E3 2008: The Take Two & Konami Press Conference

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I’d first like to point out that the two conferences planned for yesterday did not deserve an individual post each, as there really isn’t much to report. Take Two in their presentation showed off NHL 2K9 on the Wii but hinted at a demo being available for other platforms very shortly. Of course that wasn't everything, they  did show a few short trailers of Champions Online and a small demo of Borderlands, but really, it was nothing to write home about and that was pretty much the Take Two conference.

Then there was the Konami conference and I have an inkling that in some respects, this did more bad than good for the publisher. The only really shining light for Konami in the press conference was when the publisher showcased its new Silent Hill title, Homecoming. The first trailer was a little weak but when the demo started, the game started to come in to its own. The game looks as sick and disturbing as ever which makes you wonder what sort of warped, creative minds create this stuff. The first thing that strikes you is the contrast between light and dark. Yes, Silent Hill has always been a dark series, but this one looks especially dark and eerie.

The biggest change in the new Silent Hill title is that it will move from the normal fixed camera position to a free look system. The control system works on an eight way strafe system and Alex, the main character, will have access to a quick inventory as the inventory is one of the most important things in Silent Hill. The game will not feature a first person firing mode and instead will move over the shoulder for you to fire. The only time that the game moves in to first person mode is when you look at objects on a table and such. The game will feature a head tracking system for these moments so you will know where objects are that you can interact with.

A new addition to the Silent Hill game is that the transition from the normal world to the hellish world which will  now happen, live in game, so no more cutscenes for that. The voice acting in Silent Hill is an improvement over previous instalments but the character visuals aren’t really that impressive.

Homecoming will feature a dialogue tree system which adds to the realism of the game and gives the player more interaction and choice. Throughout the game, there are some dialogue moments that will have a direct impact on the storyline because the developer believed that replayability is a key to the success of the series. They wanted to encourage people to play through it numerous times because there were rewards tied to it (achievements maybe?). The switching from dialogue tree to cut scene is seamless and is impressively done. All in all, the series seems to be making some head way and when its released, we’ll surely see some more improvements.

The Konami press conference ended with their Rock Revolution presentation and it was everything but a success. The Sheenas (or The Hyenas as we liked to call them) are supposedly a Ramones tribute band but we watched them come to the stage and butcher the classic Blitzkrieg Bop. After 3 painful minutes it ended and while many of us breathed a sigh of relief, we weren’t quite prepared for what was to come. The Konami PR team then came to stage to perform the same song but on the game and were pretty terrible. It was hardly the promotion a game of this genre needs, after 3 more minutes of our ears bleeding, we were thankful that Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour were in production. While we really couldn’t focus on the game as such because of the racquet that was going on, we feel that next time Konami ought to rethink their promotional activities.

The two press conferences were short and pretty much uneventful. It was nice however to see the direction that Konami and co were taking with the new Silent Hill  series but on a personal level... Where the hell was PES and Bioshock 2? Hey, we’ll sleep at night despite their inclusion.


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