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E3 2004 Coverage Article

Former staff writer    -   May 19, 2004


Day 2
 

After that demo we got to meet up with the good folks at Razer, the makers of the Boomslang and the Razer line of mice. We got a look at a couple of their new products in a meeting that lasted about an hour long, and let me tell you, Razer has some nice looking stuff coming out. With their incredible attention to detail and their dedication to the gaming market, this is some top of the line ware at reasonable prices made BY gamers FOR gamers, and that means nothing but performance for the consumer. We got to take a look at the new eXactMat - Razer's newest mouse pad offering due out sometime in late summer 2004. As always you can expect OCC to have the scoop on that as soon as possible. Of course, seeing as I've done a lot of mouse pad reviews recently, and I've seen some good and some bad - the eXactMat is shaping up to be one of the finest crafted and best performing optical mouse pads I've yet to use. Made specifically for the Razer, the dedication to the gaming market is immediately seen - and even more emphasized by the following quote from our host, the GM for Razer, Robert Krakoff.

On the eXactMat: "It is important to us because it perfectly compliments our [Razer] mouse, and benefits the gamer in a way no other mouse pad could. The mouse pad has been specifically designed to address the wants and needs of the hardcore gamer and address the problems encountered with other mats." - Robert Krakoff

The eXactMat isn't the only new product that Robert showed us - we also got to take a look at the mockups of the new gaming headset - the Piranha. These new headphones are looking awesome and not only that, but they're 5.1 surround sound, and they're hoping to rival the best on the market in every category. Razer's goal is better sound, better drivers, better microphone, better reliability, better durability, the list goes on. These aren't wild dreams either, though they're promising a great deal, they've got it planned. Keep your eyes open in early fall for these beauties.

I've seen a lot of companies, and it all honesty, I've seen a lot of crap. Razer is the only company I've seen with that sincere dedication for one market, one vision, and one pure drive for total quality and satisfaction in every aspect of their products - and that's what makes them so good. Though useful for anyone, Razer's products are tailor-made for gamers using suggestions from gamers, much of that from the teams they sponsor. Colour me impressed Razer, well done. I can't wait to see (in more detail) what new announcements the future may hold for them. You can check out Razer (and I highly suggest you do) at Razerzone.com.

More notable notes in today's adventures include the new Tribes 3: Vengeance - a familiar return to the Tribes world, brought back into the mainstream by the free release of both earlier games recently. Another very slick looking game (okay, in all honesty, most of the computer games look awesome, they're virtually exclusively running A64s as well as (no doubt) the newest of the new graphics cards (no one would tell us...other then nVidia, obviously)). My Tribes experience being fairly limited, I'll let our trusty Editor in Chief to take over for a moment to talk about it.

Tribes: Vengeance, a game I like to call Tribes 3, is a first-person shooter series built on the Unreal technology, a game that will sure to bring a smile to your face. Tribes Vengeance offers new weapons, faster and more versatile vehicles, and better team communication. The single player mode allow you to take on roles of six different characters and play 15 levels of vengeance and war. This is the first Tribes title that has offered single player campaign mode, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in stored for it. The multiplayer mode is like previous Tribes titles, you are able to engage in battle with up to 32 players. I had hope that we could have games with 48 or 64 players, but I guess they found it to be too laggy? The graphics are superb, providing clear and crisp details and water effects that will make you say "WoW". Tribes Vengeance is expected to be released in Fall of this year.



At Ubisoft, I got some hand-on experience with the new iteration of Myst - called Revelation, this makes it Myst IV. I got a walkthrough from the lead programmer, and he took me through the similar looking world of Myst, just one that's incredibly detailed and vivid. With some amazingly realistic lighting effects, and a storyline that's bound to please the puzzle solvers. Furthermore, Ubisoft isn't making Revelation a GPU-based game; they've taken some unique turns with saving graphics for when its needed - meaning for some parts of the game - such as reading books - the game takes a turn to 2D graphics to save the graphics-intensity to when its actually needed - such as in the lush jungles or those lighting effects (I'll tell you right now, they're both breathtaking). This transition is made flawlessly, and the game looks like it should be a big success like the original titles.

Back into the melee, there was one game that I've heard a ton of hype about, and being a huge MMORPG fan (Ultima Online for 3 years, thank goodness I finally broke that addiction before University, as well as a number of others for less time) the Saga of Ryzom. Seeing as they were distributing a free Beta DVD, we went and picked one up, and from the Press Kit they gave us, it looks interesting to me, so I can tell you what the first thing that's being installed on my computer is (hey, it IS free).

Today's Thoughts
  • So...many...games...
  • Free stuff is good stuff
  • LA is expensive
  • Free shuttle buses rock
  • Programmers and Developers are some of the nicest people out there, and better informed too.
  • Media Passes are clutch



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