Another E3 has come and gone, and with the sense of elation that enters a gamer’s heart this time every year comes a feeling of disappointment and often betrayal. Not every single wish has been fulfilled. There was plenty of Tomb Raider, but absolutely no sign of Beyond Good and Evil 2. Kinect and Move played just as big a role as they did last year, and original IPs seemed to be missing from the show floor. However, when there’s new Kinect, Move and Wii content, gifs are most useful in showcasing just what went on.
Microsoft‘s conference will be most remembered for ushering in a new generation of content (I had to do it at least once) with the performance of Usher live on stage for Just Dance 3 by Harmonix. Halo 4 was demoed, and it looked like another solid, if predictable, addition to the Halo series. There was the introduction of Smartglass, which did not really impress. This was all topped off by the presentation of Black Ops II, which seemed to run through every military cliché known to man. As soon as he began piloting the jet, I was on the floor laughing like crazy.
The above gif pretty much sums a lot of the feelings up. After Jack Tretton’s monologue about bringing more games to Sony platforms, it seemed like all was going to be well. However, aside from The Last of Us, there were really no shockers. No big titles released. A lot of time was given to Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, which at best will copy Smash Bros. At worst, it just looks like a cheap imitation. And as for the Vita, it was shown almost no love, with only two third-party titles announced. At least the 3DS was given an entire side-conference to be focused on.
Nintendo started out strong, with a showing of Pikmin 3, a game that many have been clamoring for. Critiques of the E3 demo began and ended at the graphics, which seemed to have not evolved since the Gamecube originals. This led to announcements of first- and third-party support, primarily by Ubisoft. However, this quickly began to go downhill with the focus on the Wii Fit U, and other primarily family-oriented games. One complete bottoming out was the introduction of Sing, after which it was reported that applause actually came out of the speakers. The second was the entire end of the presentation, where 20 minutes were spent on Nintendo Land, which was a collection of mini games starring a whole host of Nintendo characters. While it looked great as a tech demo, spending a third of the conference there was a poor choice on Nintendo’s part.
If your body is ready, scroll down for our favorite moments and most anticipated games.
Shane Craig, Editor-in-Chief
My favorite moment of the show is sort of backward. I am a huge fan of the awkward, and nothing was more awkward this year than the painfully awful demo of Wonderbook. I’ve scarcely seen more uninterested people in one room.
For me, game of the show is an easy call. Naughty Dog blew me away this year with The Last of Us. First off, the game was stunning. It looks every bit as good as Uncharted 3, if not better. Everything was flawless from the lighting to the textures.The blood on Joel’s face after taking a shot from a piece of wood just shows the attention to detail Naughty Dog has. The thing that made the demo stand out for me was how the enemies looked and sounded like real people. They emoted rather than just running out for the player to shoot them. They screamed for help when Joel got his hands on them. They truly felt real. Plus, has anyone ever seen a more badass ending to a demo? Come on.
Joe Natalzia, News Editor
Favorite Moment: It was a tough choice here, with E3 packing some of the most absurd moments since Mr. Caffeine headed up (read: ruined) the Ubisoft conference years ago. I guess I’ll have to go with the moment Ubisoft kicked Flo Rida off the stage. Yeah, the hosts that came in were obnoxious, but at least he was gone for good.
Stephen Weaver, Reviews Editor
My favorite moment of the show was when Trey Parker and Matt Stone walked onto the stage at Microsoft’s conference and singlehandly saved the entire thing. They were a much-needed breath of fresh air before Black Ops II arrived.
For Game of Show, I’m going to disagree with just about everyone else. While The Last of Us was impressive, I’m not sure that an entire game can be of that quality. It seemed like the player had a lot of control over setting the mood in that demo, not the environment. I’m saying Splinter Cell: Blacklist was the standout for me, because I love the Splinter Cell series, and it seems like this one is going back to the roots of Chaos Theory and Pandora Tomorrow. Though the demo was action oriented — and had Kinect elements — it looked like the elaborate maps and stealth aspects were back. It appeared to be the perfect mesh of the tag system from Conviction and the stealth gameplay that fans love so much. Also, spies vs mercs multiplayer is promised to be back, and that makes me giddy like no other. I cannot wait to spend hundreds of hours with my favorite multiplayer system … that is, if Ubisoft delivers.
Mark Flanagan, News Writer
My favourite moment was when Watch Dogs switched characters and everyone’s minds exploded. Ubisoft really seemed to know what they were doing, with minimal motion control focus, integration with the Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony conferences and the strongest game line-up.
My favourite game is a tie between Watch Dogs and The Last of Us. The Last of Us seems to be shaping up well, and the entirety of the gameplay video was filled with amazing animations, a beautiful post-apocalyptic world and what seems to be non-linear progression. Watch Dogs is the only surprise announcement that really made everyone excited, and both games look like they could be the first truly unique experience we’ve seen in a while from an action game. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, catch it above.
Phillip Wilson-Smith, News Writer
My favorite moment was Ubisoft’s Conference — Post Flo Rida. I mean the host was funny, plus they had some Tobuscus and brilliant games. I think they really surprised me and it’s one of the rare occasions where I have preferred a Third Party Conference to the platform holders. Please be aware of this: not only talk about your strong games but announce a brilliant new game at the end without notice, because stuff like that makes E3 magical again.
Watch Dogs. My brain is currently going mad with speculation of what it is or what it could be. The gameplay looked pretty decent and had lots of nice furnish. Take for example the one-lined comments about each NPC from the protagonist’s hacking device or maybe the protagonist saving a victim of the car crash he caused in the middle of a gun fight. The premise sounds good — I’m loving the whole hacking mechanics as well as what looks like melee, gunplay and possibly even some sort of Parkour element. All this makes a good game already, but then they show you what appears to be some sort of online co-op integration and my mind was completely blown. TAKE MY MONEY UBISOFT.
Williams Pelegrin, News Writer
My favorite moment was Reggie saying that his body was ready. That totally caught me off guard.
Favorite game of the show: The Last of Us. I was worried that The Last of Us would play similarly to Uncharted, and while the two are similar, there are differences I can appreciate. For one, the demo showed that Ellie can play a very interesting role during combat, and when Joel was shot, it felt like a real impact instead of the standard “get shot, but pretend to ignore it while the screen goes red” ordeal. Combat is very strategic, given the fact that there are only two of you and a lot of them and you don’t have a lot of ammo to begin with. I look forward to pre-ordering the crap out of The Last of Us.
Tell us your favorite moments and games in the comments!