THQ Press Day 2008
With E3 now pushed back to mid-July, game publishers are no longer waiting for the annual media event to announce and show off their major game releases for the next year. More and more publishers are holding major press events during April and May to showcase their upcoming titles. THQ is first out of the gate as they held their 2008 press event in San Fransisco last week as they showed off and talked about their major releases they have planned for the next 12 months. FiringSquad was invited and we got hands-on with early builds of a number of games slated for release by the publisher, which has a healthy mix of family and casual games with a number of hardcore gamer titles.
One game that was announced but not shown in playable form was Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War 2. The first true sequel to Relic's best selling sci-fi RTS game (after a whopping three standalone expansions to the first game) will have an advanced version of the graphics engine first used by Relic for their 2006 WWII RTS game release Company of Heroes. We got to see a very brief pre-rendered trailer showing off a one-on-one battle between a space marine and a giant Ork, but that's pretty much all we saw and heard about the game at this stage. We will have a lot more info on the game in the months to come before its spring 2009 release.
We got to talk briefly with THQ CEO Brian Farrell at the event because we wanted to get any update at all on the previously announced Warhammer 40,000 MMO that the publisher announced well over a year ago. Farrell said the game is still in development at the publisher's Vigil Studios in Austin, but that he and THQ weren't ready to talk about the specifics of the title yet. He stated that THQ was deliberately taking their time on the title and didn't want to reveal anything until they were ready to show off something substantial to the press. “Tell your readers we want to do it right,” Farrell told us.
With that out of the way, we went to the event's many playable kiosks to check out some early builds of THQ's game lineup. Read on for our initial impressions of the games shown at the event.