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Archive for June 2011

E3 2011: New ‘DMC’ Trailer Does The Business

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Somewhat allaying fears regarding the direction that Enslaved developer Ninja Theory is taking the series, Capcom have released a gameplay trailer for DMC.

It seems tht as much as things change, they stay the same.

Take a look to see what I mean:

Not *quite* the trainwreck we all thought it was going to be eh?

Written by bitsnark

June 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

E3 2011: Nintendo Press Conference Live Blog

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And here, we, go!

Let’s see what Ninty have up their sleeve then πŸ™‚

We start with an orchestra playing some epic Zelda melodies to Link skydiving. We then cut to an historical montage of all the Zelda games to date. The music builds to a crescendo, showing yet more Zelda games of time past. Eventually the music closes out to some cool clips of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

The Zelda 25th Anniversary logo appears and the crowd goes nuts.

A bit long perhaps but a nice presser opener all the same.

And out comes Shigsy! Will he have his sword and shield this time?

The crowd goes mental for him.

Shigsy talks about the gameplay, visuals and music evolving with the Nintendo systems that have come and gone over time. He talks about music being an indispensable part of Legend of Zelda as a whole.

He is asking the orchestra to play some of the songs live. Including the chime for solving a puzzle and collecting an item. It’s all quite cute and gleefully nostalgic, but SUBSTANCE MAN! I WANT SUBSTANCE!

Shigsy listens to the music and says ‘Isn’t that nice?’, Well, what would be nice mate is if you didn’t waste the first 15 minutes of your presser with music that we have heard countless times instead of making actual announcements. Ergh, perhaps my rage is unwarranted, but it’s nice setup all the same if overly long.

For the 25th Anniversary he has prepared a Zelda game for each of the Nintendo systems. Shigsy confirms Link to the Past as being available on the 3DS shop service. Next weekend, Legend of Zelda: OOT 3D releases for the 3DS. He talks about the improvements in graphics, framerate and general atmospherics. In September, there is a four plater version of Zelda: The four swords as a DSi download. Nice!

All of this is capped off by Zelda: Skyward Sword predictably which launches everywhere this Christmas for the Wii. Equally predictably, the game utilises Wii Motion Plus and can be bought with a gold coloured WiiMote. Swanky.

He says that Skyward Sword is packed full of content and is the pinnacle of the series to date. He talks about many of the elements in the game needing discovery by the player to be appreciated. He announces that they will be holding symphony concerts for the Zelda music which will take place in locations around the world to mark the 25th anniversary. They will start this Autumn.

They are also preparing music CD’s, including the Ocarina of Time soundtrack. A free gift apparently, if you register your Ocarina of Time 3D with Club Nintendo.

He talks about Legend of Zelda over the years being supported by a huge development team, reaching a size of some 200 people. Shigsy invites some of the development leads on stage.

He closes the Zelda section by thanking the fans and the orchestra closes out with a symphony. An ultimately nice, if shallow start to the presser.

Next up is Satoru Iwata, hopefully to talk up Project WhateverItsCalled. He talks about launching Wii and DS and how they went about expanding the gaming population.

Now he talks about mental boundaries in how hardware is perceived, such as how Wii is more casual friendly and so on. He talks about a game platform that is equally satisfying for all players. He mentions the new home platform and how it intends to fulfill this vision.

He talks about the new console providing deeper and wider experiences than gamers have had before.

Again, it will make gamers see games in a different way.

He says the goal of innovation for Nintendo is to serve every player.

He talks about the new console being something to look forward to for next year and that he will talk about it later. In the meantime, he says that we should be looking forward to the 3DS and the new franchises that are moving into 3D for the system.We get a video montage of various Nintendo IP’s which are destined for the system including Kid Icarus, Mario Kart, Super Mario 3DS and Luigi’s Mansion.

Next on stage is the Regginator!

He talks about how we want to play things and have them look they way they always have – apparently we want comfortability and surprise.

He mentions the new home console and how the 3DS embodies the same message of allowing everyone to play without compromising their core routes.

He talks about five key 3DS titles that will be shown. First up is Mario Kart. The new version is ‘tricked out’ apparently and looks very reminiscent of the Gamecube iteration, but with more complex courses. Cool moment: When the karts make huge jumps, they sprout glider wings allowing the player to glide them about.

The new Mario Kart is due out this holiday season.

Next up is Starfox. He talks about using controller buttons for traditional control, or, you can use the gyroscopes in the 3DS for motion control instead. Interestingly, you can play in multiplayer and the camera takes a picture of the loser as they blow up and sends it to all the other players. Nice. The title is due out this September.

Next is Super Mario 3DS. He talks about Mario 3DS being constructed from scratch for the machine. Gameplay is shown and it looks like a cross between Mario 64 and Mario Galaxy if you can imagine such a thing. Heavenly indeed, and the racoon suit is back!

Yeah this has 9/10 and 10/10 written all over it. It is due out before the end of the year. Sweet!

Kid Icarus now. We get a nice gameplay trailer showing a terrific mixture of 3D space harrier style shooting gameplay and regular third person fighting and platforming. It looks very vibrant and very colorful and now they are showing multiplayer which looks alright, but nothing terribly special. The game also uses AR cards to conduct battles. Overall though, it remains impressive.

Kid Icarus is due to arrive later this year.

Last of all, we now have Luigi’s Mansion 2 which looks almost identical to the Gamecube version and certainly looks impressive as a result. The green hatted plumber returns with his magical vacuum to scoop up all sorts of supernatural foes; it actually looks pretty amazing if i’m honest.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 is due out at a time to be determined.

Next up is talk about 3rd party developers being hard at work on games. It looks like we’ll get to see what they have been working on and cue the montage!

Resi Evil Mercs 3D, Mario and Sonic olympics, Ace Combat 3DS, Tetris, Cave Story 3DS, Resident Evil Revelations, Driver Renegade, Pac-Man and Galaga Dimenions, Tekken 3D(!) and Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D. Nice line up but not a whole lot that s new however.

He talks about the Eshop being a more complete online offering, allowing 3D trailers to be downloaded as well as demos later on in the year. He mentions the Virtual Console on the 3DS having games from the older handheld days and confirms that Excitebike 3D being free to download on the service.

He now reveals that an enhanced Pokedex will be on 3DS and that some Pokemon will only be available through Spot Pass and AR markers.

Pokedex 3D will be exclusively available free through the 3DS EShop.

He reaffirms that 3DS means social, connection and interaction; all in 3D.

He now begins talking about the new console AT LAST. The naming of the new console is what he is talking about. Saying how ‘Wii’ had a deeper meaning. For the new console, the name is ‘WiiU’. lolwut.

We see the new controller and it looks like what has been rumoured. A dpad, with two analogue sticks, face buttons and 3 or 4 inch touch screen. A strange looking beast indeed.

We get a concept video. You can switch from TV to the new controller and back again it seems. You can draw on the new controller, which in essence appears to be some sort bizarre pad/tablet hybrid. It can also be used to see different perspectives such as leaving it on the floor and swinging the Wiimote over it to drive a golfball.

You can make video calls with the new controller also. The plot thickens!

You can basically stream any media from the controller directly to the TV. We are shown a new Zelda title briefly and holy shit it looks amazing. The montage ends with the console due in 2012.

Nice, very nice, but need to see a lot more proof of concept.

Satoru is back on stage.

He talks about home console games having to occupy TV screens in order to be played but with WiiU, the 6.2 inch screen can accomodate people who don’t have access to the TV screen. The machine is fully backwards compatible. The console is designed to appeal to the most core gamers. The controller, like the PSVita is a veritable hive of controlling methods (face buttons, analogue sticks, touch screen, gyroscope, shoulder buttons and more).

It is intended to support the widest variety of games. Bottom Line; Ninty don’t want to be excluded anymore.

He reaffirms that the pad is not designed to be a portable gaming machine ala’ PSP/3DS and so on. He says that the content transfers wirelessly without loss. He talks about the highest quality HD images being available on it. He talks about games being structured to use both screens (the TV and the pad screen) at the same time.

He talks about WiiU creating a strong bond between games, the TV and the internet.

GAMES PLEASE.

We get some developer feedback on the machine from Shigsy. He talks about the pad screen allowing gamers to play games without using the TV. He says that the combination of display approaches will create a lot of interesting gameplay prospects.

Satoru talks about facing an unusual situation with the games industry today, with new ideas popping up one after another. He mentions that the developer of Kid Icarus would be making a Smash Bros title for 3DS and WiiU in such a way that they would work together on both platforms.

Quite vague, but exciting nonetheless.

He says that WiiU software is playable this week at the show – Nice, should get some detailed impressions hopefully.

The Reg(tm) is back.

He says that ‘eight different interactive experiences’ will be available to try and don’t represent final games.

We get a video. A bird soars across a Japanese river before settling on a tree branch. That looked impressive. Fucking impressive if it is entirely in real-time.

Our bird friend leaves the security of his branch and drops a flower into the water at which point the camera shifts to the river as various fish jump and coalesce around it.

Next up, is a Super Mario Bros Mii concept for the system, allowing you to use your Mii in the game.

He reaffirms that these are prototypes and announces Lego City Stories in partnership with TT Games for release on the system. The game is an open-world title and is exclusive to 3DS and WiiU.

Now we get a montage of developer spilling love over the machine. EA, Vicarious Visions, THQ, Ubisoft, Warner Brothers, Namco Bandai and Irrational Games are all shown saying how much they love it.

Darksiders II is a launch title, as will be a Tekken title, an Assassins Creed title, Batman; Arkham City and Ghost Recon Online. Nice little core lineup there Ninty.

Now we get in-game footage of some of these third person games. Darksiders 2 is shown, followed by Dirt, Aliens Colonial Marines(!), Ghost Recon Online, Metro Last Light (holy shit they are going after the core mainstream all right), a new Tekken title (possibly Tekken Tag 2) and Ninja Gaiden 3! (looking fantastic and very bloody! :)). Graphically at least, assuming that it is actual WiiU footage, it looks on par with 360/PS3 hardware.

Iwata talks about how warmly the 3rd party developers are taking to the system.

One final perspective.

EA has been invited to join them on stage. Iwata welcomes EA’s John Rittocello on stage.

John talks about never before being on stage with Nintendo, but he is here, because the new console speaks directly to EA’s audience with HD graphics. John namedrops Battlefield 3 for the WiiU. O.M.G. He also bigs up the online robustness of the console.

He talks about EA going through a transformation in much the same way the new Nintendo console is. EA and Nintendo have an unparalleled partnership apparently but very little in the way of actual details.

Reggie says that he wants people to consider four platforms, DS, Wii, 3DS and WiiU.

He says that each platform is unique but shares a common pedigree of innovation.

It’s interesting that very little is shown of the actual WiiU console itself.

Reggie says thanks and we are done.

Lots to show indeed.

Written by bitsnark

June 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

E3 2011: Sony Press Conference Live Blog

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Now it’s Sony’s turn! Come on, don’t disappoint us.

Sony begins by giving out 3D glasses to the folks in attendance, leading me to believe we’ll be getting a veritable deluge of 3D presentations.

Looks like we are starting (15 minutes late, mind).

The Playstation logo appears and we shown some NGP/Move/PS3 montage stuffs all in 3D apparently. A number of different games, released and unreleased are shown.

Interestingly, Move occupies it’s own section within the montage which is surprising as I honest thought they wouldn’t focus on it too much this year.

Montage is over and now the conference is starting proper.

Mr. Jack Tretton comes on stage to kick things off.

He addresses the PSN outage directly straight away. He addresses the cost that the outage has had for publishers and apologies for it. He now thanks the consumers and apologies for the outage.

He goes on to say that the majority of what gets shown/announced, will be playable on the show floor.

He goes onto to talk about the PS3 being the most connected device available today and namedrops NetFlix, CinemaNow, Qrocity and so on. He reaffirms that they will continue to add more of these such services.

Now we are talking about franchises exclusive to Playstation.

We start with what looks to be Uncharted 3.

It appears that we’ll be getting an on-stage demo.

Good way to start the show.

We begin on a rainy boat that is rocking violently. As always, the game looks fucking outstanding. Drake moves into the interior of the boat where he comes upon some bad guys patrolling an ornate lounge. Like previous titles he uses a mixture of stealth and hand to hand combat to deal with them.

Back out onto the side of the boat, Drake sneaks up on another poor soul and snaps his neck. Further illustrating just how gorgeous this game is, there is a light which shines directly on the top of the head of the assailant and it just looks… well, almost real.

This is one good looking game.

Now we see Drake doing some old-fashioned Uncharted style platforming, with some ledge jumps and ledge pull-ups, before a massive firefight breaks out against the bad guys.

Cool moment: With the ship rocking violently still, a car inside the ship rolls free and crashes into the side of the interior blowing up.

Another cool moment comes when the water begins to fill up the interior of the ship, as it leans from one side to the other. Epic Uncharted game is Epic.

I cannot wait to get my hands on this.

Now we get an underwater sequence where Drake opens up a grill and escapes to (relative) safety through a hatch. And just as quickly as he does that, it all goes to shit as the cabin floods and we fade to black.

The crowd go mental – as well they should.

The Uncharted 3 multiplayer beta begins on June 28th.

We get another look at Uncharted 3; this time another level. This one appears to be set in London and has some funky cool British accents and goes onto show a montage of other locations that Drake will travel to. Heh, the usual sharp tongued wit is still present thankfully. Yeah, this is pretty much the game of the show for me so far.

We’re done with Uncharted 3 now.

Next up is Insomniac Games.

They are here to demonstrate Resistance 3.

The demo starts off in St Louis, where the player character will be performing an ambush on a Chimerian drop ship with the aid of some local militia. Lots of ruined streets and buildings as one would imagine and straight away the action hits hard, with a number of different and brilliantly strange firearms being used by the player to dispatch his enemies. I’m modestly impressed so far with this – there is nothing really groundbreaking or staggering to look at here – but it does appear to solid and quite playable all the same.

We fast forward a little bit as the player has stolen a power core from the ship and is now attempting to escape through the devastated ruins, all the while being pursued by a massive spider robot creature thing.

And the demo is offer. Like I said nothing OMFGWTF worthy but entertaining all the same.

Jack is back and talking about Move + 3D, saying that Resistance 3 uses Move and that they are doing a Resistance 3: Sharpshooter Edition, which basically comes with the whole Move Set and the limited edition version of the game.

Next is 3D stuff.

God of War Origins Collection is an HD/3D upgrade for the PSP games to PS3 and the Team ICO collection is also confirmed to be in 3D. Both collections are coming out in September.

Jack says he will make 3D more affordable for everyone. He is introducing a Playstation-branded 24inch 3D display and is designed for dorms, bedrooms and smaller living rooms. Seems like a good idea for sure. Interestingly, it has a new technology which allows players to see two different images when looking at the screen (making split screen easier).

Next up are the Playstation Monitor glasses which come with a HDMI cable and a copy of Resistance 3. The entire package, including the 3DTV comes to $499. Pretty good value for money I reckon.

Now we’re onto Move.

He talks about 8.8 million units sold.

We now have 2K sports on stage, to wax evangelical about the Move likely.

They are talking about NBA2K12. They have improved every feature of the game and have a new feature called ‘NBA on the move’ which allows the player to use the Move to make strategical match decisions using the controller.

The graphics on that NBA2K12 though, look pretty sweet indeed.

Now they have LA Lakers star, Kobe Bryant on stage to show how to use Move with the game. I must admit, i’m totally clear on what the ‘NBA on the move’ mode adds to it, especially given the need to use a traditional controller to get the most out of the game.

Bryant takes a stage left and we’re past NBA2K12.

What’s next…

Jack is back. He introduces a new Move title for the Autumn; Medieval Moves; Dead Man’s Quest from the coders who brought us Sports Champions. Two guys are on stage to demonstrate it.

It is a cartoony style action RPG where the player can make a number of different gestures to swipe with a sword, fire a bow and arrow or throw some shuriken at some oncoming foes. The Move is also used in some puzzles too, such as picklocking a door. It seems serviceable enough, but not killer app, not by a long shot.

Still, it’s good to see Sony coming out with new, non-party game based IP for the Move all the same.

The demo is over and the game is due out later this year.

Unspectacular perhaps, but at least it’s something new.

Jack is back on stage.

He runs through all the games that are going to be compatible with Move.

We now have an InFamous 2 trailer on screen. The trailer confirms what we already knew about the title pretty much, which is that it’s going to likely rock huge amounts.

Jack talks about gamers being able to create their own missions for the game.

Next up is talk of Little Big Planet 2, with the ability to create your own levels which take advantage of Move.

Looks like Starhawk is up next.

We get a CG trailer to set the scene.

No in-game goodies unfortunately.

Next up is a CG trailer for…Sly Raccoon by the looks of it.

Sly Racoon: Thieves In Time in fact. It’s good that their bringing it back. It’s due in 2012.

We have Eve Online developer CCP coming on stage (likely to take about DUST 514).

They are talking about Dust 514 as an PS3 exclusive title. The game can be connected directly to Eve-Online, to make for a full cross-platform experience.

A trailer airs for it. In-game too, and it looks quite nice. Lots of drop ships and ruined bases.

As the troops land they engage in a massive firefight against soldiers on foot and massive attack vehicles. Then the map pans out to show the world and then a galaxy to show the larger Eve Online functionality.

Interesting little experiment. A closed beta is due later on this year.

Jack is back on stage once more.

Oooh, Bioshock: Infinite trailer. Sky riding, robots, explosions, too much awesome quite simply. Some sort of exclusivity then I wonder? Ken Levine is on stage from Irrational Games, the developer of Bioshock: Infinite.

He goes onto say about how he was skeptical about PlayStation Move and how Sony spoke to him about widening the accessibility of his Bioshock games to the casual audiences. He talks about how Move can be used to interact with the world in a number of ways. He goes on to talk about a new Bioshock game, a brand new one, made exclusively for NGP. Holy shit muffins.

No other news. Damn!

Jack T is back.

He says that people who buy Bioshock Infinite, will get the first one free.

He then goes onto say that Saints Row 3 on PS3 will have an exclusive game mode for Move.

Next up is a co-op action adventure that is based in JJ Abrams Star Trek universe with utilises the Move and even comes with a Star Trek branded phaser-esque version of the Move controller too.

A quirky, but nice idea.

And we have footage it seems.

A third person shooter at heart, the game reminds me of a tamer Dead Space, complete with Zero G Sections. Nevertheless it looks reasonable, if not spectacular.

The game is out in 2012 to coincide with the second Star Trek movie.

Three more exclusive offers from EA for PS3 owners.

SSX will be on PS3 and will come with an exclusive Mt. Fuji level.

Need For Speed: The Run on PS3 meanwhile, comes with an extra seven supercars.

Finally, Battlefield 3 on the PS3 will come with Battlefield 1943 bundled in on the disc exclusively (even though 360 owners could get it with BF:BC2 Ultimate Ed).

Here we go for some NGP love.

Kazou Hirai is here to yap to us about it.

He talks about the value of a connected experience.

He mentions about how a connected experience is vital to mobile entertainment. He talks about Playstation Suite, allowing playstation content to be available on non-Sony manufactured platforms, such as Android OS mobile phones and devices.

He talks about having high expectations for the PSP and that the NGP will shows new ways to interact with your games and friends.

He mentions the camera, the dual thumbsticks and the rear touch pad.

He is showcasing the successor to the PSP – Playstation Vita. Ergh, that name.

He says that Vita means ‘life’ and that it blurs the lines between your play time and social life.

PSVita comes with WiFi and 3G + WiFi models as previously thought.

Pricing and carriers for other non-US territories will be announced soon.

There is a ‘Party’ feature for PSVita that functions a lot like the Xbox Live Lobby, allowing users to voice chat with other users regardless of what games they are playing.

Another feature, ‘Near’ allows players to compare trophies and other social aspects.

Time for some PSVita demo love.

We get a demo of Uncharted: Golden Abyss for PSVita. Wow, that looks incredible.

The game appears to boast many of the exact same visual assets that it’s older PS3 brother does and just looks incredible.

And the best thing, is it all runs so smoothly.

We get to see how the ‘Touch melee’ system works, which basically allows the player to use swiping touch motions on the screen in lieu of actual button presses.

Luckily, it’s entirely optional.

I can’t get over how impressive this looks.

This truly looks like PS3 visuals in the palm of your hand.

Yay! We get to see the dual analogue sticks in motion and it looks like it performs as intended; no more fudging the face buttons and d-pad anymore!

That was one awesome demo.

Next up for PSVita is a ‘Social Action RPG’. It’s a game called ‘Ruin’. Apparently it’ll have multiple classes, tons of loot, tons of quests and great combat. The game looks very Torchlike/Diablo esque indeed. Perhaps not the greatest showcase of the Vita’s grunt, but it looks intriguing nonetheless.

The idea of the game is to attack other players dungeons to defeat them. The dungeons are bigger based on whatever level you are. Ruin will also have a PS3 SKU that will work with PSVita, allowing you to seamlessly transfer your progress from one to the other.

Seems quite interesting actually, but it needs more hands-on time perhaps to really ascertain it’s quality.

ModNation Racers for PSVita is now up and is apparently been built from the ground up for the new portable. They are creating tracks using the new control methods; specifically the touch screen controls to manipulate the tools needed to create them.

Nothing terribly crazy good at the minute, but it remains an effective (if somewhat understated) use of the various control systems that PSVita offers.

Like previous ModNation games, you can change pretty much everything from the hills and troughs, bends and chicanes all the way through to the trackside environment and the sun in the sky.

ModNation Racers on PSVita can download use any and all tracks created on the PS3 version of Modnation Racers. Cool.

A big deal is being made of the cross-functionality between PS3 and PSVita. WipEout 2048 is confirmed as a launch title for PSVita. PSvita also quite cleverly has access to Cloud based save storage.

Little Big Planet on PSVita is now being shown.

Again a similar level of creativity to what was seen in LBP2 on PS3, but just with the added interaction possibilities of the various PSVita controller inputs. A strong launch title then.

Capcom are here to talk about Street Fighter X Tekken on PSVita!

FUCK!

Yoshori Ono from Capcom Japan is here to talk about the game. He confirms that Street Fighter X Tekken will arrive on PSVita. That is one helluva fighting game to have on your portable. Apparently, Cole from Infamous will be in Street Fighter X Tekken on PSVita.

Now we get to see what the Infamous bad boy can do running on the PSVita in real-time. Fuck, that looks sharp! Lots of lightning attacks, ranged attacks and flying dives. Interestingly, the touch screen functionality allows casual fans to interact with the game easier by one-press motions to trigger special moves. That looked pretty awesome.

Ono-san also confirmed that the PS3 version was present at the show.

Nice little demonstration there.

We get a montage video of PSVita content next, showing a mixture of it’s social functionality and forthcoming titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, WipEout 2048, Little Deviants and what appears to be a Tenchu title of some sort.

Kazzy is back on stage now.

He has announced that PSVita is available in the Holiday season this year for $249 for the WiFi only model and $299 for the Wifi + 3G enabled SKU of the console.

And off he goes and on comes Jack T.

He closes out the keynote and no trace of the rumoured God of War title announcement.

A very solid and strong conference with the right amount of focus where it needed to be.

Written by bitsnark

June 7, 2011 at 3:00 am

E3 2011: Ubisoft Press Conference

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And now it’s time for the house that Yves Guillermot built.

And here is the guy himself, starting things off on stage.

He talks about the history of the company and his great likeness to work with talented people with vision.

After a bit of waffle, he brings out the original creator of Rayman, Michel Ancel, to talk about Rayman: Origins.

They do a dreadfully unfunny Shakespeare skit using ‘Ubi or not Ubi’. Yeah. *sigh*

Anyway, it looks like we’ll be getting an on-stage demonstration of the title.

The game starts of showing us traditional platforming across a 2D plane, with 3D models and everything looks so vivid, smooth and full of character. Big, iron wheels chunder across the landscapes with comically angry faces on, while the next section is set in a fire world and again, just has some of the most gleefully colourful and imaginative visuals you seen.

Next we get Rayman and his friend, diving into an underwater kingdom (complete with singing fish) to only then be chased by a massive angry fish/crab thing. It’s just bursting with imagination and really shows that there is still room for quality 2D platforming.

After this, we have Aaron on stage. Who seems completely hyper. Totally hyper in fact. He is talking about gaming innovation and is showing the history of gaming hardware.

He talks about demographics of games expanding, with ‘89% of all women that play games being ‘hot”. What a tool.

Anyway, he talks about gaming being adventure, sharing and playing. He talks about the adventure part now.

Looks like we’re getting something on Driver: San Francisco. It’s trailer time.

We get a nice view of the Bay Area in San Fran, showing a hectic chase which appears to be pre-rendered.

No gameplay was shown.

Right the next game is up in video form.

We see a jungle being traversed in the first person. The guy puts on some binoculars and looks at a site where some villagers are being executed by some bandit folk before he gets ambushed and knocked out. This looks like Far Cry 3 to me.

He awakens to mohican haired guy talking all kinds of philosophical shit at him. The guy then gets angry and smashes his chair while the player glances down at his bonds before being kicked off of a cliff and into the water (still tied up).

Underwater now, the guy frees himself and swims to the surface and emerges under a waterfall inside a cavern. This all appears to be in-game and the glowing weapons on downed bodies reminds me a LOT of FC2. So yeah, i’m going with FC3 here. I would guess that it’s running on a modified version of the engine that powers that game too, since everything looks remarkably solid and detailed.

Cool moment: He creeps up on a guy, knifes him in the chest and then throws the knife at another guy a little further away. It all looks very solid I have to say.

The demo ends with the player getting shot down whilst in a helicopter and waking up all groggy as the crazy bastard we saw at the start of the demo finds him again.

Then big title – ‘Far Cry 3’. Looked very solid indeed.

Randy Pitchford is out now and talking about Brothers in Arms.

We get a video of what appears to be Brothers in Arms: The Furious Four. From the CG trailer alone they seem to be going down an Inglorious Basterds route, which i’m not entirely sure suits the historically accurate, po-faced aesthetic that the series has embodied.

After a brief Tintin demo, we get a Ghost Recon: Future Soldier presentation.

Yeah, we get another game where you can be the ‘most badass special forces soldier on the planet’. Yay, we really needed another one of those.

Anyway, the in-game demo starts in a swamp and already looks hugely different from the hi-tech ‘Predator’ goings on in last years demo. Lots of chatter ensues whilst they are assigning targets, which are eventually taken down as the Ghosts enter a hut and use some funky thermal imaging to see the enemies hiding behind walls inside the hut.

Visually, the game looks as impressive as it did last year.

Anyway, we get a big firefight in the midst of a group of civilians which looks pretty amazing with the civvies dispersing every which way all the while unleashing ear-piercing screams as they attempt rush to safety.

We then segue to another scene involving a tense firefight in a refinery in which the effective use of cover looks essential to say the least. No big surprises here; jumping between cover points, blind firing and the usual of various optics are all usual fare here, but it does look remarkably solid.

The demo ends with the Ghosts taking a rescued hostage to safety all the while firing back at pursuing assailants and then a bomb explodes in mid-air taking out all of their pursuers.

We’re then told about the synchronized kills, the gunsmith utility which allows you to modify weapons and the UI which augments the intel you can receive. Talk inevitably goes to Ghost Recon Online, the recently announced free-to-play title for the PC. We get a nice little in-game trailer showing various game modes, shoot outs and maps. For a freemium title it certainly looks pretty good on initial impressions at least.

Next up is Trackmania 2.0. Holy crap – Tall women presenter is tall.

She begins talking about creating, racing and sharing tracks with friends.

We then get a vid showing a track being created and cars racing on it before they jump off of a bridge and crash into the camera. All CG of course. Trackmania 2.0 is due out in September.

Hmmm, not a whole lot of show and tell there.

Next on the menu, is Rabbids: Alive & Kicking for Kinect. Oh, the presenter has the best beard ever.

We get an on-stage demonstration of some frantic Kinect full body gestures with some whack-a-mole action, using the rabbids as moles, followed by a twister-esque game where multiple people have to strike a pose to create the shape shown on screen. It looks like it could be some fun from a party game perspective, but will likely not provide too much to keep the core gamer occupied.

Right, they’re done.

Next up is Just Dance 3 for Wii, Move and Kinect platforms. A quick montage video is shown showing people playing with the game.

Just Dance 3 releases on October 11th.

We then get shown RockSmith; they’re Guitar Hero wannabe it seems. Crucially, you are able to plug in your Guitar and jam away. Interesting…

Rocksmith is due out in October 2011.

YourShape Fitness Evolved 2012 is now being shown for Kinect.

The announcement video shows the usual mix of tremendously fit people jogging about, throwing punches and jumping about in various crazy fashions.

And that’s it. Ooook. The game is out on November 2011. It would have been nice to see what extra they have done to it other the previous iteration.

Now it’s time for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. We get a little background on the story of the new game just before a pre-rendered trailer starts up. The trailer shows what appears to be Ezio pursuing the history left behind by Altair through various countries before he finally gets beaten and captured. The video finishes and an actual in-game demo begins.

We see a busy marketplace as the camera settles behind Ezio who begins to make his way around the place. He comes across a friendly contact who supplies him with some bombs so that he may sabotage the blockade that the Ottoman empire has put up around the marketplace.

Like in previous installments, the combat appears pleasingly free-flowing and smooth with Ezio swaying, dodging and counter-striking effectively to create some stylish looking moments of combat indeed. We then get our hero using a ship’s mounted to cannon to bombard other ships which are docked around the port. Assassins Creed: Revelations certainly doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint fans of the series at all.

The demo ends with Ezio doing his back Jack Sparrow impression and using a rope to fly up to the top of a ship’s mast before swinging across to an adjacent ship as the camera pans back to show the level of destruction that Ezio has inflicted on the Ottoman docked ships.

Good stuff.

The title is due out this November.

The Ubisoft conference is done. Hmmm, no new Rainbow Six, no Beyond Good & Evil 2, no I Am Alive and an underwhelming Brothers In Arms, means that the presser was certainly not one of better ones i’ve seen. Still, Far Cry 3 and Assassins Creed: Revelations remained impressive.

Written by bitsnark

June 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm

E3 2011: EA Press Conference Live Blog

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And we are GO for the EA Presser.

We kick off with an intergalactic boom; Mass Effect 3 is up first.

A big focus is on choice and how all the choices that have been made up until now, play into the final game in the trilogy.

We get a live demo, with The Shep trying to destroy a Reaper base. First thing is first; the game is stunning to look at; just incredible. Shepard opens up the blast shield on the base to allow the Normandy to unleash an airstrike and then from here it’s all business, with third person shooting ahoy.

Sheperd now has control of a moveable turret platform in a fairly arcadey section involving him opening fire on a giant, moving Reaper. Again, it all looks fucking incredible and we build to a climax. Not a *whole* lot was shown from a gameplay POV, but enough was shown to get the crowd whooping. A big focus is given predominantly on the narrative and emotional involvement and a date is given; March 2012.

Gameplay trailer airs. ‘Shepard warned us, but we didn’t listen’ booms the English narrator. I’ll post the trailer up later, but needless to say, awesomeness is in abundance here. The actual shooting gameplay looks a LOT tighter than in ME2 and I have a strong feeling that this will be the best in the series. Oh and Shepard, Halo called, they want their energy sword back πŸ™‚

EA head honcho John Ritocello is on stage now and takes a none too subtle dig at random stages and random celebrities being used in a conference πŸ™‚

Nect up is FrostBite 2.0 powered Need for Speed: The Run. This should be interesting.

We’re told the Auotlog will be used in the game and this time it will be seamlessly integrated into the game’s story. Apparently, you can get out of the car now. (!)

Err, off an tangent much?

Gameplay demo now.

We’re shown a scene in Chicago in which the player is being chased by the ‘mob’. We get a car crashing into the side of the player’s car; ejecting the player and beginning an on-foot chase that appears to be heavily scripted and driven by QTE’s. Hmmm, dunno if I would want 20 or so minutes of perfect racing to be undermined by an incorrect button press in an on-foot QTE sequence.

Anyway, we’re back in the car; a cop car this time. The game appears to be very fast as you would expect from a NFS title, but there appears to be a distinct lack of traffic on the road. The driving sections themselves actually appear to be fairly set piece driven also. And we have yet more QTE events. This time to free your guy from the car. It looks good and all, but i’m not convinced by this QTE heavy, setpiece laden approach.

Now we have Bioware on stage talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Big speech about the huge investment of talent into the title.

He talks about showing off raids later. About time too!

Right into a CG video. We get montage shots of various planets and sects of people, then we get some coolness illustrating the return of the Sith Empire as they are attacking the Republic. Nothing gameplay wise being shown here as you might have guessed.

Nevertheless though, epic CG trailer is epic.

As is the usually dependable John Williams score.

And we’re over.

Next up is…

SSX!

And it’s a CG video showing much destruction, surfing and helicopter hangtime. SHOW. US. THE. DAMN. GAMEPLAY. ALREADY.

With that out of the way, Peter Moore is on stage.

He talks about the reinvention of SSX. Apparently NASA(!) satellite scannings are being used to create mountain ranges for players to curve some powder on. He reaffirms the ‘Race it, Trick it, Survive it’ mantra that the game embodies. SSX is due out January 2012.

Next up is FIFA 12. He talks about 1.3 billion gameplay sessions being played on FIFA 2011 alone. Next up is a FIFA 12 video gameplay demonstration showing new tactical defending based on a timing system. There is also a precision dribbling system, allowing for more nuances on ball control and a Player Impact system which is essentially the application of impact physics to the game.

Cue a video montage of people spraying love onto the FIFA franchise.

Montage is over and now we’re talking about the EA Sports Football Club. A live, online service which aims to develop a social community allowing fans to connect and complete, as well as download real matches from the real headlines. The service will commence on FIFA 12 and is intended to work with all versions and iterations of FIFA.

Next up is what appears to be Madden 12.

Showing a mixture of in-game gameplay and pre-rendered garbage. Now presumably we’re gonna get an on stage demonstration. We have various football personalities coming on stage spouting various EA Madden 12 soundbites.

Peter Moore talks about the new collision system and the new AI system that the game has. He then goes on to talk about the idea of building a ‘dynasty’ with your chosen team within the game.

Madden 12 is due to be released on October 30th.

The big, nasty linebackers are gone and John R is back on stage.

He talks about seamless transition between various platforms. He announces The Sims Social for Facebook. He waxes lyrical about playing with your friends and playing with life within the game. We get a quick trailer for the game and it adopts an isometric view point like the earliest games in the series. Like anything worth its salt these days, it’s fully community based; allowing you to invite your friends and play with them , engage with their characters and so forth.

At any rate it’s gotta beat FarmVille right? πŸ™‚

Next we get two games from ‘EA Partners’.

We get Kurt Schilling coming out alongside John, the founder of 38 Studios.

He is here to talk about Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur. It’s an open-world game that prioritises choice and story. Major props given to the talent behind it: Ken Rolston of Oblivion fame among others.

Now we get an in-game (YES!) trailer. We get a montage of various locations (forest, town, temple) and then we get some good old fashioned violence with the tagline that we can change ‘the fate of Amalur’. If anything the game looks very simlar to Fable, alabeit more adult and not quite so daft. It’s due in 2012. Hmmm, after Skyrim and The Witcher 2 I wonder if it’ll make the impact that EA wants.

Next up, is Insomniac to talk about their first multi-plat game; Overstrike. It’s set in the near future, following four secret agents obliterating everything in their past.

Straight into a trailer it seems.

It’s CG and appears to highlight the personality quirks of each secret agent in turn.

Fairly entertaining and comical actually, but little or nothing gameplay wise is being shown.

Apparently the game intends to combine Insomniacs love for outlandish weapons, involving stories and quirky humour and on the evidence of the trailer, it appears to be doing just that.

Quite interested to see a little more of this.

Next up is Battlefield 3.

We get a new trailer. This just looks crazy, I can’t really write what I am seeing because it all happened to quickly, but download the trailer and see for yourself.

Regardless, the DICE General Manager is on stage to talk about BF3.

He shows us a little of the guts that make up the Frostbite 2.0 tech that powers Battlefield 3. Some of this stuff looks crazy detailed; I wonder how it will convert to console.

Hopefully we’ll get the on-screen demo using a console SKU.

Battlefield 3 Multiplayer! We get a Paris map. It looks like the PC version. Hmmm, not really a demonstration as more of a game video with some quick cuts (maybe too quick). Still looks superb though – he mentions battlelog, a free service that allows stat tracking, squad creation and heightened community features.

Best news – The open beta arrives September 2011.

Now we get an on-screen live demo of Battlefield 3 single player.

It starts of with the player looking at a child’s toy before looking down at his mounted gun and driving along in his tank. The level of detail afforded by FB 2.0 is fucking staggering; dust plumes wisp up from the churned sand, intricately detailed aircraft streak overhead, clouds and smoke look real and seem correctly formed.

It looks like one hell of a tank battle is about to unfold. And yep, the shit hits the fan. Missed tank shells cause nerdgasmic eruptions of sand plumes on the soil and the sound effects are simply sublime. Everything just looks so… real.

Now they switch to infra-red optics to smoke out the positions of a few more tanks. I am totally bowled over by how fucking good this looks.

We then get an artillery barrage across the horizon which again produces just the best graphical effects. You will need one motherfucker of a PC rig to get it running like this I bet.

Next up, we’re directing a carpet bombing on a nearby basis and again, everything just looks so fucking real..except for the animation on the guy inside the tank loading the shell – that shit looked HUGELY jerky. Hmmm.

Still though, we’re back in the tank now and the game continues to impress. More airstrikes, more artillery and just a lot more destruction. Best of all, all of the explosions and dust plumes are contributing to a huge cloud of smoke that has slowly been forming throughout the demo and is now moving to engulf the whole area.

This just looks damn cool. There is no other way to tell it.

This makes Bad Company 2 look like a last generation title. Well, from a visual perspective at least since the gameplay mechanics remain similar.

And the demo is over… Holy shit. October 25th is the date.

John R is back on stage.

And he gives us our goodbyes and we’re done!

Hmmmm, would have liked a few more surprises but a solid conference all the same.

Written by bitsnark

June 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

E3 2011: Microsoft Press Conference Live Blog

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Right, let’s get cracking and stuff.

Low-res stream is low-res :/

MS conference opens with CoD: MW3 eh? Sounds like some sort of map DLC exclusive once again tied up by MS? (They really do have a hard on for CoD don;t they?)

Right, anyway.

Trailer starts, and lots of radio chatter.

Darkness disappears and we get an on-stage demo of what appears to be some sort of underwater infiltration mission.

LOL-Moment: His controller becomes unsynchronized during the demo πŸ™‚

Underwater Navy Seal types swimming ahead, very set piece heavy as you would expect. That said though, you appear to be doing most of the swimming yourself.

More chatter. A sub passes overhead. The divers plant a mine on the sub. What pleasant chaps.

Mine detonates and sub sinks. Then the divers surface and we get a nice view of the (NY?) city. Pretty much right away it’s business as usual now, killing enemies and following your teammates through to the next setpiece/objective. With the sub immobilised, they go inside the subs and start clearing, room by room. So far, so CoD.

We get a timeskip during the demo, so they can show us some other stuff.

We get a breach and clear on a door with an explosive device. Bomb goes off, then we get a slo-mo killathon. Again, very little surprises here, but masterfully done all the same.

Now our dudes have to escape the sub. They do so, jets fly over head and now they are in a speed boat, screaming between two massive warships. Explosions, gunfire, and random macho yelling abounds in all directions, punctuated by the usual epic score.

Yeah, the setpieces are coming thick fast indeed. Including docking the speedboat in the back of an aircraft, which takes off to show a wider view of the carnage inflicted on the city.

Then we finish.

And now, Infinity Ward Creative Director Robert Bowling comes on stage along with his Sledgehammer counterpart. Robert is talking about how epic MW3 is and goes on a thanking spree of fans, fellow developers etc..

Oh, right. They just say they cant wait until Nov 8th and bugger off. Thanks for that.

MS’s Don Mattrack is now on stage and thanks everybody as per usual.

He talks about how it is a great time of ‘growth’ and ‘innovation’.

He talks about entertainment and gaming improving; a hint towards a more all-rounded entertainment offering? Yeah. I reckon so.

He mentions blockbuster games, the next level of Kinect experiences and a new way to enjoy television.

Now we start with ‘The Games’. Crystal Dynamics are out on stage now. They are out to show the new Tomb Raider game running on the 360. This should be fairly fucking cool.

Right, we get a section from the start of the game where Lara is being held captive on island by some none too friendly natives. She is suspended upside down and is swinging from side to side to free herself. Which she does, painfully. Now she is stumbling about (all realtime in the third person). Looks very dark and very detailed. She picks up a torch off of the wall and begins navigating her way through the cavern.

Massive emphasis on suspense here – footsteps, vocal paranoia. She gets caught and it appears we’re looking at a QTE-esque mini event. This really does look fucking fantastic. Just the level of detail on her face, the vivid pain etched across it – just incredible.

The dev talks about how her ‘survival instincts’ are used to help her escape and find things of interest. This just looks incredible – obviously a brand new engine.

We now get some traditional TR platforming; jumps, ledge grabs and so on. Now the cave is falling to pieces around her (of course it would) and she has to escape, sliding down a rocky tunnel and then falling out into a wider cavern at which point she bursts into full sprint to escape the devastation. Again, she gets collared by another bad guy, and again she escapes but this time he isn’t so lucky as he gets crushed by falling debris in quite violent fashion. After all this, she finally breaks out into daylight, on top of the cliff-face of an island before we fade to black.

Now THAT is how you reboot an IP.

Right, Peter Moore from EA Sports next.

He is talking about Kinect support in 2012. Tiger Woods, Fifa, Madden and one more to be announced later will all support the motion control device.

He is now talking about non-EA Sports games using Kinect such as The Sims 3.

He now introduces Ray Muzyka from Bioware. Hmmm. He is waxing lyrical about the inception of the Mass Effect series. He is talking about Mass Effect 3 now. He reaffirms the high-stakes nature of the narrative.

He confirms that Mass Effect 3 will support Kinect.

What the Fuc… Oh, voice recognition, and we get a demo too!

The game look very good, regardless of the Kinect stuffs.

It looks like the voice stuff works, by you reading out the conversation choices and then they are played out on screen. Interesting, but not a groundbreaking idea. Now this is neat; you can use the voice recognition stuff to direct your squad with some very specific commands. This game continues to look awesome.

A massive robot has just landed in the demo. Shit just got real. And just as it does, the demo ends.

Not a bad little demo.

Ubisoft are on stage now. Showing what appears to be a Ghost Recon title (the leaked Kinect SKU by the looks of it). The video on screen is a CG video, which while revealing next to nothing of the gameplay, is sweetly done all the same; replete with classical music.

Now we get Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft bigwig. He talks about being a big believer in Kinect since day one. He talks about how he is using Kinect to enhance their core games.

We now get an in-game demo of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier using Kinect.

You can pull weapons apart in the gunsmith mode and rebuild them using gesture commands. It looks pretty cool; if a tad gimmicky and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

Voice commands can be given, allowing the gun’s make up to change. ‘Optimise for close combat’ is said and then the gun which is best for that situation appears on screen. We also get some ACTUAL SHOOTING as well, with him aiming with his hand and using his alternate hand to fire. Again, interesting but not an essential ‘innovation’ by any stretch.

Apparently all few future Tom Clancy titles with use Kinect in some fashion.

Now we get the Xbox Live chap on stage. He is talking about ‘making the technology invisible’.

Yeah, that sounds good and all, just don’t make the games invisible eh?

Now we’re talking about giving ‘TV a new voice’. This segues onto a demonstration of the swanky new dashboard. A lady on stage navigates through the UI using Kinect voice commands. I do have to say, that the UI looks VERY similar to the Windows Phone 7 UI.

He is talking about new partners and name drops YouTube as coming to Xbox Live. Nice.

Now, we get the search service Bing on the 360. Meh.

Again, everything is Kinect voice command compliant. He refers to all of this as ‘effortless discovery’. Yeah, effortless if the microphone can always understand you correctly.

Which it can’t.

Now he talks about Xbox Live TV. He goes on to talk about partnering with big TV companies. Live news, sports so and so forth is coming to the 360. All of this launches this fall. A nice, incremental advance and all, but very little details on those partners or indeed the localisation timings of any of it.

Still, a feather in the cap, is a feather in the cap.

Now, we get a montage of the Xbox 360 as an all-round entertainment device.

Time for a drink.

Now Dana White is on stage! What a legend.

He talks about there being better no time to be a UFC fan. He mentions that we will be seeing the innovations that they have been working on. It appears to show live events with an augmented UI, which shows you fighter profiles, histories and encourages you to vote on who you think will win and who called it the same as you.

Nice if you’re an MMA fan. Which I am. So fuck the haters. Was hoping for something a little more gaming related, then interactive TV-esque.

Right, we’re back to games.

Thank fuck for that.

Apparently everything we are shown now is ONLY available on the 360.

We are starting with Gears Of War 3.

Nice in-game montage video with classic rock music. Cliffy B is now on stage and brings out rapper legend ICE T. We get a brief story primer and then we’re into the game.

I tell you what, say whatever you like about that UE3 engine, it still looks the shit.

Our heroes are holed up in a collapsing building (it seems Mr. B and Mr. T are playing in co-op on stage) and it’s business as usual; gruff voice acting, cover based combat and really nasty looking monsters.

They go into a garage and are riding these mechs called ‘Silverbacks’ which look pretty cool indeed, although it appears that they are only NPC fodder. Bah.

We now get a HUGE sea-creature, boss-thing clamber up on top to attack the Mensa brigade, and yet again, the engine refuses to show it’s age. In a cool little, cut scene moment, Cole drops a whole crate of tickers on the boss which predictably causes a huge fucking explosion and the heroes jump off into the sea.

Ice-T talks about reforming his rock band bodycount to do a song in honour of the revamped Horde mode after the show.

Yeah, ok.

Anyway, Crytek logo on screen. Project: Kingdoms by the looks of it. Talks about Ancient Rome and the struggle to survive. The moody narrator talks about order and justice and the need to survive. We get dramatic shots (all CG BTW) ofRome burning and everything generally going to shit.

Ah, now some gameplay and the game is… a first person brawaler?

From Crytek?? It looks impressive and all but still… What the fuck.

Anyways, it’s no longer called Project Kingdoms, it’s called Ryze.

We move onto something Halo related.

Halo HD! The original Halo remade it seems using the Halo: Reach engine. It looks pretty sweet actually, especially the news that all the MP maps have been remade and the entirety of the single-player campaign being completely redone from the ground up also.

C’mon everyone predicted it, but it looks awesome in the flesh so to speak all the same.

Now we get Dan Greenwalt representing Forza Motorsport 4 on stage. He is talking about how Forza 4 will showcase the 360, Xbox Live and Kinect. He appears to be driving the idea of a fully-realised online racing community.

And now we get a demo.

And it’s in fucking CG.

Some gameplay would be nice.

But we basically get the features of the game dropped in sporadically through the trailer, including 80+ manufacturers, Kinect head tracking and monthly updates. The game is due out in October. Nice, but would like to have seen some prolonged gameplay.

Now it’s Peter Molyneux and guess what he is talking ABOUT BEING A FUCKING HERO AGAIN. *ahem* Anyway, he is talking about a new extension to the Fable franchise – ‘Fable: The Journey’. We get a trailer. Again CG. Showing a fantasy landscape and the narrator intoning – ‘When heroes are no longer born, they must be made’.

‘Albion’s end is coming’ apparently and all that matters is the ‘Journey’.

Right, some actual gameplay. The guy is on stage riding a chariot and is using Kinect gestures to ride accordingly. After that finishes he dismounts and starts blasting some goblins. Gameplay appears to be on-rails and you move your hands in various sweeping motions to create the spell that you wish to cast. Cool… I guess, but it makes me think that nobody will be able to get an actual good-to-honest free-roaming sandbox experience running on Kinect.

Now we get Microsoft’s Phil Spencer back on stage.

He talks about an Indie game coming out of nowhere and becoming a worldwide hit.

He namedrops Minecraft.

Holy shit.

He just announced Minecraft exclusively for 360 and Kinect this Winter.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

And that’s it, nothing else. No media. Grrr.

Right anyway. He talks about a collaboration with Disney; namely ‘Kinect Disneyland Adventures’. It appears to be faithful recreation of the entire park, navigatable with Kinect and of course, you get to on the attractions and interact with it accordingly.

Looks great for kids, but likely holds no allure for us cynical, miserable and moody adults.

They have two kids on stage showing a Peter Pan segment where they are flying through the skies collecting coins and soaring through valley’s. Looks alright, but again, i’m not the target audience.

Well, that and i’m generally a miserable cunt. But, I digress.

We now get an Alice in Wonderland style racing section which is manipulated with all of the gestures you would expect. I could really do without the kids going ‘This is so COOL!’ and ‘FISTBUMP!’ (I shit you not). Anyway, it’s due out this Chrimbo for all of you parents who are too tight to take your sprogs to EuroDisney.

Now we get Star Wars and the crowd gets wood.

Yep, Star Wars Kinect.

We get a montage of all sorts of things; light sabre combat, pod racing and space flight. Again, I would like to see some in-game footage to see how much articulation freedom you have in regards to movement or if it will be an entirely on-rails affair.

Ah, here we go.

We have a Jedi leaping off a ship and the voice command ‘Lightsabre on’ turns on his glowy stick of righteous death. Needless to say a couple of droids die right away and it all appears to be on-rails as expected. Cool moment though; using force grip Kinect gestures to move a destroyed ship out of the way.

We get more combat with droids and it all just looks… odd. There is no UI to speak of and if you are surrounded by multiple hostiles, you seem to automatically face the ones closest to you, while jumping up in the air, makes the character leap over the enemy allowing you to strike from behind. Still don’t know enough about this.

Star Wars Kinect is done and we get Tim Schafer from Brutal Legend developer Double Fine to show Kinect title Once Upon A Monster. We get lots of waving from the boy and dude on stage and it appears to be a game where you mimic the movements of the monster on the screen. Again great for kids and MS are obviously keen to diversify their demographics this year.

Now we get an activity within the game where they have to use gestures to catch various creatures such as flies, bats and so on. They have nailed the look for sure and if Schafer is involved in this, i’m sure it’ll be solid nonetheless.

Schafer is done.

Now we get Kudo on stage to show off Kinect.

He talks about it being two-years ago this week that they announced Kinect.

We get Kinect Fun Labs. Which appears to be a sort of Xbox Live Indie/Insider version of Xbox Live for Kinect. If you see what I mean. Or not.

Anyway. He talks about controlling your avatar in the past and now mentions ‘becoming your avatar’. The Kinect camera scans the lady on the stage and basically creates an avatar out of it. The visual style remains the same, but it appears to be nothing more than a shortcut to get the avatar looking similar to you.

Now we get Kinect Finger Tracking. Hmmm, this could be interesting.

The guy on stage is tracing on screen using his fingers. Good in principal, but i’m not sure just how accurate it is.

Again we get the reinforced message that Kinect Fun Labs is a creative community venture for Kinect.

Next ‘Kinect Innovation’ is object capture. Yeah, that’s right – we were promised that TWO YEARS AGO.

Anyways, the lady on stage is scanning in her plushy toy and lo and behold it actually appears on screen and is fully Kinect gesture controlled. That was fairly impressive.

Hopefully, these features will be used outside of Kinect Fun Labs by actual developers.

Kinect Fun Labs is live TODAY. Nice job.

Kinect Sports Season 2 is on stage and we get a montage showing baseball, skiing, golf, darts, tennis and American Football. This’ll likely do well.

We get a golf game going on and it looks pretty good – amply using full body movements to line up a putt and stroke.

Now we get American Football. I have no earthly clue what the fundamentals are of this sport other than lots of grunting. Interestingly the grunting is actually a vocal clue to being the game and the meat of it appears to be running (faster than the other guy chasing you) and throwing/passing the ball to the end. Looks ok for what it is – no doubt our American buddies will go fucking spare over this.

Next we get Dance Central 2.0. Apparently all old DC1 songs can be ported across to DC2, giving it a huge library of music. The big innovation here is simultaneous dancing and it does pretty much as advertised. The game itself, fundamentally at least, appears to be relatively unchanged from last year. This Is A Good Thing.

Dance Central 2 is done.

Donny M is back on stage.

He talks about the 360 changing living room entertainment forever. I just want more games. I know that we’re talking about capturing larger audiences, but I don’t give a toss; give me more games.

He confirms that CoD content will be available first on 360.

On the close of the MS keynote, we get a trailer. The start of a ‘new trilogy’.

We see a fireball going through space hitting various blocks and then a heart starts beating leading us to the Master Chief! He has just woken up as his ship us falling apart and he is pissed it seems. The camera pans back and we get an outline of an alien ship (a new species by the looks of it) – no gameplay though.

A 2012 release is planned.

And MS is done!

Written by bitsnark

June 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Microsoft Accidentally Leaks Halo 4 & Halo HD

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Written by bitsnark

June 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm

E3 2011: Batman Arkham City Gets A Catwoman-Centric Trailer, Looks Fantastic, Nobody Is Surprised

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Oh come on, tell me you aren’t going to buy this:

Batman: Arkham City is due out onb 360, PS3 and PC platforms this October.

Written by bitsnark

June 3, 2011 at 1:31 pm

E3 2011: 2K Games Releases A New Trailer For X-Com

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When is an X-Com game not an X-Com game? When they turn it into an FPS with a Timesplitters esque art style thats when.

It’s quite a shame, because funky art style and enemies nonwithstanding, this game is going to struggle to differeniate itself from the competition in more meaningful ways I believe.

Have a look at and see what you think:

Written by bitsnark

June 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

E3 2011: The Darkness 2 Gets Some Trailer Love

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The sequel to one of my favourite games of 2007, now has a trailer with actual gameplay and stuff.

This trailer has quad wielding (dual wielding is SO 2002), dismemberments and lots of really, really angry tentacles that just want to tear things up.

Come on, take a look at it below and tell me it doesn’t do anything for you:

The Darkness 2 is due for release on 360 and PS3 platforms this Autumn.

Written by bitsnark

June 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

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