PrE-3: Konami Shows Off Their Goods

Presented by GameTrailers, Konami provides a sneak peek at what they’re showing off at this year’s E3, including the upcoming Zone of Enders sequel, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and a celebration of Metal Gear’s 25th anniversary.

New President of Konami Digital Entertainment Tomoyuki Tsuboi kicked things off with an introduction, promising a big year for the publisher as well as a celebration of 25 years of Metal Gear.

Next up, we got a look at their new Bay Area social gaming studio, where Konami is looking to bring titles like Frogger to Facebook and Google. Konami has partnered with Zynga to publish the former’s social games across the latter’s network. Frogger Pinball and Frogger Frenzy are two of their current titles on iOS.

Next up: futbol! Konami provided an look inside the studio behind PES 2013 and a rundown of efforts to bring the most accurate soccer experience to gamers with the upcoming tribute to the greatest game. The big innovation is an updated dribble system which will allow players greater control of the ball in close quarters, along with improved passing and updated AI which responds more intelligently to the position of the ball.

Kojima took the virtual center stage to talk about Zone of Enders HD Collection, starting off by explaining that robot anime was the original inspiration for the stylized mech combat series. He talked about moving away from the clunky, bipedal movements found in robot anime, to something smoother with ZOE, showing off the games’ sleek, toon-shaded look. It’s cool to see a game with giant robots that’s not afraid to go nuts with the color palette. The action looks pretty similar to my (admittedly hazy) recollection of how they played, with a lock-on for surrounding enemies, with your pilot mixing melee and projectile attacks. Kojima touted the improved graphics which now allow for greater detail including more visible decals on the individual mechs. ZOE HD will also be getting a new opening animation from Sunrise, the studio behind Cowboy Bebop and InuYasha.

Metal Gear was born of my desire to make something new, to create something that had never been made before.” That’s how Kojima explained the origins of the series that’s been going strong for 25 years now, based on his aim to create a game which upended the third-person action game script, making players hide instead of shoot. Kojima talked about his aspirations to bring gaming to the point of being considered an art form, thanking fans of the series, and expressing the gratification of seeing Metal Gear at the Smithsonian.

This led to a new look at Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the Platinum Games-developed side story in the Metal Gear franchise. The emphasis still seems to be on cutting, with cyborg soldier Raiden bisecting mercenaries, gutting mechs, and generally getting his sword wet throughout the new trailer. Revengeance has what looks to be some of the faster-paced action for a game bearing the Metal Gear title, and it’s also a lot bloodier than most.

According to Revengeance’s producer, the game was a response to fans’ desire to finally play as Raiden and pull off some of the dynamic action from MGS4. The production staff from Platinum Games reiterated that “slashing” was the primary game mechanic in Revengeance, and that the goal was to give players control of precise sword movement. Apparently, you’ll be able to slice through walls and make your own path or slash background objects to use as weapons. In addition to slashing Raiden has a “ninja” mode which allows him to traverse the environment with speed. The action takes place nine years after MGS4, which Raiden haunted by his violent involvement in a civil war. It’ll be playable on the E3 floor at the Konami booth, and we can expect it sometime in early 2013. We can also look forward to a playable demo with the holiday release of ZOE HD.

Finally, it looks like Konami dug the Lords of Shadow universe as much as many of us did, making it a proper series with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, which is currently in development. The cinematic trailer has a definite Legacy of Kain vibe, with the hero from the first game, Gabriel Belmont, fully vamped out after the events at the end of that story. But then, who is the white haired, sword-wielding character at the end of the trailer? Maybe this will dovetail with main Castelvania continuity and we might see Symphony of the Night’s Alucard in 3D. Of course, this could just be wishful thinking on my part, but still. We can also expect Gabriel to make the jump to the 3DS in another Lords of Shadow-related title, making its debut next week.

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