Day one of the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo is in the books, and overall impressions are mixed at best. While the only action was via three separate publisher conferences (Activision’s event is private and won’t be seen until it sees fit), it was most certainly newsworthy. Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft all went ahead and gathered the media for pre-show spectacles that were either awful or fantastic — no middle ground was in sight.
Enough chit-chat, though. Here are the dizzying highs and excruciating lows of the day one festivities.
Metal Gear Solid: Rising looks awesome
Things got off to a good start with the first gameplay footage of the multiplatform addition to the Metal Gear saga since it’s debut at last year’s E3. Although only about two-and-a-half minutes long, the trailer shown during Microsoft’s conference proves that the boys at Kojima HQ have been hard at work making a damn fine looking slash-em-up. Take a look:
The trailer shows that this is definitely unlike any game in the series to come before it, replacing the slower-paced action of old and replacing it with Raiden as the finest cyborg ninja lumberjack you’ve ever seen. The mechanics seem simple enough — standard swordfighting with the ability to slow down time and chop away at exactly the angle you want thrown in. We definitely can’t wait to see more of this game down the line.
Kinect lives in 2006
It’s hard to write this without seeming like outright flamebait, but there’s no way around it — the accessory formerly known as Natal didn’t do anything you weren’t able to do with what’s already available. Voice and motion control for navigating the Xbox dashboard wasn’t any easier than simply using a controller, and Microsoft already sold Xbox Live Vision cameras for video chat.
More importantly, the games were a disaster. One thing is to take inspiration from someone else’s innovation, but Microsoft were going on and on about how this was unlike anything you had ever seen before. Except for the fact that there was no controller in anyone’s hand and that it was all in HD, we’re pretty sure that there have been two different versions of Wii Sports since late 2006, as well as two different Wii Fit games. Let’s not even get into Kinectimals.
That’s not to say this isn’t cause for concern on the Sony front. They’ve got Move ready to go , and all those awesome sequels they revealed early may have been to make room for a motion-centric show of their own. If that’s the case, let’s hope they have the sense to acknowledge that they weren’t first to the party and have something substantial to showcase.
EA is not f***ing around
There’s simply not enough time before Sony and Nintendo’s conferences to talk about each wonderful thing EA showed off at length.
The next entry in the Need for Speed series is a new Hot Pursuit, a call back to the series’ roots of racing exotic cars in exotic locales in the hands of the very talented folks at Criterion of Burnout fame. Dead Space 2 looks creepy as hell, with more to come at Sony’s keynote. Medal of Honor has its sights firmly set at being the top military shooter, while Battlefield Bad Company 2 gets a Vietnam expansion. EA Sports introduced an innovative Live Broadcast system for its MMA game where you create hype videos for your fighter with the chance to back up your talk in front of an online audience. Crysis 2 and it’s face-melting graphics will hit shelves capable of stereoscopic 3D. Bulletstorm wants to scare the dick off you.
Considering what came before at the Microsoft conference, as well as what lied ahead, EA came out looking like absolute royalty. Hell, even without those debacles they would’ve impressed.
Ubisoft forget they’re a games company …
Shortly after the forgettable Shaun White Skateboarding demo a man and some models barged into the Hollywood Theater where Joel “I love to hear myself talk” McHale was hosting the Ubi conference and started to play lazer tag for a good 90 seconds, with absolutely zero explanation. No one had a clue as to what was going on. As it turns out, it’s a demo for Battle Tag, which is essentially a convoluted way to play the lazer tag you already know. The lazer tag you can play immediately, rather than wait for Ubi’s software to drop at the end of the year.
Right after that it was time for Innergy, which uses Ubisoft’s version of Nintendo’s Vitality Sensor from last year’s E3. The minigame displayed was essentially a breathing excercise, apparently designed to reduce stress. Ironic, really, considering I was considering punching right through my laptop’s monitor as I was watching it unfold live. A good rule of thumb: when ripping off ideas, at least make sure they’re at least fun ideas.
… but still have a couple things up their sleeve
It wasn’t all terrible from Ubisoft, though. To start, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood looked to continue AC2’s excellence by expanding the combat. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier had an impressive showing as well. Even Driver: San Francisco looked to be the best game that franchise has seen since the original on PS1.
The most exciting news was left for the end, when Rayman Origins came out of nowhere and looked absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, not much is known about the game so far, except that a puny five people are working on the game. Hopefully the game can come out sometime before people forget about Rayman again, but what little we saw looked to be worth the wait.
What was your favorite moment of day one? Sound off below.