Activision is set to keep sales high with a stellar lineup of titles of music, action, and shooter titles. The Activision booth was one of the largest at the LACC. A massive stage was set up that featured Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, and even real-life DJs, such as DJ Shadow, mixing and scratching. Guitar Hero 5 has moved away from some of its pure gaming tradition and getting closer to more of a party experience. Despite what you might be thinking, this is likely exactly what the franchise needed to reassert its authority over the band-game sector.
For starters, Guitar Hero 5 can be put on in the background at a party, serving as background music. However, whenever anyone feels like playing (or even dropping out), they can do so by seamlessly firing up the controller - even mid-song! Also, any combination of instruments can be used in-game. So, if you've got a party of guitar-loving gamers, no one will be forced to play drums or whine through vocals. Finally, a host of competitive multiplayer modes will go far beyond what is currently offered through the franchise.
DJ Hero also made a huge impression at the show. The turn-table controller is an outstanding piece of hardware that is every bit as immersive as the plastic guitar peripherals were when they first dropped. While we feel this title will be a niche offering, there is no denying the quality in the game. It is amazing just how well the team put together an authentic simulation of what it is to be a DJ.
Moving away from music, Modern Warfare 2 will be every bit the juggernaut in the shooting genre that everyone expects it to be. The icy, Siberian setting on display at the show featured a cinematic scope as well as ultra-precise shooting mechanic that will make the single-player offering nearly as epic as the multiplayer action for which the series is known.
If you haven't yet given much thought to Singularity or Blur, you need to start. Singularity, Raven Software's time-shifting FPS, is going to really mix up the shooter genre with the use of the TMD (Time Manipulating Device). Players will be able to use Revert, Age, Stasis, and Impulse powers via the gizmo in the heat of battle as they might any other mundane weapon. Freezing and manipulating timelines of both objects and people should bring seriously unique combat to the forefront, and also mix it up nicely with brain-teasing puzzles.
Finally, Blur is an aptly-named racing-battler. The gorgeous visuals and capturing of speed are only part of this game's amazing appeal. The arcade driving mechanic is truly enhanced by its Kart-racing gameplay. Weapon pick-ups such as mines, shock, nitro, and shunt will have racing fans giggling their way to victory. As the creators at Bizarre Creations say, "It's a race; it's a battle; it's a racing battle." All components of the game seem to be nicely in-tune and in-sync.
CCC Editor / News Director