So E3 kicked off today with a bang. Microsoft drew the long straw it seems and got the lead off position which was good for them since they had quite a few little digs against Nintendo and Sony. The show started a little slowly, Rock Band Beatles is slightly meh and really old news. Nothing too amazing there, but things quickly picked up after that.
Modern Warfare 2: I was really happy to see a fully fleshed out trailer instead of the little teaser from GDC earlier this year. Also the level they demoed on stage looked pretty darn good and I can see some intense multiplayer matches in the snow coming our way in October. This one is on my must buy list.
Full Retail Games Delivered via Live: This is pretty big, but it also has me worried I’m going to be forking over some bucks for a larger hard drive. I’ve got the 120gb on my Elite, but between copying games to the hard drive, Xbox Live Arcade downloads, and then lots of demos to boot, I’ll be filling that thing up really fast. This was the next step, however, and I’m glad we are seeing it sooner rather than later. Putting something like this in now, makes it a requirement for the next generations of systems.
Project Natal: Ok the name is retarded, but I like the system. It reminds me a lot of what Sony tried to do with the Eye Toy, but only enhanced with what the Wii has brought us in terms of animating video game playing couch potatoes. This single add on has quite a lot of potential in the gaming world. Besides that, with all of the Wii fit games that have been recently coming out, I have a feeling there will be quite a few Natal fitness games as well. Looking at what Lionhead has already done with this system pretty much says the sky’s the limit.
Halo 3 ODST: As a fan of the series, I’m always looking for more games to continue the story of the Halo universe, ODST looks like it really is going to go in a route specifically designed to tell stories of other soldiers in the struggle against the Covenant. Not sure if this is a must have on launch day, but I think once I see some of the Co-Op mode game play that will clinch it for me.
Halo Reach: Wow, I had a feeling ODST wouldn’t be the last we saw of Master Chief. Too bad it will probably be quite a while before we get too many details on this one.
Facebook/Twitter on Xbox Live: Big freaking deal, nuff said.
Last.fm on Xbox Live: Kinda cool I guess, I have so many devices that can stream Internet radio that this isn’t really earth shattering for me. It makes sense as a multimedia platform for the Xbox, but they shouldn’t limit the streams to only Last.fm but any Internet radio stream.
FFXIII: Microsoft makes a big play by snagging this franchise, while it wasn’t exactly new news, it was still nice to see some game play on screen. Really makes me want to be sure I’ve got a nice brand new 60’’ plasma ready for playing this to relish in all the highly detailed glory.
Metal Gear: What is Sony going to do for platform exclusives? They seem to be dwindling into nothingness.
Shadow Complex: Epic has a great little Xbox Live Arcade title coming out this summer. Reminds me of an old school Nintendo title but expansive in all the right areas. Part action game, part RPG, part exploration game, something I really want to get my hands on.
Splinter Cell Conviction: This looks to be the quintessential “Jason Bourne” game done the way previous attempts were done and yet it stars Sam Fischer. I’ve gone away from the Splinter Cell series for a while but this one may bring me back, much more visceral then it has been in the past, has a very badass feel to it and more continual player narrative driven story then mission after mission.
Alan Wake: Finally we will see this game, not until next year though. At least it is looking good. Going to be one to play late at night in the dark with the stereo cranked.
Final Thoughts: So far it looks like Microsoft is the clear leader to beat at E3 so far. Of course they have the benefit of going first and so they got to set the bar. Overall I’d say they set the bar pretty high. Quite a few big announcements, Sony really has some catch-up to play and we’ll have to see what Nintendo has up their sleeve as well. Day 1 is done and we’ve still got 2 more days of gaming goodness to go. I’ll toss up another recap and my thoughts after Tuesday’s announcements.