June 7, 2012
Personal thoughts about the first day of E3
E3 has officially started and while we expect this spectacle of the video game industry to bring big premiers and new IP’s that we will be playing in the new future. We a few new things were announced and a slew of sequels brought Sony and Microsoft press event to a new level of boring. While there is plenty to be excited for, I can’t get the feeling that they held back and using this a bridge year until they roll out. EA had a hand full of titles and while most were impressive there was hardly anything original. Ubisoft hands down had the most impressive press event with Watch Dog’s, Assassins Creed III, and Rayman Legends. Though a very uneventful day I’m going to hit on a few of the games that I thought deserve a nod or that were unimpressive.
Halo 4 – First off color me very impressed. 343 Industries debut last year was well received but was just a revamping of Bungie’s console legacy and not much more and had me questioning how they could pull the franchise together and create something that felt like Halo but yet was their own. They answered the call and Halo 4 is looking mighty nice. As thsoundman and I were discussing they seemed to drop the kind of childish tone from the game and the look. The gameplay video show the scale looks to be huge and the Forerunners look fantastic. They have a very Metroid Prime feel to them as well as how they react. The new weaponry and the animations that go along with them are fantastic and make the covenant weaponry look like toys. Yes, it’s Halo and yes they are starting another trilogy, but there is so much lore in the Halo Universe to explore I am hyped to see this come November.
Forza Horizon – This one looks interesting. I am a huge fan of the Forza series and this looks like GRID or Need for Speed, Forza style. The trailer was impressive and what made the biggest impression besides the awesome Modestep song was the heavy use of the new 2013 Dodge Viper. This game better have a decent garage and the night racing is a big welcome, I missed the night racing that appeared in the original Forza Motorsport. I will be very curious to see how Turn 10 plays this one out. Oh and Dodge had better have tested the new Viper at Nurburgring or it will be garbage.
Gears of War: Judgment – I was hoping for a prequel of sorts to the Gears franchise in the sense of shinning some light on this much discussed Pendulum Wars. Instead we get Gears of War: Judgment that is being developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly (Bulletstorm). The game will be set before the first game and it will tell the tale of Baird and Cole before they joined Delta squad. I’m excited to see Baird as the main protagonist, he was my favorite from the franchise; Marcus had daddy issues, Dom was cool but was kind of a melodramatic cry baby, and Cole was too much bro-dude for me. The multiplayer is getting a new mode called Overrun which will pit players as either side in horde mode. One side will be able to choose certain classes on each side such as a medic or sniper on the COG side or a ticker or grenadier on the Locust side. The announcement of Judgment after 3 came out in September of last year feels like ODST of the Gears franchise and that’s not a bad thing. ODST changed things up for the single player and had a huge multiplayer suite as well. Gears of War: Judgment will be released next year.
Black Ops 2 – Anyone that visits the site knows that I haven’t been a fan of the CoD series as of late but I will admit Black Ops 2 has be intrigued by the cut scenes, the heavy scripting because the gameplay look absolutely snooze inducing. The new future LA was also very brown but they added orange, I did like the gun design and the overall look but scripted events can save a game. I would like to see more but what they showed at the Microsoft press event was not very impressive.
Dead Space 3 – I love the Dead Space series and I happy that it is back with Co-Op! The action thriller, developed by one of my favorite current gen studios, Visceral Games, is going to take place on a snow covered planet and Isaac is bringing friends with him. The Co-Op has me intrigued as I hope that it does not rely on it solely the same way Resident Evil 5 did. I also hope the multiplayer from DS2 makes a return as it was a fun distraction. The game will release next February!
Dead Space 3
Need for Speed: Most Wanted – Criterion once again get a shot at the venerable Need for Speed franchise and from what I’m seeing I see a new Burnout: Paradise in NFS clothing; and that is not a bad thing. They showed gamplay footage at the EA press event, the game ran a little on the sluggish side, though keep in mind this could just be alpha footage, but looked better than Paradise. The big problem with paradise was while you had this giant open world to race in, there were no dedicated tracks to race and you often fell behind or became lost unless you spent the time really learning the map. Most Wanted has seemed to fix this issue with giving you directions via the lower left hand mini map. The game is undeniably gorgeous and with big spectacular crashes there may be more Burnout in its DNA than the name is suggesting. Autolog will return with title when it hits this fall.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter – Simply put, Battlefield 3.5, which is neither good nor bad. I liked the first one and played the multiplayer quite a bit. The sound design rocked and it ran on two different engines so the game had two different looks which didn’t rock so much. Danger Close has unified the game under Frostbite 2.0 and from a visual perspective it looks fantastic. The only problem I have is within weeks of each other there will be 3 FPS giants releasing is there really room for all of this? Yes they are all quite different, MoH is a modern shooter, Black Ops 2 Is a quasi-future shooter, and Halo is a Sci-Fi shooter all with a multiplayer that is craving dedication and a community. See the problem? Medal of Honor: Warfighter will be out this October.
Rayman Legends – Yes, yes, yes and more yes! This sequel to last year’s seminal Rayman Origins, one of my personal favorites from last year, was one of the many highlights from Ubisoft’s press event. The demoed the title on the WiiU, and showed how players with the different controllers for the system interact with each other in the game. No other platforms have been announced other than WiiU, but it’s a good bet it will go multiplatform. The game is set to be a WiiU launch title so expect it this fall if the WiiU speculation is correct. For those who have not played Rayman Origins, I implore you to give it a try or you may make Globox cry. (I see what it did there)