Slashdot Games is continuing its look at the major booths here at the E3 Expo. The last of the major hardware manufacturers to give us a hands-on look at their software is Microsoft, after earlier articles on Nintendo and Sony. Read on for info about all the new Rare titles, Brute Force, Halo 2, and more..- Kameo, the Rare-developed game that was shown in significantly different form on the Nintendo booth a couple of years back, looked just amazing. The graphics were lush, colorful, and beatiful, possibly the best of any Xbox game so far, including Halo. The third-person action was fun and somewhat innovative, as you could switch swiftly between multiple characters with different powers to solve puzzles and wipe out enemies. The characters included a plant beast, some kind of rock monster, and even Kameo (a fairy lookalike) herself. So, not only does the Xbox lack quality examples of this type of game, Rare seem to have come up with the goods yet again.
- Brute Force, the Digital Anvil-developed third-person team shooter which has been in development for what seems like an age, was looking promising, with a really fun co-op mode, simple but direct controls, and good sniper-zoom effects. It seemed just slightly plain compared to the very best-looking titles like Halo or Kameo, though, and it's a shame it's not supporting Xbox Live, but it's still a game you can look forward to.
- Voodoo Vince, a quirky new Microsoft-published platformer, looked good, with perky graphics and some really nice fire effects. But overall, it wasn't really a spectacular stand-out, although there were some neat ideas about the main character hurting himself in order to damage enemies - he's a voodoo doll, folks.
- Conker:Live And Uncut is Rare's team-based shooter, and it focuses on multiplayer modes to create an intense but cartoony deathmatch title. As you run around the sharp-looking arenas, picking up everything from knives to rocket-launchers, the third-person view seems to work pretty well for fast and fun combat, and Xbox Live support should wrap up the whole deal. Now, if we could only stop thinking about Fur Fighters when we see it..
- Project Gotham Racing 2 is still using the rather innovative 'kudos' system first pioneered by Bizarre Creations in Metropolis Street Racer. It also sports the noticably real-life tracks, with many fenced-off areas and 90-degree turns, something that will either delight or bother you, depending. The graphics are certainly a notch above the first title, but Gran Turismo 4 seems to have a grittier, more exciting feel overall.
- Grabbed By The Ghoulies was the third Rare title on display, and was an somewhat bizarre, almost flat-shaded, semi-cartoony platformer. Kameo seemed to us to look nicer, but this title certainly had some unique stylings, and even some noticably twisted semi-gore. Look what a few years being forced to make insanely cute games like Diddy Kong Racing will do to a bunch of developers?
- it seems Halo 2 is viewable as a real-time demo, though sadly not playable by the public, in a special booth area that's been drawing gigantic queues. The demo has the same layout as that shown at the Microsoft press conference, and it reliably blows everyone away, with amazing attention to detail, double-gun action, spectacular graphics, super-realistic voice interaction, the ability to jump on the Ghost ships and kick the pilot out.. basically, genius. This is definitely one of the games of the show, and may become the Xbox's second killer app, after its predecessor was most definitely the first.
There were a whole bunch of other third-party games on Microsoft's booth, but we'll get to them on Thursday and Friday. In the meantime, be sure to check IGN.com, Gamespot, Gamers.com, Gamerfeed, or all the other usual suspects. Our hands-on impressions will continue on Thursday.