There’s still two days or so until E3 kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference, but it seems that game developers across the globe have got impatient waiting, and the result is that over the last two days we have had a flood of news about new games. In this article I will try to cover as much of the headline news as possible.
KONAMI’S PRE E3 CONFERENCE
To perhaps avoid the embarrassment caused by last years hilarious live conference at E3, this year Konami decided to put together an hour long package showcasing what they have to offer, which became available last night in the UK. You can watch the full video here, but summarised below are the important points:
- Metal Gear Solid 3DS – The video showed off in the presentation highlighted 3DS gameplay elements, including gyro control for movement, the appearance of Yoshi in a game sequence (prompting rumours of an Ape-Escape like minigame featuring the green dinosaur) and the use of 3D in the jungle environment.
- Metal Gear Solid HD Collection – HD remakes of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker are coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 in one box soon. They will include trophy/achievements, rumble/right analogue stick support and improved sound. Release date: NOVEMBER 2011
- Zone Of The Enders HD Collection – Similar to the MGS Collection, Zone Of The Enders and Zone Of The Enders 2 are getting HD remakes for Xbox 360 and PS3. Expect it some time in 2012
- Transfarring (yep, its not a typo) – Hideo Kojima’s new concept which allows games to be played between consoles and portables. PeaceWalker has been confirmed for this system, and the idea is that you can save a game on the PS3, transfer it to the PSP and continue on the move, and then do the same process the other way round.
- NeverDead – A game where you control an invincible man who can reattach broken limbs and continue killing stuff. Over the top and insane, set to be released this fall
- PES 2012 – Its happening. Not much more to say, its just an update of PES 2011.
- Silent Hill – We are getting three new games: the Silent Hill Collection (where Silent Hill 2 and 3 are getting the HD remake treatment, but no announce date has been confirmed), Silent Hill: Book Of Memories (a handheld game for Sony’s next handheld console), and Silent Hill: Downpour, which follows the story of a prisoner trapped in Silent Hill.
- The Fox Engine – Not much was shown, but Kojima is working on a new bespoke game engine for his company. The video featured a man running around, a dog and a stationary horse in a very lush jungle environment
- Contra – There was a teaser at the very end of the video presentation. Nothing more was announced, but we can assume a Contra reboot or remake is around the corner
- And finally, you will NOT be seeing Metal Gear Solid: Rising at E3 2011
In my opinion, Konami have provided us with a mixed bag. On the one hand, it is very disappointing that nothing new and extraordinary has been announced; I think Kojima summed it up when he said that 2011 is a year of preparation. However, NeverDead has the promise to be a fantastic little action game (I mean who doesn’t like the idea of being able to roll around on just your legs shooting stuff?), and I am highly anticipating the MGS HD Collection on the Xbox 360; I think its another game that has been added to my ‘Must Buy’ list in November.
Well that’s Konami sorted out, but the rest of the industry still has lots more to tell us. Again, this is just a brief summary of what has been going on:
- EA have released a FIFA 12 video which shows the improvements they have been banging on about, such as the Impact Engine, using actual gameplay footage. Nothing new, but well worth a watch to see the game in action
- Square Enix have released what they are going to show at E3, including the Tomb Raider reboot, Hitman 5, and FFXIII-2. Still no word on whether we will see Dragon Quest X or Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
- The Smackdown Vs Raw franchise, one of the most successful in gaming history, is dead. At least in terms of its name. THQ have revealed this year’s instalment will be called WWE 12, and they have promised a refinement of the interface, an improved WWE Universe mode and an up to date roster.
- THE PSN STORE HAS RETURNED!!! And in order to satisfy those PS3 owners who have been without the marketplace for quite a long time now, Sony have put up a load of offers and free stuff. Check this link for further details
- Rumours are flying around of a new Legend Of Zelda game (not to be confused with Skyward Sword) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise this year. My bets are going on either a bundle of the original games, or a HD remake of A Link To The Past.
- Codemasters have released a few screenshots and details of F1 2011. The game looks suitably gorgeous, and we have been promised 16 players online (with 8 AI opponents for a full 24 car grid), a new quickplay time trial option, and up to date cars and drivers.
- And finally, a few more details on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have been leaked. Apparently 60,000 lines of dialogue have been recorded (Fallout 3 had 40,000), each city in the world will have a unique economy, travel will be a mixture of on foot, horses, the carriage system from Morrowind & fast travel from Oblivion, and three new factions (including the ever lovable Thieves Guild) have been confirmed, with storylines that will interweave with the main plotline.
I hope this has whetted your appetites for E3, I will certainly be watching closely to see what happens, and I will do my best to post up at the end of each day the main details from the press conferences. I shall leave you with the timetable for E3. Have a good weekend.