Today it has been Microsoft’s day for unveiling its wares in their briefing prior to E3 kicking off this week. So what has been announced? We’ll, the briefing kicked off with Call of Duty: Black Ops – I guess there is no better game to start off any briefing. We were shown a good mix of running and gunning, as well as some airtime combat in a stolen chopper. Visually the game looked great to me, and no doubt with the Call of Duty badge it will sell like hot cakes when it releases. A big announcement for the game followed that DLC for the game will release first on Xbox 360 for the next three years, which is quite an important exclusivity to have, and is something Xbox owners of the game will be pleased with.
Hideo Kojima soon took the stage next to showcase Metal Gear Solid Rising via a video trailer. This looked pretty awesome, perhaps a little Devil May Cry looking but still it showed a lot of promise. In the video it mentioned ‘Cut what you want’ and the video showed that you could do just that, from concrete pillars and cars to body parts – everything could be pretty much sliced and diced. We were even shown a nice slow-motion shot where time slowed down for your character to dice the enemy up into even more pieces – good fun – ahem. The video ended with true Kojima comedy fashion with its character chopping up melons on a table – brilliant. I’ll be looking forward to checking out that game.
Cliffy B later took to the stage to show off Gears of War 3 in a 4-player co-op mode. Everything looked like Gears of War 2, all but with a little extra spit and polish. To be fair, after such a short gap since the last release, we couldn’t really expect a massive improvement in this sequel. The Unreal engine is pretty solid as it is, so with a few enhancements I am sure it will be more about the story and co-op play rather than being blown away with new visuals.
A new enemy type was shown, the mutating Lambent, which when entering the game area would form into different shape that would in turn have different attacks. In the game we saw a few forms of this Lambent creature, mostly with big tentacles and some form of fire spitting attacks, both projectile and stream. New floor crawlers were also on show as they escaped from the feet of these new characters, so expect lots of running backwards while zapping those bad guys.
Creative Director – Peter Molyneux – also took stage to show Fable 3 very briefly via a new trailer. The whole game looked a lot more mature and hopefully I’ll be able to get more hands-on with the game later this week.
I liked the look of Codename Kingdoms, from newly acquired developer house for Microsoft, Crytek. Not much was shown but with Crytek’s engine behind the scenes I am sure the game will be full of destructible physics and jaw dropping visuals. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on that one, will it be a hack and slash game? Who knows? I am sure we’ll find out further into the year.
Moving on to another AAA franchise, we were shown more of Halo Reache’s single player campaign. The demo was a short playthrough and the best moment was when we saw your character take flight in a ‘Sabre’ spacecraft, into outer space and into space combat which looked absolutely stunning. It has been a while since a decent space combat game was around, I am still have a fan of X-Wing from Lucasarts, and I am still looking out for a title in this generation to fill that gap on today’s consoles.
So that is the first part of my impressions of the Xbox E3 briefing. Feel free to have your say in the comments of what you thought about this part of the briefing. Next up I’ll be giving my impressions on Kinect and the new Xbox 360, along with some hands-on impressions of the new rebooted console.