So, another E3 behind us and it really was a big improvement over last years pretty lame event. It’s even been confirmed that E3 is going to happen again in a year, probably in the current setup so it’s obvious they got it right this time around.
Anyway, there was a lot of stuff announced at this event. Mostly it ranged from good to AAAAAWWWEEESOME, but there was also the stupid stuff that just makes you go like “What the fuck??!”(Nintendo I’m looking at you -_-)
First up I’d like to take you through the Microsoft Press Conference. I’m gonna gather up all the announcements they made and what I think of them.
Their Press Conference was overall pretty good. They did start it off with this huge endorsement for The Beatles Rockband. In fact the first 15 minutes of the conference is all about the Beatles Rockband. Having this 3 minute long trailer at the start, a brief history into the Beatles, A live “band” playing the game and even getting Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono Lennon to appear on stage for like 20 seconds and then ending it off by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney spend a couple of awkward minutes on stage with very little to say or do..This whole Beatles Rock Band thing didn’t thrill me all that much, maybe because I’ve never played Rock Band and while I’ve wanted to get my hands on it in the past it’s just way to freaking expensive.
Now after what a rather disappointing start to the show (In my opinion), things did get better as Corporate Vice-President John Sheppard announced that the Press conference would be about showing and not telling, so no dry statistic, sales numbers and graphs..which of course led to a pretty powerful cheer from the crowd..They easily are the most boring parts of E3 so skipping over that was just fine and dandy with me.
After that Tony Hawk took the stage with a showing off his brand new Skateboard controller. Kind of like a Wii fit pad, only it’s Skateboard shaped and apparently will make for a much better immersion into being on a skateboard. Now again I’m not really that interested in this. I’m interested in the technology sure, but I’ve never skated in my life and so it just falls outside of my field of interest. Besides I’m pretty sure my rather large body would just crush that controller with ..One jump might just do it…
Next up was the trailer for Modern Warfare 2…….*OMG OMG DROOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL*
ahem….yes well it looks pretty good and that’s not all but we also got to see some guy play it for six minutes and *OMG OMG SOOO PREEETTY SOO AWESOM!”
….sorry everyone, I nerdgasmed. So yeah the game is just out of this world pretty and clearly they mean to take everything that made Modern Warfare good and improve on that. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
After that Yoshinori Kitase came on the stage to talk about Final Fantasy XIII. Nothing special really, but they did show the first footage from Final Fantasy XIII running on Xbox 360 hardware. It didn’t look too bad. I think it looks a little worse then the PS3 videos I’ve seen but that might just be my imagination. Either way this doesn’t really concern me, I’m gonna get it for the PS3 anyways.
Cliff Blezinski and Donald Mustard of Epic games came to visit to show off a new Xbox live arcade title in development. Of course I didn’t really learn a lot about it because Donald’s microphone was busted, it’s a 2D side scroller style game with some pretty nice 3D graphics. It reminded me a lot of games like Metroid and Bionic Commando, so good stuff.
Joyride was up next. It’s a free 2 play racing game that uses your Xbox Avatar as the driver. You can buy some upgrades, races and cars and stuff. It looks kinda cute but it might be fun for a little while, at least the core game is free.
The hall goes all dark and this very familiar sound starts playing, the sound an orb in Crackdown makes, so much to be my delight it’s a trailer from Crackdown 2. The trailer was great, and it seems this time around you aren’t just fighting humans but something else. If it has all the great things Crackdown 1 had, I’ll be happy, all I ask is that they make the objectives a little more varied this time around, the first game all rinse and repeat but other then that it was such a wonderful game.
Now if that wasn’t enough there is another trailer that follows immediately that has to do with 4 people stranded alone, surrounded by things that like to eat braiiiiiiiiiiinnnss..Give up? It’s L4D-2 of course! I must say I was very surprised to see this, I didn’t expect another game from them so soon. I mean Valve aren’t best known for their speed in putting out games..of course their motto has always been quality over quantity. I don’t know if this need to be a whole new game instead of just a expansion to the first one. I very much doubt that the game will come with some major amount of new Campaign/modes or even storyline, what I saw of it that’s changed is that there are actually melee weapons, so you can have fun chopping the zombies all to hell which is going to be satisfying as hell. There is also a new zombie called the Charger. From what I’ve seen it’s a huge tank like creature, but unlike the tank it’s very fast and when it catches you, it slams you into the ground until death unless someone comes to your aid.
Splintercell Conviction was up next. There was a sweet trailer and then we got to see some guy play it for a little while. I have never played much of the Splintercell games in the past..But man oh man did what I saw there make me want to. It looked really really good. The interrogation scene at the beginning of the gameplay showing was really brutal and awesome and in this game you are obviously going to be doing a lot of killing since Sam Fisher is driven by his emotions after his daughter got killed when she was run over by a car so he shows no mercy in finding who it was that killed his daughter.
Microsoft’s answer to Gran Turismo was up next called Forza Motorsport 3. It had some pretty amazing graphics and with it you can customize your cars however you please…I’m not much of a realistic racing game fan..I’m much more enthused about games like Mario Kart then ever Forza or Gran Turismo.
Bungie was up next with some gameplay from Halo: ODST…what can I say..it’s Halo. So..seen it. It looks a little bit prettier then Halo 3, and it doesn’t star Masterchief so I guess it’s going to be a little bit different. Now after a brief demo from the game..bungie wasn’t finished..oh no they dropped the bomb that a totally new Halo game was in works called Halo: Reach.
I think it’s based of a book that covered events that happened before Halo: Combat Evolved. It will be interesting to see what will come of this. Now, I do have to ask but wasn’t the whole point of Bungie splitting from Microsoft so that they could start work on their own projects..then why are they working on two Halo projects for Microsoft? It just doesn’t seem like Bungie is ready to leave Halo behind it like they said they would…
So.. along came a game that I haven’t seen or heard anything from for years. Alan Wake. It didn’t disappoint in the graphics department and it seems like it could be a interesting little game. It reminds me of games like Silent hill, Alone in the Dark. You get to sneak around creepy houses armed with your flashlight while trying to find his wife, and some manuscripts while battling the “dark presence”. I’m going to be keeping my eyes on it for sure.
After that they anounced that they were bringing Last FM, Netflix that doesn’t require your PC, 1080p instant play for movies/episodes, getting a contract with Sky to give UK residence access to Sky TV stations and movies/episodes and that they had increased the number of countries that have access to their Movies/episode service.
Now this is all cool stuff, but since I won’t get to experience any of this since I’m not in any of the official launch countries for Xbox 360, I really don’t care much about this other then being pissed I can’t utilize it to any degree.
Next up they got Felicia Day to come on the stage to introduce Facebook and Twitter on Xbox live, so you can keep up with your social networks even while in the living room! You know, if I had a living room where my 360 was, I’d rather use my laptop then the 360, mainly because typing out a message on the 360 controller is just annoying and slow and also I’m not that desperate about keeping up with the social networks that I won’t just walk the few meters to my PC to check on them..
It’s big announcement time! Yes Hideo Kojima is on the stage back poking to death! Yep, the next Metal Gear solid is being brought to the 360. Metal Gear Solid: Rising is going to see the light of day on 360 as well as the PS3. I’m sure ALOT of people went like “OMG OMG OMG YESSSSSS!” over this but meh it doesn’t matter to me since I have both.
Now we come to the new experimental stuff from 360 they have dubbed the Natal project. It’s their answer to the Wii’s motion controls. They showed a trailer of their dream for this thing where there would be no controller at all. The Natal camera would read your movements, so you could for example control a car just by moving your hands, it would also have voice recognition so you could issue it commands and face recognition so it could log you in automaticially when you approach it. It’s a really lovely concept and I loved some of the stuff they showed like being able to flip around in the 360 dashboard just by moving your hand and turn on a movie just by saying it.
However, lets be realistic for a moment. Much of the stuff they show is hardly ever going to work as well as they’d like. Like the voice recognition for example, I’m sure that it wouldn’t need a lot of noise and extra sounds to throw that out for a loop and while playing games what would stop the game from going all wacky because you have to scratch your nose if it can at read your body movement well enough so you can actually steer a car just with your hands. Also lets say you were playing a shooting game of some sorts, it’s kind of weird to play a game like that without a gun of some sorts and no trigger..I mean what do they expect you to do, just shout BANG whenever you shoot.
It just seems this isn’t going to be nothing more then a dream for awhile longer.
But then comes along Peter Molyneux that says he has created a link between the real world and the 3D world in a project he calls Milo. Milo is a 3D generated boy that according to Peter is going to be able to interact with you in a real way, forming a sort of connection. They show this girl who’s talking with Milo all the while Peter is talking about how this is not acted out and Milo and that girl are actually chatting about fishing and Milo haven’t finished his homework and she was actually reacting like it was a real person she was chatting with.
Okay….Peter Molyneux has a bad rep for hyping things…and it’s clear most of what he was saying are either lies or exaggerated beyond belief. I watched that girl talk and she was so not doing that naturally, it was all scripted and also, no matter how sophisticated they make milo, he’s still going to feel fake, that’s a fact of life. His reponses are programmed and so he’s always going to be too limited to be called “human”
The idea is clever and of course it’s going to be fun to see how it turns out..But I said earlier that Natal was a dream…well Milo is way beyond a dream, at least the way Peter described it.
So there we are, that’s about everything interesting that was announced at Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference.
Next I’m gonna go through Nintendo’s Press conference.