All About E3 2012 [Huge Post Gamers Must]
As you know, Microsoft usually begins its conference with a gameplay video of the latest Call of Duty game, however, this time it was Halo 4. It was something that made me go “wow”. Why? It sort of reminded me of a Metroid game and the action looked spectacular. New enemies were shown, new locations were shown, and it undoubtedly stole the show.
Next up was what I initially thought was Call of Duty, but it turned out to be Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Games do look a bit similar nowadays, don’t they? Maybe it’s the brown filter that has soared in popularity this gen. Blacklist looked decent, with the mark and execute mechanic making a return. Then they showed FIFA 13, Madden 13, Fable: The Journey, Gears of War: Judgment and finally Forza: Horizon. So that’s it, and they were desperately waiting to show some apps and features for the Xbox 360
Things which people who don’t live in the US can’t avail of, so it became a bit painful to watch it at this point. Yusuf Mehdi marketing manager for Microsoft came on stage to show off the voice search feature, and in different languages! I wanted to say Xbox: “juegos”! Which means games in Spanish and I kind of knew it was too late for that to work. If you love watching American sports then you would love what Microsoft showed here. They announced that NBA is coming to Xbox, and NHL too with a bunch of features.
Then was the most cringe-worthy moment of the conference – Nike Kinect. “If you have a body, you are an athelete,” the guy on stage said, while millions of people watching the conference rolled their eyes in unison. Then was the main highlight of the conference – Xbox SmartGlass. It basically allows you to use your phone or tablet as a remote or share content between the two. You can also navigate the Metro UI with it, and I actually thought this was pretty cool.
After that was over, it was time for the phenomenal Tomb Raider which was shown at Microsoft’s E3 11 conference as well. Needless to say it looked great and it’s one of the those games that must be in many people’s anticipated list. Lot of scripted scenes, mind you. Tomb Raider veterans could be disappointed with it and opposite for Uncharted fans. Then Microsoft showed three new exclusives from Twisted Pixel and a game from the director of Pirates of the Caribbean. Signal Studios showed a game which delivers synchronious multiplayer called Ascend New Gods.
Resident Evil 6 was next and Kobayashi from Capcom came to demo the game on the stage, missing the head and hitting the body of zombies, which made me wonder “did he really create the game”? It looked good nevertheless. Next up was Wreckateer with a cute girl demoing the game on stage, and this was probably Microsoft’s best game of the show, because of the girl, of course. She said “power of the Kinect” and I believe! Okay, let me be serious here, the game looked like shit.
South Park was the star of the conference and the show’s creators themselves came on stage to demo it! That was pretty cool. They weren’t even looking at the Teleprompter and everything flowed well. Pretty cool. Next up was the worst thing I had ever seen on stage and made me doubt whether I was really watching a games and services related event. That’s right, Usher came on stage to deliver a performance. Terrible. And oh, I almost forgot they showed Dance Central 3 earlier in the conference, and it’s actually something that I’m pretty excited about.
And to finish the conference, Microsoft chose Black Ops 2′s gameplay demo. Well, what to say? It looks like Call of Duty. People shouting, buildings falling, the standard things that you know and love or hate about the game’s campaign. And that concludes it. At this point, I was totally bored out of my mind due to Usher’s performance, but I’ll give props to Microsoft since they showed some damn games. And oh, Microsoft, call me when these apps work outside US, especially in my country. Thanks.
EA held a press conference at E3 this year, as is their custom. They showed video games they had mostly already announced, as is their custom. They made some desperate plays at social connectivity and future subscription/downloadable content initiatives, as is very much their custom. And there was a football player there. You can see where this is going.
Nobody expects huge things from EA's pressers. Even among publisher press conferences, which are traditionally light on new announcements, EA has always seemed rather bland and low-key, especially when compared with the hyperactive weirdness of the Ubisoft conference, and the off-kilter inexplicability of the Konami pressers. So I can't say I was disappointed with EA's showing this year. It's hard to disappoint when you don't have hope to begin with.
The publisher did at least have the good sense to set the tone for the afternoon right from the get-go, with a decidedly haggard-looking John Riccitiello (it really looked like it had been a rough year for the guy) wandering out onto the stage looking only half-aware of where he was. He then went on to tout EA's many achievements, chief among them EA's dedication to ensuring you have more things to buy for that game you already bought. Yes, the abundance of paid DLC was EA's first talking point.
But then video games happened, and to be fair, many of those video games looked pretty good. The highlights were undoubtedly demos for Criterion's open world spin on Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and a show-closing demo of Crysis 3. Dead Space 3 also got a fairly lengthy showing, though reactions seemed mixed over the game's newfound emphasis on action-y gameplay, Lost Planet-looking setting, and abundance of bro-oriented dialogue. "Fuck this planet," one of the Dead Space guys said, and if social media reactions were any indication, people agreed with him.
Reactions seemed similarly mixed for Medal of Honor: Warfighter, though that may be due less to the quality of the game itself, and more to do with the fatigue that's been setting in over brown/tan/grey shooters set in modern theaters of conflict. I mean, there are a lot of shooters at this year's E3, and the fact that the demo followed the deeply underwhelming demo for Battlefield 3 Premium probably did it no favors.
SimCity's demo was a personal highlight for me. I've been excited about modern Maxis' take on the franchise for a while now, and the stuff they showed looked fantastic. Even the Facebook version of the game seemed to have some merit, and that's not something I say very often.
That said, the SimCity demos were but one example of EA's continued bludgeoning of the consumer with social features they may or may not ever care to use. EA's demos of FIFA and Madden were particularly engorged with these, and I can't help but question the need for more ways to connect games to social networks to smart devices and so on and so forth. I play many of EA's sports games, and I cannot say I've ever had much desire to do anything besides play some online games and maybe join a league. I feel like I'm not alone on this.
But, hey, if you do decide to pick up Madden this year, you can totally connect it socially with social stuff, and even look at a fake Twitter feed featuring various ESPN sportswriting personalities. Yes, Madden has its own fake Twitter, featuring people you probably go out of your way not to follow on Twitter. Oh, and there are new tackles, because of course there are
EA also confirmed that they will most assuredly be rejoining the NBA race this year with a new NBA Live, and even managed one sports-related surprise. In bringing a somewhat bemused-looking Dana White on stage, EA announced that it had acquired the UFC license, which had previously been held by THQ. Considering some of the things that Dana White has said about EA over the years, this is unquestionably hilarious. At least the game should be good, if that last EA MMA title is any indication.
Lastly, and most definitely leastly, Dr. Ray Muzyka was trotted out on stage to plead for the life of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Looking as upbeat as a man pitching an MMO that's losing subscribers left and right possibly could, Dr. Ray touted multiple new content updates on the horizon, and that the game would be going free-to-play up through level 15. Expect a similar announcement next year, except without the level cap.
And that was the EA presser in a nutshell. Next up, Ubisoft, which should, at the very least, be a bit more lively.
A lot was expected of Sony’s conference this year- the PS Vita was dying (still is) and Sony needed to buck up and give it a spectacular revival. Everyone thought all the PS Vita announcements would make Sony’s presser the best of the lot. The thing is, there were no PS Vita announcements, or none to speak of, anyway. However, Sony’s conference was spectacular indeed, perhaps the best conference we’ve seen from them in a long time.
Sony kicked of their conference in a very unusual way- usually companies would want to start their E3 pressers with huge, explosive showings with lots of gunfights, set pieces and explosions. What did Sony do? They showed of the next game by Heavy Rain developers, Quantic Dream. David Cage walked on to the stage and showed off Beyond: Two Souls. It was no Call of Duty or Halo, with curse words and flashy explosions. No, it was a fairly quiet demo. But it impressed us greatly, and gave a great start to Sony’s conference. Everything from the voice acting and motion capture to the dialogues and the visuals seemed so impressive, and the concept of “life after death” and supernatural powers that Beyond seems to be focusing on immediately captured our imaginations.
But that was not all they showed. They went on to demonstrate just what exactly PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale will be all about. Before E3, many people had been saying that Battle Royale is just a shameless Super Smash Bros. ripoff. After this, though… well, even more people will say that. Because, to be honest, the game looks awfully similar to Super Smash. Bros. But that doesn’t mean it looks boring. No, that is exactly why it looks good. Using characters like Kratos and Nathan Drake against the likes of Big Daddy and Sly in a fighting game was an interesting idea to begin with, and Sony’s gameplay demonstration impressed us even more.
There were some pretty obvious disappearing acts in the conference though, like LittleBigPlanet Karting and Sucker Punch’s next game. The most notable has to be Sly 4. The game’s coming out later this year for the PS3 and the PS Vita, and this should be right about the time when Sony starts advertising the heck out of it. But no, they’ve gone ahead and not even mentioned it at the biggest gaming event of the year. The conference definitely needed more Sly 4, because information on this game’s been scarce and so far, we have no idea what to expect from it.
They also didn’t talk about The Last Guardian. It’s been four years now, and we’ve been waiting for Sony to launch the game on the PS3. After promising us multiple times over the last few months that the game is not in development hell and that more info will be released soon, Sony goes ahead and doesn’t even mention the game during its E3 presser. Surely, they must be trolling us.
Which brings us to the PS Vita. A lot was riding on Sony’s E3- this was supposed to be the PS Vita’s revival. After so many consecutive less than mediocre weeks on the market, a few flopped releases and very little games in its software library to speak of, everyone was expecting Sony to come out all-guns blazing, announce a motherload of exclusive third party titles, announce first party titles like God of War and Ratchet and Clank and win everyone over. Well, that didn’t happen.
To be fair, they did show off cross-platform play for All-Stars Battle Royale, also announcing it for the PS Vita, and also announced Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified- new experiences built from scratch specifically for the Vita, also making use of its functionalities- but that was about it. They didn’t announce anything else. It’s like Sony wants the Vita to die. Unless they have something big planned for the handheld in the coming months, I don’t see how they will be able to recover from this properly. The rest of the conference was all about the PS3.
Now, even though many of the PS3 showing were far beyond excellent, one single showing was so boring, it brought down this conference’s score by at least half a point- the new WonderBook. It’s a sort of virtual reality app that allows players to read books and change their stories, using the PS Eye. Interesting concept, right? Well, it definitely would have seemed so if Sony hadn’t spent twenty freaking minutes on its demonstration. Those twenty minutes were indescribably boring. Sony could have shown it all in just 5 or 10 minutes and wrapped it up and moved on to focus on more core games, but they went ahead and bored our pants off with a god-awful presentation.
And just when things were looking bleak for Sony and we were dead sure that there was no saving this conference, they showed us a glimpse of God of War: Ascension. Anyone who thought Sony Santa Monica couldn’t deliver a more epic experience after God of War III was proven comprehensively wrong with the demo that was shown on-stage. A release date- March 12, 2013- was given too. At this moment, it looked like Sony might be on their way to redeeming the conference, but there was very little time left. What could they do to bring back a conference from the dead in just a few minutes?
And then they showed off The Last of Us. The Last of Us alone saved Sony’s E3 conference. Sure, the rest of the demonstrations were really good, but it was The Last of Us that wowed one and all, with its mind blowing visuals that looked almost CG level, its superior animations and realistic voice acting and its oh-so thrilling gameplay. The entire demonstration was in-engine, none of it was pre-rendered, and nothing they showed was scripted. Everything- the dialogue, the action- was happening in accordance to the gameplay. It was, undoubtedly, the best showing of E3 2012.
By the time the conference ended, we did no remember the horrible Wonderbook demonstration. We had forgotten all about the disappearing acts, like The Last Guardian and PS Vita games. What we remembered were the excellent gameplay demos of The Last of Us and God of War and the thrilling reveal trailer of Beyond: Two Souls. Despite the fact that it had many flaws, Sony’s E3 conference turned out to be the best conference this year.
Years from now, when we look back at this E3, amidst all the disappointment, there will be one thing we will all universally agree on: this was the E3 that Ubisoft finally came into its own as a publisher. Apart from having a massive presence at all three of the console manufacturer’s conferences (each of them devoted a segment of their conference to Ubisoft and its games), they also had their own press conference as with every year. Unlike every other year, however, they totally hit it out of the park with this one, and came out on the top this E3.
Ubisoft’s press conference started out as bad as the last few years: with a full fledged dance number to show off their upcoming Just Dance 4, the latest in their bestselling, world conquering series of dance games. However, Ubi quickly got that out of the way, and it was a pleasant surprise when on to the stage, there trotted not retarded show hosts like Mr Caffeine, but an actual, genuinely funny actress, and Tobuscus as her show host. While their presentation was still marginally cringe inducing, and there wasn’t much chemistry between the two of them, it served the purpose of keeping things moving between the game presentations.
And the games, the meat of the show, were awesome. Every single game that Ubisoft showed off at E3, including, yes, Just Dance, was great, fresh, bold, taking new chances, and frankly exciting enough to warrant a purchase. Ubisoft started by showing off the new Splinter Cell game, Blacklist. The game had also been demoed at Microsoft’s presser earlier in the day, so it wasn’t as big of a shock, but the liberties it is taking with the series standards still managed to upset some. Assessed as what it is, though, it looks fine, and it was a fine way to start the conference.
Also shown off at this point in time was Far Cry 3. The game looks gorgeous, prettier than it has any right to, considering that it is running on seven year old consoles, and it looks to continue the Far Cry series’ streak of building up an excellent atmosphere. The game looked great, and it looks like it will be a breath of fresh air in the shooter genre when it hits.
Ubisoft dedicated an entire portion of its conference to Wii U, and frankly, it did a better job of unveiling the Wii U than Nintendo itself did. Starting with Rayman Legends, that looked great (and was announced as being Wii U only), they showed off some really neat features of the game enabled by its heavy tablet integration, including asymmetric co-op. More than any other game, perhaps, Ubisoft’s Rayman Legend managed to sell people on the Wii U.
Ubisoft also debuted a Wii U exclusive zombies game, bafflingly titled ZombiU. The trailer didn’t show much, but the premise seemed interesting, and the game seemed to be proof of the fact that Nintendo really is trying to appeal to the hardcore market.
After the Wii U segment, Ubisoft showed off several other games. Among these, one was Shootmania, an arena shooter that looks to be a throwback to shooters of the 90s. The presentation was really awful, but the actual game looked really cool, and it looked like a breath of fresh air in a stagnant genre.
After that, Ubi moved to the game everyone had really been waiting for: Assassin’s Creed 3. The expectations were through the roof, but the game seemed to surpass every single one of them, and it looked breathtaking. Ubisoft even addressed the question of whether Assassin’s Creed would have you exclusively focusing on killing the British, and though they skirted around the issue, the fact that they brought it up at all was nice.
The last game that Ubisoft showed off was mind blowing. A new IP that was also unlike anything ever seen before, and the possible game of show, with stunning graphics that looked absolutely next generation, and a concept that is incredible (and seemed to be great in its execution too). The footage- all real time- and the gameplay demo was met with thunderous applause, and you could detect a faint note of pride in the UBisoft executives’ voice as they introduced Watch Dogs to the world.
And that sealed the deal. With a stellar conference that will go down as one of the best in E3 history, a varied lineup, and a slate of games that is very literally appealing to everybody, Ubisoft saved the show. E3 2012 will, in hindsight, belong to Ubisoft, and their press conference was the ultimate epitome of that triumph.
Trailers and Gameplays
Need For Speed Most Wanted
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Resident Evil 6
God Of War: Ascension
Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2
Medal Of Honor: Warfighter
Assassin's Creed 3
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2
Far Cry 3
The Last Of Us
Great games are coming up this year and on early 2013 although this year's E3 wasn't the best and i would say it's pretty disappointing for some, i can't wait to put my hands on 5 of the games that are about to come this year and next, my top 5 are: 5th Tomb Raider, 4th Far Cry 3, 3th Assassin's Creed 3, 2nd The Last Of Us and first place goes to Watch Dogs.
Hope you enjoyed the post, happy waiting for the games
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