With the media hype of E307 pretty much done, I figured I would offer my glimpse into what is coming soon that I think is cool.
Windows Gaming is definitely on the way back to popular. With the launch of Games for Windows Live, Microsoft is taking what they know well (XBOX Live) and making it available for PC Games. Very cool (and about damn time if you ask me). Anyone remember DirectPlay? What a joke. Being able to load up your GamerTag into Windows games (and in some cases even play between platforms in the same game) should be pretty cool if game companies are willing to pay for the privilege.
Single player titles are always popular, and BioShock looks to be the best single-player MDK (murder-death-kill) title. The story is always the same (how did I get here, I’m super human, I’ve got a big ol’ gun, and now I need to kill everything that moves to survive), but the style, the graphics, the atmosphere if you will, is downright stunning. With no multiplayer, however, chalk up another play and pitch title for Windows.
Half Life 2: Episode 2, and more importantly Team Fortress 2 is making way for release as early as September. And if the trailer videos are anything to support it, this games looks like it is the real deal. The real Team Fortress that I used to love and play daily making its way into a new game engine. TFC on the original Half Life was crap IMHO, it completely lost of the feel of the original game. This new version with the new engine and graphics looks stunning. I’m glad they went the Pixar route of character animation instead of the trademark Half-Life realism. TF is about fun, who cares about the graphics if the physics and gameplay are crap. Let’s hope the orange box does not disappoint. All this talk almost makes me want to fire up glQuake and the original TF just for old times sake. 1,492 FPS anyone? :)
HALO 3 looks like a turd, only pure fans of the genre would want to play this crap – again. It’s such a dated genre, like playing DOOM 2 and still thinking it is cool. Go away!
Guitar Hero III will obviously join my collection in what I consider one of the best games to hit the consoles ever. More songs will add to the playlist of the awesome game, along with new multiplayer action-game style power ups to disrupt your opponent while trying to bang out the hardest parts of Pearl Jam, Guns and Roses, and more. Wikipedia has the known song list, so check it for updated info.
While I trash HALO 3, I’m actually looking forward to Unreal Tournament 3. For some reason, Unreal was always way-so-much-cooler than the DOOM line of games. The first version, while plagued with enormous maps and insufficient network bandwidth, was still gorgeous to watch while playing. UT2004 is a game I still play off and on when I want some pure one-on-one kill action. While I’m not sure I’ll actually buy this title, I may buy it when I get a MacBook Pro, just to support gaming on the platform. It uses Cider to emulate Win32 on the Mac, but early testers say the performance is equal to Windows with the same hardware. We shall see.
Rockband, while I’ll give it chops for being a complete multiplayer experience, I’m going to have to pass. I rarely have time to hook up three friends to cover the backup parts to my serious guitar wailing, I can’t sing (ask my wife), and I don’t need to play fake drums to hear noise (I have kids for that). So while I’m sure there will be some party playability with this title, the up-front requirements are probably more than I care to invest for a once a quarter experience.
I didn’t see a whole lot of driving titles out there that really got me excited. The eventual GT5 might be cool, if it ever ships. I’m wondering if the Logitech G25 is just waiting for a game like that to come around to hit critical mass. So far, LFS with a mouse seems to cure my racing bug when it hits, but the STI takes care of most of it just during the morning commute.
Did I miss anything?