E3 Day 1 impressions

Day 1 E3 was pretty much a disaster. With such a late start, I didn’t get as much time in with the event as I would like. Day 2 will be better, but here are a few observations from day 1.

 Ubisoft is turning out the most interesting and anticipated lineup of the year. You’d be hard pressed to find a more exciting offering of games in the next 12 months than everything Ubisoft is championing at the moment.

 Assassin’s Creed III looks and feels better than any I’ve played up to this point. With the conference demo of the single player campaign, and the chance I got to play the multiplayer, it looks solid from top to bottom.

The free running skills are very intuitive, and I didn’t find myself worrying about my path as much as I have in the path. It just moved fluidly. Multiplayer was an interesting take on domination. In a map populated by look-alikes, your team had to occupy three points to achieve a points total to win the domination of the map. It had three points to hold, and you found yourself running from one to the next. In these domination circles, you could blend in with people, as you do in the game, to hold the position, or just stand around. You would be alerted that an enemy was in the circle, and I was tense trying to watch each person’s movements to see if I could pick out the player from the AI populating the area.

I will admit, I got assassinated a few times, and found myself panicking and just killing innocent AI in fear that they might be an opponent. It was this action that often alerted my savvy opponents. It is an interesting multiplayer, and one that could hold up for a few months of play, especially if you can find a few friends that like the game as much as you do.

 They are shoving Just Dance 4 down your throat like crazy. I can’t blem them, though. It is the best-selling dance game of all-time. The center of the Ubisoft booth was a series of dancers playing the actual game. What sets this game apart is the super pop music and the fact that it’s not a particularly hard game to play. Just Dance 4 won’t shit in your corn flakes and tell you to get off the floor. It encourages you to just get up and dance. There is a winner in each game if you’re in a group, but really there is no failing with this game. I think that’s the big pull for dance game fans for this series. It’s just a good time with few rules or fail screens…the same can be said for dancing, I suppose.

Far Cry 3 is vicious. We’ve heard of the massive design, and the freedom for discovery, but it is the interesting and tactical gameplay that got me excited. It is not just a traditional shooter with a destructible environment. There is an emphasis on a mix of stealth and balls out action.

The demo we got to play was the same demoed at the press conference. From memory of the conference, I knew what way there was through the map, but as I watched a few others playing before me, it was clear that there were at least three different ways through the level using a mixture stealth, open attack, and use of the environment. You can shoot the tiger cages to release the animals to kill enemies. You can grenade the gunner, or shoot him. You can go left through the house, going right has less cover. Forget doors, just smash a window or two and cut your own path around the action to ambush enemies. The choices are yours.

If this demo is any indicator of the game, and I’d like to think that it is, then players are in for an amazing game chock full of nudity, coarse language, and a lot of takedowns and a high body count.

 They aren’t messing around with presentation. Games are highlighted with everything from ten-foot tall statues to destroyed city busses. SEGA even has an actual alien prop from the 1986 film Aliens to promote Aliens Vs. Predator Colonial Marines. Besides that, SEGA has a lifter fighting an alien that you can get in and have your picture taken…something I will be doing tomorrow for sure.

I know this is a trade-show, but it feels like a fanboy’s wet dream at times. Get your photo taken with cosplay hirashuku girls, or just sexy booth babes. Get your photo taken with Nathan Drake or some colonial marines complete with armor and an M41-A pulse rifle.

 It is a lot of standing around. It’s like the Disneyland for gametards–new word I’m trying out. You get excited for the demo, and you go stand in line for an hour or more in some cases, and then you get a few minutes of excitement, and then you leave. There you go. Hope you had a great ride, and enjoy the rest of your day at E3.

Lines everywhere. Of course they are longest at the biggest titles and most seizure-inducing displays. Seriously, between the lighting in that place and the music in some booths I might as well have been at a rave. It would be the world’s worst rave seeing as everyone is sitting down playing video games, but a rave nonetheless.

 It is so damned big. It will take every ounce of effort and free moment to play even half of what is being offered here. I can’t even imagine what a full day Wednesday will be with lines and demos as far as the eye can see. With so much stuff going on and so much to look at, it took me a good hour to just walk around and get my bearings for where everything is. It is huge, but then again it is the LA Convention Center and it is E3, so I should expect as much.

 We will be doing a full recon of everything tomorrow, and throughout the week we will be doing more gaming articles of the quintessential who won/who lost E3 awards and highlights. We are going to dig deeper with more detailed articles and our impressions of what direction thing are going in and what new tech we can’t wait for and what we can certainly wait for. This is gaming week on Project: Poppycock, and so we will be doing our due diligence to give you everything that one man can, given the circumstances. Wednesday brings a full day at the event, so stay tuned for live tweeting and blog articles for the rest of the week.

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