So, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have had their Press Briefings at E3, showing off the games to come for their systems. The question is, from a Genre fan’s standpoint, what do they have that’s interesting?
In addition to Halo having some gameplay footage for Halo: Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, showing off the more open-world feel of the game, as well as the multiple character viewpoints for the game, we also got the official trailer for Halo: Reach, a prequel to the first game in the series. We also got English gameplay footage for Final Fantasy XIII, featuring the first footage of one of the Summons, Odin (returning after an absence in Final Fantasy XII. We also, finally, have footage of Alan Wake, which appears to be using some of the TV series structure that Alone in the Dark used, though hopefully it’s executed better. The Metal Gear franchise is also finally coming to the 360, but a new title – Metal Gear Solid: Rising. As yet, no word on a port fo MGS4 to the 360. There also was our first gameplay footage of Modern Warfare 2, the sequel of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which is a direct sequel, continuing on the somewhat James Bondian story of the first game.
The biggest scoop that I could consider genre-related though was Project Natal, Microsoft’s motion control project, which does not use any peripherals that you hold in your hand, just going with body movement. It does look interesting, and in general reports from the show floor appear to say that it does actually work – but I’m still getting flashbacks to Sega’s Activator and the Power Glove.
Not a lot of gameplay footage or trailers of anything genre here. We are getting a port of New Super Mario Bros.” from the DS to the Wii with 4 player similtanious play. Square-Enix unveiled Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, as well as Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (which is set between Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, and provides more information about the character of Roxas and Organization XIII). Nintendo also announced a new Mario RPG game “Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story” which is set in a large part inside Bowser. And, finally, on the RPG front, we got Golden Sun DS. The main focus was on the new Wii Motion Plus controler.
Taking things into a more Sci-Fi standpoint (instead of pure fantasy), Nintendo unveiled Super Mario Galaxy 2 (which will include Yoshi), and a new Metroid game they’re working on with the now Itagaki-less Team Ninja – Metroid: Other M. From 3rd parties we’re getting the Resident Evil Light-Gun-ishg game Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles, which appears to feature events from Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica. There’s also the first person shooter “The Conduit” which appears to combine sci-fi an conspiracy elements, and a prequel to Dead Space, Dead Space: Extraction.
Much more Genre stuff here, or Genre related stuff. We got Gameplay footage of Uncharted 2: Drake’s Fortune, and we get some of the voice acting from the game, including some of Claudia Black’s dialog. Hideo Kojima also made an appearance here to unveil Metal Gear: Peacewalker for the PSP, which is set in the 1970s in Costa Rica, and appears to set up the founding of Outer Heaven (the organization that Snake goes up against in the first Metal Gear game). Oh, and there appear to be at least 4 clones of Big Boss. A portable Resident Evil game for the PSP is announced, but we don’t get a trailer or gameplay footage. We do, however, get Gameplay footage fro Assassin’s Creed 2, and an announcement (with trailer) of Final Fantasy XIV – another MMO.
However, the 2 biggest games we saw, in my opinion, was The Last Guardian, the new game from the Ico team, and God of War 3, which we finally got some gameplay footage of.
On the hardware standpoint, we got the official unveiling of the PSP Go, which is notable in that it does not have a drive for UMDs, tying in with Sony officially announcing that all it’s upcoming PSP games that will get a UMD release will also get a release for Digital Download through the Playstation Network – though they are currently saying that they aren’t phasing out physical media for the PSP, or the PSP-3000 SKU. I would not be suprised in the wake of this announcement, by the way, that GameStop scales back their PSP section and doesn’t stock the PSP Go at all when it comes out. We also get to see Sony’s own new motion control technology, which appears to work in conjunction with the Eye-Toy. The technology, I must admit, reminded me of the Wii-Mote and Nunchuck, but it may allow for some functionality in later iterations that the Wii-Mote and Wii Motion Plus doesn’t offer.