Specials: It's the most wonderful time of the year?
Yes, I'm aware that it's bad luck to sing Christmas Carols out of season, but it's May ? summer is on the way and it is
the most wonderful time of year for gamers all over the world. There's just something about new software?and new hardware?and next gen gaming in general that's amped up the excitement for new product ten-fold. We'll have lots of E3 coverage this week, but for now let's look at some of the exciting, upcoming 360 titles for 2006 that are slated to be on display at the show?.
Halo 3 ? there, I said it. Ok, so it almost certainly won't release until 2007, but it's no doubt one of the most highly anticipated games in its next gen iteration. There have been rumors aplenty ? Halo 3 as a prequel MMO title featuring the Forerunners, Master Chief and huge online play, no Halo 3 at all (ha, as if!) and everything in between. The truth of the matter is that we'll all know this week. Bungie is set to debut several minutes of game footage at the show ? at this time we're not sure exactly what we'll be seeing, but it's a good bet that the developer will be showing off real-time gameplay footage. Imagine Halo 3 rendered with the power of the 360's triple-core processor ? yes, I'm feeling light-headed too, it's not just you. Once we view this incredible bounty of Halo goodness for ourselves, we'll be endlessly analyzing every frame for hints of what's to come in the finished product. Stay tuned.
Gears of War
If Halo 3 is the shooter franchise that everyone most covets then Gears of War is the new
shooter IP from Epic's Cliff Bleszinski that everyone most covets. Ever since gameplay footage surfaced at last years show, interest in GoW has been through the roof. Incredible atmosphere, innovate gameplay concepts and graphics to die for, Gears of War appears to have everything necessary to be the
next big shooter, and a AAA franchise in the making on the level of Halo for Microsoft's new machine. We'll be eagerly soaking up any new info on the game, so look for it here this week. If Epic holds true to their word, the game should be playable at this point, so hopefully we'll get to see a lot more of what this epic (ha, get it?) adventure has to offer, and even get some hands-on time. We'll keep you posted ? as soon as we know, you'll know.
Yes, another shooter, but it's just such great news that this premier PC gun and spook fest is making its way to the 360 with all the love a port could hope for, that I'm just bursting
with happiness. F.E.A.R brings incredible graphics, astounding physics, unprecedented in-game effects, insane AI, over the top gun battles and a seriously pants-wetting tale of terror to the table. We'll hopefully get to see more of the 360 version of this AAA monster later this week. So far the developers (the port is being handled by Day One Studios, creators of the Mechassault series) have only released one screenshot, but boy does it look wonderful. Keep it here for more info on F.E.A.R 360 as it becomes available.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
"Amazing visuals, emotionally weighty subject matter and polished and perfected gameplay ? both online and off ? Splinter Cell 4 is the stealth action game to look for this fall.?
I said it before, and I'll say it again ? the Splinter Cell series is above reproach in its quality, so why should the 4th installment be any different? The short answer is that it is - in fact - not going to be any different in terms of quality, but it will feature new free-roaming gameplay and a storyline that tears hero Sam Fischer down to the lowest point in his life and tasks you with finding the way back again. Sam will be stripped of his Third Echelon status and go deep undercover in order to infiltrate a left wing militia. It's dangerous, morally ambiguous and downright dirty work, but Fischer is in it up to his neck, and there'll be no turning back once the gears are in motion. Add to all this never before seen next gen visuals for the series and a full 3 vs 3 spies and mercs mode (plus co-op) over Live and the new Splinter Cell will definitely turn heads at E3 this week prior to its fall release. Look for more on everyone's favorite super-spy in the next few days?
From Software's mech masterpiece continues to look impressive as its completion draws near. Incredible customization options, amazing destruction and particle effects combined with slick hi res graphics makes Chromehounds a good bet to replace Mechassault as the top Live mech game once it debuts this summer. Add to all that a persistent world of war housed on From Software's servers and you've got a lot to look forward to as a make believe giant robot pilot. There should be a wealth of new info on the game at E3, so we have that to look forward to as well.
The folks at Irrational Games are bringing their vision of Orwellian dystopia to the Xbox 360 with Bioshock, an adventure FPS that places you into the role of a plane crash survivor lost at sea who comes across a portal to an incredible underwater world. Exploring a vast and secret city torn apart by war and on the edge of total implosion, it's up to you to discover the secret behind a mutating genetic chemical, and face the altered, upgraded creatures that guard it from outsiders. Bioshock looks seriously creepy, with astounding visuals and the promise of top-notch AI for a game experience that's open and seamless. Expect a great story and equally compelling gameplay as the developers reveal more at the show this week.
Ok, there you have it, my picks for some of the most exciting games at E3 this year. There are tons more ? Prey, Call of Duty 3, Brothers In Arms, Too Human, The Darkness, Huxley, Mass Effect, Alone In The Dark, Saints Row ? and we'll do our best to bring you every bit of info on these and other new Xbox and Xbox 360 titles this week. Happy E3 everyone?