Jun 16, 2010
Over the last couple of days Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, EA and Capcom have all shown what they’ve got in store for us budding gamers in the press conferences. There have been high points of sheer surprise and joy, and low points of disappointment and shame. So here are MY personal highlights so, let’s break it down…
It’s very hard for me as a budding Xboxer (borderline fanboy) to watch the annual Microsoft conference without wanting something amazing. So there I was watching the conference brimming with excitement about some awesome sequels and the new improved ‘Kinect’. What did I get? Not much. OK, trailers and gameplay of some huge upcoming titles is all well and good, and awesome to watch, but I wanted new. So here are my best bits:
I’m not overly keen of Kinect. I mean it’s nice and futuristic but it just dosn’t look like my cup of tea. This isn’t to say I hated it (after all why would I say it was a highlight if I hated it?). I was very much impressed by some of it’s features. Not just the motion tracking but some of the voice recognition looks pretty gob-smacking. If this wee box does what they say it does, and it does it well (which it looks like it does), then it will no doubt be a landmark in gaming and technology. The games they showed off did a pretty good job of showing what we can expect. The games included Kinect Adventure (a game-show style jungle thing), Kinect Joyride (yep, the same Joyride kart racer from last year is now motion controlled) and Kinectimals (a pet style game where the player adopts one of a selection of exotic fun-loving animals). The last game, Kinectimals, looked particularly impressive in terms of AI interaction. Overall, it took up a bit too much of a show, but was very impressive indeed.
Xbox 360 Slim
Bloody Nora! There were rumours surrounding the appearance of the new console, but when it was revealed it was hard to keep the grin off my face. The slick, gorgeous console hosts a bunch of new features, like the 250GB hard-drive and built in Wi-Fi. Fan-blummin-tastic. Not only that, but it is released this week. THIS WEEK! The audience went wild when it was announced that everyone inside the theatre would get one of these brand spanking new consoles completely for free, those jammy gits! The price? The same as a new Xbox 360. Oh Microsoft you cheeky bastards. This was by far my highlight of the conference.
EA was up next and hopes were high for some first looks at some unannounced games and gameplay on some upcoming titles.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Whe-hey a new game! And what a comeback. Upon seeing this game flash up on the screen I went all reminiscent about the hours I used to spend on the old PC version hunting down criminals as a cop. This game sure looks like an awesome remake, with improved graphics, new cars and online multiplayer. The few minutes of gameplay showed off the classic cops versus crooks format, both teams driving ridiculously fast cars. This game looks like it could be buckets of fun, and it defiantly one to keep an eye on.
The handsome Cliffy B took to the stage to show off the new shooter, based upon fun and gruesome kills. A few minutes of gameplay was shown, allowing for a glimpse at just how the game will play out and what kind of tools you have at your disposal. The main tool being a sort of laser whip, used to grab and throw around enemies to help score the most extravagant kills. The game looks brilliant fun. Hopefully in the future months we get a more in depth look at some more levels and gameplay.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Sadly no gameplay was shown on the epic upcoming MMO. But there was a trailer. An amazing trailer. The trailer featured some sort of Rebel ambush upon the Empire, emphasising the Good versus Evil fight that will be central to the game. If you are a Star Wars fan or an avid MMO gamer then rush over and check the trailer out, it is fantastic. There was also the announcement of personal, customisable ships available to each player. Sweet.
A mixed bag form Ubisoft, but generally a good conference.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Up until this conference I wasn’t very excited about the new Assassins Creed. The trailer showed Ezio on one of his assassinations (not really surprising for an assassin really). After it appears he is over-run with troops, more assassins appear. Obviously hinting towards the new multiplayer that Brotherhood will feature. It was only during this trailer that I actually realised how epic this would be. Teaming up to take on an assassination sounds like it could be a heck of a lot of fun.
A laser tag toy, in the middle of a Ubisoft conference?. You bet! The game was given a quick demo on stage with a couple of guys running round shooting at sensors positioned on the other players body. It also appeared that the game could interact with a computer, allowing for a visual representation of the score. No doubt there will be (and probably already are) forums with pages and pages of people complaining about ‘how it’s not gaming’ and crap like that. It looks fun. It looks exciting. Personally I can’t wait to get hands on with it in the future and have a right old laugh with my mates.
I have been praying for this ever since playing the original on my Playstation one. Going back to the classic Rayman roots with the 2-D platforming and cartoon style, it looks to be a fantastic game It’s hard to describe how much I am looking forward to playing this game, and by the looks of it, it’s going to be co-op. The art style looked amazing, with vibrant colours and wonderful animation. I can’t wait.
For me the ‘winner’ (if you can choose a ‘winner’) was Nintendo. There was one particular announcement that blew me away, but I’ll come to that in a second.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Hoorah! A new Zelda game! As soon as the trailer popped up it was clear that this game will be pretty awesome (of course, it’s Zelda). The graphics appeared to be some sort of mix between the kind-of realistic Twilight Princess and the cell-shaded Windwaker. It looks pretty beautiful really. There was also a live demo! The demo showed how the sword and shield were now controlled by the nunchuck and Wiimote (with the help of Motion Plus), giving a slightly more realistic experience. About half way through, during the bow demonstration, the controls went all crazy, due to ‘wireless interference’, but I think Miyamoto just needs to practise a bit more. A few new cool gadgets were shown off such as the beetle and the whip. It looks to be another epic adventure, and hopefully the new controls will just add to the experience.
Kirby Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country
I decided to bunch these together as they both appear to be reinventions of old franchises. I love Kirby. That pink chubby guy had my heart ever since his Gameboy adventures. So naturally I was excited to hear about his new adventure. Kirby Epic Yarn seems to be set in some sort of fabric based world, where the environment can be pulled together and undone in order to progress. A colourful charming adventure that will no doubt drain hours of my time. Donkey Kong Country seems far more traditional in terms of gameplay. New levels feature along with very impressive graphics. Fans of the original will be very happy about this!
This is the thing that blew me away. A 3D DS. Its a pretty huge announcement for the hand-held console market. What’s the best thing? No glasses. That’s right, no glasses needed. Not only that, but you can take 3D pictures using the 2 integrated cameras on the back. Wow. This is a huge step forward for technology. If Nintendo truly have created a 3D experience with no eye-wear required then the potential is huge not only for the games industry, but for entertainment as a whole. Of course I will need to see the actual DS before passing a proper judgement on the technology, but for now, Nintendo I take my hat off to you good sirs!
I was genuinely excited about the SONY conference, purely to see what they had in the bag. Overall it was actually pretty good with a few nice surprises.
Sony are convinced that they are the future of 3D gaming. With many of the future Playstation releases being in 3D, and the Sony 3D TVs shipping out, it’s hard to say otherwise. Once again, this was probably a highlight due to the technological advancement. It looks like a future of 3D TVs and 3D experiences is what the future holds, adding a whole new level of immersion to the gaming experience. I look forward to seeing how Sony will advance the technology they have. Shame about the glasses.
As we found out last year, the whole industry has gone motion crazy. Sony’s answer to this was of course the Playstation Move. This year bought some pretty impressive examples of upcoming Move games. One of which was ‘Sorcery’, in which you control a young wizard who can cast a variety of spells with the flick of the Playstation Move wand thing. It actually looked rather fun. The ball on top of the remote also changes colour depending on what is going on in the game which is a nice touch. The Move certainly looked like it would be a strong contender when the motion control tidal wave hits, but for me it looks just too similar to the Wii. Sorry Sony.
HOLY HELL! This was a huge surprise and a very very pleasant one. Valve showed off a very enticing trailer and not much else. It was just enough to wet the appetite and it’s awesome that it made an appearance.
Twisted Metal was announced as a Playstation exclusive at the end of the conference. The remake of the classic, originally on Playstation One, is sure to attract a huge following and certainly looked incredibly good. A few gameplay segments showed off the new graphics, characters, weapons, vehicles and game modes. It was action-packed, hectic, explosive, and really showed the game off well. This looks like a very promising and I eagerly await more information.
So that was my assortment of highlights from the conferences. There was a ton more stuff to see but those few things from each conference really stood out for me. It looks to be a good few years for gaming,with motion control soon upon us, and wonderful 3D experiences to become a part of. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the catalogue of wonderful games we’ve got coming our way. You sure don’t want to miss out.
You can watch all the conferences again over at Gamespot
So what’s your opinion? Did you have any particular highlights, or even any disappointments? Leave a comment in the box below.