home > comic > twoplayer comic: A Little Bit of Spice
GamesFirst! Online since 1995

View Image Gallery

twoplayer comic: A Little Bit of Spice
posted by: Aaron Stanton
publisher: GamesFirst! Internet Magazine
date posted: 12:00 AM Sun May 29th, 2005
last revision: 12:09 PM Tue Aug 16th, 2005

Click here to read this week\'s twoplayer comic.

Every E3 is followed by the post-E3 analysis. Was it good, was it bad, was it better than last year or just a rehash of already announced titles? Despite the influx of hardware announcements, I\'ve heard a number of people complain about how this year\'s show was really not all that impressive. There was hardware, yes, and the expected progression of hardware, but many of the games are easily compared to other, older games; there\'s a contingent of gamers that don\'t seem to be all that excited about the gaming years down the road. Personally, I think that\'s just weird. Admittedly there are some upcoming games that are natural extensions of game dynamics we\'ve already experienced. Prey, one of my personal favorites, is really just a cleverly designed first person shooter with great graphics. I\'ll admit that. But if that is all that people see when they look at the games coming down the pipeline, then they\'re not looking at the right place. E3 2005 wasn\'t about graphics and gameplay, but about the other elements of game design that we so rarely see. Technical achievements, and how they\'ll impact game design in the coming generations, really stole the show, but in a way that no one seemed to notice. If I were to choose a single product at E3 that I consider the most significant, it would be the physics accelerators from Agiea. If asked what I considered to be the most impressive element of the next generation systems, I wouldn\'t bat an eye before saying that more than graphics, I found Kameo\'s 3000 computer controlled A.I. the most impressive, or Ghost Recon 3\'s seamless and massive recreation of Mexico City.

What we saw at E3 this year was the introduction of hardware and technologies that will shape how games are played four years down the road, even though they\'re not show stealers right at the moment (and I\'m not just talking about the PS3 and Xbox 360). Last year, I witnessed a demonstration of the Unreal 3 game engine, and it blew me away. This year, we were able to see that engine come to life in games like Gears of War, running on the Xbox 360. In the same manner, I expect the really exciting aspects that were introduced this year to really start making an appearance in a usable form two or three years down the road. The generation of games we saw last week were and are the beginning steps; they are the first games to stretch the legs of the new hardware and technologies. So people can look at it and grumble about how disappointing this E3 was, but in my opinion, there was nothing disappointing about it at all. There are games I really want to play coming out later this year, and there are games I really want to play coming out next year. That means I\'m pretty much covered for the short term. But more importantly, I think we\'ve been set up for gaming unlike anything we\'ve ever known before in three or four years. I hope I\'m right.

Aaron Stanton

Click images for larger version

Click for larger.