It has been a few days now since the E3 video game and electronics convention just came and went, leaving many exciting previews and announcements in its wake, but we here at Geeks of Doom wanted to put together a basic wrap-up for those of you who missed it all and do not yet know of all of the treasures that came of it. The big dogs in Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all had exciting conventions, with Sony and Microsoft making some magnificent announcements. Included in this mass of geek-tastic announcements: A look at Microsoft’s motion-capture attempt with Project Natal, Sony’s motion-capture prototype, and games like Mass Effect 2, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Halo: ODST, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, God of War III, and others.
In celebration of the convention and all of the great things that came out of it, we’ve decided to put together this little recap of the biggest and brightest things that we saw. We will do our very best to offer information on the products, as well as the mind-blowing videos that were shown! To start, we’ll go over the three main outlets and what they presented to us. After that, we’ll take a look at all of the games and videos that were also presented by the various publishers.
Click on over for some great videos of the future of gaming via motion sensors, as well as a collection of wonderful trailers and videos to watch!
We will begin with who has to be considered the big winner of the week: Microsoft. The company behind the Xbox 360 offered up some great previews and teases of their best upcoming games, as well as a look into their future technologies — technologies that are right out of our favorite sci-fi movies. In a time when the Wii is most-popular system due to its light, party-style, family-aimed system and games — the XBox 360 and Playstation 3 are finally making the move to try and compete with that element as well.
When it comes to Microsoft, I’m of course talking about code name: Project Natal. Natal was unveiled to an awe-struck crowd with promises of being the first motion-sensor system that allows you to play without any kind of controller; a game where YOU are the controller.
The presentation opened with a cool little video showing all of the things that you can do, which can be seen below. After that, they did a live demo which was a good way to see how your entire body can be used. Lastly, and by far the most impressive thing of the night, Microsoft sent Natal to Peter Molyneux and Lionshead studios to mess around with — what they came up with was called Milo, and it was one of the scariest, most-brilliant things I’ve seen in video game technology.
Below are two videos: the opening presentation of Project Natal and the demo of what Lionshead studios created.
As far as the opening presentation goes: I’m still on the fence. Some of the games look really boring and I would much prefer holding a controller in my hand — for me, that’s part of the fun and the experience. On the other hand, the facial and voice recognitions and the ability to scan through and play movies without a remote: these are things that impressed. I believe this technology still has a ways to go, but when we do get deep into the immersive 3-D games that are surely on the way, this could be out-of-this-world intense. A sample of that is when you watch the second video with the boy, Milo. Milo is the start of something really special, and when we find a way to use what we saw with him, and infuse it with today’s most-popular video games…well, at that time, we will be in for a great freakin’ ride.
Also announced for Microsoft’s XBox 360 is a new agreement with both Facebook and Twitter social networking websites that will allow you do use both sites on your XBox console. You can watch a video discussing this HERE.
On the Sony Playstation 3 front, they have their own new version of motion-sensor technology that they’re hoping will dethrone the Wii and defeat Natal. So far, they only have a prototype wand that works with the Sony Eye that was released a while back, but it too looks impressive.
If Project Natal is the future of gaming, then I believe Sony’s motion-sensor prototype is the right now of gaming. It’s similar to the Wii, but in the live demo they perform that can be seen below, you can see how this particular technology can be applied and used to our games right now. Wii has always been highly-sensitive when you move and this looks to tone that down a little to obtain a new level of accuracy.
I particularly likes the sample that they showed with the sword and archery. That demo made me think of a game like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and how you could really jump into a sort of interactive fantasy adventure like that.
Considering that the Nintendo Wii has been going strong in the motion-sensor department for a long time now, they didn’t have as big of an E3. They have, however, been working to update their system and make it better than ever with the Wii Motion Plus, which can be seen briefly below. The Wii Motion Plus basically just touches upon the aforementioned highly-sensitive Wii-mote and makes it more smooth, and more accurate. Though with the Wii, the games will still be more cartoony and family-friendly as PS3 will look to capitalize with great next-gen games.
Nintendo’s presentation focused more on new games: they introduced a new old school-style Super Mario Brothers game, some new Zelda artwork, and a new Nintendo DS game called Scribblenauts that people are raving about.
Here’s the peek at the Wii Motion Plus & new Wii Sports Resort
So much great stuff already, but those were only the main events. We still have some of the great games that were shown at E3 2009. Below are some of the games that caught people’s attention, a little about each game, and a link to go and watch the footage/trailers shown at E3!
TRAILERS & FOOTAGE
Many great trailers and demos were shown off at E3, and here is a list of some of the best. You can click the links to go check them out for yourself, which I highly recommend doing!
Mass Effect 2 Trailer & Gameplay Preview — This seems to be the big winner of the convention in terms of video/trailers. We finally got some solid looks at this game that we’re already boiling over with excitement about, so to see it finally is the final straw. Consider it on, and we just can not wait any longer. Check out the E3 trailer, and some gameplay below.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves — One of Playstation 3’s big upcoming titles, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is really looking amazing. I’m not a PS3 owner (yet), but with this and God of War 3 on the way, I’m beginning to re-think that whole situation! You can see exactly what I mean with a long peek at how insanely good the world that they’ve created for this sequel really looks. Click the link to watch the awesome direct-feed gameplay footage.
God of War III — While we’re talking about games that may swing me toward buying a PS3, the first and best bet is of course God of War III. After that ending in the second game of the trilogy, you knew it was going to be insane for game three. Sadly, for those of us who don’t have a system, the game is out of reach, and this is a very sad thing. I was actually a little unsure of the footage they showed at E3, to be honest. There’s not really many changes (which is a good thing) — it looks like the other God of War titles but with a much more clean and stunning textures and settings, along with the power to add many more enemies on screen at once and really knock some scale out of the park. For a game known for its scale on PS2, we can only imagine what they can do with a PS3. This is actually where I was confused by the footage I saw. What I saw was a section that had a Titan in the far background climbing up, which those of you who have played the games will understand. Oddly though, the Titan didn’t look nearly as large as we’ve seen them to be; he was huge, but we know them as being level-sized beings, not just really big. I guess there’s a chance that he could have been miles and miles away and I couldn’t tell this — but to me it seems maybe a little small for the Titans that we know. Either way, I’m still pathetically giddy to one day play this.
Halo 3 ODST & Halo: Reach — Bungie was at E3 in full-force and they did not disappoint. The makers of the Halo franchise have been working on a sort of spinoff game that takes place weeks before the start of Halo 3 that’s called Halo 3 ODST. In the game, you’re a rookie soldier who has to go around figuring out what’s going on with a mixture of puzzle-solving and good old Halo warfare. Being someone who greatly enjoys the Halo games, but is not so big on the Halo storylines, there’s high hopes for this little spinoff to turn into a big adventure in the Halo universe! Also announced was a new game called Halo: Reach, which no one knows much about, but you can check out the uber-teaser below and see for yourself. It’s a good bet that this will be a game based on the book Halo: The Fall of Reach, which is a prequel book written after the first game and which was supposedly going to be the base for the first Halo movie that Peter Jackson was producing long ago. The last line of audio is certainly interesting.
The Last Guardian — Not much is needed to sell this game. Fans of both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus will cry with joy when they see the trailer for the third game from Team Ico: The Last Guardian. Not much is known of the game and what it will entail, but as you will see with this trailer, it’s beautiful and looks to be full of heart.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — The Call of Duty games have always been fairly popular as a World War II franchise, but it was only when they released Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that the franchise exploded. Now — after a brief revisit to WWII in Call of Duty: World at War — another intensely modern adventure is upon us in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Final Fantasy XIV Online — Final Fantasy XIII hasn’t even been released yet, but that didn’t stop Square Enix from shocking E3 with a teaser trailer for Final Fantasy XIV online, which is set to help take the world of MMOs to the next level on the PS3 and PC.
Most Original Games Recap — G4 put together a video of all of the most original games that were showcased at E3, including: Alan Wake, Borderlands, Brutal Legend, Split/Second, Heavy Rain and Scribblenauts. Scribblenauts being the biggest of surprises; a simple game with the look of a child’s drawing in which you solve puzzles by typing in nouns to receive objects. The shock here is that there’s 10,000 different things that you can type and use to solve these puzzles.
Of course, there’s many other great games that were unveiled and shown at E3 — many of which you can see by heading over to the G4 E3 2009 website and checking out all the mega-announcements. This is just a collection of some of the more smile-inducing things that were shown this year.