E3 Weasel Recap #2

E3 is now but a thing of the past for 2008, but the immense amounts of new game information are still trickling in. Hundreds upon hundreds of brand new, previously announced, and already out games were shown in great detail at this massive event that takes place every year in California. While it may seem like there just is way too many games to even care to take a look at a lot of them, I’ve narrowed the list down to games that I myself are interested in, and wrote a little bit about why. But first, here’s the list of games that I saw at E3 that peaked my curiosity.

Please note, I own nothing more than a PlayStation 3 and a PC, so you will not see any Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, or Nintendo Wii games in this collection. Many great games were announced for each of those systems as well, so don’t hesitate to go on your own search for new, amazing games that were announced.

E3 Games of Interest
LittleBigPlanet (PS3) – *****
MAG (PS3) – *****
PlayStation Home (PS3) – *****
Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) – ****
Killzone 2 (PS3) – ****
Fallout 3 (PS3) – ****
Mirror’s Edge (PS3) – ****
Flower (PS3) – ****
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation (PS3) – ****
Spore (PC) – ****
The Sims 3 (PC) – ****
Resident Evil 5 (PS3) – ***
Resistance 2 (PS3) – ***
inFAMOUS (PS3) – ***
Dead Space (PS3) – ***
Fracture (PS3) – ***
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3) – ***
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3) – **
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (PS3) – **

Now, here’s a look at the games that haven’t yet been mentioned in my previous Blogs, plus a quick mention of those that were, and why they are on my list in the place that they are.

5 Stars

LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
Media Molecule – September 2008
Lately, I’ve been reading more and more about this game, and my excitement level has just been increasing. The amount of free-range developer tools that are going to be made available to us just seems immense, and the possibilities endless on what kinds of levels you can make. With support from everything from the Sixaxis hardware in your controller, to being able to take pictures using the PlayStation Eye, the creativity just seems to flow from every angle of this game. I can’t wait to get my hands on my own Sack Boy, and be able to run around the canvas that I create.
Note: Contrary to my previous Blog, the possible release date moved to September. Research shows that it will be releasing ONLINE in September, but the RETAIL version will be available in October.

MAG (PS3)
Zipper Interactive – TBA
As of yet, still not much information has been leaked about MAG, fully titled “Massive Action Game”. As stated before, this is an online-only first-person shooter with support for up to 256 players, each in 8 person squads with one appointed leader. They also announced that there will be extensive character customization and upgrades. This game just has me excited because I love the fact of being able to play in, what is literally a massive war-setting. It’s just got me interested, and I think that’s what they aimed for this early in the game. Rumor slates this game as a 2009 release.

PlayStation Home (PS3)
SCE – Q4 2008
Even with a brand-new trailer revealed at E3, there still just isn’t any behind-the-scenes information on the upcoming virtual world that will be PlayStation Home. None the less, with the release of Home, I will definitely be delving into what kind of tools, features, and the such that I can find within this vast world inside my PlayStation 3. I still, though, am wishing for more information about specific features of the world, as most that have already been released have been almost just “what-we-hope-to-be-in-here” announcements. Still, I’m very excited to see it in action.

4 Stars

Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
Square Enix – TBA
I briefly touched on this game in the last Blog’s, sadly, Microsoft Press Conference, but I’m still sticking to the fact that it will be better on the PlayStation 3. I can be upset with Square Enix for trading all I want, but, I’m still interested to see what this game will be like. Sadly, all they did in this entire conference was show a rehashed trailer using mostly footage we’d already seen. While I am excited to see what this game has to offer, I’m still a little more skeptical than before. The battle systems of Final Fantasy XI and XII were not my favorite, and if it continues in that way, I may just have to finally leave the Final Fantasy franchise behind me. I’m still waiting on my verdict on this game until I see actual gameplay features.

Killzone 2 (PS3)
Guerrilla – February 2009
I’ll admit, beyond all of the technical difficulties, the terrible AI, and the lack of features to the game, I still bought, and enjoyed, the first Killzone. Years in the making, literally, Killzone 2 is finally soon to be completed, but still not until the beginning of next year. None the less, I really am curious to see how this game pans out. The whole premise behind the game really got me involved, and I’d like to see that continued with this game. My biggest problem I’m having right now is that, other than the storyline, this shooter hasn’t shown us anything too unique to make it really worth buying. Still, I’m ready to see this game in action.

Fallout 3 (PS3)
Bethesda Softworks – Q4 2008
Even though the Fallout 3 live gameplay was shown during the Microsoft Press Conference, I’m still getting this game for the PlayStation 3. And I’ll admit, I think it was the features that they discussed this year that really peaked my interest in this game. The battle system has something unique to offer to your traditional shooter, bringing in the V.A.T.S. system. On top of that, just like other games made by Bethesda, such as the Elder Scrolls series, how you play the game determines how your character grows, how people react around you, and most importantly, how the game ends. I’m curious to see more before the holiday season arrives.

Mirror’s Edge (PS3)
EA DICE – TBA 2008
Watch a trailer for this game. Seriously, just the way the game looks is kick-ass, for lack of a better term. Basically, you play the role of a “runner”, a person who can run really quick, but still in a natural human stride, and be able to jump from building to building without even hesitating. And it’s all in a first person view, so you see it from how you only could in the real world. Oh, and did I forget to mention that, even though you’re a runner, there’s still combat, and it’s a shooter even? Yeah, who would have thunk it. This game just looks cool, plain and simple, and that’s what has me watching for more on it.

Flower (PS3)
thatgamecompany – TBA
Don’t even give me that “oooh, he likes frilly little flowers”. If you see a trailer for it, you’d be impressed too. The basic premise is, you play as a flower petal, and have to transform the world from the dull, gray boringness that it is, into a colorful masterpiece filled with colors upon colors of flowers. I want to know more about this game because it’s beautiful, plain and simple. With a beautiful art design, and an amazing soundtrack in the background of it as well, there just isn’t anything about it that wouldn’t warrant looking into it. Plus, it’s a downloadable game, and will be made available on the PlayStation Network, so it’s not like it’s going to be a full-priced game in the first place anyways. Unfortunately, there’s still no date on it’s release.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation (PS3)
Slant Six – Oct 14, 2008
An odd installment of the SOCOM series, SCEA has decided to make this an online-only, 32 player game, instead of it’s previous installments having a single-player campaign mode as well. While I think that the whole “online-only” genre of shooters is starting to almost flood the market at a not-so-great pace, the good thing is that they all seem to be very original in their own aspect. Bundled with this game will be a PlayStation 3 exclusive Bluetooth headset. Not only that, this SOCOMgame features the most unique type of voice technology I’ve ever seen in a game. Unless you press a certain button to talk via your com to your teammates, whenever you speak, it will literally speak out loud in the game, for both your teammates and your enemies to hear. Yelling, whispering, even hearing someone talk from behind a wall, will all sound realistic to every other player in the area. Surprising enough, this feature alone has me itching to try it out in person.

Spore (PC)
Maxis – Sep 7, 2008
I don’t think this game could be more self-explanatory. You create a creature, literally anything that you want, starting from an amoeba, and grow him up into a full-fledged society. From there, you can begin war on other players’ creatures and take over the universe with your race of randomly created creatures. This game has been getting hype since Day One as being a revolutionary piece of software, and it’s got me looking into it as well. I’ve already got my hands on the Creature Creator, and that was a blast to play around with just in itself. None the less, I’m still kind of wondering how much time I’ll want to put into a game like this.

The Sims 3 (PC)
EA Redwood Shores – TBA 2009
Yes, it’s the Sims. Yes, it’s just another Sims game. But, it’s much much more than just another Sims game. Unlike what they’ve been doing for the past who knows how many years, this isn’t just another expansion which will give you more things to put in your house, more clothes for you to wear, or a pet for you to have to groom, lest you have a dead puppy on your hands. EA is finally opening up the world of the Sims, making it much more dynamic, realistic, and easier to not lose your character to an untimely death, just because he didn’t get his sleep on time. From what I had originally heard, the bars of hunger, sleep, bladder, and the rest will be removed, and replaced with a much simpler way of telling when your character needs to be helped along. I’m not exactly a Sims fanatic, nor have I bought every one of their expansions, but I am interested in this official sequel.

3 Stars

Resident Evil 5 (PS3)
Capcom – Mar 13, 2009
It’s almost sad to see such a great series this low on my interest list. While the graphics look absolutely stunning, the AI smarter than ever before, and the feature of online co-op added in, the amount of difference between this game and it’s fourth iteration just isn’t enough to spark interest. It’s a brand new storyline with a brand new character set, but it’s still the same old zombies, with the same old ways of having to kill them. I won’t say that I’m completely against this game, and I’ll definitely be checking it out when there’s more to show on it, but, I’m not going too crazy over pre-ordering it yet.

Resistance 2 (PS3)
Insomniac Games – Nov 4, 2008
Resistance: Fall of Man really was one of the first games to show off the PlayStation 3’s potential when it came to first-person shooters, but while the game may be fun and show off the uniqueness of the system’s hardware, it still doesn’t show enough to grab me in. They used a word in Sony’s Press Conference: “scale”. They showed you fighting an absolutely giant monster, and while it was exciting and all, it just almost seemed too fake, especially when you were thrown half way across the city, just to land and stand right back up again. They are increasing it’s multiplayer to 64 players, but I just don’t see that giving them enough of an edge to really make this game the epic shooter that other games are starting to steal away from them. I’ll be on the lookout for this game, but until I start seeing something unique in the gameplay, I may overlook this game in the end.

inFAMOUS (PS3)
Sucker Punch – Q2 2009
Still nothing much has really been shown on this game, but, from what has, you play as a man who lives in a run-down city. But this man is no ordinary man; he can control the powers of electricity. And that’s really his only weapon is the electricity that flows through his body, and shoots through his hands. It’s an interesting premise, and of course, can be used in many unique ways, but just like many other games I’ve seen, it seems a bit hokey, and just not special enough for me to put my money down on it. I’m still waiting to see more gameplay footage before I put my foot down on it, but, I really doubt this game will live up to what people think it might.

Dead Space (PS3)
Electronic Arts – Oct 20, 2008
I first saw this game at this year’s E3, and already it’s made it onto my list of games that I’m interested in. The problem is, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stomach this game very well. While I have played horror games like Resident Evil before, and they are creepy in their own right, this game just brings another level to it. This game is less horror than it is just brutal though. It’s all about the blood, gore, and limb decapitation that bring this game together. But the reason that this game grabbed me is how the HUD system, and every other menu works. In this game, there is no pausing. To open your inventory, a holographic display appears in front of you. Even if you spin your view, it actually stays in front of you just as if it were really his to look at. Also, your health bar is built into the back of your character, and is represented by four bars, which turn from green to yellow to red depending on how much life you have left. The integration of all of this into the game, and forcing you to, theoretically never pause, makes this game unique.

Fracture (PS3)
LucasArts – Oct 7, 2008
The idea of being able to modify the ground in whatever direction and size that you want makes this game a must-see. But after seeing some live gameplay footage, I was actually almost disappointed. While you can shift the earth with your main weapon, and this makes for a unique gameplay value in both single, and especially multi-player modes, I found that it was almost weak in how it worked. Firing at the ground once brought the earth up in that spot about five feet, at best, meaning to really move it, you’d have to shoot at it multiple times. I guess I was just expecting something more, something different. Still, the idea of being able to do that in the first place is cool by itself, so I’ll watch and see what might come out of this game in the end.

Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
Polyphony Digital – TBA 2008
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue was a disappointment, it’s just the truth. It was an oversized demo that cost way more than it should have. But beyond that, it was still Gran Turismo, and looked even more beautiful than ever before. While I am a racing enthusiast, the Gran Turismo series has always been a picky one with me, just because it truly is realistic, in every way possible. It adds a much higher challenge to the game, because if you screw up, you pay for it badly. Still, the full-version sits, waiting to be shown to the public. While it’s release date may say 2008, I highly doubt seeing this game until 2009. None the less, if you want to see something that will test the PlayStation 3’s graphical level at it’s highest, you’ve found the game to do so.

2 Stars

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3)
LucasArts – Sep 16, 2008
It’s a rough thing to put this game so low on my list, but none the less, out of all of the games shown at E3, it still made it on the list. This game is definitely cool in the aspect of the Force, and finally looks to be the first game in quite some time to actually be a good Star Wars game. Still, I just can’t bring myself to be entirely interested in wanting to play another Star Wars game, be it using the Force or not. I’ve seen live gameplay footage, I’ve seen the trailers, and they look cool, no doubt. But, when having to choose from so many games which one looks the best for my money value, this one just doesn’t make it.

MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (PS3)
Evolution Studios – Oct 28, 2008
Oh MotorStorm, how you kill me so. I’ll admit flat-out that I was unable to finish the original MotorStorm game, both as a combination of unwillingness, and of inability to beat a certain level. With this game, it introduces a new vehicle, a few new features in-race, and a handful of compatibility with the first game. I just can’t, though, bring myself to spend the full-price of a video game for this, especially if it’s just going to frustrate me, and annoy me like the first one succeeded in doing. While it’s still on my watchlist as a game that interests me, it may just be from a spectator standpoint more than a player’s standpoint.

And there you have it! 19 more games and their commentary, bringing the E3 Weasel Recap to 37 games total! Keep a lookout on the horizon though; I haven’t featured any games from the Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii yet, and I don’t think that I should just leave them out. Look out later this week for the next entry! Thanks for reading, and please feel free to openly comment about anything and everything that you read here!

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