2nd June 2009 - E3 2009 is finally here! The first conference is now finished. Many previously rumoured games were shown with a couple of surprises thrown in.
The main games shown/announced:
- Rock Band: Beatles
- Tony Hawk: RIDE
- Modern Warfare 2
- Final Fantasy XIII
- Shadow Complex - Epic Games new Xbox Live Arcade Title.
- Joy Ride
- Crackdown 2
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Splinter Cell: Conviction
- Forza Motorsport 3
- Halo 3: ODST
- Halo Reach
- Alan Wake
- Metal Gear Solid RISING
- Project Natal
There was several system features/add-ons announced which were:
- Sky TV
- Zune Video
- Xbox Live Partnership with Facebook and Twitter
- New Camera which has facial and voice recognition
The highlights of the above announcements for me were as follows:
1. The Metal Gear Solid franchise coming to the Xbox 360, which is a major coup for Microsoft. Metal Gear Solid RISING will hopefully be at least the equal of the outstanding MGS4 for the PS3.
2. Modern Warfare 2. New footage was shown with a demo of the actual game which featured Captain Mac Tavish scaling the side of an icy cliff. There were new guns shown and Snowmobile riding which looks great. An exclusive of the first 2 downloadable map packs will be on the Xbox 360 first!
3. Crackdown 2 announcement. A short preview video of the game was shown. The first Crackdown was a surprising hit, so the second one should be great.
4. Forza 3 announcement. The Turn 10 creative producer Dan Greenwalt announced Forza 3 will feature 60fps graphics, over 400 cars and manufacturers and the ability to upload HD video with the new video editor. The in-car view that was shown looked great. The game ships this October.
5. Halo 3: ODST and Halo Reach. Joe Staten showed a brief demo of Halo 3: ODST. A new co-op mode called FireFight was announced and a launch date of 22/9/09. Halo Reach was announced but nothing much was shown. They did say that it would be launched in 2010 and that Halo Reach is a prequel to the original Halo games. An invite to the open beta of Halo Reach will come with Halo 3: ODST.
6. Splinter Cell: Conviction was finally revealed. A demo was shown which looked impressive, and was a very Max Payne style looking game. This should be a game to watch when it finally releases.
7. Final Fantasy XIII never before seen footage. The game looked interesting. It was announced that it will release in Spring 2010.
8. The console add-ons/features that were announced which were good, but not outstanding. They announced that Full 1080p movies through the new Zune video was announced and Sky TV will be brought to the UK and Ireland which will allow Live TV including news and sports to be broadcast straight from your 360.
Overall the Microsoft conference was disappointing with no real WOW factor. I was really hoping that we'd see something big and special and was probably the most disappointed with Epic Games. Their announcement of an Xbox Live Arcade title was a real let down. There was no details of another Gears of War game which we all know is coming. They didn't even anounce a new IP of a fully fledged game. The new Camera looks alright but it I don't think it is something that will be bought by the hardcore gamer. Microsoft are really trying to appeal to a broader audience with the camera and with the Facebook and Twitter integration. Unfortunately I think Microsoft may sit at number 3 in this years E3.
Article by Craig Cirillo