This was an unusually busy show for us, so rather than just letting you hear the interviews, I thought I’d jot down some notes about my experiences as well. There’s even some exclusive content…
Hit the show floor running (literally until the Enforcers wisely made me slow down), and made my way to the Intel booth for a media screening of their new GUI-based Visual Bios. “Overclocking for Noobs” (a category I fall into) would be the best way to describe it. Using an elegant point and click interface, Intel allows users to safely overclock, automatically adjusting properties to give the best (and safest) possible performance.
Continuing with Intel- they’ve developed a motherboard the size of a Pop Tart! AND it ran an arcade quality version of Super Street Fighter 4… Video card makers aren’t going to be pleased…
I power-walked to the Red 5 Booth where Xes and I got our hands on the newest build of Firefall, which is coming together NICELY- Xes learned the ropes of the PvE portion of the map while I spoke with Scott Youngblood about the changes. I was impressed with the Dune-like nature of the thumper resource gatherer, and the combat was looking pretty swank as well- I’ll have notes from the beta over the next few weeks.
Of course my next interview was on the opposite side of the show floor… I charged over to the Lantana Games booth to speak with Dan Silvers, Brian Wang, and Julia Smith about Children of Liberty. Although rough in spots (it’s still an alpha) I found myself impressed with the passion these folks have about creating an intriguing platformer with a cool graphical gimmick. I also enjoyed the idea that the game was historically accurate and dare I say- educational! I promised Dan I’d help spread the word- so it’s up to you, JPS fans- make this one a hit! Smooth animations and stealth gameplay combined with one of the most famous stories of the Revolutionary War- the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere made for an interesting experience. The (true!) use of child spies was intriguing, and it left me eager to see the final release.
Night Owl was on deck, debuting their mobile “Goblin Manager” app for Dungeon Overlord, allowing aspiring Dark Lords to have complete control of their minions on the go. This handy little app also provides notifications when a dungeon is under siege (ahem)- A Facebook game that doesn’t suck?
Our good friends at SRRN Games had some AMAZING news to share… Shadows, the upcoming sequel to the critical hit mobile game Ash is being published by Konami! AND- even better news- the whole series is getting a PC port! Upgraded visuals, and the engrossing story folks should be used to from SRRN were all in evidence. Keep an eye out on this one, folks. Not to be missed.
Finally a chance to sit down- it’s 1:00 PM on Friday, and my dogs were barking. I was in a meeting room talking to Klei Entertainment (Shank, Shank 2) about the upcoming Mark of the Ninja. This appeared to be the ULTIMATE stealth title. The interface allows gamers to quickly know the consequences of making too much noise or being too visible, BEFORE making decisions, providing a compelling ninja experience. We’re definitely going to get Lead Designer Nels Anderson back on the program as I had a ton of questions I had to leave unanswered- Darn giant shows where I don’t have a monopoly on dev’s time…
Need I say anything more? The sequel to the hit from Robot Entertainment is coming- and I had a blast playing it! Using the new Sorceress playable character felt natural, and her fresh abilities and attacks compliment the War Mage perfectly. The cooperative gameplay just felt right- and new maps (including outdoor arenas), traps, and monsters were great to see in action. Poor Orcs- the kill counts are going to be even more staggering when this one releases…
I met up with Xes at the 2K booth to check out Borderlands 2… Xes got busted trying to take a picture of me playing the game… <snicker>. The game is awesome- it looks better, plays faster (!), and the new enemies have to be seen to be believed. Plus- there was a group of Claptrap cosplayers Randy Pitchford brought into the booth- good stuff.
As Day 1 drew to a close- we headed over to our good friends at Paradox. They were showing War of the Roses- essentially Mount and Blade as a multiplayer title. Lots of great customization options for weapons and armor here- And watching your character get executed from a first-person perspective? Gruesomely awesome- talk about a great reason to target an enemy for a little payback…
Paradox was also showing the Showdown Effect- Arrowhead Studios (makers of Magicka) created this multiplayer fragfest- an homage to all the great 80’s action movies- I playfully made a suggestion that the characters have the option to go barefoot to emulate John McClane— Xes and I had a great time trading one-liners (and ordinance) with this one. Protip- a pool cue or barstool is a handy weapon- but not when your opponent has a rocket launcher… plan accordingly.
Party time! Jen and I attended the WB launch party for the X360 release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. We hung out with Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, the senior quest designer and talked console gaming, fan reaction to Geralt’s ponytail, and why Mass Effect 3’s ending annoyed so many folks. He was a great guy, and I’m glad I got to talk to him socially. We also spent a great deal of time chatting with the guys from Supergiant Games- Greg, Darren, and Logan are three of the nicest people I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet- and it’s always a pleasure to talk to them! Did I mention Felicia Day was there?
Exhausted, and a little buzzed (the WB party served GOOD booze)- I rolled into bed to prepare for the BUSY day— Day 2.