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Tycho / on Fri, Jul 18 2008 at 12:00 am

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The Man-Maker

You’ve seen the video referred to by the strip, of course.  The craft is one thing, and the articulations especially are noteworthy.  What really sets the presentation apart, though, is his frame by frame, physical recreation of each item’s animation.  That’s what elevates it beyond merely a source of lunchbreak entertainment and into the realm of fascination and mystery.

Our comprehensive position on the Big Three presentations of E3 are by now well known, but when taken as a whole the show did deliver - even for those of us playing “the Home Game.”

Let’s stop for a moment and really consider how truly, irreconcilably bizarre it is that Electronic Arts is the one dishing up the game that pretty much everyone wants - Mirror’s Edge.  For proponents of a medium defined by its mutability, consensus like this is rare.  That link goes not to one of the new trailers, but to actual footage of the game that you may want to watch several times in succession.

Inexplicably, Electronic Arts is also the company behind Dead Space.  There have been videos of various kinds, but I was never able to get a solid read on it until I saw this clip from their press conference.  Pay close attention to the way the game projects portions of the UI holographically, only when it’s required.  I especially liked the inventory screen, which clearly casts a green light on the character himself.  Their sci-fi setting has granted them a kind of end-run around the immersion-shredding necessities of user interaction.

Rock Band instruments will work with the new Guitar Hero, a tremendous relief for all parties, especially those who want to use the entire product.  An incredibly complete demonstration of the authorship tool, broken into three parts, can be found here, here, and here.  Apparently the Guitar Hero drums have a MIDI in, which should turn almost any electronic drumkit into a game controller.  The song creator was obvious - this feature is, frankly, more clever than I’ve given them credit for.

For BioWare’s Dragon Age, a game I saw running five years ago and then nothing, you’re better off avoiding the “cinematic trailer” and checking out Tiscali’s raw footage.  It very often looks like a fully three dimensional Baldur’s Gate, which is so eerie that I can’t come to any conclusions about it.  As a pundit, it is my duty to pass sentence.  But this looks like some ridiculous personal fantasy given form.

There’s some shit-talking in this Halo Wars interview from Ensemble, shit talk that the actual footage doesn’t really sell - I’d love to know for myself.  It may be that I’m resentful they’ve shifted Halo from an FPS I’m not good at to an RTS, a genre for which I have zero natural ability.  Given enough time, Microsoft will eventually sow this brand into a genre I excel at - right?  They’ll have to. 

That’s just, like…  math.

(CW)TB out.

thy brilliant endeavor

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