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Post E3 Impressions

June 7th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 10 Comments · E3

While not as tiny as last year’s show, in no way was E3 a return to the old ways. There were few surprises, a lot of games that were already out or will be released in the next eight weeks, and a lot of polish. People don’t show “works in progress” as much as they did in the glory days, and despite the noise and lights, it was pretty easy to get around the show floor. I never had to wait too long for anything like food or coffee or drinks.

On the strategy side, I saw four games and I think there may have been only a couple of others in the entire show. That’s how bleak it is out there, friends. Of those four:

1) Hearts of Iron III is now on my radar as something I have to play. It wasn’t, since I really want Crusader Kings 2 instead and I’m kind of bored with WW2 grand strategy in general. But the improvements have piqued my interest.

2) East India Company is the sleeper surprise of the show. I mentioned it to some of my colleagues and they went to look at it and also came away impressed. It’s a Casual Grand Economy Strategy thing that my friend Bill Abner says reminds him of High Seas Trader. I have a preview build to play, but I have so much writing to do…

3) Supreme Commander 2 was also a bit of a surprise. Listening to Chris Taylor talk frankly about what worked and didn’t work in the original reminded me of how few people like him are still front and center in the industry. The new game looks more streamlined but still deep enough to not annoy the hard core. In many ways, Supreme Commander 2 and Hearts of Iron III are taking the same road – sticking with important deep strategy stuff but making it more accessible and appealing.

4) RUSE was a waste of my time. The booth was packed, mind you, but only because some Ubisoft people were playing the game on a 20k dollar touch screen game table. The actual game that you will be buying is a simple little wargame that will be easily workable in the console environment, but I suspect will get old fast for the PC RTS gamers. It could be a huge success, but I saw nothing in the demonstration that has moved RUSE even to the middle of my “anticipated list”.

Other game highlights include seeing video of action/RPG Space Marine (worst name ever), the action/espionage/RPG Alpha Protocol and the MMO Heroes of Tellaria. The big thing for me was meeting most of the rest of the Crispy Gamer team.


10 Comments so far ↓

  • Troy

    Not on display, but I did get a preview build.

  • Tim McDonald

    It was good to see you there, and I mirror your opinions on Supreme Commander 2. I think I’ve already gone over (likely several times) anything else that I could add.

  • frags

    Glad to hear Supcom 2 isn’t as the initial previews seem to put it.

    I share the same opinion about R.U.S.E.

  • James Allen

    FYI, The East India Company preview build is of naval combat only, unless you got a newer one than the one that was distributed about a month or so ago. About 10 minutes of content. Meh. More, please!
    Did you have a chance to check out APB? RPS is calling it the game of the show.

  • Troy

    This preview build apparently has ten years of the campaign game.

  • James Allen

    You are a better man than I, Troy :)
    However, I am looking forward to playing Ghostbusters when it comes out next week. Who’s with me? Major portion of childhood fantasy fulfilled!

  • Scott R. Krol

    Reading RPS gush about APB just left me thinking that it may be best of show if you’re looking for an online shooter, but not that impressive otherwise.

    Oh wow, Ghostbusters is next week? I thought it was still a couple months away.

  • SwiftRanger

    It is in Europe (except for the PS3/PS2 version). Sony and their weird exclusives again.

  • James Allen

    Yeah, Sony must have thrown some impressive amounts of cash around to get control of an entire continent. You could say that Sony is the modern day Napoleon of Game Distribution. Feel free to use that quote.
    I am quite excited to see what multiplayer features Ghostbusters has, since details have been sketchy at best. We’ll see if reality lives up to my expectations.
    And sorry for hijacking this thread :)