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Old 09-09-2007, 06:34 PM   #1
TrackZero
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[X07] Part 3 - The Big Ones

Well, it's been slow coming (busy week), but I thought I'd try to get nearly everything else covered in one shot. Hope there's some interesting bits for everyone.

(Note: As always my camera chops in the videos when there's too much action on the screen, but it should give you some idea of the gameplay. Unless otherwise noted, all games ran smooth. As well, I suggest keeping your volume down until the videos start, as some of them are quite loud based on their proximity to the Rock Band booth.)



Halo 3

Preface:
Figured we'd kick this off with the big one. I got to attend a closed door single player demo through 2 of the campaign levels, as well as spent some time playing the multiplayer myself. So here's what we've got...


Key Points:
  • A.I. is vastly improved. (Legendary mode is going to hurt.)
  • Graphics engine completely upgraded from the beta, everything you'd hope it'd be.
  • Forge map editing is fantastic, competitive leagues and machinima fans will love it.
  • Even single player campaign missions can be saved, replayed, paused, viewed from any position.
  • Yet more deployables, weapons and vehicles. Great selection.
  • Gameplay is polished, and most of all, fun.
  • Finish the fight! (That one is for you Zeal.)




Content:

Halo 3 Forge Footage
Halo 3 Multiplayer Smackdown with Greenskull from ReadyUpLive
Yet more Halo 3 Multiplayer

Summary:

I really don't know what I can say here that won't be thought of as hype. So I'll try to keep things brief and honest. Halo 3 kicks ass. It takes all the best of the series and kicks it up a notch. I never encountered any issues during gameplay at all to speak of. The single player campaign missions that I saw merely came off as a tease, as I wanted to grab the controller and play the whole time. The multiplayer is a large improvement over Halo 2 (which I wasn't a fan of) and hits a great balance that's sure to please people. Co-op? I didn't see it, it wasn't there, so that's the only remaining question mark to be answered (I really hope it works as well as it should).

If you didn't like the previous chapters of Halo, I suggest you at least give this one a rental, as there's just so much packed into it, you're almost guaranteed to find something to enjoy. For the fans, well, this will be the no-holds-barred game you love, so get ready.

Halo 3 is planned for release on September 25th, 2007.




World In Conflict

Preface:
I was pleasantly surprised to see this one at the show, as a good RTS is always a solid in my book.


Key Points:
  • Awesome graphics engine (for an RTS, this one impressed me).
  • Standard "build" queue as well as instant-drops for backup.
  • No resource management to deal with (and up or downside, depending on your preference).
  • Completely destructible terrain, buildings can be used by troops for cover/bunkering.

Content:

World In Conflict Demonstration

Summary:
I got to spend about 20 minutes with this one, and I'll say, it did suck me in quite a bit. Solid RTS had every standard nailed down. I'll say the big difference was that this game was taking place on near-modern U.S. soil. I had some good fun with it, and I assume hardcore RTS fans will dig it. The only thing I was sad I didn't get a chance to see was one of the nukes going off in-game.


World In Conflict is planned for release on the PC on Sept 18th 2007 and 360 on March 1st, 2008.



The Simpsons Game

Preface:
I wasn't even expecting to see this one, it had completely slipped my mind. Though from the crowds, it seemed to be a favourite.


Key Points:
  • Simpsons art style nailed to a tee (sans the odd blinking animation).
  • Humour seems to be very intact.
  • Some good platforming to be had.
  • There seemed to be some "collecting" to be done, though not on the Star Fox Adventures level.

Content:

The Simpsons Game Footage

Summary:
For every Evil Avatar member with kids, you'll be picking this one up for sure. The gameplay is good, it's got the funny, and a huge IP attached to it, so I expect it'll sell like hotcakes. For most of us, this one will warrant a rental at the least.


The Simpsons Game is planned for release on October 30th, 2007.


Fatal Inertia

Preface:
Personally I was kind of jazzed to see this one, as I'm a futuristic racer fan (F-Zero, Wipeout,etc).


Key Points:
  • Awesome visuals.
  • Inventive weapon selection.
  • Lots of different racing modes.
  • Level design is tied into the break-boost cornering system.
  • Game ran butter smooth, either at 60fps or very near it.

Content:

Fatal Inertia Water Level Demo
Fatal Inertia Snow Level Demo

Summary:
This one is an interesting case as it's the first game from a Koei Canada. Having played the demo, I was interested to see how things had gone. It seems they've tweaked the gameplay somewhat since that time, and I found myself quite enjoying the game this time around (except in hard mode, yeesh, lives up to its name). The Unreal 3 engine shines on this one, and I found once I got in some time learning the tracks I really got into it. There was also a variety of different modes to play through. Personally I'm planning to at least give this one a rent and see how it goes.


Fatal Inertia is planned for release on September 11th, 2007.



Half-Life 2: Episode 2

Preface:
It was a little surprising they weren't showing the whole of the "Orange Box", just the episode 2 content.


Key Points:
  • Engine still looking good on the 360.
  • There was some minor screen-tearing to be seen, it seemed vsync wasn't enabled in the demo.
  • It's another Half-Life 2 episode, lots of physics, exploration and story. What else is there to say?
  • D-Pad weapon selection was easy to navigate.

Content:

Half Life 2 Episode 2 Gameplay

And yes, we did manage to move the car and tear around in it afterwards with the gravity gun. We then successfully rolled it off a cliff.

Summary:
Not sure what to really say here, as I'm sure we've all played Half-Life 2. It seems to be more of the goodness we know and love. I didn't see any new weapons, though we did find that new pimp ride to drive around. The controls seemed fine on the console as well, more than responsive enough. The vsync tearing I saw was minor, though I suspect it was just disabled in the options, we never fiddled around with those. Personally I'm more looking forward to TF and Portal with this package, but I'm still interested in seeing the story move forward on its merry way.

The Orange Box is planned for release on October 9th, 2007.



Rock Band

Preface:
As many who attended PAX and E3, this was the one I was really looking forward to trying out. Wayne and I waited in the blackout for our first-spot in line for when the power came back on, and it was worth it.


Key Points:
  • It's Rock Band!
  • 4 Player is just as fun as I'd hoped it would be.
  • Graphics engine and art style is a nice breath of fresh air from Guitar Hero.
  • You can strum and whammy at once using the whammy bar, thanks to it's new length.
  • Doesn't need more cowbell.
  • I never want to hear "Wanted: Dead or Alive" again, hearing that played 30+ times in a row just kills.

Content:

Optional Blank Screen Achievements!
Wayne Shows Off The New Guitar, Price Is Right Style
Encouraging Words for the Singer, Halflife84, and Gameplay


Summary:
Rock Band, well, Rocks. I tried out the Drums to start, scared that I'd be complete crap (as I've never drummed before in my life), but found Easy mode was just perfect to get me going and I still felt like I was keeping up with everything and having a grand old time. Then I tried out the mic, since everyone seems to have an aversion to singing (except me and Halflife84, due to the number of beers in us), which worked out better than I thought. I actually found it easier not even to try and match the pitch on the screen, but just sing to the lyrics without even paying attention to that part. The cymbals/cowbell tapping on the mic also works great for those parts of the song sans-vocals.

Everyone simply loved this game and it was packed all day long, I think we're going to see mad sales on this when it comes out. And they seem really set on the weekly album releases, so I don't think it's a harsh prediction to say that we'll all be playing this through deep into next year at the least.

Rock Band is planned for release on November 20th, 2007.



Kane and Lynch

Preface:
Another one that completely slipped my mind, but the moment I saw it on the show floor, I ran over with excitement to see how it's been turning out.


Key Points:
  • Controls are solid, easy to manage 4 man team.
  • Fun destructible environments (not quite to the scale of Stranglehold, though probably more realistic).
  • Good story/script, akin to "Heist" movies.
  • Gameplay a mix of Gears of War and Star Wars: Republic Commando.
  • Mowing down civilians, always a plus.

Content:

Kane and Lynch Gameplay


Summary:
I'd been keeping an eye on this one, as I always look forward to interesting movie-style plots in games, followed up with deep characters. My only worry was the gameplay, and thankfully, that's covered just fine. The escape from the bank sequence I played worked well and was quite enjoyable, as I never seemed to know where to fire because the cops kept moving their positions around for better angles on me. Controlling my team was quick and easy and seemed to work fairly well. It's simply a 3 button system of holding position, come to me, or move/attack this position. It was nice to see as well that if you go down, your team can revive you.

I can't predict how the rest of the game will play out, but this is one to keep your eyes on.

Kane and Lynch is planned for release on November 13th, 2007.



I'll be doing a final X07 part covering the XNA games I saw and interviews with the designers, including the Dream-Build-Play 1st place winner, David Flook and his game Blazing Birds. As well as wrap up with Virtual Fighter 5, Blazing Angels 2 and PGR 4. I'll also be throwing in various errata footage from the event and my overall show observations.

Last edited by TrackZero; 09-09-2007 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:20 PM   #2
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halo 3 w00t!

I'm glad to hear that Halo 3 sp is actually FUN I'm trying to slog through Halo2 boy does that game suck!(what the fuck were the review sites on when they rated it?!?!)

I've got a pre-order for halo 3 so heres to hoping the SP will be great!

The one huge redeeming factor though of Halo 2 is of course the excellent mulitplayer, although for someone new to xbox games who has played superior games such as R6 VEGAS Halo 2's multiplayer is kinda weak.
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:37 PM   #3
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buncha stuff....
World In Conflict is planned for release on March 1st, 2008.
bunch more stuff...
Uh March 1st, 2008? I feel like may have missed something... isn't this out Sept 18th 2007?
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:12 PM   #4
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Uh March 1st, 2008? I feel like may have missed something... isn't this out Sept 18th 2007?
March 2k8 is referring to the 360 version.

Edit: Updated it for you though.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:28 PM   #5
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March 2k8 is referring to the 360 version.

Edit: Updated it for you though.
A RTS for 360...I can't stress enough how horrible that sounds.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
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March 2k8 is referring to the 360 version.

Edit: Updated it for you though.
Oops! Oh right, cause this is about [X07], my bad! Truth be told I didn't even know it was coming out for 360, so I just assumed. Ever after all those years of being told what assuming does!

Edit: I am relieved though, I was scared I was finding out the PC version was delayed
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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A RTS for 360...I can't stress enough how horrible that sounds.
Its been very successful more than once. Way to be a douche though.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:31 PM   #8
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Oops! Oh right, cause this is about [X07], my bad! Truth be told I didn't even know it was coming out for 360, so I just assumed. Ever after all those years of being told what assuming does!

Edit: I am relieved though, I was scared I was finding out the PC version was delayed
Actually, you were completely right. The version I played was on the PC. I just mis-grabbed the release date when I checked it. They had about a dozen PCs set up with games there as well.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:27 PM   #9
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Actually, you were completely right. The version I played was on the PC. I just mis-grabbed the release date when I checked it. They had about a dozen PCs set up with games there as well.
Hah, take that years of being told not to assume, luck is with me tonight! Time to buy a lotto ticket and ask for a raise!

P.S. I've enjoyed your entire X07 series of articles, a number of games I didn't even realize were coming I now desire.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:14 AM   #10
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Track, while you were checking out Fatal Inertia (glad to hear it's looking better) did you dig up any dirt on what's going on with the PS3 version. I'd just like to know if it's been canceled or not. Futuristic racers, especially ones with Fatal Inertia's emphasis on the vertical, are one of the few genres I really want to try with the Sixaxis. Might just have to wait for Wipeout.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:51 AM   #11
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Not bad MS.

All of those looked pretty hot. At first I was unimpressed with the Fatal Inertia demo, but those screens looked beautiful. I'd like to see the PS3 and Xbox 360 release schedules compared side by side with the multi platform games in another column.
Once I do that, I will know if I rush out and get a 60gb PS3 before they are all gone. I want the actual emulation hardware, not just the software download.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:08 AM   #12
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Dammit, everytime I decide on whether to purchase GH3 or Rock Band first, something happens and my choice gets swapped. STOP PLAYING WITH MY HEART!!

And I hope Kane and Lynch rocks.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:38 AM   #13
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HL2: Holy Shit





Wow. Wow! I would kill my own grandmother for this game.
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:47 AM   #14
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These are the "big ones"? Where are the RPGs (Mass Effect, Eternal Sonata, etc.)? Did you just ignore them the way I ignore RTS games?
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:10 AM   #15
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Nice write-up Track. Way to get me even more pumped for 3. I'm going into hibernation from all Halo threads from this day forward. It has to be leaked soon and I want no part of my experience spoiled.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:39 AM   #16
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Track, while you were checking out Fatal Inertia (glad to hear it's looking better) did you dig up any dirt on what's going on with the PS3 version. I'd just like to know if it's been canceled or not. Futuristic racers, especially ones with Fatal Inertia's emphasis on the vertical, are one of the few genres I really want to try with the Sixaxis. Might just have to wait for Wipeout.
Yes, yes I actually did sir.

Michael Bond (Software Dev. Dept., Lead Creator) from Koei Canada confirmed the PS3 version will be out sometime in the months following the 360 version (sounded 3-4 months if I recall correctly). He said they're going to use that time to continue to polish the game down for that release, possibly have more content. Also Sixaxis support on the PS3 was hands-down confirmed, as it was obvious to Koei Canada that control scheme would fit with the game.

I asked if the lateness was due to the Unreal 3 engine on the PS3 (already laughing because I knew the poor guy couldn't answer), we both just kind of chuckled about it and he gave some kind of "no comment" response. As I recall he had nothing but good things to say about Epic.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:43 AM   #17
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These are the "big ones"? Where are the RPGs (Mass Effect, Eternal Sonata, etc.)? Did you just ignore them the way I ignore RTS games?
The big ones I saw there. Mass Effect was covered in Part 2, as you may recall, there was a little power outage issue.....
Edit: And it was closed door for Mass Effect regardless, no playing it, no photography, just like Halo 3 single player, Lost Odyssey, and Assassin's Creed.

As for Eternal Sonata, no, I didn't cover it at all, my time at the show was limited so I wouldn't be able to give the game an hour or so time to judge a fair opinion of it, as well it's already been out in Japan and reviews are available from there and I know it'll be getting the full 9 yards from all the major media outlets when it's released simply because it is a RPG on the 360. So logically it didn't merit my time, sorry man.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:47 AM   #18
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Dammit, everytime I decide on whether to purchase GH3 or Rock Band first, something happens and my choice gets swapped. STOP PLAYING WITH MY HEART!!

And I hope Kane and Lynch rocks.
I didn't touch Guitar Hero 3 while I was there. It was right at the front door with a crowd around it (like many of the big name games) and I never seemed to have the time to spend with it. But as impartially as I can be, I'd say I expect it to also kick ass. Personally I'm just gunning for Rock Band as I like the new instruments and 4-player mode, as well as the art style change, the commitment to weekly downloadable albums, etc.

But I doubt you'd be unhappy getting either one.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:18 PM   #19
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Wow. Wow! I would kill my own grandmother for this game.
I HATE watching FPS games played with a mouse and keyboard. It looks so unrealistic and stupid. Like a hyped up ADHD 3rd grader on chocolate frosted sugar bombs.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:35 PM   #20
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I HATE watching FPS games played with a mouse and keyboard. It looks so unrealistic and stupid. Like a hyped up ADHD 3rd grader on chocolate frosted sugar bombs.
Pretty sure that was being played with some sticks ... I mean, the aiming reticule stays pretty much in the same place for a lot of the time.

Regardless, that movie kicked ass. The AI on those tripod walkers, the building that literally gets torn apart in front of you ... I am very angry I will not be able to play the Orange Box for over a year.
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