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E3 2005 From the Armchair - Day 3
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posted by: Tristan Mayshark
date posted: 12:00 AM Fri May 20th, 2005
last revision: 12:00 AM Fri May 20th, 2005

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Well, everyone on the floor at E3 and on every web forum even tangentially related to E3 seems to be raving about The Darkness (which is being developed by Starbreeze but has no official page on their site yet) because it showcases what appear to be pretty sick next-generation graphics, and is going to be available for both XBox 360 and Playstation 3.  I agree that the graphics looked pretty impressive, but this highlights a trend that's bothered me this year:  lack of gameplay footage.  In engine trailers are impressive and all, but I need to see a game in action to get any kind of grip on it.  There were plenty of people present showing unique products with gameplay, (Stubbs the Zombie is my pick for interesting game of the show), but there were also lots of trailers circulated to the internet that do not seem to feature gameplayu, as well as technical demos.

Sony's technical demo for the PS3 featuring Final Fantasy VII material would impress me a lot more if they hadn't done a PS2 demo using Final Fantasy VIII characters that looks, in many ways, better than anything they've ever actually accomplished in-game with the PS2.  Show me gameplay, or show me nothing.

Infected looks like a title that I need to pay attention to, because if it turns into a solid product it will go on my list of reasons that I want a PSP.  The snippet of gameplay footage available brings to mind, for me, what might happen if Carmageddon we re-imagined by George Romero -- the player just killing as much of an unstoppable horde of the undead as possible with an arsenal of 21st century weapons, or dying in the process.

To their credit, it looks like EA has done a bit more this year in terms of improving Madden, than they did between 2004 and 2005.  It still seems like it will be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, but the graphical engine has gotten an overhaul and new control features, mainly concerning the QB, may give players unprecedented control over the action.