Well, Emergence Day has come and gone, God Of War, the year's most anticipated title on perhaps any platform (other than the delayed World Of Warcraft Expansion) has arrived.
I saw the game back at E3 and it looks stunning, miles ahead visually of anything else and it's fair to say that the same assumption holds true enough today - it really does look spectacular.
People in the studio were of mixed opinion as ever, the general concensous being that whilst yes it does look incredible, it's simply a case of the Emperor's new clothes, with the game offering little new. I think that's being a tad harsh really, it depends I guess how much you really play games and how deep you want your involvement, for someone who, like me, doesn't really hammer FPS (or 3rd person ones, as GoW is) then this really is about as visually exciting as it gets.
I can certainly see this shifting a lot of 360 units, particularly in the wake of the PS3 "non launch"; a low-key launch occured in Japan & the USA this week - and only tended to make the news because of violence surrounding people picking them up - and to be fair, stock shortages for the Nintendo Wii, which launches in a few weeks.
It was quite odd that my eldest, Jack, 9, really thought GoW was incredible (there's an option to tone down gore & language) but wouldn't play CoD3 since he felt that was too lifelike and intense.
The 360's had some top titles lately; Tiger 2007, CoD3, GoW, Pes6, Test-Drive Unlimited, Rainbow Six Vegas looming, Saint's Row... all of a good standard. The PS3 launch line-up looks nothing like that I'm afraid, so only time will tell what the public reation will be to PS3 and of course, the Wii.
So yes, it may well be the emperor's new clothes, but by god they've used some incredible material :) Incidentally, as Unreal3 developers ourselves, we've been lucky enough to be party to see how the guys at Epic have structured the levels and created the effects. They've been very clever and very shrewd, but ultimately it's fantastic, superb artwork & rich style throughout - it deserves to do well and it will.