Once a year one of the largest gaming events sets the stage of what's to come. And XBOX has always put on a good showing with exclusives, releases of popular game franchises, XBOX firsts and much more. This year the concept behind XBOX's E3 show seems to be more about finally bridging the gap between console and PC gamers. But more on that later. Here are the highlights I found most interesting ... so far.
Sega is bringing one of the most popular RPG franchises of all time to the XBOX One console and PC. Phantasy Star originally started on the Master System decades ago and has since been declared one of Japan's best role playing games for a lot of reasons. And most RPGs today got their influence from Sega's RPG franchise. Unlike Phantasy Star releases before it, Phantasy Star Online 2 on XBOX One is getting released first in the western part of the world. Offering cross-platform gaming between XBOX One and PC gamers Phantasy Star Online 2 looks to be setting the stage and standards for other RPGs to follow sometime in 2020.
Forza has been XBOX's response to PlayStation's Gran Turismo series since the original XBOX console. It has since reached seven Motorsport releases and spawned four Horizon releases. Considered one of the best simulated racing/driving games Forza Horizon 4 is getting a rather unusual expansion pack. Forza and Lego have teamed up to offer the Forza Horizon experience on a Lego brick level. Next week, Forza Horizon 4 gets a Lego expansion pack called Lego Speed Champions. What impressed me about this was what was presented on XBOX's E3 stage during the expansion reveal. Check out this image below.
That, my friends, is a life-size replica of a McClaren Senna that made it's debut appearance during the Forza Horizon 4 expansion pack revealing with working lights and doors open. That's some impressive work.
Halo is coming back but not how you would expect. Along with game releases XBOX revealed a new console code named Project Scarlett. A video introducing the starts of Halo Infinite was shown. A few more game trailers and then the new console was mentioned. The new XBOX is slated for a holiday 2020 release with Halo Infinite being released with it. While there may not be a new Halo coming to XBOX One there is one coming next year for those that plan to pick up the new XBOX next year.
The one reveal that I was waiting on the most was Gearbox's Borderlands 3 showing which showed more game play footage. Revealed at the end of the trailer was final proof that turned a rumor into a reality. Owners of Borderlands 2 (Steam) and Borderlands the Handsome Jack Collection (XBOX/PS) received a new DLC expansion called "Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary" that ties the story line between Borderlands 2 and the upcoming Borderlands 3 game. This expansion DLC is available for free from now (June 9) until July 8. The expansion includes a new weapon tier beyond Legendary and the character level cap has been upped to 80. New players to Borderlands 2 will automatically be bumped up to level 30 to enjoy the new DLC. Also, XBOX One owners can now get Borderlands Handsome Jack Collection for free. What better time to dig into the Borderlands series than now?
One thing that XBOX has been committed to for a while now is creating a friendly online gaming experience no matter how or what you play whether it be a computer game or on an XBOX console. XBOX Game Pass is XBOX's way of getting to play games without having to pay for each game. Similar to how Netflix relates to movies Game Pass allows XBOX owners to download and play over 100 games through a subscription service. If you like the game and wish to purchase it while it part of the Game Pass service you can at a discounted price.
This year at E3, Game Pass is now available for Windows PC so PC and XBOX gamers can play together in a cross platform atmosphere. $15 per month nets a Live Gold, XBOX Game Pass, and XBOX Game Pass for Windows all in one package deal. Not a bad price considering just the Game Pass alone on XBOX is $10 a month.
Other highlights include a new Minecraft spin-off called Minecraft Dungeons. From what footage I watched it seemed like a Diablo-style game done in the art style of Minecraft. Up to 4 players will be able to join a co-op and go exploring. For those that like scary games there was footage shown on a new game called Blair Witch. Too scary for me. And Keanu Reeves made an appearance to showcase a game he is in called Cyberpunk 2077 which looked like a lot of fun!
Those were my favorite highlights of E3 on June 9th. If you watched it be sure to share your favorite highlights as I would love to hear your thoughts and favorites about what was shown.