E3 2009 Day 1 Recap – The Press Briefings

by · June 1, 2009

So that is day 1 out of the way, and what a mixed bag it turned out to be.

Lets go through the events in chronological order, starting with the Xbox 360 briefing this morning at the Galen Center in downtown L.A. (Don’t forget to check out the amazing liveblog (!) I did from the event this morning!)

MS got the day started with a bang with a little help from their friends (groan)as they showed Rock Band: The Beatles and wheeled out Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney to huge whoops from the crowd. I must admit whoever wrote their lines did a good job, with Ringo saying “the game looks great, and we were great” with Paul adding in his best ‘confused old man’ act, “Thanks for letting us be on your gameshow”. The game looked good too despite the best efforts of the ‘Harmonix House Band’ who murdered a tune much to my annoyance.

Other titles of note:
Modern Warfare 2 looked tasty
We got a nifty CGI trailer for Crackdown 2
Splinter Cell Conviction looked good.
Alan Wake surprised me by looking creepy and cool and generally sexy.
Left4Dead 2 – Set in the Deep South – YUM
HALO ODST and HALO:Reach – Well it’s Halo, so I am sure the fans will be happy and I am sure it will sell shitloads.
Oh yeah, and Metal Gear Solid Rising might be cool too;)

Things I could have done without:
Announcing Facebook and Twitter apps for 360.
Final Fantasy XIII being demoed in the most slow and painful way – via translator.
The Avatar Racing Game – Lame

And then there was Project Natal…

This is the much rumored ‘camera’ for 360 that seems to have the potential to blow gaming wide open IF it gets backed with some quality software. You can read all about the ins and outs of what it does elsewhere, but my thoughts are that some of the demos were incredible, and some were creepy (like Milo, the cgi boy who recognizes you, talks to you and reacts to what you say).
There was a painting demo that looked kind of silly, and I am sure will be used to fake lots of ‘money shots’ once it is released…

So overall for MS – A good showing. Some great innovations, some crap, some killer games.

Next up – EA.

I am going to discount games like The Sims, the kids stuff and the sports stuff because they bore me to be honest.

I liked:
Bruutal Legend – Tim Schafer, Jack Black and Rock music… whats not to love?
Dantes Inferno – Should tide me over till God of War 3 comes out:)
The Saboteur – Looks kind of WW2 Splinter Cell, and that’s not perhaps a bad thing. I want to see more.
Mass Effect 2 – Its BioWare – need I say more?
Dragon Age – A gory, sexy M-Rated BioWare game?? Sign me up!
The Old Republic – Again – BioWare + Star Wars + MMO = Me spending another $15 a month…

So EA – Good line up in general. Some killer titles form the Borg that I will just have to buy.

Now onto UbiSoft.

All I can say about this is thank God for Joel McHale! The man is funny and kept it together after every tedious presentation.

The presentation was all talk, not much gameplay and some CGI trailers mixed in with those LOATHSOME ads featuring lots of painfully hip types who apparently now define ‘The Gamer’ (according to ad agency wankers anyway).

Worst culprit? James ‘Titanic (bore)’ Cameron, who droned on and on about Avatar, and did not show anything beyond a fucking logo!

Ubi had the worst event of the day, with the worst lineup. Not even the great Pele could save the day, seeing as the game he was endorsing looked like some cartoony footie version of ‘Hogwarts’ from the Harry Potter books.

Epic Fail Ubi. You may make lots of cash from the ‘Tweens’ line, but you are in serious danger of becoming a gaming JOKE.

EDIT: They did of course show the same demo of Splinter Cell: Conviction, which indeed does look good. Thanks to Bob Marino for the reminder. I am still however dissapointed with their showing.

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