E3 Wrap-up

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posted 6/14/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
It’s been about a month since we left the bright lights and loud noise of E3. After finally coming out of my post E3 hangover I thought I’d put together a list of some of the things that stuck have stuck with me since the end of the show. Some of these things we covered in earlier articles (here, here, and here) but most of them are things that I didn’t get a chance to cover. These are just some post E3 musings and not any kind of best of show awards.

As a hockey fan I make it a point to check out every hockey game at the show. Sega has put out the best hockey game the last few years (not that you could tell by the number of units sold) and this year Sega looks to continue that dominance. The game just feels a little tighter than EA’s game but the EA version I played was a pretty early version so they ma tighten it up before it’s released. I did get to see a demonstration of the new “Open Ice” feature that allows to easily control your non puck-possessing teammates to do such things as clearing a shooting lane or setting up a plays behind the puck. As a Blue Jackets fan it was nice to see that Rick Nash has signed with Electronic Arts and is in the running to be one of the cover athlete’s this ear. We should find out in a few weeks who will be on the box this year.

I first saw Hy-Tek’s Tek Panel 300 on “The Apprentice” and it’s even more impressive in person. What I didn’t know what that Hy-Tek has a proprietary screen technology that allows for an even higher resolution image. This allows for a near religious experience while playing HALO or watching HDTV. The only downer is that the Tek-Panel start around $6,400 and a well configured gaming system will set you back nearly $8,500. Still it’s a nice dream (an even better dream when you think about the 37” version that will be coming out later this year).

Mechassault 2 looks like it’s going to be a lot of online fun. Rather than starting out in a Mech you start out on foot and can select from one of the vehicles available to you. These include the assortment of mechs, tanks, VTOL flying craft (which vaguely resemble the flying H/K units from the Terminator series), or power armor. The VTOL craft can pick up units in the power armor and tanks and transports them across the map.
This presents a new tactical angle where you can essentially bomb units into the opponent’s base. Since units in power armor can hijack opponent mechs this allows players to drop units behind enemy lines to sneak up and attack your opponents from behind. Starting out on foot also gives you a real perspective on how big the mechs and adds a nice perspective to the game.

Burnout 3 also looks to be a lot of fun, I didn’t get a chance to get my hands on the game but watching someone do a few laps left a good impression. The updated graphics look great and the thought of playing it over Xbox Live left a nice smile on my face.


I had just started playing City of Heroes before E3 so I was really interested in seeing City of Villains. The game looks to continue the excellent universe that Cryptic in the original game. Instead of starting out with super powers you start out as a low level goon and you have to go on a crime spree to get noticed by an evil villain group. Once you are recruited you get to start developing your evil powers and establish your evil lair. The folks at Cryptic haven’t figured out exactly how the two worlds will interact yet but one idea is that there will be a PVP bridge area where Villains and Heroes can duke it out. This will probably be a must have for fans of the original game though.

While in the NC Soft booth I checked out Auto Assault which looks to be another great and easy to get into MMORPG. The game allows you to build your own vehicles and drive them across a post-apocalyptic world. You’ll be able to play one of three races (human, cyborg, and mutant) and commit all kinds of vehicular mayhem. The game also includes the ever popular Havok 2.0 physics engine so when you run into things they will react realistically.

I was really impressed with some of the new games that are coming out for the PlayStation Eye Toy. I thought that this would be a purely a one time thing but Sony has done a really good job with coming up with some new and innovative ways of using the device. The new video conferencing feature is worth the price of a PlayStation 2 alone and it will be interesting to see if Microsoft and Nintendo decide to play catch-up with cameras of their own.

As usual we had a blast at this year’s show and it looks like there are a lot of good games on the horizon. Next year’s show will be even bigger with the introduction of the next generation consoles but gamers will still have a lot of high quality titles between now and then to keep them busy.