E3 Day 1 Game Impressions

Before I do my blog entry for Day 2 I wanted to give you guys something of a little more substance for Day 1. Here are my thoughts on the games that I saw on Day 1 of E3.

E3 Day 1:
12:00 Noon: Interview with Erling Ellingson from Funcom
3:00 pm: Appointment with SOE for Free Realms
3:30 pm: Appointment with SOE for The Agency
3:35 pm: Appointment with SOE for DC Heroes
Any Free Minute: Showcase floor

As you can see yesterday was heavy on the SOE side. I’ve already written my thoughts on the Funcom interview which you can read here on my blog and in the writeup I did on the Vault. I want to give you guys my quick impressions of Free Realms, The Agency, and DC Heroes.

Free Realms
I went into this with zero expectations. It’s a free to play game from SoE… come on, does anyone really go into this expecting much? I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, this one kicked me in the teeth. This game actually has a TON of potential. No, it’s not a hardcore mmorpg or something I would suggest my WoW or WAR buddies check out for a replacement game. It’s a highly stylized and “cute” type game aimed directly at the youngsters. SoE, almost as usual, missed their demographic and has landed themselves in a much better place because of it. This game has appeal to people of all ages.

The game will appeal first and foremost to the socializer casuals. You can pick between a Human male or female and a Pixie. Your character can be dressed in various outfits (insert microtransactions here) and do all sorts of activities ranging from smacking monsters to playing soccer with other players on a grassy field outside the town. You can decorate your home or apartment, do quests that require special outfits, and all sorts of other zainy things.

The game also offers players a facebook-esque page automatically generated for everyone where you can show off screenshots from in-game and see messages left for you by friends. The entire thing is kid friendly and safe. That’s something the SoE guys kept pushing over and over. They also really wanted to push the fact that Free Realms is breaking down the barriers of entry. The game is launched from a web browser by allowing SoE an activeX controller. It installs the client while you create your character and begin playing because it streams it right to you.

So while this isn’t going to be my “next big game” it’s definitely going to be something that I hop onto and play when I’m either bored of my current game or looking for something to do. There’s no “I gotta log on and play or I’ll fall behind” feeling here. It’s the epitome of casual.

The Agency
I’m not going to talk a lot about the game right now because I’m going to be publishing a writeup at the Vault about this one tonight but I can give you my quick impressions. I didn’t really like what I saw. I can’t really find the lure or draw of the game. There’s nothing there telling me to spend money on it, whether it be buying the game or subscription.

DC Heroes
Another game that I wasn’t all too impressed with but that can be attributed to the complete lack of… well, the game for one. SOE showed us the trailer that has been shown all over and had their PR/Marketing team there to hype it to the press. It looks neat but without seeing more I can’t help but think.. “Wtf? A mmo where you follow batman around? Huh?”. It also looked… I dunno. Hard to explain. I just wasn’t very impressed.

Day 2’s post will include game impressions from titles on the showcase floor and more.

  • My Free Realms notes:
    – Web Based
    – No Server restrictions. Play your character on any server.
    – Friends List allows you to join friends anywhere in-game.
    – Advertisements will be seen.
    – MicroTransactions will buy you clothes and stuff.
    – Mini-games are present throughout the game in 2D and 3D. (Soccery, fashion accesorizing, and Off-road racing for example)
    – Housing and Pets are in the game and can be decorated, etc
    – Change classes on the fly by changing outfits. (Ninja to fight, Mail man to deliver mail and that sorta thing)
    – In-game events like bands playing on the stage in-town. (possibly real bands … probably Jonas Brothers for the kiddies)
    – Being attacked is totally optional.
    – Fighting occurs in roped off areas designated for such activities
    – Free Realms is really trying to stay away from being a Standard MMO (summarization of the dev’s spiel)

  • DC Heroes makes me laugh. It’s kind of like they were given the oppouruinity to buy the DC license and were like – ‘Wow, DC! What an awesome IP! BUY BUY BUY!’. They won the IP then were like ‘So, erm… what do we do with it now?’.

  • Woh… how could I spell opportuinity any worse? Sorry my brain’s not functioning at the moment. Just woken up 🙁

  • Interesting stuff. I had just read about Free Realms yesterday. It did look interesting to me and Free to play is great. However, not sure about those micro transactions. I have children and they change their minds so much it could get expensive as the video I saw had some clothes that were each $.99. I’ll definately look into it for them though as a nice casual game.

    I had been to The Agency site before but there is nothign there. It looks like a spy game MMO. I was hoping it would be interesting as we need somethings besides Fantasy & Space.

  • I need to check out Free Realms.. actually is sound like there’s a lot of games I need to check out. So much game, so little time. 😛

    p.s. would yous guys plz come on over to my blog and see if you have any ideas to share with me and Anton for the game were making.