E3 2005 has come and gone. This year the focus of the show was on the upcoming Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3. Companies handed out less promotional items, showed their coolest games behind closed doors, and settled for having practically every game on the show floor be announced prior to E3. While the new hardware was exciting, because of the lack of new and innovative products, it was very difficult for me to pick out five things from E3 that impressed. However, after much thought I can present you with this list:
1. PlayStation 3
By far the biggest surprise at E3 was PlayStation 3. Nobody at E3 had any idea Sony was going to not only show this off at E3--but feature it at their 2005 E3 Press Conference. The graphics and gameplay that this machine will offer players is absolutely amazing. No other console on the planet comes close to delivering the player this type of innovative and realistic gameplay. This system looks so good that it makes even the mighty Xbox 360 look like child's play.
My top item of the show is very easy to pick. However. The rest of my list is in no particular order
X-Men Legends 2, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Shown only behind closed doors, the sequel to the best-selling X-Men Legends has received a massive improvement to the gameplay. Visually the game is much more polished and the characters stand out better. On top of that, Raven has found a way to improve the camera issues that plagued the first title. Finally, with the addition of co-op play online, this should make fans of the franchise happy for months and months once it releases later this year.
Wanda and the Colossus, PlayStation 2
As we move closer to the winter 2005 release date, Wanda and the Colossus amazes me more and more each time I see it. As one of the titles I personally covered in our Pre-E3 coverage, I knew this was a game that was going to wow and amaze show-goers. However, I never expected Wanda to impress me so much that it made this list. It just goes to show you how powerful this title is. Although no new details or elements were revealed during E3, it is such a magical experience that it just could not be held off this list.
Kingdom Hearts 2, PlayStation 2
The first Kingdom Hearts was a great game. However, it was never a title that I would consider "best of show." The sequel is shaping up to be a much darker and deeper title that will once again bring players on a magical adventure with Disney characters. However, this time we aren't limited to just cartoon characters. Instead, players will actually get to participate in the world of Pirates of the Caribbean and Johnny Depp himself! With all of this and improved gameplay, it is easy to see why this is one of the most anticipated games of 2005.
Unreal Tournament 2007, PC
Shown only behind closed doors to a select few members of the media, Epic is readying their next installment of the Unreal franchise to completely overshadow the already great Unreal Tournament 2004. Visually Unreal Tournament 2007 will have no equal. Combine that with all the great gameplay features Epic is adding and you have yourself one of the best fast-paced FPS titles ever made.
Quickly, here are my honorable mentions for E3 2005:
The Legend of Zelda: Twighlight Princess, GameCube
Zelda is good but I expected a bit more out of the gameplay. Perhaps the crowds of people and the long line outside caused me to feel rushed while playing this game. I lean towards the fact that while this is a Zelda game, the gameplay still plays like Zelda 64. Nintendo, please innovate the gameplay!!!
Morrowind IV: Shadow of Oblivion, Xbox 360, PC
The latest installment of the Morrowind franchise appears to resolve many issues I have had with the gameplay. For a series that has been the ulimate in providing players a free-roaming FPS RPG, the latest installment looks to give the less hardcore Morrowind fans the chance to play the game by giving more direction to players, helping them know where to go next, and giving us the ability to warp instantly to known locations. Plus the fact that it looks incredibly stunning won't hurt matters either.
Dragon Quest VIII, PlayStation 2
The sequel to one of the longest running franchises in the history of gaming has an amazing update this year. Not only will this title feature hours and hours of gameplay, it appears to have that magical touch Square-Enix has been missing in their titles recently.
Trauma Center: Under the Knife, Nintendo DS
With the power of the Nintendo DS touch screen, you can play doctor. Don't let this title get lost in the sea of Nintendo DS titles that will be flooding the market later this year.
Call of Duty 2, PC
Amazing graphics and smart gameplay should make Call of Duty 2 one of the finest war FPS titles ever released.