E3 Odds & Ends: Some closing thoughts from Garret

by Travis Woodside on

**Garret:**3D TVs – Upon meandering into the Sony booth, working my way through myriad screens showing Playstation Movers and shakers, waggling away at casual games with a visual edge, I found a section dedicated to the ever growing and expanding 3D television craze. Sony, being a company that makes all kinds of electronic marvels, of course would be touting their new line of TVs and glasses that support the technology. As you might already know, the Playstation 3 is now able to display 3D games so long as you have all the necessary equipment. So why wouldn’t Sony be showing this all off? There’s games here, guys. Games in THREEE DEEEE!

I waited a moment or two for a strapping young gentlemen to put down the glasses that were tethered to a glowing white table. Once he moved, I pushed my way in and girded myself for the onslaught of this 3D phenomenon. On the screen in front of me was a demo of a racing game that will end up on the PS3 that will also be in 3D. I put on the glasses. Before me the screen went from two fuzzy images to one slightly better, depth filled image.

The demo began and the car raced down a busy city area, complete with explosions and fire for some reason. I could tell it was very mature and extreme because the car hit a few people and no one cared. Also, there was some rock music or something.

It’s hard for me to find the good in having to wear glasses to experience 3D after having played and salivated over the 3DS. With the glasses, even though the lenses are not necessarily tinted, I always had an ever-present knowledge that they were there, even outside of simply physically feeling them. The added depth somehow made things darker for me. I don’t know if that was just my viewing angle (I was slightly askew because there were three people watching at the same time), or if I just have poor eyesight. I should probably throw in the disclaimer that I’ve had eye surgery before so my eyes are probably broken or something. Maybe I’m just not seeing things like everyone else; who knows?

Outside of those unanswerable questions, I feel like you would end up forgetting that you’re wearing the glasses, just like in the theater. At first you really know you have those glasses on, but after a few minutes they’re an afterthought. With a three to four minute demo, you always know they’re on your face.

Speaking of the theater, it’s basically what you can expect from this technology at this point. You remember watching Avatar in 3D and it looking pretty good? Well, that’s about how this is. It working like they advertise isn’t necessarily the problem for me, it’s the cost of admission coupled with the fact that I actively avoid 3D movies like the plague. I don’t enjoy them at the theater and I have a pretty good inclination that I won’t at home, with or without the steep costs associated with it.

After a couple of minutes the demo locked up (the game was in alpha, I don’t fault anyone for that), and I left wondering if I could get back into the 3DS booth.

Socom 4 – Hey you guys remember MAG? It’s a game of massive action that you can play on the internet with a ton of people who have a difficult time commanding others but will whole heartedly yell at you for also being equally incompetent at it. Well, Zipper, the makers of MAG (honestly MAG is pretty fun, but what I just said still applies), is back with Socom 4. It’s the game people probably wanted MAG to be.

I waited in line for someone to leave their station. A gruff looking person from the “Dev Team” pointed me to the open console and I was ready to bomb some dodongos be a Navy Seal. I sat and the demo commenced.

This particular demo was only single player, although I do know that there will be a coop component (yay!) and multiplayer (yay…? I totally blow at Socom multiplayer so that’s not wholly appealing to me). Anyhow, the demo begins in the downtown area of a city. I unfortunately didn’t catch which, but it was very urban. A rogue ground to air missile shoots up from the streets, catching a Space-Needle-esque building right in the breadbasket, causing it to crumble and fall. Holy shit, guys! You are a no helmeted squad leader who doesn’t take kindly to those who don’t take kindly, and with that the demo begins.

The game controlled like your standard FPS. You are not running into any new territory here in that regard. Along with your four person squad, as leader guy you have control over blue squad and gold squad. Similarly to how you’d control your dudes in Mass Effect, you can point your reticule towards an area and with the D-pad send either team in that direction. If you’re a lazybones like I am, that means everyone else walks into firefights first. Some new things added to the Socomverse is the ability to take cover behind cars and obstacles. I really enjoy when games do that depth of field effect, and during cover the game focuses really tight on your character who is crouched behind whatever-the-hell. If you begin to aim the focus is drawn to things in the distance. Uncharted 2 did this a lot and it’s a great effect. Here it seems a little more dramatic and it really draws your eyes to what is in focus.

Speaking of graphics, there was a trailer that was released a few weeks ago that made it seem the game was not really that visually great. I can tell you that they were good, but not as awesome as we’ve seen in other upcoming big budget titles.

The demo basically had your running around on a bombed out freeway as you go from cover to cover, Gears style. I don’t say that as a bad thing, but it you’ll use the now-standard cover system quite a bit. Prepare for it. I unfortunately didn’t get to finish the demo because I had to go film Travis being REALLY bored in the Kirby line, but from what I played I was excited to get back into some Socom. One of the best memories of the PS2 era was playing coop Socom 3 throughout the entire game. It was a blast.

I look forward to doing more shoostings in Socom 4.

Travis: While copy/pasting this I was eating Cocoa Puffs. Is there anyone in the world that doesn’t like Cocoa Puffs?