E3 Day 2

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posted 5/20/2003 by The GN Staff
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The cube like press area of Take Two was next up. The first thing we got to see was Hidden and Dangerous 2. The game is a squad based tactical shooter. You control a group of SAS commando’s through 23 missions during the latter half of the Second World War. Before each mission you can choose which members to take with you, each member has their own strengths, weaknesses, and weapons load out. During the combat portion of the game, you to either go in guns first or you can move your troops into firing positions using the in-game 3D tactical map. The game will also feature some cool multiplayer options.

Next I got to see Railroad Tycoon 3 and if you’re a fan of the game you’re not going to be let down by this next interaction of the game. The game features a new 3D engine that’s looks great. New features include multiple level of undo, easier train loading, dynamic weather and time effects, and an expanded economic engine. I’ve never really gotten into the Railroad Tycoon series but I think that’s about to change. The game has also been designed to run on lower end machines so those who don’t have the money to drop on a top end system will still be able to enjoy the game.

I also got to take a quick peek at Space Colony 2 which looks like a cross between the Sims and SimCity. The graphics and characters looked great, I just wish I had more to tell you about it.

My final appointment of the day was with Strategy First. World War II Frontline is a new RTS from the Bitmap Brothers design house (if you haven’t heard of the Bitmap Brothers…well, I feel sorry for you….). The game allows you to control US Forces at the end of World War II. The game will feature 25 missions broken into 5 campaigns. The game is kind of a scaled back RTS, instead of controlling individual soldiers you control groups of troops (rifle men, tanks, etc). There are also no resources to harvest, refine, and protect… what you have at the beginning of the mission is all you are going to get (although additional reinforcements can occasionally be earned by completing bonus objectives. Some of the units have secondary weapons as well as additional abilities. For example, the commander unit can use binoculars to scout ahead find targets for artillery. Another cool feature is that your troops have a morale meter, if it gets high then they are likely to do something incredible heroic (and possibly stupid) but if it gets low then it may take a few commands to get them to do anything. The game has a pretty good fog of war engine and the graphics look good. The game has a four player in multiplayer mode in which each side buys units before the game and then go at it.

Keeping with the WWII RTS theme, War Times which is more of a traditional RTS game where you collect resources (iron and oil). The game will feature 80 units and 70 buildings across four nations (Germany, the US, United Kingdom, and the Soviets). You will pick a side (Axis or Allies) during the campaign mode which will allow you to re-enact several historical events. During some missions you will have access to more than one nations units which should add a little more flavor. The game has some cool new twists such as allowing you to move troops to the airport to load them up in to troop transport planes and the ability to “loan” units to other players in the multiplayer portion of the game. Multiplayer modes include the typical death match, co-op mode, and a capture the flag mode. The game will also ship with an easy to use map editor so you can create your own historical (or not so historical) multiplayer maps.

Last on the docket was Chrome. Chrome is a tactical first person shooter (it’ somewhere between Unreal 2 and the Rainbow 6 series), you play Logan a mercenary turned bounty hunter try to make a buck in the 22nd century. The cool feature about the game is that you can augment your skills with implants. The game will also feature multiplayer mayhem with support of up to 32 people.

I finally got the chance to wander around and check out some other games. I have mixed feelings about Soul Caliber 2, the game looks and plays great but it does seem like more of the same thing but that may not be a bad thing. Being a hockey fan I checked out the new games from EA and Sega and NHL2K4 looks much better than it’s cousin from EA. It’s too early to pass judgment but it looks like Sega may finally have turned the tide in the hockey wars. The new Xbox games from Rare look good, I played Grabbed by Ghoulies and it was cool although I’m not sure I’m in the target demographic for the game (it seemed aimed at a younger audience). P.N. 03 also looks cool, I had some problems with the controls but the game looks good and should be another solid title for the Gamecube. I also stopped back at the MS booth to check out Mythica again…yup, still kicks ass. I’m just disappointed that it’s going to be a while before we get a chance to play it. I saw a lot of other stuff that I’m still trying to process but one thing is clear, it’s good to be a gamer right now.
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