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Who Stole the Show?

The Electronics Entertainment Expo of 2012 has now come to a close. Big and small, the who’s who of gaming were strutting their latest work to get consumers excited for their products. Who stole the show though? The writers of the PC department at Player Affinity cash-in their vote for best of E3 2012.

Charlie Österlund

To start off simple, this year’s E3 has been great. It’s absolutely wonderful to see that so much light has been shed on new intellectual property as opposed to just predictable, big budget sequels to ‘AAA’ franchises – although there’s been quite a lot of that too. To put things bluntly, the new IP’s are absolutely killer looking.

The Last of Us and Beyond steal, not just Sony’s press conference, but the show in its entirety. The demo for The Last of Us is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen; showing off some incredible scenery, dynamic interactions between the two main characters, and some of the most gritty and violent combat I’ve yet to witness in a game. And that’s coming from a hardened Xbox player.

But the games and sequels we knew would show up at E3 put on an impressive showing too – Resident Evil 6’s slick and fluid shooting mechanics are a revelation and Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s Strike Force missions show off a more non-linear and sandbox-oriented side to the franchise that has yet to be discovered. Also, games like Borderlands 2, Dead Space 3 and Far Cry 3 look to scratch your cooperative itch come this fall and early next year. Oh and Halo 4’s campaign demo and new multiplayer details really made me giddy up; 343 is definitely taking the series in the right direction.

That being said, I was a little disappointed that none of the companies cracked the news regarding their new consoles. After all, this generation is inching ever-close to its end, so surely I imagined that some sort of new hardware would be announced – better luck next year I guess. So yes, there’s a glut of incredible games beckoning in the horizon and this year’s E3 has not only ensured that fall of 2012 is going to be a kickass year for gaming but also that 2013 is going to be no different as the release calendar starting next year looks nothing short of amazing. Grab on to your wallets, because this year in gaming is going to cost you.

Robyn Taylor:

The developer who stole the show at E3 would have to be EA. As you may have all realized by now, I love MMOs and the new information released on update 1.3 for SWTOR has me excited. With the new level cap, planet, warzone, operation and character transfers fans will be preoccupied with all this new content for quite some time. It will be interesting to find out what this level cap will be!

Aside from being a huge fan of SWTOR, EA also announced Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, new content for Battlefield 3, Madden, NHL 13, new footage for SimCity 5, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Skullgirls, Darksiders 2, FIFA 13, new TERA announcements, and Aliens: Colonial Marines. With so many new releases, I feel that EA had the best part of my attention. Electronic Arts is also one of my favorite games developers, which gives me hope for new releases such as Skullgirls. I have faith these games will rock!

Christopher Puenner:

In my opinion Ubisoft took the show and ran with it. It was small and it was overlooked but it is a game changer nonetheless. Introducing a new IP like Watch Dogs among the carbon copy sequels and rehashed gimmicks puts Ubisoft in a different light when the dust clears. The fact that it’s a new IP, however, is not enough and it would be an injustice to just leave it there.

The presentation, the swagger if you will, of this new title was mind blowing. Sporting graphics comparable only to Star Wars 1313 (which was next-gen quality) made eyes pop and jaws drop. Expect great things from this title and expect a great response in the form of recognition from all sorts of big name reviewers and news sites for a job well done. Bravo Ubisoft!

Steven Bednarz:

To choose the best at E3 has been made no easy task because so much at the entertainment expo was so amazing. The Last of Us simply looks stunning and actually appears to be a survival game. The survival concepts are more important than one may think because games like Resident Evil 6 have forgotten the survival aspect of the franchise’s roots and have become more of an action-horror genre; it makes The Last of Us standout even more. Also, Nintendo’s tablet controller and especially Microsoft’s ‘Smart Glass’ let the mind run wild with possible applications to future implementations that game developers might devise for these new technologies. Just imagine when Fallout 4 utilizes Smart Glass technology and Bethesda has you looking down at your armband with Smart Glass technology that acts as all interfacing for your inventory, stats, map and is essentially your arm-mounted PIP-Boy 4,000. Smart Glass and tablet-controller technology will revolutionize interfacing for gaming. No more cluttered inventories or over-complicated HUD’s will block the fantastic visuals of a game, basically taking the next small step in even greater gaming immersion.

But I am first and foremost a gamer, so I have to put aside new technologies and great-looking games and give my ‘Best of Show’ to what matters most – the game. The game that completely took me by surprise and left me awe-struck was Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. Besides sounding like a totally badass game concept and having fantastic action, Watch Dogs was immaculately detailed. Ubisoft said it had been working on Watch Dogs for two years now. With the amount of detail in the demo I would almost think that the developer has been working on just the demonstration segment for E3 for the past two years alone. From the way Peirce’s jacket would blow with the wind and every raindrop would do the same, to the way bucket-drummers could be heard after crossing the street or the way a mist of blood hazed the inside of a car window after the driver was shot, Watch Dogs screams attention to brilliant detail. And to put the cherry on top, it’s an open world like a GTA game and set in my home city… I’m absolutely overflowing with anticipation.

So, my best in show of E3 2012 goes to Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. Hands down.

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