Metroid: Other M
Here's another must-have for the Nintendo Wii: Metroid: Other M. This latest Metroid installment yanks elements from both the first generation of Metroid titles and the "Prime" series, blending semi-side-scrolling platform action with a first-person viewing mode.
For the third-person mode, players simply hold the Wii Remote controller sideways while navigating and fighting. However, players can switch immediately to Wii Remote pointer controls to examine and explore the environments in a first-person perspective.
As for the story, it begins in the middle of the events transpiring in Super Metroid, when a baby Metroid gave its life to protect Samus. As Nintendo revealed during E3, Samus finally gets to tell her own tale "in this revealing, personal story of her failings, her flaws, and ultimately her motivation." Players will learn more about her past as she makes her way through the game's overall setting, the decommissioned space facility called the Bottle Ship.
Metroid: Other M sounds like the biggest, deepest Metroid yet.
Probably the biggest news from E3 about Crysis 2 was that the game would support 3D across all three platforms.
However, Crytek blew a few minds during the E3 presentation with its Cloak and Dagger gameplay trailer, showing what it's like to sneak through New York City using the nanosuit's cloaking device, which renders the player partially invisible.
Also impressive was the amount of devastation the player and AI could inflict on the city. Crytek said that the game promises to have the most intelligent enemies ever in any first-person shooter. They will be "vicious killers" and will use New York's skyline fully to their advantage. Obviously.
The other Crysis 2 demo, Central Station, made that perfectly clear, showcasing an incredible fight that nearly shook the Station's foundation. The enemy finally took down Central Station by sending missiles into a neighboring skyscraper, sending it crashing down, and flattening the Station and a few extra pedestrians in the process.
Thanks to a tease emailed to the press, we knew something big was coming from Valve. The secret had us wondering if the company would reveal Half-Life 2: Episode 3, Half-Life 3, or the newest Source engine. A later hint told us that the surprise was still related to Portal 2.
What we didn't expect was that the game would head to the PlayStation 3 with Steamworks fully intact.
What does that mean for the console gamer? The latest game updates, official downloadable content, and more importantly, user-created mods will be on offer. Unreal Tournament III gave PlayStation 3 gamers a taste of user-made content by allowing downloadable maps, but we're expecting the creativity pipeline to really open up with Portal 2.
The inclusion of Steamworks also means that PC and PlayStation 3 gamers may be able to play together. According to project manager Erik Johnson, Valve is working on enabling co-op games on Steam, allowing PC gamers and PlayStation 3 gamers to play side-by-side.
We're definitely eager to see what becomes of Steamworks and how it will open up the world to a typically closed platform.
It's a first-person shooter from id Software. Honestly, how could it not be on a must-have list?
Well, for starters, the post-apocalyptic theme is cliché and old. That in itself could be a turnoff for some gamers. This is also somewhat new territory for id Software. Although Wolfenstein's story is based in Nazi Germany, the Doom and Quake titles are set in other worlds and deal with hostile aliens.
But in Rage, players battle for survival on an environmentally-ravaged Earth that was severely transformed by the impact of a huge asteroid. Those who prepared for the collision and burrowed underground were mostly left unscathed. Those who didn't escape the impact were mutated in interesting ways.
Based on the gameplay video shown at E3, the wastelands are huge, offering enough room for exploring without getting lost. The gameplay itself is what Tim Willits called "open but directed," allowing for side jobs and other tasks in addition to the game's main missions. We just want to play it now, on a PC or console...it doesn't matter.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 is undoubtedly one of the must-haves from E3 2010. Electronic Arts' presentation looked impressive, displaying a barrage of sequences involving plenty of blood, carnage, and creepy dark corridors that should keep gamers on the edge of their seats.
For Dead Space 2, the team tried to incorporate additional visual reactions into Issac Clarke as he explores the mysterious, yet hostile, environment. There's also the ability to impale enemies by using the severed limbs of other enemies, adding to Issac's list of weaponry and unique killing styles. The presentation also revealed that gamers will finally hear Issac's voice and actually see his face, a factor missing from the previous installment.
According the E3 press release, Isaac wakes up to find himself in an all-new space installation called "The Sprawl." Electronic Arts promises that the story of Issac, the Necromorphs, and the whole Dead Space storyline will have much more to reveal in this upcoming sequel.
Adult diapers for intensely scary moments not included.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was seen behind closed doors in a hands-off preview presented by lead writer and narrative designer, Mary Demarle.
What we do know about this long-awaited, third installment of the popular Deus Ex action/role-playing game series is that gameplay will be centered around four key components: combat, stealth, hacking, and socializing with non-playing characters. We also know that players will take on the role of Adam Jensen, a cybernetically-enhanced private security agent who is hired to locate stolen "vital secrets."
Based on the E3 presentation, a conversation wheel has been integrated into the game, offering the player various choices when questioning non-playing characters. Also new to the franchise is a cover system for evading bullets, which allows the player to sneak up and take out an opponent, and the ability to augment Jensen's cybernetic enhancements.
The game also incorporates a multi-path, multi-solution approach to objectives. This means that if one avenue doesn't work, players can use a different method.
2K Marin has somewhat rebooted the XCOM franchise by ripping out its strategic roots and firmly planting the series into first-person shooter territory. While that may disappoint some, the game shown at E3 2010 looked good, thrusting gamers into the stereotypical 1950s era, where white picket fences lined neighborhood streets and black-and-white monsters brought screams to young moviegoers.
Like Deus Ex, this game was shown behind closed doors. What's known is that FBI agent William Carter founded the XCOM group after discovering an alien artifact. Based in a giant facility disguised as an aircraft hangar, players use the XCOM headquarters as a possible central hub where they receive missions and determine how to carry them out.
"Your choices and efforts have a direct involvement in the creation of new tools and technology that will aid in your battle to save mankind," reads the product literature. "But make a bad decision, and the consequences will be felt most by those you have failed."
Supposedly no two experiences are the same, as the outcome is determined by player choices.
Although it seems that the exhausted Mortal Kombat franchise should be "retired" by now, there was something special about the latest installment appearing at E3 that had us clamoring for more.
What made it different than previous installments? It could have been the visuals, sporting rich animated environments and detailed versions of our beloved Mortal Kombat characters.
Then again, that scene with Sub-Zero getting sawed in half from crotch to head leaves us wondering what other gruesome death sequences are in store for gamers. The E3 product sheet promised that the franchise is making its "triumphant return to its violent roots" and we do not doubt that one bit.
But there's more to the game than its fatalities. The new Mortal Kombat is said have the deepest story mode of any fighting game. According to the fact sheet, Emperor Shao Kahn has finally defeated Raiden and his allies. Faced with extinction, Raiden has one last chance to save Earthrealm. To undo the Emperor’s victory, he must strike Shao Kahn where he is vulnerable…the past. Totally deep, right?
Undoubtedly, this 2011 "reboot" should breathe new life into the Mortal Kombat series.
There is something "magical" about Warren Spector's artistic twist to our favorite mouse that we witnessed during the presentation. His world is littered with things that have come and gone in Disney's overall history, whether from the films, the cartoon shorts, or the theme parks. This virtual wasteland ruled by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was a brilliant idea representing the culmination of creativity spanning decades. It reminds gamers and consumers of magical, wholesome entertainment, now overshadowed by other modern cartoons.
What is really interesting about Epic Mickey is the way players can use paint and paint thinner to change the world, interact with friends and enemies, and solve specific challenges. Choices players make within the game will also change the story's outcome.
But don't let the game's overall appearance fool you. Epic Mickey is targeting gamers 13 to 34 years of age, with "hardcore" gamers as its secondary target. Needless to say, this isn't some Mickey-themed kiddy game.