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noble
07-03-2007, 02:36 AM
All though E3 doesn't start until next Tuesday, there's already a lot of pre-E3 info being released.

Here's what we can look forward to being released on Marketplace :

Microsoft Once Again Bringing E3 Home to Xbox 360 Owners Around the Globe

For the second year running, fans around the world thirsting for a sneak preview of the Xbox 360™ holiday games and entertainment lineup can get together with friends to experience the E3 Media & Business Summit (E3) — the biggest video game industry event of the year — in high definition from the comfort of their own homes.

From Tuesday, July 10, through Friday, July 13, Microsoft Corp. is bringing E3 home to owners of the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system through its second annual E3: Bringing It Home, which offers downloads on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace of the hottest content from the show.

Connect to the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network and bring everyone together in the living room to enjoy the E3 experience with E3: Bringing It Home.

Xbox 360 owners will be able to download high-definition content direct from the show including the following:

Microsoft’s E3 2007 press conference — beginning at 8:30 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, July 10 — will be available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace in high definition later in the week
Video updates direct from the show
A selection of game trailers, themes, gamer pictures and demos will be available from the hottest E3 titles such as these:
“Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation” (NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.)
“Assassin’s Creed” (Ubisoft)
“BioShock” (2K)
“Blue Dragon” (Microsoft Game Studios)
“Burnout Paradise” (Electronic Arts Inc.)
“CALL OF DUTY® 4: MODERN WARFARE™” (Activision)
“FIFA Soccer 08” (Electronic Arts)
“Guitar Hero III” (Activision/RedOctane)
“Lost Odyssey™” (Microsoft Game Studios)
“Madden NFL 08” (Electronic Arts)
“NCAA Football 08” (Electronic Arts)
“Need for Speed: ProStreet” (Electronic Arts)
“Project Gotham Racing® 4” (Microsoft Game Studios)
“The Simpsons Game” (Electronic Arts)
“Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08” (Electronic Arts)
“WWE® SmackDown® vs. Raw® 2008” (THQ)

In addition to all this content, there will be many surprises, so fans should stay tuned to the Xbox LIVE calendar (http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live/marketplace/ticker.htm) for updates about what E3: Bringing It Home content will be available during the show.

Georgie
07-03-2007, 02:39 AM
It's like Christmas in Summer, with all the presents and none of the crowded malls.

noble
07-03-2007, 08:37 AM
Pre-E3 2007: The Last Remnant

Blood-stained outfits, kidnapped sisters and all-powerful artifacts the size of buildings. Sign us up!
by Jeremy Dunham

July 2, 2007 - The Last Remnant is going to be at E3. However, it's not going to be there in the form that most would expect. Scheduled to appear as a trailer only, the Unreal Engine 3-powered RPG is being treated like a canary in a coal mine -- warning would-be adventurers of what they're getting themselves into on release day.

Of course, nobody really knows when that release day is going to be, but still... you get the metaphor.

Now if you somehow missed the The Last Remnant's official announcement during the 2007 Square Enix Party, allow us to debrief you: It tells the tale of Rush Sykes, a young swordsman who is out to save the life of his younger sister, Irina. Kidnapped in plain sight, Irina is taken by a group of unidentified agents for unknown reasons. As any good brother would, Rush sets out to retrieve his sibling, while also solving the mystery of who took her and why. Eventually, our hero meets up with the shadowy warrior known only as "The Conqueror," and it's then that things start to get interesting.



Gigantic battlefields await your sword.The Conqueror is quite the puzzle of a man. Ruthless and cruel with a uniform stained with blood, he is said to have some kind of unexplained connection to Rush. What does that mean? As of right now, nobody knows; but Square Enix has gone on record as saying that there will be "numerous plot twists that will have a profound affect on the player" and "change [our] opinions of him."

In addition to Rush and The Conqueror's parallel stories, The Last Remnant also has a strong political flavor. Apparently the world has been caught up in the backbiting of various rulers as they argue over who is the rightful heir to the "Remnants" themselves. And just what are these "Remnants?" Square Enix describes them as "mysterious artifacts from an ancient civilization that have been scattered across the world." The company goes on to paint them as "symbols of power that all major empires claim to protect their land; though much is still unknown about them." The Mitra (which is the game's official moniker for the human race), first discovered the Remnants more than a 1000 years ago. Ever since then they've built entire cities around the gigantic objects as a show of adoration and worship.

One thing that director Hiroshi Takai (Final Fantasy V, Legend of Mana) wants to make clear is that, contrary to previous reports, Rush is the only main playable character. Early articles that indicated there were two playable warriors were incorrect.

But just because there's a single hero, it doesn't mean that large-scale battles will take a back seat. In fact, gigantic multi-combatant warfare is what Square Enix hopes will be the main attractor. Gameplay will play out in a cinematic way with an emphasis on recreating "a real battlefield experience." What this means is that while the combat is turn-based, it will also be reactionary with a ton of activity happening onscreen. Choosing a command and watching it play out in the traditional sense isn't enough -- you'll also have to be on the lookout for button pop-ups that give Rush additional damage opportunities. Think God of War's contextual boss battles and you'll better understand where the team is going with this.

This screen pretty much speaks for itself.Speaking of the team, the development crew here is pretty talented. In addition to the aforementioned director, Hiroshi Takai, Yusuke Naora has come onboard as Art Producer. For the unfamiliar, Naora was previously the art director or supervisor on Final Fantasies VII, VIII, X, and Advent Children. Moreover, Chief Artist Kimihiko Miyamae was the background designer on Final Fantasies IX and X, while Producer Nobuyuki Ueda earned his chops as project manager on The Bouncer and Unlimited Saga. Real-time movie lead Kouzi Kobayashi (Animatrix, The Spirits Within), Black Mage Composer Tsuyoshi Sekito (Advent Children, Dawn of Mana), and Executive Producer Akitoshi Kawazu (Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy Tactics) have also signed up.

Perhaps most interesting of all the facts behind The Last Remnant, however, is that it is in simultaneous development for both the US and Japan. It will debut in both territories at the same time on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but again, when that will be is still up in the air. Will The Last Remnant be just as big in one region as it is in the other? Only time will tell.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/the-last-remnant-20070702082438094.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/the-last-remnant-20070702031911165.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/the-last-remnant-20070702031849110.jpg

Bill!
07-03-2007, 08:43 AM
If they don't announce Beyond Good and Evil 2 this year, I will never buy another Ubisoft game (except Brothers in Arms 3).

Brandon Reynolds
07-03-2007, 09:08 AM
I hope there's another Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer.

Bandit Chimera
07-03-2007, 09:09 AM
Pre-E3 2007: The Last Remnant

Blood-stained outfits, kidnapped sisters and all-powerful artifacts the size of buildings. Sign us up!
by Jeremy Dunham

July 2, 2007 - The Last Remnant is going to be at E3. However, it's not going to be there in the form that most would expect. Scheduled to appear as a trailer only, the Unreal Engine 3-powered RPG is being treated like a canary in a coal mine -- warning would-be adventurers of what they're getting themselves into on release day.

Of course, nobody really knows when that release day is going to be, but still... you get the metaphor.

Now if you somehow missed the The Last Remnant's official announcement during the 2007 Square Enix Party, allow us to debrief you: It tells the tale of Rush Sykes, a young swordsman who is out to save the life of his younger sister, Irina. Kidnapped in plain sight, Irina is taken by a group of unidentified agents for unknown reasons. As any good brother would, Rush sets out to retrieve his sibling, while also solving the mystery of who took her and why. Eventually, our hero meets up with the shadowy warrior known only as "The Conqueror," and it's then that things start to get interesting.



Gigantic battlefields await your sword.The Conqueror is quite the puzzle of a man. Ruthless and cruel with a uniform stained with blood, he is said to have some kind of unexplained connection to Rush. What does that mean? As of right now, nobody knows; but Square Enix has gone on record as saying that there will be "numerous plot twists that will have a profound affect on the player" and "change [our] opinions of him."

In addition to Rush and The Conqueror's parallel stories, The Last Remnant also has a strong political flavor. Apparently the world has been caught up in the backbiting of various rulers as they argue over who is the rightful heir to the "Remnants" themselves. And just what are these "Remnants?" Square Enix describes them as "mysterious artifacts from an ancient civilization that have been scattered across the world." The company goes on to paint them as "symbols of power that all major empires claim to protect their land; though much is still unknown about them." The Mitra (which is the game's official moniker for the human race), first discovered the Remnants more than a 1000 years ago. Ever since then they've built entire cities around the gigantic objects as a show of adoration and worship.

One thing that director Hiroshi Takai (Final Fantasy V, Legend of Mana) wants to make clear is that, contrary to previous reports, Rush is the only main playable character. Early articles that indicated there were two playable warriors were incorrect.

But just because there's a single hero, it doesn't mean that large-scale battles will take a back seat. In fact, gigantic multi-combatant warfare is what Square Enix hopes will be the main attractor. Gameplay will play out in a cinematic way with an emphasis on recreating "a real battlefield experience." What this means is that while the combat is turn-based, it will also be reactionary with a ton of activity happening onscreen. Choosing a command and watching it play out in the traditional sense isn't enough -- you'll also have to be on the lookout for button pop-ups that give Rush additional damage opportunities. Think God of War's contextual boss battles and you'll better understand where the team is going with this.

This screen pretty much speaks for itself.Speaking of the team, the development crew here is pretty talented. In addition to the aforementioned director, Hiroshi Takai, Yusuke Naora has come onboard as Art Producer. For the unfamiliar, Naora was previously the art director or supervisor on Final Fantasies VII, VIII, X, and Advent Children. Moreover, Chief Artist Kimihiko Miyamae was the background designer on Final Fantasies IX and X, while Producer Nobuyuki Ueda earned his chops as project manager on The Bouncer and Unlimited Saga. Real-time movie lead Kouzi Kobayashi (Animatrix, The Spirits Within), Black Mage Composer Tsuyoshi Sekito (Advent Children, Dawn of Mana), and Executive Producer Akitoshi Kawazu (Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy Tactics) have also signed up.

Perhaps most interesting of all the facts behind The Last Remnant, however, is that it is in simultaneous development for both the US and Japan. It will debut in both territories at the same time on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but again, when that will be is still up in the air. Will The Last Remnant be just as big in one region as it is in the other? Only time will tell.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/the-last-remnant-20070702082438094.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/the-last-remnant-20070702031911165.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/the-last-remnant-20070702031849110.jpg

is it just me or do all of square's "mega event" games look the same these days. Seriously that game looks like FFXII with better graphics which looks like FFXIII with better graphics. Shit what does it take to get an original concept or some old school classic square games made in that company ?

Now that i've finished my rant let me be the first to say: "I will be a mindless whore and buy that when it comes out." there i've said it. Also can't wait fer E3 and the DLC like last year. Should be fun again. I hope we get a few more kick ass "e3 ONLY" demos again :)

YouStayClassy
07-03-2007, 09:10 AM
That's odd about Rush being the only playable character, considering GameInformer's massive article about the game last month stating otherwise.

YouStayClassy
07-03-2007, 09:11 AM
is it just me or do all of square's "mega event" games look the same these days. Seriously that game looks like FFXII with better graphics which looks like FFXIII with better graphics. Shit what does it take to get an original concept or some old school classic square games made in that company ?

Now that i've finished my rant let me be the first to say: "I will be a mindless whore and buy that when it comes out." there i've said it. Also can't wait fer E3 and the DLC like last year. Should be fun again. I hope we get a few more kick ass "e3 ONLY" demos again :)

Graphically maybe, but damn the battle system for the game sounds outright revolutionary. That Morale gauge alone sold me on buying a copy (once I score a 360 or PS3 of course.....:surrend: )

noble
07-03-2007, 09:21 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Undertow Hands-on

Darling it's better down where it's wetter.
by Erik Brudvig

July 2, 2007 - Geometry wars meets Battlefield on a flooded earth is the best way to describe Undertow. We recently had the chance to get our hands on this underwater shooter from Chair Entertainment and found our expectations met: This game is fun.

The premise is simple and one most gamers will instantly recognize. The game takes place on a 2D playing field that houses several bases that act as spawning points. Each team is tasked with wiping out all of the reserves on the other team or taking control of every base thereby making it impossible for opponents to respawn after they die. Bases are captured by floating within a close proximity until they are converted, provided an enemy unit isn't also close by to block your progress.

The controls for Undertow are simple enough to master in just a few minutes. Like Geometry Wars, the left analog stick is for moving while the right performs your multi-directional attack. The right trigger performs a dash move that we found to be vital for dodging incoming fire in close quarters combat. The left trigger launches a depth charge that is strong enough to take most anything out in a single hit - including yourself if you're not careful. The last bit of handling you'll need is the B button. This will give you a prolonged boost, but it also makes it impossible for you to attack and causes damage done to you to be multiplied.

Other parts of the controller come into play when selecting and upgrading units. There are four unit types that vary in size, speed, and defense. Just like in Ice Hockey on the NES, you'll want a balance of size and speed on your team to succeed. In between deaths, or when you're adjacent to a base under your control, you can use the D-pad to select a new unit type and make the switch.

There's a fair bit of strategy with unit selection that shapes the way you play the game. The big "tank" units are great for defending a base, but won't last long in the open seas. Quick scout units are perfect for getting to unguarded bases and stealing them with your opponent none the wiser. However, the real key to success comes with upgrading your unit. Each time you score a direct hit with an attack or contribute to taking control of a base you are awarded points. Get 2000 and you can upgrade one of the four unit types to level 2. Another 3000 after that and you can reach level 3. Higher-level units are substantially faster and stronger. You want to level up ASAP.

Undertow has a full campaign mode that follows the stories of each of the three factions as they duke it out for control of the flooded earth. You can play it alone or online co-operatively with a friend as you work your way through the series of battles and in-engine cutscenes. From what we've seen, the gameplay is identical to the multiplayer versus mode, though you'll just be up against AI opponents rather than taking part in team battles that can be played with up to 16 people. We prefer the versus mode.

If everything sounds fairly standard so far, that's probably because most of the game mechanics are, even if it does handle quite well. We found the level design to be the place Undertow really stands out. Each stage is filled with tight cavern passageways (some with water jets to quickly blast you or your bullets through), cleverly placed traps, and they all have an interesting base layout. Two of the traps we saw include huge, level clearing bombs and fans to suck in and kill any nearby enemies. Just sitting back and watching the developers we were up against blast around the level and make use of the subtleties of each map was enough to pique our interest.

Undertow is looking like it is fairly close to being finished. Aside from a bit of lag (something the developers are currently working on), the game ran smooth and handled well. Keep your eye on Undertow as its release approaches (start with the updated videos in the gallery below). You'll be glad you did.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/undertow-20070618110814902.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/undertow-20070618110820417.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/undertow-20070618110829198.jpg

noble
07-03-2007, 09:30 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Condemned 2 Developer Interview

Monolith tells us what to expect at the big show and beyond.
by Jeremy Dunham

June 28, 2007 - Monolith is going to debut Condemned 2: Bloodshot at E3 and we wanted to find out more. To get the full story, we contacted the development team directly and asked producer David Hasle, associate multiplayer producer Tarl Raney, and lead software engineer Brian Legge. Here's how it all went down...

IGN: With E3 less than two weeks away now, people want to know: what kind of presence is Bloodshot going to have at the show?

David Hasle: SEGA is going to be taking users through a big chunk of the "Mission 1" experience and is going to be showing off our new forensics system which has been completely revamped. They're also going to show off one of our combat arenas so we can show off our enhancements we've made to our fighting system.

IGN: With the forensics system "redone," what does that really mean? Is it more interactive or user-enabled than before?

Hasle: Yes. One of our key goals this time around is to allow the player to be in control of all the forensics. The first time around, our forensics were just used for two purposes: First, as a driving force behind the story -- to push things along -- and second, as a direct story element itself.

In Condemned 1, when you came to a forensic moment your light came on and you pretty much had one thing to interact with. This time around, we're going to give you a full evidence zone that, when you go into it, has some questions that pop up from Rosa that you can then decide how to react to. It will be up to you to pull out the proper tools necessary to figure out what's going on. You also get to use your practical senses and just use the power of observation. You can zoom in and look around, break out whatever tools you want in real time and draw your own conclusions.

But don't worry. If you just want to go around and kill things, you can ignore the majority of the game's forensic moments; we want the player to be the driving force behind these investigations.

IGN: How about the weapons? Which weapons from the first game have returned and what are some of the newer items in your arsenal?

Hasle: We definitely have our favorites that we brought back. I personally really love the feeling of smashing that pipe against someone's face [laughs].

That's really what's at the core of Condemned for us: that visceral feel of combat. What we've done is expanded the list of weapons quite a bit as well as expanded the ways in which you can use those weapons. For example, you can throw your weapons -- that's really become a crowd pleaser internally. In fact, throwing is actually quite handy. If you time it right when a guy is running towards you, you can throw something at his feet and trip him up, hit him on the back when he's down on the ground, and then finish him off.

Just remember, though, anything that you can do to the AI in Condemned, the AI can do to you. Just imagine trying to peer through the darkness in an unlit area and then, all of a sudden, something is flying at you out of nowhere and smashes you upside the head. So an early tip for the player to stay alert for visual cues that could save them.

IGN: Since you mentioned finishing someone off, are you bringing the finishing moves back and are they more varied?

Hasle: We have a whole of them. But do you remember how they happened in the first game? You basically had a selection of finishers once the guy hit the "daze state." Instead of leaving it at that, what we're doing now is allowing you to grab a guy and hold him when he's in that daze state -- you can put him in a half-nelson and walk him around and decide right there if you want to twist his neck real quick or force him to some spot in the environment that you can interact with.

Just imagine walking up with a guy and there's a dumpster there. You can smash him into, the dumpster falls down and he's out. Or perhaps you'll find a bookcase where you can perform the old "American History X" move and stick his mouth against the edge and... Well, finish him off. We're having a real good time with them including some I don't want to mention because they're so hardcore I'm not sure we'll even end up having them in there.

IGN: One of the best moments in the original Condemned was the final boss battle in the processing plant. It was multi-tiered and allowed Ethan to use multiple tactics. Can we expect more moments like those in Bloodshot?

Hasle: Yes you can. This time around, we have a lot more boss battles and distinctive AI elements for them. There are definitely specific tactics and combinations of things you'll need to do in order to beat some of them. I don't want to say much else and give anything away, but let's just say for argument's sake that one boss can only be killed if you use a specific sequence of finishing moves or environmental kills.

IGN: How about the storyline? It has been kept a secret so far and a lot of our readers are curious about how it's going to start. Will there be a recap of the first game's events for new players or are you just going to drop us right into the action and go.

Hasle: We've had this discussion a few times internally. It's a good question because we don't have a clear answer yet. We have an opening right that reintroduces players to Vanhorn and that's your goal for the very first mission -- to find him. But we've also debated as to whether or not that's enough and may end up with a small recap. Then again, our ultimate goal is to immerse players in the story quickly and early enough that they don't have to worry if they played the first game or not.

Besides, there have been some very serious changes to the main character Ethan Thomas. He is so far down in the sewer that he's really on edge. He's in bad shape and is spending a lot of time in a local bar.

IGN: A lot of the screenshots we're debuting today have environments that look reminiscent of the stages from the first game. Will we be going back to some familiar locations or does Ethan just have an impulse to explore dangerous and dirty warehouses?

Hasle: Ethan will definitely find himself in dilapidated, condemned buildings and there may be some similar crossover in the types of places he goes, but we've made a very conscious decision to ensure that our environments are unique to the type of gameplay we're pushing.

IGN: Does that mean we can expect more outdoorsy stages or daytime levels?

Hasle: I wouldn't say we're using the daytime because Ethan is sort of stashed away in the darkness. However, there will definitely be a wide variety of locations and some of them will be outdoors, yes.

IGN: Are the stages going to be more open-ended or are they still linear to help push the story forward? Are you going to populate them with more NPCs for a more realistic appearance?

Hasle: The answer is "Yes" to all of that. One thing we did when we decided to make Condemned 2 was to seek out every piece of feedback on the first game we could find (reviews, blogs, message boards, etc) and apply that to Bloodshot. We had a lot of discussions as to whether or not we'd use a hub-based world or a completely open-ended one and we found ourselves straying away from what made Criminal Origins what it was. That is, a very controlled experience with a story that was happening very deliberately in front of the player.

That said, we've also made a conscious effort to make our stages less linear and feel more open than before with greater variety. Expect more puzzles as well -- but don't expect any free roaming stuff on the level of GTA or something like that.

Brian Legge: What we want to do is provide a great single-player story. The narrative we're using is appropriate for that goal. Forensics are optional so there's still player control, but we're still delivering a specific story-driven experience.

IGN: How about the enemy variety this time around? One area that the first game was knocked on was its abundance of transients and few others.

Hasle: Those slimy guys you see in the screenshots are actually part of something that is really important to us. We want to emphasize Ethan Thomas and get a more rewarding conclusion to his story. What I'm saying is that Ethan suffers from hallucinations and when it happens these strange little creatures come out. That's what those black tar-covered things are.

We also have a much greater variety in our enemy type and, as I mentioned earlier, more distinctive AI types as well. There are different enemy factions that are fighting each other, for example, and you have to deal with that.

IGN: My next question is one that our readers demanded. After our last Q&A we received a number of letters asking us to beg you to let Greg Gruenberg come back to do Ethan's voice. So here we go...

Hasle: I know, we've gotten that same request quite a bit. That was a very, very hard decision. We loved working with Greg and he was excited about working on the game himself. When he found out that we were making Bloodshot, he was the first one to call us up and say, "I'm willing to do it even though Heroes is taking off."

But in the end, we had to make that really hard choice about the type of character that Ethan has become. In the first game, Ethan wasn't as hard or dark as he is now and the voice had to go into a new and darker direction.

IGN: You couldn't have just asked Greg to smoke a couple of non-filters beforehand?

Hasle: [Laughs] No we couldn't do that. Greg is a real nice guy and he sounds like a really nice guy, which is why we had to opt for someone who doesn't sound so nice. We wanted to go really, really dark.

IGN: The game's darkness has me wondering about something actually. With the recent decision by the ESRB to give Manhunt 2 an AO rating, has it affected or changed anything in your game? Are you more apprehensive about putting the extreme stuff in there?

Hasle: We've had a lot of discussions about that and have been following what's been happening. We always keep an eye on what we're doing because, you know, we've been developing scary games for a number of years now and maybe we're a little numb to what's too much. That's why our next line of defense is SEGA. They might turn to us and say, "You guys are nuts, you can't do that," and we'll listen to them and hear what they have to say.

Of course, we also have the ESRB to fall back on and show them our scariest, most evil moments and see what they think about it before we finish everything up. But to be clear, in spite of all the events surrounding Manhunt in the last week, we have not decided to remove or tone down anything we have in the game at this point -- we've just had discussions about it.

Also, keep in mind, part of what our game does is try and explain why this evil and violent stuff is happening on the streets; so we put what you're seeing into context.

IGN: Why no PC version this time?

Hasle: We wanted to focus on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. That's really it.

IGN: Are you bringing back collectibles? The first game had dead birds and metal pieces.

Hasle: We do have collectibles but they're not in the same vein. The metal pieces and birds were used to help put the story together and admittedly it left some people going, "Huh?" But with Condemned 2, what we've done is include an emotional response system; you can react to certain NPCs and what not. If you complete them all, then that goes to your collection. If you find each environmental kill within a level then that's another thing that goes towards your collection, etc.

We want replay value, and a good way to do that is to encourage the player to want to play through a level again so that they can complete the various objectives -- whatever they may be. But make no mistake about it: there will be an impact on your gameplay based on how you do.

Legge: There are also more secondary objectives within the level as well. They vary mission to mission and those take on a lot of the role that the first game's collectibles had.

IGN: A lot of people would argue that the ultimate in replay value these days are the types of online options that are offered. Condemned 2 has them but they haven't been talked about yet. What can you tell us?

Tarl: One of the goals we set about multiplayer early on is that we wanted to keep the same feel and tone of the single-player game with the added edge of facing human opponents. So without getting into too much detail, we've been playing around with a lot of different game modes and beating the hell out of your friends with a pipe can't be beat. That's at the heart of it obviously, it's what we're known for, and it's what we're trying to bring to the multiplayer space.

As far as game modes are concerned, nothing has been completely locked down at this point. We've been trying a ton of different stuff and one of the things that's coming out is this idea of pitting two teams against each other with one team tracking down forensic evidence, while the other team prevents them from doing so.

IGN: How about system-specific differences? Will the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions be pretty much the same game and how will you use the Sixaxis?

Legge: Honestly, the Sixaxis control isn't something we're looking at. We're more concerned with both games having the same core mechanics.

As far as one platform versus another... they both have strengths, and to be honest, there's been a whole lot of outside talk about how impossible the PS3 is to develop for but I've been really impressed by our tech team and how quickly they've gotten the PS3 version going. In other words, the differences between the two are minimal.

IGN: Any parting shots you'd like to give Condemned fans before you go>

Hasle: The thing I'm most proud about in Condemned 2 so far is the fact that almost every single problem or issue people had with Criminal Origins has been handled. We've improved or expanded everything and our combat, input, and forensics systems are great. More than 90% of the team here was present for Condemned 1, and that means that our story and our tech is so much better too because they know the game and they know the engine. We're having a lot more fun this time because we don't have the pressure of trying to make the launch window, and just really excited to get it out there.http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/condemned-2-bloodshot-20070628004701696.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/condemned-2-bloodshot-20070628004703994.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/condemned-2-bloodshot-20070628004705369.jpg

noble
07-03-2007, 09:40 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Universe at War Hands-on

War lands on Earth and we're there to join in the fun.
by Dan Adams

June 29, 2007 - Editor's Note: IGN was recently shown the PC version of Universe at War. Though controls are being built for the 360 from the ground up, the Xbox version is believed to be largely identical to its PC cousin.

We had the chance to visit Petroglyph Games earlier this year to check out their next big RTS, Universe at War: Earth Assault. While the title of the game could use some work, the game itself is looking to be pretty fun, as we'd expect from a cadre of ex-Westwood employees. We checked out the first bit of the campaign including the fall of the humans and the entry of the quick-strike Novus along with a couple of humbling multiplayer matches.

First things first, with the announcement that the Xbox 360 version of UaW would be cross-compatible with the PC version, we had plenty of questions. We found out the fact that the game will be Live-enabled does not mean that you need Vista to run it. XP users will still be able to enjoy the game. Also, you won't need a Gold Membership (the paying kind) to participate in PC on PC matches. Finally, we have not seen the 360 version in action yet, but SEGA informed us that they had their first 360 controller victory over a PC player recently, which means they must be making progress on the control scheme. We're admittedly very interested, and a bit skeptical, in how successful the cross-platform play will be between PC and 360 players. After playing the PC version yesterday, it's safe to say that the game is not being dumbed down. It's a complex RTS with lots of units with various abilities and plenty of structure and unit upgrades that can be made. We're going to be pretty freaking impressed when we see these two control systems up and working together in a fair fight. In the meantime, we'll have to be content with playing only the PC version.

When starting out the campaign, Earth, as you may guess from the razor-sharp title, is under assault. This is the one time in the campaign that you'll really have the chance to take the reigns of the humans as their rule over the planet comes to a swift and violent end at the hands of the invaders. The first couple of missions put you in control of a squad of marines attempting to rescue the President of the United States and teaches basic commands like moving, attacking, and using special attacks. It also serves as a good introduction to the importance and power of hero characters -- in this case the stone-faced Colonel Moore and his gigantic mini-gun -- as many of the normal units under our command were annihilated quickly by the enemy while Moore stayed strong and blasted through the enemy lines.

After a cutscene that sees a gigantic alien walker drop from space onto the White House, you'll have to help the Colonel escort an ambulance holding the President to safety. The task then turns to defending this last human entrenched position against the walker that fell on the White House. Fighting it provides one of those lovely "oh ****" moments in gaming as you realize just how powerful these units are. They take a ton of damage before dropping to the ground. Thankfully, the second race, The Novus, appear out of the ether and begin attacking the lumbering giant before it can put the kibosh on the humans in the area.

After the Novus step in, you'll take control as the rest of the human elements decide to bail out with what little they have left. This smooth transition begins the Novus campaign to fight off the Hierarchy attack. The brunt of the Hierarchy forces are comprised of gigantic walking bases that are used for firepower and unit production. These walkers can be taken apart piece by piece by destroying the hardpoints all over their body. If the hardpoint has been upgraded with an extra part such as a gun, armor, or other device (they have a variety of options that help speed up production, allow for production of different types of units, or increased firing speed) that device must be destroyed before the hardpoint itself can be targeted. Each of the three types of walkers has a different way of being destroyed, but for the one at the beginning of the game, we had to target the hard armor on its hull, then target the hardpoint on the hull itself, and then target the cooling system underneath the hull in two places in order to kill it. It's a pretty brutal fight for Novus that don't know what they're doing, especially if there are a couple walkers and they're pumping out units on the fly.


After the walker was destroyed, we moved into three other missions that taught a little more about how the Novus functioned. The most important of these was probably a base building exercise that teaches the use of power and the "flow". All buildings in the Novus base have to be inside the power grid, much like that of the Protoss from StarCraft. The power grid can be extended using special towers. These beam towers connect one another to form a grid, so Novus can build a huge train of them to anywhere on the map. These towers are automatically cloaked so enemies won't know to destroy them right away. The other most important aspect of this network is that smaller units can travel along the grid very quickly to any part of the map where the grid extends. They'll walk to the nearest tower, beam up, and flow around grid to where you told them to move. Combined with a pretty swift group of aircraft and some tricky units, the Novus turn into a pretty nice group of hit and run units.

The Novus also have several tricks up their sleeves to make them a little less vulnerable to certain attacks or provide nice ways of knocking out large groups of enemy units. Most of these stem from the Novus idea of patches, which fit well into their sentient machine background fiction. Two different patches can be in use at one time for a Novus player and can be switched out to adapt to enemy tactics. New patches can be opened up by accessing the technology tree. These patches can have some pretty devastating effects. While those automatically available at the beginning of the game offer up radiation and energy weapon resistance, later patches can strung together with other abilities to devastating effect. For instance, Novus units can infect enemy machines with viruses. One of the patches allows players to activate a virus reboot that will disable all of the mechanical enemy units on the battlefield. This could be especially helpful for taking down a walker right in front of your base to provide a large and convenient resource dump.

Resources are an interesting aspect for the Novus. They'll only gather up inorganic material on the map while the Hierarchy will suck up anything at all. Humans, trees, buildings, cars, you name it and they'll eat it. But the Novus has to locate a resource area and extend their flow grid far enough for the resource units to collect the junk. Thankfully, the Novus are generally fast enough in to pump out some units quickly to harass enemy walkers and keep them away from the big resources.

The disadvantage of the Novus, of course, is that their base structures stay in the same place so once the Hierarchy finds you, they'll come knocking with their awesome walkers. We found this out the hard way in one of the multiplayer games we participated in after getting a chance to test drive the Novus in the campaign. While we were able to push into new territory and collect some resources, we weren't fast enough to do so before the walkers climbed up and over the mountains to get in our base. You see, the walkers all have a special animation system that allows them to step up and over any kinds of terrain objects that get in their way. They'll actually form their steps to oddly shaped mountains and make their way around a map unimpeded.

The Novus will have to get out and do damage to the walkers before they can get close enough to a base to destroy it, which they do quickly by simply walking over the top of it. Even with turrets in place that both fire their own weapons and redirect enemy fire back at aggressors, the Novus don't have enough base defense to withstand a walker stomping through. These giants crush anything in their path.

Our short time with the game so far has been pretty rewarding, even at this early stage. We had our asses handed to us by the walkers enough to want some revenge. The Novus are not an easy faction to get a handle on quickly, either, but it's also easy to see potential for adaptability and power hiding in their fragile robotic frames. We're definitely looking forward to getting a chance to see the third unique faction in a couple of weeks at E3 and hopefully some more hands-on time with the game (though still only on PC).http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/universe-at-war-earth-assault-20070629055328189.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/universe-at-war-earth-assault-20070629055323971.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/universe-at-war-earth-assault-20070622010843009.jpg

noble
07-03-2007, 09:48 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Rise of the Argonauts

Rotting sterns are the least of Jason's worries.
by Jeremy Dunham

June 27, 2007 - "I really want to play this game." That's the phrase that kept popping into my head during our recent non-playable demo of Codemasters' original PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 IP, Rise of the Argonauts. Developed by the Dragonshard guys at Liquid Entertainment, the scheduled-for-2008 RPG looks like it has a lot of promise -- even if it is only running on PC dev stations right now.

Loosely based on the Greek mythological hero, Jason of Iolcus, Rise of the Argonauts resurrects one of the world's most famous parables. Rather than following the popular myth beat for beat, however, the creative team has taken several liberties to tell the story they want to tell. Instead of Jason pursuing the Golden Fleece because of a plot to kill him by his evil uncle Pelias, for example, Jason now seeks the Fleece to restore the life of his dead bride who was murdered on their wedding day (no word yet as to who the bride is; be it Jay's first spouse Medea, his second wife Glauce [who we suspect it is], or a completely fictional woman created for the videogame).

Jason and his Argonauts is a legend older than some religons.Once the journey's underway, though, there are plenty of familiar sides to the story. Take Jason's magnificent galley, the Argos, for instance. It's a central part of the plotline and acts as a means of travel between the game's 15 different islands and as a "floating trophy case." But the prizes that beautify the Argos aren't just in the visual categories (which represent specific accomplishments unlocked in each land), but also of the practical type. In other words, the boat is completely customizable to reflect the player's progress and it can inherit priests, blacksmiths and other NPCs that provide upgrades and other special needs. Think of it as a buoyant Suikoden fortress and you'll get the general idea.

Of course, with an "Argos" there are "Argonauts" (After all, they are in the title) and selecting the proper companions for each task is all part of the game's strategy. In our demonstration, we were introduced to two of them, Hercules and Atalanta, but learned that Achilles and Odysseus (Ulysses) will be selectable as well. We're assuming that we'll see Philoctetes, Orpheus and Euphemus too, but until Codemasters confirms anything, that's just conjecture on our part.

Artemis always was a snappy dresser.One thing we know for sure, though, is that in battle Hercules and Atalanta are invaluable teammates. Combat happens entirely in real time with moves taken right out of competitors like God of War and The Mark of Kri. Hercules, for example, is a giant mountain of muscle that's capable of ripping his enemy's arms off (with appropriate blood fountain in tow) or deracinating half-ton objects to use as weapons. Atalanta is the exact opposite -- opting for a speedy long-range bow attack that keeps her pretty face from getting too close to the action. In total, players will be able to select up to two support buddies for Jason at a time and we're told that each and every one of them will be "totally badass."

To prove it, Codemasters fired up a sequence that showed what a typical quest in Rise of the Argonauts is like. After getting through a lengthy cutscene that sees our heroes conversing with the goddess Artemis (who boasts a sweet "Horse-meets-plant" character design), the crew is tasked with hunting down the newly transformed huntsman, Adonis. But in another reinterpretation of popular mythology, you needn't kill Orion's former apprentice with the tusks of a boar -- as he has in fact become a giant boar himself. Why? It's Artemis' punishment for deflowering and killing a virtuous dryad, and should the trio defeat him, they'll earn Orion's magical belt as a reward. It sounded like a pretty good excuse to see the team in action to us, and with that the three were on their way.

Rather than trekking through the forest, fighting baddies and saving the woods' hunters from precarious situations, our demo leads went straight to the big boss himself instead. Had the team decided to explore the island and rescue those who were in trouble, however, they would have paid back that favor by surrounding the impressively huge pig that used to be Adonis to pepper him with projectiles. But as it turned out having Hercules as a backup was more than enough for this scrap...

The key was the big man's strength. As Adonis charged the entire party, Herc stood right in front of him like a half-human roadblock and grabbed the swine by its tusks. This is exactly the opportunity that Jason was waiting for, as he proceeded to hack and slash at Adonis' exposed side before the boar wrestled free to regroup. At the same time, Atalanta hung back and sprayed the pig with her own arrows as a supplement to the archers already present. Eventually, Adonis falls, the day is saved, and the belt is theirs.

What's particularly cool about this boss sequence is the highly cinematic way in which it played out. Liquid wants weapons to affect enemies just as they do in real life, and therefore, hacks and slashes of Jason's sword cut and tear Adonis' flesh in real time. Every stroke and stab made left a mark on the boar's increasingly bloody body, but don't think that's a special exception -- every last enemy in Rise of the Argonauts will sport a highly-advanced procedural animation routine with accompanying textures so that they can react as convincingly as possible. If you smack some dude in the belly with a blunt object, he's going to topple over and respond to it. Every major limb on the body, from the head and torso to the arms and legs, will move independently of each other. It makes for a very realistic effect even at this very early stage.

Making the combat even more interesting is the fact that Codemasters and Liquid want to keep menus and other interface conventions to a minimum. Weapon selection, hit point restoration, and other familiar RPG minutia is supposed to happen onscreen and in-game with little need to break away from the primary view. It's a cool concept for sure, and it will be interesting to see how well the developers can pull it off by ship time.

Other intriguing concepts being thrown around? How about a character development system that's tied to how well you interact with the Gods? Apollo, Ares, Athena, and Hermes are Jason's four main benefactors in Rise of the Argonauts and successfully completing deeds that please those gods increase your skills in various categories. Of course, you can piss a God off just as easily as you can please one, so finding the right balance and skill tree for you is all part of the fun. Also fun should be the inclusion of offline and online co-op multiplayer modes, but no other details in that area have been mentioned. Still, we like the sound of that already.

Then again, that last sentence sums up how we feel about Rise of the Argonauts quite well. With so many similar action games and RPGs out there, it's refreshing to see one with a couple of new ideas on an old concept. We were especially impressed by the visual strides that Liquid is already making (character faces that are used now were shown side-by-side with the eventual facades, and let me tell you -- the difference in detail was fantastic). In short, pay attention to where this one goes as it has some truly great potential.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rise-of-the-argonauts-20070627011243902.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rise-of-the-argonauts-20070627011248371.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rise-of-the-argonauts-20070627011254387.jpg

Matt Jay
07-03-2007, 09:50 AM
Excellent finds, noble.

Argonauts so far is the only thing that really grabs me.

Bandit Chimera
07-03-2007, 09:58 AM
Graphically maybe, but damn the battle system for the game sounds outright revolutionary. That Morale gauge alone sold me on buying a copy (once I score a 360 or PS3 of course.....:surrend: )

which is why i'll buy the game ;) cause the actual gameplay sounds hot. Graphically the game looks same old same old, which is really what i was trying to address in my rant. I'll buy this game in a heartbeat too if its half as good as claimed :)

noble
07-03-2007, 10:03 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Skate - Three Hours Deep

We explore the world of San Vanelona and only eat pavement a few hundred times.
by Hilary Goldstein

June 26, 2007 - The battle lines have been drawn and an epic conflict will soon grip skate fans. EA's Skate will take on Tony Hawk's Proving Ground to see who will rule the virtual skate park. But it doesn't have to be an either/or decision. In fact, these two games are so different you could probably enjoy both without feeling a touch of déjà vu. If Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is the foosball of action sports titles, then skate is the air hockey table on the other side of the room. Both have their strengths and will attract a similar type of gamer, but they are two completely different experiences.

While it's easy to doubt that EA could pull off a completely unique and refreshing take on skating, that's exactly what developer Black Box has done. After riding around San Vanelona for a few hours, it's clear that Skate is not to be taken lightly. This is as real a skating experience as you can get on a console.

It begins with character creation. Who you choose to be makes a big difference in Skate, because you don't want to end up looking like a poseur (it's just embarrassing). Though a lot of the options aren't yet in the most recent build of Skate, by the time the game ships in September, you'll be able to choose from a variety of hairstyles, face and body types for your character. Then you can outfit him with dozens upon dozens of name-brand accessories. It should be noted that Skate is lacking any options for top hats. I guess they're saving that for the sequel.

You'll also choose from one of several character personality types. This affects your overall attitude towards life and opens up different taunts and celebrations. Pull off your first 360 Kickflip (no easy task) and then tap a direction on the d-pad to give a double-fisted thumbs up or similar exuberant expression. You can also taunt your opponents during S-K-A-T-E challenges or competitions if you're not interested in earning sportsmanship awards.

Because Skate has a very unique control scheme - one that's difficult to get the hang of, having spent the past nine years playing that other skating game - you will have to complete a few basic tutorials before being set loose on the fictional city of San Vanelona. This initial rudimentary tutorial will get your doing a few simple tricks, but little else. There are some pros that can show you a few new tricks throughout San Vanelona, but you are mostly on your own for discovering the subtleties of Skate.

When I say subtleties, I really mean it. In the early goings, I was pushing the analogue stick to the extreme every time I grabbed air. But there are tricks for almost every motion - both to the full extent of the analogue stick and to the slightest touches. To manual, for example, you need to find the sweet spot roughly halfway towards the top or bottom of the thumbstick's radius. Getting this right while skating on the ground isn't too tough, but if you want to manual after gaining some air, it's quite a challenge. Tricks are also found in just about every area of the analogue's radius. For a 360 kickflip, you need to pull the right thumbstick slightly down and diagonal, but only about two-thirds of the way to the edge, then flick it quickly straight across. This is no easy task for a Skate newcomer.

The learning curve in Skate seems ridiculous at first. I'll admit that after my first hour with the game, I was beginning to wonder how anyone could possible pull off cool tricks without eating asphalt (or the bumper of an oncoming car). Part of the trouble is learning a new control system, but most of the difficulty comes in trying to excise the Tony Hawk training of the past decade. Slowly, but surely, something clicks and suddenly the wondrous world of Skate opens wide. From that moment, it becomes a long series of trials, as you attempt to teach yourself new tricks. Nothing needs to be unlocked - you just have to experiment and find out how to use your arsenal.

Aside from the standard air tricks and grinds, you will also have the chance to bomb hills. When skating down the heavily trafficked rolling hills of San Vanelona, the camera pulls in close to the board for an effect similar to Gears of War's Roadie Run. You aren't going to be pulling off an excessive number of tricks when speeding down a hill, so the change in camera angle won't cramp your style. In fact, it builds the sense of speed as you weave through traffic, pulling back for quick powerslides to avoid taking the bite out of someone's fender.

You can use your feet to gain some speed on these runs or you can figure out another subtle technique hidden in Skate. Pumping is a trick that allows you to gain speed without taking your feet off your board and can be useful in half-pipes or just about anywhere in Skate. Like the manual, this is a maneuver that requires a delicate touch to pull off. Your Right Trigger acts as a grab. And you can grab your board even if not in the air. Pull the trigger all the way down and your skater squats and takes hold of his board. But if you pull the trigger only a shade, your skater will bend his knees for just a second before popping back up. That's a pump. Like most things in Skate, it takes some time to nail down.

Throughout San Vanelona (which is a considerably large city) you'll find pros to challenge and spots to own. When you find a spot, you'll be given a point target. Pull off a trick on that spot that matches or beats the target and you own that spot. To make this game of trial and error a little more manageable you have the ability to create reset points. With the press of two buttons, you can set a marker. You can then skate, bail, or wander off to another area of San Vanelona. Press another set of buttons and you instantly return to your marker. This can be particularly helpful when you reach the X Games. There's a mega ramp in the X Games arena that I found myself flying down again and again and again, just to try and pull crazier tricks.

Skate is the kind of game that you can easily get lost in for a few hours. During my long playtest, I could have given a crap about finding challenges or earning points (which can unlock better boards and new clothes). It became a very Zen experience, as I explored the city, finding a few decent lines and trying to discover new tricks. In many ways, the early hours of Skate remind me a lot of Test Drive Unlimited - which is the rare racing game that manages to perfectly capture the peacefulness of a leisurely drive. There are plenty of objectives for those who need a bit more of a linear progression to their games, but I'm most looking forward to late night sessions where I just go where my wheels take me.

At some point, you'll probably want to pursue some of the challenges set about San Vanelona. Similar to Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, the challenges you accept and how you choose to skate will ultimately determine the type of skater you are. But where Proving Ground is a more structured system with skills and a definitive storyline, Skate is far more organic. That's pretty much the comparison that could be made between most aspects of these two titles. While there is a loose structure to the single-player campaign in Skate, it's very lax in comparison to Tony Hawk's more tried-and-true approach. Again, these appear to be two very different experiences that both happen to feature skateboards.

No matter what type of skater you become, your path will eventually lead to an invite from Danny Way to visit his new compound in Hawaii. This is the Everest of skate parks. It starts with the completely insane Megaramp, which shoots you high into the air and lands you in front of a quarterpipe, which can be used to pull some reality-defying stunts. Land clean out of the quarterpipe and you should have enough speed to power through the loop-the-loop, which shoots you off to another quarter pipe and over a massive gap and finally into a deep pool where you can continue to grab crazy air. It's an awesome way to spend an hour.

Though I've only had the opportunity to fool around with Skate for a short while, I'm already considerably impressed. Though visually Skate isn't going to win any prizes (except maybe second place in a beauty contest), it runs beautifully and is a joy to play. Vert skating is a lot easier to get a handle on, at least in the early goings. Finding lines and hitting tricks in the street is far more difficult. But part of the fun is embracing the challenge - especially with the knowledge that the only thing keeping you from succeeding is your own skill.

Skate is expected to arrive on PS3 and 360 in September. Lace up your Chuck's, there's only three months to go.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/skate-20070301023049072.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/skate-20070601032431837.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/skate-20070601032426462.jpg

Akira
07-03-2007, 10:09 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Skate - Three Hours Deep

We explore the world of San Vanelona and only eat pavement a few hundred times.
by Hilary Goldstein

June 26, 2007 - The battle lines have been drawn and an epic conflict will soon grip skate fans. EA's Skate will take on Tony Hawk's Proving Ground to see who will rule the virtual skate park. But it doesn't have to be an either/or decision. In fact, these two games are so different you could probably enjoy both without feeling a touch of déjà vu. If Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is the foosball of action sports titles, then skate is the air hockey table on the other side of the room. Both have their strengths and will attract a similar type of gamer, but they are two completely different experiences.

While it's easy to doubt that EA could pull off a completely unique and refreshing take on skating, that's exactly what developer Black Box has done. After riding around San Vanelona for a few hours, it's clear that Skate is not to be taken lightly. This is as real a skating experience as you can get on a console.

It begins with character creation. Who you choose to be makes a big difference in Skate, because you don't want to end up looking like a poseur (it's just embarrassing). Though a lot of the options aren't yet in the most recent build of Skate, by the time the game ships in September, you'll be able to choose from a variety of hairstyles, face and body types for your character. Then you can outfit him with dozens upon dozens of name-brand accessories. It should be noted that Skate is lacking any options for top hats. I guess they're saving that for the sequel.

You'll also choose from one of several character personality types. This affects your overall attitude towards life and opens up different taunts and celebrations. Pull off your first 360 Kickflip (no easy task) and then tap a direction on the d-pad to give a double-fisted thumbs up or similar exuberant expression. You can also taunt your opponents during S-K-A-T-E challenges or competitions if you're not interested in earning sportsmanship awards.

Because Skate has a very unique control scheme - one that's difficult to get the hang of, having spent the past nine years playing that other skating game - you will have to complete a few basic tutorials before being set loose on the fictional city of San Vanelona. This initial rudimentary tutorial will get your doing a few simple tricks, but little else. There are some pros that can show you a few new tricks throughout San Vanelona, but you are mostly on your own for discovering the subtleties of Skate.

When I say subtleties, I really mean it. In the early goings, I was pushing the analogue stick to the extreme every time I grabbed air. But there are tricks for almost every motion - both to the full extent of the analogue stick and to the slightest touches. To manual, for example, you need to find the sweet spot roughly halfway towards the top or bottom of the thumbstick's radius. Getting this right while skating on the ground isn't too tough, but if you want to manual after gaining some air, it's quite a challenge. Tricks are also found in just about every area of the analogue's radius. For a 360 kickflip, you need to pull the right thumbstick slightly down and diagonal, but only about two-thirds of the way to the edge, then flick it quickly straight across. This is no easy task for a Skate newcomer.

The learning curve in Skate seems ridiculous at first. I'll admit that after my first hour with the game, I was beginning to wonder how anyone could possible pull off cool tricks without eating asphalt (or the bumper of an oncoming car). Part of the trouble is learning a new control system, but most of the difficulty comes in trying to excise the Tony Hawk training of the past decade. Slowly, but surely, something clicks and suddenly the wondrous world of Skate opens wide. From that moment, it becomes a long series of trials, as you attempt to teach yourself new tricks. Nothing needs to be unlocked - you just have to experiment and find out how to use your arsenal.

Aside from the standard air tricks and grinds, you will also have the chance to bomb hills. When skating down the heavily trafficked rolling hills of San Vanelona, the camera pulls in close to the board for an effect similar to Gears of War's Roadie Run. You aren't going to be pulling off an excessive number of tricks when speeding down a hill, so the change in camera angle won't cramp your style. In fact, it builds the sense of speed as you weave through traffic, pulling back for quick powerslides to avoid taking the bite out of someone's fender.

You can use your feet to gain some speed on these runs or you can figure out another subtle technique hidden in Skate. Pumping is a trick that allows you to gain speed without taking your feet off your board and can be useful in half-pipes or just about anywhere in Skate. Like the manual, this is a maneuver that requires a delicate touch to pull off. Your Right Trigger acts as a grab. And you can grab your board even if not in the air. Pull the trigger all the way down and your skater squats and takes hold of his board. But if you pull the trigger only a shade, your skater will bend his knees for just a second before popping back up. That's a pump. Like most things in Skate, it takes some time to nail down.

Throughout San Vanelona (which is a considerably large city) you'll find pros to challenge and spots to own. When you find a spot, you'll be given a point target. Pull off a trick on that spot that matches or beats the target and you own that spot. To make this game of trial and error a little more manageable you have the ability to create reset points. With the press of two buttons, you can set a marker. You can then skate, bail, or wander off to another area of San Vanelona. Press another set of buttons and you instantly return to your marker. This can be particularly helpful when you reach the X Games. There's a mega ramp in the X Games arena that I found myself flying down again and again and again, just to try and pull crazier tricks.

Skate is the kind of game that you can easily get lost in for a few hours. During my long playtest, I could have given a crap about finding challenges or earning points (which can unlock better boards and new clothes). It became a very Zen experience, as I explored the city, finding a few decent lines and trying to discover new tricks. In many ways, the early hours of Skate remind me a lot of Test Drive Unlimited - which is the rare racing game that manages to perfectly capture the peacefulness of a leisurely drive. There are plenty of objectives for those who need a bit more of a linear progression to their games, but I'm most looking forward to late night sessions where I just go where my wheels take me.

At some point, you'll probably want to pursue some of the challenges set about San Vanelona. Similar to Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, the challenges you accept and how you choose to skate will ultimately determine the type of skater you are. But where Proving Ground is a more structured system with skills and a definitive storyline, Skate is far more organic. That's pretty much the comparison that could be made between most aspects of these two titles. While there is a loose structure to the single-player campaign in Skate, it's very lax in comparison to Tony Hawk's more tried-and-true approach. Again, these appear to be two very different experiences that both happen to feature skateboards.

No matter what type of skater you become, your path will eventually lead to an invite from Danny Way to visit his new compound in Hawaii. This is the Everest of skate parks. It starts with the completely insane Megaramp, which shoots you high into the air and lands you in front of a quarterpipe, which can be used to pull some reality-defying stunts. Land clean out of the quarterpipe and you should have enough speed to power through the loop-the-loop, which shoots you off to another quarter pipe and over a massive gap and finally into a deep pool where you can continue to grab crazy air. It's an awesome way to spend an hour.

Though I've only had the opportunity to fool around with Skate for a short while, I'm already considerably impressed. Though visually Skate isn't going to win any prizes (except maybe second place in a beauty contest), it runs beautifully and is a joy to play. Vert skating is a lot easier to get a handle on, at least in the early goings. Finding lines and hitting tricks in the street is far more difficult. But part of the fun is embracing the challenge - especially with the knowledge that the only thing keeping you from succeeding is your own skill.

Skate is expected to arrive on PS3 and 360 in September. Lace up your Chuck's, there's only three months to go.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/skate-20070301023049072.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/skate-20070601032431837.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/skate-20070601032426462.jpg

This, GTA, Assassin's Creed and Stranglehold are probably the only cross-platform games I'm insanely excited for this year :rock:

noble
07-03-2007, 10:11 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Dark Sector Hands-on

It's Resident Evil 4 meets Gears of War... seriously.
by Jeremy Dunham

June 25, 2007 - They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's truly the case, then the team at Canadian developer, Digital Extremes, really, really likes Gears of War. Dark Sector plays and feels almost exactly like it -- right down to its cinematic storytelling, control scheme and visual style. In fact, Dark Sector is so reminiscent of Gears that there's even a context-sensitive action button that powers its cover system. There's a sprinting option that comes complete with a handheld "shaky-cam" point of view as well.

"We wanted people to be able to jump right in and start playing," said Dark Sector product manager, John Austin. "[Epic] established a certain standard for third-person controls in their game; so while it's not an exact replica of Gears, it's familiar enough that people should be able to 'get in and go' with no problem."

If Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War got married and had a kid, it would be Dark Sector.Austin isn't kidding. Sitting down with the controller and playing Dark Sector is a cinch for post-Emergence Day veterans. We needed roughly a minute of acclimation to get used to Sector's faster and looser aiming, but after that it was like picking up an old friend in a new suit.

Mechanical similarities to Gears aside, Dark Sector borrows heavily from Resident Evil 4 and 3D Zelda games. The "over-the-shoulder" POV is straight out of Leon's dark adventure from 2005 (as is the aiming system) and the pacing and progressive puzzles were influenced by games like Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time. The idea here is to constantly provide players with ways in which to learn a new ability or game concept. "When you have nothing more to learn, then it probably won't be as fun," said Austin when referring to the team's overall design motto.

- Hayden Tenno, BadassDuring our play-through we saw an example of Zelda-like puzzles firsthand. One section challenged us to navigate through a dilapidated building whose massive door was held shut by a biological goop. Slicing or shooting the overgrown booger was completely ineffective, so we had to find a way to burn through the disgusting grossness instead. To do so, a hidden gas main had to be uncovered from the inside of a statue, so that when we smashed a hanging light with our bad ass glaive, its electric properties would taint the weapon and ignite the flammable vapor. From there, it was just a matter of tossing our boomerang into the blaze so that we could set fire to the slime lock and move on.

Speaking of the Glaive, it's by far the most important weapon in the game and is the thing that separates Dark Sector from the titles that inspired it. Grown out of the lead character's metallic right hand, the Glaive helps players solve puzzles and destroy enemies faster than anything else in their arsenal. Not only can it be powered up with the elemental properties listed above, but it can slice enemies to ribbons as well. It even has a built-in light source to help users find their way through some of the darker areas.

The glaive isn't your only means of putting the hurt on, there are shotguns too!With a weapon that powerful, Digital Extremes' biggest priority is to keep the game balanced. So while the rebounding blade can take out just about everything in one shot, its range is limited. You're not going to be able to accurately take guys out from several hundred yards away, and it could prove difficult to eliminate a group of enemies who are right up on your grill when completely surrounded. This is where Dark Sector's other destructive items come into play. Shotguns, machineguns, pistols, and our favorite, the sniper rifle, can all be found or purchased to supplement the glaive.

Apparently, each of Dark Sector's weapons can be upgraded too. Although that function wasn't available in the E3 demo we sampled, Austin did say that users will eventually be able to advance their gun of choice and make it more powerful. But even more intriguing is the fact that players will also be able to evolve their main character, Hayden Tenno, through the additions of new super powers and abilities. Sadly, the extent of these meta-skills is still being kept under wraps.

Another big secret is what Dark Sector's storyline is truly about. While we do know that Tenno is an amoral black-ops agent sent to the fictional Eastern European town of Lasria to investigate the propagation of a deadly virus, we don't know much else. The only other bit that Digital Extremes has revealed is that when Hayden arrives in Lasria, he's attacked by an unknown assailant and is inflicted with the super germ he was there to investigate. He wakes up to discover that he's been fitted with a cybernetic arm and glaive and the story takes off from there. What has infected Hayden and why hasn't he turned into a zombie like the rest of the town's afflicted? Who is responsible for this outbreak and what can be done to stop it? Where does Tenno's new arm come from? Apparently, we won't find the answers to most of these questions and more until the very end of the game.

The glaive is powerful on its own, but can be made even stronger via the elements.However, we can tell you this -- if the enemy AI continues down its current path then getting to the end of Dark Sector will be easier said than done. Even in its current pre-alpha form, the game offers some surprisingly tough baddies to go head-to-head against. When combating a squad of soldiers, for example, one group may try to draw your fire while the others attempt to flank Hayden from the other direction. What's more, is that enemy snipers hang out in windows and try to pick you off and zombified townsfolk will swarm you in packs so that what they lack in speed is made up for in force. Plus, since the virus going around town affects everyone differently, you'll see multiple kinds of infected -- from the kind that blow up when ignited with fire to giant, super tough boss monstrosities than can kill your guy with little effort.

As difficult as the bad guys may be, though, we would like to see the areas a bit more populated. In the two to three levels shown in the demo, several of them were barren with occasional "enemy flag points" scattered in-between. If Digital Extremes truly wants to capture the feeling of a real "living" city, then it will need to add a little more activity to its streets. It may also be a good idea to offer a few more hints as to where players are supposed to go next -- as is the case with several games of this size, figuring out your next goal isn't always that clear.

Though the PS3 is Sector's lead platform, all versions should be nigh-identical.The good news, of course, is that Dark Sector won't be hitting store shelves until January 2008 at the earliest, so there's still plenty of time to tweak and add things as necessary. Oh, and another element that we can't forget is that the game will also include a multiplayer component that is said to be "extremely innovative" in its field (more on that post-E3 apparently). When combining those elements with the fact that it feels so much like Gears of War, has already-impressive visuals and boasts a "No HUD" interface, D3 could have quite the surprise hit on its hands.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/dark-sector-20070624031312551.jpg

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noble
07-03-2007, 10:12 AM
Smash Bros. Not Playable at E3

Wait, what? Nintendo says its flagship brawler is untouchable... for now.
by Matt Casamassina

July 3, 2007 - Nintendo of America said on Monday that its hotly anticipated new Wii fighter, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, will not be playable at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2007. According to representatives for the subsidiary contacted by IGN, Nintendo has chosen not to display the game in playable form because it has a wealth of other products to show, including some surprises. This, however, does not mean that a formally playable Brawl will not be unveiled in the near future - perhaps shortly after E3 - at a separate event.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl was originally set to release at Wii launch, but was delayed to 2007 in order to give the team working on it more development time. The game features a huge cast of mascot fighters, a great many recognizable background stages and more musical compositions from famous videogame composers than any other videogame in existence. In addition, gamers will be able to choose their favorite fighter and battle online against friends.

Although Brawl will not be playable by E3 attendees, that does not mean the game will not be on display, or, for that matter, demoed by Nintendo representatives.

Furthermore, reps for the company said that the decision to hold off on unveiling Smash in playable form at E3 had nothing to do with the progress or quality of the game. "I wouldn't read anything into this as far as release date. It's still 2007," said a spokesperson for Nintendo.

noble
07-03-2007, 10:16 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Eyes-on Soulcalibur Legends

We couldn't play it, but hey...it looks like it could be cool.
by Craig Harris

June 28, 2007 - If you include the series' origin in the arcade known as Soul Edge, Soulcalibur is more than a decade old. The franchise has stayed within its original formula over the years: as a one-on-one weapon-based fighting game, but later this year Namco Bandai will be spinning off the series into a more action adventure design on the Nintendo Wii. Soulcalibur Legends takes the universe, the characters, and the weapons established in the fighting design and branches it out into an evolving storyline that follows one of the more popular combatants: Siegfried.

Namco Bandai had an early in-progress version of Soulcalibur Legends on hand at its pre-E3 event a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, due to the game's evolving development status at the time of our demonstration, Namco Bandai representatives kept this early experience a hands-off affair. So much of what we have to go on is simply through the magic of keen observation.

The easiest thing to see is, obviously, the visuals, and Soulcalibur Legends is at least keeping up with the series' legacy of absolutely gorgeous graphics running at a smooth framerate. The Wii game did tend to jostle between 60 and 30 on occasion but mostly held onto its silky 60 frames per second rate, all the while showing off its beauty in progressive scan and wide-screen. Textures looked very detailed with nice lighting effects going on while weapons clashed on-screen, and character models animated with the same quick motion and fluidity of the Soulcalibur fighting games.

It's clear that the game's putting most of its design attention on pure action as all of the emphasis was on swinging the Wii Remote around like a sword. Slashes and thrusts were recognized by the game, as were special moves that used sensors in both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk. Maneuvering around was clearly placed on the analog stick, with quick sidesteps activated by a shove left or right on the nunchuk. Levels jam packed with enemies to hack and slash at, and we counted easily more than a half dozen on-screen enemies at any given time.

To keep the camera focused on specific enemies players had the ability to lock the view onto characters. Most of the time in the demo the camera stayed strictly behind your on-screen persona, giving a bit of space so that you can see when someone's sneaking up on you. Since we didn't actually get a chance to actually hold the controllers during the demo, it's difficult to gauge how successful these controls really are, but they certainly looked fun.

It appears that there will also be puzzle-like elements within the dungeon-wandering experience. In several points in the adventure, progress was halted by walls of fire, and the only way to pass beyond them was to perform a special sword move that would blow out the flames. Once the fire's extinguished, the path opens up to progress deeper into the stage.

Namco Bandai gave us a little taste of the game's multiplayer portion where two players can choose to cooperate with or compete against each other. These modes took place in a split-screen so that each player had the same view behind their character. Players could work together to wipe out the mobs of enemy soldiers, or attack each other in the same fashion.

Soulcalibur Legends is being prepped for a Winter release in the US, and you can bet that we'll have more on the game as it progresses deeper in its development cycle.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/soulcalibur-legends-20070628104436899.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/soulcalibur-legends-20070628104437711.jpg

noble
07-03-2007, 10:21 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Hands-on EA Playground

EA's version of Wii Sports arrives and we've got details plus new screens.
by Matt Casamassina

June 28, 2007 - Nintendo fans who salivate at games like Resident Evil 4 and Manhunt 2 probably weren't thrilled when publisher Electronic Arts unveiled EA Playground for Wii. After all, the title goes the Wii Sports route, utilizing intentionally simplified graphics and a very cute style - one that marketing types would probably classify as "approachable." Complementing the style are mini-games designed to work in conjunction with the motion sensory prowess of the Wii remote. Swing Nintendo's controller, for example, to hit the ball in a virtual game of tetherball. You get the point. Add in several more schoolyard-played games, all of them available for multiple people, and you've got the premise for EA's new effort.

We were recently treated to a brief demo of EA Playground's dodgeball mini-game, which enables up to four players to battle it out in a classic take on the sport we all played during recess growing up. Two teams of three stand on each side of a lined concrete court. You control a single dodgeball character and the remaining two are handled by software artificial intelligence, but if you for some reason get knocked out of the game, you will immediately take over whoever is left standing, essentially booting the AI. The core challenge hasn't changed. You throw balls at your opponents and if they land without being caught, you knock them out of the game. If you get hit, you're out. Meanwhile, if you catch an opponent's thrown ball, a team member who has been booted from the game can come back in.

The game itself is simple and the Wii controls simpler. You don't use the nunchuk at all and this is true for the majority of the titles in EA Playground. Rather, you maneuver your character with the Wii remote's D-Pad, pressing left, right, or up and down to run in the respective directions. You move at what to us seems like a jogging pace, so, in other words, not exceptionally fast, but speedy enough. When you want to throw a ball, you merely snap a forward gesture with the remote. Unfortunately, how fast you motion with the controller does not appear to have any bearing on how quickly your character throws the ball. You can catch thrown balls by holding the B-trigger at exactly the right moment, and you can dodge by flicking to the side with the remote. Easy. You barely have to think to play and we're therefore confident that even Paris Hilton could become a dodgeball master. See? We know about pop culture. (We're still learning about comedy, though, so sorry.) The controls in Dodgeball, while very basic, are also responsive.
We only got to play around with this one sport, but as you can see in today's new screens, there are a number of others that will be unlocked in the final title, including the aforementioned tetherball, as well as dart shootout and slot-car racing. Obviously, all of these games will make unique uses of the Wii remote, and there's additionally a DS build that will, for example, "utilize the touch-screen controls and the mic," according to the publisher. You will be able to tinker with the options for each game, configuring your own style of rules.

You will also explore a virtual playground filled with challenges. For example, you can collect stickers and earn marbles to buy power-ups which can be used in the mini-games.
We asked EA why there is no Mii integration in Playground and apparently the developer, which is EA Canada, designed a specific style for its characters and wanted to keep with it. No online support is planned either, which is unfortunate.

All in all, EA Playground probably isn't going to dazzle people who weren't already won over by Wii Sports, but if you were, you might just be interested in the all-accessible effort. We are always glad to see titles of this type arrive on Wii because they generally play to the console's strengths, and thus we're keeping an optimistic outlook for the end product. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more, but in the meantime enjoy some new screens direct from the Wii build.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/ea-playground-20070628050304190.jpg

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nihilance
07-03-2007, 11:12 AM
Smash Bros is not going to be playable at E3. I imagine this has something to do with one of the biggest allures of the game which is the plethora of unlockable characters and other surprises. If I was Nintendo I would try to keep that shit under wraps too...although don't be surprised if they reveal Sonic the Hedgehog as a playable character in the game highlighted by a new trailer.

Also...Nintendo announced that Metroid Prime 3 will NOT have online multiplayer. I'm fine with this as well. Apparently the developers wanted to focus all their attention on the single player campaign. Can't really blame them.

Smart of Nintendo to use their same strategy from last year, and release some tidbits that people might gripe about (like announcing the name Wii) a week before E3 so as not to distract from what they will actually be announcing and showing next week.

noble
07-03-2007, 04:02 PM
Pre-E3 2007: The Last Remnant Trailer

Get your first look at Square Enix's latest, with a special note from the director just for you.
by IGN Staff

July 3, 2007 - In the world of RPGs, no developer/publisher's games are more closely watched than those of Square Enix. Its newest title for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, The Last Remnant, promises to give gamers an experience unlike any we've seen before.

As a special note to introduce the first public trailer for The Last Remnant, director Hiroshi Tokai sent over a personal note to introduce the video.

"After much anticipation, I am delighted to be able to reveal an exclusive trailer for THE LAST REMNANT. A lot of work has gone into creating this trailer so I hope you enjoy this peek of what's to come.

"Following THE LAST REMNANT's announcement at the Square Enix Party in May, we received a tremendous amount of feedback from both media and fans. I am aware that some of the early information regarding the game may have been a bit misleading, so we hope today's presentation will clear some things up.

"I would like to take this opportunity to correct one of the common misconceptions about the game. Though many believe there are two protagonists, in actuality there is only one protagonist -- Rush and he is the only playable character.

"The man splattered with blood is a vital character in the game, and the story's anti-hero. This ominous character has captured the interest of many and we will strive to develop him into a character that will live up to everyone's expectations.

"We look forward to sharing updates with you throughout the development of this project. Please keep an eye out for future announcements, and enjoy this latest taste of the world of THE LAST REMNANT."

-- Hiroshi Takai
THE LAST REMNANT Director
Without further ado,click here to watch the trailer (http://media.ps3.ign.com/media/904/904859/vids_1.html)

noble
07-03-2007, 04:15 PM
Pre-E3 2007: Turok Hands-on

We get a face full of dino breath and beg for more.
by Greg Miller

July 3, 2007 - Crouching in a hollowed-out tree, Joseph Turok is having a bad day. His former mentor has gone rouge, the team he's leading to go after the turncoat has crashed on a dinosaur-infested planet, and he's got a Mohawk … okay, it's a really bad day.

Anyway, when two enemy soldiers meander into the clearing sprawled out in front of Turok's hiding spot, it's a foregone conclusion that they're dead men -- however, how Turok is going to snuff out the sad sacks is still up in the air, and he's open to suggestions. At first glance, it seems like a no-brainer. Turok is a first-person shooter, and this genre generally isn't the deepest in the digital world. Run in, blast the tools in their faces and be done with it, right?

That's the kind of thinking that's going to end with your skull in a raptor's small intestine.

The mossy, swaying-in-the-breeze jungle isn't just beautiful in Turok; it's alive. If our black-op commando ran in there and popped the bad guys in the head, the neighboring guards are going to sound the alarm and bring every bad guy in the area to Turok's tree house, and that's not even taking into account the native dinosaurs that are going to come a runnin' at the sound of the dinner bell.

You need to smoke these guys, stay off the proverbial radar and make it to the smoldering helicopter in the distance. Why not whip out the bow and arrow and silently drop'em both in a matter of seconds? Better yet, continue crouching, slink through the tall grass and burry your knife in the enemy's chest before he even knows you're standing behind him? Not in the mood for doing the dirty work? Put the silencer on your machine gun, smash that nest of dinosaur eggs and let the momma run out of her cave and chow down on the first thing she sees -- i.e. the two guys blocking your way.

In the world of HD, Blu-ray and Whoppers, the word "options" can means lots of things -- more disk space, improved sound quality, extra pickles -- but in Turok, your options govern how Turok kills, and with an afternoon under our belts, we can tell you it's beyond sweet.

Trust us; he's smarter than he looks.A decade after Turok burst onto the Nintendo 64, Touchstone and Propaganda Games are almost ready to unleash a new, gruesomely beautiful shooter on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Set on a mysterious planet in the future, Turok and an elite squad of soldiers known as Whiskey Company are charged with apprehending Roland Kane, Turok's former mentor. Kane is holed up on another planet with an army of followers at his disposal. As Whiskey Company approaches the godforsaken rock, Kane's men shoot down the good guys' transport and Turok finds himself and his crew smack-dab in the middle of a dense jungle filled with all sorts of dinosaurs ready to rip them to shreds.

If the man-eating monsters weren't enough trouble, Kane's crew can't be taken lightly either. If they spot Turok or the hunter misses a shot and tips off his position, the men in black aren't just going to rush mindlessly to their certain deaths. You have to expect the soldiers to take cover, call for back up and fan out when the squad is ready. Even if you hole up in the secure tree trunk, expect crews to flank your position and take you down. The enemies are so smart they even scream in horror as the ravenous dinos devour their flesh and comrades. That's intelligent AI.

You'll spend the first half of your game scrounging the lush jungle -- don't be surprised if you find yourself staring at the tall grass dancing in the wind -- learning survival skills (There's no stealth mode. Just learn to stick to the shadows.) and getting a hang of the plethora of weapons you'll have at your disposal.

Well, maybe we should say getting the hang of the weapon tactics. See, every weapon in Turok has a secondary-fire option. It might not be new, but in a game of options, using it correctly is going to lead to some nifty scenes. See a pack of Raptors? Why not fire a sticky grenade onto one of them and wait for the herd to bunch up before blowing your load? What about using your shotgun to fire off some dino-distracting flares to let you get to safety? Duel shotguns anyone?

Once your survival half is done, you'll get back to the mission and focus on kicking Kane's ass. You won't be alone on your quest. As the game progresses you'll come across other members of Whiskey Company and set out on tasks with tank-like Slade overpowering guys on the ground while Reese picks off baddies with his sniper rifle. A multiple-member roster seems like it would lend itself to multiplayer missions, but the powers that be are keeping the details sparse. All we know is that Turok will support 16 players in multiple online modes that feature the deadly dinos.

Touchstone and Propaganda made it clear during their bloody visit that the dinosaurs are the stars of this game, and the bone-breaking beasts get there fair share of close-ups - especially during "Dino Mauling." See, when a prehistoric villain puts Turok's ass on the ground, the reptile can follow up by leaping onto the hero and going to town with its massive jaws. When Dino makes his move, the camera jumps from the first-person mode you've been rocking to a third-person close-up of a pinned Turok desperately trying to keep the hungry, hungry hunter's mouth away from his skull - you're part in all of this is to frantically tap the on-screen button command. Succeed, and Turok buries his trusty blade into the dinosaur. Fail, and you take a losing part in the circle of life.

Now, Turok's nobody's bitch. These dinosaurs want to kick a guy while he's down? Turok's going to return the favor. Knock Rex to the ground or distract the leviathan with a flare, and Turok can stealthily move towards the hellhound's head and go to work. Depending on the position Turok's attacking from and the size of the behemoth, you'll be treated to one of a number of animations - again from the third-person perspective. Maybe it'll be Turok expertly applying a headlock that would crush Triple H's noggin or maybe it'll be our resident badass leaping onto the creature's neck. Either way, each triggers the same button-tapping game for you, but this time it ends with Turok stabbing the thing in the brain and watching as torrents of blood gush out of the mammoth.

It's a thing of beauty.

Our visit only showcased a couple of the deadly dinos, but according to Touchstone, there's going to be huge insects and other creatures for Turok to fend off in the retail version. Although the game wasn't finished when we played it - our crosshairs disappeared mid-game and then popped up a few minutes later - Turok is already running on all cylinders and should impress any fan of the first-person shooter genre when it lands in stores.

If you can comatose on command, set your alarm clock for the first-quarter of 2008.

Turok vids (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/747/747926/vids_1.html)

(I highly recommend the dino brawl and maul video)

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/turok-20070627030128120.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/turok-20070702050008744.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/turok-20070627030129370.jpg

UltimateQuintessa
07-03-2007, 04:26 PM
If Nintendo doesn't announce one game that is gonna be online compatible for the Wii I'm trading mine in for an Xbox 360.

Marcdachamp
07-03-2007, 04:39 PM
If they don't announce Beyond Good and Evil 2 this year, I will never buy another Ubisoft game (except Brothers in Arms 3).

Yeah, don't hold your breath. It was a financial flop. It was a pretty good game, with some very vibrant graphics, but I couldn't get the "Zelda knock-off" idea out of my head. The concepts are totally different, but it drives me crazy when I see a game use the Zelda control scheme without changing a damn thing. Hell, they could've added a jump button instead of ripping off that and I would've been happy.

elry
07-03-2007, 05:31 PM
Nintendo always has bad E3 shows. They either dont show anything new at all or they force you to stand in line for over an hour to play the one big game or system they are pushing.

Good news on Metroid Prime, i thought the multiplayer component stunk on the second one and I would rather they, just like ratchet and clank, focus on the single-player.

The Nature Roy
07-04-2007, 12:02 PM
I'm actually quite interested to see what Sony shows.

I am 100% planning on buying a PS3 as soon as they give me a compelling reason to do so, but I don't feel they've really come close to doing that yet, especially since due to my preexisting friends list, achievements, and the quality comparos thus far, I'll probably lean to 360 versions of most multi-platform titles.

It's about time Sony starts giving us reasons to actually believe their machine is as powerful as they keep insisting. I want to see some games that look like they couldn't be done with the 360 as well as some first party titles that make me want to own the machine.

They must really believe in the new Killzone since it's getting its own two hour showing the same night as MS's press conference. And it better look damn good after the fake gameplay Sony used a couple years ago to deceive the press and public about what PS3 games looked like.

As soon as I see 3-5 exclusive titles for PS3 that I feel I need, I'll plunk down the cash (oh, and indications beyond Home that they're improving their online offerings). Make me a believer Sony.

Marcdachamp
07-04-2007, 02:24 PM
Nintendo always has bad E3 shows.

That's totally inaccurate. The Twilight Princess/DS show was universally praised.

YouStayClassy
07-04-2007, 02:29 PM
If Nintendo doesn't announce one game that is gonna be online compatible for the Wii I'm trading mine in for an Xbox 360.

Nintendo.... online..... DOES NOT COMPUTE!

JMP
07-04-2007, 02:33 PM
Turok is going to be great, if only for the reason that they're including bloodthirsty dinosaurs into the multiplayer game, so not only do you have to dodge the other team, but the raptors as well. I really wish Lost Planet did this.

Akira
07-04-2007, 04:39 PM
Nintendo.... online..... DOES NOT COMPUTE!

They need to get their shit together and give us a Pokemon MMO. Seriously.

elry
07-04-2007, 10:37 PM
there was no twilight princess/ds show. the year the ds was announced twilight priness was just shown on a video and to play the ds you had to stand in line because nintendo had it seperate from the main section, tp was shown the next year,the same way the ds was shown,seperate from the rest of the show which i believed consisted of mario strikers and mario party 6 or 7...
nintendo just doesnt go all out for e3s, ive been to four and the biggest one they did was the gamecube debut,the year after was the worst show they have had. im a fan of nintendo and stood in both lines, but they are very underwhelming at these shows...

Hock
07-04-2007, 10:39 PM
http://homepage.mac.com/aalgar/pics/misc/scream.jpg

Bedlam66
07-04-2007, 10:56 PM
Wasn't E3 Canceled ? I thought they said it was too Expensive to run it and they weren't going to have it anymore.

Albert
07-04-2007, 11:01 PM
Good news on Metroid Prime, i thought the multiplayer component stunk on the second one and I would rather they, just like ratchet and clank, focus on the single-player.

Why don't they just try and make the multiplayer...better?

noble
07-05-2007, 02:08 AM
Wasn't E3 Canceled ? I thought they said it was too Expensive to run it and they weren't going to have it anymore.


They cancelled E3 as it was. Too many people were putting up websites, doing a couple news/reviews bits just so they could get into the show. E3 was set up as a trade show for companies to show the gaming press what they have coming down the pipe, but the actually gaming press was having to wait six to eight hours just to get hands on time with the product because of all the people that shouldn't have really been there.

So it was shut down last year, and then restarted as an invitation only/smaller event. They were going to call it something else, but the tradition of the name made them just go with E3 at the end of the day.

noble
07-05-2007, 05:20 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Rock Band Hands-on
For those about to rock, we salute you.
by Tal Blevins & Jeremy Dunham

July 4, 2007 - What happens if you lock IGN editors in a room full of musical instruments, an unreleased Harmonix game, and a whole lot of beer? We have fun, that's what. Detailed below are just a few of the experiences we had when playing Rock Band, MTV's new multi-device musical from the same team behind Amplitude, Frequency, and Guitar Hero 1 and 2. Read on to see just how impressed we were!

Tal's Impressions
In addition to the tracks that have already been revealed -- "In Bloom" by Nirvana, Weezer's "Say it Ain't So," "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath, and The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" -- we also had a chance to try out some other songs during our playtest.

As soon as they booted up the game, I literally belted out a triumphant "Hell yeah!" when I saw that Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" was listed on the main menu. This is a song I've been wanting since Guitar Hero came out two years ago. I always thought "Mississippi Queen" would make a fantastic playable track, and after getting some hands-on time with it, I can happily say I was correct. Mississippi Queen, you truly did teach me everything.

I took lead on "Mississippi Queen," playing guitar. This was the first time I had held the Strat-inspired Rock Band controller. It's a little bit larger than the Guitar Hero instruments, plus it feels and looks a little more realistic. I liked that the appearance of the buttons; they flowed into the natural wood color of the neck, with the only colors apparent on the top of the buttons so you can see them as you look down. In addition to the five buttons near the top of the headstock, there were five more buttons positioned close to the body of the guitar.

These work just like the other buttons during most of the song, but you can also use them during certain solo portions without having to pluck the flapper; like a hammer-on, you only have to hit the appropriate button at the right time with no strumming required. Both sets of buttons felt a little stiffer and less forgiving than the Guitar Hero guitar, though I should note that the guitars we played were just prototypes, and didn't necessarily represent the final action or mechanics. As a Harmonix rep told us, "We're still tweaking the guitars, so expect the final guitars to feel a little different than the prototype."

While playing, I noticed the guitar had a five-way toggle switch on it. When asked about that, a Harmonix rep said they were experimenting with the ability to switch on various effects over the guitar track such as reverb, delay, and phase using the toggle. However, at this early point it sounds like it will just be an audio effect and not actually play into the game in any way.

Swedish rockers The Hives make an appearance in Rock Band with "Main Offender," a song that was popular during our playtest since one of the foreign reporters present was from Sweden, and also dressed in full-on Hives all-white regalia. I don't know if he knew the song was in the game already or if that's just how everyone in Sweden dresses, but it was very fitting. I played bass on "Main Offender," which as you can imagine from playing Guitar Hero 2, is pretty much similar to guitar, only with fewer chords. The interface for both the guitar and bass are pretty much the same as Guitar Hero, so if you've ever played either the original or the sequel, you know what to expect.

I decided to take vocals on Bowie's "Suffragette City," with the IGN band in full effect. Not surprisingly, the interface is very similar to Karaoke Revolution, another Harmonix-developed game. In addition to your own voice, Harmonix has included the original vocals in the tracks, but at a much lower volume so as to not overpower. While singing may seem like a lonely affair when others are rocking out on their respective instruments during the solos and breaks, you can relive all of your Stevie Nicks dreams during sections of the track with no vocals as you'll have to tap along with the beat of the song -- sort of like a tambourine -- to keep your crowd meter up.

BOC is represented in Rock Band with their classic "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." Taking the drums on this one, this (along with "Mississippi Queen") was the song which made me wish there was a cowbell attachment for the drum set. After rocking all night, I've already decided I'm going to buy my own cow bell and affix it to the kit just to play along with the songs.

Playing the drums in Rock Band is similar to the guitar tracks -- just follow the beat and hit the correctly colored drum head. The drum kit itself is laid out with four pads in a slight semi-circle pattern on the stands. Naturally, they're not as heavy-duty as a real drum kit, but they were more substantial than I thought they would be. Being made of foam, they can really take a beating; I was playing with real drum sticks, and I'm not really known for my subtlety when it comes to pounding on things. The kit also comes with a kick pedal that simulates the bass drum, which is represented on the playing screen as a wide orange bar that fills up the full width of the drum track.

Although I play guitar in real life, I've never really put much time into the drums, so I waded in on easy difficulty. My confidence was soaring after getting 100% on the kiddie round, so I pumped up the difficulty to hard and tried it again. Whoops, my mistake! I kept dropping out of the band after failing (but keeping the beat going by tapping my drum sticks, of course). Luckily, if one person drops out of the game because they're doing poorly, the other players can "rescue" them by keeping up the groove, and I had to be saved quite a few times during my drum round on hard difficulty. There's just something about coordinating my feet with my hands that I haven't quite mastered yet, but that makes me want to play and practice even more. As a rep from Hamonix told us, "If you can play the drum parts on hard, you can pretty much play the drums."

All of the aforementioned tracks were the original cuts from the bands themselves, and sounded great when everybody was keeping it together as a band. The overall band interface is laid out in a familiar manner with the drums, guitar, and bass tracks all scrolling in a vertical pattern similar to Guitar Hero, while the vocals scroll horizontally at the top of the screen. While this does block out most of the background band, to be honest I didn't really mind that because I never really pay attention to the background when I'm playing, anyway, as I'm too focused on the rhythm patterns.

All in all I had a blast playing Rock Band, and I'm definitely looking forward to getting more play time during E3. I have no doubt that this is going to be the ultimate party game, even if it will take up the entire living room.

Jeremy's Impressions
Tal covered a lot of the bases with his impressions up above and it paints a great picture in regards to how much fun Rock Band already is. I really like the Fender guitar's design and feel, and absolutely adore the drums -- with four pads, sticks, a kick pedal, and a size that's roughly 80% of the real thing, they're awesome! Plus, I find it absolutely amazing that drummers who play on the expert level are actually going to learn how to play a real musical instrument. How many other games out there can claim something like that? Not very many, I can tell you that much.


Anyhow, rather than rehash what Mr. Blevins has already said, I'm going to focus on some of the things we learned apart from the actual hands-on experience -- such as a number of new details that haven't been revealed before.

Take the interface shown in the inserted screenshots, for example. If you compare those to earlier images shown in magazines, you'll notice a slight difference in how they look. This is because the print shots were based on a version with an incomplete HUD. But as you can see, the vocal cue has been touched up a bit, the icons are less cluttered, and the scrolling tracks themselves have been given stylized detailing. It may seem trivial to some, but this extra polish helps the visuals in Rock Band pop put that much more.



Harmonix also revealed a bit about the various game modes. In addition to the basic "Tutorial" feature that you'd expect, there's also a "Practice Mode" that allows users to pull out any segment of a song to be played at whatever speed they want. "Solo Tour Mode" lets players pick a single instrument and hit the hitchhiker circuit for what's essentially a single-player career, while "Band World Tour" is undoubtedly the game's meatiest addition. In it, you'll be able to form your own band online (or off) and move from small town gigs all the way to stadium-sized locations while earning "fame and fortune" to get the stuff you need. Luckily, if any of those options sound too time-consuming for you, there's also a "Quickplay Mode" for easy single-song jamming.

Speaking of jamming to songs, MTV let us in on its plans for the various tracks -- the most impressive of which is a proposed 100+ downloadable tunes in the game's first year alone. As an added bonus, the EA/ MTV/ Harmonix trio is using its muscle and money to secure as many master tracks as possible. Of the eight announced songs so far, six of them are the original masters ("Won't Get Fooled Again" from The Who, "Suffragette City" from David Bowie, "Don't Fear the Reaper" from Blue Oyster Cult, "In Bloom" from Nirvana, "Main Offender" from The Hives, and "Say it Ain't So" from Weezer), with only two covers ("Mississippi Queen" from Mountain and "Paranoid" from Black Sabbath). Obviously, that's a pretty good ratio and Harmonix says that it will continue to go after originals songs wherever possible.

Another cool feature is the ability to create your own avatar. Using an in-depth character creation system, users can select their gender, face type, hair, body shape, tattoos, signature moves, and specialized instrument to create the rock god they feel best represents themselves. Once created, players can then do a range of fun little things like calling out the crowd (if they're a vocalist) during freestyle opportunities or perform drum and guitar solos during those same opportunities. Even better is the fact that you can save a bad band member who may have "failed out" of your current song by using one of those aforementioned signature moves -- it psyches up the audience and allows a laboring buddy to hop back into the action. You can even compete for a special points power-up known as "Unison Phrase" that rewards all four band members for playing perfectly. In other words, there's a lot of depth here.

And "deep" really is the best way to describe Rock Band. Its scope and gameplay options are incredibly impressive, and yet it remains highly accessible and undeniably fun. But what I want to know is, if we like it this much now, how much better is it going to be by the time it ships this Holiday? The potential answer is frightening.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rock-band-20070704022629230.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rock-band-20070704022626370.jpg

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noble
07-05-2007, 07:33 AM
Madden 2008 running on the Wii.

Click me for football smashing goodness. (http://media.wii.ign.com/media/868/868496/vids_1.html)

The Nature Roy
07-05-2007, 08:14 AM
As I noted earlier, like many others, I'm interested to see what comes from the Killzone 2 press conference.

Clearly Sony is banking on the game. That said, the title has a funny past and it's somewhat strange its getting so much hype:

1. Basically, it's the follow-up for a game that didn't come anywhere near living up to its own hype or fulfilling its 'Halo-killer' positioning.

2. Much of Killzone 2's hype is based on fake gameplay that was later confirmed to be CG.

3. The little the press have actually seen of the Killzone 2 (a short gameplay trailer at GDC) was said to be less than impressive.

And yet somehow this game has become the ultimate Neogaf wet dream, and I'm getting sucked into the hype myself, or at least building up a morbid curiosity to see what comes of it. Anyway, the game has certainly had the time and funding behind it. It better be damn good.

Akira
07-05-2007, 08:46 AM
No matter how good Killzone 2 looks, Sony will get crucified for it. That's probably one of the reasons the Killzone showing is invite-only.

noble
07-05-2007, 08:50 AM
No matter how good Killzone 2 looks, Sony will get crucified for it. That's probably one of the reasons the Killzone showing is invite-only.


I totally agree.

It could be the best looking video game in the history of the industry, but if it doesn't match that pre-rendered video they flaunted, they are gonna get nailed for it.

Akira
07-05-2007, 08:53 AM
I totally agree.

It could be the best looking video game in the history of the industry, but if it doesn't match that pre-rendered video they flaunted, they are gonna get nailed for it.

Which is a shame, because no matter how good it looks or plays, it's gonna carry an unfair stigma.

nihilance
07-05-2007, 09:02 AM
Which is a shame, because no matter how good it looks or plays, it's gonna carry an unfair stigma.

Well it's not exactly unfair. Sony touted that video two years ago like it was the real thing. It wasn't until people really probed about it that they admitted that it wasn't gameplay...and then a year later it was a total no-show. Any stigma placed upon it will be wholey deserved by the way Sony rolled out it's announcement in the first place.

And it's already been confirmed that it doesn't look or play like that trailer from E3 '05. It doesn't even play like a FPS exactly. Even Shane B at 1up was guarded in the way he described it because the game itself doesn't play anywhere close to the way it was presented two years ago.

Matt Jay
07-05-2007, 09:07 AM
Which is a shame, because no matter how good it looks or plays, it's gonna carry an unfair stigma.

Like Fable. Fantastic game in its own right, but almost universally panned only because it failed to live up to the monumental hype.

The Nature Roy
07-05-2007, 09:21 AM
Which is a shame, because no matter how good it looks or plays, it's gonna carry an unfair stigma.
I think it's going to go both ways, at least with the fanboys.

No matter how great it looks, people will point out that it doesn't live up to the initial hype. But on the other side, there is already a big group of true believers formed up who will claim it's the most amazing thing ever even if it isn't all that impressive.

Not that things are any different for say Halo 3.

Neogaf is going to be even more entertaining and infuriating than usual in a week's time.

Akira
07-05-2007, 09:52 AM
Like Fable. Fantastic game in its own right, but almost universally panned only because it failed to live up to the monumental hype.

Yep. If molenux kept his mouth shut (like he is for Fable 2) it probably would've been received much better.

The Nature Roy
07-05-2007, 01:53 PM
Circuit City spoils Sony's E3 price cut announcement?

http://kotaku.com/gaming/rumor/playstation-3-100-price-cut-hits-july-15-275391.php

Dan McLellan
07-05-2007, 01:54 PM
Circuit City spoils Sony's E3 price cut announcement?

http://kotaku.com/gaming/rumor/playstation-3-100-price-cut-hits-july-15-275391.php

That's still too much money. Until the PS3 is actually outperforming the 360, there is no reason why it shouldn't be the same price.

And this Blu-Ray nonsense will make more sense once it is the format to own. If (more likely when though) that happens it'll be a better deal.

The Nature Roy
07-05-2007, 02:02 PM
I'm curious if this leak will force MS to respond in kind if they hadn't already planned an E3 price cut announcement of their own. If so, Circuit City might have stolen some of Sony's thunder.

elry
07-05-2007, 04:56 PM
Yeah getting into E3 before this year was cake. The years I went I just sent in an application form and made up the name of my supposed video game company, worked every time. And I know I wasnt the only one doing this because the show would be wall to wall gamer for the first two days of the show, usually people would be tired by day 3 and the crowd wouldnt be as dense, but the first two days can be awful due to the crowd.

noble
07-06-2007, 08:52 AM
Pre-E3 2007: BlackSite: Area 51 Info
Midway to focus on squad combat next week.
by Greg Miller

July 5, 2007 - One thing's for sure: when aliens attack, you don't want to be alone.

Midway knows this. When it rolls out new information and screens from BlackSite: Area 51 next week, the company plans to tell you all about how you're going to lead a group of secret soldiers into battle against E.T.

But can you wait for tidbits on this first-person brawl in Nevada?

IGN has secured five minutes and eight seconds of footage with BlackSite's executive creative director that details how you're going to manage your troops, how smart your backup is, who your partners are and how cool it looks to blow an alien to kingdom come.

Check it out and start your personal E3 with a bang
Alien splodie videos (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/849/849458/vids_1.html)

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/blacksite-area-51-20070611053510926.jpg

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Binx
07-06-2007, 09:01 AM
Virtua Fighter 5 for the 360 ONLINE!
http://kotaku.com/gaming/holy-crap/virtua-fighter-5-360-goes-online-275659.php

When Virtua Fighter was revealed to not be the PS3 exclusive we originally thought it would be, fans took solace in the fact that the 360 version would be coming out months down the line, after they'd gotten all the joy they could out of the title. Well now we know why the 360 version was delayed so long, as Sega announces online multiplayer functionality for the Xbox 360 version of Virtua Fighter 5! When the game launches this Autumn in North America and Europe, gamers will for the first time be able to take their Virtua Fighting online to pit their skills against people most likely much better than I am.

The game also features an improved quest mode with deeper character customization, a modified DOJO mode that includes leaderboards and new levels of practice to help you hone your talents, and of course...vibration support.

I'm kind of speechless here. Maybe they're planning on releasing an enhanced version for the PS3 with the added features down the line? Even if that is the case, PlayStation 3 owners just got double-kicked in the groin for early adoption, myself included.

SEGA ANNOUNCES ONLINE MULTIPLAYER FUNCTIONALITY IN VIRTUA FIGHTER™ 5 FOR XBOX 360™

Premier Fighting Game Franchise Goes Online In Europe and North America

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (July 6, 2007) - SEGA® Europe, Ltd. and SEGA® of America, Inc. announced today that the highly-anticipated arcade fighting game, Virtua Fighter™ 5 for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, will feature an online versus mode at launch in Autumn 2007. The Xbox 360™ version of Virtua Fighter™ 5 is based on the latest arcade version update and features both analogue-stick and D-pad control, as well as vibration support. The game also includes an improved Quest mode featuring more CPU rivals, items, and emblems for character customisation. The DOJO mode has added features including leaderboards, training move settings, improved throw and escape training, and the option to change your opponent's position and recovery type. These all work to create a more refined DOJO mode where players can improve their fighting strategy.

Now featuring an online two-player versus mode via Xbox Live®, Virtua Fighter™ 5 will allow players to compete online. Players will also be able to select one of the 17 characters or customise them in Quest mode. Customisation features allow players to modify their characters by selecting from four base costumes and then attaching a wide range of unlockable and earnable items. Players will not only achieve victory by defeating highly-skilled opponents, but also by competing for prizes and earning in-game money which allows them to buy many items at an in-game shop.

"For a lot of very good reasons, Virtua Fighter™ 5 is regarded as the deepest and most revered fighting game available on next generation consoles", said Gary Knight, European Marketing Director, SEGA Europe. "Bringing Virtua Fighter™ 5 to the Xbox 360™ will not only capture an entirely new audience, but will allow gamers to show their Virtua Fighter™ skills online against friends and foes"

Created by the renowned development team AM R&D Department #2 out of Japan, Virtua Fighter™ 5 will be released in Autumn 2007.

noble
07-06-2007, 09:03 AM
Pre-E3 2007: NBA Live 08 - Hot Spots
Kobe is red all over.
by Hilary Goldstein

July 5, 2007 - EA is hoping to redeem the lackluster performances of the past few NBA Live iterations with some new innovations. For Live 08, EA is introducing Go-To Basketball. Designed to give players a more realistic hoops experience while also providing new play-making options, Go-To Basketball is comprised of four parts: Signature Go-To Moves, Quick-Strike Ball Handling, Own the Paint, and Hot Spots. We've already broken down the first three pieces. Today, we wrap up our Go-To coverage with a look at Hot Spots.

While the first three elements of Go-To Basketball are linked directly to gameplay, Hot Spots are a visual feature. On offense, you can hold down the Left Bumper or L1 to see a color-coded guide to a ball handler's strengths and weaknesses on the court. Depending on the player, you'll see patches of purple for cold zones, red for hot spots and yellow for moderate areas. These are the spots the player has shown to have the most success. That doesn't mean that if you shoot from a cold spot you will instantly brick, but it's much more likely.

In the past, a player had just three shot ratings based on range: close, medium, and three point. Now there are fourteen ratings, all of which were compiled from NBA data over the past few years. The Hot Spots are a bit of a gimmick, but one that will allow gamers to note the strong shooting zones for every player.

Bruce Bowen seems pretty comfortable shooting the three. But statistics show he is actually least effective shooting from the elbows and, in fact, lights it up when firing baseline treys. While you can pull up the Hot Spots any time on offense, it's likely that after a few games, you won't need to. After all, how many times do you really need to hold down a button to know Kobe is hot from every part of the floor?

For a single game and likely for a single season, knowing a player's Hot Spots by heart will mean you can avoid viewing them during a game. However, if you play a Dynasty, you'll need to keep an eye on the Hot Spots as they will change. Sure, Shaq is always going to always be red in the post and cold from just about everywhere else. But shooters might lose their touch from outside the arc as they get older or may start to favor the elbows as time marches on. It's unclear how dynamic these areas will be or the exact factors that will change them, but it's good to know that Kobe won't start red hot into his 50s.

That's everything you need to know about Go-To Basketball. Keep an eye out for updated impressions of NBA Live 08 and plenty more screens and videos as we head towards its fall release.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/nba-live-08-20070705045012646.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/nba-live-08-20070703104413603.jpg

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JABSEN
07-06-2007, 09:04 AM
So...e3 is going on right now?

Binx
07-06-2007, 09:06 AM
So...e3 is going on right now?

Nah, it starts next week. But tons of pre show announcements are pouring out.

WillieLee
07-06-2007, 09:10 AM
They need more games where you're a guy with a sword.

noble
07-06-2007, 09:18 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Hands-on de Blob

In a world devoid of color, you've come to paint. We pull back the curtain on THQ's innovative Katamari-like Wii effort with impressions and media.
by Matt Casamassina

July 5, 2007 - Cynical gamers have to come believe that THQ is exclusively in the business of pedaling SpongeBob and WWE sequels to console owners and that is a perception that the mega-publisher hopes to obliterate with a portfolio of titles that is both unpredictable and potentially innovative. The videogame giant has supported Wii from the very beginning and has recently - very likely in light of better-than-expected sales of Nintendo's platform - thrown even more development resources behind the little white box that could. Just last week we learned by way of embargo-breaking overseas magazines that two big new efforts are bound for Wii Land. The first is the third installment in the Destroy All Humans! series and the other is a game called, simply, "de Blob." (And if you're wondering, yes, it's spelled exactly like that, capitalization and all.) So what is this oddly named project all about? Would you believe one of Wii's most interesting third-party contributions was born to life as a student project?

The title that came to be known as de Blob first gained attention in 2006 when it was named Internet Game of the Year by Edge Magazine, and earned more respect when it became a finalist in the 2007 Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition. Back then, of course, it was called The Blob and it was developed not by an experienced software company, but rather by nine students studying Game Design & Development at Utrecht University's School of the Arts in the Netherlands. When the game made the rounds on the Internet, THQ took notice, swooped in, nabbed the full rights, and handed the concept over to studio Blue Tongue, which has been pounding away on a Wii-ized re-imaging ever since.

We recently made the trek to THQ's Agoura Hills, California-based offices for an early peek at de Blob, and we do mean early; while fully playable on Wii, the game actually isn't set for release until February or March of 2008, which means that the developer still has some time to put into the ambitious project. We have for months complained that some companies are ignoring the strengths of Wii, choosing instead to duplicate experiences best suited on more powerful consoles. In other words, Nintendo's system has received its fair share of sloppy ports - games that look half as good as their high-definition counterparts and play worse, too. Thankfully, de Blob is exactly the opposite. This is a game created to capitalize on Wii's strengths, utilizing a style that translates well to the platform and control mechanics that effectively use the Wii remote.

In de Blob, you travel to an alien world literally devoid of color. The buildings of this planet have a stale, monochromatic presentation, the result of a new fascist regime known as the Ink Corp. Robbed of their natural hues, the patrons of the territory walk the cities in a zombie-like haze. Little is known about the regime itself, except that it may not practice what it preaches. According to THQ, members of the Ink Corp. sometimes hold secret color parties, where they are known to blanket each other in vivid shades of red, green and blue, the very same paints that have gone missing from the outside world. This general story theme is laid down in a cinematic before the game begins and it is continued in humorous cut-scenes interspersed throughout the adventure.

You control de Blob, a unique gelatinous extraterrestrial who can take on different colors and paint the world - and that truly, really is the uncomplicated premise. You move the character through lifeless locales with the nunchuk's analog stick. Since he doesn't have legs, he rolls through the environments, leaving a colored streak of paint behind him. You can jump into the air with a quick upward gesture on the Wii remote and you stomp downward onto enemies by making a stabbing motion with the controller. Both of these maneuvers feel responsive and good. There are a handful of other control options to consider, including a lock-on feature which enables you to stay centered on an object or enemy, or manual camera control mapped to waggle (it needs some work), but those are the basics.

We played a single-level demo of de Blob and we've been told there will be between 12 and 16 giant stages in the final version of the project. Naturally, the immediate goal is to paint the world. You do this by rolling over or jumping onto objects. If you leap at the side of a building, you will splatter it with whatever paint you happen to be colored at the time, whether that be red, green or blue. As you spread color, you gain points, and when you've amassed enough points, the gateway to the next portion of a stage becomes open. It's very straightforward, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you just roll around for hours on end. You'll have to think, too, because many of the challenges require you to link together combos, to solve physical puzzles to advance, or to avoid enemies to advance.

You chain combos for multiplied points by stringing together rolls and leaps. If you jump onto the rooftop of a building, roll across to another and then one more, you will have successfully chained a three-building combo. On the other hand, you could also jump back and forth between skyscrapers for a maximum combo of seven objects. Once you've taken an airborne leap with a quick flick of the Wii remote, you can direct the angle of your next jump using the analog stick and then execute that leap with another quick upward gesture, a mechanic that makes it easy to maintain and build necessary point-giving combos. You could alternatively try to advance without linking together combos, but you would eventually fail because the levels in de Blob are timed. For example, in the first stage you have 15 minutes to amass 20,000 points; the difficulty obviously increases as you go.

There are certain architectural targets located throughout the game world that challenge you to use the Wii remote to traverse them correctly. In de Blob, you can execute horizontal, vertical and even diagonal swipes with Nintendo's controller depending on the situation. Once you've locked onto one of these targets, you would swipe into the appropriate direction once, at which point your character would fly toward it. Attached, you must quickly lock onto the next object and then swipe upward, left or right, or diagonally again. If your timing is right, this mechanic will enable de Blob to bounce side-to-side up buildings and over otherwise unsurpassable barriers, coloring the world as he progresses. In our play tests with the game, we would occasionally make it halfway through one of these goals before losing our timing, at which point the character would fall to the ground and we'd have to try again. Once we got our technique down, though, it felt very natural.


Until you add paint, the world lacks color.There are three colors to work with at all times: red, green and blue. There are paint balls strewn about the environments that will change de Blob's color as he rolls over them and there are specific colored goals that he must match and reach in order to advance. You might also need to gain in size, done by amassing points and colors. One building might have three separate colors to it, so de Blob will need to change green, then blue, and then ultimately red in order to accurately paint and complete its hue-based puzzle. One misstep could lead to disaster. For instance, if you are traversing a ledge of a building and fall from it, you may plummet to the ground below, where a waiting leach bot will suck all color from de Blob. At this point, the character can only paint the world brown or black, neither of which do any good, and you will therefore need to find a watering point to dip the hero into so that he can become transparent and start fresh. Using your Wii remote to jump and stomp, you can crush enemies, linking together combos by locking onto them and flattening them one by one.

Although the screenshots and videos do not yet show it, de Blob will, according to THQ, run both in 16:9 widescreen and 480p modes by the time it is finished. There will also be a full-fledged multiplayer mode. The game has a very pleasing style that in some ways reminds of us of efforts like Katamari Damacy, although the two are clearly very different entities. While a very simple premise, the control mechanics in place so far are fun and the painting of worlds is very satisfying. However, with a year to go before it ships, we hope that developer Blue Tongue will take action now to correct two oversights, as we see them. First is the inability to use the Wii remote to actually draw patterns with de Blob in the world. Everything you do is handled with motion controls, not pointer, which is unfortunate given the opportunity to do something on Wii with this project that could not be duplicated on any other system. The other relates to the music. As you will hear in videos, it has absolutely no punch. We've no doubt that - fair or not - de Blob will be relentlessly compared to Katamari Damacy, whose soundtrack is spectacular. We hope Blue Tongue and THQ will take measures to ensure that de Blob's music is similarly, well, colorful. Guys, just contract 8-Bit Weapon to do something special for the game -- you won't be sorry.

Even at its early stage, de Blob already has tremendous potential and we can't wait to see and play more of the game. IGN readers can check out first screenshots and videos in our media section below.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/de-blob-20070705053650413.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/de-blob-20070705053644132.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/de-blob-20070705053642789.jpg

Georgie
07-06-2007, 09:50 AM
I'll probably be checking this thread more than IGN or any other gaming site.

Here's hoping for more Japanesey games on my 360...

noble
07-06-2007, 11:55 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Lair Near-Final Preview

IGN rides bare-back through an almost finished version of Factor 5's fire 'n' fly dragon epic.
by Alex Simmons, IGN UK

UK, July 6, 2007 - Lair has come along way since that bridge. For what seemed like months on end, all there was to see of Factor 5's red-hot dragon riding game was a disparate battle between a handful of dragons and a load of soldiers scrapping it out on a bridge, with no reason as to why it was all kicking off.

Since then, Sony has pulled its cloak of secrecy back a little further, revealing story details behind the game along with a few new levels. However, with E3 looming and the game's release less than two months away, we've got our hands on the near-final code of Lair and have torn it to pieces.

But before we progress, a warning: Lair is as much about a complex, twisting storyline as it is flying dragons through moody skies so, with that in mind, expect a few spoilers if you continue reading. There's one spoiler in particular you might want to skip past if you want to come to Lair afresh, but we'll be sure to give you plenty of warning rather than blurt out all the gory details.

Still with us? Good. We've already gone into detail about the game's flying mechanics and the fact it's a game designed to show off the PS3's SIXAXIS capabilities. We've also explained how ground combat works and that you, as an Elite Sky Guard named Rohn, are fighting as part of the Asylian army against the barbaric race of barbarians known as the Mokai. Indeed, regular IGN readers will also be familiar with the variety of missions Lair has to offer, from straightforward dogfights to protecting convoy runs and also the bigger battles served up, in which your single dragon plays but a small part in a much larger skirmish.

Our recent time with the game uncovered more variety still, such as the stealth mission in which Rohn must infiltrate a Mokai outpost undetected. Under the cover of darkness the Sky Guards swoop in, flying low along the coast and toward an opening in the rocks. The mission isn't as simple as it first seems though, because the Mokai has lined the run-up to the outpost with lookout towers. Spotlights cut through the midnight sky, sweeping across the walls of the chasm in search of intruders and, unless you want to be on the receiving end of a Mokai steam cannon - a thoroughly unpleasant experience, we can tell you - you've got to silently glide between the beams of light, which are more densely packed and get more unpredictable the closer to the outpost you get.

As we've reported previously, the SIXAXIS copes easily with dogfights in open areas, but negotiating the confined chasms without being spotted is a much tougher test of the controller's precision. Thankfully it feels responsive without being twitchy and with a little practice - we're talking less than a few minutes - gliding past the spotlights becomes second nature. The task is made considerably easier by your dragon's ability to hover, enabling you to wait for the spotlight to pass before swooping under. It can dash too, so if you accidentally stray into the light - at which point the Mokai hammer your winged beast with fireballs - you can quickly escape back into the safety of the darkness.

Taking it slowly isn't the only way to tackle this mission either, so players who prefer a more gung-ho approach can get just as much satisfaction from the game. Taking out the spotlights is a possible option for example, targeting the generators which provide power by diving in and tearing them to pieces with your claws. Naturally, an air of caution must be maintained because the spotlights are numerous, but as each one is destroyed and the darkness envelopes the outpost, you're free to disable the steam cannons at will.


Although the objectives for most missions are strict - you can only progress by destroying a certain building or protecting specific allied units - how you actually complete these goals is pretty much up to you. The night run is a great example of this and one of the game's most pivotal missions - in which you're ordered to attack the Mokai armoury - is further evidence too. Much like the run-up to the outpost, the path to the armoury is a treacherous one and the Sky Guard is forced to fly through a narrow canyon with sharp, jagged rock faces towering up on the either side. As you near the base, the Mokai defences grow stronger, with steam cannons spitting lethal jets of boiling death. You could attempt to dash past, although there's little room to manoeuvre so the slightest mistake and your dragon will crash into the chasm wall. A better option is to take the cannons out, by knocking out the long power cables - which stretch across the canyons like giant electrified backbones - with a few well-placed fireballs. This temporarily stuns the Mokai defences, giving you a few precious seconds to target the steam cannons, by flying in close and grabbing the turrets in the dragon's claws, then shaking the SIXAXIS to tear the building apart.

Like the power generator attack in the night mission, it's a neat application of the SIXAXIS controls and adds a visceral edge to the gameplay, plus it helps to bring the players closer to the action. Indeed, Sony is so adamant that Lair is an "advert" for the SIXAXIS controller - the words of SCEE producer Dan Maher - that there's no option to fly the dragon using the analogue sticks. "We've done a lot of focus testing to get the SIXAXIS controls just right", explains Maher. "Initially we were aiming to perfect one type of controls, but quickly realised people play in different ways and therefore introduced sliding sensitivity." As a result, Lair is surprisingly easy to pick up and play, and piloting your dragon in the heat of a battle - with swarms of enemies bombarding you from every angle - becomes simple with practice. They're responsive too, and moves such as the quick 180-degree turn, executed by jolting the pad up, means that dogfighting soon becomes second nature.

Tight controls prove essential when Rohn finally reaches the Mokai city, because fast ice dragons and the heavier, more dangerous Blood dragons patrol overhead. In fact the sky is teeming with lizards, so much so it's difficult to tell friend from foe. Luckily your dragon has a built-in 'targeting computer' called Rage Vision, which turns the screen black and white apart from enemy units, which are highlighted in red.

Dragon riders can harness the power of their beast in another way too, for every time a kill is made the Rage metre slowly fills. When full, Rage is activated by pressing up on the D-pad, making the dragon much more powerful in combat. They're faster and their attacks do more damage for a period of time, plus your carnage meter is multiplied - making it easier to wrack up enough points to gain a medal.

Alternatively, Rage can be harnessed for a single all-powerful attack, best used against strong enemy dragons. Rohn locks onto the target as normal and then his mount dives in for the kill, tearing at the opposing lizard. What follows is a God of War-style quicktime battle: by matching the on-screen icons with button presses Rohn goes in for the kill, knocking the enemy rider off his mount and fighting with him while tumbling toward the ground. Then, when the dragon attempts to rescue his master by swooping down to attack you, you leap back onto your ride at the last second and the poor sap you were beating gets eaten by his own beast. Nasty.

For now, however, circling above the Mokai armoury, your attention is firmly on the buildings below. You need to destroy the city before progressing to the armoury, by scooping up bombs from the Mantas - giant cuttlefish-like beasts that float in the sky - and dropping down to attack. In bombing mode, a spotlight extends from your dragon and points toward the ground, so taking out a building is as simple as lining up a target and dropping your load.

Much like the battles that play out between opposing forces on the ground - where friendly ground troops battle the enemy while you fly above - your AI-controlled allies have a strong influence over the outcome of the aerial battle too. So while you're picking up bombs and pounding away at the Mokai city, your fellow Sky Guards are involved in the battle too, either tackling the enemy dragons or joining you on bombing runs. Indeed, you don't have to single-handedly destroy the 250 or so buildings needed to move onto the armoury tower and, if you hang back, some of the hard work is done for you. However, the more you destroy, the greater your Carnage rating grows, for which you're rewarded a medal at the end of each mission. Depending on your rank - bronze, silver and gold - you're awarded with new combat combos and cool unlockables such as concept art galleries and making-of videos, of which there are nine covering different aspects of the game.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves - there's still a city to destroy before we get so much as a whiff of a medal, so…

SPOILER. We said we'd warn you, so if you don't want to know one of Lair's many plot twists then stop reading now. You have been warned.

So, as barrels of gunpowder rain down on the ancient tower, the smell of victory grows stronger. But as the last wall of the armoury collapses and Rohn swoops down to survey the battlefield from ground level, all is not what it seems. Rather than the charred remains of soldiers and war engines, Rohn stumbles upon the burnt skeletons of women and children. While still reeling at this discovery, Rohn is confronted by Loden, his captain, who reveals that the armoury was in fact a temple used as refuge by the Mokai, but that the Diviner, Asylia's religious leader, believed its destruction was necessary for the greater good.

Incensed, Rohn turns to tackle Loden but he's too slow - the captain stabs Rohn in the chest and slashes the throat of his dragon, all in the blink of an eye, before turning his back and leaving them for dead. Only they're not dead. The dragon, weak from its wounds, scoops up Rohn and escapes, but soon the gash across its neck takes it toll and the dragon plummets to the ground. As for what happens next, we'll let you find out for yourself, but bear in mind all this happens around the midway point in the game so expect even more twists in the story.

END OF SPOILER!


What we can tell you about though is that Factor 5 has some epic moments planned, such as the boss battles against a giant sea snake that ducks in and out of the ocean, and a giant spider wasp Rohn encounters in the desert. During the fight against the latter, the camera switches to a 2D chase view - or Pursuit Bubble, as Sony affectionately calls it - and the player must tilt the SIXAXIS to dodge incoming attacks, while getting close enough to land the killer blow. There will be big battles against key enemy commanders too, but Sony is keen to keep those under wraps for now.

One thing that is apparent from the time we've already had with Lair is that it's progressed enormously since the bridge levels we first saw at the tail end of last year. The missions have been fleshed out and the controls refined, plus visually it looks as spectacular as it ever did, running in 1080p at a steady 30 frames per second. Admittedly there were a few moments when the frame rate dropped, but Sony is certain this will be ironed out come release.

Indeed, you'll be able to check it out for yourself because our Sony rep was confident that a Lair demo would appear on the PlayStation Network, although they admitted it could well be post launch because Factor 5 is working flat out to get the actual game finished. If what we've seen lately is indicative of the final game, which we're pretty sure it will be, it's time well spent.

noble
07-06-2007, 01:14 PM
Pre-E3 2007: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Hands-on

Everything you love has been rebuilt, restored and re-mastered.
by Greg Miller
July 6, 2007 - LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga looks great, but don't take our words in the general "Gee, this game is awesome" sense. Sure, the controls work as well as in the original titles and the laser blasts and lightsaber swings sound spot on, but when we say "looks great," we mean the visuals in this title look downright slick.

Earlier this week LucasArts and Traveller's Tales lifted the veil of secrecy over its Star Wars project, and all it took was a few seconds of motion to see what this game was all about. As Qui-Gon Jinn and a young Obi-Wan milled about the familiar between-stages cantina, their hair exhibited the sheen and sharp shapes you'd expect from their plastic counterparts and their capes had a cloth texture so detailed it was as if you could feel it between your fingers. LEGO Star Wars characters always resembled the little plastic toys they're based on, but now they look exactly like the plastic toys they're based on.

Men-children across the world, rejoice! 1080p!

In 2005, LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game burst onto the gaming landscape and made it cool for uber-nerds to play Star Wars, LEGOs and videogames all at once in a title that put the classic toys through the events of Episodes I through III. Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy followed in 2006 with the same gameplay while adding useable vehicles and customizable characters.

Now, LucasArts wants you to plunk down your hard-earned cash to play those games all over again on one disc, and if you dug the first go 'rounds, you're going to do it.

The Complete Saga is everything that was awesome about the first two games -- drop-in and drop-out gameplay, hordes of unlockables, force powers and red bricks -- plus crazy new console stuff such as improved graphics, drop-in and drop-out online gameplay via Xbox Live, new levels, new characters, new bounty hunter missions and more.

Whew.

Representatives weren't ready to go on and on about the new levels, but they did say the Zam Wesell chase from the beginning of Episode II has been added along with a handful of others. New characters? Well, the total roster is set to include about 120 playable pieces with some of the new additions being Boss Nass, Watto and R5-D4.

While the characters and levels are getting a booster shot, the gameplay is staying just the way you remember it. As we put Yoda and company through the paces on a supped-up version of the beaches of Kashyyyk, the green one took out the familiar walkers, bots and laser blasts with ease and lightsaber swings. The leaping fights and frantic action folks loved from the original games is intact.

So, fans, don't freak out -- this hasn't been twisted and manipulated like some special editions you might recall. Instead, you're getting all the great gameplay you remember and a full plate of extras. Fire up your droids and look for LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga this winter.

Briomega
07-06-2007, 01:16 PM
Pre-E3 2007: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Hands-on

Everything you love has been rebuilt, restored and re-mastered.
by Greg Miller
July 6, 2007 - LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga looks great, but don't take our words in the general "Gee, this game is awesome" sense. Sure, the controls work as well as in the original titles and the laser blasts and lightsaber swings sound spot on, but when we say "looks great," we mean the visuals in this title look downright slick.

Earlier this week LucasArts and Traveller's Tales lifted the veil of secrecy over its Star Wars project, and all it took was a few seconds of motion to see what this game was all about. As Qui-Gon Jinn and a young Obi-Wan milled about the familiar between-stages cantina, their hair exhibited the sheen and sharp shapes you'd expect from their plastic counterparts and their capes had a cloth texture so detailed it was as if you could feel it between your fingers. LEGO Star Wars characters always resembled the little plastic toys they're based on, but now they look exactly like the plastic toys they're based on.

Men-children across the world, rejoice! 1080p!

In 2005, LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game burst onto the gaming landscape and made it cool for uber-nerds to play Star Wars, LEGOs and videogames all at once in a title that put the classic toys through the events of Episodes I through III. Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy followed in 2006 with the same gameplay while adding useable vehicles and customizable characters.

Now, LucasArts wants you to plunk down your hard-earned cash to play those games all over again on one disc, and if you dug the first go 'rounds, you're going to do it.

The Complete Saga is everything that was awesome about the first two games -- drop-in and drop-out gameplay, hordes of unlockables, force powers and red bricks -- plus crazy new console stuff such as improved graphics, drop-in and drop-out online gameplay via Xbox Live, new levels, new characters, new bounty hunter missions and more.

Whew.

Representatives weren't ready to go on and on about the new levels, but they did say the Zam Wesell chase from the beginning of Episode II has been added along with a handful of others. New characters? Well, the total roster is set to include about 120 playable pieces with some of the new additions being Boss Nass, Watto and R5-D4.

While the characters and levels are getting a booster shot, the gameplay is staying just the way you remember it. As we put Yoda and company through the paces on a supped-up version of the beaches of Kashyyyk, the green one took out the familiar walkers, bots and laser blasts with ease and lightsaber swings. The leaping fights and frantic action folks loved from the original games is intact.

So, fans, don't freak out -- this hasn't been twisted and manipulated like some special editions you might recall. Instead, you're getting all the great gameplay you remember and a full plate of extras. Fire up your droids and look for LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga this winter.

Can't wait for this. I turned down a free copy of LSW 2 because of this coming out. hehe

Petey Parker
07-06-2007, 02:02 PM
Woo glad I never picked up LSW before now.

noble
07-06-2007, 03:14 PM
Resident evil umbrella chronicles trailer (http://media.wii.ign.com/media/827/827187/vids_1.html)

noble
07-06-2007, 03:15 PM
Pre-E3 2007: SEGA to Release Bleach for Wii and DS

Popular anime fighting franchise coming stateside later this year.
by Matt Casamassina

July 6, 2007 - SEGA of America on Friday announced plans to bring the hit anime fighting franchise Bleach to both Wii and DS this fall in time for the launch of the television show's second season on the Cartoon Network. Bleach: Shattered Blade is underway for Wii and Bleach: Blade of Fate for handheld.

"Bleach offers both fans and newcomers alike an action-packed arcade experience that delivers fast-paced swordplay in the tradition of the animated series' intense action sequences," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of marketing, SEGA of America. "Bleach is an exciting and highly anticipated property that translates extremely well to the versatility of the Wii Remote and the DS' portable gameplay, and SEGA is proud to be the first to bring the video game series to the North American audience."

"We are thrilled to be partnering with SEGA for the Bleach Wii and DS games," stated Linda Espinosa, vice president, content management, VIZ Media. "The SEGA games have enjoyed immense success in Japan, the manga is a top seller in both the Japan and US, and we are expecting great fan response when these games release."

Bleach follows 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, who can see Soul Reapers, warrior spirits from the afterlife charged with the task of defending humans from evil beings called Hollows. One day Ichigo meets the Soul Reaper Rukia, who lends him her powers. On Wii, Bleach is a cel-shaded 3D fighter that makes use of both Nintendo's nunchuck and remote. On DS, the game is a more traditional 2D sprite-based fighter heavy on animation and effects.

In Shattered Blade for, the console enables "gamers to wield the Wii remote and nunchuk as their weapons - slashing, jabbing, and lunging in furious battles like a real Soul Reaper," according to the publisher. The title features an original story specifically created for Wii, in addition to 32 playable fighters to choose from. Each fighter can execute specials and summon supernatural allies. There is also a full-fledged multiplayer component.

The handheld Blade of Fate includes 28 selectable characters and the ability to move between upper and lower-plane battles arenas in an effort to escape from opponents. In addition, gamers can build Spirit Card Decks in the handheld iteration, enabling them to "strategically access power-ups and power-downs to perform special attacks, cast healing spells on themselves, displace opponents, or prohibit them from using their own Special Cards," according to SEGA. The title features four-player Wi-Fi support.

noble
07-06-2007, 03:19 PM
Pre-E3 2007: Spyro Flies to Wii

First details and screenshots of the game in motion.
by Matt Casamassina

July 6, 2007 - Sierra Entertainment on Friday announced The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night for Wii, PlayStation 2, DS and Game Boy Advance. The title is set for release this fall across all platforms.

"We're really excited to continue the re-emergence of one of video gaming's most popular characters through this ongoing trilogy," said Al Simone, senior vice president, Global Marketing for Sierra Entertainment. "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night takes the action and excitement of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning to the next level with new breath attacks, fury modes, and the introduction of the new 'Dragon Time' ability to deliver an exciting experience that Spyro fans and gamers of all ages will love."

In the newest game, Spyro must "unlock the secrets behind a series of strange visions that he is having and find the power to defeat the terrifying new force." The story once more involves the Ape King, who has arrived at the Temple of Souls to bring about darkness. The title will include four new upgradeable Breath Attacks such as Ice Bomb, Electric Orb, Earth Vine and Enhanced fire; four new elemental moves from Comet Dash and Artic Blast to Earth Pound and Electric Spin; four new fury attack, such as Earth, Electricity, Ice and Fire; and impressive new boss battles.

Four more are available in our media section.In addition, the latest adventure will introduce "Dragon Time," a new maneuver which enables Spyro to "bend time to his will." Gamers will be able to utilize the move to dodge attacks and complete time-based puzzles as Spyro progresses through his quest.
Major Hollywood actors will once again lend their voices to the title, including Elijah Wood as Spyro and Gary Oldman as Ignitus, the Fire Dragon Elder.

The Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of The Eternal Night are being developed by Krome Studios, while Amaze Entertainment is taking care of the DS and Game Boy Advance versions.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/spyro-flies-to-wii-20070706101910107.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/spyro-flies-to-wii-20070706101908404.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/spyro-flies-to-wii-20070706101829951.jpg

kari
07-06-2007, 08:20 PM
Pre-E3 2007: Hands-on NHL 08

We step onto the ice with the most intuitive, realistic NHL effort yet.
by Bozon

July 6, 2007 - For over a decade and a half now EA's NHL series has brought the fastest, purest, most intense puck experience imaginable on home consoles. The series began with NHL Hockey in 1991, and with every iteration the franchise has grown in both gameplay and visual realism. Now that we're entering the HD era, all eyes are on the NHL vs. 2K rivalry to see which hockey source has what it takes to achieve true realism. E3 is on the horizon, and while we can't give you our final say on the NHL 08 vs. 2K8 grudge match, we can confidently and irrevocably state that NHL 08 is the more realistic hockey experience we've ever played, period.

Interestingly enough, NHL 08 isn't the end-all, be-all of iteration of the hottest sport on ice because of its visuals alone. Don't get us wrong, NHL looks amazing, and anyone owning a HD set will know where your hard-earned cash went when you see cover-man Eric Staal step onto the ice. NHL goes beyond that this year though, offering true gameplay progression that doesn't just add new modes or slap a new play style onto the back of the box, but truly gives the game a next generation feel in skating, playmaking, improvisation, and flow; all key elements of the greatest game on earth. NHL not only looks the part this year, but it truly feels the part as well.


During our Pre-E3 hands-on with the game we had a chance to take NHL 08 for a full spin. Last time on the ice, it was about seeing the new Skill Stick and overhauled skating motion in action. This time around, however, we had a chance to try it for ourselves. For starters, the skating in NHL 08 feels nothing short of outstanding, and we truly mean that. Even with the puck out of play during a practice session we enjoyed gliding between the blue lines, making full use of the new "true analog" control of 08. Hardcore EA hockey fans know that before 08 skating has basically been a stop/go effort. If you press forward, you go, let go, and you stop. Sure there was acceleration and top speed differences between skaters, but aside from the stroke-to-stroke feel you got when digging each skate into the ice it was generally a pretty uninspired experience until you got teammates and defenders on the ice.

This time around, skating is totally analog, and it feels great. Press a little on the stick and your player will make half pushes with his primary foot. Press a bit farther, and you'll see him step more often, spending less time coasting and eventually switching from foot to foot in order to gain speed. Test the stick's limits all the way, and he breaks into a dead sprint, digging hard into the ice with defined strokes and a bit less straight-on maneuverability. Once you get a feel for the actual skating, it's all about combining quarter circles or slight turns on the analog stick to send your player into crossovers, turning him around for defensive strafing, or doing hard turns or hockey stops to spray up ice. It sounds silly now, but when you get onto the ice you'll feel it, and when you're staring at Mr. Scott Niedermayer barreling at you at 100 miles an hour you'll be glad you have the precision you do.

To team with the revamped skating - which, by the way, was worth every penny EA spent in development - NHL 08 makes use of a fully-expanded Skill Stick. Fans of 07 know "the stick" extremely well, as it absolutely made last year's experience. This time around, the stick is now entirely analog as well, so you can literally move the puck around you in full circles or slightly push it out to one side rather than shoving it at stick's length away from your skates. To make both the skating and stick-handling experience user-friendly EA has included what they call "Controller Visualization," which is a form of on-screen user feedback that shows two small analog circles in the bottom right of your screen. When making your move, you'll see dots slide around the two circles to show exactly what motion you're inputting. It's a small addition, but it definitely helps tune yourself to the full analog feel that NHL 08 now offers.

In addition to the Still Stick NHL has also included an extremely vital addition to stick handling this year. With the press of the left bumper (or L1 on PS3) you'll actually free the puck as its own physics object, separating it from your character entirely. Combining the Skill Stick with that button you can now fling the puck in specific directions, so should a defender have you lined up you can free the puck to one side, skate around him on the other, and then rejoin with the puck after successfully parrying his check. When used with team play, simply push in front of a teammate or cross in front of a winger and dump the puck to them nonchalantly. It won't look like an official "pass" play, but it'll confuse the hell out of any human player.

Of course if you've been keeping up with NHL 08 this is all old news, right? After all, we knew skating was going to feel better, and having seen the new Skill Stick in action we knew it'd be an impressive tool to use on the ice. Well, now it's on the good stuff, as EA showed off more than just the basic control options this time around. Included in this year's NHL game is one of the best single improvements we've seen in a hockey game in years, and we're sure it's going to change the way people play videogame hockey forever. Enter the new create-a-play system from EA; a fully-functional, ultra-intuitive play creation mode where you take control of the coach and create entirely new attacks for your team's offensive catalog. Just as interesting as the mode itself, however, is the actual way you do it.

In EA's new create-a-play mode, you'll have the opportunity to literally dive into the world of a true hockey player. Up until now console hockey inevitably comes down to the strength of one player, and never really relies on the team effort. Of course hardcore players know how to crash the net, change pressure options, call out specific power play strategies, and use teams to their true advantages, but there's never been a fully-functioning creation tool to literally make entirely new offenses. This year's create-a-play tool does it though, putting you in control of every player on the ice. Once inside the tool, simply select a play type and entry point for your player. Once there, you'll work inside of what feels like an instant replay camera frozen in time, and actually see each of your five teammates frozen on the ice with yellow "starting point" circles around them. Each circle is about a yard in diameter, and acts as the starting zone that the AI will skate to in the event of a called play.

From there, you take control of each of the skaters one by one, hit the "action" button, and skate the desired route. As you do, a blue coach's marker (designed to look like a dry erase pen) will trace your move. When done, hit the stop button, and select your next player. This time when you hit the action button your pre-made path will be ran by the other player, and you'll in turn act out the selected teammate's path in real time. Continue this with all five of your players, and you've got full team orchestration for your play. If you want to change any character's path, simply select that player, and "re-shoot" it. All the while you'll see the on-screen blue marker showing the paths, making it extremely simply to tell what each player will be doing once the play is initiated.

The most impressive aspect of this mode though is its execution in-game. Calling a play isn't handled with a button combination or buried in some pause menu; it happens live. To initiate a play, simply enter into the attacking zone with your lead player in the predetermined spot you designed, and your AI will fall in line. With the dozens of entry points and play types to choose from (obviously plays change when in different modes, such as behind the net or crash the net), you've got a huge playbook of an estimated 45+ plays you can run. Of course all these are pre-set with your team's playbook, so if you only want to customize a few go-to plays and keep the rest as is you can do that too.

Offense beware though. As with all great power, the new offensive tools are paired with immense responsibility. This year's defensive AI will in fact Eat, You, Up. We cap it for a reason; this year's defensive AI also got an entire overhaul. Like to attack from the right with Marion Gaborik, crossing over mid-ice to make use of Gabby's strong left shot, do ya? Just know that legendary goalies like Martin Brodeur and the like will know you're coming after a few of those textbook shots, and they'll spread the word to their defensemen. Before long your dekes, spin moves, sidesteps, and even player-created plays will be identified and shot down by an ever-evolving defense. After a best of seven series for the cup, the computer AI (depending on the difficulty, of course) will know your hot shooters, recognize your top blue line entry points, and literally shut you down at the source of your attacks. Don't like it? Looks like it's back the drawing board to bring out your own inner Herb Brooks, as you'll need to be a top coach and star player to achieve NHL 08 greatness. EA's slogan for this year: "I'm better than you, I'm smarter than you, and I'll prove it on the ice."

Along with those immense gameplay improvements, we had a chance to check out a ton of NHL 08 in action, and it's fast, intuitive, and beautiful. Goalie control is making a return once again this year, providing extremely intuitive dual analog stick control. Want to lay down in front of the line? Press both sticks down. Need to go upper-right with your glove and bring your legs together for five-hole insurance? Slam the right analog up and to the right, and push the left analog up. It's simple, and just as quick as ever. Also included this time around is a full practice mode with any number of players available. It's a nod back to NHL 96, as you can practice rushes, do one-on-one, three-on-five, or five-on-one should you choose. You can drill power play charts or practice your offensive zone stick handling, or even go five-on-none and work on your goal tending.

Online is of course making a return, though we'll have to wait on details regarding that until a later date. We do know that at this point you won't be able to use custom create-a-plays online (something that EA begrudgingly stated "wait until next year" about), as the team is working full-force to get create-a-play as in-depth as possible this year. You can still bring any created plays to a rival's house via memory card though, or save multiple profiles to your home Xbox and have huge local tourneys with custom plays.

As for the audio/visual experience, NHL is yet another big step in the right direction. Everything from player jerseys to ice reflection, crowd AI and on-ice noise is a step up to say the least, as NHL 08 certainly looks the part on both 360 and PS3. For more on that be sure to check out more of our exclusive screenshots below, and definitely take a look (or two) at our first video of NHL 08 in action. There's a ton to check out in NHL 08, so be sure to keep checking back for our continuing coverage on EA's hard-hitting hockey hailing at E3 and beyond. With improved skating, overhauled stick handling, create-a-play, and improved defensive AI NHL 08 is looking to become the authority on hockey once again.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/nhl-08-20070706044909314.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/nhl-08-20070706044907861.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/nhl-08-20070706044814049.jpg

-Noble

kari
07-06-2007, 08:22 PM
Frontlines Fuel of war E3 trailer

Clicky clicky for gas induced ass kickery. (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/823/823999/vids_2.html)

-Noble

kari
07-06-2007, 08:32 PM
Pre-E3 2007: Pandora's Box Opens in '08

What happens when you shoot a Gryphon with a machinegun? He gets really pissed off.
by Hilary Goldstein

July 6, 2007 - Charles Deckard is a thief and a good one at that. He doesn't ask questions of his clients; what they want, he steals. But Deckard is a curious fellow and when he's tasked with stealing an ornate box from a New York museum, he can't resist taking a peak inside. They say curiosity killed the cat; this time it may just kill all of humanity. Turns out, Deckard opened Pandora's Box creating a portal that brings a flood of mythological creatures into New York. By the time Deckard escapes the cracked the crumbling museum, the streets of Manhattan are in total chaos. This is how Gamecock's newest title, Legendary: The Box, begins.

The mythological creatures want to take back the world that was once theirs. The awe-inspiring introduction to The Box makes it seem that won't be too tough a task. A red beam emanating from The Box has ripped through the museum and blasts into the sky. As creatures begin flooding Manhattan, the street splits open. Skyscrapers fall. A flock of gryphons soars overhead, backlit against the midday sun. Deckard spots a cop, a sight for sore eyes, even for a criminal. Then a gryphon descends, picks up the cop car in its talons and carries it off as if it were nothing. A man stumbles past a stunned Deckard begging for help. A gryphon swoops down from the New York skyline and bites him in half. Fireballs rain down, obliterating cars and killing hundreds of fleeing pedestrians. It's the end of the world. And then things get worse.

A Titan Class Golem emerges in the middle of the street. This ancient creature is constructed from the building blocks of the time. In modern day, this formidable beast is made up of asphalt and girders and rebar. It's a fearsome sight to behold. And that's just the intro level.

Developed by Spark Unlimited, Legendary: The Box may have an awful name, but it has an awesome premise. Deckard was duped into stealing and opening Pandora's Box by a mysterious man named LeFey. This evil figure runs the Black Order, a cult of insane mercenaries bent on ruling the world. LeFey hopes to use Pandora's Box to control the creatures it has released and use them to rule the world. Until LeFey gains hold of The Box, the creatures will run wild. And once LeFey does get hold of The Box, those same creatures will run wild, but with a purpose. The only one who can save the world is Charles Deckard.

When Deckard opened The Box, he was branded with a signet on his hand. The signet allows Deckard to draw in animus from the mythological creatures he kills. This is more or less a siphon of health. So once Deckard is armed with a gun and starts killing these mythological beasts, he can hold out his hand and suck in the animus from the dead. It's similar to Onimusha, though the animus appears more crucial to your survival. The dark creatures invading New York can quickly make mincemeat of any human, so healing regularly is going to be key if Deckard has any hopes of saving mankind.

The creatures aren't the only thing Deckard must worry about. In order to save the world, Deckard and a group of resistance fighters must take on LeFey and his Black Order. This turns many firefights into three-way battles. The creatures are, well, creatures, and want to kill all humans. LeFey doesn't have control of them yet, which means they are freelancers. In a full-on battle, they will attack any human they see. They could care less if they are from the resistance or the Black Order.


The Black Order is a different matter. They want Deckard and the resistance out of the way, but their AI is programmed so that they can intelligently assess a situation and act appropriately. If you have numbers and there are just a couple of werewolves around, the Black Order will focus on the human enemies. But if an Alpha wolf shows, that means trouble for everyone. Gamers will quickly learn that Alpha's are tough sons o' bitches. Your choice is either to fight alongside the Black Order for a brief time or draw the Alpha's attention towards your enemies.

Missions are fairly linear. Generally you are lead through some enclosed paths featuring minor skirmishes before ending up in an arena battle. This may be the perfect set-up for a game like Legendary: The Box. The corridor moments are a good way to mix in some survival horror elements, while the arena elements feature long, intense firefights. In Episode 5 (of 8), Deckard and crew are storming LeFey's base. You end up in a large, cathedral-like room. The Black Order are coming at you from above and below, making for a tough shootout. Then, just when you think you might have everything under control, a wolf is spotted crawling in through a window. All hell is about to break loose. Good thing you brought extra ammo.

The werewolves in Legendary are long and slender and capable of crawling along walls and ceilings. Seeing a few scurrying along walls while you're engaged with another enemy is both creepy and nerve-racking. Because the wolves are so quick and powerful, you have to keep track of them at all times during a fight. This means that you can't spend long looking through a scope, because you lose your peripheral view. So it's difficult to camp and snipe your way through an arena battle. And these wolves are pretty smart, avoiding the line of fire and attempting to flank their prey.

Werewolves can take a decent amount of punishment, but unless you blow off their heads, they will heal. You can break its arms or legs with enough concentrated gunfire (you'll even see the exposed muscles as you shred them with bullets), but wait long enough and they will heal. If blowing off heads isn't your thing (and you have impeccable aim) you can set werewolves on fire with the well-placed throw of a Molotov cocktail. As the wolf burns, it will thrash about frantically hoping to somehow put itself out. That's when you lower the boom with your shotgun. But the standard Beta wolves are pushovers compared to the Alpha. These strong, white nemeses are relentless killers. Even the other creatures take note when they arrive on scene.

You will get to see the brutality of the Alpha's up close. Your AI allies are just a bunch of Red Shirts meant to be slaughtered. After all, they can't suck up animus and heal themselves. Their only destiny is a gruesome death. And you will get to enjoy their cries as they are ripped limb from limb in the midst of a chaotic battle. It's a new food chain and man's no longer at the top.

As if the appearance of two alphas during this insane battle isn't enough, there's a powerful cinematic moment that occurs halfway through the firefight. As you cross a bridge, a gryphon smashes through the stained glass window, is shot to hell, and then crashes into the bridge. The burning bird attempts to crawl its way along the bridge as it crumbles. Pretty thrilling stuff.

The AI is surprisingly sophisticated for a horror shooter. Each creature has several levels of rage, which determines its actions. A werewolf that you stumble across outside of a fight will be at its lowest rage level. It won't directly engage an enemy in this stage - it's just not pissed off enough to want to bother with you. It still wants you dead, though, but prefers to strike from afar, often tossing bricks and other heavy objects in an attempt to weaken or even crush its foe. Start shooting at it, get in a few hits, and its rage will increase. It will still stay back, but will leap out for quick melee strikes as well, almost as if to try and scare you off. Give the wolf enough problems and it will finally get enraged and come at you directly. That is not a pleasant experience.

In close combat, werewolves will take quick swipes at you. But if one leaps at you, you will become engaged in a dangerous mini-game. A quick series of button presses are required if you hope to survive. Match the buttons and you will be rewarded with a brutal close-range headshot that explodes the wolf's head, sending pieces flying every which way. Fail and, well, you'll have a lot more in common with Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother than you might like.

Though a game like The Box seems primed for several boss battles, that isn't really in Spark's design plan. Rather than engineering a bunch of boss fights, Spark is instead creating special "showcase moments" to highlight the different creatures. One such moment is a battle against some gryphons. As the scene begins, a gryphon is in a courtyard, with Deckard in an adjacent covered walkway, protected by a number of large pillars. The gryphon begins smashing into the pillars, thanks to an AI understanding of how to interact with objects. The AI is smart enough to know that it can destroy certain pieces of the environment (or use them as weapons). So rather than being pre-scripted, the gryphon is merely acting according to its own intelligence. The scene itself is somewhat like a bird trying to break out of its cage to eat its owner.

The gryphon is later distracted by an assault helicopter. You are given a moment of relief as the gryphon launches into the air and attacks the helicopter, bringing it down in a fiery explosion. Later on in that same area, you'll need to figure out a way to kill a gryphon without much firepower. That's when you start using the environment to kill or even trap your enemies. Shoot a spire jutting out of a nearby building and you can send it toppling down on an unsuspecting gryphon.

To help you become a better killer, you'll have access to roughly a dozen weapons throughout your adventure. As with most first-person shooters these days, you can carry two weapons at any time along with an explosive. We only witnessed the shotgun, assault rifle, the axe, and the unbelievably cool SAW (aka the big machinegun). The weapons you choose will make a difference. You may want the SAW in a wolf fight, since you can spread fire easily and it's powerful enough to knock a werewolf back. But you should have a shotty as backup, because up close werewolves move far too fast for the slow-aiming SAW. Without your boom stick, you will likely be puppy chow.

Spark Unlimited has about a dozen different enemy types, but was only ready to focus on the gryphon and werewolf for E3. What we saw was pretty exciting. Of the numerous titles freshman publisher Gamecock has shown, Legendary: The Box looks the most promising. And yes, the will be multiplayer. But Spark isn't ready to discuss it anytime soon. For now, we'll just have to settle for our tantalizing peek into The Box. With its interesting three-way battles and epic feel, Legendary: The Box is one to watch out for. Expect it on PC and next-gen consoles in spring 2008

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/legendary-the-box--20070706053939209.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/legendary-the-box--20070706054213660.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/legendary-the-box--20070706053946459.jpg

kari
07-06-2007, 08:33 PM
Haze (http://media.ps3.ign.com/media/784/784480/vids_1.html)

Bryan H
07-06-2007, 08:34 PM
This is an almost damned if you do/damned if you don't scenario for Sony. They desperately needed the price cut to ensnare more gamers, but those that plunked down $600 already (or worse yet, paid for the 20gb discontinued model), I can see a lot of them being incredibly pissed at this. No exclusives that make me want it yet, but the Blu-Ray playing capabilities is tempting.

Now if Microsoft turns around and drops the 360 prices to 400/300/250 for the holidays, they could really jump out ahead (I really have no idea what's going to happen with the Wii. It has me completely baffled as to what might happen with it. It could fade into a dead system by next year or be outselling the 360 and PS3 10 to 1, neither scenario would surprise me at this point).

kari
07-06-2007, 08:35 PM
2 new Uncharted screens :

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/uncharted-drakes-fortune-20070706050659435.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/uncharted-drakes-fortune-20070706050657967.jpg

kari
07-06-2007, 08:38 PM
Pre-E3 2007: SOCOM: Confrontation Interview

We send our covert team in to get the latest classified information.
by Chris Roper

July 6, 2007 - Tactical shooter fans are eagerly chomping at the bit for any new information on the first PlayStation 3 release of Sony's premiere online series, SOCOM. With E3 beginning just next week (oh, the horror), we fired off a number of questions to Seth Luisi, director of development over at SCEA, to find out whatever we can about SOCOM: Confrontation. Here's what he had to tell us:

IGN: How has the move from the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3 helped broaden the overall SOCOM experience?

Seth Luisi: The PLAYSTATION 3 allows us to do so much more than what we could do on the PlayStation 2. We have much more detailed environments and characters. We have much, much further draw distances. We have damageable environments. We have rag doll and IK for the animations and a lot more.

The overall SOCOM online experience in SOCOM Confrontation is much more visceral and intense.

IGN: What sorts of environments are in store for players, and how much variety can they expect to find in the game?

Luisi: We currently have 5 North African themed environments planned for SOCOM Confrontation. While most are urban we do have a few more rural environments as well. Each environment can be played as one large 32 player level or several smaller 16 player and 8 player levels. Unlike in SOCOM 3, you will also be able to play many different game types regardless of the number of players and size of the map. For example, we will have 8 player demolition, 16 player control, etc… While we only have 5 environments in SOCOM Confrontation the number of levels and game type variations created from those 5 environments is much, much larger.

IGN: What weapons and gadgets will we be able to choose from?

Luisi: We are still finalizing the full weapon list. We'll have more details on this in the future. Needless to say, we will have many SOCOM classics with some new additions as well.

IGN: Are you striving for more loadout customization than we've seen in past SOCOM titles?

Luisi: Absolutely. Not only will you be able to customize your weapon as in previous SOCOM games but we are also adding character customization options. Clans will also have unique customization options. We'll have a lot more details to share on this in the future.

IGN: The inclusion of vehicles changed the way that SOCOM 3 played compared to its predecessors, making it a larger experience, though not necessarily better in some eyes. What is Confrontation's intended play style? Up close and personal at predefined choke points, or wide open where soldiers move freely and define their own battlegrounds?

Luisi: SOCOM Confrontation will not include vehicles. We want to really concentrate on the on-foot aspect of the game and make that the best possible.

As far as play style, we plan on having dense urban environments which will have definite choke points along with some more open environments as well. This has been the case with all previous SOCOM games including SOCOM and SOCOM II. However, we will not have huge open environments. We want the game to feel intimate and not barren.

IGN: The short demo video we saw looked extremely sharp. What can you tell us about the game's visuals? Will snipers have nearly infinite draw distances to work with?

Luisi: We are focusing on having detailed environments that will also be highly damageable. The art team at Slant Six are also creating very distinct landmarks and adding a lot of variety to each level so that it is very easy to tell where you are.

The view distance will also be "very" far, so snipers will not be looking into a bank of fog like in previous SOCOM games.

IGN: How will the PlayStation Network help expand the online experience with regards to setting up your friends list, clan support and so forth?

Luisi: More details on the PSN and community features will be provided at a later date. We are still working on implementation for a lot of these features.

IGN: Will Confrontation feature support for Home in any way, such as trophies?

Luisi: We are still working out what support we will provide for Home. We are definitely going to support Home but we have not finalized our plans.

IGN: Will there be any sort of connectivity between Tactical Strike on the PSP and Confrontation?

Luisi: Sadly, no. The two games are just too different for any sort of meaningful connectivity.

IGN: Will the downloadable and in-store releases differ in any way? Does having the download-only option allow for anything that a store-only release doesn't?

Luisi: This is still being decided.

IGN: Though it's been reported as otherwise recently, we are to understand that Slant Six is handling the reigns of SOCOM Confrontation and that Zipper Interactive is merely acting as a reference of sorts. Is this true, and if so, exactly how much influence and interaction does Zipper have with the development of the title?

Luisi: As the SCEA producer for all of the SOCOM titles I've collaborated with Zipper on every SOCOM title, though I work for SCEA and not Zipper. I've been directly involved in the direction of every SOCOM title.

In the same way, I am now collaborating with Slant Six on both SOCOM Tactical Strike and SOCOM Confrontation. My team and I work with Slant Six on a day to day basis and we periodically get feedback from the team at Zipper.

IGN: When the game was premiered at Sony's Gamer's Day back in May, we were told that the title had only been in production for five months at that time. Why did a series as important to Sony as SOCOM only start its PS3 production at the beginning of this year and not earlier? Does the team feel overly rushed in order to get it finished because of that?

Luisi: SOCOM Confrontation has only been in full development since the beginning of this year, that is correct. We've been working with Slant Six games for almost two years now on SOCOM Tactical Strike and we saw a good fit with Slant Six Games in creating an online only SOCOM game on the PS3 in the near term. We have not yet announced a specific release date for SOCOM Confrontation and we will not release it until we feel it is ready.

The team at Slant Six is leveraging a lot of shared first party technology, some of which is being released to third party developers as part of the PlayStation Edge program. This shared technology really helps reduce the amount of development time required.

kari
07-06-2007, 08:41 PM
Godzilla unleashed trailer (http://media.wii.ign.com/media/881/881519/vids_1.html)

kari
07-06-2007, 08:41 PM
Naruto interview (http://media.wii.ign.com/media/856/856011/vids_1.html)

kari
07-06-2007, 08:43 PM
Geometry wars galaxy trailer (http://media.wii.ign.com/media/908/908045/vids_1.html)

Humphrey_Lee
07-06-2007, 10:29 PM
2 new Uncharted screens :

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/uncharted-drakes-fortune-20070706050659435.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/uncharted-drakes-fortune-20070706050657967.jpg

God, that game is gonna be so Tits. By year's end I'm gonna be a happy little PS3 owner I am...

noble
07-09-2007, 02:06 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Burnout Paradise Hands-on

Speed reinvented.
by Jeremy Dunham

July 8, 2007 - "Holy crap the muscle cars in Burnout Paradise are loud."

That's the first thing that popped to mind when Criterion's Alex Ward fired up the E3 build of his team's latest racer for the first time. Ward followed the boot-up with an entertaining and humorous speech about how important it was for his team to build Paradise from the ground up (rather than use an existing engine), but as the engines continued to rev as we waited for our demo, I couldn't shake how realistic and powerful the vehicles sounded.

But when we finally sat down to the play the game for ourselves, it quickly became apparent that there's a whole lot more to Burnout Paradise than its acoustic performance. The game is already a technical champion with highly-impressive displays that show off what the PS3 and Xbox 360 can really do. For proof, smash into something and watch what happens. The deformation of a car when it hits a pole at 100 MPH is highly-impressive; it'll wrap around its unlucky target exactly the way Crash Test Dummy rides do in those popular safety videos. Hit it with enough force, and you may even see the engine go barreling through the rear windshield with shards of glass and metal flying everywhere. Sometimes, cars can even be torn in half. It's awesome!

Even better is how Criterion is handling online play. Unlike most videogames that have lobbies and other middle-man programs to prepare you for the race to come, Burnout Paradise makes everything seamless. Simply locate a traffic light and friend via in-game buddy list, invite him to race, and when he accepts... BOOM! You're online immediately and ready to go. Keep in mind, this entire process happens without any interruptions or menu screens whatsoever. It's easily the most convenient multiplayer feature we've seen and will likely be the standard from its release point forward (and yes, we saw it demoed in real time on the PS3. Supposedly, it'll work the same on 360 as well).

Now that we think about it, an ease of use seems to be the primary theme in Burnout Paradise. Since players are racing in a world measuring nearly 30 square miles, requiring them to pop in and out of menus all the time would interrupt gameplay flow. Criterion's solution to this is similar to how it's handling online connectivity -- simply drive up to a street (each and every one has a name, by the way), glance at its "Road Rules," and accept a race invitation. It doesn't get much simpler. Then again, you can drive all over Paradise City on your own without any restrictions as well (called "Freeburn"), but if you require old-school competition, that's how you do it.

Oh, and believe me, you'll want to participate in traditional races. Doing so can win you brand new cars to race with elsewhere (as can taking one out if you see it driving around the city), and it will help to unlock other cool things as well. Besides, facing up to eight opponents (offline or on) at high speed is the type of fun that made the series so popular to begin with -- and the fact that you can go anywhere during a race in order to win makes things that much more interesting.

To backtrack a bit and clarify what "Road Rules" are, they're essentially an in-game stat-tracker of all the top times and crashes accomplished on that street. They're updated in real-time via the Internet too, but to keep things in check, will pull its info from friends' lists rather than worldwide leaderboards. Additionally, all of your personal statistics and records are kept on a personal driver's license.

Other details worth mentioning are shops scattered through the city than allow you to power-up your car (boost fills at gas stations, damage fixes at body shops, color switches at paint shops, etc), the ability to visit a junkyard to access all unlocked cars, and PlayStation Eye/ Xbox Vision Camera support that auto-snaps pictures of online opponents when you taken them down for funny reaction shots. You can even sabotage an opponent's boost meter during online play! My favorite addition, though, has to be the inclusion of "Showtime Mode."

Showtime Mode is what the world used to know as "Crash Mode," only now you can do it anywhere. At any point during a crash, just tap L1 and R1 (or LB and RB) simultaneously and you'll enter "Showtime Mode" where you can literally keep your crash going until the car's wheels fall off. But even then the crash continues as long as you maintain momentum. Crashes can go on for so long, in fact, that it's actually possible to start a wreck at one side of the map and tumble your way all the way over to the other end.

If that isn't the epitome of badass, I don't know what is.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/burnout-paradise-20070707094317427.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/burnout-paradise-20070707094320302.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/burnout-paradise-20070707094318864.jpg

noble
07-09-2007, 02:08 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Mercenaries 2 Hands-On
Every building, vehicle, enemy, and civilian can be blown to bits. This explosive look at Pandemic's sequel details our glorious path of destruction.
by Hilary Goldstein

July 9, 2007 - If there's one thing I love in this world, it's big explosions. Give me a few kabooms and I am one happy camper. That's why, when I sat down to run through one of the missions in Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, I could barely keep myself from giggling with glee. See, Mercs 2 is full of big explosions. Everything in the world -- and I mean everything -- can be destroyed. Don't like trees? Well who does? Fire a rocket launcher into the jungle and you can roast some marshmallows over your TV as you watch those wicked trees burn. The fire, which is easily the best-looking aspect in this early build of Mercs 2, will spread naturally. Remember, only you can start forest fires.

If taking down defenseless trees doesn't cut it for you, how about laying waste to any number of defenseless buildings? Every building in Merc 2's wide-open Venezuelan-inspired country can be demolished. You can methodically wipe out an entire town. Should any game-crucial building be destroyed in your fury, it will be quickly rebuilt when needed. But for any non-essential structure, once you put it to rubble, it will stay rubble.

Your tools for carrying out such awesome feats of destruction are impressive. In EA's E3 demo I was strapped with an assault rifle and a rocket launcher, just two of the more than thirty weapons available in Mercs 2. The variety of weapons is nice, but even from my short time with Mercs 2, it became quite clear that the real fun is in piloting vehicles. There are 200 different vehicles in Mercs 2. They range from your standard military hardware, such as tanks and assault helicopters, to some fun rides. One such ride is the monster truck, which really isn't very monstrous compared to a tank, but does an excellent job of running over foot soldiers.

Many of the 200 vehicles (including a Sea-Doo of all things) can be found while running around the open game world. But if you don't have the patience to find the perfect ride, you can order one up. All of the destruction you cause in Mercs 2 is not merely cosmetic -- it also earns you cash. That cash can be used to purchase weapons, air strikes, and vehicles. Your purchased vehicle will be airlifted in. And yes, if you're a real jerk you can obliterate the chopper delivering the goods. Despite racking up kills on delivery boys, one will always be willing to drop off your next purchase.

While ordering up an assault helicopter and a slice of pizza is a lot of fun, the best use of your cash will go towards air strikes. There are a number of different strikes you can call in. And while there may be some slight differences between a cluster bomb strike and a laser-guided missile drop, in the end it's just a fun way for developer Pandemic to deliver a larger variety of explosions. In the end, every air assault brings death from above to your enemies. Some are more interactive than others. The laser-targeted air raid, for example, requires you to aim a laser pointer at the target area and wait for the missile to be delivered. Air raids are not cheap, but they deliver devastating results.

But let's say you don't have the cash to order up an air strike or armed vehicle. What's a down-on-his-luck mercenary to do? Just keep your eyes peeled. You'll find a vehicle either lying out in the open or being piloted by an enemy. The latter is a tad trickier to commandeer, but any vehicle you see can be driven or flown. The difficulty in jacking a vehicle depends on its value. Taking a jeep is as simple as moving towards the driver side, hitting the action button, and slamming the door a few times on the driver's head. Jacking a tank or helicopter is not so easy.

For a tank, you'll first need to kill the gunner manning the machinegun atop the turret. With him dead, you can approach the tank from either the front or back and hit the action button. This engages a timed mini-game that requires a series of quick button presses to beat. Fail and you'll be knocked off and be forced to try again. Succeed and you will witness an awesome execution of the tank's driver. Best of all, you'll have a tank of your very own.

Jacking a chopper is riskier, but far more rewarding. When you attempt to jack a helicopter, you sling a grappling hook on its leg and quickly ascend for a confrontation with the pilot. Once again you must beat a quick minigame to earn entry. If you fail, you fall. There's a recovery button to save yourself from a big splat, but it's not such an easy trick to pull off. The reward, however, is well worth testing Newton's famous law. Once you have a chopper, you can make your way across the game world destroying buildings as you please. Keep in mind that missiles cost a lot of money, so unless you're pockets are flush with cash, you're going to want to be either conservative with your payload or incredibly accurate.

Now consider that all of this is possible with online co-op. Pandemic isn't quite ready to show off online play, but they promised that Mercs 2 was designed to be equally fun alone or with a buddy. I can't wait for my friend to watch me blow stuff up with my assault chopper while he's hoofin' it like a blue collar merc.

The mission in the demo, which takes place about a third of the way through the campaign, tasks your merc with destroying three buildings not far from the Guerilla camp. By this time, you'll have long settled on using one of the three available mercenaries: Mattais Nilsson, Jennifer, or Chris Jacobs. Each plays differently and (for 360 owners) have specific Achievements awarded for playing the characters as designed. Mattais is a crazy SOB who's all about striking fast and with a big boom; Jennifer is a sniper, best suited for long-range kills; Chris Jacobs is a tank who likes to be methodical in his destruction.

Helping the Guerillas in this mission will boost their faith in you. But you're a merc, so expect to play both sides of the conflict during the campaign. New jobs open based on how much a faction favors your mercenary. Now, at any time in the demo, I could just turn on the Guerillas and kill them all. I could put a bullet in every man and woman in the village. But doing so hurts by rep and is going to make it tougher to score jobs in the future. Remember, getting jobs means earning money. And earning money means being able to buy new toys to blow stuff up. And blowing stuff up is all I care about.

Playing through the same mission multiple times showed the variety of ways you can complete the same task. In one, I ran on foot, using my rocket launcher to take down buildings and tanks. I caused enough destruction to earn cash for an air strike, which made taking down the largest of the three buildings easy to destroy. On the second run, I commandeered a tank and put the hurt on every building in my path. In the final go around, I went commando style and used grenades and my rocket launcher to take down the targets.

I could also have used cleverer ways to take down these buildings. One of my favorite tricks is slapping some C4 on a car and driving it into town. If you hop out of a car, it will continue on its path. You can then either manually detonate the C4 or wait for it to hit a building or innocent civilian, at which point the car will pop. You could also venture the opposite way of the objective and search for hardware to bring to the party. The world is wide open to you as are the missions.

These large highly-destructible areas come at a cost. Currently there is a high level of texture pop in that is fairly persistent throughout. This is still an early build (Mercs 2 isn't expected until late fall), so hopefully the technical flaws seen in the demo will be smoothed out for the final product. Aside from this one nagging issue, Mercenaries 2 appears like it will offer an even more thrilling experience than its predecessor. You'll get a first-hand look at the deadly action in Mercenaries 2 when IGN launches its weekly series "99 Ways to Die." Look for the first video next week

noble
07-09-2007, 09:17 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Project Gotham Racing 4 Hands-On

Prepare to earn kudos in the worst possible weather… and on a motorcycle.
by Hilary Goldstein

July 9, 2007 - Including its original incarnation on the Dreamcast as Metropolis Street Racer, Bizarre Creation has been around the block four times already with its Kudos-based arcade racing franchise. So what's going to make the fifth iteration, Project Gotham Racing 4, stand out from the rest? Inclement weather, true AI, and motorcycles. As previously revealed, PGR 4 features rain, fog, and snow. What we didn't know, was that you'd be racing through PGR 4's ten cities on just two wheels.

A Hog Between Your Thighs
Don't think of motorcycles as some cheap toss on, an added bonus or some kind of fun unlockable. Bizarre Creations is taking bikes seriously (well, as seriously as the powerslide-heavy series can manage). There will be a little over 130 vehicles that can fill up your various garages in PGR4, at least 30 of which will be motorcycles. Among the manufacturers onboard are Honda, MV Agusta, and Ducati. And yes the "original naked motorcycle" the Ducati Monster will be among the roster of bikes.

As always, PGR 4 is about racing fast and with style. The same holds true when racing motorcycles. Because a motorcycle is not a car (unless you drive one effed up car), the Kudos set for bikes is a bit different. Wheelies, stopies, endos, drift, and catch air are the five Kudos available in a motorcycle and trust us when we say, you will find plenty of opportunities for all of these. Though control feels a bit looser on a bike, the principals of Project Gotham remain the same. Winning races won't mean much if you aren't earning major Kudos on the way to the finish line.

Most of those Kudos, however, require some cajones to pull off in a race against seven other people (who could all be racing you in cars). It's one thing to pull a wheelie for 20 yards in one of the motorcycle-specific challenges, but quite another thing to do one in the heat of a race. The truly daring will take risks and pull wheelies on short straightaways, before chaining into a drift around a corner. Daredevils will hold A to add a modifier to their stunts. Sure, it adds additional risk, but it will help you thrill your fans (and infuriate your competition).

As with the cars in PGR 4, you have a variety of different camera views. While you can get a good look at your custom uniform from the third-person perspective, the best view when riding a bike is the helmet cam. This gives a clear view of your hands on the throttle as your look through the windshield at St. Petersburg during a snowstorm.

If you know how to race a car in Project Gotham, you will have no troubles driving a bike in PGR 4. Though motorcycles have their own physics (and crashing your Ducati Monster into a wall is oh so much more fun than crashing your Enzo), it's not so different that it can't be quickly mastered by veteran players. The real trick is in learning to use the new Kudos while racing against cars. And while we were only given time to race briefly on an unpopulated track, it would seem that racing players online could get messy. After all, it's one thing for someone to sideswipe a rival's car, but imagine being neck-and-neck in a race and having your bike knocked to the side by your opponent.

Motorcycles are definitely a welcome addition to PGR 4. Don't expect it to be like racing in MotoGP, though. Again, Project Gotham is not about being a sim; it's about being fun. And on that end, the bikes should add some extra flavor to the mix. But hogs aren't the only new thing coming to PGR 4. Perhaps the most interesting new element is the dynamic weather system.

There are ten types of weather in all, ranging for hot and dry to snowstorm. The weather isn't just a cosmetic addition to PGR 4. It's going to change the way your race. As it rains in Quebec, the roads will gradually get slicker and puddles will form. Since Bizarre Creations wants to keep things arcadey, you won't have to worry about wild spinouts or hydroplaning. Instead, you'll find that in heavy rain it "gets looser around the corners." You won't be saying, "Aw crap, it's raining, I better not drive fast." You'll be saying, "I am going to rack up some crazy drift Kudos."

We should warn that, while the weather will be more asset than hindrance, you will need to alter your driving somewhat based on the weather. Over time, puddles will accumulate on the track. Racing through a puddle will slow you down slightly, so you'll want to quickly spot and avoid these hazards. Timing for powersliding will also vary based on weather, since a slicker surface will mean you may need to start a drift earlier than in dry conditions.

The weather is dynamic in PGR 4, meaning that it can actually change during a race. It will never go to the extremes of starting out snowy and ending in sunshine, but there will be changes on a smaller scale. In Shanghai, it might go from light rain to a heavy downpour with thunder and lightning. Or it could start heavy and lighten as the race wears on. Weather will be specific to the cities and tracks -- which include Vegas, Quebec, Shanghai, Macau, NY, London, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, the Michelin test track, and Nurburing. It doesn't snow often in Vegas, so you will almost never see fresh powder on the strip. London and Macau will see a fair amount of fog, which should make navigating some of PGR 4's sharp turns just a tad more adventurous.

In Macau, the volumetric fog is especially cool. You'll start one race at the bottom of a mountain. The fog is so thick you can't see more than 30 feet in front of your car. As you race up the hillside, you'll pull above the fog and into the clear. Take a peak to the right and you can see the fog blanket below. While we'd have loved to see a few more new areas to PGR 4, Macau is a pretty interesting new area we can't wait to explore.

Be a Team Player
Project Gotham Racing 4 expands on Bizarre's tradition of online integration by introducing Team Racing. After creating your character (either male or female), choosing from one of 25 nationalities, and customizing your professional race jersey, you can join or create a team. You'll race with your club online in 4-on-4 team-based race modes including Capture the Flag, Cat & Mouse, and Cops & Robbers. Team-based Kudos will be earned during races, but every point you rack up adds to your single-player total. So whether you decide to race on- or offline, you will always be adding to your bank account.


That bank account, by the way, takes only Kudos points. Everything in PGR 4 is unlocked by Kudos. You'll unlock new cars, bikes, and garages with the Kudos earned in races. The garages, while not yet revealed by Bizarre Creations, are promise to be more interesting and substantial than PGR 3's storage facilities. And while there's not official word on another Geometry Wars sequel being found in one of these garages, we've been told to expect "something." And hey, something sounds like a lot more than a dusty Galaga machine.

You'll be filling up that garage with more than just bikes and supercars. PGR 4 includes a number of cars with "a history in automotive culture." In other words, expect to race some hot muscle cars. The Shelby GT500E and Chevy Sting Ray (Tuxedo Black no less) are just two of the muscle cars being included in PGR 4. How these beasts will be able to stand up against the Ferraris of the world is anyone's guess at this point. But we can't wait to get behind the wheel of one of these old metal beasts and charge through PGR 4's twisting courses.

And the Rest...
While PGR 4 plays very similar to its predecessor, there have been a few changes. The most notable is some tweaking to the Kudos system. You will no longer be able to earn quick drift Kudos by quickly swerving on a straightaway. All powerslides will need to be genuine this time around. And there's been an adjustment to Kudos timing so that "Kudos can be truly chained."

PGR TV has been given a makeover. It's now PGR on Demand. Expect a lot more videos for each track in PGR 4 along with uploaded pictures as well. You can search by very specific criteria to find the right videos. Let's say you want some tips on powersliding in Vegas. What happens in Vegas, no longer stays in Vegas. Just search for "longest powerslide" and learn from other racers. You can also find places to catch the biggest air or watch entire runs to find how to earn the most Kudos.

Project Gotham Racing 4 is looking promising. Though the series is fundamentally the same as it ever was, there's enough new wrinkles to satisfy fans. So far, we have only had a chance to get our hands on the motorcycles. Hopefully we'll get to race in some muscle cars against the new and improved AI. With PGR 4 feature complete and expected in early September, we should be seeing quite a bit more of Bizarre's racer in the coming months.

kari
07-10-2007, 02:02 AM
Pre-E3 2007: MS Comments on PS3 Price Drop

"We'll see if it makes a difference."
by Daemon Hatfield

July 9, 2007 - With the recent confirmation of the long-rumored PlayStation 3 price drop, many are wondering if Microsoft will counteract with a price cut of its own. After a $100 plunge for the 60GB PS3 model, it is still $100 more expensive than the Xbox 360 Pro system and $20 more than the Xbox 360 Elite. IGN contacted Microsoft to see what it thought of Sony's move.

"We're not surprised by Sony's reaction to the market," a Microsoft representative told us. "We'll see if it makes a difference. It's interesting to note that they've significantly dropped their price in the first eight months while Xbox 360 has continued to sell well at our launch price for more than a year and a half. We're right where we want to be right now -- it's all about choice and bringing the best games and entertainment to homes around the world."

An analyst at Wedbush Morgan told GamesIndustry.biz today he expects Microsoft will announce a 360 price cut rather quickly. For the time being, though, Sony's main competitor doesn't sound too worried.

noble
07-10-2007, 02:04 AM
E3 2007: Spielberg and EA Unveil Alphabet Projects
Exclusive new games in the works, one for Wii and one for 360/PS3.
by Nix

July 9, 2007 - Famed film director Steven Spielberg has been a presence in the videogame market almost throughout the entire history of videogaming (many of his hit films have become games, and Spielberg has overseen projects such as LucasArts' The Dig and later EA's acclaimed Medal of Honor series, not to mention that the director has often been in attendance at various E3 gaming conferences), but the director has focused his attention on videogames more intently than ever with a handful of new projects in the works at Electronic Arts. The alliance between Spielberg and EA had already been announced several months back, but little was made known about the games at the time. This week, we finally get to know what Spielberg is planning, as Newsweek exclusively viewed two games in development as part of the partnership. One is a puzzle game for the Nintendo Wii, while another is a sci-fi action game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 systems.

For the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Spielberg is creating the type of game that follows directly on what he is known for in cinema -- codenamed LMNO, the project is a sci-fi action/adventure game described by Newsweek as "North by Northwest" meets "E.T." In the game, you play an ex-secret agent who must form an alliance with a mysterious human-like female who has supernatural powers. As they battle the forces that oppose the two while try to evade capture, the female's powers grow in ways never imagined -- and depending on how you play the game and how you treat your partner, her powers will evolve in unique ways according to their relationship and reliance on her abilities. EA is boasting that the gameplay will dynamically evolve with these unique powers, and the development team also promises impressive graphics based around lifelike digital performances where your female compatriot will be able to emote in dialog scenes as well as glow through translucent skin as an expression of her emotional state.

For the Nintendo Wii, Spielberg and EA are creating a physics-based puzzler (codenamed PQRS) that is designed to be played by anybody in the family using the unique control set-up of the Wii. Somewhat like a game of Jenga, you move around blocks with the Wiimote, trying to build incredible and impossible structures without the whole thing falling down. All of this takes place in a colorful cartoon world. Although the concept seems to be light fare for Spielberg (many expected the director to bring his cinematic vision to his videogame creations, and the fact that the first game is a puzzle title has caught many by surprise), the game was conceived (according to a quote from Spielberg in Newsweek) when the director met with Nintendo's own Shigeru Miyamoto.

Newsweek was unfortunately not able to share images of the games in its exclusive unveiling, and EA has released no screenshots of either LMNO or PQRS. Unfortunately, neither game has been confirmed as titles to be shown at E3 this week, so it is unknown when more will be known about either title. The Wii project is unofficially scheduled for release this year (Newsweek quotes Spielberg as saying, "It just seemed like a great thing for the entire family to play together over Christmas," but EA has not set an official date), while the Xbox 360 and PS3 projects are not yet scheduled for a release date.

noble
07-10-2007, 02:05 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Oblivion To Be Re-Released
New Game of the Year Edition to include additional content.
by Chris Roper

July 9, 2007 - Just when you thought you were through, Bethesda Softworks is ready to bring you back in with its Game of the Year release of Oblivion.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition will incorporate all of the content found in a number of its downloadable updates, including the Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine expansion packs. Shivering Isles adds an additional 30 hours of gameplay to the already massive base game, while Knights of the Nine features a new faction and a number of quests for noble characters to round out the "good guy" route a little more.

The Game of the Year Edition release will make use of existing save games, allowing gamers to pick up where they've left off if they already own the original Oblivion release.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition is scheduled for release this September.

noble
07-10-2007, 02:06 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Something Old, Something New from Sqeenix
Final Fantasy XI is expanding.
by Daemon Hatfield
July 9, 2007 - Square Enix has announced its lineup of games it will be showing off at E3 2007, a mix of made-over classics and fresh entries in established franchises. The publisher also took the opportunity to announce Front Mission, the original turn-based mech strategy game, is currently in development for North American audiences and will be playable at the show.

Square Enix will have six playable titles in Barker Hangar:

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker: A Dragon Quest spin-off that plays similarly to Pokemon, Joker has already sold over one million units in Japan. This DS-exclusive is scheduled to ship in November.

Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors Developed especially for the Wii and its magical motion-sensing tech, The Masked Queen Blah Blah Blah sends players literally slashing and parrying through a fantasy land filled with recognizeable Dragon Quest monsters.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates: A sequel to the 2004 game that promoted interactivity between the GameCube and Game Boy Advance, this one is another DS exclusive.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions: A PSP update of the beloved PlayStation turn-based strategy game.

Final Fantasy II: Another PSP remake with completely redrawn graphics, 16:9 widescreen presentation, and an all-new dungeon.

Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess: An expansion for the Final Fantasy MMO for PS2, PC, and Xbox 360.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings: A DS extension of last year's PS2 RPG.

Front Mission: The original turn-based strategy game featuring mechs is being remade for the DS.

Heroes of Mana: This DS-exclusive takes the long-running series into the realm of strategy gaming.

noble
07-10-2007, 02:08 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Halo, Madden, GTA Set to Own Holiday Sales
The "big three" could make up 30 percent of all software sales in the next six months.
by Daemon Hatfield

July 9, 2007 - IGN's GamerMetrics service is predicting three key upcoming releases could make up as much as 30 percent of all software sales in the second half of the year: Halo 3, Madden NFL 08, and Grand Theft Auto 4. Halo 3 is expected to be the biggest seller with the potential to eclipse six million units before the end of the year.

There are plenty of other titles, though, poised to make their own splash in spite of the dominance of the "big three." GamerMetrics expects a total of 50 million in software sales this holiday season, with around 15 million going to the big three. Super Mario Galaxy, Smash Bros. Brawl, Guitar Hero III, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and Half-Life 2: The Orange Box are all considered "sure things" by IGN GamerMetrics, and will be key titles fighting for the remaining 35 million units. Titles with the opportunity to become sleeper hits include John Woo's Stranglehold, All Pro Football 2K8, Heavenly Sword, and Turok.

Some titles that gamers haven't showed as much interest in and could end up seeing disappointing sales compared to their previous performance include Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, Unreal Tournament 2007, Battlefield: Bad Company, and Burnout Paradise.


Of the three platforms, GamerMetrics' data seems to suggest the Xbox 360 has the strongest upcoming line-up with a diverse mix of exclusives like Mass Effect, BioShock, Two Worlds, and Too Human. Both the PlayStation 3 and the Wii have their own flaws, as Sony's system still lacks a "killer app" and Nintendo's is extremely "top heavy" with first-party titles.

Electronic Arts, the world's largest videogame publisher, is set to come out on top again this holiday season with its usual sports titles along with The Orange Box, Army of Two, Need for Speed Pro Street, Medal of Honor: Airborne, and Rock Band.

All in all, the videogame industry is set for its biggest holiday season since 2004, when Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Madden NFL 05 launched.

noble
07-10-2007, 02:09 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Lost Odyssey E3 Trailer Preview
An early glimpse at what we'll see later this week.
by Anoop Gantayat

July 9, 2007 - Mistwalker's second title following Blue Dragon is set to take over E3 with a brand new trailer. Powerful media giant that it is, Famitsu has obtained the Lost Odyssey trailer in advance and was good enough to share a few details in its latest issue.

The trailer seems to be battle heavy, as screen grabs in the magazine show main character Kaim facing off in battle against giant beasts. While last year's demo had Kaim fighting all by his immortal self, the trailer will at last feature proper party-based battles. The game's maximum party size is five characters.

Producer Hironobu Sakaguchi has made vague comments in the past about the game's battle system, which is said to make use of a unique new "Wall System." As part of this system, your party formation has a major impact on battle strategy. Characters in your front line form a "wall," and perform direct attacks against enemies. Meanwhile, characters in back perform magic attacks. This is the standard attack strategy, according to Famitsu.

In comments shared with the magazine, Sakaguchi noted that the game makes the distinction between front and back lines very clear. Enemies and allies have a "wall value," a parameter that players can use to gauge the strength of the front wall. Only once the front wall has been broken can you attack the rear enemies. Sakaguchi feels that this gives the game an MMORPG feel.

The battle system will also make use of the 360's trigger buttons. When on the offensive, you'll have to push the triggers at the right level to make your attacks strike the enemies just right. Sakaguchi describes this as putting the player's feelings into the battle system.

Good news for those who loved the opening battle sequence from the demo, which wowed everyone with its seamless transition between pre-rendered movie sequences and realtime gameplay. There's going to be more of that in the final game, and in the E3 trailer. The game will feature seamless movie transitions for boss-style characters.

Outside of battle sequences, the E3 trailer will also show a bit of the world and characters. Look forward to first glimpses of new characters, including a pair of girls who appear to be twins, or at least siblings. In terms of the world, get set for some fantastic machinery, something that could be a hallmark for Mistwalker given the contraptions that appeared in Blue Dragon.

The E3 trailer will make an appearance on Xbox Live, Famitsu reveals, so hopefully there'll be minimal wait for the latest high definition look at Mistwalker's second big Xbox 360 RPG.

As for the final game, Sakaguchi revealed to the magazine that development is entering into a broad tuning phase. One area that Sakaguchi made particular mention of was the need to reduce the frequency of battles from the current version in order to improve the pacing of the game. This type of tuning is being done without dumbing down the game's strategy.

Sakaguchi still expects a release some time this year.

noble
07-10-2007, 02:14 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Guitar Hero III Guitars Revealed
Activision and Gibson team up. Wireless axes abound...
by Bozon

July 9, 2007 - E3 is upon us, and what better way to celebrate it than with a little Guitar Hero III news. Today Activision officially announced its partnership with guitar makers Gibson Guitar Corp. The partnership not only entitles the release of new Gibson guitars for players to rock out with, but also in-game brand guitars exclusive to Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Players can use over 20 classic and modern Gibson guitars, and more than 80 finishes to stylize their rocking goodness. In addition, each platform will support fully-wireless guitars for GH patrons, with everything from PS2 to 360, PS3 and the Wii being fully wireless.

The following list has been taken directly from Activision's press release:

Gibson:

ES-355

Explorer

Firebird

SG

Les Paul

V-Factor

Super CES400

Marauder

Corvus


Epiphone:

Casino

Coronet

Sheraton


Kramer:

650

Vanguard


Bass Guitars:

Marauder

Corvus

Les Paul

LP Double Cutaway

EDS 1275

ES335

Firebird

Flying V

Moderne

SG

X-Plorer

Be sure to check out each of the new guitars in our gallery below, and make sure to keep checking back to IGN.com for the latest in Guitar Hero news, media, and impressions as E3 continues.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/guitar-hero-iii-20070709032023107.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/guitar-hero-iii-20070709032338480.jpg

noble
07-10-2007, 02:19 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon First Look
Crypto sets off a Disco Inferno.
by Jeff Haynes

July 9, 2007 - When it comes to wreaking havoc and causing chaos, few game characters can stand up to Crypto-137. The main character from the Destroy All Humans! franchise has probed, abducted and blasted his way through towns, government agents, livestock and just about anything else that got in his way. But you can't keep a good alien down for long. Thanks to Sandblast Games and THQ, the latest chapter in Crypto's story will be coming to life in Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon.

First, Crypto trashed the clean, tame air of 1950s America, reducing much of the Donna Reed-like era to rubble. Then, he smashed his way through the turbulent 1960s, taking much of the destruction worldwide. In Path of the Furon, Crypto's taking on the funkdafied times of the 1970s, adding a bit of disco destruction to the people of earth. Picking up where Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed leaves off, Crypto finds himself attacked by a mysterious new enemy that's threatens the entire Furon race. With a conspiracy quickly formed that threatens his way of life, Crypto embarks on a journey to gain enlightenment from an alien Kung Fu master, unlocking new powers that will let him save the Furons once again.

Path of the Furon expands on the open world format of the previous Destroy All Humans! titles. Thanks to the open mission structure of the game, players will be able to decide what they want to obliterate and what they will spare (obviously, there will be very little left standing after Crypto gets through). With the ability to manipulate or destroy anything in the world, you'll be able to take your destruction to new heights. You won't be constrained to a specific location either. Players will be able to explore five large open worlds on the ground and in the air, thanks to new augmentations to Crypto's UFO, which provides increased aerial mobility, new weapons and the ability to abduct hundreds of humans at one time.

Crypto will still be able to hypnotize, brain scan and body snatch victims for his purposes; However, due to his journey for enlightenment, Crypto will also be able to stop time with his new Temporal Fist technique and attract objects to him thanks to his PK Magnet skill. This will come in handy with his arsenal of weaponry. Many of the weapons from previous games will make an appearance, so fans can probably expect to see the Zap-O-Matic in some form or another, especially since you'll be able to upgrade every weapon and ability that you have thanks to the POX Mart, adding to your destructive capabilities. Crypto will also get new weapons to play with like the Venus Human Trap that will let you fire a giant man eating plant that swallows anything in its immediate vicinity (Think Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors).

Path of the Furon will support downloadable content, which should allow the title to be expanded with new features for Crypto fans after the title has been released. It will also feature online multiplayer modes for friends to play. While those modes aren't known, it would be a shock if co-op play wasn't included since it was part of DAH! 2. We'll have more on Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon soon, but for now, check out the newest screens and trailer below.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/destroy-all-humans-path-of-the-furon-20070709003603640.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/destroy-all-humans-path-of-the-furon-20070709003602546.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/destroy-all-humans-path-of-the-furon-20070709003556734.jpg

Destroy all humans trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/947/947060/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 02:30 AM
Pre-E3 2007: SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 Hands-on
Slams, Jams, and Wam-Bams in high-def.
by Jeremy Dunham

July 9, 2007 - We paid a visit to THQ's Southern California headquarters last week to see the E3 build of the company's star pinup, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008. Guiding us along was the newly promoted Creative Manager Bryan Williams and his boss, the Senior Creative Manager (and familiar face to the IGN faithful) Cory Ledesma.

"This year it's all about playing like your favorite superstar," commented Williams. "Fighting styles and character-specific moves are what we really want to stress and that's a big deal for us. We have new strategies that haven't been in the game before and cool match-specific advantages based on style."

Bryan isn't kidding. When we selected the freshly-announced ECW legend Sandman and put him up against the smirk master Randy Orton, we could see the advantages of being a "Hardcore" wrestler in an ECW Extreme Rules match. Sandman's proficiency with weapons helped us own Orton all over the squared circle, while putting chairs on our opponent's neck or pulling off conchairtos added a little extra oomph.

As wrestling fans might expect, the Extreme Rules match is a heck of a lot of fun. Before a bout, users can select which weapons they want to bring with them as part of their setup menu, but that doesn't mean that they'll just appear randomly. Now when you reach under the ring, you can choose one of your items from an analog-controlled wheel; there's no randomization anymore. Even better is that there are new weapons joining old favorites; namely barbed-wired boards and breakable guitars. Expect nine weapon types in all.

Another new touch this year is the ability to interact with fans on all four sides of the ring. But grabbing signs or taking weapons isn't all you can do with them; they can also grab and interact with championship belts or the superstars themselves -- they can even your wrestler on the back or hold an opponent for you so that you can get in a couple of cheap shots.

Perhaps the more important fix, though, is found with the gameplay itself. Yuke's has made a number of mechanical tweaks for fluid action. The ability to run, for example, has been moved off of the buttons completely and is now performed by holding a shoulder button in conjunction with the left analog stick. Exiting the ring and jumping over the apron have been moved to a single button push as well.

"We wanted first-time players to be able to do what they want without having to learn a number of complicated maneuvers," remarked Ledesma. "In the past, we had something like three different buttons you had to push to dive out of the ring on top of somebody; that's hard for beginners. Now, if you want to jump onto your opponent just hit 'Square'' (or X on 360) and you can."

After playing with the new controls ourselves we can attest that the single-button system keeps the matches fluid and fast-paced. It also helps that the new submission system is analog-based as well. How much pressure you apply and how quickly you pump your arms around someone's neck is now entirely up to you -- as is your defense to it, as escaping a grapple is handled with the analog sticks as well. All in all, it's definitely an improvement over last year's edition.

Other new additions worth mentioning include a revamped finishing system that a gives you the option of storing a finisher for use as a style-specific finisher later on. So if, for example, you have a stored finisher with a brawler, when you activate it you'll throw a number of irreversible strikes -- or if you mount a dude on the mat, you can use UFC-style ground and pound punches and head-butts.

There are a bunch of style-specific moves like those mentioned above for other classes too. Showmen can steal an opponent's taunt at any time to increase his momentum, for instance, and is the only class that can perform turnbuckle taunts for himself. Technical guys can reverse any strong grapple as long as they haven't suffered from any limb-specific damage, while high flyers can use quick little evasive rolls to avoid bigger opponents. The whole system works pretty well and to help keep things even for everyone, THQ has even added the option of throwing strikes, even when you're the one caught in a grapple.

One of our favorite new improvements is the streamlining that's been done to the menus and match selections. Examples include a "Quick Play" option that will take you into a random match type with random wrestlers via the push of a button (similar to what's found in sports games), while the "Choose Manager" and "Choose Title Bout" option has been removed completely. But don't panic about those last two just yet -- the ability to have a manager escort you down the aisle (they come out with you during your entrances now, by the way) or defend a belt is still in there -- now they're just options to choose as part of the match selection process; the days of going into a separate menu for everything are long gone.

Of course, the expected visual enhancements have been made to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions to boot. Crowds look a lot better thanks to depth of field effects, new lighting effects, better 3D and redone faces. Entrances look great too, with a large helping of them having been redone with new mo-cap and other effects (Cena salutes as he comes down to the ring, Sandman bashes his head in with a beer as he moves through the crowd, etc), and hair looks much more realistic. Mo-cap touches the moves themselves too -- Undertaker has a new tombstone (finally), Orton has a redone RKO, and a number of general moves have benefited from the same treatment (scissor kicks, ref arguments, win poses, etc).

THQ has also confirmed that the last-gen versions of SmackDown will be pretty much identical to the PS3 and Xbox 360 version; but system-specific differences are a possibility according to the team (though not confirmed, they were dodgy on that one). At the very least, PS3 fans can rest easy as both the Xbox and PlayStation SKUs are being developed simultaneously -- unlike last year when the PS3 version was so severely behind eventually leading to its cancellation.

As for the rest of SmackDown, THQ isn't showing us yet. Most of the roster is still being shrouded in secret and the create modes are being held back for another day. We did learn that there will be a new interface in these modes, however, and there are some more announcements expected in the coming months (such as the completely new soundtrack),

How will it all turn out? The world is watching...

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/wwe-smackdown-vs-raw-2008-20070708084311002.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/wwe-smackdown-vs-raw-2008-20070708084256252.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/wwe-smackdown-vs-raw-2008-20070708084302049.jpg

Blandy vs Terrorism
07-10-2007, 02:48 AM
Damn, looks like I missed this thread the first time around. I'll have to get on Live tonight and see if anything is posted right away.

noble
07-10-2007, 03:30 AM
Damn, looks like I missed this thread the first time around. I'll have to get on Live tonight and see if anything is posted right away.


E3 officially starts late tonight, so there probably isn't anything up quite yet, but I'm betting in the next 24 hours the flood gates are going to open ;)

Blandy vs Terrorism
07-10-2007, 03:47 AM
E3 officially starts late tonight, so there probably isn't anything up quite yet, but I'm betting in the next 24 hours the flood gates are going to open ;)

Dammit!

nihilance
07-10-2007, 04:06 AM
Dammit!

Microsofts press conference is tonight at 8:30 pacific I believe and there is also a Killzone 2 press conference an hour later.

noble
07-10-2007, 04:33 AM
Yeah, coverage starts on G4 tonight at 8pm runs through midnight for the preview night and MS press conference.

Then there's a show tomorrow morning covering the Sony and Nintendy press shows, and then 3 3 hour episodes Wed, Thur, and Fri afternoon covering the floor show.

noble
07-10-2007, 04:43 AM
Need For Speed Pro-street screens

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/e3-2007-nfs-prostreet-screens-20070709022127122.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/e3-2007-nfs-prostreet-screens-20070709022122575.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/e3-2007-nfs-prostreet-screens-20070709022116310.jpg

noble
07-10-2007, 04:53 AM
Need for Speed Prostreet trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/904/904767/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 04:54 AM
Call of Duty 4 trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/902/902590/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 04:55 AM
Smackdown 2008 video interview (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/882/882478/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 04:55 AM
Turning point fall of liberty trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/851/851206/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 04:56 AM
The golden compass trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/889/889069/vids_1.html)

Brewtown Andy
07-10-2007, 05:00 AM
The fourth gray 360: (http://www.joystiq.com/2007/07/10/gray-360-appears-in-microsoft-e3-rehearsal-photos/#comments)

http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2007/07/360s.jpg

noble
07-10-2007, 05:10 AM
NHL 08 trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/900/900567/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 05:11 AM
Conan trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/885/885362/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 05:16 AM
First in-game screenshot from Killzone 2

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/killzone-2-20070710042144618.jpg

noble
07-10-2007, 05:23 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Destroy All Humans for Wii

Ground-up Wii game, Big Willy Unleashed, set for an early 2008 release. First info, screens.
by Matt Casamassina

July 9, 2007 - Publisher THQ on Monday revealed to IGN that it plans to bring the popular Destroy All Humans! franchise to Nintendo's successful new console. The game, officially dubbed Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed, is being developed from the ground up for Wii by Locomotive Games, and is set for release early next year. Ports of Big Willy Unleashed will be made available to PlayStation 2 and PSP. Meanwhile, an entirely separate DAH project, Path of Furon, is being created by Sandblast Games for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and will also be available in 2008's first half.

"The Destroy All Humans! franchise has consistently delivered a unique combination of fun and original gameplay delivering irreverent humor and over the top destruction that has garnered worldwide critical acclaim and commercial success," said Bob Aniello, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, THQ. "The simultaneous release of two all-new Destroy All Humans! titles means gamers can expect different experiences that utilize the unique technology of the leading gaming platforms."

"Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon will take advantage of the powerful Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system, offering high-definition graphics, expanded open-world gameplay and a humorous story following Crypto on his journey of enlightenment and destruction," said Jack Sorenson, executive vice president of worldwide studios, THQ. "The Wii's capabilities served as a springboard in designing Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed, and the game will take full advantage of the Wii Remote, allowing gamers to cause massive destruction on foot, in Crypto's UFO or at the controls of the Big Willy mech."

Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed for Wii takes place before Path of Furon. Gamers will play as Crypto in a "funked out" version of the 1970s. They will be able to travel through and destroy an immense city either on foot or by UFO.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:36 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Rayman Raving Rabbids Spot

Ubisoft kicks off the campaign for its Rabbids sequel with a funny new promo.
by Matt Casamassina

July 9, 2007 - Ubisoft has released the first of many promo videos in support of Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. The campaign, entitled "Around the World," takes viewers on a Rabbids-ized trip to various earthly locales, the first of which is Japan. In the video below, a Rabbids tries his hand at sumo wrestling and gets flattened.

Raving Rabbids 2 promo trailer (http://media.wii.ign.com/articles/802/802516/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 05:42 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Hands-on Rayman Raving Rabbids 2

We dig deep into the E3 build of the anticipated sequel. Five new minis revealed along with fresh screens and video.
by Matt Casamassina

July 9, 2007 - Ubisoft's Rayman Raving Rabbids represented a dramatic departure from the traditional platformer nature of the franchise, but Wii fans didn't seem to mind. Case in point, the game remains one of the best-selling third-party titles on Nintendo's new console, which is why it should come as a surprise to nobody that a sequel is underway. Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, unveiled for the first time only a couple months ago at an official Ubisoft event, follows the Rabbids as they prepare to invade Earth. As Rayman, you're charged with the task of infiltrating the bunnies' camp and the only way to do that is to become one of them. In Rabbids 2, you effectively play as the critters, a fact sure to suit fans since it was the Rabbids that were collectively the star of the first game -- not Rayman. Of course, there is a huge selection of new mini-games, nearly all of them designed to accommodate as many as four players. We recently sampled approximately five new minis ripped directly from the E3 2007 build of Rabbids 2 and we think that anybody who enjoyed the first outing will find more to like here.

The E3 2007 version of Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 is still early. You will hear in videos that some of the sound effects are missing and that the music is hot, which means that it can sound distorted at high volumes. Also, the majority of the gameplay modes and minis are locked at this point. The interface is designed around what looks to be a shopping mall complete with a few stores. If you let the interface idle, you will eventually see bunnies go screaming by in a grocery cart or peeking at you from the corners of the screen and the presentation of these anti-heroes is as humorous now as it was in the first title. You can hear elevator music playing in the background as you look around, but you can't do much because you have only two options: The Plaza or Training.


Customize your Rabbid to your liking.Going to the Plaza enables you to enter a dressing room where you can first select and then customize your Rabbid. There are an initial 10 different Rabbid designs to choose from, including one donning a football helmet, another in warrior attire, another in a dress and one more that looks like a zombified critter. Once you've chosen your base model, you can equip him in various styles of hats, clothing or full-blown costumes. You might add a pirate hat or a police helmet to him, slap on a pair of cowboy gun belts, or forego all of the above and opt for a costume. You can effectively become Superman Rabbid, or wear the skeleton outfit from the Karate Kid, which pretty much rules. Since the title is so multiplayer-centric, these different costumes help define your different personas. If you'd rather not deal with any of the customizations, you can randomly generate a bunny, too. And if you're a glutton for the old-school, Rayman himself is also a selectable character, although he cannot be customized in the E3 build.
The E3 iteration of Rabbids 2 includes a spoof on football, a swim contest, a mini called 9 to 5 Rabbid that pokes fun at the development work environment, a laundry washing contest, and finally, a new music game inspired by titles like Guitar Hero. All of the minis are compatible with up to four players and are, in fact, best played with as many people as possible, in our experience.

In Rabbid Football, the goal of mini is not to score a touchdown, but simply to hold onto the ball. Using the analog stick, you guide your football-carrying Rabbid around the field and attempt to dodge out of the way from would-be-tacklers. Actually, three other critters chase you around and will dive often as they try to knock you down and secure the ball. The longer you hold onto the football, the more points you gain, and the person with the most points at the end of the round wins the match. If you're playing defense, you control your Rabbid with the analog stick and shake your Wii remote once to make him dive forward. The controls couldn't be more basic, but they work just find and this particular mini is surprisingly fun.


Rabbids 2's new Guitar Hero-inspired music game.In swim contest, your objective is to compete in swim races against opponents. You dive into the water and off you go. On-screen cues tell you to make different gestures as speedily as possible in order to maintain your momentum. For instance, you might have to repeatedly thrust the Wii remote and nunchuk up and then back down again, or make a double stabbing motion with the devices. This particular challenge can deliver a workout, as you will find yourself intensely gesturing with the controllers in order to stay in the race. If you fail, you will sink into the water.
One of the funniest minis in the E3 build is 9 to 5 Rabbids. We can tell that the game's designers had a little too much fun with this particular mode because it seems to be inspired by the creation process. The setting looks to be inside the offices of Ubisoft. There are four computer terminals occupied by four Rabbids, all apparently doing some kind of office work. (Given that there are Splinter Cell posters on the wall, we like to think these are developer bunnies.) Every so often, a Rabbid manager type enters the room to make sure the bunnies are doing their jobs and therefore the objective is to goof off when he's not in the room. To do this, all you do is shake the Wii remote. Your Rabbid will jump out of his chair and begin bellowing or dancing on his desk, at which point you will begin to earn points. If you're not careful, though, the manager will re-enter the room and catch you messing around, and you'll lose points. It's all about timing. Shake the Wii remote when he's gone and if a doorway or window frame begins to flash white, that is your indication that the manager will be coming in at any second. With four players, this mode is pretty hilarious to watch, but it is far less intoxicating with a single gamer.


A new mini designed around the process of avoiding work.In the laundry washing mini-game, there are four Rabbids in a Japanese garden and they are hand-washing laundry in a nearby pool of water. (Don't ask because we don't know.) To play, you shake the Wii remote and nunchuk back and forth and the Rabbids will furiously scrub pieces of clothing in the water. Then, you raise both controllers up to examine the laundry. If it's clean, the Rabbid will toss it backward and you can begin scrubbing the next piece of clothing. If it's still dirty, you'll need to plunk it back into the water again for more washing. The mode is a bit on the surreal side, but it's arbitrary presentations like these that have become a staple of the franchise.
It is, though, the new music mini that is sure to induce the most smiles. In the mode, which is undeniably inspired by Guitar Hero, you shake the Wii remote and nunchuk in sequence to on-screen cues, as you might in any Dance Dance Revolution game, for example. The bunnies, however, are in a rock band and they are playing a squealing Rabbid version of the classic Deep Purple song Smoke on the Water. It's a bit ridiculous, but it's funny. Up to four participants can "play" different instruments - guitar, drums, organ or vocals - by shaking their Wii remote and nunchuk to the on-screen cues. Obviously, mastering the music is not nearly as difficult as it is in Guitar Hero - you need only shake two components and the on-screen cues are fewer and farther between - but it's still enjoyable as a multiplayer endeavor. According to Ubisoft, Smoke on the Water is just the beginning when it comes to the selection of songs. Look out for other popular music both on the rock and pop side.

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 is shaping up to be a worthy sequel to the original game. The minis so far are fun and engaging with the added advantage that most of them are compatible with up to four players. Also, although the videos today don't show it, the title appears to be running in a cropped 16:9 mode this time around. We'll have much more on the game in the months following E3 2007, but until then we highly suggest that you watch some of our new gameplay videos and download some screenshots in our media section below.

Note: IGN is currently processing more videos of Rabbids 2 and we will upload them as they finish.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rayman-raving-rabbids-2-20070709104652013.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rayman-raving-rabbids-2-20070523100651291.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/rayman-raving-rabbids-2-20070709104708200.jpg

noble
07-10-2007, 05:45 AM
Pre-E3 2007: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Hands-on
Swing your controller and save the galaxy.
by Greg Miller
July 9, 2007 - There are lots of reasons to go nuts for a new LEGO Star Wars game. You get to run around as little plastic versions of your favorite Jedi, there's a seemingly endless amount of stuff to collect, and it's fun to use the Force. But the big selling point of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga is simple; you use the Wiimote as a lightsaber.

If that concept doesn't sell you on this game, you have no soul.

Yes, Wii fans, all the fun of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (that's the one that followed the new movies) and LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (that's the one that's pretty self-explanatory) is set to rock that white rectangle in your living room on one disc with a starship's worth of extras.

Don't remember these titles? It's ok; you were probably camping out for your system when they were popular. Anyway, the LEGO Star Wars games put you into the plastic heads of a plethora of Star Wars characters as you play through the battles and events that shaped this movie franchise. You pick up studs (little plastic jobbers that can be exchanged for new characters), create custom characters using the pieces you've found and replay levels in hopes of collecting all the hidden red bricks and canister pieces.

All the LEGO action from the first two games -- drop-in and drop-out gameplay, hordes of unlockables and force powers -- plus crazy Wii stuff such as new levels, new characters, new bounty hunter missions and a new control scheme are ready to go.

Whew.

LucasArts representatives weren't ready to go on and on about the new levels, but they did say the Zam Wesell chase from the beginning of Episode II will be added along with a handful of others. New characters? The total roster is set to include about 120 playable pieces with some of the new additions being Boss Nas, Watoo and R5-D4.

As far as controlling your squad of plastic pieces, it's all in the motions. Waving your Wiimote side to side initiates melee attacks (AKA lightsaber swings complete with a swinging sound effect from the Wiimote speaker), Z uses the Force on the glowing objects around the level (pump the Nunchuck and Wiimote up and down while using the Force to build things quicker), and the rest of the buttons break down as you'd expect. If flaying your arms isn't your thing, you can also attack via the B button.

We put the controls through a workout and put Obi-Wan and Luke up against the troves of bad guys milling about Tatooine. The motion moves took some getting used to -- a mob of miscreants took down the duo more than once -- but there was no denying that pumping your arms to build an Imperial Walker was a blast.

Sadly, swinging the Wiimote to attack really didn't feel like we were wielding a lightsaber. Swinging the controller just meant that Obi-Wan was going to attack. He didn't match our moves. Even if it's not as awesome as us nerds have built it up to be, it was still a step in the right direction for Star Wars and the system.

If you liked the first two LEGO Star Wars games, your special edition has arrived. If you haven't played these titles before and visuals aren't an issue (the game's getting released on PS3 and 360 with beefed up visuals), you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

Look for LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga this November.

moonspider
07-10-2007, 08:53 AM
wow, this thread is gold...keep up the good work bro :thumb:

noble
07-10-2007, 09:29 AM
wow, this thread is gold...keep up the good work bro :thumb:

Thanks 8-)

I'm going to try to keep up with everything, but since E3 officially starts tonight(and look how much news has hit already), I might lag behind a bit during the worst of it.


And don't forget...

G4 starts their E3 coverage tonight with 5 hours of programming starting at 8pm(Central)

noble
07-10-2007, 09:30 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Boogie Blasts out its Tunes

38 pop hits to warble along to while jiving round the room.
by Rob Burman, IGN UK

UK, July 10, 2007 - Grab a mic and clear the dancefloor because EA has announced more than 35 tracks are lined up for Wiimote-waving jive-a-thon Boogie, including floor-fillers Hit me Baby One More Time and Let's Get the Party Started.

Notable artists in the tracklisting include Jackson 5, Dee-Lite, Jamiroquai and M.C. Hammer. For your viewing pleasure though, here's the full track listing: start practising your lip-syncing and break dancing ready for the game's release in Europe on August 31:

ABC - The Jackson 5
Baila Me - Gypsy Kings
Boogie Oogie Oogie - Taste Of Honey
Brick House - The Commodores
Canned Heat - Jamiroquai
Celebration - Kool & The Gang
Dancing in the Street - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Dancing Machine - Jackson 5
Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls/Busta Rhymes
Fergalicious - Fergi
Get Right - Jennifer Lopez
Get The Party Started - Pink
Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Groove Is In The Heart - Dee-Lite
I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
I'm A Slave 4 U - Britney Spears
It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
Le Freak - Chic
Let's Get It Started - Black Eyed Peas
Love Rollercoaster - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Love Shack - The B-52's
Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…) - Lou Bega
Milkshake - Kelis
One More Time - Daft Punk
One Way Or Another - Blondie
Oops I Did It Again - Britney Spears
Pop Muzik - M
S.O.S. - Rihanna
Stars - Simply Red
That's The Way (I Like It) - KC And The Sunshine Band
Tu Y Yo - Thalia
U Can't Touch This - M.C. Hammer
Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
We Are Family - Sister Sledge
Y.M.C.A. - The Village People

Matt Jay
07-10-2007, 09:35 AM
And don't forget...

G4 starts their E3 coverage tonight with 5 hours of programming starting at 8pm(Central)

5 hours?!?! Whoa. I don't have my DVR anymore, so I'm counting on you to summarize all the good stuff into bite size posts.

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 09:38 AM
5 hours?!?! Whoa. I don't have my DVR anymore, so I'm counting on you to summarize all the good stuff into bite size posts.
I'm sure all the gaming sites like joystiq, kotaku, 1up etc will have plenty of coverage.

Artie Pink
07-10-2007, 09:39 AM
Great job, Noble! Thanks!

Your pal,
Jim

The Nature Roy
07-10-2007, 09:39 AM
The fourth gray 360: (http://www.joystiq.com/2007/07/10/gray-360-appears-in-microsoft-e3-rehearsal-photos/#comments)

http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2007/07/360s.jpg
My uneducated guess -- IPTV console.

The Afroman
07-10-2007, 09:42 AM
5 hours?!?! Whoa. I don't have my DVR anymore, so I'm counting on you to summarize all the good stuff into bite size posts.

Wait your cured, i thought you were all about the third-person :) Right Matt Jay?

;-)

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 09:43 AM
My uneducated guess -- IPTV console.
that was my first thought too.

noble
07-10-2007, 09:52 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Trauma Center: New Blood Unveiled

All-new storyline, 16:9 mode, and two-player cooperative play. First screens inside!

by Matt Casamassina

July 10, 2007 - Publisher Atlus on Tuesday revealed that it is underway with a full-blown sequel to the sleeper Wii title, Trauma Center: Second Opinion. The game, called Trauma Center: New Blood, will feature an all-new storyline and characters in addition to new gameplay types and visual enhancements.

New Blood follows both Dr. Markus Vaughn and Valerie Blaylock, two Alaskan surgeons with the Healing Touch who are recruited into the Concordia Medical Institute after their local facilities closes down. Once there, they learn that the doctors on staff are regularly more concerned with maintaining their excessive lifestyles than they are with the patients they tend to. Markus and Valerie are eventually taken into a government organization known as Caduceus, where they begin to learn about a vast conspiracy.

New Blood follows two doctors this time around because the game comes complete with a fully functioning two-player cooperative mode. This is not some gimmicky extra where one player holds the Wii remote and the other a nunchuk, either. Instead, gamers will have full control over each character, both operating with all their tools at the same time.

This Trauma Center also corrects several oversights with the first game. Obviously, there's the brand new storyline, which won't be confused with any DS predecessor. The characters are this time brought to life with full voice work. There's a seamlessly integrated online score ranking system, which makes use of WiiConnect24 to upload data. And finally, New Blood runs in both 480p and 16:9 widescreen modes.

The title ships this holiday.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/trauma-center-new-blood-20070710095957030.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/trauma-center-new-blood-20070710095955358.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/371835/trauma-center-new-blood-20070710095956202.jpg

noble
07-10-2007, 09:54 AM
5 hours?!?! Whoa. I don't have my DVR anymore, so I'm counting on you to summarize all the good stuff into bite size posts.


That's just tonight.

tomorrow morning there's a 3 hour sony/nintendo conf, then tomorrow afternoon at 5(I think) is the 3 hour day 1, then thursday and Friday also have 3 hour day 2 and 3 eps.

17 hours of coverage :shock:

Matt Jay
07-10-2007, 10:03 AM
Wait your cured, i thought you were all about the third-person :) Right Matt Jay?

;-)

Only when Matt Jay boasts of his shiny black DS does it become necessary to remind the reader that Matt Jay is speaking.

noble
07-10-2007, 10:42 AM
Nights:journey into dreams for the wii trailer (http://media.wii.ign.com/media/873/873984/vids_1.html)

Lab-Rat
07-10-2007, 10:53 AM
there's some good stuff in this thread.

Binx
07-10-2007, 10:57 AM
Pre-E3 2007: Boogie Blasts out its Tunes

38 pop hits to warble along to while jiving round the room.
by Rob Burman, IGN UK

UK, July 10, 2007 - Grab a mic and clear the dancefloor because EA has announced more than 35 tracks are lined up for Wiimote-waving jive-a-thon Boogie, including floor-fillers Hit me Baby One More Time and Let's Get the Party Started.

Notable artists in the tracklisting include Jackson 5, Dee-Lite, Jamiroquai and M.C. Hammer. For your viewing pleasure though, here's the full track listing: start practising your lip-syncing and break dancing ready for the game's release in Europe on August 31:

ABC - The Jackson 5
Baila Me - Gypsy Kings
Boogie Oogie Oogie - Taste Of Honey
Brick House - The Commodores
Canned Heat - Jamiroquai
Celebration - Kool & The Gang
Dancing in the Street - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Dancing Machine - Jackson 5
Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls/Busta Rhymes
Fergalicious - Fergi
Get Right - Jennifer Lopez
Get The Party Started - Pink
Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Groove Is In The Heart - Dee-Lite
I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
I'm A Slave 4 U - Britney Spears
It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
Le Freak - Chic
Let's Get It Started - Black Eyed Peas
Love Rollercoaster - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Love Shack - The B-52's
Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…) - Lou Bega
Milkshake - Kelis
One More Time - Daft Punk
One Way Or Another - Blondie
Oops I Did It Again - Britney Spears
Pop Muzik - M
S.O.S. - Rihanna
Stars - Simply Red
That's The Way (I Like It) - KC And The Sunshine Band
Tu Y Yo - Thalia
U Can't Touch This - M.C. Hammer
Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
We Are Family - Sister Sledge
Y.M.C.A. - The Village People


I use dto think this game had some potential, but this song list blows.

noble
07-10-2007, 04:59 PM
E3 2007: Slash Rocks Guitar Hero III

Legendary GNR guitarist to provide original track.
by Hilary Goldstein

July 10, 2007 - Slash, known for his trademark top hat and frizzy black hair, is set to shred on Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Activision announced today that Slash will provide an original track for GHIII and will also appear as a boss battle character. Can you possibly hope to compete against Slash note for note? No, no you cannot.

"Guitar legend Slash, combined with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock's robust soundtrack and innovative new game features, will continue to solidify the brand's leadership in the rhythm-action genre," said Robin Kaminsky, Activision's executive vice president. "Additionally, our diverse and well-rounded E3 portfolio underscores Activision's continued commitment to building brands that appeal to global audiences and delivering top-quality games that delight fans worldwide."

Greg Miller of IGN's PlayStation team said, "Holy crap, Slash is in Guitar Hero III!!!"

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock ships for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 this fall.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:00 PM
E3 2007: Konami's Game Lineup

Contra and Castlevania on the list.
by Charles Onyett

July 10, 2007 - With E3 2007 just about to begin in sunny Santa Monica, Konami announced the games that'll be on display at the show. Spanning multiple platforms, Konami is bringing out some big names, including Contra and Castlevania, as well as interesting new intellectual properties like Dewy's Adventure. Check below for the full listing.

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: PSP system


Contra 4 (working title)
Release date: 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: Nintendo DS


Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Music
Platform: Wii


Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Music
Platform: PlayStation 2


Dewy's Adventure
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: Wii


Fishing Master
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Sports/Fishing
Platform: Wii


Hellboy The Science of Evil (working title)
Release date: 2007
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP


Konami Kids Playground
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Edutainment
Platform: PlayStation 2


Silent Hill Origins
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Horror/Action
Platform: PSP

noble
07-10-2007, 05:01 PM
E3 2007: Mirror's Edge

Battlefield developer goes through the looking glass and finds itself in action adventure land.
by IGN Staff

July 10, 2007 - The fine folks at DICE have wowed us with Battlefield, their uniquely appealing multiplayer action franchise. But now the Stockholm-based developer is turning their attention to the action adventure genre. Confirmed today by Electronic Arts, the "revolutionary new take on the first person action adventure category" Mirror's Edge is due out in 2008 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

Though the basic description of the game seems like a radical departure for the developer, DICE's general manager Patrick Soderlund is hoping they can bring the same level of innovation to the action adventure genre as they brought to the multiplayer shooter.

Senior producer Owen O'Brien offered a few hints: "We want to change the way that players are able to move in first person. No more restrictions, no more being blocked by simple barriers such as walls and fences. We want to enable the player to move like a real person, with the ability to run, jump, vault and slide in a way that has never been seen before in a first person game."

noble
07-10-2007, 05:03 PM
E3 2007: Hellboy: The Science of Evil Voices Revealed

Movie stars to lend their pipes.
by Greg Miller

July 10, 2007 - We're guessing that if you're eagerly anticipating Hellboy: The Science of Evil on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PSP, then you're a pretty big fan of the Hellboy movie from a few years back. If we're right, today's your lucky day, nerd.

Konami let the kitties out of the sack this morning and announced that Selma Blair and Doug Jones will reprise their movie roles -- Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien -- alongside Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman.

If you're a little rusty when it comes to the Hellboy mythos, Liz Sherman is the fire-controlling love interest of Hellboy, a demon working for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and Abe Sapien is a fishman that works alongside Liz and Hellboy … Abe has fishlike features and powers.

Hellboy: The Science of Evil is set to slam into stores this fall. Players will take the reins as the big red demon and beat the hell out of some bad guys in an attempt to disrupt a crazy Nazi scheme cooked up by Herman von Klempt, a severed head in a jar. Play online via the PS3 or 360, and you and a pal can play as a number of characters from the Hellboy universe -- maybe even the fishman!

noble
07-10-2007, 05:04 PM
E3 2007: Sierra Preps Three for XBLA
Battlestar Galactica highlights a trio of newly-announced titles.
by Hilary Goldstein

July 10, 2007 - Today, Sierra Online announced three new games headed for Xbox Live Arcade and PC. Switchball, Commanders: Attack!, and Battlestar Galactica are all heading to PC and Xbox Live by year's end.

Switchball
Switchball tasks gamers with guiding a ball through a twisting course suspended in midair. The ball's properties will constantly change, forcing gamers to change their strategy on the fly. The ball will appear as a standard Marbleball, a light Airball, an electrically-charged Powerball, and as the dense Metalball. Switchball is already available for PC and comes to XBLA this summer.


Commanders: Attack!
Commanders: Attack! sports a '30s art deco look, but is surprisingly nothing like BioShock. A turn-based strategy game, Commanders features 15 single-player missions as well as four-player online battles. Commanders: Attack! arrives this fall for PC and XBLA.


Battlestar Galactica
Based on the mega-popular Sci-Fi Channel TV series, Battlestar Galactica is a top-down action game that pays homage to its roots. Gamers can enjoy single-player missions based on episodes of the TV series or take the battle online against up to seven other people. Online battles feature four-on-four conflicts between human and Cylon ships. Look for Battlestar on PC and XBLA this fall.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:05 PM
E3 2007: The Games of Midway
The popular publisher announces game lineup.
by Charles Onyett
July 10, 2007 - With E3 2007 just about to begin in sunny Santa Monica, Midway announced the games they'll be bringing to the show. The publisher is bringing out titles across multiple genres, from action to fighting to driving. Big names include Stranglehold, Unreal Tournament 3, and Mortal Kombat. Check below for the full listing.




Stranglehold
Release date: August 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC


BlackSite: Area 51
Release date: September 2007
Genre: Shooter
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC


Unreal Tournament 3
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Shooter
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC


Ultimate Mortal Kombat
Release date: November 2007
Genre: Fighting
Platform: Nintendo DS


Cruis'n
Release date: November 2007
Genre: Racing
Platform: Wii


Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am
Release date: October 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: PlayStation 2


Game Party
Release date: November 2007
Genre: Sports Variety
Platform: Wii


Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Imagination Invaders
Release date: November 2007
Platform: Nintendo DS


The Wheelman
Release date: Winter 2007
Genre: Driving
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC


TNA iMPACT
Release date: Spring 2008
Genre: Wrestling
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2


The Bee Game
Release date: November 2007
Platform: Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance

noble
07-10-2007, 05:06 PM
Pre-E3 2007: D3 E3 Line-up
Another publisher releases the list of games they're showing in the big show.
by IGN Staff
July 10, 2007 - E3 starts up tomorrow and another publisher is heaping their games onto the pile of products being demonstrated at this year's show. D3 is the latest with a variety of games across multiple platforms, the biggest of which is likely Dark Sector. Check out the list and expect to see more on these games after we get a chance to check them out at the show.




Dark Sector
Release date: Q1 2008
Genre: Action
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360


Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution
Release date: September 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: Nintendo Wii


Dead Head Fred
Release date: August 28, 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: PSP


Ben 10: Protector of Earth
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Action/Puzzle
Platform: PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii Nintendo DS, PSP


Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Action Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Wii


Naruto: Path of the Ninja
Release date: Fall 2007
Genre: Action
Platform: Nintendo DS

noble
07-10-2007, 05:07 PM
E3 2007: Dance Dance Revolution Returns
You can dance if you want to. You can leave your cares behind.
by Greg Miller
July 10, 2007 - Dust off your dancing shoes and prepare to look like you're having a seizure or getting attacked by a bunch of bugs -- two new versions of Dance Dance Revolution are getting set to blast into your living room.

Today, Konami announced Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 for the Xbox 360 and Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2 for the PlayStation 2.

Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 will be the series' second outing on Microsoft's newest console and packs "a sundry mix of songs from the 70s to today" along with online play, downloadable music and beefed-up graphics. The traditional DDR modes -- such as Workout -- will be included along with the brand new Freestyle Mode where players can just let their freak flag fly and dance without worrying about any pesky arrows. Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 will also feature Quest Mode where players can create a character and set off to best dancing missions and challenges.

Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2 will moonwalk onto the PlayStation 2 with new music and new game modes such as the secretive Hyper Master Mode. The modes you know and love -- Tutorial, Battle, Nonstop and Challenge -- will still be there, but now there will be online multiplayer for up to four frantic dancers and their EyeToys.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:08 PM
E3 2007: 2K's E3 Line-Up
Take-Two reveals its full crop of games at the big show.
by Hilary Goldstein
July 10, 2007 - 2K Games and 2K Sports, both sister companies under the Take-Two umbrella, are coming strong to E3 2007. The show, which kicks off Wednesday morning and runs through Friday, July 13, is a stripped down show from the past decade. That isn't stopping the 30+ invited companies from bringing their biggest titles. Though 2K isn't delivering a high-volume of titles, there are some goodies in the mix for sure.

2K's Line-Up

All-Pro Football 2K8 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

BioShock (PC, Xbox 360)

The Darkness (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution (Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360)

NHL 2K8 (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox

noble
07-10-2007, 05:09 PM
E3 2007: Ubisoft Declares War World
Xbox Live is getting some mech action.
by Daemon Hatfield
July 10, 2007 - Today Ubisoft announced it is prepping a new title for the Xbox Live Arcade titled War World. Developed by Third Wave, formed by ex-Rare and Nintendo folks, War World is a third-person shooter combining fast-paced and tactical action, which should be a first for Microsoft's virtual arcade service.

Players are dropped onto the battlefield of a war-torn planet dedicated to the art of war and take control one of 10 different Mechanoids through the 100-mission single-player campaign. Once they're done with that, four multiplayer modes (Capture the Flag, Bomb Assault, Death Match, and Team Death Match) for up to eight people allow for the time-honored tradition of killing their friends.

Prepare to land on War World later this summer

noble
07-10-2007, 05:14 PM
E3 2007: Assassin's Creed Hands-On

Climb anything, go anywhere, kill anyone. The first true next-gen experience has arrived.
by Hilary Goldstein

July 10, 2007 - There's been a whole lot of hubbub about the next-generation of gaming and how it will take the interactive experience to a new level. So far, this new generation of design hasn't emerged. We've instead experienced prettier and at times bigger games, but nothing that truly pushes things to that next plateau. That is until this November when Ubisoft releases Assassin's Creed on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Finally we have a game with a design worthy of being termed "next-gen."

The E3 demo begins with our anti-hero, Altair, standing on a roof high above Jerusalem. The city, faithfully recreated to match its 12th century real-life counterpart, features a number of historical landmarks. The Tower of David can be seen in the distance. Everything Altair sees he can not only reach, but can climb as well. The scope of the city's size is made all the more impressive by the fact that each building is made up of numerous foot- and handholds that allow Altair to climb pretty much any wall he comes across. And this is just one of three major cities, all promised to be of comparable size and scale.

The controls are built on simple principles, but are tough to get a handle on at first. The face buttons represent your head, free hand, weapon hand, and feet. The Right Trigger acts as a modifier. Hold it and the feet button down to perform the most crucial move in Assassin's Creed: free run. With free run you can perform some amazing feats of daring-do. It's your tool for scaling just about any building. If you just run towards a building with free run active, you will often be able to leap up to an available nook and then continue your climb to the top. This action is instantaneous and fluid. Unlike Gears of War, which sucks you into a wall, Assassin's Creed makes the interactions between Altair and his environment look and feel natural.

Gone are the usual color-coded textures that make it clear where your character is allowed to move. There is no grid you move along. The art tells you what you can grab. If there is a crack in a wall, you can dig your fingers in and pull yourself up. If a decorative stone knob is sticking out of a building, you can take hold. There's no superficial artistry here -- for once, art and level design have bonded to be one and the same. As you scale a building, the trigger and free run button are held. All you have to worry about is pushing the analogue stick in the direction you want to move. If there's something to grab hold of, Altair will do so. If not, you won't move forward. The detail in every building is key, because as you get to higher areas you'll be forced to look for handholds to continue your ascent. It's a lot like rock climbing, where you continue to search for any groove or jut to grab. The beautiful animations make the climb seem all the more impressive. Altair has weight to him and his movements, just like the virtual Jerusalem, seem completely believable.

Free running is not such an easy skill to master right off the bat. Gamers have been trained to tap buttons. But Assassin's Creed's most important control functions have you holding down buttons for long stretches of time. The first few times scaling a wall, we released the free run button, then pressed it again, which caused us to leap off the wall. It takes time to get comfortable with the controls. But after about 15 minutes, it starts to settle in and suddenly every high building seems like a challenge. And, in fact, every tall building is a game objective. If you spot an eagle circling a building, it's a landmark you'll want to climb. Finding a way to the top will earn you a spectacular view of the city and also unlock new areas to explore.

Another reason to climb is the search for specially-marked Leap of Faith spots. These areas will have pigeons flying overhead. Just perch on the area marked by the pigeons and you are prepped for Altair's most sensational move. If you're willing to squat over pigeon droppings, you should have no trepidation about leaping over the edge in a swan dive. Done in the right spot, you will land gracefully in a bail of hay. Miss your mark and you may crack your back on the roof below.

These various elements are what make Assassin's Creed feel like a "next-gen" game. It's not just that you have big, open cities to freely explore. It's not just that there's a surprising amount of verticality. Altair's interactions with the environment don't feel predestined. You can't see the programming in every movement. During our long play session, there was never a point where it felt as if we were being restricted in our interactions with the game world. Don't you hate it when an "open" game world won't let you climb a particular wall or perform a specific action for no reason other than its limited design? We found none of these restrictions in Assassin's Creed save a lack of indoor areas. But, honestly, we never felt any desire to head inside. Leaping across rooftops and scaling historical landmarks is satisfying enough that being confined indoors would likely hurt the experience.

This isn't to say that Assassin's Creed is perfect. There are still several months of bug squashing to be done, as was evidenced by several clipping issues and a few instances where Altair got stuck. But with more than three months left on the project, these things should be ironed out.

Altair's mission in the E3 demo is to assassinate the slaver Talal. The moment we take over is the final act in a long series of sub-missions. Altair has methodically investigated his target before reaching this point, a gameplay element we've not yet been shown. There is no doubt in his mind; Altair knows where and how to strike Talal. All that remains is performing the deed. How that is done is largely up to you.

From this point forward, we're given complete control over Altair to do whatever we please. It begins with a Leap of Faith into a pile of hay waiting below. Climbing out of the hay, Altair finds himself in the wealthy district of Jerusalem. Despite his unique dress, the average citizen and guard will pay Altair little attention. The streets are crowded with merchants, thugs, and even the occasional desperate housewife. These distraught maidens will force their way in front of Altair and plead for money, or kindness, or assistance. It may be tempting to give a good solid sock to one of these women, but that would be a big mistake. Each character has an assigned social value to help determine how the game world reacts to their treatment. Beat down a thug and no one will care (you get the added bonus of hearing him blubber as he lies bleeding on the ground); sock a helpless woman and you will get a very different reaction. Some citizens may run in fear. Many will jeer. One may even come at you. Any guard in the area will become alerted -- or may be notified by one of the fleeing citizens. And once the guards are onto you, your job as an assassin becomes much more difficult.

It's not that the guards want to stop you because you're the player; it's just their job to keep the peace. From what we saw in the demo, the guards' reactions were pretty reasonable. If, at the beginning of the demo, you accidentally bump into a lady carrying a water vase and it crashes, the guards will give you a casual glance. Make the same clumsy move once the guards are aware there is an assassin in the city and they will immediately take notice. Make a jaunt across the rooftops in sight of a guard and he will know you are up to no good (no one takes leisurely runs across the roofs of Jerusalem). It's a series of sensible reactions based on the situation.

When guards spot Altair, there are two options: Fight or run. While your initial reaction may be to pull out your sword and do battle, keep in mind that the city of Jerusalem employs a lot of guards. A morale system exists for the guards, which can be of some assistance. At the start of a fight, target the higher-order guards first. Take a couple of the tougher ones down and you may actually scare away some of the weaker ones. Even if you kill every guard in the area, the rest of the city will still be on alert. Your best bet, after slaying a few of the guards for fun, is to run and hide. This isn't so easy in the crowded streets of Jerusalem, where every pedestrian becomes an impediment to your escape. Fortunately, you have a tackle option, to knock people out of your way.

To lose guards, you need to break their line of sight. An alert meter in the top left of the HUD will show red if guards are onto you and flash yellow the moment they lose sight of Altair. But they will keep searching. So you must find a place to hide -- there are many convenient bails of hay and other hiding spots throughout the city. Stay hidden for a bit and the guards will eventually give up the chase. You'll also get healed, which will be a welcome favor, since combat is somewhat brutal (but wonderfully so) in the demo. If hiding in hay isn't your thing, you can use the "blend" ability to assume the role of a monk. That means walking around slowly, head cast down, hands steepled as if in constant prayer. Though the guards may give up their search, they are now aware that there is an assassin out there. Any false moves after this point will alert the guards and the chase will be on once more.

Once you are in the clear, it's time to tackle the mission at hand. Using the radar in the bottom right of the HUD, you'll have an easy way to find Talal. Remember that prior to this mission you would have spent some time gathering intel to learn Talal's location. It's not as if the maker just magically appears. If, for some reason, you want to continue your exploration of Jerusalem, you can bring up the game map at any time. The detailed map shows the location of hundreds of guards, as well as hiding spots, and landmarks. You can set a waypoint to help in navigating the twisting alleyways of the city.

Reaching Talal isn't so easy. The main path is protected by some very powerful guardians. Rather than direct combat, there is an easier way to get through. Taking the alleyway to the right, you can climb up a roof and find yourself facing the back of a guard. Your default movement is a silent walk, so there's no need to crouch or worry about noise. Walk to the guard and when you are behind him, switch to your hidden blade with the D-Pad. Hold down the Right Trigger modifier and attack. You'll perform a brutal assassination move and dump the body over the side. When the body lands, the guards blocking your way move to investigate. Leap over them and continue forward into Talal's lair.

When you enter the slaver's hideout, an interactive cut-scene begins. You are in full control of Altair. Not just in looking left or right, but in moving through the environment. The HUD disappears, but your control remains. Walking to certain points triggers new story points in the cut-scene. You meet a few of Talal's captured slaves, who beg for their freedom. As the cut-scene plays out, a strange flash of light pops on the screen occasionally. Hit the active scene button at that moment and you'll get unique views of the area, usually ones that show off your enemies.

And boy, are there enemies. Talal has set a trap for Altair. He asks the assassin to step into a patch of light coming in through the window and promises to do him a "favor." That favor is to send a half-dozen armed mercenaries to surround our hero. And so the introduction to Assassin's Creed's challenging combat system begins.

Like most of the cool elements in Assassin's Creed, the best of combat requires you to hold down the Right Trigger. This puts Altair in a defensive stance. He'll automatically attempt to parry attacks, whether he has his fists, sword, or assassin's blade equipped. Targeting an enemy requires just a tap of the Left Trigger. The target system is smart and will switch targets the minute Altair is attacked by someone else. And this is often. In our experience with Assassin's Creed, Altair almost never fought one-on-one. You will be surrounded quite often, so having the targeting system switch to an attacker from the rear is actually very helpful.

In combat, you can dodge with proper timing, perform grabs, and pull off impressive combos. The combo system isn't for button-mashers. This is a system based completely on timing, since there is only one true attack button. From what we saw, the combos are pretty varied and with more than 10,000 animations for Altair alone, combat is beautiful and fluid -- when you aren't getting your ass handed to you. Counters are the toughest trick to pull off, as they require a perfectly timed strike to be triggered right as your enemy's combat animation begins. The reward is often a cinematic execution with requisite spray of blood.

Fighting with the sword, the fist, the assassin's knife, and the hidden blade are all unique in terms of the animations and the flow of combat. The sword is slower, but also more powerful. The blades are for more skilled players. But we've been assured you can actually get through much of the game with stealth kills and that sweet knife if you have skill. We did not have skill as was evident by the large levels of blood-loss from our star assassin.

Combat isn't perfect. The camera, which is generally in the right place, can sometimes lose its place or get stuck behind bushes and against walls. Getting used to the system takes some time as well, though admittedly the demo takes place several hours into the game, so the guards are tougher than you'd initially face. Seeing someone with skill play the combat, it can be frighteningly fast. Most enemies fall from one strike of the sword, but delivering the blow is the challenge. Enemies will parry and dodge. And with four or more enemies surrounding you at all times, your attention swings left and right throughout the battle.

Once the enemies are dead, Altair climbs the ladder after Talal. The slaver is already across the way, forcing you to hop over several chandeliers. There's no platforming skills required. Just free run across and you'll be fine. By this time Talal is outside and mocking you from a distant roof. The chase is now truly on. Running across the rooftops and chasing Talal presents a few problems. First, you need to make your way quickly towards Talal. He'll descend to the streets in short order, which makes your job much tougher. The crowds will need to be navigated, guards avoided, and Talal's own mercenaries quickly defeated if you hope to take down the slaver.

The chase AI is unique for each target. Talal, for example, likes to mock his enemies. He will turn at times and egg you on. Others will pick up rocks and throw them at you as you climb. The AI is dynamic and changes its routes based on the moves you make so that two people could chase the same character and have completely different experiences.

If you're fast, as we were, you can get Talal almost immediately. Switch to your hidden blade and perform a leaping assassination as Talal hits the first line of pedestrians. Altair dives forward, tackles Talal and shoves a knife through his eye. If you don't catch up with Talal soon enough, you hit a dead end and a second trap which forces you to fight a number of the slaver's private guard before you can deal the deathblow.

Before he shuffles off this mortal coil, Talal and Altair have a heart-to-heart. Talal reveals that he may not be the evil SOB Altair assumed, raising questions as to why the assassin is being asked to carry out these missions. The E3 2006 demo hinted at some sort of virtual experience or a framework of high technology surrounding the 12th century missions. The new demo does nothing to discourage these assumptions. Several times during the mission the text "Reinitializing..." appears onscreen. There are a few other blips in the system seen throughout. And the somewhat surreal final conversation between Talal and the assassin suggests stronger forces at work than just 12th century kings and warlords.

With Talal dead, the mission should be over. But it's not. In Assassin's Creed every mission requires that you escape once the target has been neutralized. You need to return to your safehouse as the guards and Talal's remaining men give chase. The AI will look for the shortest route to nab Altair, allowing the game of cat & mouse to feel natural rather than scripted. Your main goal is breaking line of sight. One option is to hide among the crowd. But remember, the guards are on the lookout for an assassin. Any disturbance will draw their swords. The women carrying pots, that once were fun to push around, become a major obstacle. One crashed pot could lead to your death. Fortunately, you have a gentle push command, to nudge them safely out of your way. Once you get to the safehouse, the mission draws to a close.

Assassin's Creed is not a stealth game. There are elements where you will need to be a bit sneaky, but this is an action title. It's not Metal Gear or Splinter Cell. From what we've seen, you'll be forced to make split-second decisions on a regular basis and will almost always be on the move. Whether Assassin's Creed is the best thing since melted butter on popcorn remains to be seen, but it certainly looks promising. With no demo planned, most gamers won't get to enjoy the experience of performing assassinations in old Jerusalem until November.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:16 PM
Tony Hawk's proving ground trailer and interviews (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/906/906157/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 05:17 PM
Fatal Inertia trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/690/690624/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 05:18 PM
Switchball trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/949/949501/vids_1.html)

Brewtown Andy
07-10-2007, 05:18 PM
there's some good stuff in this thread.And the keynotes are yet to come.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:18 PM
Medal of honor trailer (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/794/794432/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 05:20 PM
NFL tour Teaser (http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/949/949524/vids_1.html)

Akira
07-10-2007, 05:22 PM
Noble, you :rock: so hard for compiling all of this

noble
07-10-2007, 05:22 PM
PS3 price drop interview with Jack. (http://media.ps3.ign.com/articles/802/802856/vids_1.html)

noble
07-10-2007, 05:24 PM
E3 2007: Atlus Announces Three New Games
The RPG studio has both new and familiar faces in store for gamers.
by Nix
July 10, 2007 - Publisher Atlus always has a slew of games in the works at its Japanese studio, but it's always a guessing game as to which ones will earn a release outside of Japan. Atlus has this week shown part of its line-up with a flurry of announcements for the stream of E3 news. The company looks to be focusing on Nintendo platforms more heavily than ever before, with two show titles on the Nintendo DS and one for the Wii console. Atlus announced these three new games today:

Draglade (Nintendo DS)
In Draglade, it's not just about how hard you hit or fast you move, it's also how well you can groove. An innovative mix of music and fighting means you will have to use your rhythm as well as your reflexes if you want to overcome your foes and show everyone that you're a Draglade master! Draglade is currently set for release Fall/Winter 2007.

Touch Detective 2 1/2 (Nintendo DS)
Boasting a longer, overarching storyline, more characters and locations to visit, and various game design enhancements, Touch Detective 2 1/2 delivers in every way a sequel should. Fans of the original Touch Detective, fear not: the same humor and quirkiness that made the first adventure so memorable is back in full force for the sequel! Touch Detective 2 1/2 is set for release in North America this holiday season!

Trauma Center: New Blood (Wii)
With a brand new cast of characters, new operations, a brand new 2-player cooperative mode, fully-voiced dialogue, and online score ranking, Trauma Center: New Blood will deliver a new experience that will thrill fans of the series and newcomers alike! Trauma Center: New Blood is currently set to release in North America this holiday season!

Atlus is expected to have a presence at the E3 trade show this week, but has not officially listed its playable game roster. All three of these titles are planned for release this winter, so hopefully we'll have more info on all three games soon.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:25 PM
E3 2007: Dragon Ball Z Goes Online
Tenkaichi for Wii will include a connected multiplayer mode.
by Matt Casamassina
July 10, 2007 - Rumors have been floating around for months about the possibility of an online mode in the Wii version of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Today, publisher Atari made it official. Although no specifics on the mode were provided, the company said in a statement that the Wii build of DBZ will support competitive play over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

The PlayStation 2 build of Tenkaichi 3 will dish out a strictly offline experience, but it will ship with a bonus Fusion Disc System that will help unlock gameplay modes in the previous two games after they are inserted.

"Atari is incredibly excited to provide online gameplay for the Wii and a special Disc Fusion System for the PlayStation 2 system version of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3," said Emily Anadu, senior product manager, Atari. "Adding online gameplay for Wii will finally deliver on a feature that fans have been waiting for while the Disc Fusion System on PlayStation 2 rewards those fans that have supported us from the beginning of the Budokai Tenkaichi series."

noble
07-10-2007, 05:26 PM
E3 2007: Atari's Lineup
What we'll be playing and you'll be reading.
by Daemon Hatfield
July 10, 2007 - With only a few hours to go before they open the doors at E3, Atari has announced its lineup of games soon to be on display. A blend of anime, witchcraft, giant lizards, and board games, Atari's slate is sure to appeal to fans of anime, witchcraft, giant lizards, and board games.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3: The anime fighting game returns for a third round on the Wii and PlayStation 2.

The Witcher: This PC role-playing game drops players into the world envisioned in the novels of best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Playing as a famous monster slayer, you'll be able to drastically alter the outcome of the game based on the gameplay decisions you make.

Godzilla: Unleashed: An enormous fighting game starring the big green one and all his monster buddies. For the Wii and DS.

Jenga: Also for the Wii and DS, Jenga is a virtual version of the popular board game of the same name.

noble
07-10-2007, 05:28 PM
Noble, you :rock: so hard for compiling all of this



Thanks! :D

I hope it makes it a bit easier for everyone to just have one thread to sift through instead of an entire website(s) worth of links and news stories to click through :)

snuffy
07-10-2007, 05:29 PM
Thanks! :D

I hope it makes it a bit easier for everyone to just have one thread to sift through instead of an entire website(s) worth of links and news stories to click through :)

Are your cut & paste buttons broke yet?:D

noble
07-10-2007, 05:30 PM
Are your cut & paste buttons broke yet?:D

No, but my mouse needs some cheese...it's starting to squeak :mistrust:

snuffy
07-10-2007, 05:32 PM
No, but my mouse needs some cheese...it's starting to squeak :mistrust:

I think Sony is smelling like cheese.....:scared:

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 07:46 PM
the live rock band demo was awesome. and viva pinata party animals looks like fun.

holy shit mass effect looks amazing

Binx
07-10-2007, 07:50 PM
the live rock band demo was awesome. and viva pinata party animals looks like fun.

holy shit mass effect looks amazing

And it finally has a date! Can't freaking wait.

The Viva Pinata game kinda came out of nowhere. ANd you are right. Looked fun.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 07:59 PM
Watching the Microsoft E3 press conference right now...

An MS veep just announced porting of the boardgame SceneIt to the 360...

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:00 PM
Reggie!

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:00 PM
Watching the Microsoft E3 press conference right now...

An MS veep just announced porting of the boardgame SceneIt to the 360...

With that and the Viva game, they are definitely going harder after the casual gamer. Looking forward to the scene it game.

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:03 PM
Watching the Microsoft E3 press conference right now...

An MS veep just announced porting of the boardgame SceneIt to the 360...
that looks like it's gonna be fun too

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:06 PM
Sonic 1 and Golden Axe on XBLA as of tonight...

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:07 PM
sonic the hedgehog and golden axe go live tonight on arcade

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:07 PM
Classic Genesis tonight: Sonic and Golden Axe!

I just dug out my Genesis a few days ago and found out it does not work, so Im stoked

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:08 PM
Microsoft inked a deal with Disney to have their movies for download off XBL...

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:08 PM
xbox live video marketplace struck a deal wtih...Disney!

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:09 PM
All the movies they showed are available for download as of tonight...

Goddamn, that's a lot of content...

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:09 PM
Awesome that all the Disney stuff is in HD. Aren't they in the Blu Ray camp

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:13 PM
PGR4 is looking sooo good.

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:16 PM
I'm excited about Word Puzzle coming to Arcade.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:16 PM
PGR4 is looking sooo good.

Hells yeah... bikes vs. cars? This is like Midnight Club 3 but prettier and better-playing.

Anyone catch the Feed crawl about Sierra doing a Battlestar Galactica game for XBLA?

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:20 PM
I'm excited about Word Puzzle coming to Arcade.

Yep lots of good looking XBLA games. And all this year.

Albert
07-10-2007, 08:21 PM
Hells yeah... bikes vs. cars? This is like Midnight Club 3 but prettier and better-playing.

Anyone catch the Feed crawl about Sierra doing a Battlestar Galactica game for XBLA?

Hasn't that been announced for a while?

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:21 PM
Hells yeah... bikes vs. cars? This is like Midnight Club 3 but prettier and better-playing.

Anyone catch the Feed crawl about Sierra doing a Battlestar Galactica game for XBLA?

Saw some screens over the weekend can't wait. Love BSG.

Woah, new content for Windows Gears?

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:22 PM
Yep lots of good looking XBLA games. And all this year.True, I've just been jonesing for a word game.


Lost Odyssey looked badass.

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:24 PM
Holy SHit that new Gears stuff was awesome. They really need to release this as DLC eventually.

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:25 PM
Wait, are we gonna get the new Gears content on 350?

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:25 PM
Sega, Eidos, and THQ doing Windows Live... Windows Live support built into the Unreal 3 engine...

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:26 PM
Wait, are we gonna get the new Gears content on 350?

Pretty much have to if it's playable cross-platform.

Dammit, I wish G4 would've ran this commercial free.

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:26 PM
I like how Peter Moore says renaissance.

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:26 PM
True, I've just been jonesing for a word game.


Lost Odyssey looked badass.

Wasnt crazy about the voice acting, but it does look great. Love me some deep RPGs, and they are finally going to be coming to the 360.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:28 PM
Wasnt crazy about the voice acting, but it does look great. Love me some deep RPGs, and they are finally going to be coming to the 360.

Amen. Enchanted Arms did NOT satiate my need for 360 RPGing.

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:28 PM
Pretty much have to if it's playable cross-platform.


Hadn't thought of it that way. AWESOME!

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:28 PM
Pretty much have to if it's playable cross-platform.DOH! I didn't even think of that.

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:29 PM
That spidey clip was fun.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:29 PM
A couple of my colleagues at 411Mania are at this thing right now... lucky bastards. :)

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:30 PM
the website stream has been commercial free

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:31 PM
COD4: Modern Warfare?

Fuck. YES.

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:31 PM
If that's what the game's gonna look like that's crazy.

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:32 PM
holy shit COD4 looks intense

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:33 PM
Intense is right. I'm so glad they are out of WW2.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:37 PM
Thought of something (besides this COD demo being fucking SWEET)... when they come out with that mini-keyboard for the 360 controller... how tough would it be to port PC MMOs to the 360 using Games for Windows Live?

Ooh, exclusive 360 multiplayer beta for COD4...

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:37 PM
Beta!!

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:38 PM
Splinter Cell: Conviction 360-exclusive...

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:38 PM
What was the beta site address?

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:39 PM
This Boggs song is really cool. Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the soundtrack is.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:39 PM
What was the beta site address?

www.charlieoscardelta.com

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:40 PM
What was the beta site address?

http://www.charlieoscardelta.com/

Right now it is slammed.

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:41 PM
gta4 DLC is exclusive too, but i think we knew that.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:41 PM
Re5!!! Re5!!!!

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:42 PM
Wow RE5 looks fucked up! In a good way.

Lyfeforce
07-10-2007, 08:43 PM
bringing the Assassin's Creed!

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:44 PM
Jade's hot

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:44 PM
Damn AC is gorgeous. (and yeah, Jade too)

Lyfeforce
07-10-2007, 08:49 PM
star wars?

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 08:49 PM
Oh God, please let Peter Moore be talking about either Force Unleashed or KOTOR 3...

EDIT: Nope, just Halo 3... whoa, HALO: THE MOVIE?!

Lyfeforce
07-10-2007, 08:50 PM
Oh God, please let Peter Moore be talking about either Force Unleashed or KOTOR 3...

nnnnnnnnnnnnope.

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:52 PM
Oh God, please let Peter Moore be talking about either Force Unleashed or KOTOR 3...

EDIT: Nope, just Halo 3... whoa, HALO: THE MOVIE?!
no, just a REAAALLY expensive commercial

Lyfeforce
07-10-2007, 08:53 PM
ooh, green xbox 360.

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:55 PM
interesting that they're pimping rock band and not GH3

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:56 PM
Stupid G4!

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:57 PM
http://www.g4tv.com/e32007/spotlight.html

still streaming

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:57 PM
http://www.g4tv.com/e32007/spotlight.html

still streamingYeah watching but I wanted to see it on the TV

Binx
07-10-2007, 08:58 PM
What, no tattoo????

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 08:58 PM
Yeah watching but I wanted to see it on the TV

picky picky

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 08:59 PM
picky picky:mad:

Binx
07-10-2007, 09:01 PM
So when will Sonic and Golden Axe be up? 2am?

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 09:08 PM
Wow. Nice press conference.

Kinda sad though that Sony and Nintendo are gonna run theirs while I'm at fucking work...

Smokinblues
07-10-2007, 09:09 PM
I was kinda hoping there would be info about Marvel Universe Online. But I guess we're still too far off.

Binx
07-10-2007, 09:12 PM
Wow. Nice press conference.

Kinda sad though that Sony and Nintendo are gonna run theirs while I'm at fucking work...
Very Enjoyable. Nothing mind blowing, except maybe the sneal peek at RE5, but Halo 3 stuff, new mass Effect trailer, PGR4 Assassins Creed, and COD4 all look sooooo good and have me really excited. Lots of XBLA stuff looks great and the Disney partnership for movies is awesome news.

JMP
07-10-2007, 09:13 PM
This is my first time watching the conference as it goes on, and I was pretty impressed. Except for Resident Evil 5, it seemed like they were spending all of their time focusing on this Fall, and just about everything we saw was in real-time. I can't fucking wait until Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty 4!

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 09:16 PM
I was kinda hoping there would be info about Marvel Universe Online. But I guess we're still too far off.

Yeah, I did hear on IGN though that the gameworld will be fairly current with Marvel's titles at the time (which means Civil War and World War Hulk will probably be taken into consideration)...

Binx
07-10-2007, 09:22 PM
The new Halo console looks sweet:
http://www.xbox.com/NR/rdonlyres/C042EE34-E560-458B-8358-91C8E0460185/0/ilmhalo3console.jpg

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 09:23 PM
The new Halo console looks sweet:
http://www.xbox.com/NR/rdonlyres/C042EE34-E560-458B-8358-91C8E0460185/0/ilmhalo3console.jpg

That is kinda nice-looking up close.

JABSEN
07-10-2007, 09:24 PM
The new Halo console looks sweet:
I'm sure when Noble's latest console explodes he'll pick it up

noble
07-10-2007, 09:24 PM
So when will Sonic and Golden Axe be up? 2am?


They're both up now for 400ms points each, as is the disney content(up now that is), and there's a shit ton of trailers up for the games, and a blue dragon Demo!

But be aware, xbox live is chugging along pretty slowly at the moment.

I have a high speed cable connection, and it took me almost ten minutes to download Sonic.

Chris McCarver
07-10-2007, 09:26 PM
Okay, folks, I'm off to bed. I got a first issue of Hypersonic to get into the can and a review of Vampire Rain to crank on. 'Night, Bendis Board!

The Nature Roy
07-11-2007, 12:24 AM
Early word (IGN and Joystiq) is that Killzone 2 looks very impressive. Looking forward to seeing some video.

Blandy vs Terrorism
07-11-2007, 01:13 AM
They're both up now for 400ms points each, as is the disney content(up now that is), and there's a shit ton of trailers up for the games, and a blue dragon Demo!
But be aware, xbox live is chugging along pretty slowly at the moment.

I have a high speed cable connection, and it took me almost ten minutes to download Sonic.

:ecstatic:

Not surprising that it's going slowly, since I'm sure there are a ton of people downloading stuff this week.

Akira
07-11-2007, 04:21 AM
Early word (IGN and Joystiq) is that Killzone 2 looks very impressive. Looking forward to seeing some video.

It looks bad ass
http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2007/07/11/killzone-2-at-e3-revisited/

noble
07-11-2007, 04:49 AM
It looks fantastic.

Rivals Gears of war even.

BUT(There's always a but ;) ), it doesn't meet the quality that the original Killzone 2 trailer presented, so I'm afraid the naysayers are going to tear this game, and Sony a new one for 'pulling the wool over their eyes' with that amazing video 2 years ago.

I'm curious to see what people say about the gameplay, because even if it doesn't meet the lofty expectations that Sony flung at this poor game, I think it looks great and I'm hoping they've worked with the gameplay to make it an all around solid game, and not just focused on, y'know, trying to make it as pretty as they possibly could.

Akira
07-11-2007, 05:18 AM
It looks fantastic.

Rivals Gears of war even.

BUT(There's always a but ;) ), it doesn't meet the quality that the original Killzone 2 trailer presented, so I'm afraid the naysayers are going to tear this game, and Sony a new one for 'pulling the wool over their eyes' with that amazing video 2 years ago.

I'm curious to see what people say about the gameplay, because even if it doesn't meet the lofty expectations that Sony flung at this poor game, I think it looks great and I'm hoping they've worked with the gameplay to make it an all around solid game, and not just focused on, y'know, trying to make it as pretty as they possibly could.


Yeah it doesn't look as good, but the nay sayers would've ripped it even if it did. And honestly, Sony and Guerilla games have both been pretty mum about it since E3 06. The hype machine has been all fans and bloggers at this point. They just decided to let the game speak for itself.

As an aside, can I say I was a little disappointed at the way the MS media event went yesterday? I wanted a lot of information, but a lot of time was spent showing playable segments of games that we've already seen a lot of. I know they wanted to only focus on games coming out in '07 but most of the games they showed were multiplatform (Rock Band, Assassin's Creed, COD4, Madden) and I was hoping to see more announcements that were MS-centric (Scene-It sounds awesome though). Overall I give the conference a B-. It did it's job, but didn't show me anything as a non-360 owner to make me want to run out and get the system.

p.s. any stats on the Halo 360? HDD space? HDMI out included? etc

JABSEN
07-11-2007, 05:26 AM
As an aside, can I say I was a little disappointed at the way the MS media event went yesterday? I wanted a lot of information, but a lot of time was spent showing playable segments of games that we've already seen a lot of. I know they wanted to only focus on games coming out in '07 but most of the games they showed were multiplatform (Rock Band, Assassin's Creed, COD4, Madden) and I was hoping to see more announcements that were MS-centric (Scene-It sounds awesome though). Overall I give the conference a B-. It did it's job, but didn't show me anything as a non-360 owner to make me want to run out and get the system.

It was a little underwhelming. Interesting strategy though. They wanted to focus on stuff that's absolutely coming this year. We'll see how that works. And having a conference not made up of CG movies was refreshing. But yeah it would have been nice to at least have a Montage of future games or something.

noble
07-11-2007, 05:28 AM
Yeah it doesn't look as good, but the nay sayers would've ripped it even if it did. And honestly, Sony and Guerilla games have both been pretty mum about it since E3 06. The hype machine has been all fans and bloggers at this point. They just decided to let the game speak for itself.

As an aside, can I say I was a little disappointed at the way the MS media event went yesterday? I wanted a lot of information, but a lot of time was spent showing playable segments of games that we've already seen a lot of. I know they wanted to only focus on games coming out in '07 but most of the games they showed were multiplatform (Rock Band, Assassin's Creed, COD4, Madden) and I was hoping to see more announcements that were MS-centric (Scene-It sounds awesome though). Overall I give the conference a B-. It did it's job, but didn't show me anything as a non-360 owner to make me want to run out and get the system.

p.s. any stats on the Halo 360? HDD space? HDMI out included? etc


No there hasn't been anything released size wise. One would assume it would be an Elite painted green, but who knows at the moment ;)

I agree...I was hoping for maybe a Gears of War 2 trailer, or something to make me go oh shit! Look at that!

But I believe their plan was look at all these games you'll be playing in the next six months(good games now strategy), where Sony and Nintendo will be saying look at the good games that are coming(next 12-18 months).

But that's hard to judge until later this afternoon. We'll know if Sony and Nintendo came up with a good battle plan to combat the MS juggernaut(and honestly two years ago if someone told me I would be typing that sentence I would have kicked them in the logic center of their brains ;) )

Matt Jay
07-11-2007, 05:40 AM
But that's hard to judge until later this afternoon. We'll know if Sony and Nintendo came up with a good battle plan to combat the MS juggernaut(and honestly two years ago if someone told me I would be typing that sentence I would have kicked them in the logic center of their brains ;) )
Nah, Nintendo's the juggernaut. MS has the better system and library but when it comes to sales and profit, Nintendo is miles ahead.

JABSEN
07-11-2007, 05:41 AM
I'm thinking Sony may have a great conference. I feel it for some reason.

Binx
07-11-2007, 05:45 AM
No there hasn't been anything released size wise. One would assume it would be an Elite painted green, but who knows at the moment ;)



Actually xbox.com has all the stats:


Look for this new console in September. This new Special Edition contains these components:

* Halo 3 Special Edition Console
* Halo 3 Special Edition Wireless Controller
* Halo 3 Special Edition 20GB Hard Drive
* Halo 3 Special Edition Wired Headset
* Halo 3 Special Edition Gamer Pics and Theme (Exclusive download via Xbox LIVE)
* Component HD AV Cable
* Ethernet Cable
* HDMI Port
* Play & Charge Kit
* Xbox LIVE Silver Membership
* One-month Lbox LIVE Gold Membership
* Halo 3 game not included—sold separately

Akira
07-11-2007, 05:45 AM
Yeah I know why they decided to show 2007 games, but considering they don't usually have a major TGS presence it's kinda disappointing.

The nintendo conference will be interesting to see, and I think Sony's gonna be the one that surprises the most people.

Akira
07-11-2007, 05:47 AM
Actually xbox.com has all the stats:

so it's like a cross between the Premium (HDD size) and the Elite (HDMI) :-?

And for the record, this is now the fourth different version of the 360? Sheesh. Would I be correct in assuming this one will at least have the new, cooler running chips?

Binx
07-11-2007, 05:49 AM
I'm thinking Sony may have a great conference. I feel it for some reason.

You know what, I think so too, so much so that I've got a PS3 sitting in my Amazon shopping cart, and I may just hit "buy now" as soon as the conference is over.

If they don't have a great show . . . well, it will be very bad, for both them and for gaming in general.

Binx
07-11-2007, 05:51 AM
so it's like a cross between the Premium (HDD size) and the Elite (HDMI) :-?

And for the record, this is now the fourth different version of the 360? Sheesh. Would I be correct in assuming this one will at least have the new, cooler running chips?

Seems like I heard they are rolling out the 65nm chips in Sept. so hopefully so. It would look really bad if consoles branded with MS's biggest franchise started failing massively. Not that the problem doesn't already look bad!

Akira
07-11-2007, 06:12 AM
Seems like I heard they are rolling out the 65nm chips in Sept. so hopefully so. It would look really bad if consoles branded with MS's biggest franchise started failing massively. Not that the problem doesn't already look bad!

Oh yeah, if systems start crapping out when Halo 3 drops, the fit will seriously hit the shan.

Binx
07-11-2007, 06:34 AM
So, just an hour til Reggie takes the stage. Any last minute predictions. WIll Nintendo impress the hardcore gamer, or are we just going to get mini games ad infinitum? I think the DS will impress more than Wii, although really cool ingame footage of Mario Kart for Wii with really good use of the Wiimote could impress the hell out of folks.

The Nature Roy
07-11-2007, 06:45 AM
Yeah I know why they decided to show 2007 games, but considering they don't usually have a major TGS presence it's kinda disappointing.

The nintendo conference will be interesting to see, and I think Sony's gonna be the one that surprises the most people.
Sony will only surprise people that aren't paying attention (granted that's a lot of people). They have a nice fall/winter line-up with some megahits coming in '08 and room to make big announcements since they won't be as '07 focused as MS.

MS's strategy made for a solid but not spectacular showing, but it will give them an opportunity to totally kick ass at TGS or Germany or X07 when they do cart out the '08 stuff.

And I'm guessing MS figured if you're a gamer and don't feel like there are enough reasons to buy a 360 by this holiday, you're fucking insane, so what's the point? :lol:

JABSEN
07-11-2007, 06:47 AM
Is it true that no Smash Brothers at the show? That's lame.

Binx
07-11-2007, 06:49 AM
Is it true that no Smash Brothers at the show? That's lame.

Really?? Boo!!

JABSEN
07-11-2007, 06:51 AM
Really?? Boo!!Didn't the G4 people say that? Hopefully I misheard.

nihilance
07-11-2007, 06:54 AM
Didn't the G4 people say that? Hopefully I misheard.

They said it but they are wrong...it's at the show but just not playable on the floor. I imagine it's to preserve some of it's secret unlockables/extra characters/etc.

Actually I caught a lot of wrong info being said on G4 last night.

JABSEN
07-11-2007, 06:55 AM
They said it but they are wrong...it's at the show but just not playable on the floor. I imagine it's to preserve some of it's secret unlockables/extra characters/etc.

Actually I caught a lot of wrong info being said on G4 last night.Thanks. That's sweet.

BenC (formerly Ape-X)
07-11-2007, 07:00 AM
But that's hard to judge until later this afternoon. We'll know if Sony and Nintendo came up with a good battle plan to combat the MS juggernaut(and honestly two years ago if someone told me I would be typing that sentence I would have kicked them in the logic center of their brains ;) )

Funniest post of the thread thus far! Who'd a thunk?!? ;)

BenC (formerly Ape-X)
07-11-2007, 07:01 AM
Actually I caught a lot of wrong info being said on G4 last night.

Wow...that is just plain un-shocking. :roll:

Matt Jay
07-11-2007, 07:25 AM
Is there still a chance we'll see some Dead Rising 2 or stuff about the Marvel MMO?

Binx
07-11-2007, 07:27 AM
Is there still a chance we'll see some Dead Rising 2 or stuff about the Marvel MMO?

I wouldn't be surprised if CAPCOM was going to show DR2 on thier own. THe MMO would be kind of a nice surprise.

noble
07-11-2007, 07:27 AM
E3 2007: Microsoft Conference Live Updates

Information straight from the conference floor.
by Charles Onyett

July 10, 2007 - Editor's Note: All the information below is being written from E3 2007. Microsoft's conference is set to begin at 8:30 PM PST, at which point all updates will come directly from the conference floor.

9:59 - Conference is over, band is playing.

9:57 - Showing single player footage of Halo 3 - showing space frigates firing lasers at Earth. Oh boy! They're showing quite a bit of fighting the Covenant, Cortana makes an appearance, enemies seemed to be using bubble shields, giant quadric-pedal walkers firing out blue lasers, trailer ends. Appear to have gone back to the ring - might have been a Halo 1 environment (silent cartographer). Flying bug things seemed strange. Showed various Master Chief armors.

9:56 - Now wrapping up conference, going over game titles. Moore thanks everyone for coming. Oh but wait...

9:53 - Moore announcing a new console for the Halo Nation. Halo 3 Special Edition Console launches in September worldwide. Three people applauded. Just seems like a special skin, dark, camo green. Looks ugly.

9:52 - Showing live-action short for Halo 3 - green computer text onscreen - giant vehicle moving behind industrial facility - showing metal being fired and forged - rows of Spartan helmets - now they're armored up - battle rifles show up, pistols - warthogs on an assembly line. aircraft raising up - then it just said Halo 3 - Finish the Fight. Kind of boring.

9:50 - Moore back on stage. Talking Halo.

9:48 - Chasing target, avoiding traps and objects the target tosses back. Using free running system to hop across building rafters, jumps on target's back and stabs him. Assassin's Creed to release in November.

9:47 - Jade Raymond on stage to talk Assassin's Creed, doing an in-game demo. Saying every building in a vast cityscape can be climbed. Protagonist jumps into a hay cart in a crowded plaza - Jade, "Ok glad no one saw that." Walking through streets, tossing aside beggars, walking around highlights NPCs with a white glow that indicates they can be interacted with. Climbs building wall - pushes a guard off a roof - dead body draws guards' attention on the streets, sneaks by, slashes some other guy in the face - there's computerized filtering effects every once in a while - assassin's target reveals himself sends five enemies after him. Enemies are for some reason only attacking one at a time. More dropping in as assassin stabs them in chest, twists arms around and shoves into environment, jabs their knees.

9:42 - Talking about Japan - talking about a game - it won't launch this year on 360 but the trailer is in game footage - oh snap - Resident Evil 5 - desert down, angry townsfolk with sickles - rapid action montage - a giant 5 logo bleeds into the screen. That's it. More on July 26, when the full version of the trailer will be on the Xbox 360 Marketplace.

9:41 - By Spring 2008 there'll be two expansion episodes with all new content, exclusive to 360.

9:39 - Now Moore is talking about Splinter Cell Conviction for Xbox 360. Moving on to Grand Theft Auto IV. Footage for first two trailers captured on an Xbox 360. Showing "Special Someone" trailer. Oct 16 NA, Oct 19th in Europe.

9:38 - Tank rolls by, have to take cover in a field, goes prone to hide in tall grass. Line of enemies getting closer now, about to walk right over them. They pause the game and end the demo. Exclusively to Xbox 360 there'll be an online multiplayer beta. Details at charlieoscardelta.com.

9:33 - Grant Collier and another from Infinity Ward out on stage to talk about CoD4. Infinity Ward has been developing this since CoD2. "Going deep and hard," with development, they say. Laughter in crowd. Showing an in-game demo, starting around Pripyat with a camouflaged sniper rifle. Avoiding radiation packets. Moving with one AI teammate in camouflage. Reached a checkpoint. Uses left stick to zoom scope, holds breath to steady aim. One enemy down. Breaks out silences pistol. Aiming down the sights blurs peripheral vision. Breaking into a house. Smoky, debris falling from ceiling, really nice lighting, move out through graveyard, enemy helicopter rolls by.

9:31 - Just in case you haven't seen this, CoD4 looks really good. Check the trailer for yourself.

9:30 - Xbox 360 and Windows game - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare by Infinity Ward. Showing a trailer. Same trailer that's already been released.

9:27 - Now showing Games for Windows branded game montage - Flight Simulator X expansion, Thrillville: Off the Rails, Bee Movie Game, Hellgate: London, Age of Empires III The Asian Dynasties, Stranglehold, Gears of War, BioShock, Crysis, Universe at War: Earth Assault, BlackSite Area 51, World in Conflict, Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures, Lost Planet Extreme Condition, Kane and Lynch Dead Men, Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts, Zoo Tycoon 2 Extinct Animals, Juiced 2, Viva Pinata, Spider Man Friend or Foe.

9:26 - SEGA, Eidos, and THQ will deliver more than a dozen Live for Windows games by the end of year. Games for Windows Live support will be built into Unreal 3 engine.

9:22 - Games for Windows Live support will allow co-op. New multiplayer mode, arenas, new arenas, five new single play sections. You can fight the Brumak. Cliff showing demo. Dom and Marcus fighting Brumak. Brumak is slow moving - using arm-mounted machine guns - Marcus taking cover behind concrete pillars - Marcus takes out two arm guns, nor targeting the large one on the Brumak's head - now Brumak is firing rockets. Gears will run on XP and Vista. Cliff ends demo. Peter Moore comes back out.

9:21 - Viva Pinata is coming to Windows. Gears of War also coming to Windows. Gears will have a game editor, new content, will release this holiday. Cliff Blezinski on stage to talk about Gears PC. He has brown hair!

9:17 - Kim mentioning Alan Wake, Too Human, Fable 2, and Halo Wars. Now talking about a new Halo story to be told by Peter Jackson working in conjunction with Bungie. Now talking about Lost Odyssey - trailer playing - showing character talking mixed with older cinematic footage - protagonist bitching about being immortal 0 fighting armored guards in cities and large reptilian creatures, looks very Final Fantasy in creature designs and town exploration bits - now a battle montage with various fantastical creatures.

9:14 - Brian Woodhouse and Craig Howard on stage to show off PGR 4. Talking about bikes in PGR 4 - from Honda, Ducat. Demo footage a little choppy. Bike flying around on wet city street - racking up Kudos by doing on-bike tricks. St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Macau - 10 locations in all. Dynamic weather effects during races. PGR 4 will allow gamers to show videos and photos to each other. To release this September. A trailer came on with Shadow from The Prodigy playing. Cinematic camera showing off really slick looking cars, nice frame rate, flashy reflections, racing across snow and rain, bikes popping wheelies, then shows PGR 4 logo.

9:13 - Shane Kim on stage. Talking about how incredibly sweet Microsoft Game Studios is. Mentioning Forza 2 as included with MGS's awesomeness.

9:11 - On August 24 - Xbox 360 Elite will launch in Europe.

9:07 - Now Bell is blabbing about how awesome Microsoft's digital distribution is. Announces an agreement with Disney to bring films from their library to Live - includes Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis, Hercules, The Emperor's New Groove, Armageddon, Sky High, The Waterboy, Bad Company, Unbreakable, The Brothers Grimm, Bringing Down the House, Coyote Ugly, Deja Vu, Primeval, The Queen, Venus, all in HD. All these available tonight to download.

9:06 - Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Axe should be available for download now.

9:05 - By end of 2006 there'll be over 100 Xbox Live titles. This includes Bomberman Live, Undertow, Hexic 2, Sonic the Hedgehog, War World (looked awesome), Sensible World of Soccer, Every Extend Extra Extreme, Geon, Wing Commander Arena, Feeding Frenzy 2, Track and Field, Spyglass Board Games, Golden Axe, Space Giraffe, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo Remix, World Puzzle, Marathon: Durandel, Poker Smash, Switchball, Tetris Splash, Puzzle Quest, Boku Sudoku.

9:04 - Xbox Live membership over 7 million. Forecast before E3 next year they'll be over 10 million.

Steve is happy to be here.9:03 - Reggie Bush on stage now to show a demo of - wow this is really awkward watching corporate Bell interact with Bush. Bush - "I know how you Microsoft guys do, trying to cheat." They play Madden, Seahawks versus Saints - Bush just broke away and scored a touchdown with himself - Bush exits stage after Bell fumbled a handshake / high five.

9:01 - Bell now talking about EA and Xbox Live. Now announces EA Sports games on Xbox 360 will run twice as fast, twice as smooth on Xbox 360, whatever that means.

9:00 - Naruto: Rise of a Ninja is exclusive to Xbox 360, according to Bell. Showing a gameplay montage. Naruto jumping around a cel-shaded town - walking through grass - now he's running and jumping blue dragons pop up on screen - now we're seeing battle arenas. Clean graphical style - Various Naruto characters hitting each other with combos.

8:59 - New controller for Scene It?'s trivia questions. Looks like a stoplight. Worst announcement ever.

8:57 - Jeff Bell from Microsoft on stage to introduce a new title called Scene It?

8:51 - Gameplay montage - Gundam, Cod 4, Stranglehold, Guitar Hero III, Beautiful Katamari, Lost Odyssey, NBA Live 08, Mass Effect, Fatal Inertia, Medal of Honor Airborne, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, Ace Combat 6, NHL 08, Assassin's Creed, Spider Man: Friend or Foe, The Simpsons Game, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction, Nascar 08, Eternal Sonata, BioShock, Madden NFL 08, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Crash of the Titans, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The Orange Box, Bee Movie Game, Rock Band, Naruto: Rise of the Ninja - and it's over.

8:50 - Still bragging about Microsoft sales numbers. Since last November, 2.4 billion spent by consumers on Xbox 360. Top 5 bestselling games of last generation - GTA vice city, GTA San Andreas, GTA3, Halo, and Halo 2.

8:48 - Moore talking about how game sales will eclipse music this year. X360 has 5.6 million user install base in the US. Outselling PS3 by 2:1. These numbers from NPD. Says Xbox 360 is selling more games than anyone else, more than Wii and PS3 games combined. 2/3 of next generation third party games are sold on the Xbox 360.

8:47 - Now talking about Mass Effect. Showing trailer - Open cityscapes - various characters talking to each other about a threat to humanity. A few shots of battle footage. Footage from in space - battles - Sheperd making out with some girl. Bits and pieces of storyline. Mass Effect to be released this November.

8:44 - Trailer for Party Animals - starring Rare's Viva Pinata characters - walking down a red carpet. Some sort of mini game footage - chasing ants, racing, burping to push sailboats across a pool. It's called Viva Pinata: Party Animals. Over 50 mini-games and races.

8:43 - The Strokes are in Rock Band.

8:42 - Moore just accidentally paused it again during the finale.

8:41 - Peter Moore accidentally paused the game halfway through and is now confused as to how to get it going. Now it's on.

8:40 - Harmonix takes the stage to demo Rock Band. Moore is actually going to play guitar. "Let's pump it up to eleven!" he says. Playing The Hives, Main Offender.

8:39 - Moore talking about every game they show to show up on retail shelves this year. Calls it "the greatest video game lineup in video game history."

8:38 - Moore - "When they heard the music of Halo, they heard rock." My heart is warmed.

8:37 - Oh no - another round on the guitar. Master Chief on screen - now they're done. Oh no - they just started again, transitioning into conference briefing. Peter Moore on stage.

The stage!8:36 - Lights flashing blue and purple - band wrapping up song. Nothing interesting happened.

8:32 - Introduce Halo fans from Illinois who take the stage as a band. Playing a video - nebula in space - wailing guitar music - Halo music playing in background. Live band on stage performing Halo song with a bassist, violinist, guitar, keyboard, and drums. Screens from Halo flying across main screen. Band's song has a definite Celtic edge - then transitions into metal.

8:31 - Announcement that show is about to begin. I feel like I'm inside a fluorescent green bulb. Considering the recent announcement of the Xbox 360 warrantee extension, it'd be pretty good natured of Microsoft to start this one out with flashing red lights.

8:30 - Well, nothing's happened yet, though it seems like a glow stick dance party could break out at any minute.

8:25 - Another announcement - conference to begin in five minutes. Oh man, this might actually start on time.

8:24 - A message just went over the speakers the conference will start in about 10 minutes. Fog is rolling in on either side of the stage, hitting the drum kit and a podium near the pool. Apparently whoever put together the musical selection really likes The Chemical Brothers, because they've been playing for the last 20 minutes, not that it's such a bad thing.

8:00 PM - Microsoft's big screen is displaying a montage of gamertags, some of which have been identified as those of IGN editors. The day's light is fading and the whole amphitheatre is glowing a progressively brighter shade of Matrix-green. Half an hour to go.

7:50 PM - Alrighty. We're sitting down in front of Microsoft's impressive conference setup at Santa Monica High School. They've got us set up in rows of concrete stadium seating. About every three feet on the semicircular rows of terraced concrete have been laid foam discs with Microsoft logos all over them. Definitely more comfortable than the bare concrete.

The actual stage is a giant screen flanked by TV displays, a drum kit, a few HDTVs, a glowing green entrance doorway, and a moon-shaped pool underneath. Members of the press are still filing in, so there isn't too much to report. Microsoft is, like in so many conferences past, blasting dance music and rock songs that would have been trendy in 2006. You know, because they're so tech-hip, something emphasized by all the glowing green spotlights.

Also, Editorial Director Tal Blevins just informed me he, along with Executive Editor Steve Butts, got kicked off of school grounds for smoking. I applaud the decision, as cigarettes are only smoked by super villains, mass murderers, and hipsters.

6:40 PM - Under two hours until the conference starts. A group of editors are about to pile in a car and brave Los Angeles' traffic to head down there. More as soon as we arrive.

5:40 PM PST - While we're not sure exactly what Microsoft will be announcing, it seems Gears of War PC is somewhat certain. If you haven't been browsing around the interwebs over the last few days, you probably missed the video that surfaced. The clip, titled "Gears of War on PC," originally published and quickly pulled from gamevideos.com but thereafter uploaded to You Tube, had one scene with the PC version of an achievement unlock pop up at one point in addition to Marcus Felix battling a Brumak. What's a Brumak, you ask? Well, if you've played the Xbox 360 version, you'd know him as that huge monster with rocket launchers, the coolest looking enemy in the game, that you mysteriously don't get to fight after escaping from Marcus' family home.

Chances are good we'll get some new game announcements and hopefully a few updates on Games for Windows Live. Their cross-platform technology has so far been wholly underwhelming on PC, providing far more limited functionality than the Xbox Live Microsoft's console users currently enjoy.

Of course, any information on Halo 3 still gets the most attention from press and public alike. Many may have gotten their fill of multiplayer when the beta test was running a little while back, but details regarding the single-player campaign have been kept under wraps up to now. Aside from that, there's always Halo Wars, rumors of a price drop or new Xbox 360 SKU, and additional content for Gears of War on Xbox 360.

Currently, the IGN crew heading over to the conference is split up. Some are crowded around a bank of laptops frantically updating stories (blasting Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and laughing) while others are out in Santa Monica, dragging equipment between hotels in accordance with E3's more decentralized (impractical) set up.

For whatever reason, Microsoft decided to hold their conference this year at Santa Monica High School. While we have yet to visit the site, we'd be willing to wager it's a slight step down from Grumman's Chinese Theatre, the venue for their E3 2006 conference. Is there some secret reason for the odd venue? New kids titles for instance? Viva Pinata 2? Is Microsoft just looking for an excuse to hand out watered-down orange drink? Will all the male and female attendees be seated on opposite sides of the room and instructed to eye each other nervously? We'll let you know.

Akira
07-11-2007, 07:30 AM
Is there still a chance we'll see some Dead Rising 2 or stuff about the Marvel MMO?

Maybe from Capcom or whomever is developing the Marvel MMO, but MS is finished thier big announcments for e3 I think

noble
07-11-2007, 07:35 AM
E3 2007: The Facts on You
The ESA has gathered some "Essential Facts" on gamers.
by Nate Dog
July 10, 2007 - As an awesome added bonus to this year's show, editors were given a handy dandy "Essential Facts" booklet that details tidbits of information about the games industry. We've summarized the most interesting of these fun facts below:



67% of American heads of households play computer or videogames.

The average game player age is 33 years old. The average game buyer age is 38.

38% of gamers are female. 47% of all online gamers are female.

33% of American homes have a video game console.

The best selling game of last year was Madden NFL 07 on PS2. The 20th best-selling was also Madden NFL 07, but on Xbox.

2006 saw 7.4 billion dollars in total sales, the same as in 2004.

55% of parents believe games are a positive part of their children's lives.

51% of gamers play games online, up from 19% in 2000.

All sales data was gathered by the NPD, all other data was collected by Ipsos-Insight for the ESA.

noble
07-11-2007, 07:35 AM
E3 2007: Mass Effect Dated

Set for launch in November.
by IGN Staff

July 10, 2007 - During Microsoft's E3 conference Tuesday evening, Mass Effect was given a launch date of November 2007. The highly anticipated game was originally speculated to launch this summer.