E3 2012

Published on June 4th, 2012 | by Ethan

Top five highlights of E3 2012! Updated: 06/05/12

While it is still very early in the days of E3 2012, a lot of press conferences have already been done. Out of all the new information that has flown out of E3 this is personally what I have found to be the highlights. Feel free to disagree and let me know about it!

5. Nintendo

Even before Nintendo has had their press conference, they have released new information out on their Nintendo direct channel. The information wasn’t release dates, hardware specs or anything huge, but it was interesting to see Nintendo’s console and its features slowly be revealed. So far we have a new controller to buy on top of the WiiU’s GamePad, in the form of the Wii U Pro controller. This controller mimics the tradition controllers being used by current generation consoles in an effort to make the Wii U easier to develop for and port 3rd party titles. My favorite feature reviled about the controller, was the use of a full fledged D-pad. I feel this will give Nintendo an edge on the competition when it comes to releasing older titles and indie games on the Wii U.

The redesign of the actual Wii U GamePad also intrigues me. Replacing the control pads are the much more precise sticks, which seems like the wiser choice to go for a console instead of game pads. The best part though is the use of the Wii U as a universal remote control. It might only be me excited to see this implemented in a video game controller, but anything to consolidate my plethora of remotes helps. Maybe if Nintendo were to somehow strike a deal with cable box manufactures, one would be able to bring up the cable guide on the controller. The amount of possibilities is mind boggling and I am sure more will be revealed when the real press conference gets underway.

Scratch that. The press conference was completely underwhelming. It wasn’t bad per say, but it really didn’t cater to the hardcore audience. If Nintendo was trying to include all the different kinds of gamers with the latest press conference, they failed. Besides Pikmin 3 and ZombiU, the rest of the “hardcore titles” were all mostly games that were released last year and were re-released with new gimmicks utilizing the hardware. This does sound too enticing. Nintendo decided it would be better to cater to the casual crowd by showing Nintendo Land instead for the rest of the show. While it was disappointing, I am still impressed by a lot of the tech and ideas Nintendo is putting forth with their system. Just very little was seen in the latest press conference. There is still a slim chance of hope though, at the 3DS conference tomorrow!

Check out the pre E3 video right here!

And watch the Pikmin 3 demo here, which is the only real interesting infromation to come out of the press conference.

4. Rayman Legends

The sequel to the platforming sleeper hit of last year, Rayman Origins, is packing some serious heat with new HD graphics, online co-op and Wii U capabilities. While the other features are nice and are definitely a welcome addition to the new game, the Wii U features have the possibility to make the Wii U version the best way to enjoy the game. Finally a game that features 5 player co-op. I can’t imagine how complicated the screen will get when things get moving, but from the looks of the demo, the touch screen controlled character shouldn’t interfere much with the clutter caused by the traditional platforming characters. On the contrary, he could actually be the most beneficial part of one’s party.

The fifth player is played on the Wii U GamePad and appears to play similar to Super Mario Galaxy’s second player, but more pivotal to gameplay. With the swipe of a finger, or stylus I assume, a player can cut down vines, halt enemies, and highlight collectables for the platforming players to collect. While this sounds neat and all, one concern I have with the GamePad player is if the levels that feature him are exclusive to that character or if they can be played solo with traditional platforming. From the looks of the demo, it seemed that those levels would be impossible without certain tasks completed with the use of the touch screen. Only time will tell how this works out, but I still have high hopes for the sequel to one of my favorite games of last year.

Watch the E3 gameplay trailer below


3. Assassin’s Creed 3

A year ago I could not have been less excited for a new Assassin’s Creed game. Even after the new setting and time period was announced I was only mildly interested. That all changed when I viewed the navel battle sequences tied to the game. While the sequence didn’t look the most polished, they looked incredibly fun and unique for an Assassin’s Creed game. I would love to have land roaming sequences broken up by commanding an entire ship to battle. It certainly seems that they are definitely boosting up the scale of the game dramatically. Unless it pans out to be like the flying contraption in Assassin’s Creed 2. Heavily advertised but turned out to be only used in one mission. I have a feeling though that Ubisoft wouldn’t go through all that trouble of building this game section to only have it used once.

The navel combat was the turning point for me, but that’s not to say the land sequences didn’t move me as well. Jumping from tree to tree, and hunting for food reminds me a very different Red Dead Redemption and I love it. Hiding in trees and leaping on to my pray feeds into the inner hunter that is inside me. It is a significant change for the Assassin’s Creed series to not feature buildings on top of buildings as the main landscape, but the climbing mechanic that made the game so popular is still fully intact. They really opened this game up to new possibilities with their reveals at Ubisoft E3 press conference. Hopefully Ubisoft will deliver and bring a wholly unique product to the table.

Enjoy the naval sequence below.

2. Watch Dogs

Surprisingly, this game or any information about it did not get leaked early. Not a whole lot is known about this game at the time of this writing. From what I gather, the city your character is in is hooked up to a sort of super computer. That includes every person, car, and building is monitored by the computer. What this does, is give your player a mechanic to hack pretty much everything around them, because let’s face it once one firewall is breached everything is compromised. This is the how the main mechanic of the game works, messing everything up with the touch of a button.

In the demo a player causes power outages to distract guards and car crashes to create diversions. It looks very clever and appears to require the player to think about their surrounding area and how they can use it to their advantage opposed to brute force shooting. It looks very cool and fresh, but is also very hard to describe, due to the lack of information about it. Hopefully we will hear more about it as the show goes on.

For now, I highly recommend you check out the video below to see for yourself just how cool creating power outages can be.

1. Last of Us

Not one zombie in sight at the E3 demo. The announcement trailer for this game featured a man and a young girl fighting it out against a horde of zombies. It looked fairly generic besides the dialog, but being developed by Naughty Dog put that game right on the radar for a lot of gamers. Now with actual gameplay footage being shown, the Last of Us really seemed like a great take on how a survival game should be. Inventory management, a great developer, well written dialog, beautifully run down environments and brutal combat all means that I have high hopes for this game. I really don’t like getting hyped up for games and their perfectly choreographed E3 demos, but this just looks all around impressive.

Watching how much damage a player can take when only facing a handful of guys is wrenching. All of the violence on screen felt like it carried a lot of weight and every hit the player took looked like it hurt. The melee near the end of the demo was heavy and vicious, something a majority of games lack in melee combat. Mashing together ingredients on the fly looks like a fun mechanic too. This game seems to have everything one could have hoped for from a post apocalyptic survival game.

Check it out in the video down below and see if the game resonates as powerfully for you as it did for me. (I SWEAR I AM NOT GETTING HYPED FOR THIS GAME. I WON’T GET HYPED.)


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About the Author

Ethan Having long been an avid gamer, Ethan found his niche in the PC gaming market, while still occasionally dabbling in the medium that got him into gaming, consoles. Usually, he finds time to play his Xbox 360 and occasionally will dust of his Wii for a bit to play with friends and family when he isn’t found locked in his room playing shooters and strategy games. Follow him on Twitter: @ethanhawkes

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