nightfall. That being said, E3 2014 is in the past now and Gamescom is in the future. What tricks will Microsoft have up its sleeve this week when it comes to Cologne, Germany?
"You can definitely expect to hear more about Halo 5: Guardians, the beta of which will be including in Halo: The Master Chief Collection."
The most obvious news is to expect more information on Halo: The Master Chief Collection. 343 Industries and Certain Affinity have a wealth of material to draw upon and show off, especially with regards to the multiplayer experience. Perhaps the one real criticism we could have of The Master Chief Collection’s multiplayer is that it doesn’t feature that one unique new mode to justify its existence (i.e. Firefight for Halo 3: ODST). 343 Industries is offering us a lot already but if it can pack in that one new multiplayer mode to get us hooked, then Gamescom 2014 would be the place to show it off.
You can definitely expect to hear more about Halo 5: Guardians, the beta of which will be including in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The beta begins in December end and even if Microsoft hasn’t listed the game for Gamescom’s Xbox One line-up, it would be odd if 343 Industries didn’t at least provide some kind of teaser regarding the same especially with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s multiplayer reveal happening on August 11th.
Speaking of Sledgehammer Games’ first person shooter, would it be a Microsoft presser without some kind of trailer? It’s likely that Sledgehammer will announce the timed exclusive DLC that’s become a tradition for Xbox releases of Call of Duty. Just how much will be revealed beyond that – including maps, weapons, etc – is up in the air.
"Quantum Break will be the game to look out for at Gamescom since Remedy Entertainment is promising a smattering of news to tide us over till the game's 2015 release."
Aside from the Halo series, Microsoft will no doubt showcase more gameplay from titles like Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, etc. Quantum Break will be the game to look out for at Gamescom since Remedy Entertainment is promising a smattering of news to tide us over till the game’s 2015 release. We’ll hopefully receive some new details on Crackdown as well and finally understand just what the hell the game is. Is it too much to expect news on Platinum Games’ Scalebound as well especially since we didn’t really learn that much at E3? Here’s hoping.
On a side note, remember Rise of the Tomb Raider? It seemed fairly odd that the game would be announced at Microsoft’s E3 presser of all places. It’s highly unlikely the game re-emerges at Gamescom but we’re still hopeful that it at least makes an appearance.
Evolve has been delayed and Turtle Rock Studios is teasing the beta for consoles. Since the beta is exclusive to the Xbox One, this week would be as good a time as any to announce when it will be happening. Perhaps we can look forward to the reveal of the third monster? At this point, Evolve has become a game we want to play more than see and considering there’s still so much of the game we haven’t seen yet, that’s saying something.
"As it stands, Microsoft is in a fairly comfortable spot going into Gamescom 2014."
Though many of us would gloss over Kinect news, expect Microsoft to finally reveal pricing and a release date for the standalone version of the motion camera on Xbox One. Now let’s move on.
Of all the things Microsoft stole our hearts with at E3, it was undoubtedly the ID@Xbox showcase that stood out the most. The animated platformer Cuphead; the rogue-like dungeon crawler Below – which may finally get a release date at Gamescom; the Xbox One port of Threes; Plague Inc. Evolved; Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and many other quirky titles demand more details. We’d also hope that other indie standouts like Inside and Ori & The Blind Forest receive more information, even if it comes down to a simple release window.
Then there is cloud gaming. Microsoft have been pushing the so called power of the cloud for a while now. They have showcased the potential of the technology with a couple of demonstrations in the past. Microsoft can seize this opportunity and showcase something running directly on the Xbox One. With Xbox One losing a few exclusives like Dead Rising 3, now is the time for Microsoft to let their competitors know that they own the cloud turf.
As it stands, Microsoft is in a fairly comfortable spot going into Gamescom 2014. In reality, it’s still fairly behind the PlayStation 4 in terms of sales. E3 2014 was good for getting the momentum going but Microsoft has to continue this trend and effectively market its Autumn releases while promoting future products. Can it accomplish all this with a short Gamescom presser? We’ll find out later this week.