Having spent the last week, June 15 – 17, 2010, at E3 Expo 2010 in Los Angeles I was pleasantly surprised with the sheer number of great looking games coming out in the next year. Having spent three straight days trying as many games as time allowed, it was clear that game developers are working on well polished games. While game console makers Sony and Microsoft tried to make the big theme of the show their new motion controllers, they really were not what people attending the exhibit were most impressed with. In talking to other press and exhibitors, the general consensus was that Sony’s Move is the better version of the Nintendo Wii, and Microsoft’s Kinect is pretty fun but none of the games they showed were so great it was going to make core gamers want to buy one. On the other hand, third-party developers were the talk of the show. Companies like Codemaster, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Harmonix and LucasArts were all showing off amazing looking games. From these developers’ games come my favorite games of E3 2010, which were Brink, Rock Band 3 and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II.
For gamers looking for a first person shooter to play with their friends next year Brink should be the game to play. It features class based, objective focused matches. Gamers’ friends can be invited into their single player game at any time to make it a multiplayer cooperative match. The four classes available to play are Soldier, Medic, Engineer and Operative. Within each of these classes gamers have a wide range of customization options available to adjust their character to suit their play style. Brink features a “Smart Move” button that allows the character to hurdle, jump or slide across objects automatically as you approach them. These fluid movements combined with solid gun mechanics give the game a very solid feel even though it is still in the development phase. By the time it releases it could easily be “Shooter of the Year” in 2011.
Harmonix’s Rock Band 3 demonstration was the most energetic one I saw during E3 2010. It showcases their new keyboard controller, three part harmonies and the new Pro mode. The interface in Rock Band 3 has been completely redesigned and allows for gamers to join, or drop, mid-song without messing up the rest of the band’s performance. They also allow for creating custom permanent set lists and using a party shuffle mode which will make for great way to play when one has friends over. The new Pro mode and Pro instruments look a little intimidating at first but after spending ten minutes playing with them I quickly was becoming comfortable with using them. What really sets Rock Band 3 part is the song selection options. Harmonix has added filters to let you find songs by length, difficulty, genre, decade, rating and more. This allows gamers to sort through the over 1500 available songs to find just the ones they are in the mood to play. It is clear that when Rock Band 3 release Holiday season 2010 that it will be the top music game available.
LucasArts sequel to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was not availed for hands-on playing at E3 2010, but they were showing a demo of the first level of the game. After watching the demo of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and seeing the new features and abilities it was clear the game is going to be amazing when it releases in October 2010. The character you play now has dual light sabers and a new force powers. Visually the game looked amazing even though there is still month more development time yet to come. The new animations for the weapon combos and abilities were smooth and the voice acting was spot on. With the new enhancements that have been added to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II LucasArts is making gamers feel what it would be like to be a Jedi. The first Star Wars: The Force Unleashed game was fun to play and the sequel looks even better.
Rock Band 3 Announced, RockBand.com
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, LucasArts.com