Microsoft E3 2011
I guess MS doesn’t hold press conferences, they hold “Global Media Briefings” 😛
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Demo
Opens straight with Modern Warfare 3 footage, which is actually pretty cool. Underwater incursion into a sub-marine. After surfacing it looks like we are in the U.S., probably New York, which holds to the World War III info that has been floating around. Visually looks excellent, standard CoD gameplay. We’ll have to wait and see. The only way it will garner a purchase from me is a single player campaign that last longer the 4-5 hours of the last few incarnations.
Tomb Raider 2011
Tomb Raider is looking very good. Just as the Uncharted series took the best out of Tomb Raider (thus turning itself into the defacto leader of the “treasure-hunting” genre), the old franchise looks to take the realistic, visceral feel of Nathan Drake’s World and bring it to Lara Croft. Graphics look fantastic; from water and fire particles to textures, models and scene layout. Nitpicking would be based on the vocalized inner-monologue of Lara throughout the demo, I don’t feel like it’s needed. That’s a gimmick which is used when the way forward is not obvious; good in small doses, an indicator of poor level design when constant.
Peter Moore talks about lots of Kinect Support for all the big EA Sports franchise. More info and other games in the EA E3 2011 Breakdown.
Mass Effect 3 Kinect Features
Vocal recognition of dialogue choices as well as tactical and power call outs via voice. These feel cool, but may ultimately end up feeling gimmicky like most other “Kinect or Move Functionality”. More ME3 stuff in the EA E3 Breakdown. Nice to see/hear a bunch of the old characters. Wrex on comms, Liara and Garrus in combat. Looks like they are rescuing a female Krogan (Mordin is experimenting on saving the race?), who is called the last hope for her people. Awesome.
UbiSoft Embraces Kinect
Much as they did with the Wii where others were afraid. They are embracing the Kinect. Ghost Recon’s new Gunsmith feature allows for “20 million” weapons combos. Looks like they took some ideas from Borderlands. The voice and Kinect load-outs for weapons are intriguing. They say all Tom Clancy franchises moving forward will be Kinect enabled. More from Ubi on the Ubisoft E3 2011 Breakdown post.
Xbox Live and Live TV
I don’t care about Television or UI enhancements. E3 is for the games. I will say that if any console, Xbox, PS3, Nintendo Insert Codename really wants to be a media machine they will need to address a lot issues inherit with running console hardware for extended periods of time. We all know the Xbox hardware issues. Sony has less, but their system also gets really warm and loud with prolonged use. Nintendo heats up when you leave the stand-by mode on and Internet connected.
It’s painfully obvious that some of the UI demos and Kinect Demos are staged. This confirms some info I got from an acquaintance who worked on early demos for the Kinect who said they were all essentially composited videos. The Kinect did turn out nicely though, so maybe they’re in “fake it until you make it” mode.
UFC Live with Live TV
So Dana White says UFC events will work with Xbox Live TV. Great. Now I pay for Xbox Live and a PPV so that I can see if my friends correctly predicted fights and get achievements if I did as well. Seems useless. Interactive T.V. doesn’t have much merit to me when I have a more extensive version of that functionality… called a video game.
Halo Remastered on the Ryse
Ryse is like a Fighters Unleashed (whatever that Kinect game was) only in Roman times and with better graphics. We’ll see how it turns out, the clips were brief. Halo is getting remastered. After MS bagged on Sony and Nintendo for their remakes, I find this amusing. Halo… bleh. Regardless of my feelings for the franchise this will sell a billion copies, so good move Microsoft. Forza Motosport 4 also got a brief showing. I like the Forza series, back to the first Xbox entry. Excellent shaders (material/textures) for the vehicles and nice looking environments.
Fable the Journey aka Fable on Rails
Industry legend and notorious over-promiser Molyneux presents Fable: The Journey. All I see is magic use, probably to showcase Kinect. It is sadly, as are most of these Kinect and Move games on-rails. This is where Kinect and Move need to meld. You need a navigation controller to move in true 3D space along with the sensitive and more precise eye of the Kinect. This is the only way to get these more “innovative” titles of the rails and with better presentation.
Not really for me, though I may play with my niece. MS hired some terrible actors to fake their way through their products. These children “enjoying” themselves stinks. Looks like the Kinect Adventures game, which was fun, set in Disneyland. Check it out if you have little ones.
Once Upon a Monster
Tim Schaefer and Double Fine doing a Sesame Street game? Madness! Looks like more family fun with Kinect. I will have to suffer through Elmo for my niece. Elmo’s voice makes me want to strangle kittens…. and I love kittens. Fall Release scheduled.
So a bunch of Kinect “features” for playing around on Xbox Live. Better avatar creation, content sharing etc. The real test will be to implement some of these features in to the games. The avatars are not there yet. With a quality camera, texture capture for more realistic faces and clothing should be built-in to some games. The most intriguing functionality is the real-time 3D objects scanning. Imagine your character loaded out with, your own clothes, or backpack, or accessories like swords or hats through quick 3d scanning. Very cool, but I don’t want to this to share with Xbox friends, I want to this kind of option in games!
The Rest of MS
Hey awesome, a dance game with songs from Usher that have been playing on the radio non-stop for two years. Kill. Me. Now. Funny that these Dance games are marketed towards kids… have you heard the lyrics in these songs? I know I would want my children falling in love “in the club”. Oh yeah and Halo 4 was announced/teased… shocking I know, they weren’t going to do more, and Bungie is not involved and…. who cares. If you’re obsessed with the series you’ll get it, if you think it’s terribly over-rated like me you don’t care.