Here at IPGR, we watched E3 with the glee of children in a candy shop. Every year, new games and systems are shown off, the Internet is abuzz with video game talk, and people get very excited for the coming months. However, this year, our overall elation at new public video game announcements was punctuated with disappointment at the abundance of sequel announcements and general lack of focus on gaming. It certainly wasn’t all bad, though, and in fact, we’re very excited for some of the upcoming games! It’s no secret that some games and companies “win” E3, so without further ado, here are our winners in various categories:
EA Press Conference Winner: Sim City
EA really didn’t show a whole lot at their conference. Dead Space 3 looks like it’s lost its survival horror roots, Crysis 3 looks like Crysis 2 with a bow, and Need for Speed is Need for Speed. The most intriguing game from EA’s ultimately mediocre conference was Sim City. Developer Maxis has no shortage of ambition with their project, and if pulled off correctly, it could give us the greatest city sim ever made. With their new Glassbox engine, the possibilities are very exciting.
Ubisoft Press Conference Winner: Assassin’s Creed 3
Ubisoft’s conference was probably the hardest to pick a best game for. All the others pretty much had clear cut winners, whereas Ubisoft had an impressive library of games to show, as well as a big announcement for a new game called Watch Dogs. The game looks very impressive, and we wanted to make sure it got its due credit. It was a tough call, but in the end we went with Assassin’s Creed 3. It impressed us with its incredibly fluid combat, fantastic environmental parkour (AKA “Treerunning”), and beautiful visuals. We also got to see brand new elements in an Assassin’s Creed game, such as hunting wildlife and naval combat (however, the latter was technically shown during Sony’s conference.) The transition from Assassin’s Creed to Assassin’s Creed 2 was pretty huge, and we expect the jump from 2 to 3 will be just as big.
Nintendo Press Conference Winner: Pikmin 3
While we are excited there will finally be a sequel to Luigi’s Mansion, out of all the things Nintendo showed, Pikmin 3 impressed us the most. It was almost a sure thing that a new Wii U or 3DS Pikmin game would be announced this year, and we got what we were expecting. Pikmin 3 promises to deliver the same fun and creative gameplay that the series is known for while also bringing interesting new elements with the transition to their new system.
Sony Press Conference Winner:
BOOK OF SPELLS The Last of Us
First announced at last year’s Spike VGA’s, The Last of Us is developer Naughty Dog’s take on the post-apocalyptic survival genre. The announcement trailer was fantastic, but since then we’ve all been itching to see the game in action. At Sony’s press conference, we got just that. The attention to detail displayed in the demo was mind-blowing, and it’s one of our most anticipated games of E3.
Microsoft Press Conference Winner: Tomb Raider
For the most part, Microsoft’s conference was downright terrible. The amount of time that they spent talking about completely non-game related content makes Sony’s Wonderbook segment seem insignificant. That being said, the Tomb Raider reboot does look promising, but the fact that our most anticipated game of the conference isn’t a Microsoft exclusive should tell you something about the overall quality of their presentation.
Best Conference: Ubisoft
Last year’s Ubisoft E3 conference was hard to watch and even harder to take seriously, which is why it’s so surprising that they take the winning spot for best overall conference this year. They had tons of heavy hitters, such as Rayman: Legends, Farcry 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, and the biggest surprise of E3, Watch Dogs. Ubisoft’s conference focused on what counts– gaming. The most impressive part of their E3 presence was the fact that they had strong showings at almost every other conference, yet they still managed to have a great one themselves. They definitely stole the show this year.
Overall Game of the Show: The Last of Us
Out of all the games shown at E3 2012, one of them reigns supreme. Sony showed a 7-minute demo for The Last of Us at their press conference, and simply put, we were blown away. In true Naughty Dog fashion, the game looks absolutely realistic and vibrant, the characters seem real and likeable, the animations are smooth, and lighting is spot-on. These are all aspects that you would expect out of a Naughty Dog game, but the thing that surprised us so much was how brutal the game’s combat is. There was quite a bit of face smashing and brick throwing throughout the demo, as well as a certain someone who’s now missing his face thanks to a shotgun blast from the game’s main playable character, Joel. Naughty Dog aims to advance the survival genre with brutal, realistic combat and a strong character-driven narrative. It seems like they’re on track to do just that. Take a look at the demo shown at E3 below.
So what do the rest of you think? What was your favorite conference? Game of the Show? Think we’re dead wrong? Let us know! Either way, you can expect to see much more of our thoughts on all things E3 and gaming in the coming weeks.