Earlier today I went for a little visit to downtown Toronto. Today was the last day to test out the Xbox 360 in a little Microsoft sponsored area.
Pictured above: my friend posing in front of the place.
We got there a little early.
The doors were locked, unfortunately.
So we just walked around the downtown region for a little while till it opened up and let us play.
There was a nice little sign for us to stare at when we got back.
When we were finally let inside, there were a few Microsoft employees around in a small, organized room. There were several Xbox 360s and HD monitors set up.
A massive faceplate sits to the side of the gaming area. It would probably fit the large, bulky Xbox 1.
After meeting and greeting a few of the Microsoft employees, I went straight for Perfect Dark Zero. This was the game I was here to see.
It's beautiful, it's magnificent, it's Perfect Dark Zero.
In all honesty, Perfect Dark Zero is God-like. Halo and Halo 2 are nothing compared to PDZ. Anyone who said PDZ didn't look next-gen should probably have their eyes examined. It looks gorgeous. The textures are very crisp, the backgrounds are excellently rendered, and most important of all: it's fun! If you only get one Xbox 360 game this holiday season, make it Perfect Dark Zero.
After spending a few minutes with the campaign, I headed over to Project Gotham Racing 3, but I'll talk about that later. Back to Perfect Dark Zero.
Nobody was really playing anything else there. The Microsoft employees and the two of us were just interested in Perfect Dark Zero. We all jumped into a session of deathmatch in PDZ's multiplayer mode. We began with six players, but after the rest of the Microsoft employees were done with their race in Project Gotham 3, they jumped into our game. That's the cool thing about PDZ: anyone can jump in at any time. Even when a session has begun, more players can come in. Want a buddy to join in even though you're already playing on your Xbox 360? No problem. Just connect another controller and jump in. The screen will split as soon as the second player begins.
Here's where the fun began: 8 player deathmatch with Microsoft employees. It was intense. After a few matches, one of the employees approached me and my friend. Apparently since I beat them a few times, I get VIP treatment. Sweet! I had no idea beating them got you perks.
My friend and I were escorted to a back room. There was a giant tv, a couch, free pop and free chips waiting for us. We sat down for some more Perfect Dark Zero (in privacy, away from the commoners).
One of the Microsoft reps joins us.
This was the highlight of my day. Free stuff and gaming in a comfortable environment. What could be better?
Our perks =)
I really wish I had a TV like this...
After getting acquainted with the VIP section (and grabbing our fair share of free snacks), we began gaming. I pwned my friend in deathmatch every time.
My friend gets his ass handed to him in Perfect Dark Zero.
After playing some more PDZ, we tried out Project Gotham Racing 3. I'm pretty bad at racing games and the tides were turned as this time I got pwned. PGR3 didn't look that great... It had a jagged, pixelated look to it. Maybe it was because the cars were travelling at around 160 miles per hour, but still. It could be better. If you can get past the graphics, the gameplay is solid. It's everything you loved from the previous PGR games and more. I'd recommend buying it if you enjoyed the previous two. It gets an 8.5/10 from me.
After spending a couple hours in the VIP lounge, we decided to begin heading out. We watched a few gamers duking it out in PDZ and joined in for a game or two.
Spectating and watching other people's skills.
Before leaving, I got a chance to try Kameo. I was quite disappointed with it. The graphics don't look very next-gen at all. It looked more like an Xbox title with a little more polish. The gameplay was mediocre. It was your basic platform game except a little more kiddy. Rare was really aiming for a younger audience with this title. Kameo gets a 7.0/10.
And now it was time to go. After shaking hands with the Microsoft reps, my friend and I headed back to Scarborough.
Christmas comes early this year, XBA. This Tuesday will be a great day for gaming.