E3 2008: Project Origin, Left 4 Dead, and more

I’m checking in from E3 and it’s been, well, a stressful morning. I’d like to say for the record that Peter can’t drive, and that rental cars should come with compasses standard. But more pressing is the gaming news going on here — you saw our coverage of the big Nintendo event this morning, which was sweet, and now we’re cruising around the (surprisingly calm) show checking out everything else. I got my hands on the F.E.A.R. sequel Project Origin, Valve’s Left 4 Dead, and the less sensational but still fun Guinness World Records game and Lego Batman. Read on for details and shots.

Project Origin was pretty impressive. What you’re looking at is pretty much F.E.A.R. evolved, and in a more open space. The developers said there was corridor fatigue from the first game so they moved things out onto the streets. Looked pretty scary. Graphics were good, lots of good post effects. And as I was reminded during the demo, these are the guys who made Shogo, so that made the “powered armor” you get to try on even more awesome. It was pretty immersive and you felt like quite a badass. Regenerating health and iron sights round out the new stuff.

I also played this Guinness World Records game which was actually kind of corny but seemed like a fun party game. It’s for the Wii, and it’s essentially a bunch of minigames based on real world records and you go up against them. It keeps track of your scores and compares them on a global level so you can see just how much better they are in Japan. I played this arcade shooter-like minigame and the PR people were freaked out by how good I was; apparently I outscored everyone there by a huge margin.

Lego Batman was there and it’s what you’ve been seeing all along.

I then went over to Valve’s modest little spot for a bit of Left 4 Dead. I’m in a hurry so I’ll just tell you it’s awesome and it gets really intense when you’re doing well and it starts throwing lots of zombies at you. It can get pretty freaky too. The zombies are pretty weak individually, but once they start pouring out you get this “Oh god oh god” feeling in your stomach and you (if you’re me) start crying out to your teammates stuff like “Oh shit, guys, quick, go to the – oh no! Turn around! OH NOOO!” Fun times.