Our own E3 awards
Our own E3 awards
E3 2009 is over. With over 41,000 punters through the door, it's already apparent that most have regarded the show's return to its larger format as a big success. We're no exception in that regard.
While the next few days will see us continuing to drop in the odd writeup (including for some games you may see featured below), it seems appropriate at this point to list some of the highlights from our perspective from a show that desperately needed to show some vision - and for once delivered.
Biggest game company not showing anything
TIE: Blizzard and Rockstar North. Blizzard's non-participation may be interpreted as a statement of the value it considers E3 to have compared to its own BlizzCon event.
The motive behind Rockstar's disinterest is anyone's guess.
Best game if you're willing to spend <$200
DJ Hero. We're guessing the price point is going to be 120-150ish, maybe $175 at the outside.
As much as some may hate the music game genre, whether due to the argument it bastardises musicians' work/inflicts casual gaming on us, whatever, DJ Hero delivers. We're yet to drop our writeup down on it - but we were sold on what we'd seen of the game already - then the team picked up a Guitar Hero guitar controller and started playing it vs the guy on the decks.
Best game if you are willing to spend $10,000
James Cameron's Avatar. Stereoscopic 3D TV makes all the difference.
Best game if you are willing to spend $40,000 on hardware
Ubisoft's Ruse RTS. Sure, the touchscreen table controller was more meant to demonstrate how cool it could be - but now everyone wants one. One Ubi exec told me the table itself would cost around $37,000 at present.
Modern Warfare 2. Not even close. It didn't help that FPS games seem out of favour.
Team most enthused with their game
A massive compromise here: a three way tie:
The 2K Czech Mafia II team, headed by Denby Grace. They could have talked forever about the game.
Rebellion Software. They've been working on Alien vs Predator in one form or another for longer than many experienced gamers have played.
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 2 team. You can tell they're dying to spill more detail on the game, but aren't allowed to. It looks like some of the barbs about AC gameplay may have struck home.
Best press conference
Microsoft. They really nailed theirs. I can't recall any E3 where they have done better.
People will argue, but the announcement of Rockstar North's Agent came out of nowhere. Especially it being a Playstation exclusive.
You have to say Microsoft's Project Natal. I can totally appreciate some people thinking Sony's vision is more achieveable - however if Microsoft pulls this off they've officially got "next" for console market leadership.
Tony Hawk Ride. No shortage of people trying it out... but we just weren't picking up on anyone going crazy for it; at least not yet.
The Last Guardian ("Project Trico"). Stunning.
Punters lining up to play Battlefield 1943 (and get freebie copies of the game).
Halo 3: ODST was drawing a consistent line too.
James Cameron's Avatar. Here's how I got to see it. Ubisoft rep has to argue and cajole with security to speak to someone running the demos (it was conducted in its own room). He then has to convince the person co-ordinating the demonstrations to hand over a access card for a future time. Then when the allotted time comes, you need to present the card and check in your bag, phone, PC - anything electronic. You then run the gauntlet of several large security men. You're given 3D glasses.
When the demo is over, people are released from the room two at a time. You hand your glasses back. You hand in your chit for your belongings. Then they put on the rubber gloves and get serious. Okay, not that last part. But you get the idea.
Press conference that could have ended in tragedy
Ubisoft's. The fire code violating crush of people trying to register for the event (think 200 people crammed into the space of a NRL locker room.) was a sweaty, short-tempered touch of chaos.
The demo everyone wanted to see
Project Natal. As far as I could gather, only one Australian media rep got to get up close and personal with it. The US media were accorded considerably more love.
RPG most likely to make someone a millionaire
Dragon Age: Origins. We don't know how many BioWare execs aren't loaded... but this will help a few more collect a yacht or two.
Comeback king of E3
You have to give it to Sony. They busted their arse this time around. Their motion control plans were achievable yet inspiring. The PSP Go looks hot. God of War III looks supremely violent. About the only criticism we'd have of Sony is they really do seem to have bitten off a whole lot. Nowhere else could you be checking out the amazing looking Uncharted 2, glance over and see an EyeToy based virtual pet (seriously cool tech), wander away and check out Heavy Rain and God of War III alongside that ultra sweet Gran Turismo 5 video.
Game we think we'll play more than we should
Hustle Kings. It's just a 3D pool game. But it looks like it has that certain "something".
World's shortest exclusive
Final Fantasy XIV. Exclusive to PlayStation 3 on the day of the Sony keynote. Oh but there's also a PC version. And a day later Square Enix stated they're considering "all other other options", including "Microsoft consoles". What a terrific exclusive that turned out to be.
Most pleasant trend
Xbox Live Arcade/PlayStation Network games are beginning to make serious inroads into bridging gamers of all experience levels. Joyride, Shadow Complex and ModNation Racers had plenty of people wanting to spend more time on them than the full priced numbers.
Game most likely to make you play a DS
Scribblenauts from Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment. I kid you not. From the Drawn to Life team, it's essentially a stack of "get from point A to point B" *or* "find the hidden star" (or "Starite" as the game calls them) puzzles. How do you play? You type in a noun for the object or tool you need to circumvent the obstacle.
So if I need to get to a higher level, I may type in "jetpack". The game will drop a jetpack graphic - I drag it onto my avatar and I'm off and flying. And you needn't worry about whether the game will match your vocabulary - it has an internal dictionary of tens of thousands. You will spend more time trying to come up with a noun it doesn't know, I promise.
It's crack in handheld form.
Company who made out like bandits
Konami, courtesy of Kojima Productions. God knows how much cash it took to get Hideo Kojima over the line and onstage announcing Metal Gear Solid Rising for Xbox 360, but it signals nothing but good news for Konami, who just doubled their market for Metal Gear Solid.
Assuming Kojima stays interested, a lucrative future of pingponging platform exclusives awaits. Just ask Rockstar North.
Comments on this Article
Sat 06 Jun 09, 11:26amjasonxr8
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Sun 07 Jun 09, 9:33ammatt30822
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