E3 - Day 3

Just a few last games on this, the final day of the show.

Lucasarts had two cool games based on their two strongest licenses, Indy and Star Wars. Indiana Jones is an action/adventure game for the next gen consoles (a fairly rare display of a PC snub). They have an impressive physics and AI engine, allowing for a varied destruction and gameplay. We’ll probably report on it in 365 days, as it’s slated for a Summer 07 release. Lego Star Wars II is a sequel to a surprisingly good game. In this outing, the game covers the original trilogy with a lot of humor and otherwise amusing gameplay. This one will be out at the same time as the original trilogy DVD releases, September 12.

EA had three games that should be awesome. The first is Battlefield 2142, the next in a series of amazing multiplayer shooters. Set in the future, you get to fight with advanced weaponry and giant mechs.

Crysis is from the same developer that did the excellent Far Cry, and just as that game’s engine was a wonder to behold, Crysis’ is simply stunning. Probably the best graphics at the show, though this is a tough call as there were a lot of amazing looking games. Both Battlefield 2142 and Crysis should be out towards the end of the year.

Spore is being made by the illustrious creator of SimCity and the best selling PC game of all time, The Sims. I guess the best way to describe Spore is to call it “SimLife” as you start with microscopic organisms and guide their evolution all they way up to a space faring, planet conquering race. Sound weird? Sound complex? Yep. It should be out early next year. Sorry for the size of the screenshots, but their server still seems to be overloaded and I figured small was better than nothing.

2k Games showed BioShock. This was yet another one of those excellent surprises that defined this year’s show (at least, for me). This game is being created by the same team that made the incredible (as in, top 10 games of all time) System Shock 2. Along the same lines, this is one of the rare shooter/RPG games like System Shock 2 and Deus EX. There is a whole art deco feel to the levels, and the water effects are stunning. Unfortuneatly, it’s not coming out till next year. Ugh.
Then there was this little game called Prey. I first heard about Prey around 10 years ago, alongside another nearly forgotten PC title Duke Nukem Forever. Unlike that latter title, this one is playable, and even has a ship date (July 10). At first glance, it appears as just another pretty FPS. Then people start walking on the walls. And the ceiling. Imagine playing in a deathmatch where your enemies are standing on the ceiling looking down (or up, depending on your point of view) at you. That door you just ran through? A guy could be standing on the wall above you and shoot you as you run up what appears to him as the wall. Get your mind around that.

The big news at iD Software was Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. This is kind of like Battlefield 2 set in the Quake universe. But, being Quake, it’s a lot faster paced. Contributor John Higgins and I got a chance to play with and against several other journalists. Now John’s not a big FPS fan, but he got the hang of it quickly and admitted later that it was far more fun than he expected. As a dyed in the wool BF:2 fan, I could see that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars takes what BF:2 does, and streamlines it for faster and more consistent action. It does this while keeping the strategy aspects of BF:2. I was impressed, and am looking forward to this one. It should be out Q3 of this year.

That’s it. Check out the screenshots, if you haven’t already. If you have any questions on this or any other gaming anything (hardware or software), send me an email at HTLetters@primedia.com.