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E3 2010: Why wait? E3's hottest games reviewed NOW – Wednesday edition

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True Crime Hong Kong

Having ex-Rockstar developers on hand for the making of True Crime has given it some familiar touches: the circular on-screen GPS, the color-coded  mission instructions, a day/night light cycle and something approaching a living, breathing open-world Hong Kong – but it's still not GTA.

However, True Crime does do a bunch of stuff that builds on the Rockstar formula; central character Detective Wei Chun can perform martial arts style melee attacks on enemies and random pedestrians that include smashing their heads into a variety of solid objects. Wei is also placed in a variety of film-inspired chase sequences on foot that utilize parkour elements and vehicular combat with a kind of automobile 'dead eye' slow mo mode for drive-bys.  And while the city looks evocative of the Asian metropolis it apes, it seems to lack the sophistication and black comedy of the game it draws most of its influences from.

Score: 7

MotorStorm: Apocalypse

You’d think playing a game in 3D would make its obstacles easier to avoid, but in our case the opposite was true; we were so distracted by the zooming scenery that it took us completely by surprise when a running pedestrian or immovable subway car suddenly slammed into our front bumper. Set during a catastrophic earthquake, Apocalypse plays more or less like the other MotorStorms (high speeds, lots of hazards, quick crash recovery), but with the addition of an awesome crumbling city as its backdrop. Add a three-sided storyline told largely from the point of view of a gonzo journalist who’s embedded himself with the MotorStorm festival, a challenge mode and a perks system for upgrading your rides, and we’re awfully interested to see what Apocalypse does next.

Score: 8

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Treyarch is famous for developing the "other" Call of Duty games . You know, the generally inferior ones without Modern Warfare in the title and without original creator Infinity Ward's involvement. Black Ops proves, however, that the students have matched – and, in some cases, surpassed – the masters. The action setpieces are now just as epic, with "holy shit" moments like parachuting off a cliff or rappel kicking through a window and right into an enemy's face. Although the technology is Cold War-era, it feels equally modern, with explosive crossbow sniping and outer orbit launches using experimental spy planes. And the vehicle combat is definitely better, with spectacular helicopter dogfights in which you're not only shooting, but piloting as well.

Score: 9

Halo: Reach

Bungie is going out, not with a mere bang, but with an epic, galactic-scale boom. If Reach really is the developers' final Halo game, then they've succeeded in leaving their franchise on its highest note yet. The war against the Covenant now stretches across breathtakingly big areas that put the double-Scarab battle in Halo 3 to shame, features armies of aliens that can smother the screen and is fought with tools – like assassinations and jetpacks – that make Halo combat feel new again. All of this is carried over to the multiplayer, too, with Firefight 2.0 and what you've probably already experienced in the beta. Plus, the graphics? The grittiest – and the realest – this series has ever looked.

Score: 10

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

After so many games across so many years and so many platforms, how do you make an original Spider-Man game? One that won't feel like a retread as soon as Peter Parker swings across Manhattan in the familiar red-and-blue? Shattered Dimensions has come up with a very clever, very generous and mostly satisfying solution: Split the game into four Marvel universes, each with a different version of Spider-Man and a different style of gameplay. Tired of saving Mary Jane? Noir Spider-Man is more like Batman, creeping across rooftops and striking at enemies from the shadows. 2099 Spider-Man is more like Iron Man, flying through the sky in a futuristic tech suit. Each of these universes is pretty linear, and none are terribly deep, but the diversity is a refreshing change of pace for a normally tired and predictable franchise.

Score: 8

Jun 16, 2010

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33 comments

  • GangsterJew92 - June 19, 2010 3:29 a.m.

    I definitely agree with Halo: Reach being a 10, but I think Dead Space 2 should also be a 10. I mean, the first one was great, and this looks even better.
  • GoodGuyWithACrappyJob - June 18, 2010 4:50 a.m.

    The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play, in the words of Arnold Toynbee. Need for Speed is what I'm looking for, though. If they can pull off the same sense of fun and, well, speed, as II did, then this year is one of the best ever. Cannot wait. Although I'll have to work 25 hours a day now to pay for this stuff.
  • shyfonzie - June 17, 2010 11:25 p.m.

    "The Brass Ring" sounds pretty sexual.
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  • nadrewod999 - June 17, 2010 2:07 p.m.

    I think you should have held off on reviewing Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions until every dimension was revealed, even though I believe the score will be the same no matter what.
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  • philipshaw - June 17, 2010 10:58 a.m.

    From what I have seen, I would have to agree with most of these scores but Dead Space 2 should be 10
  • Conman93 - June 17, 2010 9:26 a.m.

    Dead space will probably score higher but other than that, pretty great mini-reviews
  • crumbdunky - June 17, 2010 9:21 a.m.

    IDK how Halo games KEEP getting this level of praise and why ANYONE would consider giving a COD game 10/10 when, yet again, for the fourth effion year IT'S THE SAME GAME IN DIFFERENT UNIFORMS AND WE'LL ALL BE STUCK WIOTH EFFIN p2p IS BEYOND ME! HOW MUCH OF KOTICK'S FLOPPY MANHOOD DO YOU HAVEDOWN YOUR THROATS? In my head COD:BO will be yet another COD rental that I'm bored and frustrated with after a day or so. Crap, crap and more crap. Also, while Reach looks an improvement on Halo3 it's still just ,more of the same with added jetpacks as far as I can tell. Oh, and they reigned in, finally, the colour pallette. WOW. The beta was pretty well done but there's nothing remotely new there and, to me, it just isn't the big finale I'd hoped for from Bungie in saying goodbye to a great series. no doubt people will lap it up like it's God's own semen but haven't we had way too many auto assist games with a pick up and play mentality in shooters over the last four or five years? Fair enough Halo was one of the first, on console, but really, it's time to ramp things up a little and improving a mode they stole from Gears is NOT what I mean. Also, TM looks crap like all the other TM games and Jaffe has completely failed if he thinks that it's "subtle" enough to woo the EU/Jap markets.
  • JeffGoldblum1 - June 17, 2010 5:49 a.m.

    This isn't fun if you give them all good scores.
  • IChooseUAntistaMON - June 17, 2010 5 a.m.

    i love how on the podcast you rave about HR's music then the UK makes an article about how bad it was
  • ADeafGoat - June 17, 2010 4:52 a.m.

    Didn't they write or say earlier Reach looks uninspiring and going to be underwhelming like ODST? And then the expected score is 10? hmmmm.... fanboy alert
  • sleepy92ismypsn - June 17, 2010 4:33 a.m.

    By the time Twisted Metal is released it will be a 10. I'm pretty sure David Jaffe said the playable modes at e3 was a preview of the online portion only. i'm pretty sure the offline story mode will be just like the old games. come on Jaffe isn't going to change the game that much i hope. i bet there will also be a few modes that aren't faction based but free for alls where you can choose between all the psychos from the story mode.
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 17, 2010 4:30 a.m.

    Twisted Metal deserves no more than an 8 because its vehicular combat is old and stale, hence the franchise being dead for the past how-many years. This is one of my most favorite annual articles GR produces. I hope you guys do more for this E3 - I want to get the early skinny on all the Nintendo games (though I have a feeling there'll be 10's all around).

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