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Sequels and Movie Tie-Ins Star at E3

7 May, 2004 By: John Gaudiosi

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) celebrates its 10th anniversary next week in Los Angeles, where more than 60,000 members of the video game industry will converge with Hollywood types to unveil the biggest upcoming games.

Products on display at the show will go beyond the traditional PC, handheld and console video games to include a huge wave of wireless games, new gaming peripherals, a first look at the new Nintendo DS (or “Nitro”) handheld system, and new game consoles like the broadband-only Phantom Game Network and ApeXtreme, the first of a series of DISCover machines that bring PC games to the living room.

More than 400 game companies from 70 countries will showcase more than 1,300 games over the course of this week. Here is a selected list of top entrants:

Call of Duty: Finest Hour (Activision, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, fall 2004) — Set in Europe during WWII, this console game tells new stories in the franchise that Activision launched last year with the PC hit Call of Duty. Designed exclusively for consoles, this game features detailed wars and plenty of action, but also focuses on the emotions, friendships and hardships of war on the front lines.

Def Jam: Fight for New York (Electronic Arts, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, fall 2004) — The sequel to Def Jam: Vendetta has a much larger scope, as the action has evolved from wrestling to street fighting. With a who's who list of hip-hop talent and ‘B'-level celebrities, players will be able to fight their way through an underground circuit, winning cash to buy new duds and impress girlfriends.

Destroy All Humans (THQ, PS2, Xbox, Q1 2005) — Blending 1950s sci-fi schlock with innovative game play, this game puts you in control of an alien out to conquer the world, rewarding the player for wiping out the human race.

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Electronic Arts, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, fall 2004) — EA's second James Bond game for this calendar year allows players to be the bad guy, GoldenEye, a former agent gone bad, who gets in the middle of a war between Dr. No and Auric Goldfinger.

Halo 2 (Microsoft, Xbox, fall 2004) — Microsoft hasn't been able to produce another first-party killer app that comes anywhere close to the original Halo. So a lot rests on the success of this game.

The Incredibles (THQ, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, November 2004) — Pixar's new movie actually works better as a game than did the top-selling Finding Nemo. The Incredibles focuses on a family of superheroes that are forced back into action.

Killzone (Sony, PS2, fall 2004) — Set in a distant future where humans have colonized the galaxies, this squad-based action game takes place behind enemy lines in a war between the rebel Helghast and the ISA, defenders of the human race.

Kingdom Hearts II (Square-Enix, PS2, late 2004) — Square-Enix and Disney hit pay dirt with the original game, which has sold more than 4 million units worldwide. Square-Enix introduces new anime characters with classic Disney characters to find Mickey Mouse.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Electronic Arts, PS2, Xbox, fall 2004) — This role-playing action adventure game spans all three films and puts players in control of all the fantasy.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Konami, PS2, fall 2004) — Set in the 1960s, in jungles, river beds and mountains, this game has players live off the land (yes, including eating snakes) and use camouflage and stealth to sneak past enemy lines.

Need for Speed: Underground II (Electronic Arts, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, fall 2004) — This sequel ups the ante with 30 licensed vehicles and upgradeable cars and claims more than 70 billion custom combinations. An interactive city allows players to race for cash and reputation.

Spider-Man 2 (Activision, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, July 2004) — This game allows players to swing through the air and fight petty crime on the streets or go after villains like Dr. Octopus.

Star Wars: Battlefront (Lucas Arts, Xbox, PS2, Sept. 21) — Up to 16 players will be able to choose a side and re-create epic battles from all six “Star Wars” films in this online game.

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