E3 09: Top 10 things you need to know about today - Thursday edition

1) A Lego game will finally let you build your own levels, Lego-style

Lego Indiana Jones 2 will feature new levels based on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, along with “re-imaginings” of scenes from the first three films that appear differently than they did in the original Lego Indy. Horrified yet? Well, here’s a piece of news that might lift your spirits: Lego Indy 2 will feature a “Build” mode that lets you create levels the same way you would with actual Legos. Lay down the familiar green-plastic mats, and you can fill them with pre-made objects or fit together new ones out of Lego bricks. It’s a long-overdue feature, but one we’re excited to see nonetheless.

2) Star Wars: The Old Republic is the anti-MMO

It’s a common conundrum for the MMO-phobic: playing online with thousands of other players is an appealing proposition, but most MMOs tend to be grind-heavy fetch-fests that require massive time investments and seem to revolve around collision boxes roaming stiffly around and clicking on other collection boxes so they can collect the things that fall out of dead collision boxes. Enter The Old Republic, which features such a strong single-player campaign that you don’t have to join up with other players unless you want to. The Old Republic promises gameplay that’s remarkably similar to the previous Knights of the Old Republic games, complete with full voiceovers for every line – even those spoken by other players – and multiple-choice conversations that affect the direction of your story and the ways in which other characters react to you. It also features a cover system during firefights, which is awesome, although we’re less impressed with the way enemies totally fail to react when shot.

3) Heavy Rain’s stories end when the heroes do
From what we’ve seen of Heavy Rain so far, the entire game is one long, multiple-choice quicktime event punctuated by exploration, and it still manages to look awesome. But perhaps more intriguing than the carefully timed junkyard brawls and awkward nightclub seductions is the revelation that, once a hero dies, that’s it – their role in the story is finished, and the next protagonist (there are four in all) takes over. That means huge chunks of the game could remain undiscovered until your next play-through, and that you absolutely will need to be careful about the choices you make, because you won’t get a chance to make things “right” if they get you killed.

If all four characters die, said writer/director David Cage, then Heavy Rain becomes a very sad story in which four people try to investigate a serial killer and instead all wind up dead. He also promised that it won’t end in a game over or a simple fade to credits – there’ll be closure, and it’ll feel like a logical – if depressing – end to the story. At least until you start over and see how long you can keep your heroes alive.

Oh, and one other important tidbit: Cage told us to rest assured that, while Heavy Rain’s predecessor Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit ended with a bizarre and disappointing mishmash of robots, magic and conspiracy theories, Heavy Rain will remain firmly grounded in a realistic, believable setting. Adventure game fans, rejoice!

4) The Secret of Monkey Island is a slavishly awesome remake

Speaking of reasons for adventure fans to rejoice, we’ve seen The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition for Xbox 360, and as fully voiced, hand-painted remakes go, it looks amazing. More amazing still is how heavily it’s geared toward fans of the classic first Monkey Island game, to the point that – with the press of a button – you can shift between the remastered version and its pop-up menus to the original, complete with 8-bit pixel graphics and always-on SCUMM text menu. It’s sort of like R-Type Dimensions, but with pirates.

5) Borderlands has at least half a million unique guns
Borderlands, the wasteland-set shooter/RPG from developer Gearbox, looks like what you’d get if you took Fallout 3, gave it the aesthetics of an MMO and limited the online aspect to four-player co-op throughout the entirety of its sprawling adventure. But more importantly, it has at least half a million guns.

Instead of just designing a rote arsenal of firearms for players to scavenge, Gearbox took the more interesting approach of letting the computer generate them on the fly. By programming in sets of materials, components and fictional manufacturers that favor certain materials and styles, Gearbox enables the game to come up with weird shit like sniper rifles with revolver-style bullet chambers that shoot shotgun shells. Add in ammo-specific fatalities that include a dude’s head being struck by lightning, exposing his skull and forcing his eyeballs to shoot out of his head, and you’ve got a recipe for gunplay that will never, ever get boring. It still might get boring, of course, but the recipe’s firmly in place.


  • Amnesiac - June 5, 2009 8:24 p.m.

    It's okay Tyler, we still love you. Oh, and FUCK Activision in it's stupid face. That's even lower than the old EA. I hope the gods of rock rain down fiery vengeance upon them for trying to derail Brutal Legend.
  • MechGyver - June 5, 2009 3:58 p.m.

  • oryandymackie - June 5, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    Moronboy, you have proven yourself to be a failure, a n00b, and most importantly, a moron. And is that a Cyberninja post that DOESN'T have a first?!!
  • Unoriginal - June 5, 2009 3:02 p.m.

    I need a bigger salary If Im going to be able to keep up. And wow, Muramasa looks awesome.
  • rxb - June 5, 2009 1:45 p.m.

    Tim Schafer seems like a top bloke. I dont see what the big deal about downloadable PS1 games when sony took out backwards compatibility...
  • alloallo - June 5, 2009 12:50 p.m.

    wow Activision are real bastards and to think they gave us cod4. Wat happened man?
  • MechGyver - June 5, 2009 9:22 a.m.

    Sorry about my repeated complains. But its just to many years of oppression against the working man,.....I have a dream where games are free.....I have a dream where Ps3 is have a dream where Xbox 360 gold subscription is free....(lol). I will stop now!
  • Awesomeitude1523 - June 5, 2009 7:51 a.m.

    But....but..... I thought GR said last year that E3 was DESTINED to suck this year!! Could it be that the almighty, laser shooting GamesRadar was wrong about E3(their predictions from last year)?
  • somerandomchap - June 5, 2009 3:37 a.m.

    aww i miss E3 alrady
  • NipplesTheSuperHippo - June 5, 2009 3:10 a.m.

    "Above: This photoshopped image is the only time you'll see Tyler Nagata (shown actual height) in a room with other people" Lol at the Nagata comment. This was a cool article as well.
  • JohnnyMaverik - June 5, 2009 2:50 a.m.

    Activision are officially one of the biggest bunch of tossers in gaming history. Back hand e-slap to them... and lets hope that told em O.o Old Republic and Boaderlands sound really, really, good, but I'm still skeptical about both since I hate mmorpgs, but them along with The Secret World and Possibly Star Trek Online and Champions Online has made me think ill go from some1 who owns guild wars but never plays it and has vowed never to be succered into touching the genre again until it sorts itself out and stops producing second jobs for people that they for some bizzare reason actually pay to play, to some1 who doesnt know which mmorpg is, out of the above mentioned (baring guild wars which thankfully I only had to pay for once and not montly), worth paying for more. And to add insult to injury I now feel a sudden need to go out and buy a PS3 to play Heavy Rain which sounds innovative and awesome, or an Xbox to play Monkey Island (for probably the 100th time, but hey you can never have enough monkey island), or both O.O... and I cant afford either to start with :'(
  • Vagrant - June 5, 2009 2:30 a.m.

    @ Brugal Legbone news: What the hell? That's ridiculous on so many levels. That's like...Old EA evil. That's like Square-Enix evil.
  • MechGyver - June 5, 2009 12:58 a.m.

    what a moron(boy)!!!!
  • moronboy - June 5, 2009 12:58 a.m.

    damn, not first
  • Cyberninja - June 5, 2009 12:54 a.m.

    this all good stuff i love e3
  • lovinmyps3 - June 5, 2009 9:15 p.m.

    and also i think PSN should start offering PS2 to download because my PS2 is being really werid the last couple days
  • lovinmyps3 - June 5, 2009 9:13 p.m.

    haha when i first played MGS it was with a CD that i just found lying on the ground so i didn't have the case. i figured out that the codec number was on the actual CD case but then i realized i didn't have it. then i started calling all the numbers until i found hers. luckily it only took me 15 tries.
  • GoldenMe - June 5, 2009 7:56 p.m.

    @alloallo- Infinity Ward made the game. Activision only published it. Screw Activision.
  • CortezCardinal - June 5, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    I wonder if you could use the eyeballs in borderlands as bullets.
  • pimlicosound - June 5, 2009 11:05 a.m.

    @Samael: I presume it refers only to player dialogue chosen in classic Bioware-style dialogue options, rather than to the illiterate junk written by Red Bull fuelled grind-whores.

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