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E3 Day 1: Playable PS3 Games

We hit up the playable PlayStation 3 games at Sony’s E3 booth today, so here are our impressions. But first, we’ll say this: we haven’t played the Wii yet, since the wait for Nintendo’s curtained-off showing was about two-and-a-half hours long. But that’s the only thing on our agenda tomorrow, and we have a feeling that Nintendo’s innovative new system is really going to rock the PS3 and 360’s collective world.

That said, here’s the good and bad about most of the eight playable PS3 games on display.

Warhawk (development 30% done)

This is really the only game that matters, since it’s the only one that uses the new tilt-sensitive PlayStation 3 controller. The games we saw today suggest, by the way, that the new controller technology was really a last-second job by Sony — none of the other games support it, and even Warhawk’s support was part of a very limited demo that involved flying around a mountainous island and shooting up some aircraft-carrier type stuff.

The game is pretty cool, though, and the controller is very sensitive to the tilt factor. It’s definitely a lot cooler to play this way than with a regular joystick — but at the same time, it’s not revolutionary either (no pun intended). Warhawk will eventually include ground-level man-to-man combat as well as the flight combat that we got to try, which should be a pretty cool dichotomy that you don’t see a lot in other games.

We tried to nosedive our plane into the ocean a few times, but apparently you can’t damage your plane in this demo, and you bounce off the water like it’s a soft landing pad. Call us when we can blow some more shit up.

Resistance: Fall of Man (70% done)

This one is by far our favorite — it’s an FPS set in some sort of alternate reality where World War II is replaced by an alien invasion and you have to save England, the last surviving human state. One of the friendly developers walked us through a few minutes of riddling monsters with bullets, and it was fabulous. We asked him to speculate a little about what the tilt controller might do in an FPS — “think about what you’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “Like when you’re behind a box, or looking around a corner.” We get the idea, and we appreciate the thought even though no one is allowed to “officially” talk about the new technology. After all, Sony just made this shit up like last week.

Gundam: Something Suit (20% done)

We’re not even going to bother looking up the real subtitle for this game, because it wasn’t even worth putting up for a demo. You are a robot, and you get to shoot very small white bullets at other robots in a desert setting. Let’s move on.

Sonic the Hedgehog (40% done)

Sonic is back, and that’s awesome. The game itself is pretty cool, done in a 3D platformer style. It’s looking a little anti-aliased (or aliased? Whichever one is bad). And the controls are very touchy, but we like where they’re going and it’s damn near impossible for us not to love anything including a spinning and spiky blue ball of fur.

Formula 1 ‘06 (60% done)

This game is cool enough, but it might as well be a port of any other F1 racer right now. Graphics are pretty crisp, but nothing blows us away. And the many camera angles all kind of bother us, because it feels like we’re creeping along at 20 mph when we’re supposedly doing 170. Oh well, at least we’ve got Gran Turismo HD.

Virtua Tennis (20% done)

This is obviously a tennis game, so there’s nothing incredibly exciting. Then again, if this were the Wii tennis game, we’d probably need a change of underwear. For now, the biggest thing we can say is that character faces and bodies are very nicely detailed, and actually look human, as opposed to the generally creepy-polygon faces we see in current-gen games. So, it looks good, and we love tennis. There ya go.

Not played today - Gran Turismo HD, Heavenly Sword, Genji 2 and the Nintendo Wii. Look forward to a detailed analysis of the next generation tomorrow — it’s really going to come down to an expensive and overrated PS3 against an affordable and innovative Wii. Depending on how much we love Nintendo’s system tomorrow, things might be looking really bad for Sony.

Until then, have a great day, and stay tuned for more E3 action tomorrow.

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