Next week is E3 week, and our excitement is running dangerously high--our geek-meters are in the red and we're getting ready to melt the core. We want the weekend to be over sooner, and this week, we'll all be saying "Thank God it's Monday!"
Here's an idea of what some of us at G4 are most excited about at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Co-Op Games: With games like Valve's Left 4 Dead, Capcom's Resident Evil 5, and Sony's LittleBigPlanet, it appears that this year's "big thing" in multiplayer is co-op gaming. Sure, tea bagging some sap in Halo 3 is still good for a laugh, but there is nothing quite as fulfilling as escaping an onslaught of fast-moving zombies without leaving anyone behind.
This year's E3 certainly seems to be the year of Co-Op gaming and nothing could have me more excited. In particular, the Co-op experience of trying to survive a classic zombie movie in Left 4 Dead is especially appealing. Also, finally being able to team up with my siblings in NY for a bi-coastal rock-splosion tour in Rock Band 2 is going to make my year!
Street Fighter IV: For the past seven years, my one E3 dream has been a new Chrono series-related announcement. This year I got my wish as Square Enix finally acknowledged that they remember the franchise; suffice it to say I will be giving my DS some love of the RPG variety later this year.
So now I turn my E3 thoughts to another couple of related games that we haven’t heard from in several years: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. If Sony can come out on stage next Tuesday and give me even the slightest glimpse of what’s next from Fumito Ueda’s design team over in Japan, my life will be made. Aside from that, and aside from the general excitement I feel for Gears 2, Fallout 3, and Infamous, the big title that has me pumped is Street Fighter IV. There’s been a bit of a resurgence in interest of the 2D fighting game around the X-Play offices as of late, and the thought of playing a brand new Capcom fighter has me super excited given the graphical style and aesthetic design. In general, Capcom is on absolute fire right now; everything they touch turns to gold. The more I see of the new Bionic Commando, the more I fall in love, and Bionic Commando Rearmed will be the downloadable game of the year, no questions asked.
Ultimately, the one thing I hope E3 does this year is provide some surprises that get people talking. Last year was relatively low key, with very few standout, jaw-dropping moments. If one of the hardware makers or third party publishers can bring the shock and awe, then E3 will be a worthy success in my eyes.
Saint's Row 2: I'm really looking forward to taking a trip back to Stilwater. Sure, Liberty City is a fun place, but we’ve been away from our homies in the Saints for far too long It’s time to once again ride or die for 3rd street in Saints Row 2. Caps will be bust, son!
Rock Band and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Everyone loves the Rock Band, and Rock Band 2 is going to make my house that much more crowded with music game peripherals, but also much more awesome. The new guitar looks even better, and they fixed the “sqwuishy” strum bar, which might finally bring me to the top tiers of expert. The sunburst color and cherrywood neck look so damn sweet, and since this is the second version of the guitar, hopefully they’ve fixed some of the issues with the star power/tilt sensitivity. Also, an amazing new set list. Seriously Harmonix, kudos. You’ve got a lifelong customer.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has been on my mind since it was announced. It’s been too long since a Star Wars game came out that really gave us the feeling that the original trilogy did. Not since Dark Forces has there been such a good reason to return to the galaxy far, far away. The game looks amazing, the story has been approved by Lucas, and Chad Vader did the voice acting for Darth. How can you top that? Early reports are that it controls like a dream. One lucky person who got an early hands-on told me about a moment where they were dispatching with some storm troopers in a star destroyer hangar when suddenly the camera fixed to the top right of the screen. He had accidentally force-grabbed a tie fighter that was hanging from the ceiling for storage, so of course he immediately rained it down upon the unsuspecting clones and sent tie-pieces and trooper bodies flying in all directions. Yeah, that’s what I said too. Let me love you again, LucasArts.
Rock Band 2 and Sports Games: I’m really looking forward to Rock Band 2, because I saw the leaked pics of the deluxe drum kit today, which doubles as an actual electronic drum kit, and it looks like it’s going to be so much fun to play, I can barely stand it.
Also, because I am a sports gamer, and because this is the 20th Anniversary of the franchise, I’m interested in seeing Madden ’09, to see what Peter Moore has in store for us in his first year as the head of EA Sports. As a matter of fact, I’m curious to see what the entire EA Sports line looks like, and to see what’s happening with the Wii in terms of the sports gaming unleashed therein. Also, I’m pretty glad that we’re back at the Convention Center…feels like old times.
The Wonder and Glory: New to the world of G4 and Southern California, this will be my first foray into the gooey goodness that is the E3 Conference. I've heard from coworkers about the glitz and pageantry associated with the hours-long press conferences, the lack of booth babes that makes it possible to focus just on the games, the odor of a convention room floor filled with dreams, hopes, and gaming bloggers.
I'm looking forward to all of this, but perhaps most of all, I'm looking forward to seeing that XXXXX dude from XXXXX.com. (editor's note: Ty, you're gonna get us sued!) You know who you are, buddy, and you know what you did. I'd like to administer the back of my hand to the front of your mouth at a high rate of speed, XXXX. I'm callin' you out. You and me, in front of the Ubisoft booth, 2pm on Tuesday. We're gonna settle this matter once and for all.
Zombie Games: I believe that this year's E3, in the grand scheme of things, will determine the very survival of mankind. The impending zombie outbreak (which will occur on December 21st, 2012) will either be routed or damning based on how well Valve presents Left 4 Dead. Judging by the mass appeal of Counterstrike over the course of the last decade shows the ability to train generations of Counter-Terrorist agents. Last I heard we've always been in the middle ground of the TERROR ALERT color-coated meter. (Good work, lads)
The future of the world is at stake here, and yes a video game will decide the how the apocalypse will go. See also Resident Evil 5 and perhaps some surprise zombie game from Nintendo.
Street Fighter IV: Since 1995, E3 has been mostly celebrated at the Los Angeles Convention Center and having it back there again this year is great news. I consider this to be its home as my beginner E3 experiences have all taken place there. Going through the South, West and Concourse Halls once again will always be a nostalgic experience, as many of gaming's most memorable moments was first announced there. Besides, I don't have to panic around to answer nature's call, thank god for that huge restroom symbol...
Since Capcom's Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike release in 1999, there hasn't been a more technically advanced and balanced fighting game in the market. I have been praying over many nights for Capcom to release a true Street Fighter sequel. Street Fighter IV has many promises to fulfill. With a brand new look and style, I'm anticipating to see how will Capcom manage to elevate their legendary series. Combining 2D fighting mechanics with 3D graphics was done before with Street Fighter EX titles, so a vast improvement over that would be a welcome experience.
G4's Coverage: While this isn't my first rodeo--it's my sixth E3 for those of you who care—it is my first with G4 so everything I’m looking forward to is probably gonna sound pretty self-aggrandizing. That said, I’ve got a Master’s Degree in Advanced Aerospace Engineering with a double undergrad in Ancient Mesopotamian Basket Weaving and Theoretical Kidney Dialysis. YET I CHOOSE TO WORK HERE. So, yeah, I’m pretty damn proud to be a part of this awesomeness. But alas, I digress. Things I’m stoked about at E3:
- Live onstage demos of EVERY BADASS game there.
- Oh yeah, and the HI-DEF GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE of those demos on the glorious piece of internettage you’re reading right now.
- Forgetting that smiling at and making eye contact with me is their job and asking a booth babe (or “not-a-booth-babe” as I’m sure the promoters are calling them) for their phone number. That’ll be followed by an immediate rejection and potential show-floor banning. Just like last year...
- Morgan Webb blowing some d-bag fanboy hater’s mind when he challenges her knowledge and she takes apart his PSP and rebuilds it in under 2 minutes.
- Kevin Pereira's handsomeness.
- Did I mention 17 HOURS OF LIVE E3 COVERAGE!??! Most. Information. Ever.
- Olivia Munn referencing her genitals at least once an hour.
- Alison Haislip
- Adam Sessler completing his 183,957,234th hour of video games-related broadcast television.
- Oh yeah, and MORE FREAKIN’ GEARS 2!!!!!!
--Conceptualized, Realized, and Written By Blair Joseph Herter, 1st
Sony's Announcements: This is my third E3, and I'm mostly looking forward to, simply, some great games. Where 2006's E3 was massive with new and shiny stuff--the debut of the Wii and the PlayStation 3, etc.---last year was a "transitional year," and there wasn't all that much that really killed people with awesome. This year, I think, is going to be about elevating the industry. All the major systems that have been out long enough that developers have had time to tweak and push and wrest every last drop of computing power toward making games that push that mythical envelope. So I'm looking for refinement. I think the best examples at this show are likely to be Gears of War 2, Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero IV, and Mirror's Edge.
I'm also looking forward to Sony's press conference. Having kept my ear against the rumor mill recently, I feel confident in at least the possibility that we'll see motion-control for the 360, a Wii version of both Punch Out and Kid Icarus, and a 360 price-cut. That covers M'Soft and Nintendo, but I haven't heard all that much about what Sony has in store, even in rumor form, and I know they have a lot to prove and some ground to make up, so I'm hoping for (and expecting) a killer announcement from the Japanese company. I have no idea what it will be, but I'm guessing that it will blow more than a few minds.
How about you? What's your most-wanted thing at this year's E3?