[quote]Microsoft’s Loftis on Xbox gaming and Scorpio
Story is just as important as technology for Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis. The latest example: the recently-launched ReCore, starring a resourceful female lead character who becomes a science-fiction heroine.
“I have a huge commitment to always looking for characters that are a little bit off the beaten path,” says Loftis. “Just to give more people something to emotionally relate to in our portfolio.”
ReCore, which launched this week for Xbox One and Windows 10, features Joule, the member of a small colony of humans departing Earth to form a new world on the desert planet Far Eden. The colonists enter cryo-sleep for 200 years while the planet is terraformed into a more hospitable environment for life.
The game starts with Joule awakening from a deep sleep investigating why the planet hasn’t changed and how CoreBots, robots sent to the planet to help humans, have been corrupted.
ReCore is a third-person action game Loftis says follows “the Metroid Prime tradition” of platforming games, where moving through Far Eden is as important as the enemies players face.
The reference to Metroid Prime is no accident. Armature Studio, developers behind ReCore, worked with Nintendo on the company’s classic Metroid Prime series. Microsoft also recruited Keiji Inafune, who worked on famous video game franchises including Mega Man.
The CoreBots serve as both companions, such as Joule’s dog-like partner Mack, and as foes Joule can vanquish. Joule can retrieve Energy Cores from the bots and use those to strengthen Mack or her gear.
“The team worked hard to pack as much charm and story into every character and every prop in the universe that they possibly could,” said Loftis of ReCore.
ReCore is part of a wide spectrum of Xbox One/PC games arriving this year and beyond. Later this month, racing title Forza Horizon 3 launches, while cooperative shooter Gears of War 4 lands next month. But there are also some interesting games falling outsidetraditional genres, including Cuphead, an action title with visuals reminiscent of a 1930’s cartoon.
“Our goal is for Xbox is to provide the broadest spectrum of games,” says Loftis. “The number one thing we hear when we talk to gamers … is choice.”
Next year will be big for Xbox, as it rolls out its Project Scorpio console to compete with Sony and the rival PlayStation 4. The more powerful PS4 Pro will launch in November.
Loftis says Microsoft is already exploring virtual reality options and games for Xbox, which will support VR with Scorpio, as well as prepping titles for the boost in visual quality. “Any games we’re making that we’re launching in the Scorpio time frame, we’re making sure they can natively render at 4K.”[/quote]