EA - After a disastrous morning, my afternoon started off hot, cooled down for a bit and then ended with a bang. My first press conference of the afternoon was with EA. The game "Rock Band" was the highlight. This was the game Peter Moore played last night at the Microsoft press conference. Its essentially "Guitar Hero" but in band form with guitar, bass, drum and vocal parts. Steven "Silvio Dante" Van Zandt (pictured above) was on hand as the chair of the celebrity musician-led "Rock Band" advisory board that helps selects songs for the game. Here is a list of the first 16 songs confirmed, its set to be released this fall.
The Who "Won't Get Fooled Again"
Mountain "Mississippi Queen"*
David Bowie " Suffragette City "
Black Sabbath "Paranoid"*
Blue Oyster Cult "Don't Fear the Reaper"
The Ramones " Rockaway Beach ”
Rush "Tom Sawyer"*
Bon Jovi "Wanted Dead or Alive"
Nirvana "In Bloom"
Stone Temple Pilots "Vasoline"
Weezer "Say It Ain't So"
Foo Fighters “Learn to Fly”
Metallica “Enter Sandman”
The Hives "Main Offender"
The Strokes "Reptilia"
Queens of the Stone Age "Go With the Flow"
EA has a seperate room in another hotel for its hands on demos. I'll be checking it out tomorrow.
2K - I left the EA press conference early so I could make my 2K appointment on time. I was 10 minutes late. 2K's presentation was much more cozy. Another writer and myself sat with a PR guy and game designer and had a nice in-depth look at "Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution", an RTS game made specifically for the PS3, Xbox 360, DS and Wii. That's right, an RTS NOT made for a PC. It looked pretty good.
Next was a hands on demo of "Bioshock" which blew me away. Its like nothing I've ever seen before. Only the first 10 minutes of the game were shown but the story was engrossing, the setting (an underwater city) looked unique and it was visually stunning. It was like playing a movie.
After that I spent some time with "NHL 2K8" which had the most realistic ice I've ever seen and a new control scheme which I really liked. Movement is done with the left stick and the hockey stick is conrolled by the right stick, the bumpers are for passing and shooting. It was very intuitive. "All Pro-Football 2K8" was next and it was a little disappointing. The game was fun to play and it was neat to be able to play with some old Bronco players (Elway, Rulon Jones, Karl Mecklenberg, Rick Upchurch, etc) but it just seemed incomplete. The graphics weren't nearly as tight as their NHL game and there was no career mode, only Play Now, Season and Practice. I do like that I can take my created team online to play against other created teams but the game is $60. Kind of pricey for not having an NFL license and having fewer features. I thought it would be around $40.
Sony Online Entertainment - Because I spent so much time at 2K, my SOE visit was short. They had all PC games and the most interesting was the Everquest expansion "Rise of Kunark" and the ancient Roman title "Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising". They both looked good but nothing there really caught my eye. I stopped by the Sony cocktail party but it was pretty slow, so I got in a cab and headed back to my next appointment.
Konami -The Konami press conference was short and sweet, lasting only 30 minutes, just how I like it. Their big announcement was the upcoming title "Resident Evil 5" for the next-gen consoles sometime in 2008 but I was more excited about being 5-feet away from "Metal Gear Solid" creator Hideo Kojima when he introduced the new "MGS4" trailer (which looked amazing). I tried to get a pic with Kojimasan after the conference but was told by his diminuitive body guards that it wasn't allowed.
The press conferences are done for the day, all that's left is some partying and some strategizing for tomorrow. Getting around to all the different hotels is a pain, everyone is very unhappy about it. There aren't nearly enough cabs and everything is so spread out. I can already tell I'm going to be missing a couple press conferences tomorrow (probably Ubisoft and Namco Bandai). As for tonight, I'm headed to Eidos' "Age of Conan" party in a minute and if I'm not too tired the Bethesda party.