E3 Day 3 Impressions


posted 5/24/2005 by The GN Staff
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Console gamers will have a great Call of Duty title soon in Call of Duty: Big Red One. Big Red One refers to the American 1st Infantry Division who were in the front lines of many of the major battles in World War II. The impressive thing about the title was the PlayStation 2 demo looked just like the PC Call of Duty. After seeing many PS2 titles that seemed subpar in graphics, Big Red One came away with being one title that didn’t look like it was held back by the hardware. Activision even put up a sign that said it was a live PS2 demo because they were getting so many questions asking if it was playing on the Xbox or PC. It was that good! Big Red One will only let you play the Americans but it looks to continue the great Call of Duty tradition of intense squad action.

And finally, the full blown sequel to one of my favorite games was shown in its own theater. Call of Duty 2 looked like the original taken up a bunch of notches. The D-Day level showed off just how much the engine has been improved. The volumetric smoke looked photorealistic. You’ll see the smoke mushroom up and slowly dissipate on some explosions. Even exploding grenades leave a nice little puff of smoke that realistically diffuses. The scripted sequences were there in full force giving you some great visuals and hectic action happening around you. Some major upgrades to the game are the vast open battlefields that will give you multiple ways to complete an object. It should make the game a lot less linear and give you some good replay value. I was impressed at how long the action sequence took place with so many areas to clear out in the D-Day demo without having to load once. After seeing the demo, I’m even more excited about Call of Duty 2 and can’t wait for the release.

My next stop was Razer’s booth and they didn’t have much to say about their future products but those disappointed with some aspects of the Diamondback should be happy with what’s being done for the next iteration. They only had the Diamondback Plasma mouse on display there. The Plasma does away with the red LED and goes infrared for an invisible tracking system. There’s only going to be a limited edition run of the Diamondback Plasma so if you want one, get in early.

Being in Kentia with the Razer appointment, I decided to stop by the Sapphire booth to see if they were there. After not having met for two previous appointments, the third time was a charm. I didn’t have too much time with them as I had another appointment to go to but their big thing is the Blizzard cooling solution. What it does is use a substance by NanoCoolers called liquid metal, which is 65 times more conductive than water. There are no moving parts as it uses magnets to keep the liquid flowing. The prototype had a very large HSF with dual fans but they are trying to get it down to a one fan solution. For the first card to use this unique cooling solution, Sapphire is going with the ATI X850 XT PE. No word on when the unit will be ready for the public but I’m glad to see a company looking to be innovative rather than put out vanilla cards.
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