2005 E3Expo - Thursday, Day 2
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3 for PC (THQ)
Both THQ and Microsoft PC Games division
had displays that included the new Moto
GP3 motorcycle road racing title at this year's show.
Surprisingly, Microsoft had only 1 PC loaded with MotoGP3,
and was using it to host a hot-lap competition wherein the
winner will receive a new gaming computer. I thought of entering
the competition, until I saw the venue a big leather
sofa in front of a plasma TV, with the controller of choice
being a game pad. I find it rather hard to precisely control
a motor vehicle with a game pad, and luckily for me none of
the real motorcycles or cars in this world come with game
pads in place of trusty old, boring handlebars or steering
wheels. I did take heart in the game's physics model though,
as I watched teen after teen start his hot lap run with a
full throttle run right into and through turn 1, ending up
time after time in the outside wall. We moved over to the
adjacent THQ exhibit area to get a better look at this exciting
motorcycle racing title. Surely the game developer and publisher
would be smarter about providing a controller worthy of their
product? Well, um, no actually.
At THQ, Moto GP for the PC was offered
for testing on one PC station, flanked by 2 console systems.
The game was locked in 3rd person view, and vehicle control
was afforded by the venerable keyboard. Indeed, there is one
device that's less adept at high performance vehicle control
than a game pad, and THQ found it. Regardless, I gave Moto
GP3 a spin. Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, I was able
to select either full brake, full throttle, idle or full handlebar
throw as the subtle and finesse-filled options for controlling
my high-performance racing motorcycle on the track. Great
Driving Impressions: The game is graphically
pretty on the PC and features a training option of a "best
lap" ghost bike that acts as a telemetry "rabbit"
for drivers to chase round the track, allowing the player
to see where he's not running consistently and where he/she
is improving. I liked this feature for providing a graphic,
real time way to visualize the telemetry data between best
lap and current lap. As for the physics model, AI performance,
etc. I can't really comment, since I couldn't get a feel for
the game with all the driver aid options locked into the 'On'
position, the visuals locked in 3rd person view, and with
an on/off controller like a keyboard for vehicle control.
How disappointing THQ and Microsoft's presentation of this
interesting title was.
Friday is the wrap-up day for E3Expo
as we race around attempting to see the remaining products
and people at this years show.
We'll be back tomorrow night with
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