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Full Circle

The eight and one-half minute promo for Xbox’s Halo2 was, arguably, the most eagerly anticipated event of E3

“The reason people, I think, have fallen in love with Halo, is simply because it’s a fun universe to be in, and it’s a compelling universe to be in. It’s a great story.” Mentions Pete Parsons, manager of Bungie Studios, who helped design the game.

Hundreds of disciples withstood long lines and claustrophobic crowds to gather around a giant screen.  After what must have seemed like days of anxious expectation, images from the wildly inventive game bombarded willing onlookers.  Armored soldiers descended from an angry sky in reinforced pods.  A searing gun battle ensued.  The Kids Practically Swooned.

Halo 2 is gonna be HaloHuge.

Idolatry!

The runaway success of American Idol (the television series) will probably lead to the runaway success of American Idol (the electronic game.)  The clever folks at Codemasters were under this assumption when they premiered their upcoming American Idol (the electronic game) at E3.

Players can choose from forty contestants, swath themselves in all manner of glammy threads and weather over four thousand withering comments from (virtual) Simon, (virtual) Paula and (virtual) Randy.

To promote their new release, Codemasters drummed up (actual) Randy and (actual) Paula to judge contenders as they sang pop numbers. 

The Role Of The Undead In Advertising

Resident Evil proved that Corpses Who Rise from the Dead to Feast on the Flesh of the Living hold special places in the hearts of millions.  Capcom, the fiends behind the original Resident Evil, have disinterred themselves with Resident Evil: Outbreak.  They hope (fear?) this online ordeal will evoke the feel of a grueling horror film.

“We want to be the first to deliver a real story online, and Resident Evil:  Outbreak does It.” intones Matt Atwood, public relations mouthpiece for Capcom.

Multiple player options, together with the game’s bizarre and nightmarish imagery, conjure an unpredictable atmosphere.  Capcom demonstrated their dedication to the Ultimate Freak Out by staging a macabre promo-performance-piece.  Desiccated “zombies” shambled across the E3 floor bellowing ‘Outbreak’ to unsuspecting conventioneers.

Unrealism!

Atari, who arrived at E3 armed with plenty of surprises, gave a preview of their 2004 release, Unreal Tournament

Unreal Tournament will feature players careening across meticulously detailed environments in vehicles such as tanks, dune buggies and quick flying skimmers.  The imagery, while exciting, was evidently not quite finished.

“Of course, in the final version, I’ll be plowing over people as they’re running and screaming from me.” Notes Atari designer CliffyB.   

Finality…

Since 1986, ten chapters of Final Fantasy have emerged to a devoted and appreciative audience.  Soon, Final Fantasy X2, the saga’s first sequel, will appear.  Picking up after the tenth installment, it features recurring characters; including (for the first time) strong female leads.  Final Fantasy X2 also enables gamers to change powers and abilities (as well as costumes) in mid-play.

Fantastic. 

The Booth The Whole Booth And Nothing But The Booth

Approximately 250 employees spread over 40,000 square feet supervising nearly 850 LED panels and 250 interactive stations displaying more than 60 titles – add it all together and you wind up with Sony’s monolithic E3 booth.

Aesthetically opposite to Nintendo’s Fortress Of Solitude, the angular Sony Booth seems dedicated to elaborate sensory overload.  Not content to have gamers stare from outside, Sony has concocted Eye Toy.  Eye Toy uses cameras to beam players onscreen and into a fully interactive experience.  Music blares, colorful characters flicker and players are encouraged to wave their arms and get their boogies on. 

The upcoming Sony Playstation PBN, meanwhile, permits consumers to watch full screen videos, stream and download music and email photos.

 

zombie... scary
Paula Abdul
play... playstation
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