E3 2012: Day one thoughts.June 5, 2012
Although I wasn’t able to partake in the events first hand this year because of college, which is also to blame for my complete lack of keeping the page updated, I was able to watch the press conferences today and I wanted to give you guys my thoughts on the everything that was revealed.
This E3 seems to be doing alright. Nothing extraordinary has been shown, but a few stellar titles have been revealed and a couple, specifically, seemed to have come out of nowhere to steal the show. I have been hearing and reading a lot about how disappointing this E3 has been so far, and while I can agree that it doesn’t seem to be packing the same punch as E3’s of past, I think the biggest part of that was all the rumors that Microsoft or Sony was going to reveal their next systems, no matter how much they denied that was going to happen, it didn’t matter, because they deny everything whether it’s true or not. So, I feel that lingering hope caused some deflation in the events when it comes to the big 3 (Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony.) But again, there were a few titles that shined.
Beyond: Two Souls. (PS3)
This game snuck up on many (pictured above). From the creators of Heavy Rain and the amazing tech demo Kara, Quantic Dream stays firmly planted in story above gameplay. This take on gaming doesn’t sit well with many people, who refer the freedom of loose narrative of different styled games, but it’s hard not to be drawn in by their use of motion capturing and dark brooding set pieces. This game seems to take that same concept and add a hefty helping of action, according to the trailer where trucks were blowing up and things flying around. With Ellen Page taking the lead role and other established actors lending their voices and acting skills, this is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Watch Dogs (360,PS3)
Again, where the hell did this game come from?! Another game that seemed to hide in the shadows this whole time, only to spring forward and go “Biggity BOO!” flapping its private bits in our faces like an attention deprived pervert! And I liked it, mostly. A game that seems based around hacking in a very fluid, innovative and, as it appears, very rewarding fashion! As you walk around you can whip out your mobile device and start ease dropping on peoples phone conversations, phish information about them, and scramble their electronics. On top of that, it showed the ability to control traffic lights, causing pile ups, control bridge lifts for a smoother getaway. The graphics were amazing as well, with very detailed lighting, color, and realistic and fluid animation, not to mention the writing seemed pretty solid, from the small amounts we were given. One thing that really got to me and started to turn me off from the whole thing was it’s build up of hacking and electronic espionage only to end with gun play and fire fights. This was compounded by a line the lead characters “sidekick” dropped during their conversation. While standing in a fancy “art” gallery, he says “I hate this type of shit, no subtlety, like you, not subtle.” (paraphrasing) This was a blatant foreshadowing of everything that was about to happen, which again, good writing, but it left me with the feeling that all these great new ideas and concepts they were showing off would be pushed to the side for more gunfire, which is overplayed these days. So this is my plea to Ubisoft. Stick with the more puzzle, stealth-like game play and keep the gunfire at a minimal!
Assassin’s Creed 3 (306,PS3,Vita)
Having been around for 4 games without a lot of change, the Assassin’s Creed franchise, which started with a solid start and grew to a great franchise was starting to lose it’s wind. Although Revelations was a solid game and garnered good reviews from across the board, it’s main criticism was that it was more of the same. Shortly after it’s released, there were already rumblings of a full-fledged sequel and the biggest request was “something different!” Well, Ubisoft heard those pleas and obliged 3-fold! Set against a colonial American backdrop which contrasts the series previous focus on large urban cities, this game has been shown to focus on small towns and big open natural environments with fields and forests. What was revealed this year at E3, was oceanic battles set on large ships with lots of cannon fire. At one point near the end of the trailer, the ocean turns rough, rain begins to pour down, and large waves start rolling in until finally the trailer ends with your crew capturing and boarding the oppositions vessel. While I “liked” the first few Assassin’s Creed games, I grew tired of their similarities. This game has me jazzed up again!
Final Thoughts: Winner’s and Losers of the Day.
While it wasn’t amazing, it wasn’t terrible either. I think Microsoft’s show was more densely packed. Showing a larger swath of games, new features, things to expect. But none of it was really mind blowing, just a solid and rather “Yeah, Cool, I figured.” While Sony, on the other hand, showed only a few games, but of those a couple really stood out as something special. The rest of their showing really felt more like a younger sibling who overheard it’s mother give praise to his older brother and wanted in on the action with “Well, I can do all of that stuff too!”
The Big winner this day seems to be Ubisoft who displayed several interesting games, shocked us with the Watch Dogs trailer,teased us with Zombie U, and taunted us with more tasty tidbits of Assassin’s Creed 3! They really stole the overall thunder from Microsoft and Sony this year. We’ll see what tomorrow holds and how Nintendo is going to play it.