The big show

June 8, 2011 by Tim

E3 is now in full swing, and information is pouring out almost faster that I can digest it.

The EA presentation was a little light on The Old Republic, giving us at first just a CG trailer spliced together from other previous CG trailers. We then got the official opening CG trailer, which is pretty badass. Not a lot of new info about the game itself though (like a release date).

Insomniac Games announced their new upcoming game, Overstrike. Again, not a lot of gameplay… but a pretty neat CG trailer.

Kingdoms of Amalur got a bit of screen time, and continues to look very promising. I’ve heard it called “Fable for adults”, though since Fable seems to be headed towards a child’s game anyway, I suppose that isn’t too hard to accomplish.

Of course the Nintendo presentation was a big deal, as you’d expect. We finally have a name for the new console, the Wii U. There were rumors they might call it simply “Nintendo”, which I was rooting for, but it makes sense to build on the Wii name. It has after all made the bajillions of dollars.

The big hook to the system is their new controller, with not only motion controls but a screen in the center. A screen that will do magical things, apparently. I’m not entirely convinced thus far about the screen thing, but having been a huge fan of the Dreamcast, and it’s underused VMU, I know there’s potential for this sort of thing. I’m definitely on board to see what developers can do with it, aside from the stupid shit like catching arrows.

Obviously the other big part of the whole thing is that the Wii U will be an honest to goodness legitimate current-gen system, complete with 1080p and the like. Six years late, as far as I’m concerned, but it will be great to (hopefully) start seeing some Nintendo games that don’t look like blocky, pixelated ass.

Though despite the hardware announcement, they really didn’t show much in the way of Wii U games. They showed a tech demo of what a Zelda game might look like on the system, but it was neither a game nor a promise of a game. In fact, all of the video they showed of the third-party games coming to the system like Ghost Recon was actually taken from Xbox 360 and PS3 footage. So ultimately all we’ve really seen the Wii U do so far is tech demos (which look great), and ugly Mii games that you could find on your current Wii.

This sort of tempers my excitement about Nintendo’s presentation. The games that they did show, such as Zelda, Mario and Starfox for the 3DS, are fucking incredible. But at the same, these are all no-brainers. In fact, I question why they didn’t launch the 3DS with a Mario or Zelda game.

I’m excited to see them in the pipeline, but I am in no way surprised. There was little in the way of truly new games from Nintendo, which I found a little disappointing. Their flagship franchises are beloved for a reason, but we know what a Zelda, or a Mario game is going to be like.

Overall though, so far it’s been a pretty decent show so far. It’ll take a week or two to truly pour over all of the videos and little bits of news that slip through the cracks, but so far the next year in gaming looks like it will be a good one.

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