I like Activision, I really do. I like that they send me games and invite me to their crazy events. I like that they pay me to travel down to San Francisco to cover their games. Heck, I even like their video games. Activision is a good company. But this year it feels like Activision wants it both ways.
On one hand Activision wants out of the ESA, effectively removing themselves from this year's E3 event. Agree or disagree, that's their decision and they'll have to live with it (good or bad). However, they also know that E3 is the one place where they will reach the most media outlets. From the big guys to the small sites you know and love (like this one).
So what did they decide to do? Simple, they created an off-site press conference where they would be able to announce a bunch of new games, show off some cool new toys and impress everybody that went to E3. I literally just got back from their late-night party, an event that featured a lengthy demonstration of their new Guitar Hero game, a bunch of new first-person shooters and a few celebrity surprises.
The Activision event was pretty standard stuff, it featured trailers for their new game Singularity, an upcoming Wolfenstein game, and a sequel to Marvel Ultimate Alliance. And if that wasn't enough, they also hinted at an upcoming Wolverine game, presumably based on the soon to be released Hugh Jackman movie.
After we were done listening to several developers, a comedian and the President of Activision quit running their mouths, we got a real look at some of their biggest games of the year. I'm of course talking about Call of Duty 5: World at War, Guitar Hero World Tour, Quantum of Solace and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.
The big news was the custom content for Guitar Hero World Tour. They announced that you will be able to use your Rock Band guitar and drums with this new game, download complete albums (including the upcoming Metallica album, Death Magnetic) and compete online band versus band. Oh, and did I mention that you can make your own music? We'll get into that when I take a closer look at this upcoming Guitar Hero game.
The real news here was that Activision brought out both Travis Barker (of Blink 182 fame) and Hayley Williams (lead singer of Paramore). Despite already being in Rock Band, both of these musicians came out to talk up Guitar Hero World Tour. And then they left the stage. Neither artist performed in any way, no singing, no dancing, and certainly no drumming. Instead we got the Neversoft developers playing a rousing rendition of Hot For Teacher by Van Halen.
After the event we were fed and given as much alcohol as you wanted. Not bad for a day that started with Nintendo announcing nothing and not giving us any food. I'll be back with more coverage of this event (along with some comments about each of the games), but it's late in L.A. and another day of E3 calls.
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