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Scrivener

Welcome to E3 2004

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Well, this years E3 was a far cry better than last years. Gotta stick my hand in an aquarium full of cockroaches hoping to win an Alienware notebook (I didnt)... I then offered to eat all of the roaches for the notebook. They said no. Bummer.

This year's highlights:

1) Operation Flashpoint for XBox... looks FANTASTIC. Everything made it in, and it has Xbox live support.

2) Phantom gaming system - increadible. I take back everything i said about their little system. It was running UT 2004 at 60fps easy, with all the options on, at 1080i... with a specially designed keyboard and mouse... that sits on your lap! Strangest of all - they will GIVE you the system if you sign a 2-year service contract ($30/month). That $30 gets you access to a ton of games at any time (streamed live over your broadband) like TV channels. There *will* be premium content, but that will be cheap. And $30 a month for a bunch of games is cheaper than $50+ per game seperately.

3) Fight Club the game... it was awesome. Like a cross between Tekken, Tau Feng, and DOA... the devs really did their homework. Super-interactive environments (The guy did a special move where the guy slams the other guy's head in a car door multiple times), blood... and painful looking bone-breaking (Well placed kick snaped this guys arm, bending it the wrong way). Will definately be picking it up for my XB.

4) Doom 3 - especially impressive since it was playable on Xbox. All the graphics, all the features, 60fps... on Xbox. It put everything else in the Microsoft area to shame.

5) Soldiers: Heros of WW2 - FINALLY a real spiritual successor to Close Combat. Pretty graphics, 3D everything, destructable terrain, real physics, great tactical gameplay.

6) Superpower 2 - the only thing that DIDNT suck at Dreamcatcher's arena. This looks great, definately worlds beyond the first Superpower. The guy demonstrated a neat feature whereby you can make Languages/Religions or a number of other things legal/illegal. Watching him deal with a resulting uprising was quite entertaining.

7) Rome: Total War - Oh-my-God. Screenshots don't do this justice. Seeing it in action is like seeing history happen in front of you...

8) Battle for Middle Earth - and so is this. The battles were every bit as great as the films, and they smoothed out some of the things I was upset about... (poor scale, etc).

9) Dreamfall: Longest Journey 2 - Funcom is aiming for a TEEN on this. I enarly strangled the guy when he told me that. Fortunately, he also said they were planning a mature "International version." Meaning I will have to get the game from my usual overseas sources.

Other stuff:

A) More WW2 games than you could possibly imagine. I started ignoring them after a few minutes.

B) No Richard Burns ralley. Bummer! I really wanted to see this in action.

C) Shellshock: Nam 67 looked really, really lame. Eidos claimed it is supposed to be the most brutally realistic (See: gory) wargame of all time. If little pink puffs = gore, then yeah. This looks like a 3rd person Medal of Honor with the TINIEST ammount of blood.

D) The Singles - already available in Europe, the ESRB (Electronic Software Raping Beurocracy) slapped this with an AO for it's full frontal nudity. Not impressed. Played the Euro version and this is NOT that bad.

More later...

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quote:


Originally posted by Scrivener:

2) Phantom gaming system - increadible. I take back everything i said about their little system. It was running UT 2004 at 60fps easy, with all the options on, at 1080i... with a specially designed keyboard and mouse... that sits on your lap! Strangest of all - they will GIVE you the system if you sign a 2-year service contract ($30/month). That $30 gets you access to a ton of games at any time (streamed live over your broadband) like TV channels. There *will* be premium content, but that will be cheap. And $30 a month for a bunch of games is cheaper than $50+ per game seperately.


uhm, you weren't seeing the actual machine in action because they didn't have a broadband connection to stream the game. In fact to start, they were just running a local copy of UT2004. Go here for more.

And here is an excellent source for E3 shenanigans

EDIT: Here is another report which says they had something running.

[ 05-12-2004, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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It's entirely likely that it was preloaded. Didn't even think about it not actually being online. The actual game was quite playable, tho (on at *least* one system). A friend and I seem to have walked away having reached entirely different conclusions about their subscription policies, tho. We heard the same speech, but somehow came up with two entirely different translations. Will need more info on that.

In other news:

1) The Singles - Aparently Eidos is still fighting for an M, and I would have to agree. Although there *is* nudity in the game (You'll read 'full frontal' on many sites, but the guys in the game don't have any plumbing, so it's not entirely true) it's definately not egregious enough to warrant an Ao. It's like the sims with breasts.

2) Almost nothing on show in the way of CRPGs. That's very, very sad. Apparently only Bioware and Obsidian are working on real RPGs... although there's also the Troika pseudo-rpg Vampire Bloodlines, which uses the Source engine.

3) DISCover systems were on show in several locations. These seem to be a bit bigger than an Xbox, and apparently start at around $500. Nevertheless, the concept alone was pretty impressive.

4) Prince of Persia 2 - Looks to impress just as much, if not more, than the last one. We saw the prince jump up on a giant's back and start slashing away at it's neck... eventually driving his sword into it's spine. It was like a really cool animated cartoon movie... but 100% playable.

5) Blood and gore seemed to be out of style this year... only Bloodrayne 2 and Brothers in Arms showing any ammount of mature-oriented violence. However, sex was in big time. Liesure Suit Larry, Playboy Mansion, and The Singles were all huge titles this year. About 80% of the games at the show were TEEN targetted or less. That always miffs me. The industry (Read: ESRB) is putting the same stigma on games that they put on animation: it's a kids medium. Despite the fact that 90% of all gamers are over the age of 21... ratings are starting to get unreasonable regardless of medium. Fantastic family films like Whale Rider are getting PG13s, and games like Medal of Honor get TEENS... if these were movies 20 years ago, they would have been PG. Think about that.

6) New Zelda is in the works, this time no cell-shading. The video just said "The Legend of Zelda"... based on the video, a lot of folks were whispering rumours of a remake of classic Zelda.

7) Sega was supposed to make a big announcement... apparently noone knows what that is yet.

8) E3 food is nasty and expensive. $17.95 for a chicken breast sandwich with fresh vegetables. Instead, I bought a $2 rat-dog from the hotdog vendors across the street. That's good stuff.

9) Looks like LucasArts is now concentrating SOLELY on Star Wars games now. With the exception of KOTOR2, I won't be sad if I never saw another Star Wars game so long as I lived... especially since this contrived BS is being paid for instead of Full Throttle or Sam & Max.

Conclusion: Looks to be a very, very weak year for PC games. Almost no RPGs, a few promising strategy games (Including Codemaster's bizarre PERIMETER), and more shooters... especially WW2/Vietnam/Modern shooters... than you could possibly imagine. What's REALLY unnerving, is that almost all of those shooters are 'shooting' for Teen ratings. You've got guns! And you shoot people for chrissakes! What's with all the TEEN ratings!?!? I don't hate games... I only hate bad games. It just happens that most games are bad.

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quote:


Originally posted by Scrivener:

apparently noone knows what that is yet.


They announced - yet another - MMOG title. Yeah, thats a surprise.

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Hey, don't get mad at the game developers for aiming at Teen ratings. All of us on here know that if developers left in the realism and gore, then parents wouldn't let their children under the age of 17 have them. After all, if teens see lots of violence and gunfights in computer games, they are going to go out and shoot people with guns. After all, it's not the parent's fault if the kid is psychotic.

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