XBOX 360 Launch Event

I was actually up early enough to toddle down town and pick up an XBOX 360. After spending an hour queueing in the rain I was eventually able to pick up my pre-ordered system and stagger back with the box and three games. Then it was into the HIVE virtual environment for some fun and games. Around 35 students turned up to take a look (which is quite impressive considering that exams start on Monday).

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Perfect Dark, Project Gotham Racing and Condemned all got an outing. Single player Project Gotham Racing is amazing. Particularly using the in-car view on a big screen. Perfect Dark was less impressive, but we only had time to do the training level before we moved on to Condemned.

I was not expecting much of this title, I got it as part of the bundle that I bought. However, it was amazing. I didn't think that the XBOX 360 was really going to move gaming in a new direction, a lot of the titles are more of the same kind of stuff. But Condemned was like taking part in a movie with 35 of your friends. Everyone in the room jumped when the drug crazed baddies leapt out. And when I fired the gun people just about fell off their chairs (although we did have the XBOX hooked up to the big surround system - so it did go with quite a bang). It really was like exploring a well creepy place, with amazing lighting and sound. But I'm not going to play it again alone...

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Update: Project Gotham is indeed amazing. The more you play it the more you notice. Proper shadows on the car instruments as you go under trees. Rear view mirrors that break off but still show a broken image. Windscreens that have reflections in them and get dirty. Amazing.

Perfect Dark still has to grow on me. As a quick test I popped Halo 2 in. The XBOX 360 actually improves the quality of the textures by removing jagged lines and I was anxious to see what it looked like. It looked amazing, almost as good as Perfect Dark. And I was still playing it an hour later.....

I've not dared to play any more Condemned.