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

Maybe you’re overwhelmed by our constant barrage of tweets and extensive E3 coverage. Maybe you’re drowning in the sea of E3 info that’s flooding the web. Or maybe you’ve got a life and don’t have time to waste reading previews and staring at screenshots for games you’ll never care about. That’s why we’ve filtered out all the bull to bring you the exciting news that matters the most. So please excuse our smelly hands and enjoy the announcements you need to know about from day three of our round-the-clock E3 coverage.

1) BioShock 2 multiplayer takes place during the fall of Rapture
Our first look at multiplayer has our veins itching for an injection of gene tonic. BioShock 2’s multiplayer is set one year before the events of the first game, during the civil war that destroys Rapture. You have an “apartment” that serves as your hub for upgrading your character and saving weapon/plasmid loadouts. They’ve also created a story wrapper around why you get upgrades. You’re a product tester for Sinclair Solutions, a group developing new weapons and plasmids to profiteer off the conflict. As you test their stuff and level up, they make new products available to you.

From the apartment, you launch into the action. The map we saw was culled from the Kashmir Restaurant area from the first game.  Plasmas are equipped in the off hand, so there’s no switching time. Plasmids can be charged for more damage, and Circus of Values machines sell Eve to replenish your supply. Best of all, a Big Daddy suit randomly spawns on the map. The player who picks it up becomes a near unstoppable tank, but when he’s killed the suit respawns. We also saw hackable turrets a player can take over. The hacking minigame has been replaced with a simple timer, but the effect is the same: the turret fires on your enemies. This is particularly helpful taking down the Big Daddy.

 

We didn’t see any weapons or plasmids that weren’t in the first game, but they’ll become available as you level up. Overall, it looks like a welcome addition to the BioShock world.


2) Mass Effect 2 is going to kill you
How shall we put this? Mass Effect 2 blew our minds. The cut scenes and conversations are all filmed with a much more cinematic presentation, better camera angles and more realistic facial expressions. It’s no longer just two people standing there and talking. You can command each of your two wingmen individually. It looks and sounds even better than the first one.



But most important is the plot, which is even darker and more sinister; that means a lot considering the first game was about the extermination of all carbon-based life in the universe. Commander Shepherd, your character from the first game, is not dead at the game’s start, but he/she probably will be by the end of it – you are, quite literally, not expected to survive the entire game.


3) There’s a new Castlevania… but sorta not
Don’t get us wrong. We’re thrilled that publisher Konami just announced a new game in its beloved Castlevania series. We’re just not sure it actually IS a Castlevania game.

For one, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is 3D – and we don’t have to remind fans how unkind that third dimension has been to the series thus far. Then there’s the fact that the development is being overseen not by the series’ longtime master Koji Igarashi, but by Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind the Metal Gear franchise. Plus, it’s being developed not by Konami in Japan, but by a third-party developer headquartered in Madrid, Spain. Oh, and is it relevant that this hasn’t always been a Castlevania game? It was originally a God of War wannabe, announced last year as just “Lords of Shadow,” and was apparently retrofitted to match the Castlevania franchise once Konami got involved. So you can see why we’re not quite convinced of its place in the lexicon just yet.

 

However, if the trailer above is any indication, we’ll play anyhow. With a stellar voice cast (Patrick Stewart!) and action that ranges from chain-hooking a giant demon’s tongue to wrestling a werewolf on horseback, this looks like a great game.

4) Final Fantasy VII is out today on PSP and PS3
Here’s something that should’ve been available on the PlayStation Network at launch: Final Fantasy VII. Yeah, you may have played the crap out of it twelve years ago, but it’s also one of the most replayable RPGs ever. Think of the summons you can hunt for, the materias you can uncover, the… stop reading this because the game is out right the hell now. For the price of $9.99, you can download 1.32GB of hot Cloud/Sephiroth Limit Break action. And you can play it on either your PS3 or PSP.



In related news, FFVII: Advent Children Complete - the feature-length movie sequel to the game - was released on Blu-ray yesterday. Think about that when you nab the game off PSN. Ok, that’s it. Go, go go!


5) If Borderlands plays as well as it looks, it’ll be a smash hit
Like Fallout? Or maybe World of Warcraft? Perhaps Diablo, Gears of War, Lost Planet or Halo? Then Borderlands, the upcoming game from Gearbox Software, should be on your radar. We just got our first look at the game’s four-player co-op and were reminded of some of our favorite aspects of all those games. You wander (or drive) through a barren brown wasteland with your buddies, killing crazy creatures like alien ants and mutant dogs, who drop loot and treasure that you can use to upgrade yourself and your weaponry. Enough hybrid for ya?

What really has us salivating, however, are the game’s graphics. In April, the developers unveiled a totally new visual style for Borderlands – something resembling a grittier, gorier Prince of Persia. We were intrigued then, but having now seen the thing in motion, we can’t wait. Take a look at the screen below, but know that it can’t do the actual experience justice.

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26 comments

  • sharker - June 6, 2009 12:58 a.m.

    Enough with the "Oh L4d2 is going to be so great" sh*t, first of all it hasn't even come out yet, second of all l4d isn't even one of the most popular games on the market today, nobody wants L4D2 everyone wants EP3
  • JizzyB - June 5, 2009 1:52 a.m.

    New Castlevania looks rad. It's time to move beyond the 2d games.
  • Defguru7777 - June 5, 2009 1:37 a.m.

    I'm surprised by the amount of story in BioShock 2 multiplayer. Sounds awesome. I'll be more excited for Mass Effect 2 when I beat Mass Effect 1. Almost there!!! Finally, another Zelda game! Spirit Tracks isn't doing it for me, unless they announce something truly awesome. I'm probably going to buy it anyway.
  • norid - June 5, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    i am giong to try and call the plot to Castlevania: I think Patrick will be dracula and Gabriel will be his pawn in the game. he tricks Gabriel into geting the mask so he get his power back. Any other ideas?
  • Craza - June 4, 2009 7:16 p.m.

    ZELDAZELDAZELDAZELDAZELDAZELDAZELDAZELDA. NEW ZELDA! *Realizes she doesn't own a Wii* Shit...gonna have to steal my friend's.
  • Unoriginal - June 4, 2009 5:47 p.m.

    That Castlevania entry got my hopes up. The description killed them.
  • Fancy Rat - June 4, 2009 5:56 a.m.

    Thank god someone is paying attention to Borderlands...
  • smallberry - June 4, 2009 5:04 a.m.

    Ohh maaaan....I cannot wait for Mass Effect 2. I kinda wish they didn't show it so soon. This is just what I needed. Thanks guys.
  • zer0hvk - June 4, 2009 4:03 a.m.

    I agree with riodoku79, I'm a lefty and I always loved the fact that Link was, too, found it interesting that it was something they kept doing through the years in the booklet illustrations, and then on the Wii version of Zelda he's right handed, so, I guess that it's because of the Wii MotionPlus stuff, too. I miss lefty Link.
  • Vagrant - June 4, 2009 3:20 a.m.

    The Bioshock 2 multiplayer setting actually seems quite clever. But I swear to god, if I see Final Fantasy mentioned again I'm going to go on a rampage. VIDEO GAMES WILL BE BLAMED!
  • charley235 - June 6, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    tmnt agrcade was one of the funnest games ever.
  • grappler51 - June 5, 2009 9:25 p.m.

    Borderlands looks so awesome! I can't wait for it. I also want the new Zelda
  • Valntyne - June 4, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    Thanks for finding some info on Borderlands! Plus Mass Effect 2 sounds Faking Epic!
  • norid - June 4, 2009 10:17 p.m.

    yessss a new Castlevaina game... sorta of @ Craza awsome profile pic
  • Morning Ninja - June 4, 2009 7:47 p.m.

    I just want Left 4 Dead 2...
  • GoGoGadgetFlow - June 4, 2009 4:42 p.m.

    bioshock 2 multiplayer sounds very fun. i just hope alot of people play, and that its not like gears with super slow waiting. left for dead 2 OMG im drooling over it
  • erreip199 - June 4, 2009 2:44 p.m.

    if i followed my own heart u guys would have to worry about the fate of earth
  • iKOemos - June 4, 2009 6:30 a.m.

    God I can't wait till FFXIII and Versus. Don't really care for 14 at the moment, but lets wait till some more info shows up. Oh and L4D2 is going to be the shizznit. I don't usually do this but... ReCaptcha: not castrate. wtf?
  • somerandomchap - June 4, 2009 5:39 a.m.

    WTF what is with that turtles lady.
  • lava_lamp - June 4, 2009 3:46 a.m.

    ha holy shit that ninja turtle lady is crazy

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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