Activision, having left the ESA, decided to hold a completely non-E3 related press conference a mile away from the Los Angeles Convention Center. Remember, this has nothing to do with E3… nice try, Activision. It’s an E3 press conference.
It was held at an old church in downtown LA that has been converted into an open-bar sporting, catered affair. If there’s one thing gaming journalists like it’s sushi and free booze, especially after a 12-hour day at E3.
What’s in store for us? As we heard from Activision’s representatives at Microsoft’s press conference, they are very excited about Guitar Hero: World Tour. At Sony’s press conference, they talked up Call of Duty: World at War. Will we hear anything about the recently approved merger with Vivendi & Blizzard to create Activision Blizzard?
Will Blizzard use this event to announce or talk about anything or are they content to stay quiet until Blizzcon 2008 in October?
Hit the jump for everything Activision.
The CEO of Activision, Michael Griffith, took the stage with a DS equipped with Guitar Hero: On Tour in hand (which also came with a really bad joke about being able to play Guitar Hero anywhere. We got a brief overview of Activision’s outlook for the next year. There was also a promise of special guests… Slash? We’re calling Slash (Spoiler Alert: It wasn't Slash).
The Guitar Hero: On Tour joke set Michael up to mention that the DS game has sold 10 times more copies than any of Activision's other DS titles.
The merger with Blizzard has also increased the size of the new company, Activision Blizzard, to over three times Activision's solo-size. This is almost entirely due to World of Warcraft global support staff, however.
Michael went on for a bit about Activision's business and all of the stuff investors care about... but you care about the games, so let's get into those.
New Game: Singularity -- Activision announced Singularity, a new first-person action game that deals with the power and consequences of time control. No release date was given, but a brief teaser was shown. The engine and environments were looking very nice so the game could be further along than you'd expect for a newly announced title. The game is being developed by Raven Software.
New Sequel: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 -- A sequel to the hit RPG / Beat 'Em Up from Vicarious Visions featuring 24 playable heroes and villains from the Marvel universe. Announced characters include Spider-Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, Venom, and The Green Goblin. Players will have to combine the powers of two heroes with the new "fusion" feature to prevail.
New Movie Games: Games were announced to tie in to the upcoming Transformers sequel and FOX's Wolverine movie. Details were light, but expect both games to launch on or around their respective movie releases. Hugh Jackman is on-board to lend his voice and likeness for the Wolverine game.
The Big Titles:
Call of Duty: World at War: Mark Lamia of Treyarch took the stage to show off Call of Duty: World at War. He was also happy to announce that Keifer Sutherland will be voicing one of the main characters in the game. Mark also confirmed a second campaign, in addition to the American campaign in the Pacific. Players will also get to play as a Russian soldier in the fight to capture Berlin.
A new gameplay demonstration was shown, which showed off 2 player co-op during the singleplayer campaign. Keifer's voice was in full effect and totally gave us a 24 vibe... only it was World War II. We definitely wanted to know where the bomb was, though!
The gameplay featured some amazing scripted events and brutal enemies that hid in foliage and ambushed players. The Japanese soldiers would also charge the player in a kamikaze move only to get a face full of bullets. The flamethrower was shown off and it looked amazing. Co-op will also feature a meta-game, in the vein of Halo 3, so that players can compete while they are being cooperative.
As for multiplayer, gamers will get an all-infantry mode as well as a combined forces mode that features tanks and other land vehicles. Perks, experience, and prestige will all make a comeback.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows: This new game is a brand-new story, not based off of the movies, which finds the world falling victim to a massive Symbiote invasion from space. Spider-Man must fight back using the red suit, which is built for speed and agility, and the black suit, which is all about strength and power.
The combat engine has been completely re-done and should hopefully offer players the freedom to finally take control of Spidey. Two gameplay demonstrations were shown, but the animations were a bit choppy. Combat looked extremely fun and face-paced. Keep an eye out for this game.
James Bond: Quantum of Solace: The new James Bond game runs on the Call of Duty 4 engine and will tell the story of both Daniel Craig Bond movies in the same game. The game begins with the events of Casino Royale and will take the player all the way through the story of the new film, Quantum of Solace.
The developers are hoping to finally give players the ultimate James Bond experience (ahem, Goldeneye) with an FPS mode, cover systems, and cinematic takedowns in third person. Online multiplayer will also make a triumphant return to Bond on the console.
A gameplay demo was shown and we were surprised at how fast-paced the game was. It's definitely action packed and looks to play like Rainbow Six: Vegas in terms of first-person shoot and a third-person cover system. The cinematic takedowns were very reminiscent of the recently released Bourne Conspiracy.
The game will launch simultaneously with the new movie this November.
Wolfenstein: Todd Hollenshead of id Software took the stage to announce a brand new Wolfenstein game, which is a collaboration between id and Raven Software. Nostalgia mode, activate! The game features the return of hero B. J. Blazkowicz in an all new adventure to stop the Nazi's from opening up a door to an alternate universe. Expect super-powered super Nazi's and a whole lot of firepower!
Guitar Hero: World Tour: The closer is the next entry in the Guitar Hero franchise that brings full band play to Activision's franchise, but that's not all. The big news is the on the Xbox 360, previous instruments including the Rock Band drums will be compatible with Guitar Hero: World Tour. We see this as an excellent move as many gamers are eager to play the game, but not so eager to buy another set of instruments.
The new guitar features a touch sensitive neck, longer strum bar, and an easily accessible Star Power switch for those people that don't like to raise the guitar (it can mess you up!).
However, we will say that the Guitar Hero drum-kit looks incredibly fun to use and sports an extra drum bad to work with. Not only that, the drums have a MIDI-in port, which will allow gamers to use a real drum kit to play the game. AWESOME.
We also got a demo of the Music Studio feature, which seems incredibly robust and in-depth. In the short demo we saw, it looks like players are going to be having a great time collaborating on tracks that will be playable as free DLC for everyone that owns the game.
Finally, Neversoft and Activision plan to support regular DLC releases including full albums. You want a platform war? You've got one between Guitar Hero and Rock Band because both companies are looking to have great products.
The event was closed out by the Neversoft band playing Van Halen's classic "Hot For Teacher". The expert guitar chart looked suitably brutal, but was played nicely with slides and non-strummed notes. The drums and vocals looked spot-on, but the bass-pedal line was very hard to see. Hopefully, they'll change the color from purple to something more visible before the game ships.
That wraps it up for Activision's Press Conference, but keep your browser locked to G4tv.com because we've still got 2 more days of E3 to go!