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7 Cool Things From Microsoft’s 2015 Gamescom Press Conference

The Gamescom festivities kicked off this morning with Microsoft‘s press event and it’s been a busy day following all of the developments for gamers. This isn’t a complaint, but it’s definitely going to take some getting use to the change of pace from how things have been since post-E3. We are back in business, folks! Today’s Gaming Daily will be a little different, as we’ll be running down all of the things we liked about Microsoft’s Xbox press conference. Let’s do dis!

We have a release date for Quantum Break

I was a huge fan of Alan Wake– arguably the most overlooked masterpiece of the last console generation. For this reason, Remedy Entertainment’s upcoming Xbox One third-person action title, Quantum Break, has been on my radar since it was announced back in 2013. After multiple teases and a bit of radio silence from Microsoft, it’s finally been announced that the game will hit store shelves on April 5, 2016, exclusively for the Xbox One. Check out the teaser trailer above, and then rejoin me for an exciting new paragraph afterwards.

I know what you’re thinking: this game looks like Max Payne on bath salts. You’re absolutely right about that, and players are going to have quite a bit of fun messing with this game’s time-bending abilities. There’s a lot more to learn about Quantum Break–still a bit confused about the television show crossover aspect of the game, and honestly, I’m not too sure if I’m keen on the idea. But, I trust Remedy will make this weird feature work to the player’s benefit, so consider my judgement reserved.

Halo 5 Guardians

That sexy Halo 5: Guardians 1TB Xbox One

My lord, that is some attractive hardware. Microsoft announced a 1 TB Halo 5: Guardians-themed Xbox One, available for pre-order starting today. The design is crafted with Halo: Nightfall‘s Spartan Locke in mind. The system comes bundled with the game and a load of unlocked in-game content as well. The system will be available October 20, a week before Halo 5: Guardians releases, so plan your hop into the next-gen (if you haven’t already taken the leap) accordingly.

Microsoft finally showed us what Scalebound is.

We were expecting to hear more about Platinum Games‘ Xbox One exclusive title at E3, so when the title was a no-show at Microsoft’s E3 briefing, it was met with ample disappointment. The original reveal of the game last year left so much to question, and everyone just assumed that we’d be getting a traditional Platinum Games beat-em up experience catered to Xbox One owners. What was unveiled today, however, was 5 minutes of action-RPG gameplay set in what appears to be an open world. Did someone say “uncharted territory”?

Scalebound is packed with the stylish combat and witty banter that Platinum Games is known for, but also features clean visuals, lush environments, RPG elements, and a command system that allows players to delegate combat with a large AI-controlled dragon. The protagonist himself appears to have a trigger of some sort, which allows him to morph into a faster, more bulky, dragon-skinned hulk that can dispatch of enemies with ease. The game will also feature 4-player co-op, but more details on how that will work are yet to be unveiled.


Xbox One backward compatibility

Over 100 games will be backward compatible on the Xbox One starting this November. Yes, we knew that back during E3, but hearing it again makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. This is a free service that will be patched into Xbox One consoles through a firmware update, which will also include a Windows 10-centric UI overhaul. Additionally, Xbox Live’s Games With Gold program will feature backward compatible Xbox 360 titles from here on out. All of Microsoft Studios’ exclusive titles will be backward compatible on day one of the update, with third parties following not too far behind in the following weeks.


Indie games are coming to the Xbox One

One of the best parts of this new generation of gaming has been indie games, and Microsoft is giving a couple of PC indie titles their first run on console. Among those titles is ARK: Survival Evolved, an action-adventure game that throws your naked, bare ass onto an island, and leaves you to figure out the rest. This game has been a hit on PC and will be making waves on the Xbox One late next year.

Among the other indie games headed to the Xbox One is Cities: Skylines, which is set to launch sometime next year as well, and the Kickstarter-funded Bloodstained. All of these games will be coming to the Xbox One ahead of being released on the PS4, though none of the games are said to be exclusive to any platform. Either way, it’s quite swell to see so many indie titles getting direct access to people’s living rooms, and I’m happy Microsoft is back to pushing indies the way they were during the 360 era.

Crackdown 3 boasts fully destructible environments.

Microsoft treated us to some Crackdown 3 gameplay today, most of which showed off the games fully destructible environments. Remember how over-the-top Red Faction: Guerilla‘s destruction was? I’d say this new Crackdown outing about rivals that, with the possibility of tall skyscrapers crashing to the ground from the damage players deal to it. This is made possible by the Microsoft Cloud, which is said to increase the Xbox One’s processing power 20x in order to make the city of Crackdown 100% destructible. Sounds unbelievable, but we’ll be able to be the judge of this soon for ourselves soon.

Halo Wars 2 is coming!

This is something I don’t believe anyone saw coming. Halo Wars is regarded as one of the best RTS games to ever hit consoles by many, but we didn’t think we’d see a follow up to the game after Ensemble Studios was shutdown in 2009. Perhaps we should’ve been more optimistic, because Halo Wars 2 is real and was announced via an announcement teaser, which you can view above. The game will be co-developed by 343 Industries and The Creative Assembly (Alien Isolation, Total War). Not much else to be said on this other than, we’re excited to hear more!

That about wraps it for Tuesday’s Gaming Daily. Always keep it parked here on Nerdist for all of the juicy video game developments, and to chat about our beloved medium, I’m only one tweet away: @Malik4play.

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