Wednesday, 8 June 2011

E3 Impressions Day 2

Day two, the longest day at E3, is over and I have to say I am absolutely exhausted! It has been really fun though, I saw a huge amount of games and hope to see many more in the last day. Here’s some short previews of what I saw and played.

After a two hour wait, I was granted access to play the PSP Vita for a very short time. 20 minutes in fact, 4 minutes per game. First was little big planet which was really cool, incorporating touch and tilt controls to navigate levels, such as touching blocks to move them and open doors. Then I was moved on to play the next game, this game seemed to be a compilation of mini games that each take advantage of the Vita’s features such as one that was an AR game where you shoot enemies with the Vita’s camera. After that was a cool platformer game, this game involved jumping across gaps and collecting coins in 2D. The twist here is that as you collect more coins, the music gets more intense. Lastly was Uncharted, this was pretty much what you would expect, a complete recreation of Uncharted only on a smaller screen. There were touch controls for both climbing, both essentially touching your target to perform the action. The game was pretty fun and really benefited from the second analogue stick. However, it felt really slow and choppy, though this might be very early code so I don’t think performance will reflect the full game.

After that, I headed over to Sony’s move booth where I first played the Little Big Planet 2 move dlc. The dlc consists of some levels in which you are given gadgets that use the move. What I played involved a telekinesis gadgets, which allowed me to use the move controller to pick up and move most objects in the level. This was used to open up gates and platforms and to solve puzzles. While not feeling like an essential addition to the game, the new move features did feel really fun to play.

I then moved next door to play some Resistance 3 with the move in that sharpshooter case to play the game. The game used move as you might expect, cursor on the screen that allows you to look around and shoot and moving with the navigator addon. These controls did feel really loose and hard to use at first, but I was getting used to it after dying many times. I think move could potentially be a cool way to play the game but I think it would take a few hours play to get a good opinion on whether move is a good way to play.

Then I went over to the Nintendo booth and found one great hidden gem, Rhythm Heaven on the Wii. For those unfamiliar with the series, Rhythm Heaven is originally a game for the DS where you are placed in random mini game situations where all you do is one action over and over again to the beat of the music. For example, in the wii version, there was one game where you play as a dog flying in a plane alongside a cat, trying t play badminton. The objective is to press the A button in time to the music to keep the volley going. The game is so simple that the demo was in fact in Japanese and I was able to understand it instantly!

After that, I went over to the Microsoft booth to have a go at Bastion. This is a cool hack and slash Indie game. The game is played with an isometric style camera over a 2D plane, with hack and slash combat as well as ranged weapons too. In the demo level I played, the world was completely destroyed and floating in nothing but rebuilt itself as I walked through, creating pathways and doors to go through. It also had an amazing narrator that dynamically changes depending on what you are doing, commenting on every little action with a voice that just oozes with cool.

Then I went over and played some Inversion. I had heard very little of this game before, so it acted as a nice little surprise. The idea of inversion is gravity control, the game plays like a standard third person shooter, but you are given the ability to either increase of decrease gravity in patches to hurt your enemies. There are also parts where gravity shifts completely, and you’re now walking on a wall, shooting enemies shooting you sideways. While this whole idea was pretty cool, the part where it was a shooter didn’t stand up so well, controls were clunky and I often wouldn’t stick to cover when I wanted to, but the game has a long way to go before release so these problems could end up being resolved.

Lastly, I went over to see ghost recon online. I’ll admit, this was more of a courtesy because a friend of mine is working on the game, but its actually really fun to play. I was expecting it to be a crappy free game that wasn’t going to be fun just because it costs no money to download and play, but i’m happy to say I was wrong. The game plays like most third person shooters, but it has a really good amount of polish to it, even at this stage. You get experience points for kills and victories to spend on upgrades to your equipment and I imagine you will be able to buy upgrades as well. I have to say that I’m really looking forward to its release now.

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