There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want anything done, you have to do it yourself.”
Well, it’s a lie. Doing stuff is hard. Don’t believe us? Then here’s an object lesson: E3 happened last week. Now, you have two choices. You could turn the Internet upside-down, scouring hundreds of blogs, RSS feeds, and tweets for every last crumb of the information you so crave, or you could just let us do it for you.
Huh? Oh, hey. Would you look at that? We already did it. And you didn’t even have to lift a finger. Well, okay, you’ll have to lift one, actually, in order to click past the break. That’s still a pretty good deal, though, we think. And hopefully, we’ll have Maximum PC’s brand new telepathy-based “read more” link tech up and running in time for next year’s E3. Fingers crossed. Unless you don’t want to lift them.
Valve’s Surprise is… Portal 2 on PS3 – It’s kind of like cutting open your birthday cake only to find that – oh, look – it’s full of spiders. If it’s any consolation, though, the game itself looked fantastic. We’ll have a preview up later this week.
Microsoft Renames Natal “Kinect,” Maybe “Wii” Would Have Been Better – So there we were. Microsoft gathered us and about every other journalist in existence in a dark, jungle-themed auditorium. Then they forced us all to slip into these weird, cardboard-shouldered ponchos. Drum-centric music blared. A voice over the loudspeaker went on about “the next step in evolution.” Whatever was coming, it was gonna be big.
Then we spent the next two hours watching an Average American Family flail around in their Average American Living Room to Average American minigame collections. The second coming of the Wii? Why do we need it? The Wii’s still here.
Nintendo Banks on Nostalgia, Is Rewarded – The general consensus is that Nintendo “won” E3. And why not? The publisher fired on all cylinders and then some, mixing classic revivals like Donkey Kong Returns, Goldeneye, Kirby’s A Piece of Yarn For Some Reason, and the always fantastic-looking Metroid: The Other M with the holy-crap-it-really-works 3DS.
Was it a big ol’ bouquet and box of chocolates to the portion of our hearts labeled “nostalgia”? Sure. But between the 3DS’ surprisingly robust in-development game library and the general quality of its showings, Nintendo’s conference looked just fine with rose-tinted glasses on or off.
Sony Has A Conference – Sony sure did… show up at E3. Let’s run down the list. Move motion lollipop gets a release date. Check. It’s September 19. PlayStation gets oft-rumored premium online service. Check. It’s called PlayStationPlus. It requires a $50 subscription fee. And who could forget the also oft-rumored Twisted Metal’s totally unspectacular showing?
If nothing else, Executive VP of Everything Kevin Butler was pretty hilarious. We kind of wish they would’ve announced a game starring him, actually. Now that’s something we’d play.
Ubisoft Invents Laser Tag, But Ghost Recon Looks Cool – Hey motion control bandwagon, you got room for one more? Yep. Ubisoft’s taken the bait hook, line, and sinker, even going so far as to announce its own controller-free videogame, Battle Tag. According to Ubisoft, it’s not laser tag. And we believe them, so long as we look past the obvious fact that it totally is.
Fortunately, it also showed off some incredibly tantalizing Ghost Recon: Future Soldier footage, announced a new episodic Rayman game with an art style that nearly brought us to tears, and demonstrated the potentially neat Mania Planet – an FPS, RPG, and racing game creation toolset from the makers of Trackmania.
EA literally brought out its big guns this year, choosing to focus almost entirely on shooters. Medal of Honor, Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, Dead Space 2, and Battlefield Bad Company 2’s Vietnam expansion all hogged the spotlight, and they looked quite good, by and large. Also announced was Medal of Honor’s beta test, which begins on June 21. Or, if you’re a member of EA’s new Gun Club social network, EA’s given you early access and you’re probably playing right now.
Xbox 360 Slim Revealed, On Sale Immediately – Microsoft also announced that its ever-popular box had slipped into a little black dress. The result? A smaller, quieter Xbox 360 for the same price as the previous model. Better still, it’s in stores right now. Fallout Online Finally Emerges, Puts Out Call for Beta Testers – Lawsuits? What are those? Do they look snazzier than normal suits? Well, whatever they are, Interplay’s not too concerned with them, because it decided to go ahead and launch the website for Fallout Online in spite of one. The unmistakably Fallout-themed site is also asking for beta testers, so we can pretty safely say that going there is probably something you’ll want to do.
Brink Slips into 2011 – Brink, the upcoming multiplayer FPS from the folks who brought you Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, has once again fallen off the radar – this time into the dark reaches of 2011. And while the wait’s definitely a shame, we don’t think we’ll have too much trouble drowning our sorrows in the other 2684976385 great games that are coming out during Brink’s original holiday 2010 release window. Atlus Casts Its Line, Trine 2 Frozenbytes – Atlus, of all publishers, has picked up Frozenbyte’s Trine 2. Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. The original Trine was a beautiful co-op platformer with a lemon twist of fantasy RPG. Trine 2 looks to be more of the same, but in a good way. It’s coming in Spring of 2011.
Atlus also slipped on its oddball-handling mitts and picked up Zeno Clash developer ACE Team's Rock of Ages, which is about art history and rocks, so far as we can tell.
Gaikai Strikes Deal with EA, Misses 2010 Launch – We already reported on the launch of OnLive, but what about its equally white and fluffy rival, Gaikai? Well, there’s the good: EA’s signed on with the service to deliver series like Sims, Battlefield, and Mass Effect. But there’s also the bad: we won’t be seeing any of it until 2011.