E3 Day 1 Impressions


posted 5/20/2005 by The GN Staff
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Today’s the first full day of E3 and it started out with a nice brown out in LA. Parts of the convention center were out and they had to move the entire media registration over to a tent in the West Hall. Good thing I pre-registered and got my badge holder within minutes while one of our co-workers waited in line for an hour and a half from within the tent to register. I had two appointments today and one was re-scheduled while the other I can’t talk about until a later date. So today I decide to walk the halls and comment on some of the products I saw today.

So far, the star of the show for me is Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. They had a stand at the Activision booth that showed a quick trailer of all in-game footage. What was shown was absolutely amazing. First of all, everything’s brightly lit in the demo. With a lot of light, you can see the great detail that’s in the models that you couldn’t really see in the dark dim scenes of Doom 3. Think the canyon scene in Starship Troopers and that’s the type of gameplay that was shown. The scene showed various flaming objects falling from the sky around the area and a large Strogg monster attacker that was reminiscent of the large bug coming out of the ground in Starship Troopers. The contrast between the tight spaces of Doom 3 and the very wide open areas of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars was enormous. Watching the soldiers scramble out into the apache like helicopters and seeing them take off really blew me away. The various Strogg vehicles had a very distinct style. For example, the aerial vehicles look like insects complete with legs protruding from the undercarriage. Watching the team of humans racing from the air attack in a jeep firing the mounted chaingun was a great adrenaline rush. I really can’t wait for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars to come out and Splash Damage looks to have done an awesome job with the engine.

Ultimate Spider-Man had a very comic like look. The cell shaded game’s main character’s design was similar to the MTV series that was on recently rather than being a more realistic body. Some of the scenes displayed comic book panels where the action took place and flowed into another panel. Animation was top notch with Spider-Man moving fluidly and exhibiting those great gymnastic moves with that spider-like flair.

At the EA booth, missing was NBA Live 2006. But the other EA title that I usually play was there and that being NCAA Football 2006. There didn’t seem to be an improvement in the graphics from the few minutes I was able to spend time with it but I did notice some minor icon changes and a more polished presentation now that they have the ESPN license. Some of the new features I did see were a fully rendered ESPN studio with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit. Lee Corso will now put on the heads of the mascots of the team that he thinks will win just like on ESPN GameDay. The Heisman race has been improved with a ceremony. With this year’s edition, you will be able to recruit year around as you get updates on the high school players you are interested in as well as schedule visits. Breakout players are highlighted and they showed various slow motion animation when they produced a great play. All in all, I left with the same impression as I do every year I see a new NCAA game; some minor improvements and a feeling that they should’ve done a lot more.
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