Microsoft E3 Conference

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After waiting a good 15 minutes for the stream from Gamespot to actually work, the Microsoft Conference went underway and I only missed Rock Band: Beatles. What a shame. Anyway, on with the juicy bits. There were a couple of big announcements made, along with some smaller ones that really didn’t excite me in any way. I’ll start with the small announcements first so I can get those out the way. Let’s do this with bullet points.

  • Tony Hawk: Ride – So, Tony Hawk came on stage and showed off a big bit of plastic that was stylised to look something like a skateboard. Apparently you stand on it and play the game as if you were on a real skateboard. I was questioning this concept with “Why not just get on a real skateboard?” but Tony and his skating cronies had me already questioning my very simple rhetoric with, “Now you can skateboard without hurting yourself.” Isn’t that half the point of skateboarding?
  • Joy Ride – Other than sounding like a sleazy 70’s exploitation film where three young males from New Jersey set off on what they call a “Joy Ride with the ladies”, it is the title of a free downloadable avatar game. It looked like a heap of shit but at least it’ll be free. I’ll still download it and play it once, but other than that, I can’t see myself putting any money into this one.
  • Forza Motorsport 3 – Wasn’t terribly excited for this before the conference and my position on this hasn’t changed. It may be ok, but I’m no fan.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Meh, it looked pretty good but it’s not anything we haven’t seen before. Saying that, I will still be keeping a very close eye on this one and how it progresses.

Now, onto the ‘big’ announcements and what they mean for my gaming calendar for this year and the next. The first ‘shock’ announcement was for Crackdown 2. That trailer just came out of nowhere and I was not expecting it at all. When I saw the start of the trailer, I was half hoping that it was another Crackdown game and once I saw 4 agents standing on a roof together, I knew that this game will be fucking amazing. What I also found strange was the decision to put the Crackdown 2 trailer and the Left 4 Dead 2 trailer back to back. I got kind of confused and started to think that there were going to be zombies in Crackdown 2. Would that not be a winning formula?

The Metal Gear Solid: Rising reveal wasn’t that big of an announcement to me as I already see the series as having suffered a huge blow to the jugular straight after they announced MGS2. LEAVE IT ALONE. Raiden appears to be half-built and according to Kojima, it will “be a whole new Metal Gear experience”. Once he had absolutely ruined any hype for this game, he continued to say “Solid Snake is not in the game” (more or less). Wow. Well done, you have managed to kill any hype for this game. Firstly, it doesn’t play like MGS and secondly, no Snake? Hooray…(sarcasm).

Bungie graced the conference with new gameplay footage of ODST and a surprise trailer for a new project called Halo: Reach which was tagged with “Falls in 2010”. The ODST footage is enough to quell my need for any information of the game and was also given a release date of September 22nd. It’s a bit of a shame that I start Uni on the 21st. I would have liked to play that game all night. Halo: Reach looks as though it is set before any of the Halo games and plays through the events of the Fall of Reach. It looks like you will be able to play as different SPARTANs as this is set in a time zone where multiple SPARTANs exist. A new multiplayer will also be included with Halo: Reach and a multiplayer beta will be included in the Halo 3: ODST box on release.

The biggest announcement (and a bit of a show stealer) was that of Project Natal (pronounced nuh-tall, apparently) which is a 3D motion sensor camera that can be used for numerous games. A promotional video has already been put on YouTube and can be found here. This thing looks incredibly impressive but the cynic in me thinks that there will be so many problems with it. It looks as though there is a delay between moving and then showing the on-screen movement and it also seemed a little bit hicuppy when the Microsoft Rep was demoing it on stage. Peter Molyneux from Lionhead had a very impressive, if somewhat creepy, demo of a kid called ‘Milo’ who had very advanced AI and voice detection software. If Natal is anywhere as good as they say it is, it will be amazing but I’m waiting for the press to get their hands on the camera themselves before any minds are made up.

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~ by robertftaylor on June 1, 2009.

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