Lionel’s back to close off the E3 Big 3 Report. So this is about two weeks late but as the saying goes better late than never. So continuing with The Infection’s analysis of what the big 3 did at E3 we close with Microsoft and the games that they showcased at the expo.
First I would like to hand out four awards:
The “It-wouldn’t-be-Microsoft-without-this-announcement” award: Halo: Reach. No really it would not have been a normal E3 for Microsoft without some form of Halo.
The “I-think-Microsoft-could-have-used-this-announcement” award: Fable 3, there were rumors swirling around that Lionhead Studios was going to put this out there but it looked like that was a no go. This would have definitely helped the lineup of exclusive software that Microsoft had at E3.
The “surprise announcement” award: To some gamers out there, Hideo Kojima bringing Metal Gear Solid to XBOX 360 was a shock (maybe it shouldn’t because he tried Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance on XBOX), but this time minus Solid Snake. Metal Gear Solid: Rising, under the new brand of Lightning Bolt Action (give me a minute while I puke out my previous meal from reading that), starring everyone’s favourite bishounen Raiden in his ninja outfit. Hideo Kojima is a genius, NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE CAN EVER DO THINGS LIKE HIM, and I never doubt his judgment but this time I really have to ask, why? You said Metal Gear Solid 4 could NOT fit on the Blu-Ray so….. Is this game going to be a quick money grab or is this going to be like a 10 disc epic marathon, remember this is also on the Playstation 3, so I will not pass judgment just yet, let us see what happens at TGS.
The “I-wish-I-could-kick-Microsoft’s-announcement-guy-in-the-balls” award: goes to the Final Fantasy XIII update, with the gist of the message being “we are Microsoft and we like being cockblockers to the rest of the gaming world so we payed off Square-Enix to delay the Playstation 3 version”
So, enough of me raging and on to my analysis of what Microsoft has for the near and not-so-close future:
Halo ODST → Unlike Custom Edition for the original Halo 1 this is going to be a real stand alone game, so Halo gamers rejoice. The price may be a little steep as noted at the conference; retailers have listed the game at the price a full game comes out at. This time there is no Master Chief so it will be interesting to see how this franchise sells without its franchise player. It’s Basically Halo 2 with snazzier graphics and some new maps and new modes.
Halo: Reach → As I said before this would have been bizarre if Microsoft came to E3 without its franchise player. There were some questions as to the type of game the new Halo would be and the answer was….. “Of course it’s an FPS.” So Halo purists nothing to worry about it is a shooter. Initial footage looked good, I myself have never gone deeply into the story, but it looks interesting to say the least.
Perfect Dark → You read that right, Perfect “I-wear-sexy-leather” Dark. Microsoft got the license for this game and is going to put it on XBOX Live Arcade. I like this one as a gamer who played this on N64, back to the origins of First Person Shooters, except this time in 1080.
Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment → Konami is bringing back on old JRPG back from the dead. This one should be interesting to watch to say the least.
Forza Motorsport 3 → Sharper graphics, 400 new cars, some new tracks, and some newer mechanics to the gameplay; a definite plus to a good simulation racing game. I like this game for a racing simulator and the preview from E3 looked good.
Modern Warfare 2 → This last title may not be an exclusive but looks better than ever.
Basically in terms of software Microsoft delivered where it needed to, but I don’t feel that there is a real homerun hitter out of the set of games I talked about here. I guess we have to play wait-and-see with Microsoft until shows up next which is most likely GDC, because usually Microsoft is quiet at TGS.