Microsoft kicked Gamescom 2015 off with a whole host of action-packed gaming and hardware news.
We'll be in the front lines at Cologne this week, twiddling joysticks and aligning crosshairs, but for now, here are the most important bits from Microsofts opening Xbox press conference:
We fell head-over-heels in love with the original Crackdown's mental, hectic, no-holds-barred-shoot-everything-that-moves-and-jump-from-skyscraper-to-skyscraper-aggggghhhhh-this-is-amazing gameplay, which is why we're more than a little happy to see the third iteration in the series bringing completely destructive environments with it. Funnest multiplayer ever? It's beginning to look like it.
DVR and PC cross-play
Games weren't the only thing Microsoft showed off at Gamescom. DVR functionality for the Xbox will be landing next year, letting users who have hooked their consoles up to an aerial record programmes straight to the hard drive.
Windows 10 cross-play compatibility is also on the cards, letting PC and console gamers play together and interact with each other seamlessly. Purchased content and games saves on either platform will cary over to the other too.
Homefront: The Revolution
A new Homefront trailer made its debut alongside news of a multiplayer beta set to open up to gamers this winter. Gameplay footage shows off a gut-churning motorcycle ride along rooftops in a grim grey-brown dystopia, with plenty of bullet-spraying first-person gunplay and explosions to boot.
Dark Souls 3
We were all tantalised with a mere CG trailer at E3, but now we've got some actual gameplay footage to sink our teeth into. Gothic castles, dark demons and spooky skeletons are all present and accounted for, accompanied by plenty of fire and sword-slashing goodness.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The thrilling ice wall climb footage from E3 blew us away (helped, in part, by the ridiculously loud sound system), which is perhaps why we found the latest Gamescom gameplay footage of Miss Croft to be rather dull. Skulk around, throw bottles to distract enemies, shoot said enemies in the head, repeat. We're sure we'll enjoy it nonetheless, but we were hoping for some more exciting gameplay.
Halo 5: Guardians
We can't wait to strap into our MJOLNIR armour and enter the Halo world once agin later this year, and the multiplayer gameplay shown off at Microsoft's Gamescon conference - which consisted of highlights from a match between two pro gamer teams - was more than enough to get our trigger fingers itching.
What we could definitely have done without however, was the awful e-sports commentary which, as with any gaming commentary, made us cringe hard enough to pull several muscles. Please guys, just shut the hell up and let us enjoy our games in peace. Thx.
This upcoming Xbox One exclusive has some of the cheesiest dialogue we've heard in a long, long time. It's so awful in fact, that it manages to make a skilled warrior, fighting with a gigantic dragon partner, into something incredibly lame. Given its "holiday 2016" release date, we're hopeful for a massive cheese reduction. We'll just have to wait and see.
Yaaaaay. Don't hold back your enthusiasm folks. You can pay money for a miniature keyboard which awkwardly slots into the bottom of your controller. Or you could, you know, just use a regular full-sized USB keyboard or the SmartGlass app, and type far more comfortably. Your call.