Special: Oooh! I want this one and this one and this one, and oh wait I mean this one and this one and tha?*head explodes*
As expected, Sony's PlayStation 2 had a lot of games to offer this year at E3 ? while not as good as the previous year's show, the 2002 E3 was still a haven for great software coming to the PS2. There was many sequels announced, as well as plenty of original games, along with the much-anticipated online titles coming left and right. Certainly Sony had a well-rounded lineup at this year's show, but my job is to pick the 4 games that got my attention the most ? so without any further babbling, let's take a look at some of the most anticipated games of the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Exposition.
Developer: Team Soho
Intended Release: November 11, 2002
Announced early in the PS2's life, The Getaway wowed with impressive screenshots that excited almost all PS2 owners ? then just as quickly faded away into obscurity. Rumors were out that Team Soho had gone over their budget, thus were broke and unable to continue development. However, this apparently is not true, as Getaway was on display in Sony's booth, looking just as great as it did when it was first unveiled. Clearly in the mode of a certain Grand Theft Auto 3, The Getaway, from the looks of things, is marked to surpass that game in almost every way. Instead of cartoony visuals from GTA, the game has a decidedly more real & gritty look, complete with authentic recreations of parts of the city of London, along with plenty of nice European cars like Mercedes & BMW. You'll be able to steal these cars from people, and go on a terror spree in the city in your quest for revenge.
It's not all about driving though ? The Getaway has a Max Payne-ish fighting system, clearing up the clumsy combat controls of GTA3. Stealth seems to be a great alternative, though the engine for fighting looks fun enough to want to screw being sneaky and just go in commando-style and wipe a place out.
Early returns say Getaway will be a big title this fall ? and from what I've seen of it, I can see exactly why. This should be yet another gem in SCEA's first-party library.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Developer: Rockstar Studios (formerly DMA Design)
Intended Release: October 22, 2002
Very little is known about GTA Vice City ? there wasn't any sort of video or screenshots of the game, just an announcement that GTA Vice was coming and that it would be, along with GTA3, exclusive to the PlayStation 2 console (excluding PC) for the next couple years. However, what is known is that the game will be a follow-up of sorts (and not an outright sequel) to GTA3, using the same graphical style, mission structure, and the feel that made the previous game such a smash hit.
The game takes place in a fictional Miami (Vice City, kind of like Liberty City was kinda like New York City, but not quite), in the 1980's. The theme of the game is power, greed, and corruption (not like the other GTA games have been about fluffy bunnies and helping little old ladies across the street or anything), and of course, you're part of it. The boxart has been revealed thus some of the characters have been conceptually shown, and they surely look quite interesting. More details will be coming soon since the release date is only 5 months away ? be sure to check GT for a full blown preview whenever more information becomes available.
WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth
Intended Release: Fall 2002
The Smackdown series is heading for its 4th game in 3 years with the release of WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (last one was Know Your Role, now Shut Your Mouth, like the Rock says. Next up will probably be Smackdown: Shine This DVD Up, Turn It Sideways, and Stick It Straight Up Your Candy Ass, given the progression). The game will get a massive overhaul however, instead of the mere visual coating SD3 was given last year.
The game will be the first PS2 wrestler to include old WCW and ECW stars like Booker T and Rob Van Dam, along with Hollywood Hogan and Kevin Nash (no Scott Hall since he isn't part of WWE anymore), and it will be the first to carry the horrific and ridiculous WWE name. Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth should feature all the modes that the previous incarnation has, along with hopefully a much more refined career mode.
Also, the game will include both Smackdown and Raw rosters, so you should (not sure though) be able to flip brand names or have all out wars against the other brand name with the roster split in place.
Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth will be available in the fall of this year, so PS2 owners and wrestling fans don't have too long of a wait before they're laying the smack down on their opponents.
Devil May Cry 2
Intended Release: Fall/Winter 2002/03
Last year's Devil May Cry was a resounding success, and the PS2 action game of the year. The super-cool Dante and his kick ass powers were a smash hit, and the ending left many eagerly anticipating a sequel to the awesome game. Capcom has now delivered, revealing Devil May Cry 2, the latest in Capcom's new flagship series.
Dante returns ? however this time he's in a much different environment. Instead of being stuck inside a big castle (a la Castlevania), he's free to roam the streets, killing (stylishly, I might add) the various demons that get in his way. Along with that, Dante has a new sidekick, a red-hot female out to kick equal amounts of ass. Dante keeps the powers he had in the original DMC ? yet gains many more new ones in DMC 2.
Little is known on the story, but it certainly will follow a similar path of the first DMC game. Along with Onimusha 2, Capcom has the horror/action horror genre down pat on PS2, and DMC 2 will surely be the best of the bunch.
These aren't the only PS2 games I'm looking forward to ? these are just 4 of the ones I covet most. PlayStation 2 owners have little to worry about in terms of games; there's plenty of hot titles in all genres set for release this holiday season, so like last year ? prepare for your wallet to get a little thinner, and your game collection to get a lot fatter.