rAge 2007 round-up

Master Chief visits rAge 2007 After three very busy days rAge 2007 is now over, if you missed it, then you missed out. Once again the Xbox 360 console dominated the consoles at the exhibition with almost every stand featuring at least one.

It was quite a shock to not see an official presence for Sony’s PlayStation 3 console. Yes there were a few consoles tucked away on various stands of which the most interesting was the one on the Megarom stand with a preview build of Haze on it. I must say I wasn’t too impressed with it, sure the graphics looked wicked but the game-play was jerky and not what from a next generation console title.

The Nintendo Wii console seemed attract a bit of attention as was to be expected. I can’t help wondering how long it will be until the novelty will wear off. At times during the show I found myself laughing at how funny kids and adults looked waving that Wiimote around. I even gave it a try with Pirates of the Caribbean and got quite annoyed with the seemingly delayed response to my actions; it was more irritating than cool. I suppose its great for bowling, boxing and other sports titles but it doesn’t really do it for me in general.

Halo 3 multi-player on the Xbox 360 stand On the Xbox 360 front, the highlight of the show was definitely Halo 3, which dominated the Microsoft stand with both co-op single-player watchtowers and an 8-player multi-player Slayer setup seeing a constant stream of players eager to discover the Halo franchise for the first time. Considering that Xbox LIVE is not officially available in South Africa, yet, it was an awesome demonstration of the Xbox 360 system link (LAN) functionality as I believe most people were not aware that Xbox 360 consoles could be networked together.

This year we got to see some very cool new games and pre-release games such as the highly anticipated sequel Project Gotham Racing 4 (PGR4), which garnered much interest from the crowds passing by. The game now features more cars, weather conditions and the addition of motorcycles. If you enjoyed PGR3 then you should definitely consider picking up a copy of PGR4 when it releases in October.

The MiDigital stand had numerous games on show including Virtua Fighter 5 and a preview of the awesome new game TimeShift.

Guitar Hero 2 on the NAG stand Megarom show-cased the Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer Beta running on Xbox LIVE as well as a preview copy of Assassin’s Creed which was demonstrated twice daily on the big screen for all to drool over. A preview of Guitar Hero 3 with a wireless Gibson electric guitar proved to be immensely popular but not as popular or loud as Guitar Hero 2 on the NAG stand.

Nu Metro had a preview of Kane and Lynch available to play. I must say that graphics didn’t seem that amazing however I won’t dismiss the possibility that the game might receive some spit and polish before being released and surprise us all.

MINI 37 - Arcade Racer On the PC front I was quite surprised to find local game developer, Luma, showcasing their new racing game, MINI 37 – Arcade Racer, developed for MINI South Africa. Tracks in the game are currently based on the South African A1 Grand Prix circuits and I understand that some episodic content is in the pipeline.

The game is currently nearing development completion and will be available as a 120mb free download from their web-site. If you prefer to conserve your bandwidth it will also be made available on the November 2007 NAG magazine cover disc.

Its really awesome to see a local game developer succeed and I can’t wait to see if Luma can take this PC based game to the next level as perhaps an XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) title in the near future.

Overall an awesome exhibition with plenty to see and do. I predict that the Xbox 360 console will do extremely well this festive season considering the awesome assortment of titles that will be on the market.

[tags]rAge,Xbox 360,PlayStation 3,Wii,Megarom,Nu Metro,Luma,Halo 3[/tags]

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