E3 Day 3 Impressions

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posted 5/24/2005 by The GN Staff
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My final day at E3 was also my busiest with four appointments. As with the previous two days, one appointment didn’t show up on time and this time it was the other video card company, NVIDIA. They did have a nice booth though with various games from Age of Empires III to Stubbs the Zombie being demoed and SLI was heavily pushed with Alienware displaying their Star Wars cases with the technology inside. But let’s get to who I did see and one company I did get to finally meet.

Activision was the big appointment of the day and also my first. As with my past few visits with them, I went and checked out how The Movies was doing. The wait will soon be over as the title is scheduled for this fall and it looks like a ton of fun. Choose all aspects of making the movie from the set design to the costumes. The game starts in the 20s and the fashion styles will change with the times. You’ll still be able to have the old costumes so if you want to make a classic black and white movie in the 90s you have that option. A lot of the interface is now drag and drop. For example, if you need a scriptwriter, find one of the unemployed folks hanging around the set and drop them into to the building that’s designated for that task. When you hover over the building, the object fades away to reveal the floor plan where various types of scripts are available. Dropping on the person over the sci-fi section will garnish a sci-fi script, and so forth with other types of scripts. A big part of the game is keeping all your staff happy from the actors to the director. Various problems can arouse if they aren’t happy and you’ll have to drop them into the detox center to clean them out. Beware of the paparazzi though trying to take pictures of your cast in bad situations. As with most studios, you can spend on the movie and build sets even if you are in the red. Just make sure you get into the black as soon as you can as good actors won’t want to work for a rundown studio. Once you are set with the movie and all the scenes, you can easily edit them however you want with the easy to use interface. Add your own dialogue or move scenes around without much effort. When you’re done, export it to a format and share it with whoever you want. I asked the person who was demoing it to me how mod-able the game will be and he said they will support the mod community but I wasn’t given to what extent. The Movies looks to give computer gamers all they need to create their own Citizen Kane or Gigli without the pressure coming from the stockholders and investors.

After The Movies, I was shuttled off to a showing of Quake 4. With the very impressive trailer of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars being played in front of the entrance to the Quake 4. Quake 4 looks like it’s going to stand out on its own as a great single player experience. Quake 4 has you battling the Strogg on their own turf and what was shown can be said to be Call of Duty with a sci-fi theme. A nod to the second game is given in the drop ship sequence when one of the commanders gives a briefing on how a single soldier helped turn this war around. After you “land” on the ground, you’re off to finding your unit as the Strogg really gave your drop ship a beating causing it to crash. You’ll see some good medium sized levels for you to traverse through with some dark areas that are reminiscent of Doom 3. I’m glad they taught the great skill of attaching a flashlight to the gun in boot camp as you won’t be stuck switching between that and a weapon in the middle of a war. No longer will you be weaponless in unlit areas. In one of the more controversial and intense scenes in the demo, you are capture by the Strogg and experience first hand what happens to POWs. From torture to probing and being transformed into one of the Strogg, you’ll see all the horrible gruesome details. It will be hard to get the image of a buzz saw slicing my legs off and replacing them with robotic ones out of my head and it’s sure to be one of the more memorable scenes in the game. Of course, being part Strogg will give you abilities that you’ll need to take them down so it’s an unfortunate situation that will have a very important role later on. A quick showing of vehicles was the final portion of the demo. Given the great visuals of the Doom 3 engine and the war like atmosphere, Quake 4 should be a big hit for Raven Software and Activision.

Shrek fans will be happy to hear a new fighting game will be out featuring 20 characters in the Shrek universe. If you didn’t play Shrek 2 on the consoles, you’re missing out on a fun party game. Shrek SuperSlam is a different breed as Shaba Games has made a cartoony fighting game for families to play with. The title refers to powerful moves that will send the opponent through the environment and causing great damage to the surroundings. A great number of items on the levels are destructible and there are a ton of items that you can pick up to use against your foe. There will also be some potions that give the character a temporary boost some way. Look for Shrek SuperSlam for all platforms.
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