It’s been a hell of a year of Konami. Not only production wise, but personally for each and every member of their team in Japan. This year, they won’t be attending E3 as a collective company, with a press conference but instead they treated us to a special pre-E3 show which more than makes up for their diminished presence at the Los Angeles Convention Center this year.
We kick off with a look at Snake Eater 3DS, which is a remake of the 3rd title in the MGS series for, yeah you’ve guessed it, the Nintendo 3DS. Whilst fundamentally the same game, Konami have worked hard to merge features from the 3DS into the game, so it’s not a port.
You can use the 3DS camera to take a photo of your real life environment to create new camouflage for Naked Snake to wear. Also, the way you hold the 3DS also has an effect on your character, such as tilting the device too much whilst crossing a bridge will cause Snake to fall off of it. The main focus is to make the player feel at one with Snake, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out once the game releases in November 2011.
Debuting in this pre-E3 show is a game called NeverDead. It’s an interesting concept from director Shinta Nojiri where your character Bryce Boltzmann is completely immortal. Cursed with immortality 5 centuries ago, Bryce has become a demon hunter for revenge and profit. Whilst seeming like a 3rd person shooter with god mode turned on, the challenge is really in saving your partner Arcadia, who happens to not be immortal. You’ll have to take damage to protect her. Also, upping the fun in this game is the fact that Bryce can remove his own limbs and use them to attack foes, druing the game. Expect NeverDead to drop in late 2011.
We now take a trip into Silent Hill, except this is more about the movie and a trailer for Silent Hill: Downpour, than it is for anything else. Downpour looks fantastic from the trailer and I’m looking forward to seeing if Silent Hill can get back on track. Especially, since Konami will be releasing the Silent Hill collection to boot, but sadly doesn’t have a release timeframe yet.
Pro Evolution Soccer wise, I’m not a huge soccer fan but I do like to play it on my console. Last year’s game was very disappointing to me, I vastly preferred FIFA over PES and I’m really hoping that PES improves this year. That being said, there wasn’t too much to write home about. “Seabass” talked about improving the AI to make for a more realistic game, allowing the player to have full control over what he or she wants to do and improved man marking and defence. That’s all well and good, but to me a few of the animations still look robotic and stiff, which for a game promoting realism isn’t such a good thing. But until I actually get my hands on the game, I’ll reserve full judgement on the early trailer.
It’s time to take a trip to Kojima Productions! Due to the fact Konami won’t have a live E3 Conference this year, it also means no live Hideo Kojima, so of course Hideo would need to feature in this pre-E3 show, or what kind of pre-E3 show would it be?
Transfarring as a concept is fantastic. Not completely original, but it is fantastic. The concept was laid out as taking your save from something such as Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on the PS3 and exporting it to the PSP so you can continue your game on the move. Whilst that is a great idea, I personally wouldn’t buy two of the same game on two different platforms just so I can have one at home and one in my pocket. In this time of the “credit crunch” it’s just not feasible to throw £70 on two games that are exactly the same.
Kojima-san also introduced a brand new engine, called the “Fox Engine”, designed for bringing his games to the multi-platform stage, rather than having simply one game on one console as he has done in the past with the Metal Gear Solid franchise. This is great news for fans of his work who only own one of the current generation consoles, as they don’t have to groan at the fact that his next project will either be Playstation or Xbox exclusive.
On that note, it has also been revealed that the Metal Gear Solid franchise is coming to the 360 in the form of a triple pack HD re-release of Sons of Liberty, Snake Eater and Peace Walker towards the end of 2011. Of course, this pack is also to be released on the Playstation 3 but hey, it’s MGS on the 360! Also talking of MGS on the 360, MGS: Rising will not be featured at E3 but is still in development and still on schedule for 2012.
This isn’t just a port of the game, it’s going to feature updated and refined textures so that users can get the full Metal Gear Solid experience in HD, which is fantastic. It’s not been confirmed if this would be the first test of the Fox Engine, but regardless I am very happy to see the MGS franchise debut on the 360 and I’m still going to live in hope of MGS4 following suit, no matter how long it may take.
In additional HD re-release news, Zone of the Enders will also be getting the upgrade treatment with PS3 and 360 releases in 2012. This is great news to keep the series relevant for when Hideo Kojima works on Z.O.E 3, which hasn’t been announced or hinted at, but he has stated that he does wish to work on the game at some point.
And that wraps it up for Konami’s pre-E3 goodness! Or does it?
WAIT? IS THAT CONTRA?! Might need to go change my underwear…