Friday, July 13, 2007

THE game of E3

Eidos - The morning started off with an early visit to Eidos and the pleasant surprise of finding the ONLY booth babe of E3. And technically she's not even a booth babe because Eidos was based in a hotel conference room. So I guess she's a conference room babe. Doesn't really roll of the tongue does it?
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Age of Conan - After watching a short trailer featuring Conan sitting on his throne ala Arnold in "Conan the Barbarian" and making plans to save his under attack empire, I was shown a live demo of the game. Conan is a PC (the 360 version comes out next year) MMO based in the nutty world of Sumeria. There are a number of different classes you can play as, there are pet classes you can grow and use for attacks, there are 8 combo moves, more than 100 speaking actors, over 100 missions and up to 6-on-6 gamer battles that can control as many as 75 characters on each side. There are a number of fatality moves (chopping off arms, legs, heads) that looked pretty cool and mounted combat on rhino's, horses, donkeys and mammoths. Gamers can even make their own villages. For about the 100th time this week I heard the line, "everything you see you can explore" so its a wide open world with a lot to see. "Age of Conan" will be out for the PC October 30th.
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Kane and Lynch - The only other game Eidos was featuring was "Kane and Lynch", a story driven game with lots of gun play that seemed like the video game love child of the movies "Heat" and "Dog Day Afternoon". I saw two different levels, in the first I walked into a nightclub with Kane that had hundreds of NPC's that moved individually and reacted to my presence. It sounds like a small thing but the visual effect created an amazing sense of realism, it was stunning. In the next level Kane, Lynch and a team of hired goons repelled down a skyscraper, blew open a window and made Swiss cheese of everyone inside. We took an elevator to the lobby to try and escape but were met by the Tokyo police as we made our way into the street. There's no news yet on the multi-player but there will be an offline, split screen co-op mode. The game comes out sometime during the holidays this year.
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Bethesda - The Bethesda team had only one game to show but its been THE best game of E3 - "Fallout 3". I'm talking far and away the best, no one else is even close. Todd Howard, executive producer of "F3" and of the "Elder Scrolls" franchise was on hand to give us a personal walkthrough of the game. He spent an hour playing the best RPG with strong FPS elements (gamers choose the camera angle or can switch on the fly) I've seen in a long time.
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The game is set in a very modernized 1950ish world. Or in the words of Todd Howard, "like 'Leave it to Beaver' with laser guns and nuclear cars". There was a nuclear war and many people evacuated to these underground shelters called Vaults. The vaults were supposed to open when everything was safe but your vault, 101, didn't. Your character, which you customize, was born in the vault and you spend the first hour there, learning about yourself, being taught new skills and abilities and talking with your Dad (voiced by Liam Neeson and modeled physically after your own customized character). Eventually your Dad disappears and you manage to make your way into the nuclear ravaged world and your wide open adventure begins. And yes I again heard the phrase, "everything you see you can explore". The game has a lot of action but offers a completely customizable world that gives gamers choices in how their story develops. These choices and the dialogue tree which affects how people react to you and talk with you reminded me a lot of KOTOR. So maybe "Fallout 3" creates its own gaming category, its an FPTPSRPG (First Person/Third Person Shooter Role Playing Game).
This was the type of game I came to E3 to see, unfortunately it'll be awhile before anyone gets to play it because its set for a Fall 2008 release. But from what I've seen at this stage, it'll will more than be worth the wait.
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1 comment:

Joseph said...

FPTPSRPG - I would love to see that in more game summaries. Can hardly wait for F3 though, think I will play through F1/F2 again on my mac.