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Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Top 10 New Announcements At E3 2012

This year’s E3 wasn’t particularly full of surprise announcements as publishers revealed many of the games in the months leading up to the conference or seemed to be holding back for next-gen. What was announced this week though should get gamers fairly excited and we’ve gathered together the best 10 announcements of 2012 E3.
Before we dive in to the top 10 new announcements of E3, let’s note that we are only talking about brand new IP or products. This rules out games like The Last of Us andSouth Park: The Stick of Truth but we widened the window a little to include a couple of games announced the week leading into E3. Also, these are listed in no particular order.
Xbox SmartGlass
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Microsoft only had a handful of brand new announcements for its show but Xbox SmartGlass undoubtedly made the biggest impression for both good and bad. Good because it is essentially a companion app that will work with any smartphone or tablet to control your Xbox 360 and enhance game and movie experiences while also providing a hint at Microsoft’s next-gen plans. Bad because it was a demo that went on for far too long. It was also deliciously derided by Matt Stone and Trey Parker during a later presentation for South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs made waves after it was announced by Ubisoft. What were your top announcements of E3?

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Ubisoft was one of the few developers to debut an all new AAA IP and Watch Dogs was not only amazing looking but had an intriguing concept as well. The game is an open-world action game set in the near future where players can hack other devices from phones to traffic lights while trying to uncover a conspiracy. The real hook came at the end of the 10 minute demo that was shown where it appears that other players can work with you or try to hunt you down.
Star Wars 1313

It’s been a while since a new Star Wars game genuinely had us raise our eyebrows but Star Wars 1313 from LucasArts managed to do just that. Unlike other Star Wars games that focus on Jedi or fighter pilots, players will get to explore the seedy underbelly of the universe as a bounty hunter. While the more mature premise alone is promising the graphics look gorgeous as well and scream “next-gen”. While platforms haven’t been announced, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if this were to end on the Playstation 4 and next Xbox.
Beyond: Two Souls
David Cage and Quantic Dreams are known for pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a game. Beyond: Two Souls looks to do just that with stunning motion captured characters and a fascinating storyline that follows the female lead over the many years of her life along with her ghostly guardian. There’s still a question of how the gameplay will work out but everything about the demonstration screamed that it was something to keep an eye on.
Assassin’s Creed: Liberation
Sony bizarrely only showed a few new titles for the PS Vita but one of them is Assassin’s Creed: Liberation with its French-African female protagonist, Aveline, who looks kick-ass and not tarted up. It’s good to see the PS Vita get its own uniqueAssassin’s Creed title and everything about the New Orleans setting and heroine makes this a game we want to follow as it shows Ubisoft is willing to break free from the shackles of video game stereotypes.
Of all the new Wii U games introduced, ZombiU is one of the most promising. Not only was it one of the few to show the many different ways the Wii U GamePad controller could be utilized but it also killed off the typical “die and reload from last checkpoint” mechanic typically found in games. Death is now permanent for the character you play in ZombieU and that can come from just a single zombie bite. When the character dies, players start over as an all new character who must attempt to go pick up the “Bug-Out Bag” of the former character and survive as long as possible.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
We love Paper Mario and Sticker Star for the 3DS simply looks to be a delight. Stickers are located throughout levels which can be added to your sticker book to pull off attacks in battles including everything from the basic jump attack to fireballs. There are also environmental stickers such as a fan that can be used to solve puzzles throughout the game.
Wii U Pro Controller
With hardcore games like Aliens: Colonial Marines among others coming to the Wii U, one thing we were worried about was what do we do about players two through four in a local multiplayer or co-op game since only the Wii U GamePad had the requisite number of buttons and analog sticks. Not to worry as the Wii U Pro Controller looks to (mostly) copy the Xbox 360 controller meaning that multi-platform games should work just fine. We’re still a little concerned about the right analog stick and face button placement but just the fact that Nintendo was willing to bring this out is a good sign and shows a commitment to core gaming.
Project P-100
Project P-100 from Platinum Games was something we were shocked to see announced after Nintendo’s E3 press conference. Its unique blend of Pikmin mechanics withViewtiful Joe superhero aesthetics and humor should have received more of a showcase. Either way, it looks like it could be oodles of fun (yes, oodles) to play.
Agni’s Philosophy / Luminous Studio Engine
While Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 was already announced, the only other studio to reveal its next-gen engine plans was Square Enix with the Luminous Studio Engine. The Japanese publisher put on a demonstration of a Final Fantasy concept called Agni’s Philosophy that showed amazing levels of detail and quality all in real-time. While this engine will be limited to Square’s in-house studios, this along with the Unreal Engine 4, show that we are in for a treat with next-gen graphics.

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