Friday, May 05, 2006

E3 Game Preview: Part 1

I used to do this for CG/GT before E3 and I figured I'd have it live on here. I don't cover every game, but I have the list that is interesting to me and what I want to see via the news sites. This is Part 1 which covers all the companies and the key notable absence except for the big ones (EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony). Off we go:

2K Games

Bioshock (PC/Xbox 360): This is going to be an interesting game to see in motion. Billed as the spiritual successor to the System Shock games, it has a lot to live up to. The game looked interesting from the Game Informer preview earlier this year. This game is due out in 2007 unless Irrational/2K says differently

Civilization IV: Warlords (PC): The expansion pack to probably the best Strategy game of last year and possibly the best PC game of last year. Firaxis seemed to hit on all cylinders again with the original game and adding 6 scenarios plus the new “Warlord” unit this sounds like a worthy pickup later this year.

Prey (PC/Xbox 360): This game saw a miraculous resurrection last year at E3 and it just recently got a release date of July 10th. The sad part about this game is that it will fill the coffers at 3D Realms and the vaporware that is Duke Nukem Forever or whatever their next game is. 3D Realms has lived off of their licenses since DN3D came out. This game looks interesting and another test for the 360 versus a PC.

Sid Meier’s Railroads! (PC): We all remember Railroad Tycoon, right? Well, this is the next game in the series without the name. I’m hoping this will get as much love as Civilization IV got. I don’t know how many RT fans there are out there, but I’m pretty excited about this game.


World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (PC): The expansion pack to the biggest MMORPG out there. I still haven’t played this game and I have 2 versions of it. One of these years I’ll install and play it. Just have a problem with that monthly charge.

Diablo 3 (PC): Rumors have pointed to this being in development and what better place to unveil it than at E3?

Starcraft 2 (PC): With StarCraft: Ghost finally giving up the ghost (heh), there may be a chance that this game is in development as well. If this and the game above are in the oven be prepared for Blizzard to take over the world!


Dead Rising (Xbox 360): This game has seen some delays, which usually isn’t a very good thing. Chances are Capcom will have this on the floor in a playable state, but who knows now that the release date is August for this game.

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Xbox 360): An intriguing game that looks like a 3rd person shooter and a mech combat game rolled into one, this could be very hot! The cool thing about this game is that there will be a demo released on Marketplace on May 9th, the day of Microsoft’s pre-E3 meeting.

Devil May Cry 4 (PS3): This was shown last year and I would expect them to have more about this game at this E3.

Resident Evil 5 (PS3/Xbox 360): Announced and E3 2006 may be the first time we see the game in motion.


Hitman: Blood Money (PC/PS2/Xbox/Xbox 360): Another delayed game from Eidos although given how good the other games in this series has been chances are this one will follow suit.


Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3): This game will most likely create the most hype for the PS3 of any game out there. Chances are this game will not be out until 2007, but Konami hasn’t given a release date as of yet. If this game comes out a launch expect there to be a bigger problem than the Xbox 360 ever experienced at launch. I know many people left this series after the 2nd part, but 3 was awesome and I can only imagine 4 will be as well.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS): Given how well Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow was received this game should be a slam dunk. This time around the game is based during World War 2 and you are able to switch between 2 characters at any time during the game. You can play as vampire hunter Johnathan Morris or the magically adept Charlotte Orlean. No word as of yet on how the touch screen will be used.

Unnamed Kojima Wii Project (Wii): Konami sent invitations to several media members that a game will be shown off on May 9th. I have no clue what it is, but could it be a Metal Gear game re-done in first person with the Wii controller? *shrug*


Untitled Indiana Jones Project (PS3/Xbox 360): This was rumored last year, but they may finally show the game off. Chances are this is coming out in 2007, but LucasArts certainly needs a hit to continue being even a blip in the gaming scene outside of the Star Wars games.


Mortal Kombat Armageddon (Xbox/PS2): The final game in the series. Supposedly you will be able to play as almost all the prior characters in the game including boss characters. It will also have another RPG-type game option that should be more tight than it was in Deception.

Unreal Tournament 2007 (PC/PS3): I can only guess this will be shown off on the floor. Whether it comes out at the end of this year or not is up for debate. Also up for debate is whether it will actually make the PS3 launch or not.


Tabula Rasa (PC): The next game from Richard Garriott and it’s an MMORPG. The overall feel of the game changed from E2 2004 to E3 2005 and the game is now a sci-fi based game. I’m pretty interested in this game and I think it could be one of those sleeper hits as long as Garriott can live up to his older games.


New GTA Game: This will be interesting. I’m not sure Rockstar is working on another GTA game after the backlash sustained by San Andreas. I could be very wrong, but whatever they do I think they’re going to not push the envelope as much as they used to.

Table Tennis (Xbox 360): This game should be in pretty much full playable form on the show floor. This is the type of game that could become very addicting very fast.


Phantasy Star Universe (PC/PS2/Xbox 360): This game offers both a large single-player and multiplayer experience, so both camps are covered. This could be a huge game come E3 if Sonic Team has done a good job. I think it will be a big game on PC if done right and the monthly charges aren’t that much. This series used to be at the top of the RPG world and it’s my hope it will be again.

Sega Rally Revo (PC/PS3/Xbox 360): Chances are it can’t compete with the simulation racing games out there, but I think this game could have its own niche in the market. The original arcade game was pretty hot back in its day, but Rally may be a relic of the past.

Sonic the Hedgehog (PS3/Xbox 360): This is a huge game for Sega and Sonic Team. The last good Sonic games were on the Dreamcast and even those didn’t live up to the greatness of the ones on the Genesis. If they can fix the issues from the Dreamcast games and create a game that will pull in both old and new fans alike I think this game could be big.

Virtua Tennis 3 (PS3/Xbox 360): The king of tennis games is back, but not until 2007. Top Spin was certainly great, but nothing beats the innovator. I don’t know what kind of licenses this game will have (it doesn’t look like they’ll have the Opens given one of the screenshots here being named the French Open), but the early graphics look pretty darn good.

Yakuza (PS2): This game looks pretty cool and from what I understand was pretty hot in Japan. It looks a lot like Rise of Honor in the overall feel of the game. I just hope the controls aren’t the same. I think this concept sounds cool being a member of the Japanese Yakuza. Sega is working on the localization right now and it should be out on PS2 by September.

Notably Absent

Alan Wake (PC/Xbox 360): After hearing about the awesome preview of this game behind closed doors at E3 2005 I am surprised that Remedy is not showing it off this year. A lot of questions could be asked, such as whether there is trouble with the game and if the game is going to make a 2006 release or not. It’s sad it won’t be there because the game looked really good.