You may be aware that the Electronic Entertainment Expo (better known as E3) is taking place in Los Angeles right now. It's that magical time of year when professional geeks of all shades meet up and give the attendant journalists and industry movershakers the equivalent of an Amsterdam Red Light district window display. They hope to whip the onlookers into an orgasmic frenzy of pixels and bits, subsequently ensuring plenty of people shoot their big loads of cash all over the industry's coffers.
The focus this year is definitely on hardware, and I intend to cover the big announcements in the coming days.
For now I want to look at the trailers, those shiny, pretty things that inevitably make games look a lot better than they actually end up being. This years E3 has not disappointed and you'll find a big 'ol list of them below.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
I don't play Ubisoft games. The studio has made some poor choices when it comes to DRM and they are also a bit too French. As well, I played Assassin's Creed before I had principles and found it to be the gaming equivalent of Lindsay Lohan: pretty enough on the outside, but a bit of a meandering mess underneath the surface. However, I won't let that stand in the way of a fine bit of CGI. The trailer features Ezio, the hero from Assassin's Creed 2, possibly attempting to assassinate the Pope, something I'm sure many in Northern Ireland can aspire to. Standing in his way is a company of soldiers and the Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. And it seems Ezio has brought friends, with equally questionable dress sense.
I dunno if you played the original X-Com game. It was an isometric strategy game set slightly in the future where you had to defend the Earth from invasion by hostile alien forces, a highly original concept. The original game had an intoxicating blend of micromanagement and action sections, and was the sort of thing you would inadvertantly end up playing for 14 hours resulting in erectile dysfunction. So you can imagine my fucking RAGE when I learned that the newest XCOM game would be a first person shooter. I like the 1950s style, but what's with all the fucking black goo? That isn't scary, that's ink.
I enjoyed Killzone 2. It wasn't perfect but when it was good, it was awesome. Killzone 3 looks like it will build on the strong foundations of it's predecessor. And add some jetpacks too. The trailer contains plenty of gameplay footage, and aside from the jetpacks, it appears that there will be a greater focus on melee attacks. Which is fine by me, I like to use my hands. Also, if anyone is interested in buying a jet pack, let me know, I have one for sale. I bought it off Michael Jackson at the end of the Dangerous world tour. All he wanted for it was three wheels of Dairylea and a photo of my cousin.
Fallout: New Vegas
Did anyone else think that blowing up Megaton in Fallout 3 was the most satisfying moment of gameplay you'd ever experienced? I know I did. I don't care if it made me mega-evil, it got me all the bitches. I even killed Free Dog. Video didn't kill the radio star, I did. See what I did there? Sigh. Anyways, New Vegas looks like it will be more of the same gameplay-wise, and that is certainly no bad thing.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
I don't know if it's even worth getting excited over. I want so much to enjoy each new Zelda game, but deep down I know nothing will compare to the Ocarina of Time, a game which made both ocarinas and time travel fashionable again. This one has a slightly different style of art, somewhere between Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker. It's on the Wii which means that playing it will no doubt involve multiple masturbatorial gestures, something I should excel in. And my other half loves the Zelda games, so I'll doubtless check it out at some point.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
This is the second trailer from Biowares Muhmorpuhguh, which is due to be released in Spring 2011. The first trailer was AWESOME. Coming in at just under 6 minutes long, this trailer is like a mini movie. I'm the sort of person who gets excited at Star Wars and MMORPGs. So this game has got me harder than Gandalf's staff. And with Bioware at the helm, I can only hope it lives up to my expectations in the same way The Phantom Menace didn't. I'm totally making lightsaber noises in my head right now. If you watch this trailer and don't find yourself doing the same thing, I won't be your friend anymore.
Child Of Eden
Coming from the same people who made the unforgettable Rez, Child of Eden is one tricky motherfucker to describe. It's creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, likes to base his games on the concept of synaesthesia, a neurological condition where a sufferers senses become crosswired, and they can taste sound or hear colours. Yeah, I totally just googled that. Anyway, this game is sort of a musical/visual shooter and will use some of the new hardware announced by Sony and Microsoft. It looks damnedly intriguing, and if the hardware lives up to expectations, definitely worth developing epilepsy for.
If you didn't play the first Portal game, shame on you! Valve's first-person puzzle/platformer was a sleeper hit, taking the company by surprise. It is definitely one of the most eagerly anticipated games at E3 2010, and the trailer above sent little shivers up and down my spine. The sequel promises to be bigger and better, and if it is injected with the same black humour as it's predecessor, this could be one great game.
Finally, I said I was going to cover the hardware announcements in later posts, and I will. I have deliberately avoided Kinect or PSMove software for this reason. However, have a look at this footage of a Star Wars game designed for the Kinect system.
What the fuck is that? Why are there stormtroopers AND spider droids AND tanks? That's completely incongruous! Why the hell do the stormtroopers just fall backwards like a sack of potatoes when they die? Darth Vader? What the fuck are you doing here? Why are you so skinny?
I sincerely hope that is something of a technical demo and not reflective of the final product. I'm pretty sure that if LucasArts has okayed this, George Lucas is going to hell.