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E3 2005 from the armchair -- Day 1
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posted by: Tristan Mayshark
date posted: 12:00 AM Wed May 18th, 2005
last revision: 12:00 AM Wed May 18th, 2005

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Shawn, Sarah and Monica are on the floor right now at E3, which you should know from their interesting and eclectic weblog.  Honestly, out of all the things that piqued Shawn's interest, the Turtle Beach Surround Sound headphones grabbed my attention the most.  I prefer headphones for gaming for the sake of immersion, with privacy as a nice side effect.  This mostly excludes me from the 5.1 camp, as previous efforts I've seen have underwhelmed me, but I have some faith in Turtle Beach.

I'd envy Shawn and Sarah, except that E3 is in LA, and that's just not on the agenda for me.  I broke down and bought a Gamespot Live account, and spent a good part of an otherwise beautiful Wednesday afternoon gleefully consuming game trailers and streaming footage from the convention floor.

Gamespot's live coverage is pretty good, in terms of breadth, but as with most show-and-tell  situations with  game industry types, the depth was lacking in some places.  Peter Molyneux can gesture very, very enthusiastically as he discusses the micromanagement of actor's lives in The Movies, the impression I get from the footage and the gameplay footage is still firmly that Lionhead is trying to cash in on the Sims' cash cow.  To their credit, they're offering something that's ultimately quite unique as you direct your own movies, but personally, I'm not really looking forward to making all the actors stay fit and happy.  If nothing else, this title looks a lot more marketable than Black & White did from far away, so this may sell like snow shovels in Buffalo, NY.  The machinma crowd may soon stop relying on people with extensive programming skills, if Lionhead isn't bluffing.

Call of Cthulhu is, from a distance, in better shape than a lot of games are after being without a definite publisher for extended portions of development.  For anyone who's intimately familiar with the H.P. Lovecraft fiction upon which this game is based, any visualization is bound to be a letdown to some extent, just because 'unimaginable horror' is a lot easier to imagine when it's being flashed at your face 60 to 85 times a second in high resolution.  That being said, the snippet of gameplay footage available looks like it has the potential to be pretty frightening.

Speaking of frightening, Quake IV looks like it might have some chills and scares as well as dishing up what appears to be the prettiest first person shooter anyone has ever made.  I can hardly say that this game isn't receiving adequate attention, but it seems like that attention may be well warranted, so I'm pretty excited.