E3 Day 2: Paul Barnett and a ton of games

Day 2 of E3 is just about over. Actually, if I’m not quick it will be midnight before this blog entry appears. I feel like there is only one word to describe the day: Amazing. Here was today’s schedule:

10:00 am: Appointment with Bethesda for Fallout 3
10:30-11:49 am: Roam the Showcase Floor playing games
12:00 noon: Appointment with Atari for Neverwinter Nights 2 Expansion
12:30 pm: Appointment with Atari for The Witcher Enhanced Edition
1:00 pm – Closing: Showcase Floor and Working my way into every room I can to check out games

Before I go into details about the games, I want to share a really cool experiene I had. (see Graev’s picture poking fun at me on the right)

I was roaming the convention center wasting time until my 10am with Bethesda when I came to the EA room. Standing outside was none other than Paul Barnett himself! I introduced myself to Paul and long story short we ended up taking a walk together around the convention center talking about WAR and gaming in general. Our walk took us down to the showcase floor where Paul shared his thoughts on several games with me. I had never met Paul until today and I had no idea how truly brilliant this guy is when it comes to games. He sees them in ways like no one else I have ever met. Definitely the highlight of my trip.

Now it’s time to talk about the game. I’m going to write about the first games that come to mind starting with the appointments. After that I’ll work through the other games until I get too tired to write (It’s already midnight, heh)

Fallout 3: I had 30 minutes of hands-on time where I was allowed to roam a particular area of the game. My writeup will be up on the Vault soon and I’ll link to it for you guys. Basically it’s FPS game with minor rpg elements mixed in. I’m not particularly a fan of the Fallout series but the game seems solid and will likely go over well with the fans. Probably going to be like the rest of the Fallout games where people love it or hate it.

Neverwinter Nights 2 Expansion: Looks fantastic. An entire new campaign designed for levels 1-18 but capable of sustaining players until 30. This is a standalone campaign. Improvements were made to the enemy AI, textures/artwork, and the implementation of skills. Although it’s set in DnD 3.5 it ties in to the 4.0 story. A new class is available called the Swashbucker (dex based figher). There are tons of new features like group based text windows, make your own party right from the start (if you want all fighters you can), and the biggest new feature of all – The Overland Map which allows you to actually walk place to place instead of warping there. Think almost like a FF7 overland map. I’ll post all my notes on this in the comments.

The Witcher Enhanced Edition: My writeup will be up on the vault. Basically they’ve improved all the stuff that totally sucked and went the extra mile to make it up to the fans. They actually did a pretty darn good job on this and I might actually play through the entire game now. Big props to them for listening to the players and making changes – For free.

Left 4 Dead: AMAZING GAME!!! I can’t say enough good things about this game. I played co-op with 3 other guys at E3 and we had to survive in a city against zombies. We started on the rooftop of a building and picked up weapons from a table and stocked up on ammo and health kits. We then moved down through the building which was several floors tall. Zombies were coming at us from all over and we had to work together. We got to this one factory building after about 10 minutes and came to a boss fight of sorts where we had to activate an elevator. In the corner was a gatling gun that we defended as the zombies rushed at us in uncountable numbers. We were overwhelmed and taken out very quickly by some freakishly cool zombies. As the guys from Valve said to us: “Work together or YOU WILL DIE!” (Emphasis is theirs). I took tons of video of the game and will post it tomorrow. Super psyched about this one.

DC vs. Mortal Kombat: Cool fighter game. I played as Batman against Subzero and Superman against Scorpian. The game uses a lot of cool combo moves from these super heroes and the graphics look good. It feels like almost every other fighter out there these days which makes it a bit boring but it’s still so cool to play as these guys fighting eachother.

Fable 2: Interesting experience. I’m not sure what to think about it. I got to play co-op mode and experience melee and spells. The new spell system rocks and the graphics are great. I think the melee is comfortable and flows well. I didn’t get to see much more in my playthrough than a single area they were demoing. Co-op mode is weird since only the player designated as “the hero” gets to progress his character. Lots of promises on this one and at this point I’m hoping they can deliver on them. I wish I got to see more.

Rise of the Argonauts: I was actually pretty bored and unimpressed with it. It doesn’t have anything interesting that grabs me and says “play me!” The combat was really boring and the graphics were nothing to boast about. I think the best thing it has going for it is the character development system where you dedicate your big victories to the god of your choice and you do things in the name of a god of your choice. For example if I’m short with people and abrasive I’ll dedicate things to Ares (the dev’s words *shrug*)

Okay, I’m tired now. I’ll write more about games tomorrow. Feel free to leave questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

  • You’ve just made some of my nightmares come true with your description of Fallout 3. I hope your wrong. FPS with some minor RPG elements isnt what F3 was supposed to be. :/

    Left for dead sounds compelling tho.. :p

  • Good thing that they’re going to fix “The Witcher”, the original version was a serious let down for me. I might just play through the game once more now… (but only once, because replay value will still remain 0 as there are no different ways of building/speccing Gerald or whatever he was called)

    Looking forward to NWN2 expansion, though original version and first expansion were pretty buggy for me… But NWN is NWN and after years of playing every single D&D game, expansion and player made scenario, I can’t really miss this one, can I?

    Great stuff guys, keep it up! πŸ™‚

  • Liking the info guys, keep it up!

    Fallout 3, yea I watched a vid a few days ago of it and thought “this is a FPS”. I’ve never played the series so I’m hoping it will have alot more RPG in it, perhaps like KOTOR but it definately looked mostly RPG in the vid. I may try it out after some reviews if it is mentioned well. I just don’t play FPSers very often anymore. They tend to just throw bad guys at you in packs which gets old. Maybe it was my letdown from Doom3 that put me off the genre.

    NWN2Exp: I have NWN2 and the camera angle infuriated me after being so used to the view in WoW. I never really got over it and I didn’t like having a party as I didn’t feel connected to the story. I’ve always wanted to go back and give it another shot but haven’t yet. Perhaps I will and play the other exp if successful and then this one, good info.
    I missed this game the first time around but from what I read recently the EE is really looking nice. Another I may pick up.

    Left 4 Dead: Know nothing about it either, probably skip it but i’ll hold off and see since you gave it some good info.

    No interest in the others really. I have about 6 games I’m tracking right now that all have different release dates so have to wait and see.

    I’ve had a long break, cept for a month stint in AoC recently, from the MMOG world and I think I’ll stay away from it to try all the nice single player games due in the next year. One thing I hated about WoW was how it took most of my gaming time and left me little time to hit up other titles.

  • As far as Fable 2 is concerned, if Molyneaux delivers on all those promises it will be the first time.

  • Sweet, Fallout 3 and NWN2 where the top highlights for me this E3. Fallout 3 seem to be more like STALKER, hopefully they have more roleplaying and non-scripted events.

    The things I loved with the previous Fallout games weren’t really the action, but more the story of truly being in a world that we recognize but is no more. It also had some tactics and really sweet humorous moments, hopefully they will keep them.

  • @Ghu: Not sure what question you have. I’m very busy lately and not even checking my email until I get home. Sorry.

  • I don’t think Fallout fans will be happy with Fallout 3. I can’t speak for everyone of course, but I’m an old-school Fallout fan and what Bethesda has done with the game doesn’t interest me at all. There’s nothing SPECIAL about the new game (sorry, pun intended).

    It may appeal to fans of the Elder Scrolls games, but if you liked the gameplay of Fallout rather than just the setting, the new game offers absolutely nothing. Sigh πŸ™

  • Fallout 3 looks like a hybrid of Oblivion and Bioshock, and both of those games are awesome.

  • L4D is going to be amazing. 4 Humans vs. 4 “Boss” zombies which can be controlled by 4 other people. The game is different every time you play and it reacts to how your group is doing. If they are the suck then it lightens the load, if your just rolling it will throw a lot at you. I think its the first co-op game that you have to be cooperative or you die. No rambo here, also its being made by Turlte Rock Studios. These guys made many maps for Counter Strike and also did the whole AI system for the bots. The AI has been greatly improved for the game, its going tot rock.

  • I think too many people are trying to apply a traditional RPG tag to the Fallout series. Personally, I think a lot of older franchises need to make moves away from traditional to survive in today’s market. Fallout was always about the gloomy atmosphere, with game play mechanics to help the player experience that post-apocalyptic waste zone. From the videos I’ve seen, the new approach really puts the player into that gritty world, more so, than a traditional RPG or straight-FPS approach. Also, a lot of signs point that the game will be playable via either play style.

  • I hope your showroom adventure walk with Paul is coverd in your next entry! haha looking forward to the WAR coverage!

  • Thank you Keen! I am loving the coverage and looking forward to the WAR writeup. You rock. πŸ™‚

  • @Ruur: We were not given any personally but Mythic was handing them out to press. Some guys at IGN got them, etc. Perhaps soon. πŸ˜‰

    @Openedge: I Lol’d.

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