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Halo 3Coming soon, you’ll be able to see a documentary of the making of the Halo 3 trailer on Bungie.net. From the company’s weblog:

“Some of our sharp-eyed fans may have noticed Marty hinted at an upcoming documentary on Bungie.net. It was supposed to be a surprise, but since the man himself gave it away, we can in fact reveal that we have a documentary short that shows the process and people involved in making the E3 trailer, complete with some never before seen scenes (think angles, really) from the trailer. This was the goodie I had hinted at in a previous update.”

No specifics were given yet as to when we can expect to see this documentary appear, but it should be interesting to see the blood, sweat and tears that went into getting the trailer ready for E3.

Read More | 1Up
Read More | Bungie

Gallery: Halo 3 Documentary Coming Soon to Bungie.net


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Looks like someone was kind enough to record a video of the Half-Life 2: Episode 2 trailer from the Episode 1 release and post it to YouTube. It looks like Episode 1 will end with another cliff-hanger, with Alyx in peril early on. This only continues as the viewer sees her unconscious (or possibly dead?) body being carried by a vortigaunt. The trailer also shows some lush forest environments, and gamers get some voice over from what sounds like Doctor Eli Vance talking about taking the fight to the aliens, to finally take back the planet. Of course, since we know there’s going to be an Episode 3 at some point, things aren’t going to go particularly smoothly for Gordon Freeman in this episode.

Gallery: Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Trailer


Heavy Rain

Quantic Dream, the French developer’s of last year’s highly acclaimed adventure game, Indigo Prophecy, has placed their rolling audition technical demo online. The video is in HD, and the video capture is based on the real-time demo shown on the Playstation 3 at E3. Quantic Dream boasts the use of Ageia effects and the environment shown is fairly impressive.

The demo purports to show the audition tape of one of the actors for their upcoming game, Heavy Rain and starts in a sparse environment, where one of the casting directors is apparently recording the session. After a while, though, the scene cuts into the same actress, in a kitchen, acting out a scene. The scene is eerie, both in the look of the environment, which is well rendered, and in the emotions portrayed, which can be startlingly realistic. There are times when the rendering strays a little bit too close to the uncanny valley, but there are other times when the viewer almost forgets that this is an animation. For a few moments, everything comes together: the motion capture, facial expressions, and the voice acting all work together towards an emotional impact. At the beginning of the demo, however, things seem a little plastic, and rigid.

Given Quantic Dream’s previous efforts have been heaving on character development and story, the combination of their narratives with the technical achievements seen in the video should make for another strong entry into the adventure game genre.


Read More | Quantic Dream

Gallery: Heavy Rain Casting Demo Online


Draenei

The new Alliance race in World of Warcraft will be the Draenei, according to reports in the New York Times. While the Blood Elf race joining the Horde was announced quite a while ago, there has been a lot of secrecy around the new Alliance races. The Times also features a Q&A with lead designer for Burning Crusade, Jeff Kaplan. At this time, the Draenei players will be able to choose to be either the warrior, priest, paladin, mage or hunter classes, and there will be new entry points for the new races as well. In the interview with Kaplan, things like changes to flight paths and item distribution and content development are discussed, and screenshots and trailers are available for download. The Burning Crusade is targeted to be available in late 2006.

Read More | New York Times

Gallery: Draenei Join Blood Elves in Burning Crusade


SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 2

Sony Computer Entertainment of America has been posting some of the E3 2006 trailers online for some of their upcoming PSP titles, including:

ATV Offroad Fury Pro: The followup to the previous ATV game, will now feature cross-compatibility with ATV Offroad 4 for the PS2, and Infrastructure Wi-Fi connectivity.

Gangs of London: Gangs has a weird look, a kind of a mix of pseudo-realism and cell-shading for the character models and environments.

LocoRoco: A very colorful 2-D platform game; the graphics are super stylized, but very engaging. A demo is available online for PSP users with firmware 2.7.

NBA 07: The series has kind of been floundering on the PSP, and the 2007 release hopes to turn that around. In lieu of an actual franchise mode, they’ve added a “conquest” mode, and some slight graphical improvements.

SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2: The updated version of last year’s highly rated tactical online FPS. The update will link to the upcoming SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault on the PS2 and offers new game modes, including Tug of War and Capture the Flag.

World Tour Soccer ‘06: The 2006 version of last year’s game, re-designed for the PSP. The new version supports four player multiplayer, twice the amount of last year’s version, but still no infrastructure mode.


Read More | Playstation.com E3

Gallery: Sony Computer Entertainment PSP Trailer Roundup


Smash Bros. SnakeSince Nintendo’s surprise announcement of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Smash Bros. Dojo has opened. The Dojo currently features excerpts from Weekly Famitsu, where the creator of the game, Masahiro Sakurai, on how the Wii version of the game came to be. There is also a music section, featuring a track from the soundtrack created by famed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. Finally, the sneak trailer shown at E3 is also online, and it is here that viewers can see the upgraded character models and environments, plus a peek at some of the new characters in the game, including MetaKnight from the Kirby series, Wario, Zero Suit Samus, Pit from Kid Icarus, and possibly the most unexpected character, Snake, from the Metal Gear Series. The site promises more information in the future, including more in depth character information.

Read More | Smash Bros. Dojo.

Gallery: Smash Bros. Dojo Opens


Resistance


The official game sites for Heavenly Sword, Genji 2,  and Resistance: The Fall of Man have been launched on Playstation.com, in conjunction with their related announcements at E3. The sites feature screenshots and wallpapers, and in the case of Resistance, a preview trailer.

Heavenly Sword will feature motion capture from Andy Serkis, of Lord of the Rings fame, and the screenshots certainly capture a very lush environment. The character models, and storyline recall a certain similarity to the recent Prince of Persia games.

Genji 2 appears to offer more detail, in both surroundings and character models, and seems to bring more enemies onscreen than its Playstation 2 parent.

The best of the three, perhaps, is the site for Resistance: The Fall of Man. Insomniac, probably best known for both the Spyro and Ratchet and Clank games, returns to its roots, somewhat, with the development of a first-person shooter. The last game seen from Insomniac in this vein would have been Disruptor on the Playstation. The official site offers a trailer in both 720P and 480P formats; the trailer shows action that appears to be similar to Half Life, with alien weirdness mixed with military style action.

Read More | Heavenly Sword @ Playstation.com
Read More | Genji 2 @ Playstation.com
Read More | Resistance: Fall of Man @ Playstation.com

Gallery: Heavenly Sword, Genji 2, Resistance Sites Launched


Mario Galaxy
Post E3 Nintendo Press Conference, the Nintendo Wii website has been updated with new content. Gamers can find gameplay trailers, demonstrating how the controller will interact with the various announced games, including Zelda: Twilight Princess,Super Mario Galaxy,Metroid Prime 3. In addition, some gameplay clips are shown from a variety of other games, including:

  • Dragon Quest Swords
  • Fire Emblem
  • Tony Hawk Downhill
  • Sengoku Action
  • Excite Truck
  • Red Steel
  • Rayman 4
  • Sonic Wild Fire
  • Final Fantasy Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
  • Madden
  • Project H.A.M.M.E.R.

...and many others. Some of the controller actions in the new Wario Ware game look totally insane, and it will be interesting to see how much 3rd party acceptance the new controller gets. At the very least, however, it looks like gamers can expect some excellent first party titles from Nintendo. There are hardware details as well, including information on wireless networking, and support for old Gamecube controllers. And at least so far, there aren’t two SKUs for the Wii, meaning that no one will have to choose between a core and extended Wii configuration.

Read More | Wii.Nintendo.com

Gallery: Official Wii Site Updated


Master ChiefMicrosoft has posted the official Halo 3 teaser trailer online, available both on Xbox.com and via the Xbox Live Marketplace. The trailer doesn’t show any real gameplay shots, but more or less sets the stage for the sequel. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of plot to go on in the trailer either, other then the fact that a lot of crazy stuff is going to go down, so those people looking for at least a little closure after the very unresolved ending of Halo 2 are still going to have to wait until 2007 to find out what really happens. Perhaps Bungie will actually have a real ending this time, and answer more questions than they raise.


Read More | Xbox.com

Gallery: Halo 3 Trailer Online


New Super Mario Bros.
Craig over at IGN got a hold of the review copy of New Super Mario Bros. to be released on May 15th in the US, and managed to get some early movies and screenshots posted on his blog. The movies kind of complement those that are slowly being doled out on Nintendo’s site, and show a little more of some of the different environments. The movies and screens look great, and really capture the feel of the old platformer series, while updating the characters and some of the environment to polygons instead of sprites. Purists may shudder at the use of 3D graphics in a platform game, but it really gives the game a modern feel, while still instilling that feeling of nostalgia when gamers first played Super Mario Bros. for the first time.


Read More | IGN.com

Gallery: New Super Mario Preview


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