2005 E3 Preview
With E3 a little under a week away we asked all of the GN staffers who are heading to the show this year to compile a list of what they are looking forward to checking out at E3 this year. Without further ado here are the lists of what we are looking forward to at this year’s show.
Ben Berry – Staff Writer/E3 Virgin
In preparation for my trip to Los Angeles, my editor asked me to compile a list of things I really wanted to see at my first E3. He then said “and don’t say booth babes”. I, of course, immediately responded “the booth babes”; because this is the relationship I have with my editor. He then told me to mention that this is my first E3, which I now have (twice). So, having the editorial requirements out of the way, I sat down to my notebook and did my best not to think about the parties, the free food and drinks, and most importantly, the booth babes. What follows is the list of things I hope to see at E3, and hopefully as I wrote it, I sounded less like a giddy schoolgirl than I do now.
1. The scoop on Star Wars: Battlefront II. In this, the year of Darth Vader, Star Wars games are all the rage. Hopefully, the sequel to the best-selling Star Wars game ever won’t disappoint. New locations, improved single-player gaming, and Jedi powers look to make this one of the big games of Fall 2005.
2. A reason to game on my cell phone. So far, gaming on the run of the mill cellular phone has been mostly boring and hard to control. The industry is still without a title that really makes it something you want to do, as opposed to something you do while you wait. Hopefully, something I see at E3 will change all that.
3. New controllers. With all the new hardware coming out from consoles to major updates in PC video cards, it’s time that controllers evolve. I’ve been gaming for 20+ years, and I’m still waiting to see something that lets you game for 12 hours and not have sore hands when you’re done.
4. Major changes in the MMORPG world. With the release of World of Warcraft, and the various updates to Star Wars: Galaxies, this genre has continued to evolve and improve. Now it’s time for someone to take that next major step, blending FPS, RPG and Strategy in a way that makes MMORPG more than a haven for the hardcode gamer.
5. Finally I want to see the next-gen title that proves the new consoles are more than a way for the “Big 3” to make more money. I want to see a title, whether new or from an existing franchise, that makes me say “There is simply no way I could ever do that with my X-Box.”With every E-3 I look forward mostly to action games and RPGs, this year looks to be without exception with even more big name RPGs hitting the shelves than in recent years. With Final Fantasy XII and Kingdom Hearts 2 closing in for release there are still a lot of other games that deserve our attention, I’m on the lookout for other things this year though, not just RPGs.
1. Fatal Frame 3 from Tecmo – After playing through Fatal Frame 2 not once, not twice but four times on PS2 and then five times over again on Xbox you would think I’ve had my fill of the Camera Obscura but that is far from the truth. A new female lead is on the search for her lost boyfriend and Miku from the original Fatal Frame makes a return, hopefully this game will further refine the excellent game play that made Fatal Frame 2 so enjoyable for me. A showing at this year’s E-3 is what the gamer inside of me is burning for.
2. Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children from Square-Enix – I know you’re thinking, “That’s not a game!” But after months and months of delays it looks like this movie will finally hit store shelves this year and hopefully will have a massive showing on the E-3 floor. A true sequel that Final Fantasy fans have wanted for years is coming in the strangest of forms, and I for one could not be happier.
3. Genji from Sony – Initial screens and game play footage of this title bring back memories of Onimusha mixed with Devil May Cry. The beautiful art of this game also has me keeping a very close and watchful eye over this title.
4. New Nintendo DS Games – Lost in Blue, Castlevania, Mario Kart, these are the killer aps that I’ve been dreaming about, I finally feel like the purchase of a DS isn’t lost to the PSP. Castlevania alone is the only thing that is truly making me hang on to my DS though, with the return of Soma Cruz and the attempt to make this game more like Symphony of the Night I’ve got a lot to be happy about.
5. New Consoles – Who isn’t excited about seeing what Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have to show off for the next generation of consoles? With current hardware being stretched to the absolute limits, it was only a matter of time before the big three would show off new hardware. Now let’s just hope my wallet can handle the damage.
6. Grandia 3 from Square Enix – After Grandia II there was a gaping hole in my RPG craving heart. Star Ocean tried hard to fill that gap and just couldn’t quite do it. Shadow Hearts Covenant was the only thing in the meantime that I absolutely fell in love with. Let’s just hope “Squenix” can deliver the same stellar story and game play from II and steer clear of the viciousness of Grandia X-treme.
7. Namco X Capcom From Monolith Software- If you haven't seen footage of this game yet then consider this a plea to go to gametrailers.com right now and get the most recent trailer. This game combines a massive roster from both Namco and Capcom and creates a fighting game environment in an RPG setting. If that doesn't intrigue you then I don't know what will. But I'm waiting for this game with ferocity, and if Namco or Capcom don't show it at E3 this year then consider me one disappointed gamer.
Seems I’ve been doing these top 5 things I want to see at E3 forever. So we’re coming up to a really big one this year as three new consoles will be on the floor to wow everyone and make them drool over what’s to come. With that here are the top 5 things I’m most looking forward to this year in no particular order.
1) Xbox 360, PS3, Revolution – I was going to name each one individually, but I figured that would knock 3 out of the 5 out too quickly. The Xbox 360 will be out first so there should be a lot of titles and hardware to look at this year for it. Seeing as how the MTV special’s impact was lessened with the leaked photos on Engadget, the console will still be one that I’m looking forward to seeing up close. The PlayStation 3 has had a few leaks here and there but nothing substantial. And there seems to be even less information on the Revolution. But being the hardware guy, I’m looking forward to seeing all three and pick apart the ins and outs of what’s going to power our next generation games.
2) Call of Duty 2 – Being a big fan of the first one, I was very happy to learn that a new one was coming up. Call of Duty provided some of the funnest single player action that I’ve experienced in a World War II first person shooter. At the time, I really enjoyed Medal of Honor and the squad like atmosphere. Call of Duty took it up a notch and I have high expectations for the sequel.
3) NVIDIA, ATI – Two big hitters in the video graphics world are going to be there as usual and so far it’s been pretty quiet on if they are introducing anything. I only have a half hour with NVIDIA this year but I get the usual hour and a half with ATI. ATI’s got some new chipsets to talk about and some theater shows that must need something to wow the audience this year since Half-Life 2 has been released. With the quick time I have NVIDIA, it might just be more than a courtesy meeting.
4) ABIT – Their silent cooling OTES technology has just been announced and will be shown at E3. I’m big into the silent computer arena and am always looking for products to improve my home made PVRs. This time the boys of ABIT will be in the big West Hall, up from the small parts of Kentia where the meeting rooms and small timers hang out.
5) THE Show – For the first time in a long, long time I’ll be able to just roam the halls on the first day. I’m usually running from booth to booth with appointments but this time I’m taking it easy and seeing everything I can. I haven’t been able to enjoy the show the past years but I’m happy to get my usual appointments and have time to just check out products in general.
This is my fourth E3 and my third representing GamingNexus so while I know what I’m getting into I’m not quite as jaded as John is. It’s hard to remember an E3 with this much hype going into the show. With the launch of three new consoles and the industry coming off its best year ever it was hard to focus on a few things but it’s also going to be a year without seeing Half-Life 2, Doom 3, and Halo 2 so here’s my list of what I think is going to fill that void.
1. Non NFL branded football games - I’m interested to see what Midway and Sony do with their football franchises now that they’ve lost the NFL brand to Electronic Arts. From the looks of it both franchise are going to show the darker side of the sport (especially since Midway is using Playmakers as the moniker for their game.
2. Dedicated Physics Hardware - Last year was the year that realistic physics started appearing in games. The only problem with the physics is the added cycles it adds to the processor. This year a few companies are coming out with dedicated hardware that will offload those calculations, freeing up the CPU for other processes. I’m interested to see if this will be implemented and which companies are going to take advantage of this trend.
3. What’s Nokia got planned? -
I know that the N-Gage has never really taken off but I get the feeling that Nokia’s got something big planned. I don’t know what it is but that part of my gamer-sense is tingling for some reason.
4. NC Soft’s booth - I fell in love with Auto Assault last year and I’m looking forward to seeing how the game has progressed this year. They are also going to be showing off City of Villains, the expansion pack to one of my favorite MMORPG from last year. This will also be the first time we get to see what changes they’ve made to Tabula Rosa since last year.
5. Next Gen consoles - OK I waited until nearly last to mention these just because I know everyone else mentioned them in their lists. We know pretty much everything there is about the new Xbox but I’m really interested to see what Nintendo has up their sleeves. There are a lot of interesting rumors out there talking about touch controllers and even holograms so it will be interesting to see what the Big N has planned. It will also be interesting to see what Sony does with the online portion of the PS3 and if they will finally match Xbox Live or not.
6. Destroy All Humans - This is another game I saw in it’s early stages last year and fell in love with. The game should be a lot further along this year and I’m anxious to see if the game lives up to the hype or not.
7. Activision - Normally when you book an appointment with a vendor it’s only 30 minutes to an hour long. This year our appointment with Activision is scheduled for two hours. It makes sense given the number of AAA titles they are going to have on display. You’ve got The Movies, Call of Duty 2, Quake IV, and X-Men:Legends II and that’s just for starters. I’m just disappointed that they are one of our last appointments instead of one of our first.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.