The very first day of E3 was jam packed. My day included limited sleep because of my excitement to watch the press conferences on TV and spending 25 consecutive hours at work. Luckily I have the time to watch all the conferences. I’ll start off on my thoughts on what was presented at the Microsoft conference.
Also, before I get started, our fearless leader, Joe Marchese, has posted his thoughts on the show which you can see here. Where he broke down what happened, I will put my thoughts down on the presentation.
I don’t want to fault the people 343 studios, simply because I’m not a first person shooter fan, but I will say the game looked very good. I would imagine Halo fans would like to see what was presented in a Halo game. I’m interested to hear the thoughts of Halo fans as to how they thought the game looked.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
I don’t know how many times I tweeted and said out loud “Sam Fisher is a badass”. The killing in motion was a very cool aspect. It reminded me of seeing that fluid movement and shooting in movies and integrating it into a video game.
Upon hearing about Kinect integration, that old thought of using voice recognition with the headsets rather than the Kinect crept into my head. I personally think a great way to use the Kinect would be to motion for the AI to take cover to the left and/or right via hand signals. Still, voice integration in most games, I’ll talk about this later, with the Kinect hasn’t impressed me thus far. But I digress, did I mention Sam Fisher is a bad ass, yet?
The demo looked sweet. Gameplay looked fluid, and I want to see more of the “killing in motion” feature in action. I’m not a Splinter Cell player, but that game really impressed me a lot. It convinced me to try to find some time to try to give it a play through it if at all possible.
First up was FIFA 13, with Kinect integration. Play formations and substitutions seemed like very basic uses of the Kinect. Then came my favorite use for Kinect enabled voice integration: Yelling at the referee. How many times as either a sports fan or a sports gamer, have we yelled at the referee? I can see this going very far in future titles such as the NBA Live franchise, and even going so far as getting a technical foul drawn against the “coach”.
Madden NFL 13, really needs to impress me more. It’s hard for me to get excited about the Madden franchise since it comes out every year. It has the reputation given by the casual Madden player of improving little every year. I’m not a big fan of Madden anymore, but I’m curious again to see what the core Madden gamers think.
Next up were three trailers in Fable: The Journey, Gears of War: Judgement, and Forza Horizon. Fable: The Journey looked okay, but nothing I would be interested in, because it’s a Kinect game. Gears of War: Judgment had me slightly interested. The Gears of War franchise has piqued my interest as a Playstation 3 gamer, because there’s just something that gets me about fighting giant monsters. I’m putting this one in the “Might be a reason to get an Xbox” list. Forza looks to me like the 360 version of Gran Turismo, but with Forza Horizon, it looks like they’re moving in a more arcade type racer. I hope that move works out for them.
I’ll say this about the X Box 360: With all due respect, the 360, in my view, is more of an all around entertainment console. Working in 12 new languages, and adding Nickelodeon, Paramount Films, Machinima, Univision, NBA League Pass, The NHL Game Center, all the ESPN channels, and adding X Box Music, it seems Microsoft is working to make the X Box more than just a gaming console. While it’s never a bad idea to try to expand to a broader audience, I don’t feel that I would get too much use out of these applications as a gamer.
Nike+ Athletic Training
Again, this was something that didn’t interest me. I love playing video games, and connecting my smart phone and tablet to my console just isn’t something that interests me as a gamer, because I don’t have a smart phone or tablet. The ability to watch a movie on one device and finish it on another is fine, but isn’t something I personally have time for.
“Finally a game”, I thought. And what a game! That demo looked great. I wasn’t the biggest Tomb Raider fan back in the day, but the reboot has a more visceral feel to it. This makes Lara Croft look like an ordinary woman put in an extraordinary circumstance, and she’s trying her best to survive the predicament she’s in. This looked great to me, and I’m excited for it.
Ascend: New Gods, Loco Cycle, and Matter had individual, brief trailers. I just wish they had time to showcase these games a little more considering Loco Cycle is a Twisted Pixel production (Twisted Pixel games being among one of my reasons to buy an X Box). I believe these might be X Box Live Arcade titles, so these games might be some gems that hopefully don’t get overlooked.
Resident Evil 6
I have high hopes for this game, however, what they showed doesn’t look like the survival-horror genre we grew up on, but rather an action game with zombies. It looks like that’s the direction the game is being taken in, but with the bad taste,Capcom has left in some people’s mouths over the past couple years, I’ll wait and see on this title.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
I wish they would’ve shown a little bit more to the game, because to that point it was among one of my favorite games shown during the conference, yet it only got a trailer and a few screen shots. The best part was Trey Parker and Matt Stone realizing the scope of the world they created when they had to figure out where Stan’s house was in relation to where they were in South Park.
Dance Central 3
My thoughts on this presentation were “how many Dance Central fans are genuinely watching the Microsoft E3 conference at home?” I can imagine a small portion of the audience genuinely did care, but since these are my thoughts, and I don’t care about this game, I’m moving on.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Again, maybe it’s just me not being a fan of the first person shooter genre, but I didn’t care, because 1) like I said, first person shooters aren’t my thing, and 2) It’s another Call of Duty this year. I’d like to see Activision take some time to let Treyarch and Infinity Ward more than 2 years to develop a title with innovations rather than new settings or weapons. Again, maybe it’s just me.
I thought Microsoft played things very safe. I really would’ve loved to have seen more original exclusive titles for the Xbox, and mix in the sequels and prequels. In my opinion, the biggest “surprise” was the new Splinter Cell game. The entertainment aspects and the SmartGlass feature, seemed okay, just not something I would be interested in. If I was given that layout of the conference, I would’ve scheduled Call of Duty to open the show, and Halo 4 to close.
Overall the conference was just okay. What was shown out there didn’t necessarily convince me to buy an X Box as a PS3 gamer, but maybe everything shown was more of a service to the fans they already have. More Halo, more Gears of War, and more Kinect enhanced games for all the X Box gamers just felt like more of the same type of things. I’m starting to think maybe Microsoft is waiting until the next generation of consoles to start taking those risks of new IPs. Without a new console announcement this year, that’s more later than it is sooner.
So let us know what you think in the comment section, and stay tuned to New Gamer Nation as we’ll have a ton of content coming this week.