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Well Day one of E3 has ended. It seems every year E3 gets more crowded, louder, and brighter. This year continued the rule. Overall I have to say I was disappointed over how few of the major titles at this year’s E3 that were actually playable. We will be visiting LucasArts tomorrow so I thought I’d focus on some of the big companies this year.

 

The big three, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony all had rather lack luster shows. One would expect that all of the consoles would be playable, but instead non where playable on the floor. Microsoft had several games running with developers playing them, but we weren’t allowed to touch them. Sony had a 3+ hour line to go and see the PS3. Finally Nintendo seemed focused only on portable gaming with its premier title, Zelda, shown in playable form behind closed doors only to those of us who had media badges.

 

I’ll be updating this thread with more information shortly. While you wait check out this link of raw of our images from E3.

 

Thanks to the massive lines we were only able to get to several of the major players today. So we’ll go over the companies that we did see.

 

Ubi Soft really had a great show; including King Kong, Far Cry Instinct, and Prince of Persia 3.

 

King Kong was an interesting concept from the developers of Beyond Good and Evil, the first half of the game is a survival first person shooter. Where you are trying to run from huge monasteries in a tropical island setting; one seen was shown of your team rafting down a river with t-rexes chasing after you, knocking apart the landscape as they came on. The second half of the game has you playing as the incredibly powerful King Kong in what looks like a sprawling fighter. The scene we saw had King Kong fighting two t-rexes. I would have taken a few pictures but the game was shown behind close doors with about 15 security guards waiting to bounce if we even so much as looked like we were going for a camera.

 

Far Cry Instinct is a new version of the terrific PC game, this version is made for the Xbox. Instinct has added several new features including “feral” genes and dual carry. I only had the chance to play the game for a few minutes, but it really looked good.

 

Prince of Persia 3 was not working the day we dropped by, but it looks like a solid addition to the line up.

 

We were anxious to visit Microsoft’s sprawling two level booth expecting to get to play at least a couple of Xbox 360 games; however, all we got was the chance to watch developers play their games.

 

Probably the most interesting of these games was Kameo, design by Rare. In the game you have the ability to morph into many different animals. The level of detail in a battle between thousands of non playable characters was incredible. We were told this game would be a launch title.

 

Besides Kameo, Microsoft showed off two EA games; Call of Duty 2 and Need for Speed. Both games looked pretty good, but nothing awe inspiring.

 

Finally Top Spin, a Tennis game, was shown. The lighting in this game was incredible with tree braches casting changing shadows on the surfaces.

 

Truly one of the most surprising omissions was the lack of Perfect Dark 0. This is Microsoft’s major release title and it wasn’t even in video form. Based on the MTV show the game appeared playable. Why it was not on the show floor is a mystery.

 

Besides the 360 games the Xbox games shown in the booth were nothing spectacular.

 

Nintendo seemed to have forgotten about the console wars altogether in their newly designed booth. Most of the games playable where DS and advanced titles. It seemed the game everyone wanted to play was multiplayer Mario Cart DS. The only games we were really interested in were Zelda and Battalion Wars (based on Advanced Wars for the Game boy). Battalion Wars for the GC looked amazing, you could go from a classic real time strategy game to a first person shooter to a tank game, to a flight sim. Zelda was of course amazing, but I was shocked at how limited its show space was. We had to go behind closed doors to see it.

 

Blizzard really seemed to almost be there simply because they were, well Blizzard. Blizzard showed two games; Ghost a third person console shooter, and World of Warcraft which launched months ago. Ghost was quite impressive looking and incredibly polished. The levels we saw focused on sneaking around on a base trying to destroy control towers. Your character was able to cloak temporally to get past your enemies, although snipping was rather fun even if it did alert the marines.

 

The Square-Enix booth was rather bland this year. The booth had rather few exclusive playable games and was sorely lacking a playable version of Final Fantasy XII. Square’s prominent releases for this year were featured at other companies booths. Dragon Quest VIII was also featured at Sony’s booth and Kingdom Hearts 2 was on display at the Disney and Sony booths. Square’s booth did have a film theatre that showed about 30 minutes of trailers for Square’s upcoming Final Fantasy VII spin-offs, Dragon Quest VIII, Kingdom Hearts 2, and Final Fantasy XII. Dragon Quest VIII looked very impressive for the series 3D daybuite and the control will be familiar to long time followers of the series. Square will be releasing Dragon Quest VIII domestically under the Dragon Quest name for the first time and this is a welcome change. In disappointing news for fans of the Dragon Quest series I was told by the employees at the booth that Dragon Quest V will not be released domestically. The booth also featured playable versions of Radiata Stories, Romancing Saga, Final Fantasy XI through the use of six members parties for boss battles, and the latest Fullmetal Alchemist title. While these are quality titles and Radiata Stories was impressive they lacked the buzz that would have been generated by a playable Final Fantasy XII and this contributed to the overall blandness of the Square-Enix booth.

 

Finally we got into see EA’s Godfather which honestly I thought would be a failure, but looks quite promising. Instead of playing as Michael or another key player in the Godfather story you play an up and coming mobster with a dream of taking over the family. The story promises to be very open ended allowing you to take multiple paths to your objective. The final object of the game is a context sentative fight scheme based solely on the control stick.

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Thanks for those thoughts, Chris. :cool:

 

Try and break some arms at the Lucasarts booth to get more info on the Indiana Jones title.

 

I would say that I think we probably have a better 'viewing' seat out here in Netland - I've been reading a ton of information on a lot of games, and watching some cool video footage. So although games might not be playable in some of the booths, there have been some nice surprises coming out of this E3 so far.

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I've been pretty busy lately at work and kind of out of the loop. You guys have done a great job covering all this E3 stuff.

 

Honestly I'm not too excited about these new games (not much of an RTS player, though I do have a few I like). Still, it's nice to see that Empire at War is shaping up to be good. Finally, a decent Star Wars RTS! (after the horrible Force Commander and average Battlegrounds it'll be nice for a change...)

 

Battlefront 2 sounds more like an expansion for the first game... what SWBF SHOULD HAVE BEEN when it first came out. This game was simply rushed, and I can only hope that the fixes and improvements in the sequel will make it into a final patch for the original SWBF. At least they haven't abandoned the community (yet)!

 

We should get some updates going on the news sites and post any media you guys can smuggle out of the event.

 

Good hunting and have a safe trip back!

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