Made2Game's A-2-Z of E3 2012
- PlayStation Vita
- E3 2012
- Crystal Dynamics
- 343 Industries
Following on from our not-very-accurate-but-not-far-off predictions, we thought we'd bring you a rundown of all the best bits of this year's E3, from celebrity guests to stunning tech demos to some of this generation's best games. And just in case you missed all the fun in LA last week, we’ve included a selection of the best trailers and videos from the whole week.
So read on, enjoy, and thank us with chocolate.
A IS FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS
There were certainly a few of those. From the big reveals of Splinter Cell: Blacklist and ZombieU to smaller scale arcade titles like Ascend: New Gods, to Microsoft's SmartGlass app, the slurry of announcements kept things fresh and exciting, even though there seemed to be less fanfare this year than we've seen before. Our favourite announcement? Probably this little beauty from Ubisoft:
B IS FOR BLACK OPS 2
It just wouldn't be E3 without Call of Duty popping in to say “Hi”, would it? Although officially confirmed a while ago, Black Ops 2 wasn't seen in action until last week. Our verdict on the gameplay demo? The near-future setting is an intriguing direction for the series and, quite frankly, how Treyarch keep managing to buff that ageing engine up to a high shine is beyond us.
C IS FOR CELEBRITIES
Usher was there. Usher. Closing the show for Microsoft and promoting his involvement with Dance Central 3, Usher Raymond sang and danced at E3. Usher. We're not sure how many Usher fans were in attendance, but at the very least two or three people were very entertained. Also, while revealing the frankly awesome-looking South Park: The Stick of Truth, Trey Parker and Matt Stone managed to troll Microsoft during their own conference. Priceless. Did we mention Usher was there?
D IS FOR DISHONORED
Arkane Studios’ steampunk fantasy thriller has been on our radar since a while back, but we wanted – needed – to see gameplay to separate the style from the substance in our minds. What we got from Bethesda's demo was enough to convince us that we're dealing with a potential masterpiece. Everything impresses from the art style to the story and setting – and the gameplay looks absolutely great.
E IS FOR EA
One of the biggest publishers in the world, EA came to LA with a handful of juicy goodies but nothing to really blow our minds. The Medal of Honor: Warfighter trailer suggests a much more realistic, mature approach to the depiction of modern warfare – and by mature we mean serious and considered, not tits and F-bombs. They also showed off the ludicrously-gorgeous Crysis 3, complete with bow-wielding Prophet. Oh, and the curiously un-denominated Need For Speed: Most Wanted is being developed by Criterion, which yanks our happy crank. Hard.
F IS FOR FORZA HORIZON
The announcement of a new Forza would be cause for excitement enough, but when Turn10 Studios revealed Forza Horizon a few months back and hinted it might feature an open world a la Test Drive Unlimited, we got very interested, very quickly. The open world nature was confirmed at E3, and we can't wait to cruise around Forza Horizon's breathtaking roads.
G IS FOR GEARS OF WAR: JUDGEMENT
Epic hand over the reins to Bulletstorm devs People Can Fly, who are taking us back in time 14 years to when Damon Baird was in command of Kilo Squad. We're not sold on the prequel part, but more Gears and more Locust with less restricted firefighting sounds aces. Also, the new Overrun multiplayer mode looks a lot better than the by-now-old-hat Horde mode in Gears of War 3.
H IS FOR HALO 4
We like Halo here at Made2Game, and we've been waiting with baited breath for the revelations we knew would come at E3. Unveiling a tasty demo showcasing the new enemies, new environments and new combat elements, Microsoft didn't disappoint – and we don't believe 343 Industries will, either.
I IS FOR INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US
Not everyone remembers the ill-advised MK vs DC Universe, and those that do remember it with a face like they just bit into a lemon. But NetherRealm studios have taken the basic concept – a one-on-one brawler featuring the DC line-up including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash – and turned it into Injustice: Gods Among Us. Strangely, it has us intrigued.
J IS FOR JOEL & ELLIE
We first heard about Naughty Dog's not-quite-zombie thriller, The Last of Us, at the beginning of the year and we've been hooked ever since. A major part of Sony's E3 conference was this extraordinary gameplay trailer – and now we're actually eating our actual tongues in anticipation. There’s no news on a release date yet, but it’s likely to be some time around Summer 2013.
K IS FOR KONAMI
A hugely up-and-down publisher, Konami release a handful of stinkers every year, but their key franchises like MGS and PES always deliver. This year at E3 they showed off Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, a pair of titles guaranteed to erase the memory of this year’s lacklustre Silent Hill: Downpour.
L IS FOR THE LUMINOUS ENGINE
Square-Enix stunned the crowds at E3 with the ridiculously beautiful Agni's Philosophy, a tech demo for their next-gen Luminous Engine. Quite how it will look when the next Xbox and Playstation finally arrive and the engine is working within the restrictions of the new technology remains to be seen, but if it comes close to the jaw-dropping quality of this demo, we're in for some incredible works of art next generation.
M IS FOR MULTIPLAYER
It's bloody everywhere, isn't it? God of War: Ascension features an amazing-looking online mode, The Elder Scrolls is heading online and even Dead Space, the daddy of claustrophobic sci-fi horror, is introducing co-op to its third instalment. Surely it totally defeats the point, but whatever. How else can EA justify shoehorning an online pass into new copies?
N IS FOR NINTENDO LAND
It may be essentially the Wii U version of Wii Sports, but Nintendo Land's dual purpose as both launch title and tech demo will make full use of the Wii U's capabilities. A collection of twelve mini-games featuring characters, settings and themes from some of Nintendo’s greatest franchises, Nintendo Land is unlikely to disappoint fans. Our James reckons it just might have been the most important game of E3 2012, but time will tell.
O IS FOR OMISSIONS
Absent friends who we hoped to see included Grand Theft Auto V, Thief 4, Bioshock Infinite and Anarchy Reigns. I also had my hopes pinned on news of the rumoured Diablo 3 console port and a hinted-at Soul Reaver reboot. Alas, neither materialised. But did we mention Usher was there?
P IS FOR PLAYSTATION PLUS
Although technically nothing concrete was revealed at E3, Sony alluded to changes and improvements to the PlayStation Plus subscription service. Since E3, they've confirmed that the entire service is being "ramped up" to deliver "what the community told us they wanted". More free games and exclusive offers? Yes please.
Q IS FOR QUANTIC FRICKIN’ DREAM
The Paris-based developer of the exceptional Heavy Rain stopped tongues wagging and thumbs texting when they lifted the lid on Beyond: Two Souls with a fantastic 6 minute cinematic trailer. A supernatural action-adventure featuring Quantic Dream's unique approach to game design, Beyond is the story of Jodie Holmes (played by the always-delightful Ellen Paige) and her ghostly companion, Iden, as they evade the police and the government for reasons so far unknown – and it looks potentially incredible.
R IS FOR REALLY UNREAL
Gears of War developers Epic used E3 to show off the tech demo of their new Unreal 4 engine, and frankly blew us away. As the video shows, Unreal 4 does things with dynamic lighting we've never seen before, and we can't wait to see games running on this bad boy – although, as with Square-Enix’s Luminous, it remains to be seen exactly how great Unreal 4 will run on consoles. We’re betting it’ll be stunning.
S IS FOR SMARTGLASS
As we predicted, one of Microsoft's big reveals was an app allowing you to link every electronic device you own with every other electronic device you own. Well, not exactly, but the SmartGlass app is pretty cool, allowing you to use devices like mobiles and tablets as second screens for your 360, and even convert them into universal remotes. Connectivity is always a good thing, and the practical applications are many – but how much use gamers will get out of it is anyone’s guess.
T IS FOR TOMB RAIDER
As much as we're trying to keep an open mind and remember that Crystal Dynamics KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE DOING, we can't help but feel that the new Tomb Raider is mostly about a teenage girl getting beaten up, tied up, thrown off stuff and generally roughhoused by various modern-day pirate types. In the demo shown at E3, she grunts, she jumps, she bleeds, she quite possibly quips occasionally, and she gets abused A LOT. But does she actually raid any tombs? We don't know yet, but we bloody hope so.
U IS FOR UBISOFT
We don't think many will disagree that French developers Ubisoft brought the noise to E3 this year. A new Assassin's Creed 3 trailer along with the official reveal of the rumoured Assassin's Creed Vita game, subtitled "Liberation"; the return of Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell: Blacklist; Rayman Legends and ZombieU to rock Nintendo's new console at launch, and Watch Dogs, one of the most exciting new IPs announced do far this year. Yeah, Ubisoft delivered.
V IS FOR VITA
Or absence, thereof. We were expecting big things for the PlayStation Vita at this year's show, but what we got – while a solid selection of incoming titles – didn't set the world on fire. Gore-soaked, spine-ripping fantasy Soul Sacrifice featured, along with LittleBigPlanet and Street Fighter X Tekken – but PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale was the surprise highlight in a fairly low-key line-up. Is it indicative of a lack of passion for the Vita in Sony themselves, or is the best still yet to come? We pray it's the latter. We're still waiting for a must-have title for the handheld, and at present the worthiest prospect was announced by Ubisoft, not Sony.
W IS FOR WII U
Whereas Nintendo, on the other hand, gave their new console full backing during their conference, announcing titles like Project P-100, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3 and Lego City – not to mention new trailers and info for launch titles like Assassin's Creed 3 and Darksiders II. They may not have had the most exciting presentation, but at least Nintendo are keen to show what's on the horizon for their console.
X IS FOR XENOMORPHS
It's fair to say that a combination of our love for James Cameron's masterpiece, Randy Pitchford's inexhaustible enthusiasm and the gameplay videos shown at E3 have convinced us that Aliens: Colonial Marines will be the game that finally does justice to the legend. Watch this video interview from IGN and see why we can’t wait to get back to LV-426.
Y IS FOR YOSHI
You can't have the launch of a new Nintendo console without a certain pair of plumbers getting involved. New Super Mario Brothers U is the latest instalment in the by-now legendary franchise, featuring 5-player co-op and the option to play the game as your Mii. A guaranteed hit if ever we saw one.
Z IS FOR ZOMBIES
Yup, loads of zombies at E3 this year, from the infected in The Last of Us to the hordes of Ubisoft's ZombieU to the military-flavoured cadaver-perforating in Black Ops 2 – but before any of those we've got Tequila Works' Deadlight. Slightly-iffy voice acting aside, the 2.5D side-scrolling action looks like a competent, creepy mash-up of The Walking Dead and Shadow Complex, and there's something about the unsettling atmosphere and moody, grim artwork that has our attention. We’re watching this one. If it tries to get up we’ll shoot it in the head.
So, there you go. An A to Z catch-up of all the best bits of E3 2012. Anything you feel we should have included? A game or piece of tech you feel strongly about or anything you feel disappointed about, drop a comment in the box.
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)
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