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Microsoft E3 Press Conference Round Up: Gears 4, Halo 5, Backwards Compatibility, Forza 6, Fallout 4 Mods, Thieves of Sea, Recore and More!

Microsoft concluded its initial E3 2015 presentation in spectacular fashion, with some pretty intense gameplay footage of the much-awaited fresh addition into the Gears of War franchise.

The conference has certainly set the stage for the Xbox One, as it was a dominant show with plenty of exclusives, and many other titles being freshly revealed.

The show kicked off with none other than Halo 5, a presentation of the game’s singleplayer campaign, followed by a display of the new immersive multiplayer.

Halo 5: Guardians’ singleplayer gameplay looked flashy, unique, and rather different from previous Halo games. There were a few scripted events, but the true purpose was to show off the co-op and tactical aspect of Halo 5, with up to 4 players playing the story mode together.

The screens faded, and Halo 5 was quickly replaced by a trailer of Recore, an exclusive title for the Xbox One coming Spring 2016. There wasn’t any gameplay footage, but it set the tempo and setting for the title, which we expect to be an action-adventure game.

The best was yet to come though, as Xbox boss Phil Spencer stepped on stage and announced what was probably the best news for Xbox One users all night long: backwards compatibility for Microsoft’s flagship console.

The news and excitement smoothly transitioned into the reveal of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller – a sophisticated piece of hardware that had interchangeable buttons, a new D-pad, and many more additional features. It was certainly an intriguing gadget, but we’d like to see how practical the enhancements actually are in live demos.

Fallout 4 was already announced yesterday by Bethesda, and Todd Howard once again stepped on stage to aid what seemed to be very familiar gameplay footage.

Of course, it all changed later on when the protagonist battled a Deathclaw in an exo-suit styled mech, but the real big news was left till the end. Fallout 4 on Xbox One will have the luxury of being able to take use of mods on the Xbox One – all mods developed on PC will be available for free.

EA’s COO stepped in and gave us some half-decent news of EA Access. Frankly speaking, it was the low point of the entire conference. Thankfully, all ended well with the exciting reveal trailer for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.

The cartoony trailer was quickly left behind and on the screen was black-and-white footage of what seemed like a documentary – a documentary of the car company Ford, that is. After a brief history lesson, a spectacular Ford GT model smoothly lowered on stage, and Henry Ford III appeared, presenting us with Forza 6.

What followed was obviously my personal moment of the E3 premiere so far – the confirmation of Dark Souls 3, and the dark, gloomy, vague, and deeply enticing reveal trailer. The trailer ended with what seemed like the Giant Lord, holding a massive cleaver in its left-hand, sending shivers down the spine of all Souls fans.

The dark fantasy atmosphere changed into a sad, empty view of what seemed to be the abandoned city of New York. It was Ubisoft’s turn to step on the podium, where they announced the exclusive beta test for Tom Clancy’s The Division on Xbox One, starting this December.

The news was coupled with Rainbow Six Siege, which will come with a free copy of Rainbow Six Vegas and Vegas 2.

DayZ creator Dean Hall reminded us of what Australian accents sound like, as the Kiwi stepped on stage to reveal a teaser of a new title called Ion, which will be coming to Xbox One and PC.

The next set of games all belonged to ID@Xbox, with attractive titles such as Beyond Eyes, Tacoma, and Ashen, all mesmerizing and eye-catching, and a display of the indie game development Microsoft and Xbox team are helping in completing.

The conference then jumped on to another exclusive in Rise of the Tomb Raider, with gameplay footage of Lara Croft traversing in icy tundra and snowing mountains. The gameplay mechanics seemed a bit too familiar for my taste, with only the graphics having seemingly gotten an upgrade.

The much talked about Battletoads also got some love, though not exactly in the same fashion as many might’ve expected. Legendary game developing company Rare revealed its Rare Replay pack, a collection of 30 classic Rare games in celebration of their 30th Anniversary.

They didn’t limit themselves to just that though, as Sea of Thieves took the screens – a very interesting Xbox One exclusive adventure game that seems to have MMO features.

Fable Legends’ trailer came up next, though there was nothing truly spectacularly new to announce. It turned out to be a perfect smokescreen for what was arguably the most exciting, coolest, and highest point of the show.

Kudo Tsunoda with his long hair and epic beard stood in the center podium, announcing Xbox’s partnership with Valve’s VR headset, and how every Oculus Rift will be coming with an Xbox One Controller.

This was just the buildup to a stunning display of Microsoft’s HoloLens technology with Minecraft. Saxs Perrson of Microsoft Studios displayed the VR technology in a fashion that got the audience applauding in awe, as he smoothly shifted his game from the screen to a table. Saxs then went on to manipulate the Minecraft world on the table through hand gestures and voice commands, displaying the power of HoloLens.

The final presentation was carried out by Gears of War co-creator Rod Fergusson, who detailed the Gears of War Ultimate Edition, and when he was just about to walk off the stage, he decided the audience (and entire world) was nice enough to be treated with a neat gameplay footage of Gears 4.

Microsoft has made a strong start to the E3 2015, and the obvious high points were the Xbox One backward compatibility and the brilliant HoloLens. The low point was certainly EA’s introduction, but otherwise this was a fantastic presentation by Microsoft and Xbox One personnel.