Out of the big 3 of press conferences Microsoft did not choose to step up to the plate. However, Microsoft had a very strong start and quickly gained momentum by revealing Halo 4 gameplay. Master Chief is in search of a ship that crash landed as it flew over his head. When the gameplay starts we were greeted with the trusted Battle Riffle (my favorite gun) and shortly after a familiar enemy, The Covenant. At this point I had yet to be impressed as Halo 4 seemed like it was just a graphically better Halo game, but quickly I was proved wrong as I saw new and interesting things. A strange red beam takes out the last Covenant as he disintegrates directly in front of you. As Chief pushes forward he as ambushed by a group of mechanical AI dogs. Once those are cleared another new enemy appears as well as a new gun. The new gun as equipped reminded me of something out of transformers and looked bad ass, Cortana recognizes that the tech is Forerunner. This new gun looks sick as does all the new Forerunner enemies. I was not sold on Halo 4 given that Bungie was no longer part of the project, but after seeing this at E3 I am sold on buying it. But don’t take my word for it, watch it for yourself and see.

Next up to the plate is the new Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Now I can honestly say that I am not the biggest Tom Clancy or Splinter Cell fan, but what I saw in six and half minutes blew me away.  The gameplay starts out slow with Sam carrying a body into a tent where he makes quick work of the men in there. Once he emerges from the tent he slips into another one and takes out another guy. Sam than starts trying to track all the nearby soldiers in the area putting markers above their head. What happens next can only be described as a masterpiece; Sam quickly rushes out of the tent where the game mixes slow motion shooting take downs, physical take downs, and real time fluid movement. In a blink of an eye Sam kills 6 soldiers and continues to move forward toward his target with the E3 crowd cheering over what they just witnessed.  Because this is the Microsoft E3 press conference Kinect is always a heavy factor, with Splinter Cell: Blacklist the Kinect will use voice recognition in order to shout at enemies and attract the attention of soldiers. In this case it was put to use to lure a soldier where Sam was hanging in order to be thrown off the building. Kinect is also used to voice command a missile that takes out a truck with a mounted turret on it. The video wraps itself up when Sam blows up the door that the target is in, takes out the soldiers inside, and starts the cutscene to wrap of the video.

Side Note: For those of you that do not know the voice that you hear for Sam is the new voice of Sam Fisher. Michael Ironside will not be doing the voice in this installment and will be replaced by Eric Johnson. Splinter Cell fans give the video a listen and see how you feel about your new Sam Fisher.

Staying on the Kinect bandwagon we find ourselves looking to EA Sports for the next big steps in Kinect. Voice Recognition will be a factor in the next FIFA game as you can use your voice to substitute players on the fly and even argue with the refs’ calls.

Shortly after came Madden where Joe Montana took the stage and with the Kinect allowed him to call audible plays at the line and any play that he wanted. Joe seemed really impressed at what he was able to do using the Kinect. In fact Joe seemed so excited I began to wonder if he had ever even played a Madden game before. Madden with Kinect voice recognition will be dropping August 28th

After that Fable: The Journey was shown, but really who cares?

Just to remind you that the game is there in presence if not in gameplay, Epic’s new Gears of War trailer is shown. Nothing really that special in the trailer, but I was happy to see they chose A Perfect Circle as the music behind the trailer.

A new Forza game is in the works, and that is always exciting. The Forza series is at the peak of all that is right with driving simulators. Forza Horizon on the other hand looks like Turn 10 Studios are changing it up making this game look more arcadish possibly in order to compete with the rest of the racing market. Check out the video below and see what you think.

Kinect comes back to remind people that Kinect is the one device that you can use to greatly improve your fitness. Nike+ Kinect Training will allow you to work out and work your body while giving real feedback, it will also pair you up with people via Xbox Live that you can train with, and remind you what a fat ass you’ve been when you slack off. For those people who are fitness freaks or need a reason to start trying to get into shape this will be great for them. For the rest of us who enjoy being a lazy blob and want to enjoy gaming from the comfort of sitting down pay no mind to this.

It is no surprise that Microsoft wants to become Apple. The integrated directions that Microsoft has been taking shows just that. So what’s the next step for Microsoft at an E3 press conference? Why that would be SmartGlass. Microsoft will now allow you to take your mobile device, tablet, PC, and Xbox and integrate them all together. The presentation started out slow showing that watching Game of Thrones on your Xbox will appear on your smartphone as you watching Game of Thrones. Amazing isn’t it? But what was cool is that the tech wants to be able to incorporate multiple platforms into one experience. The best example is that while playing Madden you could use a tablet to log into your game experience and change or create new plays in Madden as well as using the tablet to pick the intended receiver to make the catch. Also using Halo 4 as an example this tech will allow you to jump into multiplayer sessions which will log you out of your single player experience. I don’t know why I would be using a tablet when I am already playing Halo 4, or why my friend wouldn’t just send me an invite to tell me that he wants to play only using Xbox but we’ll let that go for now. If you are interested in learning more about SmartGlass look no further than this video.

Internet Explorer is finally coming to Xbox and it only took them this long into the life of the system to get there. Yes Sony has already had one for ages and while I am interested in seeing what IE will do for Xbox, I would like to think that most of us have a smart phone that is much faster than running IE on your big screen. Of course this will be using the Kinect for full functionality for those who cannot manage to find their controllers complete with voice and movement functionality.

SmartGlass will work with devices that already exist on the market

Tomb Raider makes a very warm welcome to the conference with new gameplay footage. To put it simply this game looks like Uncharted but harder……..and on crack. It has that element of Drake that everything just always goes wrong, but without the witty one liners and crack up antics of Drake. We see Lara using a bow and arrow to silently take down bad guys and after some gunfights with amazing destructible environments, Lara takes to crossing a strong river. She looks like she’s going to make it but is quickly swept away as she struggles down the rapids shooting away debris and is dropped into the glass cockpit of a plane. The glass starts to crack and she has moments to reach a parachute before she dropped and struggles to open the parachute. While trying to reach the ground she is bashed against some trees and she finally lands only to look haggard and beat to shit. This will be one of the contenders for game of the year in 2013 and you can see why in this video.

Now for some new IP’s first up we have Ascend: New Gods which can only be described as bloody. I am reminded of other title when I look at this the one that comes to mind is God of War just not as fast. With some of the battles being with enemies of a much larger scale than your character. I watched this and some other gameplay during E3 and I don’t see myself getting this, but check out the video and see what you think.

Next is LocoCycle, which looks like the cycles from Tron and really not much is told from the trailer gameplay wise.

Last we have Matter, this trailer also doesn’t tell much about the game. I am picturing a futuristic Marble Madness type game.

Zombies, who doesn’t love zombies? Well I for sure like them and Resident Evil 6 makes an appearance at this conference with ass kicking Leon fighting his way through hordes of zombies. The setting is in a city that reminds me of Tokyo or something close to that. And from a gameplay point of view the element hasn’t changed much from the last 2 installments of the series. What does change is the scale, no longer are you one or 2 people against an army of zombies in a small and remote setting. Instead you are in a much larger setting with all hell breaking loose. As Leon makes his way through buildings and makes his way outside a plane crashes by a nearby building sending a wall of fire his way. As the landscape behind him burns away in a fiery display or cars and carnage as Leon rushes to get to the helicopter to safety. After the pilot gets infected Leon takes the helm of the Helicopter as he and his friend crash land into a huge mess of zombies only to say, “Not my lucky day.”

Next up we are graced by a young lady trying to show of a new Kinect game Wreckateer. This is a game where you use your body to catapult stones at castles and objects to rack up high scores and high points. This is something I’m sure kids/families will love; I will be passing this by.

Note: Next video does not come with earplugs. If you feel your ears bleed please stop watching and skip to the next part.

So I don’t know what to make of the next part. The next game on showcase is South Park: The Stick of Truth. But what is shown in the trailer doesn’t really explain much. Matt and Trey explain that they want to create a game that feels like an episode of South Park, but from what the trailer shows I don’t see any character that represents you. It feels to me more like when they refer to the new kid in the trailer that it’s more like I don’t control a single character that interacts with the cast, but I control the whole experience as an outside presence. In the video shown at E3 there is trailer and gameplay mixed in but I can’t tell the difference of what is gameplay and what isn’t. Matt and Trey also summed up the whole Microsoft E3 press conference by saying, “How many times have you been watching an episode of South Park and thought, I would like to be able to watch this on my Television while hooked into my mobile device which is being controlled by my tablet device which is hooked into my oven all while sitting in the refrigerator.” Matt and Trey gave a presentation long enough to say that they wanted to make a game that again felt like watching an episode of South Park, and that they had to finally map out the whole town and had difficulty doing so at first. They didn’t stay long as they used the first excuse they could to GTFO and from there the conference moved onto bigger and better things.

And what could be bigger and better than Usher. Yes that’s right Usher took the stage in order to show off his dance moves that would be incorporated into the new Dance Central 3. I believe most of the crowd was shocked to see the man on the screen talking about how Dance Central 3 has his new song scream and featured some of the choreography that he uses for performances and in music videos. But don’t take my word for it, watch the video yourself.

Warning: The Gamer’s Abstract is not responsible if you feel the need to get up and dance during this next video.

At this point I couldn’t think that it could get any better after that performance, but there was one thing that was missing. That’s right another reminder that Call of Duty will be dropping map packs on the Xbox exclusively before any other platform for Black Ops 2. Followed by gameplay footage of single player, because people actually buy Call of Duty for the single player. (actually I would be one of the few that would) This excellent display of gameplay footage stretched out the rest of Microsoft’s time slot, and filled with protecting the president while the whole world around you goes to hell. Taking down planes with stinger missiles, a sniper rifle that shoots through anything and outlines bodies, drones that sweep areas for you and kills anyone nearby, and lots of shit blowing up. Take a look for yourself.

Well that wraps up the coverage of E3 Microsoft. Where you impressed by what they brought to the table? What did you like about it, and what didn’t you like? Please leave your comments in the section below, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook

For those of you interested in watching the whole thing

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