Compared to E3 events over the years, this year’s event is scaled back immensely and is a lot more intimate. The media, developers and publishers get a lot of cozy one-on-one time to talk about the games. It also makes the lines shorter to the games you want to play on the showcase floor. Here’s just a few of the games I played today:
Dark Void (Capcom)
This new title was developed by Airtight Games, the same folks who created the excellent Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge for the original Xbox. In Dark Void, you play as Will, a pilot in the 1930’s who flies into the Bermuda Triangle and gets transported into another world full of some enemy alien race. Will finds a group of folks who also came through the Triangle as well that are fighting against the aliens, trying to get back home. So he joins forces with them and the battle begins. The game is a mix of 3rd person shooter and flying. The game has a pretty cool cover system which even allows you to hide under rocks when scaling a mountain. The weaponry was decent, and the look and environment of the level I played was great. I’m a sucker for story driven games, so this will be one I look forward to when it drops in 2009.
Project Origin (Warner Bros. Interactive)
Project Origin is actually the official sequel to F.E.A.R., the horror first-person shooter that was released in 2005. Developed by Monolith, the game begins almost at the same as the last one ended. The game plays like F.E.A.R. as far as controls and options but one of the biggest additions to the game was the control of Mech Warrior-type robots. The things are vicious, ripping enemies to shreds with its machine guns and blowing up other robots with missiles and rocket launchers. Looks like another great game.
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift (Sony)
The original Motorstorm was a launch title for the Playstation 3. Although the game was spectacular looking, there were some complaints that it just wasn’t enough as there were only eight tracks to race on. Pacific Rift will have 16 tracks, mostly in a lush, tropical jungle. I raced a couple of times with a motorcycle and a racing truck and the feel of the original game is still there. There’s more water this time around and it’ll slow you down if you get caught up in it. The environment looks as good as the previous but with a little more variety, which is a welcomed addition. I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
Madden 09 (EA Sports)
This year the Madden Football video game franchise is celebrating its 20th anniversary and they’re doing a pretty good job of it so far. The fields and stadiums look amazing as ever and the animation on the field is probably the best the game has ever seen. The commentary this time around is handled by Tom Hammond and Chris Collinsworth, but John Madden does give a nice intro to each game. The interface is slick and easy to navigate, and it seems like the game got a bit harder. I was getting beat down by the Packers as I played with the Broncos. Maybe it was just the team I chose.
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. (Ubisoft)
The Tom Clancy property is Ubisoft’s biggest franchise so it’s a good thing that most of the titles they release under it are quality games. The flying game, H.A.W.X., is looking pretty good so far. It takes a moment or two to get used to the flying controls, but once you get it down you’ll be dodging missiles and taking down enemies in no time. One of the unique things about H.A.W.X is the use of Geo Eye for its environments. Geo Eye is the world’s highest resolution commercial Earth-imaging satellite. Yes, it’s better than Google Earth. I was flying over Rio de Janiero in Brazil taking out the bad guys and it was breath taking. Based off that demo, it looks like another winner for Tom Clancy.