With the conclusion of the first day of 2011's Electronic Expo, gamers rejoice as the massive flood of gaming information stop gaps the wait for the eagerly anticipated Winter Season. The day went by pretty well, especially since Konami decided to avoid the conference after their bizarre and ridiculed 2010 press conference. Microsoft continued last years trend, dedicating a large portion of their time to Kinect titles, and the remaining amount contained information that was already announced, such as Gears of War 3, or leaked weeks prior, like Forza 4. However, Microsoft saved the best for last, teasing gamers with a familiar masked juggernaut in the final moments of their press conference.
Picking off where Bungie left off, 343 Studios announced Halo: 4, as well as Halo: Anniversary, as their first major title. Created by Microsoft in 2007 to maintain the Halo series after the inevitably departure of Bungie Studios, 343 has been working on relatively small projects since its inception until now. Starting with the Halo community tool, Halo: Waypoint, 343 Studios went on to overseeing Halo: Reach's multiplayer where Bungie helped pass the torch to the younger studio, and developed its first playable content, Halo Reach's Defiant Map Pack.
The Halo: 4 teaser shows Master Chief awakening from cyrogenic sleep to the screams of Cortana, a computer AI, and the crumbling remains of Forward Unto Dawn. After doing some acrobatics to get his space legs back, Master Chief stares into a Forerunner structure that the ship is drifting into. Apart from looking like a glowing anus, not much is known about this structure or the game itself. Who will be the antagonist that 343 Studios describes as "an ancient enemy"? Could it be the remnants of a Forerunner society, or perhaps a new species all together? Maybe the deadly traffic cones from Halo 3 will make a more sinister return in this edition of Halo. Like all teasers, this early video of Halo 4 brings more questions than answers, leaving many gamers hungry for the facts that seem an eternity away. However, 343 was kind enough to leave one satisfying fact in their trailer, as has been confirmed to be released in 2012's holiday season.
Sony's conference had a lot more exclusive content than Microsoft's which included flagship titles such as Uncharted 3 and Ratchet and Clank. Since I don't own a PS3, and I have no interest in their games, I won't be talking about any of their games at all. Weeks prior, Sony's CEO confirmed that the company was already working on their next generation platform, but no announcement was made during their press conference. What we got instead was more details on Sony's newest handheld, the NGP, now named Playstation Vita. Apart from the already released details, Sony stated that Vita will cost $249 for the Wifi version and $299 for the 3G version, and that the Vita will feature a voice chat system similar to the Xbox 360's where players can talk in a party regardless of what game they're in.
Full gameplay of Modern Warfare 3 was showcased today, and few things impressed me in their videos. The engine remains largely the same, showing enviroments that seem reminiscent of those Modern Warfare 3, if not identical, and the gameplay is indistinguishable from its predessecor apart from some slight changes. The demo shows a Delta Force member holding a M4 with Dual Scopes which mounted both a Holographic and an ACOG sight, although I doubt its practicality in any Call of Duty online environment. The player fights through the streets of New York as the cries of reshashed dying Russian audio files is played throughout. After reaching the top of the building, a "Reaper" drone is pulled out which is identical to Modern Warfare 2's Predator drone apart from its name. If you can't tell, I'm not a real fan of the Call of Duty series anymore.