Joystiq live from Activision's E3 2007 press conference


3:31PM PDT: We're here at Activision's press conference. Things just got underway with "comedian" Jamie Kennedy taking the stage. After about 5 minutes of really awkward jokes ("I see so many virgins out there, Richard Branson must be running this event.") we're more than pleased for the first Activision exec to take the stage.

3:34PM PDT: We'll be seeing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Tony Hawk Proving Ground, Spider-Man Friend or Foe, and (of course) Guitar Hero III. Their fall lineup also includes The Bee Movie Game and Quake Wars: Enemy Territory (console releases!). Uh oh, Jamie Kennedy is back on stage. We're just gonna plug our ears. "Neversoft? Wasn't that the first name for Viagra?" A Neversoft developer on Tony Hawk: Proving Ground takes the stage, and explains what there is to prove. "You're an up and coming skater in Philly." (Editor note: Illadelph!)

3:39PM PDT: "So, it immerses you in the skateboarder lifestyle ... does that mean you need to play it high?" Awkward laughs ensue. "Nail a trick? Are we talking about prostitutes." Alright, we'll give you that one Kennedy. For some reason, a conversation on the play mechanics of a Tony Hawk game just really isn't keeping our interest. Now, Tony Hawk takes the stage. That's better, we're interested again. Kennedy asks Hawk what's so cool about working on a video game, Hawk says it's one of the best things he's ever done. More trick grabbing jokes ensue. Finally, some video of the title.



3:44PM PDT: After a brief walkthrough of the game, Tony Hawk and company leave the stage and we're onto Bee Movie, based on the Jerry Seinfeld movie. Activision's Mike Ward takes the stage. "What's the deal with Bee Movie?" They're discussing the story plot of the film which, we're reminding ourselves, isn't a game. So, what will this game gain from this license? For starters, they're working with Dreamworks to make sure the game looks like the movie. Also, the Wiimote is perfect for navigating a bee, Ward assures us. They show off a driving level in the hive, which looks pretty lackluster. When they make it out onto the street, flying around, it looks much nicer. Flying underneath a truck, a Shenmue style action minigame to avoid the intake fan of said truck, and to avoid oncoming traffic. Collecting pollen is a major part of the game. Seriously. We promise it looks more interesting than it sounds.

3:52PM PDT: We're onto a "futuristic action game." A Splash Damage rep takes the stage, and is instantly heralded by one outspoken crowd member as funnier than Kennedy. He's discussing the history of the game's travels to the console which, we're sure, was totally a surprise to everyone. The video they're about to show is the first time they're going to show off QW: ET running on an Xbox 360. Quake 4 this is not; Quake Wars looks much better and appears to run smooth as silk.



4:01PM PDT: Next up is Jamie Bayfus from Activision, talking Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. Oh emm gee, it's a girl. Cue the awkward jokes. She says the game is intended to more family friendly, more accessible. You acquire the various playable characters after unlocking them in battle. Beat Venom, get to play alongside him. It also has a pick up and play co-op system. Press start on the second controller, play along. Done? Just back out. "Yes, this is definitely aimed at the younger Spider-Man fans." They announce Stan Lee is in the audience and, as he stands up, the audience claps loudly. Yes, we're nerds.




4:06PM PDT: Lt. Col. Hank Hearsy, the military consultant for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Alright, we like this guy. "I don't think you have the physical presence to be on stage with this game. Drop down and give me 20." Then he introduces "Mr. Go Deep Go Hard", one of the developers from Infinity Ward. They show another trailer, but we've already seen a bunch of Modern Warfare at Microsoft's keynote last night. "We're really taking it to the next level this time." As opposed to last time? Now they're ready to show another clip of game footage which promises to be something new.


4:12PM PDT: Wow, they're really not playing around. These graphics are incredible, there's no other way to describe them. Looking outside a helicopter flying over a battlezone, the smoke effects, lighting, shadows, and overall level of detail is incredible. Hopefully, Activision will release video footage of these new scenes. The crowd applauses heartily. Regarding the beta, the servers were crashed twenty minutes after they announced the website last night. That's you guys!

4:18PM PDT: Neversoft is the final developer of the event. What's new? New guitars, Slash, online co-op. "The success of the last game" has really helped contribute to the new lineup. "They've been coming to us." We bet ... we've got this little side project called Joystiq and the Bloggers. We're sort of a blues metal jam funk band, but more soul with a disco hip hop twist, but all instrumental with Gameboys. Think there's room on the soundtrack?




Guess not, they're showing off video of Foghat's Slow Ride and our fingers ache to play it ... and speed it up. What is this, easy? There, that's better. A new song on a harder level. There's some crazy shaky effect when you mess up, that makes notes vibrate rapidly on and off. Yikes! There's some effects like "broken string" and "amp overload." We're not sure what these do, but we think we like it. "We have a special guest coming on."



Slash! "Funnily enough, I got hooked on Guitar Hero on a tour bus." See kids, you can get hooked on more than drugs on a tour bus. To be honest, we never thought of Slash as even having a voice before ... it's weird. There we go, he lights up a cigarette, proving that even though this demon-fingered guitar god has a real voice, he's still badass enough to flip off the City of Santa Monica's fire safety laws. We love you Slash!



4:29PM PDT: And that's it. Slash exits the stage (with his smoke, of course) and we're off to charge up our batteries (and wash the Jamie Kennedy out of our ears).

This article was originally published on Joystiq.