Since moving to software only, SEGA has purchased and launched more development studios, worked on classic franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, and launched new IPs. They brought four such projects to E3 2010 in Los Angeles, and we got the behind-closed-doors tour of these in-development games.
Credit: SEGAShogun: Total War 2
It's back! The original Total War is back with a huge facelift, new gameplay, and the biggest armies yet. Taking place in 1545 Japan, nine historically accurate clans can be controlled in this strategy game. In keeping with historical accuracy, the number of unit types has been reduced to 30. This way, say developers, "there's a clearer rock-paper-scissors style progression of which type defeats which others." Graphical details are hugely upgraded, even from the more recent entries in the series. With over 80 types of tree, and dynamic lighting that reflects such new things as fire arrows, and up to 56 thousand units on screen at once, this is one game that will certainly be nice to look at. Three castle types for Siege battles, coastal Naval battles involving both land and sea units, and night fighting is all promised as well. This game already looks, sounds, and plays fantastically. Amateur strategists can flex their military might on PC in 2011 (A Mac OS version is being discussed, but no announcement could be made yet either way).
Credit: SEGAConduit 2
The sequel to last year's First Person Shooter that was largely regarded as the best-looking Wii game yet plans to up the ante in nearly every way. The development team at High Voltage "know the system" now and as such are able to push the engine even further, making a better-looking, better-playing game. The most notable new feature is up to four player co-op for the campaign, via split-screen or online. The game adds Wii Motion Plus support and support for a new Wii headset as well, allowing for stronger precision (with the reticle no longer popping along the screen if you accidentally aim offscreen for a moment) and better communication with peers or enemies. The game is due for the Wii sometime in the winter of 2010/2011.
From the team behind the flashy action-adventure game Bayonetta comes a third person shooter with more action than your average bullet-ridden fight. Vanquish is directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. He wants to bring a game that is equal parts action and tension, while also being a strong shooter. The lead in the game, Sam, is a scientist who dons a supersuit that enhances his speed, perception, and strength. He uses the suit to fight alongside Marines in a near-future world. With dynamic cover, time slowing "augmented reaction, and a host of weapons that can be collected and absorbed into the armor, Sam will never be short of action, things to shoot with, or things to shoot at. The demo showed the fast-paced action running smoothly, even in this early build, and the flashy sequences and moves Platinum Games have become known for are definitely present. The game is due for Xbox 360 and PS3 in Q4 2010.
Credit: SEGASonic Colors
Sonic the Hedgehog is back, and he's transforming again, but thankfully not into a "Were-hog" like in his disastrous previous outing. Instead, special colored enemies will allow Sonic to use a colorful powerup, like turning into a yellow drill to access hidden areas. There is some 3D action, a lot of 2D action, and much that looked like some true classic Sonic. The game certainly captures a sense of speed for the furry blue spinning animal. In addition to ditching the "were-hog," the free-roam exploration and conversation is gone as well, opting for the streamlined platforming experience instead. Cautiously optimistic is a great phrase for this sort of thing, and how we'll remain until playing the finished product. Regardless, it sure looks like this could be an all-around solid Sonic game, for the first time in years. While only two colored powers (a green laser was the other) were shown in the demo, "at least" six will be in the final product of the game. Sonic Colors comes to Wii and DS in Q4 2010.
Could Sonic have a good game again soon? Will Shogun deliver?