That's it. E3 2010 has officially started. The doors are open. The games have begun. So what games have already made an impact with the most esteemed men and women of game journalism? To find out, we asked a bunch of them. This is what they did say to us.
Neil Long – Editor in Chief, Official Nintendo Magazine UK
"It has to be my first hands on with the 3DS. It's everything I expected and more. The most exciting thing I saw on it was the remake of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In the Miyamoto round table we were shown a demo which showed Link riding a horse around Hyrule Field. Shigeru Miyamoto told me that he's always wanted to see the game in 3D, and he was right too - it looks truly stunning.
"I was also nearly as pumped for Donkey Kong Country, which was a real surprise to hear announced. It's being developed by Retro Studios, the makers of Metroid Prime, so it can't fail to be good."
Francesca Reyes – Editor in Chief, Official Xbox Magazine US
“The big highlight for today was basically Need for Speed Hot Pursuit – it looks great, plays great, and the online stuff they’re doing is phenomenal. They’re really thinking about pushing connectivity, which sounds like a marketing thing, but it’s really true.
"Dead Space 2 is another highlight. They’re doing so much to add variety to the game – gameplay, enemies, everything. It’s no longer survival horror in a tube. Another highlight was X-com. The demo was much more stylized than when I’d seen it before, the gameplay seemed tighter than before, and it was just plain impressive. “
“The other thing I should mention is that, with Nintendo and Sony picking up their game with the press conferences, it feels like Microsoft really has to pick up their game with Kinect and think about the games they’re making for it.”
“Which leads me to this: Child of Eden, the new game from Tetsuya Miziguchi and the spiritual successor to Rez, really resonated. It really seems to have made an impact with everyone I talked to today. People are saying ‘This is why I would buy Kinect’”.
Jon Hicks - Editor in Chief, Official Xbox Magazine UK
"Portal 2 was my highlight of the day. It's still very much got the humour and the attitude of the first game but they've added a bunch of really smart new challenges and puzzle mechanics. Plus they've added a personality sphere who has a very chummy British accent which I found quite endearing. But what about the companion cube? No one at Valve would confirm it making a return to the sequel..."
Tim Clark – Editor in Chief, Official PlayStation Magazine UK
"I've been always been an early adopter of new technology - I was the first idiot in the office to buy an HDTV. However, until now I've somehow managed to hold-off buying a 3D TV. So seeing Killzone 3 and Gran Turismo 5 in HD today is something of a mixed blessing. Seeing red hot bullets zinging past my head in KIllzone 3 and the inside cockpit view of Gran Turismo 5 makes me incredibly excited for the potential of 3D gaming, but also a bit sad because it means I'm going to have to drop £2,000 on a new 3D TV.
"Speaking to Kazunori Yamauchi today he told me that they're completely comitted to the 3D experience so this no gimmicky add on, which makes me feel pretty positive about the game.
"One other positive to come out of today - when I asked Yamauchi if there was any chance of more delay he said no, and gave us a big two thumbs up."
Gary Steinman – Editor in Chief, PlayStation: The Official Magazine US
Wow. Day one and it already feels like I’ve been here a week. Not that I’m complaining, but I’ve already done five press conferences (including Microsoft’s!), and a full day of appointments. I’d be tired if I weren’t so damn excited.
So what’s got me most atwitter? (Speaking of which, are you following me on Twitter: @TinyManRages.) It’d be easy for me to say my pick of the day is Sony. Yes, their press conference was a bit on the long side, and it cut into my day one meeting time, but dammit, they finally got it right for the first time in this generation.
The message at the presser: It’s all about games. Games, games, and more games. Unlike Microsoft, which is taking a dartboard approach and tossing things at every audience possible, delivering what might be the world’s greatest remote control but, frankly, a bit of a disaster for games; and unlike Nintendo, which keeps going back to the same tired well of “classic” franchises, now delivered on yet another iteration of their handheld systems…Sony did everything they could to remind those at the presser that the core is what counts the most, and everything radiates out from us. Now, that’s a message I can get behind.
OK, fine, I might not be that into 3D gaming, but if anyone’s gonna do it right, it’s Sony. And up until today, I was still skeptical about motion control, but hot damn, this Move thing works like a charm. I schooled my managing editor Roger Burchill in table tennis, after which he whupped me in some archery. Sorcery looks to be a perfect new game for the Move, and if I cared about golf, I would care a whole hell of a lot about Tiger Woods.
Best yet, I loved what Quantic is doing to rethink Heavy Rain for the Move. This, alone, will get me to both buy Move and play Heavy Rain yet again. Oh, and did I mention the new Twisted Metal? And the fact that Valve’s Gabe Newell – a legendary Sony dismisser – got on stage to proclaim that Portal 2 will be best on PS3? Yeah. That’s right, baby. This is a good year for PlayStation fans.
But lest you accuse me of first-party fanboyism, I proclaim my favorite game of today…wait for it…Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. In a closed door meeting, the Criterion crew said, amongst many other things, that one of their goals is to get players to smile the instant they pick up a controller.
Later, in a hands-on session, I did exactly that. This is the Burnout sequel we’ve all been waiting for, but more focused, more intense, and more instantly accessible. I’ve never been a car guy, but I know I’ll be playing the hell out of this game. Taking a turn as both a criminal and a cop, I careened through beautiful, scenic roadways in gorgeous real-world cars, smashing and crashing and setting up traps and other crazy powerups, giddy the whole time. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s fabulous. It’s my game of day one.
June 16, 2010