John's First Day
First day of E3 is done and this, being eigth year at the show had a very good day. First stop was Activision and viewing of two big titles: Call of Duty: United Offensive
and Doom 3
on the Xbox. Call of Duty
fans will have a great time if the demo at E3 is any indication. The great scripted events in single player were shown in full force in the two demos. The first demo of a Russian mission showed off some great particle effects from overhead bombs with realistic flying smoke and debris, The level showed off a new mounted machine gun and the toasty flamethrower. You can cause the tank to explode if you shoot an enemy on the back who’s wielding one. The second demo showcasing a British soldier on a bomber puts you in the gunner position. You must man various positioned guns as enemies fly at your bomber from different directions. Dynamic damage on the plane is portrayed by pieces missing from the hull. The battle outside with gunfire everywhere from both enemies and allies was truly jaw dropping. When fall hits, you can be sure I’ll be one of the first in line to pick this up.
In a very dark and small theater, Doom 3
was playable on the Xbox. I feel sorry for the Activision works in that booth as it seemed it was lacking air conditioning and light. Nevertheless, playing Doom 3
for the first time was truly an experience. The lighting effects and shadows incredibly realistic and really set the mood in the game. I witness a variety of enemies ranging from a skinny zombie to a energy throwing one. The graphics were smooth and incredibly detailed with impressive models. Since the announcement of the title in the summer for the PC, the demo increased my already intense desire to play the game. The Xbox version should follow the PC version shortly.
My next stop was Sapphire Tech and while they didn’t have any products to show, they did have a prototype of their new Toxic line there. The heatpipe technology just doesn’t cut it with the newer cards from ATI so Sapphire has developed a heatsink fan combination that is a two slot solution but silent. The large fan draws air in from one slow and blows it through the card. Ram sinks on both sides also help cool the card. The design reminded me of the old OTES system from ABIT. Toxic cards just don’t get a new cooling solution. APE or Automated Performance Enhancement is Sapphire’s way of overclocking the memory. What they will do is take some boards and subject them to bad environmental conditions and see how far they can overclock the memory. On conclusion of the testing, they will issue a patch to all users and you will be guaranteed a certain performance increase which they think will be neighborhood of 25-30MHz. Users have the option of installing the patch so you don’t have to overclock if you don’t want to. A bundle of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Tomb Raider
, and Prince of Persia
will be included with the Toxic line. Finally, a thermal diode that’s attached to the unit can report temperatures with an optional front bay display from Sapphire for around $15. It’s nice to see Sapphire trying to offer more than a stock solution.
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