Midway is featuring a good number of games at E3 this year. Their PR representative told me that they are focusing on releasing fewer, yet higher-quality, titles. The most featured game was probably Psi-Ops.

A playable demo of Area 51 was available. It’s based upon an old arcade game, and I have to say that I was not very impressed. In a shooter genre that is saturated with groundbreaking titles, Area 51 feels a little rough by comparison. To be fair, it’s early and the ability to mutate into an alien creature for short periods of time could add some appeal. In addition, there will be some extensive multiplayer options available depending upon the platform.

I’m not a fan of fighting games, but I would have to say Mortal Kombat: Deception played fine. It was gorgeous and smooth. Perhaps the best feedback I could give you is in the form of a repeated comment I overheard from others playing it around me: it feels just like Deadly Alliance.

Narc was one game that I was really looking forward to getting a look at. It’s set in a seedy world of undercover police work. The first thing I thought of when reading the description was that it sounded like another GTA rip-off. Unfortunately, I cannot report on this game. Midway stated that it is on target for a Q1 2005 release, and they are in the process of ‘tweaking’ the game.

Psi-Ops was the strongest title offered by Midway. Built on the Havoc 2, if the psi powers were stripped away, it would be just a mediocre third-person action title. As it is, the psi powers are what are going to make this game. The cynic could call Psi-Ops a mixture Metal Gear Solid with Jedi powers, but in the brief time that I got to play it, I became convinced that this will be a worthwhile game to check out. Highly interactive environments, coupled with the psi powers leads to endless, creative opportunities for destruction.

Other titles present were Shadow Covenant II and MLB Slugfest, but time was short, so I didn’t get any hands-on time with those.

- Erin Ellis


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