Thursday, 7 June 2012

E3 - it's the most spectacular time of the year! - Part 1

Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. Once a year gamings best and brightest gather at the Los Angeles convention centre and reveal to the world what we can expect to be playing with for the rest of the year. This year rather than flying out to LA myself and report live from the show itself. I decided it was easier to stay here in the UK and celebrate The Queens Diamond Jubilee. I mean who wants the hassle of flying all the way over the LA.

So lets go over the news and announcements straight out of E3 2012.

Microsoft


Microsoft got the ball rolling this year and it was a run of the mill affair. With no new console or hardware to announce, the main focus of the press conference was on media integration and which exclusives can we expect on the Microsoft powerhouse. Lets cover the things that caught my attention.
  • Smart Glass - This new system allows the gamer to use any SmartPhone or tablet as a second screen in games (Hi Nintendo!). The demo showed how you can use Smart Glass in Madden 13 to pick plays and monitor the movement of your players. You can also use your tablet or phone to control your Xbox dashboard experience as well.
  • Internet Explorer for Xbox - Just what the Xbox needed. I mean there are times when I down on the couch and realise that I can't find my phone, iPad, laptop or Vita to access the web. So at least now I can spend hours shouting at the TV. "Xbox... Internet... Google... No, Gooogle.. G O O G L E!
  • Xbox Music - Zune failed and they need something to compete against Sony Music Unlimited
  • New TV and Film channels are being added to increase the home viewing experience (in North America)
Thankfully the rest of the presentation focused on what we all love, the games.

Halo 4

Master Chief is back and this time He has dug up a evil more ancient than convenent, The ForeRunners. Audiences were treated to a 5 minute gameplay demo which introduced to the new world and creatures and some of the new toys that Chief gets to play . I love the way that 343 Studios has taken the Chief predicament at the end of Halo 3 and reunited with the UNSC. This should be a belter of a game and Microsoft know it.



Gears of War: Judgement

Bit of a surprise this one. A new Gears game set before the original and featuring Baird as the main character? Alot of the series fans are not too happy about this. Although, this could be very interesting for the franchise. Epic have handed this game over to BulletStorm developers, People can Fly. Looking at the humour they injected into BulletStorm, then a Baird based Gears game could be quite special.



Resident Evil 6

Capcom demoed Resident Evil 6 and I think it is now clear that the days of survival horror are long gone for this series. There was more action in their 5 minute walkthrough than in the first game. Zombies (yes proper ones!) everywhere. Explosions and fire everywhere. Helicopters falling out of the sky, exploding freeways full of cars. The trailer introduces new characters and plots at an alarming pace. I think this game is going to be a full on, adrenaline fuelled, action-fest.



Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Ubisoft demonstrated the new Splinter Cell title. After his spell as Jason Bourne in the last game. Sam Fisher is back and in charge of the new Fourth Echelon. Which means back to sneaking around military camps and cracking the necks of a few terrorists. The stackable execution mode from Conviction is back and expanded, now allowing for moving executions. Ubisoft can do no wrong in my eyes the last few years and 2012 looks like to be another great year for them.



Tomb Raider

Square-Enix showed some gameplay from the new Tomb Raider reboot. It looks incredible! Nathan Drake had better watch his back, because Lara wants her Crown back as Queen of the action games. Some very intense action sequences and some genuine moments of terror and survival horror going on as well. The E3 trailer expands on what is going on a little and it is all a bit Lost. I think this could very well be my game of the year.

Also they announced that all Downloadable Content will be available exclusively on Xbox 360 first.



Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2

Right, look here Activision! I fell out with you and promised never to buy another Call of Duty game ever again. How dare you then go and make Black Ops 2 not only look amazing, but also the best Call of Duty game to date.

The demo takes place in Los Angeles,2025, just after terrorists have launched an attack on the US using their own unmanned drones and weapons. It follows our hero as he attempts to escort the President to safety through the chaos. The look and feel of the game appear to be different from previous COD titles. Things appear to be more open and far less corridor driven. Treyarch look like they are about to emerge from the shadow left by Infinity Ward.



So, at the end of the first day. Microsoft had a pretty quiet press conference. All of the new announcements regarding media and tablet integration are nice, but not as nice as a new Xbox announcement. The games though look great and remember, its all about the games!



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