!?! E=E3 Squared Times Pi, Plus The Square Root Of Metroid... Ah, Forget It!?!

Has anyone ever heard of E3?? What a great idea. Why have they not done this before??

Ok, I was being sarcastic there. Most of you, if you have been paying attention of course, know that E3 is the "Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3 for short)". It is held currently at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California and it is the place to go if you want to find out what the next cool thing is in the video game world. You have all the heavy hitters in the video game community including the Big Three (Nintendo, Sony, and the all powerful Microsoft). If you didn't know, now, you know (and knowing is half the battle).

Anywho, I am not the video game guy. No sir, I am not. Don't get me wrong, I love video games. I just no longer have time to devote to endless hours of sitting on a couch, drinking Mtn. Dew, and screaming at the top of my lungs at an inanimate piece of hardware. Games, that are rated mature, and small children do not go well together. So, my playing of video games has dwindled to very little. If you want the real scoop on the state of video games, you would be better served by talking to Josh (All things Microsoft and Playstation) and Nic (all things Nintendo). But, like any self respecting Internet commentator, I still have an opinion on the trends in the industry (I like da way dat Plummer steps on them there tortoises, Uh-Huh). So I will attempt to put my cent and a half (I'm a little short on cash) into the pot and see if I can provide my prospective on the video game landscape and give you a little news along the way.

First up is a topic that is near and dear to me personally. Video Games that have a storyline. I could care less if I get to play with some loud mouthed stranger (under the age of 15) on some online server somewhere. I got very little use for online death match play. Playing with people I know is great and I If I had my way we would all be in the same room when that happens. That is probably not realistic, but I like to know and see the people I kill with my BFG. So, from my perspective, I am more interested in the experience and story than I am multiplayer. I have always thought that one day video games could become something akin to an interactive movie experience. They could immerse you fully into the fantasy of the silver screen and add a whole new dimension to our entertainment business (no matter what Roger Ebert says, hack). So it is with no small amount of interest that I saw two video game debut Footage at E3 that blew me away.

The first comes from the studio that gave us the Resistance and Uncharted franchises, Naughty Dog. Their new property called "The Last of Us" may bring an entirely new aspect to the gaming landscape. Naughty Dog has always valued story above all else and they look to be pushing the envelope to it's limit. This report at IGN contains the first gameplay footage that we have seen from the title. To say I'm floored, is an understatement. This looks like a movie and the fight/shoot out moment is jaw dropping in not only its brutality but also it's execution. The ability to be this fluid in a video game is amazing. Yes, you could just run and gun your way through, but it appears that would be an unwise decision. From what I gathered from the footage is that you have a limited amount of supplies, including weapons and ammunition to use. This makes finding different ways to dispatch your enemies that much more important (plus it looks really cool when you see it on screen). This is pushing the visual and narrative boundaries to the breaking point. This thing looks great and I can't wait to play it (really late at night when my children are in bed).

Second, is a new title from the makers of Heavy Rain, a story based game from the studio Quantic Dream. They call it "Beyond - Two Souls". Not only do you have a very cinematic looking game, it also stars a film actress (the very cute, Ellen Paige) as the title's main character. Again, my words fall short of the actual viewing of the trailer so head over here and check it out for yourself. Computer graphics are never going to completely replace human actors, but this makes a case for the continued use of them as a storytelling medium. Neither one of these games are new innovations, we have already seen this type of game before in titles such as Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, the Shenmue series, and Resident Evil, but they are a giant step forward in the way games tell stories.

While your at it check out the new trailer for Halo 4. It looks like the quality of the game has not tanked since Bungie handed over the series to Microsoft and 343 Industries. I am happily optimistic that we will have another great game on our hands.

Well, thats what I got for now. I'll try to be back with more updates from E3 and beyond as the need arises. If you want to check out all the E3 news and videos, head over to IGN at the link below (shameless plug for a great site) and then come back here for more of our meaningless ramblings (come on, you know you love us). Stay Frosty or Toasty for you Mortal Kombat freaks.

Todd "all your base are belong to us" B.