Monday, 11 June 2012

E3 2012 Summary - My take on things

Here are my thoughts of what I've seen via G4's coverage and read about the stuff shown at E3.  I hope on day I am able to attend this event.  So, lots to cover, so here goes... In no particular order.. (well, the order it is shown on the wiki page.)

Microsoft Keynote:

Halo 4 live action trailer was the usual for the series, having only played Reach and ODST, I’ll probably check out Halo 4, but not likely something I’d buy on launch day.  I don’t expect it to be a complete flop, even though the game is not done by Bungie.  Developers of these big franchises are usually really good at listening to what the fans want.  

Black Ops 2 gameplay brings the familiar feel of a summer action flick as usual.   Seeing some more video of the strike force mode made it look interesting.  Multiple endings, and missions that you  fail will change the story line is definitely a welcome change, you are no longer stuck in a single narrow defined story.  But the big thing for me, and most of the fans are waiting for is the multiplayer reveal, which should be happening at the end of August.  Was surprised that no news of this years’ XP event, but they usually do something separately.  (update – no XP event for 2012, looks like we’ll have to wait for Gamescom in August.)

Tomb Raider was pushed back to Q1 2013, but new gameplay footage shows a much grittier game than previous iterations in the series.  A little more shooter aspect in it, at least based on what was shown.  This game is definitely still on my radar.
New Gears of War title, Gears of War: Judgement, this time telling the story of Baird.  Will probably get this when it launches, I just hope they finally make all new maps instead of releasing half old and half new maps.  There’s talk about new gameplay modes, so we’ll see how it goes.  I’ll probably only play the story, and horde.

More Forza Horizon info was provided, looks intriguing, but with Need For Speed Most Wanted (more on this later) coming out at the same time promising similar open world action, it’ll be an interesting time for racing games.  Most important thing I want to know is the exact number of vehicles that are in the game.  Forza will still be the one with the better physics, but I think Need for Speed offers more quick action for the people who are not as serious about driving to want all the physics.

South Park: The Stick of Truth looks good, and has potential, but I’m not betting on it having a long enough single player experience for me to justify paying full price for the title.  But I could be proven wrong, and I hope so, because it looks like a lot of fun.

Xbox SmartGlass

The big thing in Microsoft’s keynote was the introduction of this software where tablets and smart phones that people already have will be able to interact with the console seamlessly, adding extra features and informational screens.  For the entertainment side of things, it is an interesting add-on, something I will check out, even though I have never used my xbox for anything other than gaming.  They showed off how doing something in Halo4, can unlock information on the tablet app.  This is nice and all, but usually when I’m gaming, I don’t really have much time to stop and read the extra information.  It’s nice to have, and I think we’ll have to wait till next gen consoles before we see this fully utilized in a way that makes sense for the core gamer. 

Sony Keynote:

God of War: Ascension, the prequel to all the previous games, gives us a slightly leaner Kratos.  Since I haven’t played any of the previous games, this may be a good way to get into the game.  But also, might not help if I ever want to play the PS2 classics.

Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty are coming to PS Vita this fall, so that might be the time I actually get one, and it will most likely be the AC3 edition white Vita.  They talked about linking certain aspects of Assassin’s Creed 3 with the console and handheld.  I hope to hear more about it before I decide which console to get AC3 on.

There were two things about the Sony keynote that really caught my attention.  First was the reveal of Beyond: Two Souls, a game by Quantic dream, who made Heavy Rain.  I expect the same level of storytelling and unique gameplay that really set them apart from the rest.  They got Ellen Page to do the motion cap and got her likeness as the main character, which is really cool to see that the developers are stepping up their production values by having big name actors star in their games.

The last thing that caught my attention was actual gameplay video of The Last of Us, by the people who did the uncharted series.  What an awesome game, you really get the sense of urgency and despair.  The tension of knowing you only have a certain amount of bullets and supplies, makes you play the game more conservatively, and when you do get into some of the action, you have to be careful not to run out of bullets, or you'll need to fight hand to hand.  Definitely will need to check this out when its out!


Some Wii-U demos, some are interesting, but I still feel they are behind the curve.  For the core gamer, they have some titles coming out for the console that are already (and some for a while) on the market.  Why would a core gamer play Batman again?  Is there going to be enough new features for me to play it?  While Sony and Microsoft have next gen systems coming down the pipeline in a year or two, Nintendo has to really step up if they want me, the core gamer to consider purchasing their hardware.  Also given how their previous product had such a short shelf life, and Microsoft’s SmartGlass coming in fall, it’s a really tough sell for Nintendo.  Zombie-U is the only game that actually grabbed my attention, maybe with Microsoft SoftGlass, it'll eventually show up on a console I own.. haha

EA Keynote:

I was somewhat surprised with Dead Space 3, and how relatively quickly it came out.  Dead Space 2 was somewhat of a letdown for me, but I think it’s not really the game’s fault.  It’s hard to really scare someone who’s played through multiple times in the original.  This time around, they changed it up by focusing more on a co-op aspect, and opening up the map areas a bit more.  So there’s still hope, and the story is always compelling. 

Crysis 3 footage is the usual eye-gasm of graphics, I’ll probably pick it up for PC when it goes on sale, I have yet to get any time to even play Crysis 2.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter looks really good, and they are really trying to hit up the Call of Duty players with similar killstreaks.  This could have potential, but I don’t think they’ll be able to take down the giant COD online community.   To me, for multiplayer shooters, its either BF3 or COD, not much room in between for anything to have any long term success.  But the trailer does make it look like it has potential. 


Need for Speed Most Wanted is pretty much Burnout Paradise, with actual licensed cars, and police chasing you around.  I had lots of fun with the Burnout series, so I think this one will be worth checking out.  I don’t expect it to be able to last against Forza Horizon though, but that’s just apples and oranges to me.  Need For Speed is way more arcade-racer and Forza Horizon will still be more sim even though they let you add lots of driver aids to the gameplay.  We’ll see though, as Forza has yet to reveal the number of cars available in their game, while NFS:MW was said to launch with 60 licensed cars.

Sim City is getting revamped, but to me, it still does not look as nice as the CitiesXL series, but there could be lots of gameplay in Sim City that may separate it enough from the competition to make it not need the visuals of CitiesXL.  


Ubisoft, probably had the best showing at E3.  Showing off more Assassin’s Creed 3 gameplay details, there’s no doubt now that I will be getting it when it comes out.  

More gameplay demos of Far Cry 3 showcased 4 player co-op and more details on the gameplay itself, it is definitely something I’m keeping my eye on.  I would get it if Borderlands 2 wasn’t already coming out a week or two after it.  Maybe I’ll end up getting it on PC just for the visuals.

Splinter Cell is back with a new game, called Blacklist.  To me it looks a lot like a call of duty meets metal gear solid, without the octocamo.  You can climb up walls like it was assassin’s creed, call in air strikes like call of duty.  It is an interesting mix.  Another one to keep on the radar.

Last game revealed by Ubisoft is a brand new IP, and probably the one that I’m most excited about in terms of “new” games.  The game is called Watch Dogs, and it looks amazing.  Set in Chicago in the near future, everything is connected via the web, and is hackable.  The main character you play has the ability to hack in and cause distractions which help him progress through whatever he needs to do.  From the gameplay footage, a lot of work has been put into the AI, and how they react to things that are happening.  Even the bystanders react to things happening in the game world in a realistic manner.  You can tell a lot of care is being taken with this game.  I hope it’s more like GTA and not as linear as other single player games.  

That takes care of it for this year, at least what I can think off the top of my head.  Now we gotta wait for some of these games to actually come out!

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