Welcome back from the weekend! I hope two days without news has left you with time to digest all the new titles I've already talked about, because that list is about to get a lot longer. There is still one last PS3 title that needs mentioning, but after that we'll be looking at downloadable games for XBLA or PSN, and then the best of the crop: Games coming for PC.
Little Big Planet 2: One title I forgot to mention last Friday that should have been mentioned, Little Big Planet 2 is one of those titles that I wish was coming to more then just the PlayStation 3. Little Big Planet 2 looks exactly like what you would expect from a good sequel, with more of everything the first game offered. When the first game offered the tools to build your own platforming title, something which players used to build everything from funky music themed stages to full out reproductions of Contra, it's easy to guess that the second title will be worth pursuing.
(Note: If the title contains an *, that denotes it as for either XBLA or PSN. An X or P following the asterisk will identify which)
Hydrophobia *X: Although this titles appears to have been announced two years ago, I'd never even heard of it until this last E3, but what has been shown looks intriguing. Hydrophobia's big draw is the amount of work put into its water effects. Tasked with surviving in what looks to be a near future city being flooded with water, the player must swim, shoot, and make use of the way water behaves to escape the city alive. For an XBLA title, the graphics look very robust, putting this game (in visuals anyhow) on par with Shadow Complex. Could this be the Shadow Complex of 2010?
Rayman Origins: After several years of being upstaged by Ubisofts new Rabid stars, Rayman is finally making his return in a beautiful hand drawn 2D game. From the early trailer, the game looks gorgeous, with a cartoony visual style that fits the Rayman sense of humor and, wait, could that be Co-op play? I'm sold!
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1: It's been far too long since there's been a console released 2D Sonic game, but in going back to the hedgehog's roots Sega is finally giving us just that. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, promises to be a return to the series roots with fast, physics based gameplay in a direct sequel to Sonic 3 and Knuckles. With lush 2D graphics, a chip-like soundtrack, and lots of loops, Sega's hoping that Sonic 4 can once again quiet the naysayers. Will it? Well, there's only one way to find out. Interestingly enough, Sonic 4 was slated to be released by now, but due to fan feedback, the game was pushed back 6 months in order to tweak the gameplay and levels to perfection.
(Note: An * denotes a title that will be releasing on other systems)
Crysis 2: Long time readers will remember a few months back when I posted a full write-up preview of Crysis 2. The sequel to one of the more incredible FPS games out there, Crysis 2 is looking like everything plus more from the first game, with new suit modes, a more conductive story, and a whole lot of New York to bound around in. While the game is coming to consoles, there is a hefty level of difference in how the game looks on consoles versus the PC, where the game looks more like the first on really low settings. For the full experience this Christmas, get ready to crank that graphics card higher then it ever has been before.
Rage *: There are a lot of FPS games out there (Honestly I would say that market is fairly oversaturated at this point), so what does one have to do to draw attention? Well, in Rage's case, be made by the studio that invented the FPS genre. That's right, the ones who made Wolfenstien 3D, Doom, Quake, and a host of others have another FPS game in the works, and from what we've seen it looks pretty cool. Set in a post apocalyptic environment, Rage looks to be equal parts Fallout and Mad Max, with some Interstate '76 car combat thrown in for good measure. Will it be enough to rise to the top on name alone? Probably. Will it be worth it? I'd like to find out, but the early builds look pretty promising.
Portal 2*: It's been a long time indeed. If you never played Portal, do yourself a favor. Stop reading this right now, go buy a copy, and enjoy the greatest two to four hours of mind bending wormhole puzzles that you have ever experienced. Portal's winning instrument wasn't just in it's clever gameplay, it held a clever and riotously funny story and character in the antagonist, GlaDOS. Now returning in a full length sequel, Portal 2 once again puts you in the shoes of Chell, waking up an indeterminate amount of time after the end of the first Portal. Stumbling across a goofy AI named Wheatly who wants to escape as must as Chell does, the pair inadvertently reactivate GlaDOS, and the entire Aperture Science Facility comes to life as GlaDOS rapidly establishes control. And she's not bitter at all about last. Nope, not at all. You monster. Portal is a gem, and Portal 2 promised to be a 24 Karat ten pound diamond. Although it's coming to all platforms (but the Wii), the amount of control needed by this title means you'll be best off getting it on PC.
Civilization V: Civilization returns once again to let you rewrite history once more. The fifth release in this classic series features some changes, switching the square grid based gameplay to a hex based grid system (believe me, in a strategy game this matters) as well as offering the usual amount of enhancements, upgrades and tweaks to the formula that's been teaching history (and revising it) for years now.
BulletStorm*: Not for the faint of heart, BulletStorm comes from the mind of Cliff Bleszinski, the man who gave us Gears of War. However, BulletStorm is more like the older world of FPS games: Violent, fast paced, and utterly ridiculous. Putting you in a game show environment where clever kills net you bonus points is some sort of game show fashion, BulletStorm looks like a game that for once actually delivers the mass media promise of "killing for points" as several groups have already pointed out. It also looks kind of fun, although again, not for the faint of heart.
Thus concludes part 3 of my E3 Roundup. So now I want to know. What titles caught your attention? What titles do you want to know more about?