The Microsoft conference was quite a surprise, something which has been a highlight for E3 over the past few years but with little going on in the rumour mill lately, what could possible happen worth waiting for? Oh, Microsoft had a few well kept secrets.
Best announcement – Without a doubt the Natal unveil was the highlight of the conference, clearly something which Microsoft have carefully been preparing as a good portion of the show time was set aside to demonstrate the possibilities of the new hardware.
The simple thought of being able to control games with full body and facial movement, with no “waggle functionality”, as aptly explained mid presentation, is a fantastic premise. If the system works to even a degree of what was demonstrated and promised, the future of gaming could change significantly.
Best trailer – Whilst the best announcement was Natal, Alan Wake was the highlight in terms of the games shown without a doubt. We have been made to wait for years whilst development on Alan Wake has been kept in silence, leaving us to believe the game was following the rocky path of Duke Nukem. Thankfully that is not the case as the recent trailer demonstrated at E3 was mind blowing. Not only does the game look to be of a polished state, but the level of emersion is fascinating. Finally it looks like the thriller genre has return to console gaming, and with style.
The EA trailer started on a strange foot, with an emphasis being placed on younger audiences – something which appreciated by many and certainly extremely profitable, is not what you come to think when you combine the largest publisher with E3. Thankfully this did not stay the topic of conversation for long, as straight after the cutesey cuddly kids gaming comes Dragon Age, full of gore, breasts and beasts – quite the combination.
Best announcement – The EA conference held quite a few small surprises, and whilst it is not quite fitting for the site (current unannounced to be coming to consoles), perfectly fitting for the role of best announcement was Star Wars The Old Republic, presented with a fantastic introduction of robed figures ushering in the games first cinematic trailer – of which the force was truly strong.
Best trailer – EA certainly has quantity, and from what was seen there was certain quality too! Picking a favourite of the bunch is rather difficulty, and to be fair Star Wars The Old Republic is deserving of this grace once again, but as the trailer was purely CGI I think it only fair to grace Mass Effect 2 with its deserved crown. A stunning trailer which forced hairs to stand, with an attack from an enemy leading to the phrase being yellowed “It’s not the Geth!”.
The best way to describe the Ubisoft conference would be interesting. Whilst it was quite possibly the slowest two hour period of my life, with some of the worst presentations imaginable; the sheer joy of reading viewer backlash made it near enjoyable. Two personal favourites during the James Cameron 25minute talk, “LOL. This dude is tryin’ to sell us sand in a desert” and “Is he getting paid by the word or what?”
Best announcement – The unique features of Splinter Cell Conviction certainly proved to be a highlight of the show, with a unique method of providing all the games objective information, level names and environment interaction through labels and lighting effects placed onto the environment itself – this small idea seems to pay off big in what was an extremely impressive live demo of the game.
Best trailer – Trailers were few are far between throughout the conference, and whilst the Assassins Creed 2 trailer was only CGI, it was hands down the best of the bunch. Graphically the video was beautiful; portraying what will be without a doubt another extremely stylised action packed adventure. A nice touch at the end demonstrates that the game is likely to include guns of a sort, if only single bullet pistols.