As a card-carrying member of nerd society it is my job to get crazy excited when there is a potential for cool shit to be announced. Normal members of society don’t get excited for movie announcements, game announcements, tech announcements, etc. However, it’s the job of us nerds to completely lose our shit at the mere mention of an amazing new game. Today was one of those days. Steve Jobs comes out and gives his WWDC Apple keynote on the SAME DAY Microsoft and Sony gave their E3 press briefings. HOLY SHIT, NERDGASM!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t as great a day as I had hoped. We’ll hit these up in order…starting with Microsoft.
World War 3…if you have your batteries charged: Microsoft opened up their event with a live demo of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It took place as a Seal team went underwater to place a mine on a sub, then taking the sub over and launching its missile payload…all while a huge war was going on in what seemed to be New York. The gameplay looked stellar like any other Modern Warfare game, but there was one FAIL. During the demo the controller ran out of batteries so we were treated to a “reconnect controller” screen. Unfortunately this wouldn’t happen often since most of the games shown didn’t need a controller. More on that in a moment…
Mass Effect 3 (with a good use for Kinect!): I played through Mass Effect when it first came out and loved every second of it. I was all jacked for Mass Effect 2 and then…my Xbox 360 was stolen and I lost my hard drive which contained my save to export to ME2. I have yet to get around to replaying Mass Effect so I can actually play Mass Effect 2, but this still doesn’t stop me from getting excited for the third entry in the series. They pretty much just showed a small segment, but it looked pretty awesome. They also highlighted ME3’s Kinect features and for once it seemed not only USEFUL, but I also don’t have to swing around my arms like an asshole. Basically you can use the voice interaction to make dialogue choices for Shepard, or order your teammates around during battle. It’s a neat little add-on, which actually adds to the experience.
Wait…I can build a gun with my hands? REALLY?: Another one of the GOOD ways to use Kinect in a game is what they are doing in the new Ghost Recon. You can customize your weapon and pretend you’re Tom Cruise in Minority Report while you’re doing it. Your gun is on-screen in front of you and you can spin it, break it apart, and put new pieces in using just your hands to guide it. This looked awesome and it shows that you can actually use Kinect on something other than glorified mini-games.
Gears of War 3…with Ice-T: Cliffy B came out with a special friend (Ice-T) to demonstrate a little of the Gears campaign mode. It was standard Gears fare. Nothing to be too shocked about.
Peter Moore makes a funny: If you saw South Park a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know that they did a pretty funny joke regarding EA Sports. When the boys are in the office of EA’s president (who wasn’t called Peter Moore, but looked like him) he ends their visit by saying, “You know what our saying is here at EA Sports…get the fuck out of my office!” When Peter Moore ended his speech for EA here at the Microsoft event he said the first part of the joke, but stopped short of the full f-bomb finish. Classic.
OMG HALO! (takes hit off inhaler): In the least shocking “surprise” of the day Microsoft announced two Halo games. One is an HD remake of the original Halo: Combat Evolved coming out this year, while the other is Halo 4 which will be out in 2012. First things first…you had better not nerf the fucking pistol in the Halo:CE remake Microsoft. I will write SO MANY anonymous angry internet comments if you do. MARK MY WORDS! Second, Halo 4’s trailer was pretty awesome, but the surprise was spoiled since some (now fired I assume) employee at Microsoft posted about it early on their website. Oops.
GET YOUR KINECT OUT OF MY FABLE: Another surprise announcement was a new Fable game, and I, being a big Fable fan, was excited to see what we were getting. I was not excited when I saw what Fable: The Journey looked like. Basically it’s an on-rails magic game using Kinect. Now I will enjoy using my hands to make magic and kill Hobbes as much as the next guy, but doesn’t this go against everything that Fable is? I mean if I’m stuck on rails then where’s the exploration and the “do anything” nature that the Fable series IS ALL ABOUT! I could understand this as its own franchise maybe, but THIS IS NOT A FABLE GAME! I was more than happy playing Fable like a normal human being with a controller in my hand. WHY DO I HAVE TO CONTROL EVERYTHING WITH MOTION?!?! QUIT MESSING WITH MY SHIT!
Assholes playing football: I have no problem with Kinect Sports 2. It’s a collection of sports mini-games meant to make us look like idiots in our living room and to get girls, kids and grandma off the couch and playing video games. I understand their purpose and these games can be fun. The problem I had with this presentation was that when they decided to show us how to play football they brought two complete assholes on the stage to do it. This press conference was being watched by people who LOVE videogames and people who COVER videogames for a living. I don’t need two douchebags showing me how the game is played while yelling “RED 42…HIKE HIKE!” and “YEAH I’M TAKING THIS TO THE HOUSE!” I get it. It’s a football game. SPOILER ALERT: You’re still in your living room and not actually playing football dipshit.
Kinect everything else: SO MANY DAMN KINECT GAMES. Kinect Disneyland, Kinect Sesame Street, Kinect this, Kinect that. ENOUGH DAMNIT! Why is it so bad to play video games with a controller? I don’t play video games to jump around like a moron in my living room and wave my arms frantically. I do it to have some fun. Enough with trying to slam motion control down my throat please. Thanks!
7th Circle of Hell
Kinect Star Wars: What the fuck is this? This could be the worst looking Star Wars game I’ve ever seen. Here’s a tip…if you’re going to make a motion-controlled Star Wars game you should probably make the motion controls actually, you know…work. This game looked AWFUL and if God exists he would stop it from coming out. MAKE THIS HAPPEN PLEASE.
Not too bad. Microsoft had a good amount of solid games to show off, and threw in two Halo games to boot. They also threw in a new Xbox dashboard that includes a bing search engine and live TV. Not only that but you can control it with your voice (which is pretty cool). Honestly if they weren’t trying to shove SO MANY motion games down my throat this would have been a pretty perfect press conference. I will say this though, the voice control features and the Minority Report style menus will get me to buy a Kinect. SEE MICROSOFT, I’LL BUY A DAMN KINECT. ARE YOU HAPPY?!?! YOU GET YOUR MONEY! Now just give me a normal Fable game please and don’t fuck up Halo. Thanks!