Next up at my Xbox booth tour at E3 2015, Microsoft invited me to come meet the developers of Rise of the Tomb Raider and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, two of their biggest upcoming games this fall on Xbox One. During these private sessions I got to learn more about each game, here are the key takeaways!


11108260_10103463199931652_2296267726035436580_n.jpgRise of the Tomb Raider 

The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider by developer Crystal Dynamics was a big moment in the franchise’s history, as it represented a fresh start and the chance to try something bold and new. Now with Rise of the Tomb Raider, our beloved tomb excavator, Lara Croft, is back for another edge of your seat, cinematic adventure!

The first and most important thing I learned when listening to the developers is how they’ve listened to fans wanting the series to get back to its roots of tomb exploration and treasure hunting. Not only are tombs back in this game, but they’re bigger and more challenging than ever before. You’ll explore vast, awe-inspiring catacombs where you’ll need to rely on Lara’s archaeological skills to decipher ancient symbols and solve complex puzzles. 

Another aspect that really stood out during the demo walkthrough is just how beautiful this game looks. The developers have painstakingly created all the art assets down the most minute details (like the fabrics on Lara’s clothes or the pores on her face), and it’s all brought to life in vivid detail with new lighting techniques and breathtaking environments. If you’re a fan of the series, or adventure games, trust me when I say this: you won’t want to miss Rise of the Tomb Raider when it releases this fall!

Gears of War Xbox One.jpgGears of War: Ultimate Edition

A little while later, it was time to meet the developers of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. This is a remastered version of the original Gears of War–the one that started this epic saga–and features gorgeous enhanced 1080p graphics, all running a blistering fast 60 frames-per-second.

What impressed me with the demo is, on top of modernizing the graphics, the developers have also refined the game controls and user interface, basing them on Gears of War 3. This means you’ll be reliving this incredible story with an improved visual interface and even better responsiveness with the controls.

I also learned that multiplayer is returning in a huge way, with 19 classic Gears of War maps remastered in high-definition on Xbox One. They are also adding new multiplayer modes to expand the gameplay, including Team Death Match, King of the Kill, and even a 2 vs. 2 mode that was created by the Gears of War community! Of course, all your favourite multiplayer modes are back as well, such as Assassination, Execution, Warzone, and Annex.

Well, that wrapped up my time with Microsoft at E3 2015! They showed off an extremely impressive line-up of games, so Xbox One fans: you have a lot to look forward to this holiday (and beyond!)

Are you caught up with the latest news on Rise of the Tomb Raider and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition? Be sure to share your thoughts on these games and announcements in the comments section below!

For more E3 related information visit Best Buy Canada’s E3 Gaming Page

Editor Video Gaming
I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player. I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. See my latest gaming adventures on my Twitter channel.


  1. I’ve been playing the Gears of War beta the last few days, and I have to say, it’s a really fantastic remastering thus far.  There are glitches and issues that are present with any beta, but on the whole it’s been a fantastic experience.


    One thing I will say to anyone going in, don’t expect the fluidity and speed of Gears of War 3 – it’s very clear that this remaster was built off of the first Gears of War in that movement is not as fast, the cover leap and chainsaw animations are based off the original game, so they’re a bit slower and a bit more disjointed than what you are used to with the later GoW titles.  That also said, the first GoW multiplayer was one of the best experiences I ever had with the franchise, apart from how jittery the controls could be at times and the lag due to it always being player-hosted games vice dedicated servers.  There is also no frag-tags on the walls or floors (you can tag other players), no chainsaw battles and no mantle-kicks.  Again, this is all because it’s based on the original GoW.  Perhaps we’ll see similar remastering of the other titles, but really, with backwards compatibility coming, there might not really be a need for it.  Both GoW2 and GoW3 were extremely beautiful games in their own right and don’t really need much of an update (though I would be extremely satisfied with a remastered GoW2 muiltiplayer experience).


    Overall, it’s a fantastic experience so far, and I am extremely happy with all the folks at the Coalition for the work they put into this title.  I can’t wait to experience the story again, and if this level of detail for a remaster is any indication, Gears of War 4 is going to blow people’s minds when it comes out.



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