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Reloading... E3 2011: Day Three - Ten Ton Zeppelin

Updated Thu, Jun 09, 2011 by Ethec

Welcome to the 12th edition of Reloading…
 
We almost had a RAGE demo in the hotel last night, and I’m not talking about id’s latest brown-and-red-palette shooter. Ben discovered that stepping on one side of the air mattress has an equal and opposite reaction on the other side, where I happened to be working. One flying laptop later, I avoided an unseemly chase around the hotel and instead rubbed his toothbrush on a mystery surface. He still doesn’t know, but I consider the matter resolved.
 
The incident did call to attention the problem of having three writers and one hotel room desk. For the next event, I’m requesting a zeppelin with a comfortably appointed passenger cabin, which would both solve all our problems and make for great advertising when it inevitably goes up in a ball of flame. Look for the Graf von Hammer in the skies above GamesCom or PAX later this summer.
 
An alarming number of you across the nation seem to be experiencing power outages. The reason was clear to me as soon as I set foot in our Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard interview yesterday – Konami is taking all your power and pumping it through their stadium-suitable sound system next to the WB booth. I couldn’t hear a thing the good folks at Turbine across the table were saying, but the Isengard visuals, early as they were, looked awesome. Through a combination of sign language, telepathy, and awkwardly placed mood rings, Reuben got the lowdown on Rise. Check out our LotRO: Rise of Isengard Preview.
 
Inspired by LotRO, our fellowship parted ways.  Ben got slotted for a bunch of XBLA games in the Atari booth, so we honored the Top Gear-inspired rule: always leave your friend in the breakdown lane. As for me, after seeing the new Warhammer 40k Online trailer in the hotel, I descended upon the THQ booth to try and threaten, cajole, or bribe my way into a demo (impossible) or interview (unlikely). The charisma check failed, so I ripped a Space Marine chainsword from a waxwork model and set to work on the supports of their weirdly constructed medieval / futuristic fusion booth. E3 tip: it takes security a looong time to arrive on a crowded show floor.
 
While I was fleeing in terror and regret from the man I am, Reuben was mild-manneredly touring the EA booth, flashing his VIP creds to piss off front-of-line standees to duck into the demos of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Mass Effect 3. Reuben is actually the ancestor of John Shepherd – in a few short years some lucky lady is going to bear him a beautiful great (x120) grandfather, so his writeup should be touching and from the heart.
 
I set camp in the Trion booth to learn what I could about End of Nations, which was one of the most positive experiences of the show for me. Petroglyph went dark on EoN for the first part of this year, dedicating their time and efforts to addressing the loads of player feedback that they were getting. EoN came out strong at E3 2011, with a clean new UI, air units, and a new, streamlined skill and armory system. Premium Members can read about the End of Nations overhaul in today’s Premium Showcase article, while the public will have to wait until next week (unless, you know, you might want to join up).
 
Meanwhile, Ben’s no good, very bad day continued wth a look at Lucent Heart in the Gamania booth, a game whose biggest talking point is that players are encouraged to form romantic relationships with other players, then kiss and hug for buffs. The game is appearently selling like rice in Japan, especially to female gamers, which could be a strong reason to play except that the chief talking point of the North American localization was the addition of same-sex relationships. It not just a feature, it’s a feature they feature in every one of Gamania’s marketing features. Ben unfortunately didn’t ask the question on my mind: what exactly are they trying to say?
 
We finished up with Nexon, whose sporting new content for their fun, still-not-very-Celtic-looking hack ‘n slasher Vindictus, and anime-inspired yet nearly as much a hack ‘n slasher Dragon Nest Online. I had a good time with Karok, the grabby new muscle-bound character in Vindictus whose signature move involves grappling enemies and breaking their torso on whatever’s convenient nearby.
 
Ben’s prospects improve spectacularly today, as he starts off with a look at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and RAGE (the real one this time). I get up close and personal with two favorites games of mine: one a new favorite (World of Tanks) and one a new take on an old favorite, the newly announced MMOTBS Jagged Alliance Online. Reuben will be looking at APB Reloaded and the hotly anticipated co-open action rpg Torchlight 22.
 
Have questions for us as we embark on our last day of E3 2011? Drop me a line, or leave a comment!
 
Until tomorrow,
Jeff “Ethec” Woleslagle
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