E3 2008: Take-Two Interactive Press Conference
E3 2008: Take-Two Interactive
By Louis Bedigian
Take-Two touts its upcoming lineup at this year's E3.
Every developer has a leading title that takes precedent over everything else. For Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, that game was Grand Theft Auto IV. It flew off the shelves, will receive exclusive Xbox Live downloadable content this fall, and will appear on the Nintendo DS for the first time next year.
But what about the rest of Take-Two's lineup? We got a glimpse of the goods at their press conference at E3 2008.
NHL 2K9, the only hockey game coming to Wii this year, could be the sport's revitalization gamers have been waiting for. 2K Sports noted their displeasure with the average hockey game -- how the genre has become something where you practically have to be a pro gamer or get a degree in engineering to play (their words, not mine). Their goal for NHL 2K9 is to do away with the frustration while reinvigorating hockey with the pick-up-and-play excitement that used to be the genre's driving force.
From a visual perspective, 2K Sports hopes to bring back the fun by adding subtle elements that hockey fans can appreciate. For example, during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the players will grow beards. Upon winning the Stanley Cup, the game offers an interactive cup celebration.
Finally there's the Wii version, which, Jeff Thomas, VP of Sports Developer at Visual Concepts, described as the first time that the Wii remote becomes a hockey stick.
Not much was revealed on NBA 2K9, but 2K Sports did remind us that it's the bestselling basketball game on the current generation machines. They also promised that this year's edition was developed to take full advantage of the game console hardware -- something they are now able to accomplish thanks to several years of PS3 and Xbox 360 development experience. Lastly, 2K Sports began to hype the game by saying that if we think we've seen innovative online features, we haven't seen nothing yet.
Later this year, 2K Play will release the update to their Carnival Games title -- Carnival Games Mini-Golf. This theme park-style game was inspired by the world of miniature golf. The courses look fun, lighthearted, and are based on many different things. During the brief trailer, 2K Play showed a course where you'll have to slide the ball down a chicken coop and land in the hole.
2K Play continued its presentation with the unveiling of Dora Saves the Snow Princess for Wii and DS, a side-scrolling, pseudo-3D adventure game, which is due this fall. The game appears to be similar to the Nickelodeon titles of 2007, such as the various SpongeBob games, and should appeal to its younger demographic.
Champions Online, the long-awaited MMO debut from 2K, will arrive in the spring of 2009. That's old news, and unfortunately, the developers weren't ready to say much more. 2K showed a cool trailer that demonstrated the game's amazing cel-shaded effects, enhancing both characters and backgrounds with rarely seen beauty.
2K was, however, willing to talk about the PS3 version of BioShock, which will include new downloadable content. One of the game's new features is a Challenge Room mode that focuses on the puzzle/hardcore battle element of the game. The graphics are identical to the Xbox 360 edition, giving PS3 owners that haven't played BioShock a reason to rejoice.
In the area of multiplayer first-person shooting, Borderlands appears to be the first game that may actually dethrone Halo. The gameplay is fast, looked seamless on screen, offers a zillion weapons (2K threw out a figure -- 500,000 -- but most gamers won't believe it till they see it), and just appeared to be a really good time.
The conference closed with a trailer for Midnight Club: Los Angeles. No gameplay details were mentioned, but based on the footage that was shown, it appears that the game's visuals are going to be on par with Grand Theft Auto IV.