We're here at E3 to bring you all the news fit to print. Of course, by 'we' I mean me, and by 'here at E3' I mean at home in front of my computer. Here from the show floor I can report that the cat has gotten sick on a sock someone left lying around, and the dishes really need to be done, but soon!
Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, in a magical land with poor air quality real gamers are going to be spending their day ogling 'booth babes', shoving each other out of lines, and generally pretending to be very nonchalant about meeting the guys who develop the games they slobber over. Largely, they are the cattle to the PR slaughter, their tongues lolling to one side, dim brown eyes rolling, as they abandon themselves to the ...You know what, we did overblown metaphors yesterday. Let's just give you some news instead. Read on for some of what's caught my eye so far.
First, if the new City of Heroes trailer teaches me anything it is: Do Not Live In A City With Heroes In It! I've got a mild interest in this title at best, mild because I wonder if everyone is a hero, then doesn't that kind of dillute the idea of a hero in the first place? Shouldn't it be City of Sidekicks With Moderate Super Powers At Best? Anyway, the trailer sets the backstory, which takes about fifteen minutes considering the variety of plot points they appear to be jamming in. It goes something like this:
The Heroes came to Paragon City an arbitrary number of years ago. They stopped some bank robberies. Then they threw tanks at Nazis, which is a very hero thing to do. They came back to Paragon city and helped establish a solid mass transit system. They had some lunch at 11:30. Then aliens came and blew up a lot of people. Heroes destroyed the aliens because they had seen Independence Day. People inexplicably returned to Paragon City. A city with something on the order of five thousand super heroes to this day is incapable of rebuilding or managing its criminal population, which might be because the heroes seem preoccupied with standing in front of courthouses looking stoic while crazy guys with tires for shoulder swarm up from sewers.
If I lived in Paragon City, I'd ask the heroes to please move to Shinyville, thank you very much.
On the topic of game footage, if you haven't seen the in game footage of Halo 2 yet then you, my friend, are missing out on greatness. While I refuse to proclaim Halo 2 as a certain and proud successor without further evidence, this nine-minutes of in game footage is heading in all the right directions. From a varied and compelling city-under-siege setting, to scripted events, to vehicle battles, to story, to visuals, it looks like Bungie is keeping what worked, and fixing what didn't. I hope they can deliver the kind of gaming experience that the video promises.
On the PC front, the Doom 3 trailer is equally fantastic. Yeah, I know. What about the plot? Plot, schmlot! Give me those visuals, that sense of atmosphere, and that terrifying Doom feeling with creepy lighting and gun toting demons, and your plot can officially piss off. Just scare the bejesus out of me. Looks like Carmack is set to do just that.
Also, if you were wondering why 3DO hasn't been a very solid company of late, Trip Hawkins has taken a moment to pass on that it's not because they haven't released a decent game since, well, ever. Trip Hawkins is quoted over at VE as saying, and I kid you not:
"Market conditions for us appeared to take a turn for the worse when the war with Iraq began," said Chairman and CEO Trip Hawkins. "In recent weeks sales of our products have not picked up as we had hoped, which is preventing us from being able to fully utilize our new credit facility."
Yeah, Trip. That's the problem. Iraq. I'm sure a half dozen Army Men games will turn that all around, maybe 'Army Men Shock and Awe Grenada', 'Army Men Institute Martial Law', and 'Army Men Eastern Brothel Funhouse'. They should definitely make a MMORPG as well.
There are, I'm serious here, a bajillion screenshots floating around out there. To try and point you to even a discernable percentage of them would be absolutely folly, so instead pick the game you're most excited about, pull out a sketch pad, and draw what you think it should look like.
Finally, fans of America's Army should be happy to see it's going to get some solid updates including "Special Forces, Stryker Combat Brigade and Combat Medic missions." I don't really have anything witty or even abrasive to say about that, so just pretend like I did.