When walking down the long corridors that lead to the main halls at E3 ’02 there’re some distractions. Beautiful blondes beckon like sirens for you to take off your shirt to win a prize (and grimace when the portly gentlemen come their way), sword wielding characters from games literally come to life to promote their new games, and even a celebrity or two brushes by. And as you approach the South hall entrance there is a pretty cool Lucas Arts presentation, but when you get to the hall’s glass doors, you see something behind you and you turn.
Glowing bright orange is the bustling booth of Simon and Schuster Interactive. Like miniature billboards, Flat screen monitors above the booth flash screenshots of their latest games, giving people at the adjacent food court something to talk about. But I wanted to do more than talk…. After greeting our contact, so began the tour of the world of Simon and Schuster Interactive. From on-line PC titles to X-box releases, they had their bases covered.
If you like sci-fi, you’d jump at the chance to play the rpg / action game “Farscape“ based on the t.v. series of the same name. As you pick up characters throughout the game, you form a sort of team, where you can select what character you would like to play (each of course having his/her own unique abilities) and direct other team members to take certain offensive or defensive actions to help defeat the enemy. Lighting effects really add to the feel of being on another planet as you battle your way outdoors with dangerous wildlife and as you find yourself navigating indoors. The best part of the game is playing as other characters on your team. You’ll never find yourself getting bored. Maybe frustrated, trying to find an exit (like all RPGs), but not bored. I got really lost, so I thought I’d move on to another genre SSI had to offer.
For intense strategy and action, you can go to war with the sequel “Real War: Rogue States”. The first “Real War” game, based on video game software made for Joint Chiefs of Staff training, received critical acclaim, and this one is sure to be a great follow up. With the country at war, gamers get the chance to get a little insight in how war strategies are drawn up–from a safe distance. And even for those who aren’t gamers, the game’s unique draw may make people think twice about seeing their computers as mere “business machines”. But, for myself, I was looking for something fast paced that day, and I found it.
If you like shooters, Simon and Schuster has “Seablade” for the X-box. Pick up the gamepad and you are off in 3D futuristic world. Sounds like your run of the mill idea, but instead of flying around all day, you get a chance to plunge into the ocean and fight your battles in your hybrid craft. If you need a game to unwind with “Seablade” offers you a fun way to take it out on the scores of enemies coming at you without getting into the arena of blood and gore.
After my ship finally bit the dust in “Seablade”, it was time for me to say so long to the team at Simon and Schuster Interactive and give the waiting others a chance to take these awesome tiles for a spin. Upon departing for my trip to the South Hall, they gave me a special link to share with you, and here it is: