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Ozzie Gonzalez's impressions:
After seeing the Microsoft Press Conference there are a lot of thoughts going through my head a lot good and a few disappointing, but before I get ahead of myself let me break down the show for the people who haven't seen it yet. The show started out with a bunch of highly anticipated games including Halo: Reach, Gears of War 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Metal Gear Rising, Fable III and Call of Duty: Black Ops.
We'll start with Call of Duty, which we've finally got some real information for along with a very sick trailer featuring some music by Eminem. The trailer shows the main character Mason, along with his team as they kick ass through many different environments from jungle to snowy mountain tops. To answer your questions, yes, this is set in Vietnam, which can make for some very interesting story options. Everyone knows the controversy behind the Vietnam War, which makes me wonder if they will use that at all in the the single player. From beginning to end the trailer shows shooting, explosions, and blood aka everything you want from a Call of Duty game and this change of setting will be refreshing to fans who want something new.
There was also a quick trailer for Fallout: New Vegas that showed off some combat, which looked the same, but also new enemies, and an environment with electricity. At night the entire area lights up with bright lights and neon signs that makes the world look more alive than Fallout 3 did. Even though not much was shown this still gets me excited for the new areas to explore, people to meet and another 100 hours to waste away.
Then we got Metal Gear Rising something a lot of fans are looking forward to especially since it's coming for the 360, so fans won't have to go and buy a PS3 just to play it. They showed a trailer which included both in-game cinematics and some gameplay, all of which looked good. The beginning shows a mechanical soldier shooting at the ceiling as Raiden goes down and cuts him in two taking out some kind of energy from him before absorbing it. Then it goes to gameplay where you see Raiden go through the area killing every soldier he sees, cutting through a van and brutally murdering one enemy into little bits. Finally ending with him cutting a watermelon, a call back to Metal Gear Solid 4.
Moving to Gears of War 3, it introduced a lot of new mechanics and monsters, including some mutant locust that grow tentacles, which can be seen in the trailer Ash that was released a few months back. Cliff Bleszinski showed off some 4 player co-op in the game, something that is obviously new to the series as well as showing off the new female Gears one of them is named Sam, once again from the trailer. Players can also exchange weapons with each other, a cool feature, and just before leaving the stage Cliff mentions that he will announce a mode called "Beast" during the show. So make sure to check back for what that is.
After words Peter Molyneux comes out to demo Fable III showing some ship combat and different magic spells, but the big announcement is a release date that is October 26. So get ready to be king in just a few months.
Right after this we get a a live action trailer of a gladiator and then out pops the developer name Crytek, the people who brought you Crysis. The game is called CodeName: Kingdom and will be exclusive to the Xbox 360. Hopefully we'll get more detail later at E3.
Finally Halo: Reach comes out and we get a sick gameplay trailer showing some amazing graphics and very Halo like gameplay. Then the trailer goes completely crazy and shows something we didn't expect ... Space Combat! Yes that's right while we only got like a 10 second peek at the space fighting it looks sick and just made me want this game more.
We then move on to Kinect, aka Natal, details which was shown a lot, which was a given, along with all of the games that will be released with it. They show off the voice commands and motions controls as you navigate the menus all of which worked really well and got me excited for all the other things you could do. Then they moved on to the new video chat feature along with the announcement that ESPN will come to Xbox Live free to Gold Members. This will include NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Soccer but didn't say anything about NFL which being a football fan was a little disappointed.
They then moved on to the games all of which seemed very family oriented and this is where the show gets a little disappointing. They show off a game where you play with any kind of cat from lions to tigers, a racing game where you use only your body to drive, and their version of Wii Sports called Kinect Sports... yeah I know very original. Then they show an adventure game with different activities to do with your friends like river rafting but they do show off a cool feature where your friend can walk on screen at anytime and join in. Ubisoft also comes out with their release for Kinect, called Your Shape, where you exercise using the camera, doing a bunch of different activities from yoga to karate. Hamonix shows off their new title called Dance Central where, you guessed it, dance and while it sounds goofy it looks really intuitive and worked really well.
All of these games use you body to play, look fun and looks like it works really well, but where are they games for the guy who likes fighting games? Or a shooter? Every game is meant for a younger audience, and while you can enjoy them at any age, what about the hard core gamer? Yes we got a lot of news with the other games but with Kinects you should have at least a fighting game for the people who aren't into the other kinds of games. Otherwise you're just paying money to navigate your menus without a remote and that isn't worth my money. You need to have a wider variety of game for everybody not just kids otherwise you have the same problem the Wii has with it's hardcore fans where they only have a handful of games to pick from instead of hundreds. With this new installment I want to see some action, adventures or shooting games, if you want me to buy it because the other stuff isn't worth my time.
Then they showed of a game, still in very early development, that made me jump back on board. Microsoft is teaming up with LucasArts to make a Star Wars game with Kinect, and the demo they showed off was strictly controller free and was real gameplay. Here we saw every 10 year old's dream as we saw on screen the character deflect shots, slash storm troopers, use the force and start to take on Darth Vador. It looks almost like a rail shooter with the way the character moved since he really didn't move left to right only forward after he took out all the enemies within reach. While work obviously needs to be done to the game it looks awesome and that's what I want from Kinect, an action game. It doesn't have to be a Gears of War 3 style game with Kinect, it just has to be an action game that uses what Kinect's has to offer.
- Black Ops. Yo, it's Call of Duty. OK, that helicopter section was pretty good.
- The devil signed with Microsoft.
- Metal Gear Solid Rising. My new most anticipated game this year.
- Gears of War 3. Looks good. Looks like Gears...
- Oh God Peter Molyneux.
- Codename Kingdoms. The trailer looked good. Seriously, how am I supposed to get anything from that trailer?
- Halo Reach time. That means time to go let the dog out.
- Painful dialogue between two attractive ladies.
- ESPN on Live? Free for gold members? Sure! I'm on board.
- More Kinect. No thanks.
- And finally. Done with Kinect. I feel like an asshole for saying this but, nothing interested me. Oh wait, more Kinect... gah.
- New Xbox! Sadly, we knew this already. Free Xbox's for everyone! In the audience! Decent looking system. 300 bucks isn't too bad. Wish it was cheaper but blarg. Kay.
- Overall, disappointing as hell. Kinect is not for me whatsoever and nothing involving it interested me. Best thing was by far the MGS Rising trailer. Cannot wait for that.