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The Best (And Worst) Of E3

The Best (And Worst) Of E3

E3 2012 is over. Here are the highlights and lowlights! But this is mostly intro texting so the formatting doesn’t mess up on RSS readers and stuff, shhhh, our secret.

The Best Of E3

The Last Of Us, Beyond, Watch Dogs, MGR: Revengeance, Tomb Raider, Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed III

Despite some wild speculation that next-gen consoles were due to be unveiled at E3 this year, Microsoft and Sony always had an eye on next year. That left this year threatening to feel like a damp squib. Good news then. First, we don’t know what a damp squib feels like. Second, there were still plenty of games that looked incredible, both from an aesthetic and gameplay standpoint.

The highlight was The Last Of Us. Tagged with ‘Uncharted with zombies!’ label shortly after announcement, Naughty Dog moving away from that label ever since. We’ll be surprised if we ever hear the label again after their E3 showing. The combat was tense and brutal, ending with a shotgun blast that rung around the internet. The tone of desperation was a world away from Drake’s breezy everyman one-liners and we love The Last Of Us for it.


The traditional ‘who won E3?’ articles are fun, if only because they’re exercises for writers to flex their inner fanboy muscles and distort the show in favour of one of the big three. It’s easy enough to do – SmartGlass is revolutionary (yay Microsoft!), Nintendo has new hardware (yay Nintendo!), Sony had new games (yay Sony!). Hell, if Sega still released hardware, I’m sure I’d be fighting its corner. I still could do. They released Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown during E3. INSTANT WIN.

But no. The truth is, Ubisoft bossed E3. It’s one thing to nail your own conference – something Microsoft and Nintendo could use some lessons with – but it’s pretty much unheard of for a third-party to then go on and dominant other conferences too, as happened with Sony (Assassin’s Creed III gameplay demo, Far Cry 3 multiplayer reveal, Assassin’s Creed Liberation announcement) and Nintendo (ZombiU gameplay demo). Ubisoft will be feeling very pleased with itself now, and rightly so.

A Million Free Games On PS+

Or was it 10? Anyway, announced during Sony’s E3 conference, the full details are PlayStation Blog and if you sign up to PlayStation Plus, in the long-run you’ll get to play the likes of inFamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2 and Saints Row 2 for free. For now? Play Oddworld. It’s free and you no longer have an excuse not to.

Dan Hay’s Incredible Voice

This is the first time I’ve ever heard a man who’s managed to sound like both Jesus and Satan at the same time

The Worst Of E3

Sony Forgets Vita, Remembers Wonderbook

Microsoft had a real snoozefest of a conference, where the only memorable highlights were Trey Parker and Matt Stone skewering the ‘SmartGlass’ app that had been announced just a few minutes before and…um… the bit when… oh. Okay, one memorable highlight. Point is, Sony had an open goal. Pretty much all they had to do is turn up, show some games, not kill anyone and hey, job done.

They accomplished all three but managed to find the equivalent of murder with Wonderbook, a Move-compatible interactive book. Quick disclaimer: Wonderbook does look quite cool and will no doubt find its audience. With that out of the way – what the flippin’ hell was it doing sandwiched between the subtlety of Beyond and the violence of The Last Of Us? It drained all the momentum from Sony’s E3 conference, puncturing its sails and leaving the subsequent PlayStation Mobile announcement flatlining when it needed a platform of enthusiasm to work from rather than one of confusion, boredom and irritation than Wonderbook created.

The problem Sony had, and the same goes for Microsoft and Nintendo, is they need to figure out who they’re speaking to. Gamers? Shareholders? Retailers? Every E3 disaster has been a case study that you can’t speak to everyone at the same time and we’re surprised no-one in the Big Three has learnt this lesson yet.

The Last Guardian? Prey 2? Overstrike?

We knew BioShock Infinite wasn’t going to be at E3. Rockstar’s history of E3 no-shows suggested Grand Theft Auto V was unlikely. Mirror’s Edge 2 was always a pipe-dream. Shenmue III? Yeah. So given that, we weren’t too disappointing by them not showing. However, it was disheartening to have E3 come and go yet again without The Last Guardian, which supposedly didn’t show up due to ‘technical difficulties’. No kidding. It would have also been nice to see Prey 2 re-emerging after the title skirted death. The real surprise, though, was Overstrike. No apparent issues with that, yet no update at E3 either, a year after it was announced. Why? Where is it? Is it in trouble? Being held back?

Battlefield 3 Premium

We’re not sure what’s worse – the continued assault of DLC where publishers are becoming increasingly less shameful that this constitutes a major announcement or that this was shown off just before Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Crysis 3. The FPS genre needs to work very, very hard to feel fresh next year.

2013 Is The New 2012

BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider, South Park, DmC, Ni No Kuni, Metro: Last Light, Aliens: Colonial Marines, The Last Of Us, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, God of War: Ascension…

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