I go out of my way to watch press conferences, read blogs, and I have missed college classes just to make sure that I didn't let any of the big gaming announcements get past me. Good heavens, I skipped an exam so that I would hear about Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the moment it was revealed!
I'm planning to do a little write up for each of the Big 3's press conferences, and I would LOVE to have you along for the ride! Please, hop into the 8BitVS "Black Van O' Gamin'", take a seat on the mattress in the back, and prepare for E3 coverage, 8-Bit Variety Show style... (It's just like everyone else's E3 Coverage, but with more humor, and racism!)
First up: Microsoft!Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3: The first game featured in the entire conference, and it was a good one. The game certainly has a sense of spectacle to it, especially the first time that the guy demonstrating MW3 broke the surface of the water, and we caught of a glimpse of a New York City, actively transitioning from bustling metropolis to war-torn hellscape. Just watching the missiles streak toward buildings was interesting enough, but there was so much going on that taking too much time to drink in the destruction would probably cost you your life.
Gears of War 3: That boss was very big, very imposing, and not as threatening in practice as it looked like it would be in theory. Still, the Silverback mechs looked great, and the weapons felt like they really had some heft to them.
Tomb Raider: Man, does this game have a polished look to it. The scrapes on Lara are impressive, her clothes are suitably tattered, and there seems to be some pretty cool ideas at play. This is definitely a gritty, inexperienced, YOUNG Lara Croft, so there is a lot of room for growth in this installment, provided the narrative is strong enough to carry it. That said, the portion we saw seemed to be one "quick time" event after another, with nearly every interaction (Lara to environment, Lara to enemy, Lara to Lara) turning into a button mashing contest against the computer. This could just be the portion of the game we saw, because escaping from chains and crawling through crumbling caves does make for some great reflexive situations, but only time will tell.
Ghost Recon - Future Soldier: Gunsmith mode was REALLY cool. This is one of the first Kinect features that caused my eyebrows to raise in astonishment of their own accord. The hand movements seemed pretty natural, they were VERY WELL recognized (which doesn't happen as often as it should, regrettably), and his ability to convert the weapon to exploded view and reassemble in an instant, though simple, was very impressive. I liked that you could use a combination of voice and gesture to customize your weapon, and the ability to test your new configuration right then and there was great. With 7 million possible weapon combinations, I am excited to see how this game progresses.
Live TV with Kinect: Live TV, using your Xbox as a DVR? That sounds great to me. Good idea, and from what I could see, it looks like a great interface, as well.
On the other side, does anyone else think that constantly yelling "XBOX" at your television all night makes you seem like a complete crazy person? "Honey! Lock the doors and call 911! The neighbors are screaming at their television again!" There's a reason that the remote was invented... You can push buttons faster than your can speak, and no one has to wonder whether you've finally had one "Bacardi and Meth Mixer" too many.
|"Uh-oh... Looks like Korean Grandpa is arguing|
with the Xbox again."
Star Wars Kinect: Who DOESN'T want to be a Jedi, slicing down your enemies with hot, lightsaber-ey justice, and fighting against (or for) The Sith with your own body as the controller! Sounds awesome, right?! That's because that game would be awesome. The game showed at Microsoft's press conference, on the other hand? NOT so impressed. Like Fable, this game feels like a re-branded on-rails shooter. Seeing the body motions required from the user to do simple things like dodge left and right made this game seem like it would be WORK just to play it. Not only is it work, but it seems to be more work than it's worth to play this game, which is a complete tragedy! Nonetheless, I withhold final judgement with the hope that Star Wars Kinect is not as un-fun to play as it was to watch.
Halo - Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition: Anybody shocked at this one? I'd be surprised if The Taliban didn't see this announcement coming -
"See? SEE, Omar?! I told you! I said, 'If they don't announce a remastering of Halo, then my name isn't Aakifah Parween Haafizh Nuzhat Thameenah Madani III!*
"You were right, my friend... By Allah, we will buy it, and we will teabag those American infidels!"
|"Also, I heard that Master Chief is Iranian!"|
Well, that's pretty much it for me on the Microsoft conference, but what did you think? Do you agree with some of my thoughts, or was I way off base? Is there anything you would like to see me cover in the remaining conferences? Should I tone down the Middle Eastern references, or should I increase my use of them (assuming, of course, that they continue to be directed only at terrorists)? Let us know what you think in the comments!
*I'd like to thank my friend Google for providing me with a list of middle-eastern names to use for this joke.