Activision opened their private preview room to Newsarama and we got a up close look at their suite of titles at this years E3 2010 in Los Angeles. Sequels and established franchises were the name of the game this year, with all six showcase titles being in that category, showing off no new IP. That doesn't mean, however that they had nothing new to show.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
Beenox studios is seeking to bring something new to the Spider-Man franchise, taking it back to level-based play and multiplying the Webhead by four in Shattered Dimensions. The game’s plot (penned by Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott) takes players into four different worlds, each with it’s own Spider-Man and it’s own unique visuals and playstyle. Three of these have been announced so far: Spider-Man Noir, based on the comics that take place in an alternate 1930s has a grim, shadowy look and focus on stealth. An Amazing Spider-Man world has an inked, modern comic look and a focus of web-based combat. Lastly (for now), the world of Spider-Man 2099 has sharp renders in a visually busy future world, where the combat is physical and brutal. A gliding mode takes advantage of Miguel O'Hara's futuristic costume, to differentiate the unique world. The game’s 12 stages (featuring interpretations of classic Spider-Man foes and cameos from Marvel heroes) are broken down into three acts, in each you can tackle one of the 4 Spider-Man worlds in any order.
DJ Hero 2
“Two turntables and a microphone [is] where its at” was how the new DJ Hero was conceived and how it's best enjoyed. Learning lessons from the previous release, the mix list has been formatted to deliver more new hits in a range of genres (estimated at this point to be around 50). The expansion of the free-play mode to include more sampled tracks, and the implementation of ‘rewind’ in 2 player mode. Also at any time one can pick up the mic and sing-along (save for DJ Battle mode). The result of the new features makes a game that more accurately represents the DJ experience and brings the party home better than before.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
A developer guided-demo featured two levels, the first, “WMD” starts with the first-person take off of an SR-71 Blackbird on a mission to guide of squad of troopers on a stealthy assault on an mountainous enemy base. After a bit of tactical recon from near orbit involving some RTS-style controls, you take control of a man on the ground as you start your assault, moving stealthily with an optionally explosive-tipped bolt firing crossbow. Alternately, (or a little further on) you can engage in a full frontal assault that finishes with a classic CoD flourish of explosions, crashing through windows, and the occasional casual base jump off a snowy mountain. The second preview level, “Payback” takes place in 1968 Laos. After commandeering a HIND helicopter, you manually fly it down river to safety, all while completely laying waste to enemy fortifications, troops, bridges, tanks and choppers. The Treyarch-developed game takes place throughout the decades of the Cold War. New weapons, new vehicles, new gameplay; Treyarch definitely wants to keep this franchise alive, fresh, and at the top.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
The ‘hero’ portion of this franchise’s title takes center stage in this latest version. The God of Rock Himself has been defeated by his rock-hating nemesis and the classic Guitar Hero characters (minus Midori, but plus some new ones like the steampunk-esce Echo Tesla) need to power up into Rock Warriors to save Him. Along their quest (which can be played solo or with up to four people playing any combo of instruments), they acquire power-up skills that aid in earning stars, like a constant x2 bonus or a streak-saver, which they need to advance the story though over eight chapters narrated by Gene Simmons of KISS. Traditional multiplayer and quick-play has been enhanced with an experience point based unlocking/ranking system and intra-song challenges (like note streak thresholds) that will be applied to this game's over 90 new songs and even to existing songs in your Guitar Hero library. Any song you have will now have the new dozen or so challenges added to them. The song maker has also been redesigned to allow for cross transfer of custom songs across the recent GH line.
True Crime: Hong Kong
This recently subtitled ‘reboot’ of the True Crime franchise takes place on the island of Hong Kong where undercover cop Wei Shen is going in too deep in his quest to break up a brutal Triad ring. Taking cues from Hong Kong crime cinema, including films like Infernal Affairs, True Crime looks to take sandbox games back to the streets, forgoing rooftop leaping for foot and vehicle chases thru the dense streets of Hong Kong. A speed matching button, like in Red Dead Redemption, will help you at least keep pace. Gun battles feature a bullet-time mechanic, and hand to hand combat will include interaction with environmental objects (slamming a face into the air conditioning fan is a good example). The developers have included a social standing system where the entire game world will treat you based not only on your reputation, but on your ‘look’ which is influenced by the brands you wear and the cars you drive.
The all-time great FPS from the Nintendo 64 is back with a new title for the Wii and DS, with a graphical and chronological face lift. Daniel Craig takes the lead (both his likeness and his voice) and he’s joined by Dame Judi Dench (but not Sean Bean as 006) in a modern retelling of the Goldeneye story with longer classic levels and entirely new ones. The multiplayer features the same stable of Bond villains and 4-player split screen play off line and 8-player online, with all the modes that made the original a staple of gaming. An option to play the classic game, or the new game in the classic visual style is “unconfirmed.”
What Activision sequel are you most excited for?