E3 Fun: The First Encounters

The first official day of E3 was filled with pretties. Plenty of hands-on demos awaited eager onlookers, with trailers bouncing from booth to booth and debuts a-plenty to wet the most conservative of appetites. The press demos may have given us a taste yesterday, but today was all about the first-hand looks, with a conference from Nintendo to make up the remainder.

First up: Civilization V. Fans of the series will have been waiting anxiously for this one, and if you enjoy the addictive turn-based strategy that has made this one so popular, you should be seriously salivating. As usual Sid Meier has not only continued with tradition, but enhanced upon it, making what is already satisfying even better. Shogun 2, another classic in the strategy area (one of the Medieval: Total War variety), made an impressive debut as well, showcasing some intense warfare in feudal Japan. Samurai action here we come.

As for Nintendo, they put on quite a show. Most important, the announcement of a new Zelda, which, if you’re familiar with Nintendo, is one of those rare gems amidst a system otherwise focused on the family. They offered a lengthy demo for the game, which is called Skyward Sword—and one better, they gave a launch date for it. This sequel to the popular Twilight Princess is due out in early 2011. So keep your eyes peeled. The only downside is that is doesn’t seem to have the same feel as Twilight Princess did…but Metroid is also apparently set for a new sequel, to be known as “Other M.” Classy. I bet you can guess what the twist is.

Remember Donkey Kong? Well the barrel-tossing ape himself is making a grand and glorious return onto the Wii with Donkey Kong Country Returns. It’s not the only classic making a return either. If anyone remembers the N64 gem GoldenEye 007, then I imagine you’ll have as much of a WTF moment as I did when it was revealed that this classic of multiplayer mayhem is making a comeback, in a revival set for the Wii.

The other big announcement on the Nintendo front was the Nintendo 3Ds. The 3DS sports three cameras, two of which will take 3D photos. It also sports a touchscreen, in the same fashion that made the DS so popular, complete with stylus and everything. It also looks to be sporting a fancy little Wi-Fi system-to-system communication system, which will supposedly transmit data to other 3DS you may encounter in public. Somebody’s going to build a pokemon network.

Amidst a virtual butt-ton of new visuals for Xbox’s Kinect project, there were also glimpses of Project Dust and Uncharted 3, for all those Sony fans out there waiting for some treasure-hunting action.

There was also some Twisted Metal action, but…eh. It didn’t begin to catch my interest.

New trailers included a five minute story promo for the sequel to Star Wars the Force Unleashed (not to spoil anything, but one word sums it up: CLONES!), a teaser promising more trippy travel opportunities in the form of Portal 2, and a look at a new Warhammer MMO, because everyone needs at least one in this day and age. The MMO will be known as Dark Millenium Online.

Ubisoft offered a delicious look at the multiplayer for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and it is looking fine. Capitalizing on the battle between Templars and Assassins in the streets of Rome. Character options seem somewhat varied, and the variety of modes is very tempting. Perhaps most interesting is how the main multiplayer will work. For silent kills, you will get extra XP, and also, each game is going to be run sort of like an assassination contract, with one player marked out for you to try and ice. I will admit I was skeptical about the possibilities of this multiplayer announcement, but so far, it’s shaping up rather nicely.

Mafia 2 also offered a hands-on experience, if people were interested in a slightly more modern version of death-dealing. Tommy guns abound in this one, friends, and while there’s not going to be any multiplayer for this one, the single player looks like it will continue the fine tradition set by the first. Fans of the game shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

And for conspiracy theorists, the new Deus Ex game: Human Revolutions made its grand debut, and from what I understand, it was quite a show. Unfortunately, it was a behind-closed-doors presentation, so the people that actually got to see it were a bit select. Hopefully, some shiny samples will make their way to the main floor at some point.

~ by Chris G. on June 15, 2010.

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