Killzone 3 at E3 2010 was all about the 3D. I was surprised at how unintrusive the 3D glasses actually were. Combining a first person shooter with stereoscopic 3D glasses seems like a recipe for extreme motion sickness, but this didn’t end up being the case.
The demo was about 20 minutes long and started with an on rails helicopter turret sequence in the snow. Amusing, but nothing terribly original. The 3D was really impressive in the blizzard as I really got the sense of immersion of being pelted by snow.
Once I landed, the game became very familiar. If you’ve played Killzone 2, you’ll know exactly what I experienced. In fact, if it weren’t for the 3D and the fact that there was a “3″ in the booth, I could have mistaken the game for Killzone 2. The graphics are incredible on a console, but underneath the glossy veneer is a typical, albeit very polished, cinematic shooter. I didn’t see any new weapons or gameplay mechanics during my time with the game.
Little Big Planet 2:
Most of the short Little Big Planet 2 demonstration was focused on the new game creation tools. Emphasis was placed on mini-game creation. Little Big Planet is no longer a platform to create platformer game levels, but one that can do many different game types.
Three mini-games were shown to show off some of the new possibilities. The first was a sort of fast-paced Simon Says button pressing game, kind of like competitive Quick Time Event pressing. We then played a bumper-boats game, evoking memories of the hilarious Mario Party minigame. The goal is to knock the other players off of the ring, with the use of a single button to boost. The final minigame was a competitive 2D shooter using rocket launchers. Think Smash Bros. level with little Sackmen toting rocket launchers.
The Sony rep also talked about making it easier to find and filter user-generated content. An improved search feature is planned, along with the ability to “follow” specific designers. There would also be Playstation Move integration, the details of which were not shown at the booth.
Overall, it sounds like if you’re an active LBP designer, you’ll want to pick this one up as it gives a lot more tools in the toolbox, so to speak. I’m on the fence, since I never really played the game much beyond the included campaign. There’ll be another Media Molecule designed campaign in this sequel, but I can’t help shake the feeling that LBP is a title that just didn’t work, despite its noble mission of empowering end users to be game designers.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
I absolutely despise the Xbox 360 controller for fighting games so I made sure to try out Marvel vs Capcom 3 on the Playstation 3. There’s not much to say about this title other than it controls tightly and looks amazing. The character select screen for each player creates a comic book cover from the selected characters using the actual template for a Marvel comic. I found this a very nice nod to detail on Capcom’s part.
Any concerns over the title losing any speed over the move to the 3d Street Fighter 4 engine were quickly laid to rest after one round with the game. The same ridiculous 32 hit laser super combos and tag team air combo action is back and as fun as ever.
I even held court for awhile, winning four consecutive matches before people started getting afraid to challenge me. Unfortunately, the demo didn’t have a single player arcade mode, so rather than twiddle my thumbs and wait for a new challenger, I left.
At the Sega booth I was surprised to see Yakuza 4 on display. See, although I have always heard great things about the Yakuza franchise, it’s never quite taken off in the US. It’s a 3rd person fighter/adventure game hybrid with RPG elements set in modern day Japan. I’ve been told the writing in the game is exquisite, with comparisons to The Sopranos being made.
The very nature of the game doesn’t scream “MAINSTREAM APPEAL”, so I was surprised to see the fourth installment green lit fora US release. After speaking with the community manager in charge of evangelizing Yakuza 4, it became quite clear that this title is a labor of love from the localization team dedicated to the fans. One of the key features mentioned was the fact that you can now go into Japanese hostess clubs in the game and, well, interact with girls. Apparently the more vocal fanbase had cried foul over the hostess clubs’ omission from the US version of Yakuza 3, so they were re-added to the sequel. That’s listening to your customers, folks.
While I’m not sure if I can devote 30-40 hours to a single game anymore, I’d like to see Yakuza 4 succeed if only for the fact that it’s supposedly an authentic look into certain aspects of modern day Japanese culture. The game releases on the Playstation 3 in spring of 2011.
Invizimals is an interesting take on the Monster Hunter/Pokemon genre of RPG collection games. Using the PSP camera attachment, you can find creatures “hidden” amongst everyday items lying around the house. Basically, anything with a distinct color is liable to be hiding a creature to capture. Once you find a monster, you can then train with it in RPG-style turn based battles to upgrade them ala Pokemon.
(please excuse the sudden cut off in the video, there was an unfortunate battery mishandling)
I’m a big fan of Augmented Reality and this seems like a really novel way for tweens and adults to play the genre. Battles take place on screen using a combination of game animations and live footage of whatever the camera is pointing at. You can even wager the creatures you’ve earned in multiplayer battles, kind of like the ultimate form of virtual cockfighting. YES!