We’ve all been beaten over the head with Gears of War 2, Resident Evil 5, Resistance 2, and the like for days now, but here are a few gems waiting just below the surface that really got my attention this past E3.
At first, Dead Space may look like a paint by numbers imitation of games like System Shock 2, but after taking a closer look, I’m really enjoying the direction this game is taking. Dead Space adopts a HUDless over the shoulder camera, and outfits its protagonist, the lone survivor on a derelict spacecraft now inhabited by malevolent creatures, with weapons improvised from the ship’s mining equipment.
The trailer brings to mind films like Event Horizon, which, while not being a particularly good example of film (OK, it sucked), certainly had its share of intense and disturbing imagery. The game will also feature some low gravity situations. Even though the player will remain attached to the hull via magnetic boots, the possibilities for interesting puzzles and innovative enemy dispatching are intriguing. We should hear more and more about Dead Space as the October release date draws near.
From the minds behind some games I’ve loved (Shogo) and a few I was completely ambivalent about (Fear) comes Project Origin. Technically, it’s a sequel to the critical hit, FEAR, which did absolutely nothing for me. Sure, I was impressed by the AI and overall sharpness of the engine, but I was turned off by the serious lack of variety. Once I went through my 8th warehouse to fight the same damn marines, I was pretty much done.
Origin, despite its awful name, looks to address most of the issues I had with FEAR and really come out swinging. The demo level takes place in a bombed out city, not your average “this place has been deserted for years” sort of bombed out city, but one that looks as if its decimation was a fairly recent development; it’s not dead, it’s dying. Fires are still raging, the power is flickering on and off, and the smoke has in no way cleared. Traversing the city seemed a bit linear, and there are plenty of identical marines to fight once again, but then they turn things around a little bit and let you hop into a nice, big, mech. The mech combat looked like a lot of fun, allowing you to shower enemy combatants with minigun fire and spiraling anime-style missiles and it looks like it really breaks up the street segments nicely.
Considering the success of FEAR, I’m shocked that more people aren’t talking about this one. I for one will be checking it out when it’s released this Fall.
Bayonetta is what would have happened if Devil May Cry were developed by Dreamcast-era Sega. An intensely stylized protagonist whose hair takes on deadly shapes to finish off her foes, who has double barreled shotguns built into her boots (the heels are the barrels… yeah), and who enters combat to the sounds of quirky, upbeat J-Pop… This is a game that would have been at home on Sega’s final console. The Devil May Cry comparisons might be spot on, since DMC’s creator, Hideki Kamiya, will be heading up the project. Bayonetta is slated for a 2009 release.