Friday, July 13, 2007

E3: Wrapping things up

Billy Shakespeare once wrote the phrase, "parting is such sweet sorrow" for the play Romeo and Juliet. He also wrote wrote the screenplay for "Dude, Where's my car?" The mixed reaction these two iconic works emote reminds me of this last day at E3. I'm bummed that its over but I'm glad to get a break, I'm exhausted.
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LucasArts - After lunch I had an appointment with Warner Bros./Codemasters but I dumped them like a second choice prom date to spend some time with my first love, George Lucas. LucasArts had five games to show off; "Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron" a PSP only title coming out October 9th (looked surprisingly good for a PSP game, very deep), "Thrillville: Off the Rails" an amusement park builder with lots of mini-games which also comes out in October for the PS2, PSP, PS3, DS, PC, Wii and 360. "Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga" has 120 characters and follows all six films. Using the Wii controller like a lightsaber was a nice touch. It comes out for the PS3, Wii, DS and 360.
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The Force Unleashed - Then we were shown a trailer for "The Force Unleashed". This is set in the Star Wars universe between Episodes 3 and 4 and works as a way to bridge the two trilogies together. Evidently Darth Vader had a secret apprentice with some wicked powers. It looked good but it doesn't come out for the PS2, PSP, DS, PSP, and 360 until Spring of next year.
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Fracture - Most impressive was a live demo of the game "Fracture". Its an action game set in 2161 during a global civil war. The term 'fracture' comes from the ability to use technology to reshape terrain with a variety of different weapons and from the U.S. being fractured in half by a massive flood and a distinct difference in opinion of how mankind should develop. The West coast believes in genetic experimentation, the East coast believes in advancing humanity through technology. You know, just like things are today. This very unique game will be out sometime in 2008.
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SEGA - My last official appointment was with SEGA. Since I almost fell asleep during the Wii demo of a mini-game from "Thrillville: Off the Rails" I decided this last stop would be a short one.
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Iron Man - The playable demo started off with Iron Man hovering and flying up to 300mph. There was a good sense of Iron Man having some substantial size and weight, he's like a small, 1000lb, flying tank. If you're a fan of his comics, his powers in the game are what you'd expect. The game follows the storyline of the movie along with some filler content from the Iron Man comics.
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Condemned 2: Bloodshot - This game was just brutal, and I liked it. "C2: Bloodshot" is the sequel to the first Condemned, taking place a year after the first game. If you like the first version, you'll notice some significant improvements. You can now throw objects and there are some cool new grapple combos. Once you have an opponent worn down, it triggers a sequence that allows you to finish someone off with a sweet move; i.e., ramming a guys head into a TV or throwing him in a dumpster. The environments are much more interactive with five times as many pieces of equipment to use as weapons. Besides fighting, there is also a new forensics system where you have to use observational clues, a camera and a black light to figure out crimes.
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The most unusual feature of the game (or most disturbing depending on who you are) is the seperate survival mode. The SEGA guys are calling it Hobo Fight Club at the moment and its pretty appropriate. Here you just practice knocking guys out for fun. If the game sounds violent (duh!), it is. SEGA rep Marty Caplan told me with a smile, "This is the most brutal first person action game you'll ever see. Obviously this will be rated M and its certainly not for kids. "C2: Bloodshot" will have full multi-player support and downloadable content when it comes out for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the Spring of '08.
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Last call - After leaving SEGA I headed over to Ubisoft because I still hadn't gotten any time with "Assassins Creed". It was 3 and everything was shutting down at 4 so I had hurry. I headed downstairs to the Ubisoft room and after 15 minutes I was really getting into it. The time based kills (instead of button mashing) was a nice change of pace. There were still some collission detection issues and the graphics needed a little polishing up but I'm sure it'll be tweaked by its November release date.
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My final stop was at the SCEA gaming lounge but I was only interested in one game, "Warhawk". After playing "Shadowrun" I was pretty skeptical about how much I'd want to own a multi-player only game but after going through a few missions I was hooked. The seemless transition from being on foot to vehicles of all types was impressive.
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Whew! I'm wiped out. Since getting here I've probably averaged about 4 hours of sleep a night. Combine that with all of the running around I've done and it makes for one exhausting week. These quick posts I've been putting up really haven't given E3 the attention it deserves or been as well crafted as I would have liked. I probably sacrificed quality for timeliness (sleep deprevation doesn't help either, falling asleep while typing is a bad sign) but what good is being here if you can't share what you find out as soon as you can? For the rest of today and tomorrow I plan on taking it easy and playing tourist (I have dinner plans with Posh and Becks) but next week here's what should be on the blog - a new podcast, transcribed interviews with G4TV's Morgan Webb and Adam Sessler, and a Best/Worst of E3 column. I also have an article in the Independent I have to write for next week so look for that too.
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Okay, its time to sign off. I have some surfing to do.
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coloradojoemail@yahoo.com

3 comments:

Sean Durkin said...

As a fan of Adam Sessler and even bigger fan of Morgan Webb, I look forward to reading those transcribed interviews.

FrostyMelon said...

My only complaint about your updates and photos from E3...not enough T n' A!

;)

Frosty

Ub3rn00b said...

that's cuz there weren't any...
That's what I heard anyway. No more booth babes. Bah..