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E3 2004 Coverage Article


Day 2
So, after a much needed sleep...right after going to see a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live (Lionel Richie and the sweet, sweet Shannon Elizabeth) it was back to the grind at E3. Holy smokes, what did I just say? The grind? I'm spending my days in Los Angeles, California instead of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada playing video games instead of real work. This is great!

So, today we've got two major things lined up for you. We're gonna take a look at the brand new Half-Life 2 Demo, and we've got a meeting with Razer, the guys who brought us the Boomslang and more recently the Viper mice, both top of the line in their classes.


So, we spent the morning going through the West Hall, the Concourse Hall and Petrie Hall. The West and Concourse Halls held a couple interesting games. Again we got a look at the Matrix Online in the Sega booth, and again the darn Exhibitors wouldn't let us touch it. I want some hands-on! Maybe they'll let me into the Beta (hook me up here Monolith). In the West Hall, it was all console stuff, unfortunately. Playstation had a nice big setup looking at some of their newer games, but nothing stuck out to be overly amazing, unfortunately. After making our way to the Midway Games booth in Petrie Hall, we got our hands on some new Mortal Kombat action. That's right, Mortal Kombat: Deception. Now, despite the failure of the last (couple) MK titles, this one is something else. Bringing back a bunch of familiar faces, the game is FUN to play! After a bunch of rounds against LP (I think I dominated) it wasn't old, and it was clean, bloody action. With a ton of interesting levels, each of them is not only well made, with high detailed battle arenas and backgrounds, but they're multi-tiered as well. You start up on the top level, and if you get too close to the edge (or you opponent knows how to do it long range) you can get thrown off the top level to the bottom. The bottom level in most cases is another level of arena, most with an interesting way to kill you...the ways I got my butt killed were by being smashed into smoldering nothing in a molten steel press and thrown off a high rise to explode on the road below. We actually got to speak with one of the developers of the game, who showed us the new Konquest mode, almost an RPG-like game where you build skills, and your character even ages. The traditional Kombat mode features the same ladder progression we've seen and loved in the previous MK titles. Playing with the developer, we got to play the level he designed, a fairly devious level in which the playing arena got smaller and smaller, and if you were unlucky enough to get thrown off, you were impaled on the spikes far below (with subsequent amounts of blood boiling from your body and mouth). The game has been returned to its original spendour, finally. This game will also differ from the previous titles in its ability to go online. I'm not to sure how that's going to work, but I'm hoping it will offer the versatility (and possibly the questing) of Konquest, with the PvP of the Kombat mode against the other players online.

In the Concourse Hall we saw the new title Juiced - a NFS: Underground type game allowing for complete customization, and the ability to race online, even for pink slips. Playing the game was less then great though. Based on the Playstation2 console, it was less appealing the the already established NFS: underground graphics, and with NFSU II on the horizon, we'll see how these new knockoffs hold up (Street Racing Syndicate being the other game offering nearly identical features - more on that once I get a chance to play it, the lines are much longer the the Juiced lines, which is promising).


And finally the event of the day, a chance to see the Half-Life 2 demonstration. Couple words to summarize it: incredible, amazing, awesome, cool, sweet, the list goes on. With crisp clear graphics we got a chance to look at that new physics engine, some enemy AI and...well, you know what? Why don't we just let you guys see it? We've got it all on tape. Personally, some of my favorite moments were [SPOILER - WATCH THE VIDEO FIRST] using the couch and the car as a weapon, as well as a look at the Aztec CS level using the HL2 engine - simply phenomenal. The demo was fantastic, and we got tshirts afterwards, so I'm more then happy (they're nice tshirts too - we'll bring em to the Overclockers Club LAN Party so you can all see, hehehe).

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