I was wrong about SC: Ghost in that there were PS2, GC and XBox versions there but no PC version -- and no plans for it that the guy I spoke with knew about. Zerg and Protoss are definitely in the single-player but it was unknown if they would be in the multiplayer.
Hellgate: London was good fun. It is a FPS/RPG hybrid. You level up, equip your character, use skills, etc. It had a very cool London feel to it. I got to run around the city streets and then crawl into a very well done sewer area where there people that apparently I might have talked to but couldn't in the demo. The dev-type I talked to said that they were focusing on PvE. Any initial multiplayer stuff would either be cooperative or competitive PvE stuff -- either coop killing of monsters or competitions to complete a level, kill a lot of monsters, etc., the fastest. The guy stressed how hard it is to balance for both PvP and PvE when talking about this and made a humorous comment about how for Diablo 2 they basically just threw PvP on at the end and while it sort of worked it mostly wasn't very good. Upon asking about the release I got an adamant, "not this year".
The next Rise of Nations looks very interesting too. It has heavy influende from Warcraft -- the producer I talked to stressed how much they were trying to create cool immersion. This came in the form of fully 3d units that had very interesting physics (for example a building blew up in parts and these parts all fell and landed with some semblance of real physics). I didn't play the original but it seemed that there was an addition of at least one race with a differet playstyle -- it appeared to be sort of in the line of Starcraft. They said that should be out in August.
Age of Empires III looked a lot like AoE I and II. It is colonial though and has some gameplay where you basically earn fame with your home colony. The guy I was talking to *who was actually the AoM designer) played a game against another employee and his strategy involved getting a lot of fame with the home city (which you can view in a different screen) which then allowed him to call in shipments of food and troops. He seemed initially weak but managed to get some troops sent in from his home city with good timing to cripple the enemy. Also you basically gain experience. You can do this through various events and accomplishments like exploring. Some events were things like freeing captives from bandits or rescuing or befriending local natives. Oh, and you can basically setup mutual trade and friendly relations with Native Americans that will even allow you to have access to new technologies. There were other things like a better implementation of formations and you choose a new governor, with a specific bonus, when you go up to the next age. Overall it felt a lot like the first AoE but then it does have significant new gameplay. I suspec that old AoE fans will really like it but those who only sort of liked AoE may feel that is just more of the same.
I got to see Dungeon Siege 2. It looked cool. There was, apparently, better, more interesting character creation (I didn't play the original). You get certain special gifts or powers by taking certain paths in a Diablo 2 style character creation system. The graphics definitely looked dated but the gameplay looked promising. I didn't get to actually play.
Ok, Meteos for the DS. Interesting but I'm not sure I really understood everything about it. One thing is that it is apparently trying to be a fully multiplayer puzzler. Or at least the stuff I saw was. You are always playing againd one or more opponents. Not only do your actions allow you to attack the opponent but you have to select which opponent to attack. I didn't get to play against anything but a single CPU though. The gameplay is simple but I'm not sure I got it all. You have lots of columns full of blocks ... with different styles of shapes (much like Lunines). You move blocks up and down columns. You try to get 3 or more in a row horizontally. When you do:
1) They blow up.
2) The blocks above them turn into rockets and blast off.
If the rocket goes high enough to go off the screen, any blocks that go above the top of the screen will disappear. You can try to blow up blocks as they are rising to get the thing to higher or you can blow up blocks below to send more velocity upwards. You can even throw blocks up to meet the rising blocks although that part I didn't completely understand. The pieces that become rockets turn into stone or something and cannot be detonated for some time (eventually they turn into randomly colored pieces).The interface is pretty good. You use the stylus to click and drag. You can select things on the screen to either target an opponent, send an attack or cause blocks to drop more quickly (if you just want to line them up with others). It was really hard to hear the music in the very loud hall however it seemed to be basically just generic video game music, i.e. not the cool music of Lumines. I definitely want to play more though and so I'm considering getting a DS now. Also, it appeared that different pieces or different amounts of pieces might have different weights, or different potentials for boosting upwards, or something like that. I may try to play some more (surprisingly not a lot of people were waiting to hog the DS for this one).
Another cool DS game was Mario Kart DS. It was very fun if not very similar to other Mario Kart games I've played (it seemed basically just like the N64 version I played years ago). The cool bit though? I've heard it is completely online -- and you get to play with at least up to 8 players (that's what the demo was). So with a connection to a wireless router you can play Mario Kart DS online with other random internet capable players. That makes me wonder what Meteos's online capabilities will be (as far as I could tell there were no demos of anything but singleplayer at E3 despite the apparent multiplayer or at least multi-opponent aspects).
Other random tidbits:
I got to see someone propose to someone else on the big screen in the Nintendo area (i.e. the couple was actually there and they flashed the proposal up on the screen). And yes they were sucdessful.
We watched a very cool techno'ish duo called 8 bit weapon. They performed the first song they did completely with 8 bit devices -- an Atari, a C64 and there was also a gameboy somehow involved. Then they did a game with someone plugging away at a C64 keyboard and the other gal drumming. They were really into it and the music was surprisingly good. I didn't catch one of the CD's they through (in and out of hand) so I'm gonna check their website (www.8bitweapon.com
I may be on G4 TV on Friday. I was filmed .... while drinking a beer at the sports bar. Hope my boss doesn't see that.
I believe I walked right by Chris Feguson the poker player. If I'd had anything to write on I would have asked for an autograph.