We're in a sort of mock theater environment at Activision's presser here in Leipzig, with a raised podium, and by the amount of people who were eagerly waiting to be let in a half-hour before it begins, this stands to be quite the Wednesday event here in Leipzig.
1:55PM - Tricia Helfer, voice of Black Cat in Spiderman: Web Of Shadows welcomes us to the conference. Then we get a trailer for the game, which seems to have a Venom takes over the world feeling to it. Also, Wolverine is in it, and it looks pretty darn awesome.
Then, we get a Guitar Hero: World Tour trailer, set to Lenny Kravitz' "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" Then, it's Call of Duty: World At War. Kind of like trailers at a movie. And, speaking of, we get a trailer for Quantum of Solace, which is sort of neat. Same one that's online, but it plays well here.
2:00 PM - Activision's SVP, European Publishing, Jeorg Trovard, hits the stage, and talks about how exciting it is to be paired with Blizzard, and how happy Activision is to be doing what they're doing. Runs some numbers that says that they're making money. We already kinda knew that, though. Software is driving consumer demand, he says, and that gaming is one of the fastest growing entertainment segments on the market. He predicts that video games are to the 21st Century what television was to the 20th. Introduces Xochilt Balzola-Widman, VP Central Europe, Activision. She announces the Quantum of Solace game and that it will be day and date with the film this Fall. Then, she talks Crash: Mind Over Mutant, and The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, and how they will be released in October of this year. Then she shows a Spyro trailer. World premiere trailer, that is. It's for the 360, Wii, and DS. Then she talks Call of Duty: World At War, from an overview standpoint, and Guitar Hero: World Tour, as well. Then announces LucasArts games, including the news that Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will have a downloadable demo as of tomorrow. Shows a Star Wars: The Clone Wars promo, with Dave Filoni and George Lucas talking about the history of it in the Star Wars universe. All of the titles we see are playable here today. She intros Adam Gascoine from Treyarch to talk Quantum of Solace.
2:12PM - Gascoine says that this is the most visceral and exciting Bond game of all time. Says that Craig's Bond will definitely be on display in the game. It's 1st person action with a 3rd person cover system. He says that authenticity is key to capture the essence of international espionage. They have access to the production on all levels with the film studio to make the game more realistic. Then, shows a behind the scenes video to prove it, with them on set working with the filmmakers on the game. Then, there's some gameplay footage. Damn...Daniel Craig looks really great as a game character, and we see him in an underground tunnel finding and taking down some enemies. Lots of cover, lots of environment, like flooding from a breaking tunnel wall above. Game looks pretty fun. Then, Gascoine talks talent in the game, including Daniel Craig and Judy Dench, contributing their voices and likenesses to the game. Shows behind the scenes footage of the cast working on the game, then a full game trailer.
2:20PM - Xochilt's back, and intros Daniel Suarez, Executive Producer of Call of Duty: World At War. For the first time, the Call of Duty universe will take place, at least in part, in Japan, giving players a new and dangerous enemy. Also, for the first time, there will be co-op play, with 4 players online and 2 players in a local splitscreen. New weapons include flamethrowers, Molotov cocktails, flame tanks, and more. Re-iterates that Keifer Sutherland is the main voice, and announces that Gary Oldman is another voice in the game. Then shows a trailer for the game, called "Hard Landing." Heavy dose of Keifer in the gameplay, as Sgt. Roebuck. We're clearing bunkers, facing ambushes...you know the drill.
2:30PM - Xochilt intros Peter Mucha, VP and GM of Red Octane Europe. He's here to talk about Guitar Hero: World Tour. Talks about the setlist as being the largest available on disc in any music game. Over 85 tracks, including Metallica, The Eagles, etc. They announce a bunch of European-specific tracks, including Tokio Hotel (Germany), Oasis (UK), and Kent (Sweden). Then, he talks DLC, also including Metallica and REM track packs. Announces Mii Freestyle, which will allow you to use your Miis to create in-game music and play using your own avatar on the Wii. Then, Brian Bright, Project Director from Neversoft, takes the stage, strapping a new guitar. Announces Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, Van Halen, The Doors, etc. New celebrities in the game include Hendix, Ozzy, Travis Barker, Zakk Wylde. Shows off new guitar. A little larger, different shape...looks a lot like the Rock Band guitar, but comes with a slider bar, that you rub to play tapping and sliding sections in the game. And, there's a Star Power button. Then, he moves to the drum kit. It's quiet, has a lot of bounce-back for drum rolls and flams, etc. There's a MIDI in jack on the back of the drums, which will allow it to become an electronic drum kit. Any drum machine or groove box will work with it. Finally, a Logitech microphone rounds it out.
There are five career modes, bass, guitar, drums, singing, and band modes. The players in the band career are flexible, which might feature any number of local and online players. Big time create-a-player mode, as well. You can customize yourself, your instruments, even the cover art for your albums. Then he fires up the 'music studio,' which allows you to create music on the fly. It's what it might sound like if you had a guitar and drums in your basement that you didn't really know how to play. He shows off the guitar effects processor stuff in the studio. There are over 50 presets for the rhythm guitar alone. Different tunings on the fly and such, as well. You can play drums on the guitar, as well. Lots and lots of drums. There are about 20 drum kits in the drum arsenal. This is very robust, but seems really difficult to master. Oh, and the whole thing functions as a sequencer, as well. It's a new way to make music. Also, you can play keyboard on the guitar. Seriously. This is like owning an old Yamaha D-10 as a guitar-shaped toy. Rad. Oh, and then there's a mixing board. You can upload and download songs via GH Tunes, the online service.
Also, all of your Rock Band instruments will be compatible with this game. A German pop idol then takes the stage, and they do Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell." The pop idol's got really cool Vans.
2:55PM - And we wrap it up. That's it for Activision.