Friday, May 05, 2006

E3 Game Preview: Part 2

This time we will cover the big 3 and Electronic Arts. Let's get on with the show:

Electronic Arts

Army of Two (PS3/Xbox 360): Recently announced. No pictures have been shown as of yet, but it sounds like it is a cooperative game ala Contra.

Battlefield 2142 (PC): DICE and EA are going to the future with the series. Mech combat and sci-fi weapons are the order of the day it seems. Supposedly this game will be out before the end of the year and I would expect a somewhat playable version on the floor at E3.

Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Sun (PC): To me this series has never done wrong (outside of Renegade) and I hope this one lives up to the legacy that Generals gave this series.

Madden 2007 (All systems): Unlike its sister game down below (NCAA), we don’t know much about this game other than it will supposedly be built more around the running game. I’m hoping draft class import will be available in the 360 version and I also hope that the next generation versions will keep all or most of the goodies from the current gen versions (unlike NCAA)

Medal of Honor: Airborne (PC/PS2/Xbox/PS3/Xbox 360): Recently pushed back to Q1 2007, this game must have a bit of trouble at this point. I would expect them to show it, but EA’s winter is looking quite bare with this, Spore and Superman Returns all being pushed back.

NCAA Football 2007 (Xbox/PS2/Xbox 360/PS3/PC): I’m not enthused that all the goodies in the current generation version will not follow to the next generation versions. Granted I’m not all that excited to follow a player from entrance into graduation, but I am a bit leery about the supposed imbalances with playbooks (with the current generation having expanded ones) and only having Division I to work with. As long as the 360 version has the franchise mode and the ability to transfer draft classes into Madden I’ll be happy.

Project Gray Company (PS3/Xbox): This game is being named for the lead designer. Chances are this is an LOTR RPG game given the images that are shown on the Project Gray Company Site. This sounds like an expansive open world RPG game ala the recently released Oblivion. This game is currently named Gray because Steve Gray is the Executive Producer.

Spore (PC): Although it has yet to be announced, this game has supposedly also been pushed into 2007. This game blew away everyone at E3 last year (at least the people I talked to) and I think a lot of people are disappointed this game will probably not be out before the end of this year.

Superman Returns: The Videogame (All systems): This game was also delayed, but to the end of this year. It was supposed to come out with the game, but EA gives the reason of needing to work on such an open world that the game takes place in. The game will be released with the DVD this holiday season. This is kind of sad because the game looked cool, however. The only thing I am worried about is that EA Tiburon may be stretching itself thin with this, Madden, NCAA Football and possibly another NFL Street all on its plate.

Microsoft (all Xbox 360)

Fable 2: I can only guess this will be one of the surprise titles that Microsoft hasn’t announced yet. Now that they own Lionhead/Big Blue Box, the studios obviously have to be working on something, right?

Forza Motorsports 2: Oh yeah! It was tough to top Project Gotham Racing, but the original game did just that. Sure, it was a different game, but Forza blew the doors off of everything and even challenged Gran Turismo 4 as the best simulation out there. I can only believe that part 2 is going to be awesome.

Gears of War: Microsoft’s big game of the year, bar none (unless there is a game they have yet to unveil). This game is being set up for holiday release and will have a massive marketing campaign behind it. This game is guaranteed to be on the show floor in some form and will probably have a lot of people looking its way.

Halo 3: The rumored 2-minute video looms large over E3. Will the game be Halo 3 or will it be named Forerunner as Bungie is currently calling at least one of its games (if not only game). I hate to say it, but Penny Arcade was right on about the rut Bungie has found itself in for better or worse. I don’t know if they can have multiple games being made at one time when people are clamoring for another entry in the Halo series.

Mass Effect: BioWare’s Sci-Fi RPG entry into the next generation world. Given their superb work in the past, chances are this game will be great as well…too bad we won’t see it until 2007.

Too Human: Along with Gears of War, this game will also power Microsoft through the holiday season. This is the first game in a trilogy and it is made by Silicon Knights, one of my favorite developers thanks to Eternal Darkness. The game is based around Norse mythology and will have an interesting control system (right stick will be your melee attack movement while the triggers will fire the left and right guns). This game sounds like a cross between God of War and Devil May Cry.

Viva Pinata: You can laugh at this game, but Microsoft is obviously going all-out with this game that seems geared more toward children. A TV show is in the works along with this game. This could be the type of game that will bring families to the Xbox 360, so don’t dismiss it right off.

Unannounced Xbox 360 Games: There will probably be a few surprises by Microsoft and possibly some games that are unannounced that are coming this year.


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Cube/Wii): The game I’ve been waiting for. It is now delayed to later this year, probably before Thanksgiving. Chances are it may release the same day as the Wii and Miyamoto has said there will be Wii-enabled sections of the game. At this point in the GameCube’s life I think it would be smart to make this a fully Wii game and you have your automatic system seller from the start. I think this game will still loom large at E3 this year, but it may not have the hype it had last year.

The Legend of Zelda (DS): There is a DS game in the works and I personally can’t wait for it. The Zelda games on the handheld systems have been top notch and I would expect this game to follow suit.

First-party Wii games: Obviously there will be other Wii games from Nintendo. I’m not sure what is going to be their key launch game, but I have to believe there is a Mario or Metroid game in there. We’ll see come Tuesday afternoon.


God of War II (PS2): Quite possibly one of the top 5 games being shown at E3 this year. I obviously loved the original, so it should be no surprise that I am hot for the sequel. The negative aspect of this game is it is coming February of 2007 and that it isn’t on the PS3. In the back of my mind it makes me wonder what types of games Sony will have ready for the PS3 come November and into next year if this game doesn’t top the list of launch games for the PS3.

Killzone: Liberation (PSP): I liked Killzone, but I didn’t feel it was the best thing since sliced bread. Chances are this PSP title will be a really good seller for the system, although I question how good it will be without a right analog stick on the PSP.

Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters (PSP): Much like the recently released Daxter game chances are this one will also be a fantastic release. So far the series hasn’t laid an egg and hopefully that won’t change with this release considering how badly the PSP needs good games.

Unannounced PS3 games: You’ve got me on what Sony is going to show at their conference on Monday outside of ports. They have to have at least some first-party titles, but I doubt things like Killzone or Ratchet and Clank will be ready for November. Sony has been very quiet about everything surrounding the PS3. If they have a big title it will help them a lot in reversing the recent negative PR.