E3 recap with G4's Abbie Heppe

Little Big Planet

We didn't go to E3, so we talked to someone who actually did: G4 Games Editorial Manager Abbie Heppe.

What impressed you the most from the show? Were there any specific games that you were genuinely blown away by?
Despite being a scaled down E3, there were a tremendous amount of big games on the floor. Fallout 3, Infamous, Little Big Planet, Mercenaries 2, Project Origin and Dead Space are all amazing games. I have a game wish-list a mile long after the show and I know I'm going to forget to mention something. I'm really glad to see companies integrating so much co-op into games as well; I'm a very social gamer.

Did anything completely surprise you (other than Final Fantasy 13)?
I was moderately surprised that there weren't bigger announcements at the press conferences, but only moderately surprised. I didn't know what to expect from a handful of games and came away really surprised at how good they were: Bionic Commando Rearmed, Far Cry 2, Prince of Persia, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and Red Faction to name a few. I had no idea what to expect from Infamous either and it became of my favorite games at the show.  There were also some head turners in the indie games section like The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Time travel and pie...awesome! But one of the bigger surprises for me, and I can't believe I'm saying this because i'm not a sport game person, really, is Madden '09...for a game that comes out every year you don't expect much to be different and this one got my attention.

Is Nintendo batshit insane or brilliant? Or does it even matter?

Um...I feel like those things aren't mutually exclusive. I would err on the side of brilliant seeing as its 20 months later and the Wii is still killin' it. Even my mom, who has resisted the Wii so far is interested in WiiFit. That said, I'm fiending for some core Nintendo franchises to make a re-appearance on the console (and its rumoured Pikmin and Zelda are in the works), so I'm gonna keep playing Smash Brothers till the next big one hits.

Did Sony have the better show in your estimation or did Microsoft? Or - again - does it not matter?
While I thought Microsoft had a better press conference, the first party Sony games I got to try at the show were all solid reasons to own a PS3. Killzone 2, Little Big Planet, Heavy Rain and Infamous were among the most impressive titles I saw. I'm definitely stoked on the 360/NetFlix deal as well and of course will spend a disgusting amount of hours this fall playing Gears of War 2.
What of Rock Band 2?
Rock Band was swarmed with people trying to get their hands on the new content and try the new drumset, and it's really an improvement over the old one. The track list is killer, but then, Harmonix has an incredibly talanted team who are passionate about music and it shows in everything they do.

Some of us who didn't get to go thought the show was maybe much ado about little. Would you agree or disagree?
The press conferences definitely weren't the big deals we've seen in past years, but between the show floor and behind-closed-doors meeting rooms there was a ridiculous amount of games to play. E3 is really about the games, right? You can take away the glitz and glamour and booth babes but what remains is still the heart of E3 and that's games. If people need spetacle to get their attention then they're missing the point.

You can catch Abbie Heppe on G4's X-Play at 8 P.M. EST Monday through Friday

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