Microsoft’s Gamescom 2017 Conference – The recap + our thoughts

The Gamescom has officially begun, but before the official start Microsoft decided to hold a conference to show all the latest news regarding their new console, the Xbox One X, while also showing some exclusive trailers for their upcoming games. If you don’t feel like watching 90 minutes, don’t worry: neither did I. But we are here to help all the same! We’re gonna write everything that has happened using short sentences and then we’ll give our opinion on what we’ve seen so far. The first trailer that was shown was from Assassin’s Creed Origins, the prequel of the famous Ubisoft saga which, for the occasion, will take place in the ancient Egypt. They, however, chose to show a cinematic trailer, so there was no gameplay shown. A weird choice, considering that the purpose of this conference should be to show the actual capabilities of the console and could have also been used to clarify some aspects of the gameplay. They also give some space to the limited edition of the product (Dawn Of The Creed Edition), which will include a statue of the main character, the steelbook, a world map, the soundtrack, an artbook + some art cards, an amulet and also the season pass + digital deluxe pack. They do show it only for a few seconds though, so again a weird choice made by the Microsoft team.

Next up we have PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, this time with a gameplay trailer. A massive online multiplayer game which is already available for pc via Steam Early Access and already sold pretty well (also thanks to the streamers, we add). Certainly nice to have the option to play it on consoles too, but it’s nothing too impressive (on a technical level, that is) to push players to grab the Xbox One X immediately. After that, there’s our first new announcement of the day: Jurassic World Evolution, based on the famous movie saga. We haven’t seen much from this title but we know that it’s a management simulator, which will allow us to build our own Jurassic Park. Again, could be an interesting title, but not really the type of game that people would play on a console: this genre of games is usually better to play on PC thanks to the better controls. Then again, we don’t know much about this so we could also be positively surprised. Our next game to talk about is the ReCore: Definitive Edition, an improved version of the title released last year which will also include new content. Its release is stated to be on August 29th, right after the Gamescom will end. After that, a short announcement regarding the conversion of three Xbox 360 titles: Disneyland Adventures, Rush: a Disney-Pixar Adventure and Zoo Tycoon. I don’t think there were many people (or even one person, to put it frankly) excited by this announcement, since they weren’t titles THAT interesting, especially for those who were watching this conference, and that they will also lose the kinect support. Yeah, remember the Kinect? Neither do we.

We get to finally see one of the most anticipated titles for the console, Forza Motorsport 7, and… they show a trailer that everyone already saw. Why even show the trailer again? Why not just cook up a new trailer, no matter how short it might have been, but at least it would’ve been NEW. Forza Motorsport 7 is your real ace in the hole, and that’s how you wanna play your card? Obviously, people were disappointed by this decision, as were we. After this debatable decision, they finally talk about the Xbox One X, but again showing the same trailer we saw at E3. They also showcase the new dashboard (which, we have to admit, it looks nice) and also the possibility to transfer games from your Xbox One S to the X model. Now we’re back to showcase games, with a new trailer of State of Decay 2: a short one, but it’s also new and so a pleasant change. State of Decay 2 is also one of the most anticipated games for this system, so they’ll definitely show more of it in the future. We’ll also see an Xbox Version of the MMO World of Tanks, which will also feature a story driven campaign. We will also (finally!) see in Europe the Xbox Design Lab, which allows us to create our own custom gamepads: we’re glad that it’s finally reaching our continent as well.

Back to the videogames: there’s a new trailer for Sea of Thieves, the latest game made from Rare. We’re not sure about this one: Rare it’s not been the same company we used to love for a while now, now we just need to wait if Microsoft’s trust in this new project will have been good or for nothing. After that, Microsoft shows more about the newest version of Minecraft, revealing a special edition of the console. Yep, the most powerful console in the world, and the game that’s been used to promote it (of all games they could have chosen) it’s… Minecraft. No wonder why people were laughing at that one. Not saying that the game is bad of course, but you’ll agree with us that it’s certainly not the best example of what a console can do in terms of power, right? Thankfully they immediately show some muscles with Shadow of War, which will also be included in a Xbox One S bundle. Last 2 games shown are Cuphead (which is actually a platform game I’m waiting with great anticipation for next month) and Surviving Mars, a management simulator made by Paradox where we’ll colonize the Red Planet itself. The conference concludes itself by showing the special “Project Scorpio” edition of the Xbox One X, a limited edition for day one fans which recalls the original Xbox in terms of design. Its price is the same of the original model, so it’s certainly an incentive for collectors worldwide.

So, what can we say to conclude the conference? We can’t believe this lasted more than 90 minutes. With a time length of that kind, you’d expect crazy announcements and details everywhere, but we only got one of the most boring conferences we’ve ever seen in our lives. Microsoft should really learn something from Nintendo and Sony, heck, even Ubisoft learned from their mistakes! Let’s hope that this, combined with the disastrous E3 Conference, won’t end up helping to kill their own console for good. Microsoft needs to step up, and fast. Otherwise it will be left in the dust of their competitors.

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