Whatever your opinion on quality gaming is, the Regginator himself said this E3 was all about the games, at least for Nintendo. Great right? Well, despite his words, and despite a whole new console about to be released in six months, E3 2012 just seemed to be full of the opposite, and not just for Nintendo. Wii Fit U, "the dance thing" (as I call it) and Nintendo Land are technically games, but were they aimed at the right audience in attendance? Along with Microsoft's continued focus on software apps and dashboard services rather than games, it's hard to see Reggie's statement be actualized in general, or be genuinely excited about E3's offerings rather than cynical and cautious anymore.
Sure, we saw five different Mario games and finally had a glimpse at Pikmin 3, and I love those games just as much as the next guy, and sure, Microsoft showed the titantic Halo 4 and a few other teased new titles which got me hyped. But in between all the Halo's, Mario's, Gears' and Assassin Creed's, it's good to have some fresh-blood and variety. For me, the best of what was shown at E3 was Sony's conference and in the individual developer conferences.
The four best games of E3 2012 that stood out from the many sequels, spin-offs and re-iterations had many things in common; they're ultra-dark and gritty, realistic (well, as much as video games can be), violent and just so happen to all be new IPs. Here is a quick list, just in case you haven't seem them yet, of what I think are four of the most intriguing and exciting new games shown at E3 this year.
Now, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one who wasn't expecting this pleasant surprise from Ubisoft's E3 conference. The fact that Ubisoft have continued to stay silent on the case of Beyond Good & Evil 2 made me pay less and less attention to them in the last few years, but this E3 I'm glad I did.
, as shown in its gameplay trailer, is an open-world game centered around the premise of the ctOS, a digital network that forms the basis of an internal war for information. The protagonist, Aiden, seems to be a cold and calculated murderer with access to impressive technology capable of hacking and accessing an information network which is linked to the "digital shadows" cast by all citizens.
The concept was shown in full light in the gameplay footage as Aiden walked through the venue looking for his target, and as he passed on by each person's age, violence probability, income, diseases and criminal records popped up in tiny detailed prompts. In addition, Aiden can control trains, traffic lights, jam cell phones and control almost every aspect of the connected world using a unknown powerful device.
The gameplay presented was absolutely fantastic. Just the opening ten minutes alone when Aiden is walking through the streets, and the feeling of immersion you get just by watching him walk the streets of Chicago is astounding. The intense and out-of-nowhere firefight at the end of the video seemed dynamic and visceral; a mixture of Grand Theft Auto open-world mixed with a better refined combat system. Well, by the looks of it, anyway.
Watch Dog's next-generation looking graphics were simply beautiful to look at, and though I suspect the gameplay footage was from a powerful PC build, it makes me excited to hear it will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 as well. Let's hope most of the engine makes it intact to the consoles, and even better; to the next generation, where its concepts and graphics would best be facilitated. For me, this was E3 2012, and the one to watch. Have a look at the gameplay trailer below if you haven't already.
Developer/Publisher Info: The game is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal with a team comprised of industry veterans from franchises Assassin's Creed, Rainbow 6 and Far Cry and will also be published by Ubisoft. The game has been in development for two years.
Available on: PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (the latter two confirmed shortly afterwards).
The Last of Us
The Last of Us wiped the floor with Sony's competition at E3. It was never really going to be a surprise anyway; the fact that it's a brand new IP by Naughty Dog got most people interested, but its the fact that its gameplay trailer highlighted its survival focus so well which has solidified its status as the one for PS3 owners to watch.
The Last of Us takes place twenty years after a pandemic of apocalyptic-proportions ravaged the world. The few survivors left have banded together into small groups in order to survive. People loot, steal, and scavenge to make a living and to survive one another; the difference from other traditional apocalyptic scenarios of late is that the primary enemy faced is human, though its themes could be subject to change.
The game itself centers on player-controlled protagonist Joel, a ruthless survivor who is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14 year-old girl from a military quarantine zone. An interesting dynamic shown and suggested is that during their journey across the desolate, overgrown America, the two become close and come to rely on one another to survive, which will make for an interesting narrative considering Joel's profession.
Judging by the impressive E3 gameplay video and other information released, the game will involve a lot of strategy and less run-and-gun shooting in order to survive enemy encounters. A cover system is evidently in place, as well as a realistic inventory system which explored Joel's backpack's contents and the function of creating on-the-fly weapons like Molotovs from scavenged loot.
There also seems to be a severely limited amount of bullets, which highlights the survival focus and realism of the game, and will no doubt add to the intensity of each desperate situation and combat encounter. Having Ellie has a partner also seems to be the difference between life and death, as she saves Joel from a desperate hand-to-hand encounter by stabbing the ruthless survivor in the back. Have a look at the gameplay trailer below if you don't already know why The Last of Us is one of the most exciting new IPs to watch.
Developer/Publisher Info: The game is being developed by Naughty Dog with a dedicated team splintered from Uncharted, having worked on the title since 2009. It will be published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
Release: TBA 2013
Available on: PlayStation 3.
"Every dog has its day" as they say. Sleeping Dogs, or True Crime: Hong Kong as it was once called, seemed to be forever damned to development hell once Activision abandoned the franchise. But Square Enix and United Front Games’ gave the old dog new tricks, and it seems their acquisition has spawned a game that should be on every open-world fan's radar and which has separated itself significantly from its True Crime roots' formula in more than just the name change.
Sleeping Dogs is about undercover cop Wei Shen and his attempts to take down the Triads, an extremely dangerous international criminal organisation which has one of its strongest presences in Hong Kong, by going undercover and infiltrating them from the inside.
The game will challenge players by forcing them to balance the conflicting interests of Shen's police objectives and maintaining his criminal facade by proving his loyalty to the gang in many brutal and violent ways. Judging from the gameplay trailers released and the more story-focused E3 one, it looks like Square and United Front Games are really putting all their effort to make a quality combat system, with an emphasis on hand-to-hand combat with strong influences from Batman: Arkham Asylum/City's "Freeflow" combat system, and a engaging story on par with GTA's traditional criminal underworld premise. The violence and the seedy underworld of Hong Kong (represented magnificently) may not be everyone's cup of team, but for open-world lovers like me who also enjoy a great crime story, Sleeping Dogs looks to be an enjoyable upcoming game.
Take a look at the trailer below for yourself, and also MMGN's preview to get a better understanding of Sleeping Dogs and why this new IP should be on your radar and not ignored.
Developer Info: The game is being developed by United Front Games and published by Namco Bandai in Australia.
Release: August 16, 2012
Available on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC.
Beyond: Two Souls
Beyond: Two Souls is made by Heavy Rain development studio Quantic Dream, and that alone makes the new game notable. Heavy Rain was a very different game, one which emphasized and utilised interactivity, cinematic quality and a character-driven experience above the usual combat-centric gameplay. As such, it wasn't for the typical gamer, but there's no denying its unique quality.
Studio head of Quantic Dream, David Cage says Beyond: Two Souls chronicles the life of a young woman named Jodie Holmes, played by actress Ellen Page, and will be heavily narrative-based; "for the first time we will step away from the character to really learn about them. We will live a life through happy times, sad times, and shape the character until the very end." What other games let you chronicle a character's life? (Don't say Dragon Age II, that game doesn't exist).
In addition, Beyond: Two Souls will make use of motion-capture actors for realistic character animations, and like Heavy Rain, it will support Playstation Move functionality. Judging by the E3 clip it looks to involve a little more action too. Who is Jodie? Why is an entire Swat Team required to apprehend her? How did she move that cup? Telekinesis? Only time will tell.
So, in recap: Ellen Paige, Quantic Dream as developers and a character-based game. Awesome. Check out the E3 2012 trailer again and get excited for yet another leap in quality storytelling and a further blurring of the lines between movie and game.
Developer/Publisher Info: The game is being developed by Quantic Dreams, known for their work on Heavy Rain. It will be published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
Release: Q1, 2013
Available on: PlayStation 3.
What are the best new or otherwise most unique gaming experiences shown at E3 that you are most looking forward to? Tell us below.
By Nathan Misa- - Bio