I spent a sunny Canadian afternoon in Toronto, Ontario checking out Microsoft’s latest and greatest at X’07 hosted by Maro, a gorgeous restaurant & nightclub in Toronto’s studio district. The prerequisite booze which flowed freely thanks to Microsoft was worth the trip alone, but the games, that is why I came. And came I did!
Before I get to some of the highlights of the show, it’s worth noting that before I arrived some jackhole smashed his car into a hydro pole on the same block as the show, power went out and a huge-ass generator was trailered to the location to fuel the army of Samsung LCDs and Xbox 360s in attendance, however about a quarter of all kiosks were shut down including Project Gotham Racing 4 and the restaurant’s lights were off (not to mention the sensor-activated bathroom taps). No big deal, all things considered. I was half plastered anyway…On to the games!
Awesome. 8 player LAN setup, custom game modes (zombie infection!), bunch of new multiplayer maps (Snowbound, High Ground, Valhalla, Last Resort, Epitaph, and Sandtrap) and a gentleman demoing the crazy new features including Forge and saved films on “Jub Jub.” The graphics have been improved since the beta, especially particle effects, explosions, lighting and reflections. I managed to pilot some Brute Choppers that have an oversized manual lawnmower on the front and side shooting rockets. Fun. I also managed to drive the “Elephant”, a base/spawn point on treads, armed with turrets, and vehicles that spawn inside the roaving giant. Enough said.
Take me, I’m yours. I can’t justify almost $300 worth of plastic instruments, but man, is this not the greatest thing ever? A bunch of kids in attendance picked up the drums right away, kicking it to Weezer, The Ramones, Foghorn, Alice Cooper, and a bunch of other A-List tracks. You’ll know soon enough about the pure joy of rockin’ faces off online and having virtual groupies. Guitar Hero 3 was also playable but had a “booth babe” half-assed playing most of the time when she wasn’t busy checkin’ her Blackberry.
Call of Duty 4:
As good as they say it is, and looks better than you thought. It is still Call of Duty at heart, but has been tweaked quite substantially in terms of gameplay balance, adding a sprint function among other new features.
The Simpsons Game:
Looked hot, played well, great themed missions. Woot? Of couse, it’s a Simpsons game!
Devil May Cry 4:
This was a surprise for me, such a crisp, clean look. Fluid, fast, gorgeous. And yes, still full of that melodramatic cheese that the DMC franchise is known for, story-wise.
I have a stifled hatred for NeoGAF and it’s terrible community. As such, I will bite my tongue and say Turok was basically an Unreal 3 meets Jurassic Park tech demo. The only thing reminiscent from previous Turok titles was the way the character bobbed while running, and the obligatory dinosaurs.
Need for Speed Pro Street:
Fast. And somewhat furious. Looks to be a refreshing spin on the NFS series, while giving homage to it’s Hot Pursuit roots. Overall not bad for an EA racer.
Excellent, if not a little dated. Looks nice, has a few new twists such as rolling up hot items to increase your katamari’s temperature, instead of size during some missions. Co-Op and online multiplayer should be a blast.
I have some video to trim down a tad, but for now enjoy these (stupidly large) pics.