With the recent birth of my son, Whittaker, I decided to opt out of E3 this year in order to stay home and get some quality time in with the family. I don't regret my decision at all, but it does mean that I've been glued to Twitter all day, and the updates never really stopped coming. Kudos to everyone who tweeted about what they saw, and also to the sites who've been covering it in standard Internet fashion. While events are still unfolding, here are a few quick impressions based on what trickled downstream from the Microsoft press brief today…
Microsoft's Project Natal: Seriously people, can we just get past this whole "no controller" thing? I mean, this concept has been floating around the videogame world for literally decades, and it just never pans out. I honestly wasn't very impressed by what was on display, simply for the fact that by taking away a controller, two things happen—the first is that the amount and type of input is inevitably limited, and usually reduced below what a standard controller is capable of. The second is that it's really not that fun to make someone jump up and down, punch their fists in the air, or do kicks in their living room. I mean, if I was into the idea of actually physically doing the things, I would probably just go do them. I'm sure my eight-year-old son will dig it, but I'm already taking enough physical damage thanks to the Wii, and I don't need any more ways to exacerbate my tendinitis, thanks.
Crackdown 2: As much as I disliked the original Crackdown, there was no doubt that it had a lot of potential. I'm actually pretty excited that the sequel's been announced. I'm a big fan of the concept, and with some moderate tweaking, I do think that there is the possibility that it could make a comeback in a big way.
Beatles Rock Band: Don't care. Moving on.
Tony Hawk Ride: How long until that peripheral breaks? Do they know how much some gamers weigh?
Final Fantasy XIII: It's pretty, but it looks like more of the same. Personally, I'm getting quite sick of the "FFFormula"—pretty girls, prettier boys, and lots of eye candy special effects. Nothing I saw here did much for me.
Shadow Complex: Although I'm not much of an Epic fan, this one looks pretty interesting… sort of an SOTN meets GoW. Definitely going to be keeping an eye on this title.
Alan Wake: Been a long damn time since it's been announced, but it's looking pretty good… definitely has that true next-gen feel to it. Strikes me as a combination of Silent Hill/Alone in the Dark (the new one), and since Silent Hill sucks these days and any hope of an Alone in the Dark sequel is gone, I'm more than ready for a quality title to claim the moody horror crown.
Metal Gear Solid Rising: All I've got to say is that I sure hope it's a lot better than MGS4… although I'm a big MGS fan, it's pretty clear that Kojima's running out of inspiration (or perhaps, enthusiasm) and the thought of another halfhearted MGS game doesn't interest me in the least. Either bring it big, or don't.
Molyneux's Milo: Seaman, Part Deux. Creepy, yet interesting. Sorta weirds me out that it looks kind of lifelike, though. The thing seems pedophilish, somehow. I'm imagining all sorts of sweaty, hairy guys in dark rooms spending hours talking to this thing and trying to get it to undress. Yeesh.
Those are the highlights for what I saw covered today. Yours?
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Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.
Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway