Konami gave a rather simple and succinct conference for members of the press. The developer filled their 20 minute symposium with glimpses into their upcoming lineup. Not a whole lot of news was made at the conference, but rumors were made official and teaser trailers were on display to whet our appetites for the smorgasbord of quality games coming out from the Japanese juggernaut.
Some of the more important games include Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party for the Wii, Contra 4 for the DS, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP, Metal Gear Solid 4 for the PS3, and…Silent Hill 5 for both the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Silent Hill 5 was the only news that took the press by surprise. It was the game that the Konami alluded to in an obscure message they released prior to the event letting us know of a bombshell they had in store. I don't know if it was a bombshell, but it certainly was unexpected. A short trailer for Silent Hill 5 was shown and it was reported to an appreciative audience that Akira Yamaoka is returning to compose the game's score. The game "follows Alex Shepherd, a war veteran returning home from an overseas tour of duty to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his younger brother, Joshua. His travels will lead him through the small, insular community of Shepherd's Glen and eventually through the hauntingly empty streets of Silent Hill". The thrill of the gameplay and the gloom of the setting will be heightened in this iteration of the series due to its next generation treatment.
The MGS4 trailer was the same as that shown earlier in the day at the Sony event. It's a long trailer made up of cut scenes that gave us a bit of the backdrop for the coming title. Suffice it to say that Snake is back, on a mission to take out Liquid Snake. Snake's final line in the trailer is absolutely classic, "I'm no hero…Never was…I'm just an old killer…Hired to do some wet work." If I was Liquid, I'd watch my back. The trailer is graphically and dramatically stunning, and the featured fight scene is masterfully crafted and choreographed. MGS4: Guns of the Patriots will not leave fans of the series disappointed.
Despite having one of the most anticipated titles currently in development, and being home to a number of other mouthwatering game franchises, Konami had one of the shortest press conferences we've seen at E3. The iconic Hideo Kojima took the stage about half way through the conference and addressed the audience completely in English. He made a point of mentioning to those in attendance that he preferred the E3 of old. Maybe the brevity of the conference was Konami's way of protesting the exclusivity of the event. Their terse and to-the-point presentation was obviously symbolic of their disdain for the current E3 format. The developer feels marginalized; far away from the media hype that should have surrounded their conference.
All in all, it was a great showing for Konami. Konami will continue to leverage their name with the release of the games they now have in the development pipeline. Gamers and Konami alike are going to have a great year. The releases for the handhelds are especially interesting me. I can't wait to put my PSP to the test with a new Castlevania, and Contra 4 must be their way of saying thank you to old gamers like me.
CCC Freelance Writer