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Which game will you play the most this month?

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare
Halo The Master Chief Collection
Super Smash Bros for Wii U
LittleBigPlanet 3
Assassins Creed Unity


Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Microsoft
DEVELOPER:
Lionhead Studios
GENRE: RPG
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
September 14, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Mature
IN THE SERIES
Fable III

Fable III

Fable II

Fable

Fable: The Lost Chapters

More in this Series
RELATED GAMES
Fable
MechAssault
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
 Written by Nick Doukas  on May 31, 2002

Special: Xbox Live and a bunch of great software too?


E3. The Electronic Entertainment Expo? every year the best and the brightest in the gaming industry get together in LA and throw a party for gamers everywhere. Ok, so that's not entirely accurate. Either way though, E3 is a time when players everywhere can finally see what they've been hearing about for so long (if you're a gaming journalist, industry insider or just lucky enough to score a pass). Of course, the writers here at Xbox Target have been very excited about the great stuff that Microsoft has been waiting to unveil for the Box, and I'm pleased to report that the wait's been worth it!!! There is some serious software on the way for the gaming year 2002 (particularly for the holiday season, I sense Santa's Elves will be working overtime this year pressing discs?.), and it's just too much to cover here by my lonesome. Fortunately, over the past couple days my esteemed colleagues have been filling you in on their favorite titles from the show. As for myself, I'll point to three games near to my heart and give you my impressions. Oh yeah, then there's that whole Xbox Live thing?

Now, where was I? (Sorry, Booth Babe distractions everywhere) Oh yeah? Xbox Live. At E3 Microsoft revealed their ambitious online plans for Xbox, and console gamers everywhere will be dragged kicking and screaming into the vast and hostile world that is online gaming!! The Xbox Live starter kit will be sold at retail and will include the Xbox Voice Communicator (which players will use for real time voice chat) and installation software. Microsoft plans to have servers up and running approximately 12 weeks prior to Christmas. At the same time, they also plan to release an online compatible game every week until December 25th. At this time, the pricing structure includes yearly ($50.00) and monthly ($10.00) fees. Of course, the Xbox is Broadband ready, so you'll need a cable hookup (sorry folks, no modem support, but looking on the bright side, most lag will be eliminated). Which brings me to the games?

Believe me, so much great software was presented at this years show (across all platforms) that 2002 could rival 2001 as the ultimate year in gaming (and with 2001 having seen the release of milestones like Halo, Grand Theft Auto 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2, I think that sentiment speaks volumes!!). Xbox has had a particularly strong showing, and picking just three to cover is extremely difficult, but I'll do my best. Since we're all so psyched about Xbox Live (you are psyched aren't you?!!) I'd like to give a nod to Microsoft's MechAssault. I've got to admit I'm a sucker for giant robot combat, and this title looks likely to be eating up huge chunks of my time when it's released this fall. Set in the Battle Tech universe, players will fire up their Mad Cat mechs (as well as other models) to duke it out with other warring factions through fully destructible cities. Movement is mapped to the left analog stick, with the right controlling aim. Right trigger fires your mech's weapons (which are customized by the player upon boot up) and the B button cycles through them. The environments through which your machine fights are breathtaking in size and scope. Firing at a building produces a huge explosion of shattered glass and smoke, and you can use the surrounding landscape to attack enemies, dropping huge pieces of real estate onto opposing forces. Of course, MechAssault will have an online component and will be one of the first titles available when Xbox Live goes into effect this fall. Imagine taking a squad of mechs into battle with all of your buds as teammates. You'll be able to give and receive commands thanks to the Xbox Communicator, as well as plan strategies in real time. Keep an eye out for MechAssault; it looks like a real winner.

Next up is Project Ego (now listed as Fable, it looks like Project Ego was just a working title). I did a preview of this groundbreaking RPG a few weeks ago, and E3 has brought new scrutiny to this highly anticipated title. As the game begins, you assume control of the 15-year-old protagonist. As the game progresses, your character will age appropriately. However, once he reaches the age of 45 or so, the aging mechanism slows considerably, insuring that you won't reach the end of the game in a wheelchair!! Your appearance will also be based on your alignment with good or evil. Nefarious characters will look sinister, while those who stay on the light side will retain fair features. As the hero, you'll meet groupies and townspeople who will adopt your hairstyle or fashion sense. The world of Project Ego (uh, I mean? Fable) is huge, with many different areas open to explore. The game will feature all manner of set pieces and enemies to interact with, and townspeople will come watch you fight monsters if the battle takes place close to a village. Sources reveal that the E3 demo contained some show stopping moments, such as a huge castle surrounded by an eerie forest, as well as other stunning environments. Look for more on this amazing RPG as the release date approaches.

Last (but certainly not least) is Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic. This RPG, brought to you by LucasArts and developer Bioware, is set in the Star Wars universe and takes place 4000 years before Episode I, when both Jedi and Sith numbered in the thousands. You'll take control of a character (one of three classes -- soldier, scoundrel or scout) and, as you progress through the game, you'll gain new skills and become more powerful. The game feature beautiful environments full of breathtaking detail. Armor reflects the surroundings, smoke disperses realistically in the air and the grasslands of Dantooine sway in the wind. Character animations are impressive as well, and one fight scene shown was phenomenal, with the Jedi character doing full-blown lightsaber attacks, complete with spins and flips! The combat in the game is in real time, but is based on set rules. Players will be able to layer their attacks using their lightsaber skills, as well as Force powers, to increase their effectiveness in battle. Many different approaches are available, and most situations have numerous scenarios that can be played out to reach a conclusion. For instance, a Jedi might use Force powers on a weak minded guard or, barring that, he can choose to go in swinging!! Additionally, if your party includes a droid, their skills can be utilized to bypass a security grid. It has also been revealed that KOTOR will feature playable cut scenes to advance the story. In one scene, the player was tasked with piloting a ship from one location to another while holding off enemy fighters. Overall, the Xbox version of the game is looking sharp and well on the way to being a release day purchase come this fall.

Final Thoughts
Well, another E3 has come and gone, but the promise of quality software lingers. Gamers everywhere should rejoice, as this year's expo has revealed a ton of great games on the way. With three consoles to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Xbox is really hitting its stride, and the high quality titles on display this year reflect that. Look for more on these games here at GT as release dates approach. We'll have reviews of these and other titles as soon as we can get our grubby little hands on them!! Until then, enjoy the E3 coverage and save your pennies, ?cause you're gonna need them!!



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