E3 Roundup: Day One

Logo for the Electronic Entertainment Expo E3

The Electronic Entertainment ExpoE3 kicked off with a bang in Los Angeles today.  Microsoft got the ball rolling with their press conference this morning, and they did not disappoint.  There were major game and peripheral announcements aplenty, as well as first looks and gameplay demonstrations for many sequels.  Check out all the highlights after the jump.

Valve Software announced Left 4 Dead 2, sequel to last years amazing four player co-op game Left 4 Dead.  L4D 2 will feature new survivors plus “”more co-operative campaigns, more campaigns and maps for the Versus game modes than L4D 1, plus support for Survival mode out of the box.”.  Via Kotaku

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Left 4 Dead 2 will be amazing.  I can say that because this is Valve we’re talking about, they have yet to release anything less than an incredible game.  The first L4D was amazing, and the sequel looks to expand on the original in almost every way.  Left 4 Dead 2 is set for a November 17th release; I know what I want for my birthday.

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Microsoft unveiled its attempt at a Wii-Killer: Project Natal.  Natal is a video and audio peripheral for the Xbox 360 which uses your body as the controller.  Microsoft pulled out big guns like Peter Molyneux to demo the technology.  While Natal does look impressive, it seems a little too gimmicky to me.  Only time will tell if it can actually perform the way it does in this tech demo.

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The Beatles: Rock Band was also shown off for the first time.  Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Cynthia Harrison all made an appearance at the conference to show off the trailer for the game.

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It looks like this game will be a must have for any Beatles fan.  Featuring newly remastered music from the Fab Four, the game will take players through the whole story of The Beatles.  From The Cavern to the Ed Sullivan Show, from Shea Stadium to Sgt. Pepper’s and Let It Be, it’s all there.  All of The Beatles albums will eventually be available in their entirety as downloadable content.  I’m a big Beatles fan and I don’t own Rock Band, so this game is very intriguing to me.  No word yet if Yoko Ono will be a playable character for the game’s special “Break-up the Band” mode.

The Metal Gear Solid franchise will finally be making its way to the Xbox 360.  Hideo Kojima made an appearance at the press conference, revealing Metal Gear Solid: Rising; a game starring everyone’s favourite cyborg-ninja of indeterminant sex, Raiden.

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Rumours had been swirling that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots would be ported to the Xbox 360, but producers at Konami have repeatedly stated that the hardware limitations of the 360(ie, no Blu-Ray drive) make that nearly impossible.  I know the MGS game for the 360 isn’t the only thing Kojima has up his sleeve for E3.  The mysterious teaser site over at Kojima Productions has finished counting down and nothing has been revealed.  My guess is Metal Gear Solid 5: set in the 1970’s starring Big Boss, if the clues are any indication.

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Microsoft also showed off some impressive gameplay from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  They also announced Crackdown 2 and a new Halo game titled Halo: Reach.

Ubisoft‘s press conference is later today, where they will official unveil Splinter Cell: Conviction and Assassin’s Creed 2.  You can see all the highlights from the Microsoft Press Conference and view the Ubisoft Press Conference live at Gametrailers.com

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