Wednesday, June 8, 2011
It's that time of year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is one of the most active and interesting times of the year for gamers. The biggest announcements are usually saved for E3. This year's expo already has the upcoming Nintendo console to reveal, so the other big names have to really bring the heat. First up is Microsoft, who kinda sucked ass last year. Are they gonna redeem themselves in my eyes?
These are my immediate reactions to the announcements and games shown at the conference. Let's begin!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Well... fuck. So much for trying to win ME over. They're starting this confernce the same way they began the last one; with Call of Duty. This is not looking good. I won't say anymore, my indifference towards Call of Duty has grown in recent years into an outright hatred towards all military shooters. Fuck Battlefield 3, fuck Medal of Honor, fuck Spec Ops: The Line, and most of all fuck Call of Duty!
After Don Matrick does his usual blahblah PR shit, we get a demo of the new Tomb Raider. It looks gorgeous visually, and it's nice to see a more human Lara Croft, one who has to fight for survival instead of being the murderous sex symbol she's sadly been known as since the first game in the series. The demo gameplay didn't really show off anything though, it's just Lara stumbling through a wet cavern. No platforming, acrobatics, or combat. Hopefully we'll be seeing some true Tomb Raider gameplay later on during E3.
EA Sports with Kinect
Mass Effect 3 with Kinect
No, don't be scared! This one isn't god-awful! Mass Effect 3 is so far the only game I know of that's using Kinect in conjunction with normal controllers. The Kinect functionality in ME3 will, as far as I'm aware, be relegated to voice recognition. Part of it is simply saying the dialogue options, which is ok but not very necessary. Giving voiced squad commands, for example telling Liara to move up to a position or telling Garrus to fire on a certain enemy, is an interesting and practical usage for Kinect though. Nothing to make me buy it of course, but that's why it's a good thing. Anyone who happens to already have Kinect will find a neat little feature in ME3, and those us of who would never be caught dead with Kinect in our house won't be missing out on anything that would detract the Mass Effect experience in any way.
Overall, I'm thankful that the Kinect isn't detracting from the ME3 experience on the Xbox 360, and those of us without Kinect will not be missing out on anything, and I hope other developers see it BioWare's way.
Now I just want to see the full Mass Effect 3 demo at EA's conference already! My body is fucking ready!
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier with Kinect
Yeah, I should let you guys know this now: almost everything else in this conference has Kinect. Yikes.
At first, it looks like Kinect is just used in the menu, but OH NO! The guy demoing the game suddenly goes into a position that I guess is supposed to look like he's holding a gun, and actually mimes firing a gun on stage! That's right, Ghost Recon is gonna use Kinect for actual gameplay. Doesn't that sound... FUCKING TERRIBLE?! It should! Squeezing your hand to simulate pulling a trigger (because triggers require the use of the entire hand), and holding your arms out like a chach is just a BAD IDEA.
This is what I was talking about earlier with Mass Effect, it seems every other developer thinks that you should go all-out with Kinect. You either use it for everything or nothing. BioWare is so far the only dev I know that's making a game that utilizes a controller and Kinect at the same time. ME3 uses Kinect as a function, not a gimmick. Ghost Recon, on the other hand, is about as gimmicky as it gets. Oh, and by the way, according to the developers right aftrer the GR:FS demo...
All Tom Clancy games will "leverage" Kinect. Let the gimmickry begin!
YouTube and Bing for Xbox
Pretty self-explanatory. Besides, if it's not video games, I don't care. NEXT!
...NEEEEXT! Sorry, I know some of you may be UFC fans, but I'm not.
Gears of War 3, with Kin-- wait no, with special guest Ice-T!!!
That's right folks, there's no Kinect this time! Just Cliff Bleszinski and legendary rapper Ice-T shootin' shit up in Gears 3. I've never been a fan of Gears of War, but the third iteration looks like it will finally catch my interest. An actual color pallette, refined third-person shooter gameplay, and Ice-T! What more can you ask for?
For those of you wondering, Ice-T is not only voicing a major character in the game, his metal band Body Count is also making a song for Gears 3. So no, it's not just a pointless celebrity cameo. Even if it was... it's fuckin' Ice-T! He's not just an OG, he's an actual gamer, unlike the usual E3 celebrity cameos.
Crytek's Ryse, with... Kinect? WTF
Crytek making a Kinect game... what the fuck. Remember that game that Crytek teased last E3 at Microsoft's conference? This is that game... oh my fuck.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
I will admit, as soon as I heard the Halo theme music playing, I flipped a poo. I can't help it, the original Halo is one of my favorite games. I was at first skeptical when I heard the rumors of a Halo 1 remake, but after seeing the trailer, I am convinced: this is something that I want. Just as vibrant, colorful, loud and iconic as the first Halo, with completely remastered visuals. This isn't just an HD up-res like the God of War Collection or similar titles, they're doing a total remake. A sexy remake.
Forza Motorsport 4
I am no fan of driving "simulators," I will amdit this. I am much more F-Zero than Forza, but I can still give credit where credit is due, and Forza 3 was a pretty good game. I don't know how the fourth Forza will do, but it has already pissed me off with one thing: the trailer music. I am so sick and fuicking TIRED of hearing "Power" by Kanye West! I hated that song when I heard it in the trailers for the movie Limitless, I hated it even more in the recent Saints Row 3 trailer, and I hate it so much now that it has tainted my entire opinion of the game!
By the way... Forza 4 uses Kinect.
Another Fable Game
I'll be honest, I didn't watch this demo, so I have no idea what it's about. As soon as I saw someone driving a chariot, with Kinect OF COURSE, I stopped watching and went to the bathroom to take a shit.
Minecraft for Xbox
So I guess this means FortressCraft is straight-up fucked.
Oh, and it uses Kinect.
Disney Park Something
Once again, something I didn't pay attention to. Just a couple of kids waving their bodies around flying through Disney shit. Kinda fucked, and unlike last year's Kinectimals showing, they didn't even pick cute kids. Just the really obnoxious overacting kids.
Kinect Star Wars
They fuckin' tricked me. I heard the Star Wars music and got all excited, then I saw it's just the fuckin Kinect game. It looks terrible, to be honest. Standing around, stiffly waving a lightsaber just doesn't look like a fun video game. Not to mention this game is set during the Clone Wars, because apparently LucasArts thinks that's such an interesting part of Star Wars' 5000 + years worth of lore and history.
Fuck this game.
I want to hate this game. It's a Kinect game targeted towards children, so it must be bad.
But it's Sesame Street! As soon as I heard the theme tune, I couldn't stay mad at it! I love Sesame Street, what the fuck! It's being made by Tim Schafer's Double Fine studio as well, so fans of their work who have Kinect, and love Sesame Street might wanna check it out.
Kinect Fun Labs
Honestly, I don't even know what the fuck this is. I was watching, but I zoned out so hard because it looks just so stupid. All I know it has something to do with these three things:
1. You can make an Xbox Avatar based on your appearance by having the Kinect take a picture of you, and form an Avatar to look like you. This was demonstrated on-stage, and the first thing I thought of when I saw this hideous human/avatar hybrid was "KILL IT WITH FIRE!"
2. The Kinect now has finger-tracking. Wait, I thought they took out the Kinect's ability to distinguish fingers from the hand. So now Kinect has the functionality it was originally designed to have? Go fucking figure.
3. You can take things like dolls, or in this case, a monstrous blue abomination of Cthulhu called Ronaldo, and actually put them in the game. Honestly... that sounds kinda cool. If I can do that with my Transformers toys and my manatee roommate Francisco, then that would be tight.
Kinect Sports: Season 2
It's nice to know Nintendo has no problem with someone straight-up ripping them off. I'm just waiting for Microsoft to have an awkwardly awful live demonstration of Kinect Music, complete with hilariously bad air drummer. Nothing exciting here, just Microsoft's own weak version of Wii Sports.
Dance Central 2
Nothing noteworthy here, except the cameo appearance of the dorky-ass dancing white guy from last year's conference. Except this time, he left the dancing to the people who don't look completely retarded while playing this game.
The Last Announcement...
I'm starting to think they're gonna end this conference with Don "I got picked on in school" Matrick doing his usual droning talking shit. Oh but wait, they're showing one last trailer. I'm kinda frightened, it could very well be Kinect Music. All I see is red glowing shit and tubes, looks kinda weird. Wait, there's a woman talking in the background, but her voice is muffled. She sounds familiar. Wait just one fuck of a second, this couldn't possibly be--
IS THAT THE FUCKING CHIEF?!?!
OH MY FUCK IT IS!
That's right, the final announcement of Microsoft's press conference is...
Well fucking played, Microsoft. For all the garbage and Kinect shovelware in this conference, you bring us not only a remastered Halo 1, but Halo 4. Needless to say from my initial reaction seeing the Chief, I'm excited for this game. I know some people's reaction will be a loud groan at another Halo game, but I could give a fuck less about the opinions of others. I only wonder how they're gonna juggle a remake of Halo 1 and Halo 4. Releasing them too close together would spell disaster, as it would split the multiplayer fanbase and would be too reminiscent of Activision's desire to release an annual Call of Duty. But I don't care about that right now, all I wanna do is bask in the excitement of a new Halo. Because Halo is FUN. And I am all about fun.
With the exception of the two Halo games, the short glimpses of Mass Effect 3 and the new Tomb Raider, and surprisingly Gears of War 3 (put Ice-T in anything and it's an automatic win), there was NOTHING in this conference that interested me in the least. I could give a fuck less about Kinect, and with the exception of Mass Effect 3 all of the "hardcore games" like Ghost Recon use Kinect as a substitute for a controller, which has ALWAYS been a bad idea.
I'm not gonna compare Microsoft to other conferences, I'm not even gonna give it a letter grade. I'm just gonna grade all these conferences on a simple system: whether they overall succeed or fail. In the case of Microsoft, I think we all know what my verdict is:
DISCLAIMER: Above image is neither my property, nor is it a teaser screenshot of Kinectimals 2. I fucking hope...