Now that E3 2012 is well and truly over we can look at the high and low points for the entire event. There were many of both but here is the definitive list of the best and worst moments of E3 2012, right here on Gameredemption.
In with the new, out with the old
Now as we all know the gaming industry currently is going through a ‘moment’. A lot of franchises are being ‘milked’ as you might say, and we all know that this exploitation can lead to disastrous consequences (e.g where is Guitar Hero?).
Personally I don’t mind how many games are made from a certain franchise, especially if this E3 is anything to go by. See the reason that people become sick of a franchise is because it merely ends up a retread of what has come before. No longer does the brand new edition of the franchise thrill and excite as it use to. It has become stale.
At E3 this year we saw/heard of old franchises with new games in the works. Halo, Gears of War, Assassins Creed, Call of Duty and God of War being the biggest. Now many people are of the opinion that these games are ‘milked’. That they should just lay down and die in order to let other games and heroes rise up and take their place. However as mentioned above releasing a brand new game (no matter how many have come before) isn’t a problem so long as the experience is still somewhat fresh.
Halo 4 has introduced brand new enemies, settings, weapons etc. The multiplayer has also had a facelift with a new customisable Spartan (which now includes load out). Firefight has also been removed for a brand new Spartan Ops mode which is an episodic co-op campaign. Gears of War Judgment now has a brand new multiplayer mode which focuses on classes (a first for Gears). Assassins Creed 3 features naval warfare, climbing on the environment, seasons and the list goes on. Call of Duty has shifted to the near future (and a Deus Ex colour scheme) but has also introduced an element of choice with sandbox and side missions throughout the campaign. Lastly God of War Ascension could potentially see Kratos move towards fighting other deities if the Elephant…man enemy is a sign of things to come. (Elephants not exactly being common in ancient Greece).
So what I’m trying to get at is that regardless of how annoyed or frustrated you might be that some well known franchises keep coming back for more, we should all be glad that at least they are trying to innovate and push their franchises to achieve more then they ever had before.
The new IP’s
As if to totally contradict myself from my first point some of the (if not the) highlights of E3 2012 were of course the brand new IPs on display. Sony came out with a few new big guns (2 of which we already knew about) but they did wow didn’t they? The Last of Us showed what Naughty Dog could do if allowed to go off the reigns and attempt to create a desperate, mature survival game. Beyond: Two Souls showed of the next game from the creator of Heavy Rain. (A game that even if you didn’t like you had to agree that it was totally unique and absorbing in its own way). All Stars showed that even Sony could deliver on the company cross over game (unfortunately of the footage shown All Stars did disappoint a bit). But overall Sony had a decent original IP show.
Over on the multiplatform front we had other big name games wowing the audience. Be it the first proper South Park game (I am a massive fan) which actually looked too good to be true with its perfect reflection of the shows humour and artistic style. Dishonoured also looked to bring a steampunk world and dump both Bioshock and Assassins Creed into the game. Lego City Undercover also looked, well, really good. Honestly I was as surprised as anyone when that trailer popped up and looked decent (keep an eye on that one).
Of course two massive big hitters in this category were Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313. Both looked fantastic (more on this later) but both looked very impressive in the gameplay sequences. 1313 taking a more Uncharted-esque look at the Star Wars games with cover based shooting and sightseeing platforming (no challenge but looks nice). Watch Dogs of course showed us a city where you hold the keys. Scan peoples phones and control the flow of traffic which a flick of a switch.
For all the love I showed the old guard in the point above the addition of new blood entering the industry did out shine them for good reason. It would appear that the future is bright for gamers everywhere.
Next gen on display?
Star Wars 1313, Watch Dogs and the Unreal Engine 4. What do these 3 have in common? The fact that there is no way in hell that any of the current consoles can run them at the level shown. Yes it would appear that Lucasarts, Ubisoft and Epic got tired of waiting for Sony and Microsoft to announce whatever their next gen consoles are and showed their stuff off anyway.
Star Wars 1313 although the footage shown was not long showed off a ridiculous level of detail and had many people calling it out as fake. (Personally the first time I saw the footage I actually could not believe it). It seemed too good to be true. Or was it just too good to be true for what we have sitting at home? (Interesting to point out that the Lucasarts man pointed out it was being played on a top of the range PC, and made no mention of consoles).
Watch Dogs also took center stage due to being the pride of the French Navy sailing into E3. It wasn’t just that the graphics completely blew everything on current gen consoles out the water but that it was supposedly an open world game. Yes those sneaky French are actually claiming that the level of detail shown will apply to every layer of the city constantly, constantly! If a linear third person action adventure title was too much for current gen it would be madness to think that an open world game could get this good.
Lastly there was the Unreal Engine 4 demo shown later in the week. Obviously there was no gameplay shown but everything was allegedly in real time. To be honest there isn’t much to talk about other then that it looks really good. However I would just like to point out the scene at … where the camera shows the mountain range (in real time). Now compare those images to the ones you have of say, the Skyrim mountain range. Now imagine the Skyrim game with these graphics….mind official blown.