E3: The last horse finally crosses the finish line
E3: It’s a time of exciting revelations, interesting developments, and scantly clad women being paid to interact with game designers and journalists. And there were a few titles that really caught my eye this year. So without further adieu, the last horse finally crosses the finish line.
Dead Rising 2:
This game just looks fun. I loved the first Dead Rising and from what I’ve been seeing, I think I’ll probably love the sequel as well. However, the showing at E3 really didn’t appear to reveal too much about the game, and that might not be a bad thing. Dead Rising 2 is supposed to come out sometime around August/September and I’m willing to wait 2 months to be surprised. Like Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 will still be on a 72 hour time limit, so players will still be limited to just 3 in-game days from start to ending credits. It seems like the developers realized what it was that had players coming back to Dead Rising again and again, and the number of useable/wearable items is at least 500. The big addition that really drew my attention isn’t the ability to craft custom weapons from random items (we’ve known about that for at least a year now), but Co-Op mode. Now I’m normally not a big fan of Co-Op gameplay but I’ll admit that it can be really fun given the right kind of game and the manner in which it’s worked into the gameplay. The Wii rail shooter Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles annoyed me in that regard by forcing players to start up a new level if a friend decided to join in. Luckily Capcom and Blue Castle Games decided to go with a less prickish system. You can hop on and join a friend in the middle of his/her single player game, instantly turning it into a Co-Op game. Sadly though, Co-Op will only be playable via online gameplay and there won’t be any sort of dual screen Co-Op gaming with this title. So, yeah, that sucks. Also, nothing new came out regarding the multiplayer mode that producer Keiji Inafune spilled the beans on last year.
Also, it’s coming out for both the 360 and the PS3, and since I get a bit twitchy every time I power up my 360 (I still have one of the first one’s sold when the console came out. 4 years and no red rings of death, knock on wood.) I’m definitely going to get the PS3 version. Sadly though that will mean that I will miss out on the demo/dlc Case Zero due to come out on the Xbox Live Marketplace next month. It’s supposed to be a bit of a prequel for Dead Rising 2 and may explain what happened in the 5 years between the two games. Much to my annoyance, the damned thing’s going to be a 360 exclusive.
Twisted Metal PS3:
It’s a Twisted Metal game on the frikkin’ PS3! What more is there to say!!!
Ok, fine. The folks over at Eat Sleep Play mentioned that they’re including a lot of new cars (from the video it would appear a few fan favorites are returning from the previous games). The gameplay is supposed to focus heavily on multiplayer and at least 4 different factions were mentioned.
This revelation was beautifully done at the end of the Sony press conference this year with a video trailer that really didn’t give away what the hell the two cabbies in the video were talking about until Sweet Tooth and a horde of evil looking clowns showed up in a dark alleyway. This was followed by an ice cream truck being driven onto the stage by a guy in a Sweet Tooth costume.
I don’t really need to say a lot about this one. If you liked Twisted Metal before, then you should be really excited about this. If you’ve never played Twisted Metal before, then you should be really excited about this! Just trust me on this one. Sadly, there’s not a whole lot of info on this game out right now.
Rock Band 3:
Yeah, it’s another rhythm game using toy instruments. It seems like there are hundreds of the damn things out there now and it’s no longer really all that exciting or innovative. Though I’m still waiting for Guitar Hero: Weird Al. So far these games have been trying to set themselves apart from the pack by adding new instruments and gameplay options, and as such I’m fairly sure that Rock Band 8 will require a forklift to move the box around. And Rock Band 3 looks like it will continue along with that trend. Rock Band 3 will introduce to your growing collection of useless plastic instruments, a 25 key keyboard that looks a bit like a Keytar.
Though a nice addition is that your dlc songs from earlier Rock Band games and some existing game content will carry over to Rock Band 3, a nice change that I wish would have been implemented long before I bought my 5th Guitar/Band/Etc game.
So is a Fisher Price looking keyboard reason to buy Rock Band 3? Not really. But the BIG reason I’m excited about this game is because of what they’re doing to the guitar controllers. Mad Catz is making 2 special controllers for Rock Band 3. One replaces the 6 buttons and the flipper with 17 rows of 6 buttons (for a total of 102) and the other is an actual electric guitar! 6 strings, MIDI support and it’s usable outside of the game. So yeah, Rock Band 3 will require you actually learn to use a real guitar to some extent. The real test will be if this game can succeed where years of self-teaching have failed, or if it’ll end up in my closet next to my other electric guitar.
GLaDOS is still alive and Aperture Science is run down and overrun with plants and decay. Portal 2 looks to be more of the same and that’s a very good thing. This time Chell is accompanied by a comic relief character in the form of a random personality sphere (those eye-looking computer balls you incinerate to kill GLaDOS in the first game).
Portal 2 is also supposed to include a 2 person Co-Op mode described as being basically the same gameplay design as the single player game just with puzzles that require more than one portal gun to solve.
Knights of the Old republic:
There wasn’t a huge amount of new secrets revealed at E3. The game looks cool and it’s taking place in a different time period than the other Old Republic games. That’s not that big of a stretch as the Old Republic period covers about 25,000 years of Star Wars history.
The big revelation at E3 was that each player would get access to their own individual ship. Much like in the Knights of the Old Republic games, players’ ships will be a mix of player house and travel hub.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 had about 56 playable characters. One of the things we learned at E3 about Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was that there were at least 30 playable characters and that there are a few new names being introduced. The 2 big names mentioned were Deadpool and Dante (From Devil May Cry 3). They’re also making it easier to chuck your opponents into the air and are introducing aircombos (basically unleashing big flashy combos on opponents in the air).
One thing that stood out was the art style. Graphically, Marvel vs. Capcom looks a lot like Street Fighter 4, keeping the cartoony look of the last game.
For me the big thing that will make or break Marvel vs. Capcom will be the max number of characters and the control scheme. The sheer size of the roster was one thing that made Marvel vs. Capcom 2 impressive. Sadly though, the control scheme was pretty bland. The majority of special attacks could be pulled off by rolling the control stick 180 degrees and hitting a button.
DJ Hero 2:
Really? Really?!? 2 Turntables at the same time and a microphone? So this is what you’re going to do to try to salvage the flop that was DJ Hero? *rolls up a newspaper* No! No! That’s a Bad Activision! No.