E3 Day 2

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posted 5/20/2003 by The GN Staff
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I left it out of my day one report (I was really, really tired…) but I did stop by the 3DO booth to check out what they have to show. They have two pretty good looking games in The Four Horsemen in which you play a fallen angel trying to save the world from Armageddon. The game is probably going to make Joe Lieberman’s list for violent games last year and will be get a very solid M rating for content (it’s very bloody and there’s a lot of graphic violence). The game has an interesting storyline and will hopefully prove to be a game that will play well despite the controversy it may generate.

Street Racing Series looks to be another good street racing game featuring 20-30 licensed car and a ton of licensed upgrade parts. During the game you have to manage your career, your car, and your girlfriend. Yes, you will have girlfriends in the game and they are quite useful for providing intelligence on the other racers as well as providing a secondary source of income (they participate in bikini contests…and yes…you get to watch).

The last game I got to see was Jacked a new motorcycle combat racing game. You race your motorcycle through nineteen tracks and there’s a small RPG element to it where you racer changes over the course of the career. Like most racing games you pick a generic character and take them through the game, in Jacked, your racer changes as you progress, becoming more and more demented. One cool feature of the game is the ability to knock other bikers off their rides and then take over Grand Theft Auto style. I was hoping to see more of the game but we ran out of time.

My first appointment on Wednesday was to see Half-life 2, I was a little skeptical going in that the game would actually live up to all of the hype that it’s generated over the last month or so. I was wrong to have doubts the game is simply amazing and will probably re-revolutionize the PC gaming world as much as the first game did. The new engine is amazing, from the character models (the updated Gman is wickedly cool), and to the lighting and physics models this game is going to be the game to beat this year.

Next up was a visit to the LucasArts booth. Lucas is banking a lot on Star Wars this year with Jedi Academy, Knights of the Old Republic, Rogue Squadron 3, and Star Wars Galaxies. Jedi Academy takes over where Outcast left off. In the new game you play as a freshly minted Jedi trying to earn your wings (saber?). You choose the gender, species, and appearance of your Jedi and then it’s off to fight the dark side. The graphics have been updated and the game is a little less linear than its predecessors (you can choose which mission to take on, though some missions are much harder at lower levels). Raven hasn’t added any new force powers to the game but Jedi Sight (need to check this is the right name) (or as Bart likes to call it, Jedi Walk-hack) and Dark Rage are both now available in the single player portion. Jedi Sight has been enhanced for the single player to allow you to see hidden rooms. The multiplayer aspect has also been updated with players being allowed to pilot AT-ST’s, Taun-taun’s, and other vehicles in both single and multiplayer matches. The game looks like a nice sequel to the first game (which Blake and I both got a lot of enjoyment out of)

Wrath Unleashed is an update on the classic Archon-style game play where you fight for control with other players for a board. You move your pieces, one turn at a time, and try to take control of the entire board. When two pieces meet on the same space in stead of having some kind of lame chess rule you fight it out for control of the space. Each piece has its strengths and weaknesses that are amplified by the combat arena since the spaces on the board are not all the same type of arena. You have everything from frozen ice areas to damp bogs. The big thing this game has on Archon is that it supports up to 4 players at a time, which adds another level of complexity to the game.

Secret Weapons over Normandy takes players back to the air above Europe during World War II. This follow-up to the classic Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe allows players to fly planes that saw limited action in the war. Along with flying such planes as the “Flying Pancake”, users will be able to fire fixed gun encampments (both on the ground and on planes). The game is intended to be authentic but not a hard-core simulation so everyone can enjoy the game. The development team is working with Skywalker Sound and has access to the full library of sounds that they have acquired over the years from films such as “Saving Private Ryan” along with the sounds that they have developed on their own. The development team has also developed some of the best looking windmills ever seen, and the developers are set on creating a new standard in Windmill technology (no word on if a Don Quixote game is in the works or not).

The other game I saw was Fullthrottle:Hell on Wheels. This was one of the games I was really looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. The game looked a lot better in person than the last batch of screenshots. The game looks to continue the great tradition of the first game. You play the role of Ben, leader of the Polecats biker gang. You go out one day to find that someone is tearing up all of the roads. As a biker you need roads so Ben sets out to find out what the deal is. Ben will have nineteen areas to explore to solve the mystery. The game now features a full 3D engine and will provide a good mix of action and adventure.
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