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E3 2011




Ridge Racer Unbounded

Don't say it. I know, when you see "Ridge Racer," you long to shout it in a certain way; however, a new era is dawning for the series with the just-announced Ridge Racer Unbounded, so maybe we can all just go back to saying Ridge Racer normally. I think it's about time we all moved on, right?

At E3 2011, we got a preview of Unbounded, and our own Adam Rosenberg has the report. Seems like developer Bugbear has some tricks up its sleeve for the new title:

"Bugbear says that the story isn't a guiding focus for Unbounded, but rather a framework to give players a sense of flow as they move from race to race. As far as the actual gameplay goes, it's all about speeding through urban environments while -- in a first for the series -- making use of highly destructible environments to create shortcuts and set traps. Bugbear is probably known best for its work on the FlatOut series, so the new element in this Ridge Racer isn't entirely unexpected."

For more, check out our Ridge Racer Unbounded Preview.

P.S. Moving on is for suckers. RIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RACER!

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

One of the only Wii games to get attention at E3 2011 was The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword. We saw the first glimpses of the transportation in Skyward Sword, giant duck creatures, in our brief demo of the game.

"Swooping around the clouds is predominantly motion based. Players point in the direction they want Link to go and alter his pitch by adjusting the wiimote's angle. To gain altitude, you wave the wiimote up and down, causing the bird to flap its wings. You gain speed by rising up before swooping down to gain momentum. There are also three feather icons on the bottom of the screen that grant a boost, not unlike Epona's carrots in Ocarina of Time. These too refill over time."

Check out our E3 2011 preview for The Legend of Zelda: Skyawrd Sword

Gotham City Impostors Announced -- Multiplayer Batman Game

Gotham City Impostors is a first person multiplayer shooter for the PC, PSN and XBLA. Gamers will get to customize their own versions of  DC superheroes and villains. We had the chance to play Gotham City Impostors while at E3.

"At E3, we played 3v3 game in a mode called Psychological Warfare. Psychological Warfare is Gotham City Impostor's take on your standard Capture The Flag. Your team has to pick up a battery and run it back to home base to power a brain washing machine without being killed. If your team manages to place the battery and defend it for about 25-30 seconds, then it will detonate and cause the opposing team to become demoralized for 20 seconds. Once demoralized they can still kill people but they'll lose the ability to use their guns and weapons and can only slap people for a kill. But when you have a gun and someone is trying to slap you, guess who wins that fight. You basically turn into the losing team from a Team Fortress 2 game for 20 seconds before going back to normal. The team with the most battery returns wins at the end of the 10-minute round."

Don't miss our whole Gotham City Impostors preview.

Did EA Scrap Plans To Release Mirror's Edge For The Wii, DS And PSP?

Mirror's Edge 2 may be coming, hinted President of EA Frank Gibeau, and it may just be one of the prettiest games out there, thanks to the Frostbite 2 engine used by DICE in that other game of theirs, Battlefield 3. You may have heard of it.

In an interview with GameTrailers, Gibeau expressed EA's faith (no pun intended) in and love for the world of Faith and the runners, something the company still plans to return to. Provided they have the right resources and attitude, of course.

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E3 2011 is winding down, but we've still got plenty of videos, hot and steamy for your computer's taste buds. There's been no shortage of these being released, and we're more than happy to serve them up. But enough appetizers, let's get to the main course. Our first item on the menu of all E3 2011 videos is a sexy, sexy murder spree and a brutal naked lady in the latest Hitman: Absolution trailer. Oh, did I mix those adjectives up? I'm sorry, I was distracted by... well, you'll see.

Official Hitman Absolution E3 Trailer »


Don't worry, we'll keep the sexy lady gravy train rolling. Right after the jump. So hurry up and read more!

Read More »

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Uncharted 3

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception by Naughty Dog isn't just a solo adventure. Even in single-player story, lovable rascal Nathan Drake is joined by long-time pal Sully and love interest(s?) Elena and Chloe. No one man is an island, and certainly not this adventuring wisecracker. So how does Naughty Dog capitalize on that theme in Uncharted 3's multiplayer? We have impressions from the E3 2011 floor to tell you exactly how. So let's set the scene and go off the map, shall we?

"The level is set in a crumbling villa or castle, with distressed stone bricks scattered around. A mysterious and large statue makes a perfect hiding spot, and the only way to lift it is by working together. While Nathan raises the statue, Sully is able to grab the golden idol that comes into vision. The golden idol can be lobbed like a grenade over walls so you can place it on the pedestals. As Nathan and Sully rest the idol, baddies start to pour in."

I hate to sound corny, but I'm honestly giddy when I ask, "How will Nate and Sully get out of this one, intrepid viewers?" Naughty Dog wanted to push the online experience of the Uncharted series, and it sounds like they're succeeding. I've got my pre-order in, but if you need some more convincing, why not check out the full Uncharted 3 Co-Op E3 2011 preview?

ESA

The Entertainment Software Association releasing the results of its annual gamer demographic study is an important E3 tradition. With the entire industry gathered in Los Angeles, The ESA's "2011 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry" revealed the following somewhat surprising facts:

  • The average gamer is 37 years old, and has been playing games for 12 years. (Wow! I don't feel like such a grandpa now!)
  • The average game buyer is 41 years old.
  • In 2011, 29 percent of Americans over the age of 50 play video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999.
  •  72 percent of American households play video games. (100 percent of my household plays games.)
  • 42 percent of gamers are women.
  • Adult women represent a greater portion of the game-playing population (37 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (13 percent).
  • Seventy-six percent of all games sold in 2010 were rated "E" for Everyone, "T" for Teen, or "E10+" for Everyone 10+.
  • In total, the video game industry generated around $5.9 billion in revenue in 2010.

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Wii U Hands-On Impressions -- Battle Mii and Zelda HD

The Wii U from Nintendo may be partly to blame for Nintendo stock closing more than five percent lower on June 7, 2011 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Forbes has reported. The reveal of the upcoming console's controller elicited cheers from journalists and press at the Nintendo E3 2011 press conference, but stock traders are not often of the tech geek variety.

Instead, they feel nervous, unsure if the system will sell well, an analyst at Daiwa Securities Co. said. Particularly when parked alongside similar products like the iPad and the prevalence of social media gaming, the Wii U just isn't holding investors' confidence. The Wii brand likely isn't helping either, as sales for that system have slowed and thus cut Nintendo profits in half since back in 2009.

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Electronic Arts Looks Toward More Price Cuts, Digital Sales, Motion Controls

In a meeting at E3 today, EA Games label president Frank Gibeau may have revealed a little about the super-secret title that Respawn Entertainment is developing. His remarks could be taken to mean Respawn is working on a sci-fi oriented shooter meant to compete with game franchises like Halo and Gears of War.

Take this with a grain of internet salt(tm), as Gibeau's remarks are a bit ambiguous. He's quoted thusly

"Titles like Respawn - and I think the Insomniac title is a little bit more of an action game than a pure shooter - we'll sprinkle those in where we see opportunistic gaps, either in a release schedule or in a genre standpoint." He added: "Those typically are more sci-fi oriented shooters, where as the Medal of Honor and Battlefield brands are obviously more modern military oriented."

So read that as you will. But here's another piece of evidence: Respawn, the development company founded by Vince Zampella and Jason West, whose old company Infinity Ward was the creator of Modern Warfare, recently hired Iain McCaig, an artist best known for creating the iconic character designs in the most-recent trilogy of Star Wars movies. If I were creating a sci-fi shooter to compete with Halo, I'd hire McCraig. His art is awesome, and his name has cachet.

Source: Computer and Video Games


This week at E3 2011, Into The Pixel is exhibiting all of the winners for the Into The Pixel 2011 exhibition. Andrew Kim is one of the artists working on Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception at Naughty Dog. Check out his piece entitled "The Pelican Inn" above (you can see a high resolution version by clicking on the artwork), and then head on beyond the break for our full interview with the Andrew.

"Into the Pixel showcases the incredible creativity, skill and artistic talent that pervades in the video game industry. You really see that there are great artists working across every genre of video games, and at every stage of the production process.” according to Glenn Phillips, Senior Project Specialist & Consulting Curator, Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art, at the Getty Research Institute.

The entire 2011 Into the Pixel collection will be unveiled and presented at the annual E3 Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 7-9, or you can visit our Into the Pixel 2011 gallery and check out all of the art for yourself, and see all of the winners right here.

Read More »

Adam Sessler is deeply embedded at E3 2011, where the biggest news of the show is the introduction of Nintendo's new console, the Wii U. The system is a bit perplexing, with its controller with a built-in screen and focus on both hardcore and casual audiences, so Adam is taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the device.

Check out Sessler's Soabox below, for Sess's always-enlightened, always-amusing reaction to the Wii U!

Sessler's Soapbox: Wii U? »


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'God of War 3' Footage Leaks Onto Internet

God of War Origins Collection is available on the E3 2011 show floor, and we've got our eyes all over it. Kratos, the God of War, has sat atop his mighty throne of the PlayStation hardware for years now, not once feeling happy, not once without a scowl. Even his move from console to pocket with the PlayStation Portable could not soothe his unending rage. And so, with some blood, sweat and tears (none of which are his own of course), the last son of Sparta is coming home to the PlayStation 3 again.

"...Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta have been blown up to titan proportions on the PS3 with God of War: Origins. While most of these titles remain the same, there have been some touch-ups. Notably the graphics are now HD (that runs up to 1080P and includes 3D support). It also includes the DLC skins from Ghost of Sparta and a director's roundtable video (but no commentary while playing). The whole thing looks fantastic."

Despite myself being more of a lover and less of a fighter, Kratos has never been able to tempt me into a threesome with nymphs and goddesses while still wearing the blood of his enemies. But if that's your thing, you really ought to check out the whole God of War Origins Collection E3 preview!

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been the MMO to watch for the past three years and marks the first BioWare entry to the market. While many have been begging for a release date, we've not had such luck at E3 2011. We did however get a chance to look at the game a little more closely, and have a preview for your hunger pains.

"To achieve this, each class has their own unique story in the Star Wars universe. From there, there are plenty of choices that will effect your specific story. So you could play the game for 100 hours with a jedi knight, then start over as a bounty hunter and have a completely different experience. "We're giving players Knights of the Old Republic 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in one MMO package," said the demo rep."

I don't know if you could tell this, but my profile picture is of my 2009 Halloween costume: an Old Republic-era fan-fic character I made way back when SWTOR was announced. So yeah, I'm looking forward to this. Still, opinions are very heavily divided, so make sure to read the whole Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 2011 preview and voice your side!


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ICO, Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection Available For Preorder

The ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection remasterings are at E3 2011, and we have a delectable preview of the Shadow portion of that equation. Mysterious happenings are afoot, while protagonist Wander struggles to not be crushed underfoot by walking mountains that wield stone swords. But you know the story already. What you might not know are the additions and details of the HD remastering. Thankfully, Jake Gaskill does, and he's letting us know all about it

"Not only are the textures smooth and the particle effects like dust kicking up from your horse’s hooves and lighting work top notch, but the 3D is that perfect blend of just enough depth to fill out your field of view but not intrusive to the point of distraction. This becomes even more impressive when I tracked down and took on the game’s first towering foe."

So a game renowned for its beauty and artistic presentation is getting even more beautiful and eye-stupifyingly impressive. Sounds good to me! If you want to know more details about what's been updated for the upcoming re-release of these cult fan favorites, make sure to read the entire Shadow of the Colossus HD hands-on preview!




Gears of War 3

The Gears of War 3 Horde Mode has been revamped, and we scored a sweet preview with Epic at E3 2011 we'd like to share with you. As something we've all come to love over the years - okay, so maybe I scream at my TV a lot more than I would like - the mode is more or less standard in shooters nowadays, so CliffyB and team can't be content with what they have. Instead, they've added a much deeper element of strategy and pacing in Horde 2.0 with the addition of... wait for it... cash. Yeah, money. How does it work? Kevin Kelly explains:

"Building on Gears of War 2's popular Horde mode, the new version adds the currency as a way to bring more strategy to the title. When you start out, you'll have a bit of money that you can spend on items like a Command Post, and once that's purchased other options open up around that post, like Auto-Turrets, Mannable Turrets, Spike Strips, Decoys, and more. Many of those items are also upgradeable for further cash: spike strips become barbed wire, the decoys look more realistic (they start out as a flat cardboard standee of Augustus Cole shilling "Thrashios" cereal) and so on."

Horde Mode has always placed emphasis on teamwork, fast reactions and accurate shooting. But now, you can add cerebral thinking and wise spending habits to the list. While I myself haven't played this new vision of Horde Mode, I get the feeling of Survival mixed with Tower Defense. How about you? Check out the full Gears of War 3 Horde 2.0 E3 2011 preview and let us know what you think!

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