E3: The morning wake up call for Day 2

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Most of my appointments are in the afternoon giving me a chance to finally wander the floor and check out bits and pieces of everything else.

First stop was the Sega booth where I got a little hands on time with Kamiya-san’s DMC-esque monster melee, Bayonetta. I might as well clear the air and say that the game will draw comparisons to Dante, but she’s got enough moves to set her apart thanks to her own flamboyant technique. As opposed to stylish, it’s pretty fair to say that Hideki Kamiya went for the sexy slayer angle and Bayonetta’s moves are intentionally trying to be as over the top in that direction as opposed to the straight-up flash that Dante wears on his sleeve. Crazy? Sure, but that has always been his style and Bayonetta doesn’t do much to diverge from that perception.

I mean, when you combine a character with a walk that seduces the ground, hair that creates a magical costume for her assets, and then renders her half naked when it turns into a titanic, demonic maw that flosses monsters in-between its teeth, yeah…she’s not looking to be anyone’s role model. But she does it all with confident style. It really depends on what perspective you’re willing to look at this with.

The controls were solid and a tutorial guided me through the basic combos. One of the more interesting moves was “Witch” time in which dodging an attack at the last second rewards the player with a kind of bullet time that slows the monsters for a few moments allowing her to embarrass everything on the screen. As for most everything else, DMC veterans like myself will find a lot of familiar ground here.

The demo on the floor took us through two scenarios…one where she arrives via train at a mysterious park filled with monsters and a colossal beast that reminded me of Mundus from the first DMC…and that’s just to start things off. The second scenario, following a brief cut scene that hinted at the story behind her quest, pits her against another femme fatale who apparently wants to prove her own worth to the mysterious order that they both had apparently come from.

It was easy to die in Bayonetta. One QTE in which I had to jump off of a thrown bridge killed me when I, ah, failed. The next had to do with crumbling stairs that were being demolished by the Mundus-wannabe coming for me. monsters wearing such colorful names as “Beloved” along with archangels make up the hordes that come to attack you, and you can also pick up dropped weapons. One mini-boss had dropped an axe the size of Rhode Island after his defeat and, completely by my choice, I took Bayonetta over to it and she strapped it to her back as a weapon. I also had a trumpet that was also a shotgun of sorts, dropped by one of the other archangels, and a pole arm, but it looks like that you can snag any weapon dropped by the monsters you defeat. Those, in turn, seem to unlock specific moves associated with them, further expanding Bayonetta’s arsenal of moves. Very cool stuff.

The next game that I took a look at was Alpha Protocol which was being demo’ed on the floor, again by Sega, and I’m excited to see this turning out so well. The speech system was demonstrated in the game as the player could opt to be honest with a mercenary named Sie, lie, or bluff their way past her. The demonstrator didn’t seem to piss her off because she offered the player the option to ask for her help, which he accepted, and at one point in the mission, she and her fellow soldiers aided the player which was interesting to see.

There were two different characters being demo’ed on the floor, one configured for stealth, and another for guns and action, and it was shown just how effective both approaches were. I’ll have to admit, stealth is my favorite approach and the game allows the player to take that route with appropriate consequences waiting around the map in case the enemy finds out. The closet was also demonstrated with the player able to modify their weapons and their gear before heading out on the mission. The hand-to-hand stuff seems pretty self-explanatory, but the branching choices, I was told, will have long term ramifications further down the line depending even on how many people you kill in a mission. Someone might actually not like the bodycount you’re keeping, so even that seems to be factored into the story and its multiple endings.

A visit to Bethesda’s booth confirmed that Point Lookout is the next DLC to be coming in from the RPG foundry and it’s due out June 23rd. This time, it looks like a cult is flourishing within the swamps located on the Maryland’s coast. No new level cap, but there will be a few new perks, as usual. As for this being the last DLC, that’s still up in the air.

I also spent a little time with Rogue Warrior which had undergone a few changes since its announcement a few years ago. Gone is the story about two survivors of a Seal team gone wrong behind enemy lines in North Korea and now we’ve got Richard Marcinko just by himself, wreaking havoc in the late 1970s during the Cold War. As I was being shown the game, it was explained that this is going to be a straight action game with plenty of action based on Marcinko’s expertise. Something of a legend among SEALs, Marcinko’s skills and his knowledge have been put to use within the game. The gory kills that accompany every knife thrust of his blade into someone’s eye may sound gratuitous, but to Marcinko, it’s done to do only one thing: take the enemy out quickly and efficiently. From his perspective as it is shared within the game, this is what he had done for most of his life within the secret history of covert ops.

But the game isn’t based on hardcore reality. It’s a pure action shooter that intentionally turns one man into an army of one with a brutally efficient hero working behind enemy lines to keep his mission on track despite the odds. Mickey Rourke is providing the voice behind Marcinko’s actual face in the game and he’s got quite a few one liners that back the violence. It was like watching Commando, only this time, based on a real-life soldier whose exploits have helped set the standard that SEALs have come to train by. I’m looking forward to this one along with Modern Warfare 2.

I also caught some of Wet being shown at the booth and Rubi looks a lot better in action now than she did a few trailers ago. Although she might not have the sexed up style that Bayonetta does, she has her own approach to perforating bad guys in her way with either her sword or with her trusty firearms. From what I could see, I was almost reminded in some ways of Stranglehold, which isn’t a bad thing. From shooting enemies to jumping down from roof to roof, gliding down cables, and running along walls, you could almost wonder if she had been related to someone of royal blood in another game, only now armed with gunpowder.

Rubi had also shown off another ability that wasn’t seen in any of the trailers…a sort of fury mode that changes the graphics to resemble something that had exploded from Suda 51′s mind or had been left on Killer 7′s cutting room floor. The visuals change to a stark display of simplified lines, a blood filter on everything, and her enemies rendered into targets of black silhouettes and white ties. In this mode. Rubi has a chance to chain up as many kills as possible before stepping through a swirling door that resembles…sanity? An escape back to reality? Probably, as everything returns to ‘normal’ once she goes through it.

Another scene had her in a car chase on the highway and although you don’t drive the cars, you guide Rubi from car to car via QTE controls which seemed to be exciting, although the guy I was watching had accidentally missed a cue and ended up as roadkill. Still, Wet looks a lot better today than it did a few months ago and definitely deserves a second look if not a personal playthrough. I’ll try to get in some more time with Wet to see if that’s possible, but I can’t shake the urge to play another around of Bayonetta at the same time. Decisions, decisions.

So now it’s the afternoon and I’m slated, along with my brother, to check out Bioshock 2 so we’ll see just what that entails. There’s still more time afterwards to walk the floor and check out a few more titles. Or maybe I’ll just head back to see WB’s booth and play a little more Scribblenauts. Summoning Cthulhu never gets old.