By Adam Brown
We next moved to a game that has had an extremely long and difficult history. After two system changes, ten years in development, and engine lawsuit troubles, Too Human was playable on the show floor. The game seems like it has an identity crisis, playing like an odd mix of Devil May Cry and Mass Effect. The only problem with this is all the action that takes place is very sluggish, and the right stick melee attacks are cumbersome to control.
Too Human seemed to play better as you leveled up your abilities, so there is still hope that there could be some fun combat down the road. Unfortunately, I think the awkward camera, sluggish gameplay, and odd controls may turn off many gamers who would otherwise be interested in this title.
As is often the case, potentially the best two games were saved for last. Although it was disappointing that neither game was playable, the presentations alone were enough to cause standing ovations. First was the presentation for the highly anticipated Fable 2. A few things, like the original death mechanics, in the game have changed, but the game still seems impressive both visually and in scope. Fable 2 will be much larger than the original, with a storyline that should be as epic as it is emotional. The game also looks to be accessible to all kinds of gamers with an easy to pick up yet deceptively deep combat system. Unfortunately, we'll have to continue to wait to get our hands on this surefire hit title.
Last was the game that everyone expected and everyone wanted to see: Gears of War 2. With all Epic's claims about how this game would be "bigger, better, and more badass" than the original, the presentation couldn't be anything less than stellar. Fortunately it was amazing. Cliffy B. played through an entire level of the upcoming game while we all sat in awe of what we were seeing. The level was full of hordes of locusts, giant war machines, incoming mortars, and of course chainsaws. At least twice during the level Marcus Fenix engaged in a chainsaw duel, having Cliffy mashing the B button repeatedly to finally vanquish his foe. From everything shown in the presentation, this will likely be Microsoft's flagship title this holiday season.
Overall, this was a great event that shows a ton of promise for the Xbox 360 during the remainder of 2008. Although there were no first-person shooters to be found, there were still a plethora of great titles to get excited about. The clear move to have more casual offerings available was expected because of what the Wii has accomplished. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts looked interesting, but it will most likely be the terrible twos (Ninja Gaiden 2, Fable 2, and Gears of War 2) that will have many Xbox 360 owners squealing with glee come holiday 08. Still, no matter what kind of gamer you are, the Xbox 360's fall lineup should have something that will bring a smile to your face.