Update (8.26.2004)
A second content piece has been published. Written by co-worker, Justin Erdman based on notes taken by both of us.

Update (8.23.2004)
I wrote a ‘preview’ content piece for the Much website. You can check it out here!

For the second year in a row, we were lucky enough to get an invite to X04. If you’re not familiar with it, X04 is a big hands-on press event showcasing up coming games. This year’s event was quite a bit cooler than last year’s and had way more titles on hand.

As soon as I entered the room I began my search for Star Wars Battlefront. They had signs above each booth with the publisher’s logo, so it was much easier to find what you were looking for. Didn’t take long before I was immersed in the madness. I’ve been looking forward to this game since it was announced and to finally play it was indeed a rad moment. It’s all that I had hoped for and more! The Lucasarts rep was telling me about some of the features within the game as I was playing. At the beginning you pick one of 4 factions you’d like to be a part of and make your way around the universe taking over planets. Each planet has it’s own special bonus. He didn’t tell me all of them, but he did mention that if you chose to play as the Storm Troopers, you can unlock the ability to summon Darth Vader who comes down and raises hell with his lightsaber. Sick! He also told me a pretty funny story from E3, when the Galactic Conquest creators (Battlefield 1942 mod that Lucasarts ripped off to make Battlefront) stopped by the Lucasarts booth to chat. Commence pooing in pants.

Prince Of Persia 2 also made an appearance. We spent about 10 minutes watching the rep play and showing us all of the awesome new features they’d added to the game. You can now interact with items within the world while you’re battling the countless henchmen. They’ve added the ability to grab and chock-hold your foes. From there, you can choose to choke them to death or toss them aside. The gore level has been cranked up a few notches as well. We witnessed so much damn blood shed it reminded me of the gold old days of knocking off heads in Mortal Kombat.

And of course ‘the big one’, Halo 2 was there. They booked us for a 30 minute session with the game where the reps walked us through the demo shown at this year’s E3, then allowed us to play a 4 on 4, single flag, CTF game. We played the map that was demoed at E3 called Zanzibar. The game play is pretty much the same from the original game. But weapon enhancements and destructible vehicles added some nice flare. The coolest thing I witnessed in the game took place when I tossed one of those Covenant grenades at an oncoming Ghost. It stuck to the right wing and when it blew up, sent the Ghost into a spiral, tossing off the dude that was riding it. Upon impact it blew up into several pieces… twice! Good stuff! The balance between foot soldiers and vehicles is very fair. It’s actually pretty tough to wipe out a couple dudes while in a vehicle. I found it much easier to take people out who were in vehicles, or simple hop on and snag it from them… then back over them.

Other honourable mentions include; Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic 2, Splinter Cell 3, Tony Hawk Underground 2 and Call Of Duty Finest Hour. Sadly, EA didn’t have Need For Speed Underground 2 at X04 and Doom 3 was also MIA. But those were about the only disappointments from this year’s big event.

Now, I need to figure out a way to get my hands on an Xbox. heh.


Comments

Yeah it was. They had a fair size display for it too. I should have mentioned it with the rest of the honourable mentions as it does deserve it. Not my cup of tea, but seems like it’s a pretty involved game. We talked to Peter Moore, one of the bigwigs at Xbox and he was telling us all about it.

[…] Yes, I am a lucky man. I may have caught a nasty cold, but I also had a chance to play some of this year’s biggest titles, weeks before they come out. For those that aren’t familiar with the X’0 events – they’re Microsoft’s annual hands-on press gatherings where they showcase the upcoming holiday line-up. Contrary to popular belief, this was not the first time an X’0 event was held in Toronto. They actually go way back to X’03, which was the first that I attended. I wrote about X’04, but missed X’05. This year, I took my buddy Andrew along who chainsaw’d me in GOW more than a few times. Anyway, on to the good stuff! […]