E3 Excitement

In case you haven't already read about it in other game magazines, blogs, ads, skywriting, deep space radio waves, donkey shows, or off-broadway plays, there's this little thing called E3 coming up. And I'm boundlessly honored that Next-Gen magazine picked my baby, Fallout 3, as their most anticipated game of the show.

Despite working in game design, I'm still a fanboy at heart. I prefer to describe it as "boundless enthusiasm," but either way, I still find myself obsessively following details about upcoming games that I can't wait to devour. And while I'm curious about pretty much all everything that's been announced, I've got my own short list of games I'm particularly eager to examine.

Left 4 Dead
A team-based shooter with asymmetrical goals and powers, set in a zombie crisis, and polished to Valve's usual mirror shine of perfection. Team Fortress 2 got me back into team FPS games, and did an excellent job stressing the value of fulfilling a role in a team. Now L4D looks like it'll change up the dynamic by giving each side different roles. The designer in me is intrigued, and the zombie aficionado in me is gleefully loading his shotgun.

Rock Band 2
The first Rock Band still has me captured in its siren song of drumming and group gameplay, and I have tremendous respect for Harmonix's attitude and approach to presenting it as a platform for play. While I'll miss the option for user-created tracks, I trust them to do it right eventually, and I'm plenty excited about everything else it has to offer. Of course, they had me at "drum trainer."

Mirror's Edge
I was already eager for this game because of my fascination with parkour and its graceful gameplay feel, but now that I know its story is being penned by Rhianna Pratchett, I'm almost beside myself with anticipation. With a dedicated writer like her behind it, I have high hopes that the game doesn't just feel smooth, but for its underlying themes to be consistent and unified. If they're also in line with the philosophy behind parkour, then even better. A tall order, but the price of skill is facing high expectations.

For the record, my own game would be on this list, but I'm already pretty familiar with it.

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