There’s no denying that Microsoft’s E3 presentation was a crowd-pleaser. From the proper reveal of the Xbox One X (previously codenamed, Project Scorpio) to the number of new titles launching with full Xbox One (and Windows 10) exclusivity or timed launch exclusivity, there was a lot to get excited about. Despite its extended runtime though which lasted for over 90 minutes, there were quite a few things missing that Xbox gamers were hoping to see. Here are three series that were noticeably absent.
Halo may be one of Microsoft’s most successful franchises but besides the quick glimpse of its main protagonist, Master Chief (see above image), in the Xbox One S trailer, there was no mention of any future video game being in the works. Microsoft is obviously working on future Halo games for the main series, and likely its Halo Wars spin-off as well, but the lack of any teaser suggests it won’t be coming until late 2018 at the earliest.
Another strange absence was Tomb Raider which had become a quasi-Xbox franchise with the previous entry in the rebooted series, Rise of the Tomb Raider. The developers had stated a while back that Lara Croft wouldn’t be making much of an impact at E3 this year but many were still expecting something relating to the series even if it was just a quick title card in a montage of other announcements.
Part of the reason for holding back on the game reveal could be that it’s likely not ready for release before next E3 in 2018. This is disappointing though because a 4K Tomb Raider would have been the perfect launch title for the Xbox One X.
While Killer Instinct did get a quick mention during the show’s closing moments, it was only to mention that it would be getting a 4K upgrade for the Xbox One X alongside several other Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive titles. This is extremely worrying for the Microsoft fighting game as its final character is expected to launch later this month and no plans for additional characters or seasons have been announced yet.
Killer Instinct is Microsoft’s first-party fighting game and if a fourth season or a sequel were to be released sometime between now and their next E3 presentation in 2018, they would have announced something during their show today. It’s possible they might be planning a separate announcement somewhere down the line but a more likely scenario is that the company is either abandoning the franchise (the 4K update will be its last hurrah) or is taking a break to rethink its strategy for a reboot in 2018 or 2019.
The latter would be the smartest move as the current iteration of the game has never really attracted the number of gamers that Microsoft probably expected it to due to its overly intimidating controls (combo breaking), complicated sales method (seasons, bundles, and individual purchases), and outdated UI that prevents two players from accessing their purchased content at once (something simpler games like Powerstar Golf can do) and takes a longer than normal time to load. A fresh rethink of the title could be exactly what it needs.