I watched that ten minute or so E3 demo, and while the graphics looked mesmerizing, the gameplay looked extremely last gen.
The enemies, sometimes only like 10 feet away, sometimes at point blank range (see the part where he first uses a grapple hook to a lookout hut), mow him down with automatic weapons, and he seems to take barely any damage whatsoever. It doesn't have to be Ghost Recon here, but I'd expect at least a foggy red screen cover your view Call of Duty style. This type of invincibility is okay in Unreal and Halo, sci-fi games where your suffocated in armor, but not in this realistic looking game where he doesn't even seem to be wearing a bulletproof vest.
The next issue was with the typical flaw seen much more commonly in games from before 2005, where enemies would refuse to shoot him, or take any action, even as he was standing still right in their view. Enemies would be surrounding him on the ground, shooting and hitting him as he walked around the roof. But upon standing still while the demonstrator talked, all of a sudden those enemies stop firing. If he simply stayed still on the roof, would they ever come after him? It just felt Goldeneye 64 -ish to me. (The A.I.)
And he could stand directly in front of an enemy, take his time lining up the hooks to the gas canister right next to the enemy, without being fired at. As if the enemies just stand around waiting for you to kill them with style.
Oh and the way opening your parachute when your only two feet off the ground magically gusts you up twenty feet in the air, plus bullets and fire do no damage to it, and it magically ghosts through trees and powerlines. They could have at least gave him a jet pack/compressed air tool to explain the burst of power.
Standing perfectly unphased on the rooftop of an SUV driving like 70 miles per hour is pretty weird too. Even the way he hops onto the other moving SUV is more like a sidestep hop than the lunging struggle seen in other movies/videogames.
I wouldn't have given a second thought to these things if not for Brad Shoemaker and others considering this for their "Game of Show" from E3 2009.
It seems that those 2002-ish games made a lasting impact on the game industry, with so many games now combining elements from any two of them to make something new.
Everyday there comes another new title, set in an "open world", requiring you to sneak past enemies, climb tall buildings, and slice through foes in the third person, starring a jaded hero wearing something like a hooded sweatshirt. And then comes the games that are further clones of the first set, like inFAMOUS and Prototype are to Assassin's Creed, which itself was to the 2002 games.
And I'm not saying it is a terrible situation, those four games were, well besides Spiderman, great. But I think the formula is set to run dry. And before long, games like Final Fantasy VS. 13 will give way to, "well what if we made a Devil May Cry God of War type game set in the Lego universe? With a hoodie and 5:00 shadow?" Its like we can simply break down games announced at E3 nowadays as "well here a GTA sandbox game. Heres a new Devil May Cry type game. Here is a stealth action game only this time starring a sexy woman. Here is a World War 2 FPS, only this time you play from Ireland's perspective, heres a Superpower game in NYC only it takes place in the 1950's..."
I feels so weird seeing scripted viral marketing type threads like, "This game PWNS Gran Turismo graphically (56k warning)", and "Nintendo is simply putting more smiles on faces", and "twenty million people have downloaded this amazing Nike avatar shirt TCHBO!" bullshit.
Although a game based on "Crank 2" or "Lie to Me" is now possible, it still seems like Nintendo is making the same mistakes that alienate young adult game players.
When I look at the Wii section of a game store I notice that almost all of the games I would like to play are from 2006. Since 2006 there has been the excellent Super Paper Mario, the flop Wii Music, and the typical slight upgrades to Mariokart 64 and Animal Crossing that come with each new system. Wii became famous for new and original games, a first for Nintendo since they moved to 3D way back in 1996.
The minimal motion controlled moves in Zelda T.P. Mario Galaxy and Red Steel failed to capture the wonder of Mario 64, Ocarina, and Goldeneye. And now, they've moved on to "updating" Wii Sports and Wii Fit endlessly. Brain Age only cost $20, so pimping out "sequels" to these types of games seemed okay. Not the $90 of Wii Fit.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a.k.a. New Super Mario Bros. 2, a.k.a. Super Mario Bros. 5, a.k.a. Super Mario Bros. 6 (counting World... or 64... or Kong... or Peach... or Mansion), a.k.a. Mario Bros. 7 (counting Arcade original), a.k.a. Mario Upteenth Zillion (counting all 2D and 3D platformers featuring him or spun off from him.)
That games looks promising, but I wonder why they couldn't have been the ones to rebirth Super Mario Bros. 2D as a Little Big Planet type of game. L.B.P. is truly "New" and it has been the first real competition the twenty five year old franchise has faced since Sonic in 1991. If you like Mario Bros. type games, you should be playing Little Big Planet.
Does the Xbox 360 still red light? After all the amazing things shown at the press conference, it's unfortunate that this remains the ultimate equation in deciding whether to buy [again] the Xbox 360 or not.
"PSP go" is a whole new distribution format for games, takes a brand new type of memory card, and anybody with a PSP would have to rebuy all their games as downloads (for a lot more money than you could now aquire them used at Gamestop). So shouldn't Sony have beefed up the graphics, added a second stick, and finally made the "PSP2"?
It is hard to be skeptical towards this game knowing the reputation of its creator.
But... we all know what kills games like this: 1) The product not recognizing your lazy mumbling on the couch as opposed to the stage woman's voice that the game was built to work with. 2) Finding out the interactivity is nothing more than a menu for a set of minigame scenarios. 3) Running out of new choices and having the game try to subliminally make you think you wanted to do what it only was capable of. For instance...
"Hey Milo, wanna go ride bikes?" (Bikes are not a minigame.)
"Hello, your name, would you like to skateboard today?" (Skateboarding is.)
"Milo, lets just go to the mall."
"What a lovely day to play baseball." (You're supposed to say yeah, so a baseball minigame loads.)
"No." (Processor halts, disc stops spinning, fan quiets. Boy stands still staring at you waiting for a new command.)
"Lovely day for a walk in the park, inin' it?"
"I want to go to the friggen zoo." (Game isn't programed to recognize "zoo.")
"What do you want to do today, your name?"
"Look at animals."
"My favorite animal is the snail..."
"What the hell?" (You say to roomate watching you play the game.)
"My favorite animal is the snail because they're..."
If they were ever going to sell this game, and get a publisher behind it, this was the best possible way to generate buzz. No one would click another "Duke Coming in 2011 with along with Untitled Western Shooter and Six Days to Vegas" headline.