Another year, another E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)has again left gamers wanting more. E3 has always been about showing what game publishers and developers have for the industry for the forthcoming year. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Electronic Arts may hold the press conferences for the whole world to see, but for some reason this year some of the best games of E3 were hidden on the show floor. Sony’s focus on Wonderbook could have easily been spent showing off some of their great smaller titles such as Papo & Yo, or King’s Quest, showing what the PSN has to offer. Microsoft could and should have showcased more than just Halo and another Gears. And, Nintendo? Don’t even get me started with that train wreck of a show. It seems the industry is wrapped up in reaching out to as many people as possible, with ridiculous acts like Usher at the Microsoft conference, and Tobuscus of youtube fame, making the Ubisoft conference cringe worthy. Nonetheless, there were some very impressive games shown to us, and these are B-sides’ Top 5 games of E3 2012:
5. The Last of Us
Sony’s Naughty Dog studios are no newcomer to the games industry, creating masterpieces like the Uncharted series. This is an entirely new IP, featuring a man and a young girl, trying to survive a post-apocalyptic city wasteland. This game pushes boundaries on not only a graphic level, but an emotional one as well. It deals with the relationship between Joel and Ellie (the man and young girl). Joel is no hero, but takes on the responsibility of caring for Ellie, who is 14 years old, vulnerable, and scared. It takes a note right out of the Uncharted series, but looks to offer a gritty, emotional experience.
4. Star Wars: 1313
What everyone thought was going to be Battlefront 3, ended up being something entirely different, and completely surprising. Star Wars: 1313 shows the hardly seen, seedy underbelly of Star Wars’ city planet, Coruscant. Players will be a bounty hunter, surviving in this gritty, grungy world. Star Wars:1313 is a 3rd person action game not to far off from Uncharted. The developers promise a true “mature” Star Wars game, and we are very enticed. The sequence shown was very impressive, considering this game is so early in its production state. No force whatsoever will be in the game, so Jedi lovers may be disappointed, but the “dirty work” of the Universe is hardly focused on, and we at B-Sides can’t wait to see more.
3. Halo 4
As a long time Halo fan, I was very nervous when game creator’s (Bungie) announced they no longer were developing Halo, but handing it over to another studio. Albeit 343 industries consists of many now former Bungie employees, the mere fact that it was changing, made me worry. This year I was proven completely wrong, and 343 industries has really turned up the volume on Halo. A new trilogy, starring the Chief and Cortana, the covenant, and new enemies the Prometheans hits shelves this fall, along with tons of new game types, weapons, maps, and more. Spartan Ops looks to deliver hours of challenges for friends to complete, and the mix up to the Multiplayer might be exactly what the series needs. We have complete faith in 343 after what they had to show, and can’t wait to see more.
2. Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of the beloved series Tomb Raider, looks more promising each time it is shown. It’s gritty, and dark, and we love it. It’s no longer about killing those poor endangered species, or massive amounts of enemies, but rather about surviving. This is Lara’s very first adventure, so don’t think she will be the same slick, cunning, and agile Lara we all came to love years ago. She’s still learning how to become “Tomb Raider” and this game does an amazing job at representing that. Lara falls, gets stabbed, beaten and bruised, only to get up, let out a painful grunt, and find a way to keep going. The exploration looks tremendous, and the gameplay looks incredible. The lighting effects are stunning, and AI does some very clever things. Unfortunately, the game was recently pushed back until early 2013, so we have a while to wait still, but if their presentation is representative of the final product, then it will be well worth the wait.
1. Watch Dogs
Not much at this time is known about this new IP from Ubisoft, but I can tell just by looking at it, that this is what the next generation of gaming will look like. It is absolutely amazing how this game looks, and there is just no possible way it is on current generation tech. It’s an open world game set in a futuristic Chicago town, and seemingly has a very interesting multiplayer aspect. We will be keeping a very close eye on this game. This game blew us away, and as soon as more information is made available, we will post it. On sheer premise alone this game has us sold, and is B-Sides E3 2012 Game of the Show. Ubisoft pulled out the big guns this year, and this brand new IP was their nuke.