The Super Brief E3 Round Up

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I’ve been having a few problems updating the blog recently, so this is quite late. Apologies – Creed

E3 has just closed up shop in L.A. again for another year. Traditionally it’s been something of a yearly Mecca for the games industry as a whole, but it’s been scaled back considerably in the last few years. Never the less it’s still one of the big conventions to watch and this year saw a slew of announcements that will pique any gamer’s interest. Being a wee ol’ blog (and having proper jobs and lives to hold down in the real world) we never even attempted blow by blow coverage. Instead, think of us as a handy media thresher, sorting the delicious wheat of relevance from the chaff of PR and marketing hyperbole. Here’s some snippets of some of the best and biggest news to come out of E3 this time around.

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Bungie Studios teased us with hits of a new game announcement, most likely related to the Halo franchise, and then proceed to showcase bugger all at the Microsoft press events. President of Bungie Harold Ryan explained the sudden appearance of nothing on behalf of the studio in a brief letter that points the finger of blame squarely at Microsoft, their publisher, who changed their plans at the last minute. Whatever it was that was going to be announced, it looks like MS & Bungie will drop the news at a “more dedicated event” somewhere down the line.

Meanwhile; Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s own Jim Rossignol (whom we interviewed here) has been speculating that Bungie’s next big thing might in fact be a Halo MMO in the style of an FPS. Check out his thoroughly reasonable musings here.

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The next Wolfenstein game was also confirmed proper, with a brief teaser that we’ve stuck below. It appears to be comprised completely of in-game footage, but it’s all so quick fire that it’s hard to tell. No word on how it plays or on any of the features within the game, but we’re fairly sure it’s packing Nazis again and that must be a good thing.

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A Knights Of The Old Republic MMO is now officially a go-go. The goods were spilled by EA’s John Riccitiello in an interview with Portfolio. Riccitiello mentioned that Bioware are helming a new MMO project for the publisher, and when asked if it was in fact the long rumoured KOTOR MMO his answer was a simple, direct “Yes”. World of Warcraft, be afraid. The might of EA and the talent of Bioware are gearing up to truly take you on.

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Valve’s Gabe Newell gave a presentation on Left 4 Dead, showing off the redesigned character models in game and talking a little bit about the AI Director that will control everything from the dynamic difficulty to what kind of incidental music to play. As multiplayer game’s go this one is shaping up to be a corker.

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We also got to check out the Dawn of War II cinematic trailer, and talk is that the final shot contains a tease of the one race all DoW fans have wanted to see included since the first game – the Tyranids. As trailers go it’s extremely pretty, but I think it lacks the visual ‘oomph’ of the original DoW’s intro movie.

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Sony, in between announcing the inevitable God of War III and not much else, released info on a new title provisionally called MAG: Massive Action Game. (As development code names go, I really hope that one sticks.) The selling points? Well, massive action essentially, with Sony promising battles comprised of 256 players with persistent character development and large campaigns. No release or other specifics at this time, but it looks like Sony are trying to give console gamers a taste of the great online multiplayer scene that’s thriving on PC.

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Any downers or disappointments? Well, there was no sign of Alan Wake this year, a stellar sounding game from Max Payne maestro’s Remedy, despite it being confirmed and previewed nearly two years ago. The blackout on this title is really starting to frustrate.

And it now seems everyone is starting to hate E3 good and proper – the event has been on shaky ground the past few years and this time around crowds were sparse to say the least. Ubisoft Exec Alain Corre called the venue and timing of the event “not appropriate” given its apparent importance, while industry veteran Dave Perry (of Shiny, now with Acclaim) thinks the expo is “an embarrassment”. Mind you, given that we saw this at E3 this year, calling it an embarrassment might not be far off.

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