E3 Day One Round-up - Sponsored by Argos

E3 Day One Round-up

E3 weekend round-up: huge details on FIFA 18, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and new console Xbox One X!

The biggest show on the gaming calendar is finally underway in Los Angeles, and delivered a blockbuster weekend – just as we predicted last week. E3’s opening press conferences covered publishers Electronic Arts, Microsoft, and Bethesda, and all three had treats up their sleeves: most notably a new Xbox. Here’s the most exciting news from Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017’s opening weekend.

Don't forget that if any of these announcements get your pulse racing, head on over to Argos for 3% cashback on all game and console orders and pre-orders!

Xbox One X - Revealed

Next Xbox confirmed with a 7 November release date

For months Microsoft has been bigging up its latest console, known only as ‘Project Scorpio’ until late on Sunday night. At its official E3 press conference, we finally learned its official name: Xbox One X. Like last year’s PS4 Pro, it’s an upgrade on the existing current-get machine. Technical types out there will marvel at its six teraflops of GPU, 12 GB of memory, and 326GB/s of memory bandwidth.

Its big graphical attraction is being able to run games, media and Blu-rays in native 4K. And, despite being trumpeted as the most powerful Xbox of all time, it’s also the smallest in terms of physical size. More than 40 games are already confirmed to have Xbox One X support, from new titles such as Madden NFL 18 and Assassin’s Creed: Origins – more on that tomorrow – to existing faves like Hitman and Gears Of War 4.

The console is released on 7 November, at a cost of £449.

FIFA 18 brings back The Journey, but also offers varied AI

Fictional character Alex Hunter became a household name on the back of FIFA 17’s story mode The Journey, and he’s back for more in FIFA 18. Hunter is now fully customisable right down to his hairstyle, and his second season will encompass the world of football, including the USA and Brazil. He also shares scenes with cover star Cristiano Ronaldo – who provided motion capture, and therefore has his unique running style and other traits in the game.

AI improvements include attacking and defensive playstyles for each team, which should eliminate the lack of variety that made career mode a grind last season. And – again as we predicted last week – penalties have been fixed and made much less punishing. FIFA has set out its stall for another strong campaign upon its 29 September release; later this week we’ll explore how longstanding rival Pro Evolution Soccer fares in comparison.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront 2 offers a Rey of light

There was much to love about 2015 shooter Star Wars Battlefront – particularly for fans who’d waited years to play as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker in a videogame with Hollywood production values. Its Achilles heel, however, was a lack of any narrative single-player mode. You could only play it online. That limited its appeal, as it gave you two choices over the long term: get good, or get bored.

Thankfully, developer DICE has learned its lesson, and sequel Star Wars Battlefront II will feature an offline campaign mode. You play Iden Versio, the leader of an Imperial commando unit, teaming up with Rebels who aren’t only human – alien species such as Quarrens and Sullustans are on your side too. Returning online players won’t be disappointed either, with Darth Maul and Rey added to the list of playable characters. The game lands in stores on November 17.

Need for Speed and Forza are back

Racing games finally got cool again, thanks to Need For Speed and Forza

Remember the Burnout series? For most driving fans its mix of speedy races and spectacular crashes has never been surpassed, but Need For Speed Payback might be about to change that. A first look showcased incredibly realistic Koenigseggs and Ford GTs screeching through an open-world environment, and getting flung through the air in supremely destructive slo-mo. There’s lots to be excited about come 10 November.

Those with a more purist view of racers will instead have their interested piqued by Forza Motorsport 7. Built specifically to demonstrate the powers of Xbox One X, its mix of vehicles look uncannily real, and footage of a rain-drenched spin around the Nurburgring suggests the best weather effects you’ve ever seen in a game of this type. With 700 cars and 30 tracks, it’ll keep petrolheads hooked long after its 3 October release date.

Commander Shepherd creators sing a new Anthem

Mass Effect developer Bioware is moving into new territory with the announcement of new game Anthem. Due in 2018, the shooter appears to be more like Titanfall, Destiny and Horizon: Zero Dawn than its past projects. Intricate details remain top secret, but from a brief glimpse it appears to be set in a futuristic world, with up to four players able to unite and form a badass enemy-blasting unit.

Exosuits which can be modded using unique weapons and abilities are the major attraction here – again, hardly a new concept, but Bioware’s accomplished history should guarantee fresh ideas within this highly competitive genre. And if none of that suckers you in, we have just one word for you: jetpacks.

Skyrim is coming to the Nintendo Switch

Skyrim is coming to Switch, with a dash of Zelda

The weekend’s first Nintendo Switch reveal came as a colossal surprise: epic open-worlder The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim is coming to the new red-and-blue machine. That’s right, Bethesda’s iconic RPG is now playable on the go, or at least will be from ‘autumn’ onwards. (There’s no exact release date as yet.)

In a bizarre but cool twist, you’ll be able to unlock Link's outfit, sword, and shield from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to use in-game, if you own the amiboo for that character. Other details are light – indeed, developer Bethesda’s press conference was a disappointment – but having that whole world in your hands should feel incredible.

Make sure you use code ARGOSE3ROUNDUP to give you an additional entry into Argos's exclusive competition to win a 55in Samsung TV and a Nintendo Switch bundle, HERE!

About Ben Wilson...

Ben has been playing video games since the Amstrad CPC 464+ era, and writing about them for 16 years. He’s the longest-serving editor in Official PlayStation Magazine history, and these days splits his obsessive words across The Guardian, FourFourTwo and GamesRadar+, to name three.

Posted on 12 Jun 2017  |  Posted in  Games & Toys
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