If you want to find out more about Buena Vista Games' upcoming gaming crap "goodness": check out this press release of their E3 2006 lineup; and the E3 BVG Booth video below, from GameTrailers.com (needs QuickTime).








Link to video in case it doesn't appear in your browser

I won't comment on the children's titles. They could be good, or they could be bad.

But, for the titles meant for teens and up: you'll pardon me if I stifle a yawn. Turok sounds like crap. And Desperate Housewives, their attempt at a The Sims rip-off? Let's not even go there. The only games that sound decent, are the Pirates of the Caribbean titles. One of which is coming to the PC this summer. (Shock. BVG still publishes PC titles? So will their support be any better, this time around?)


Meanwhile, Monolith is teaming up with TimeGate Studios to produce an expansion for F.E.A.R. entitled Extraction Point that's set for a fall release, this year. Generally, whenever another studio is called in to do the work on an expansion: the results are usually less-than-stellar. We'll see, I guess.

Sample screenshot of F.E.A.R. Extraction Point expansion

I'm afraid that in order to survive today's market: with many players who settle for the same retread shooter-fests -- merely candy-coated with the newest graphics and physics bells-and-whistles -- Monolith have reduced themselves to a mainstream developer. What set them apart in the past, charming and unique titles like NOLF 1, NOLF 2, and TRON 2.0: will probably never return. The spark at Monolith seems to be gone.

I've played F.E.A.R., and thought it was decent. I'm also glad Monolith is getting some much-belated recognition. They have created some really exceptional games. But I feel F.E.A.R. wasn't one of them. Good, but not great. I haven't tried Condemned: Criminal Origins yet, but I hear it's just more of the same.


Frankly, the only titles I'm looking forward to any time soon, are: Bioshock, Half-Life 2: Episode One, the resurrected vaporware game Prey, and the much-delayed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (provided it lives up to the original hype).


Stay tuned for a future article, which will touch upon this topic again from a different perspective.