E3 2012 is officially in the books. With exciting announcements, explanations, and reveals, we’ve learned that we have a killer year ahead of us for gaming.
So of everyone, who had the best E3 showing?
Between the opinions on the staff, we overwhelmingly crowned Ubisoft as the winner of the E3 press conferences. But what were our thoughts on the others?
Blake: (B+) Despite all my friends making fun of me, I actually think NintendoLand looks pretty fun. Not groundbreaking or innovative, but fun. I’m still shocked they didn’t change the name of the Wii U (seriously?), but the more I see of it the more I like. One thing I am worried about is the launch window, because I’m not sure Nintendo knows what exactly a launch window is. Thumbs up for the creatively named New Super Mario Bros. U, double thumbs up for Scribblenauts Unlimited, and a thumbs down for Pikmin 3. I just wasn’t impressed. But at least, finally, we have some quasi next-gen talk. Meanwhile, my 3DS is lonely. Oh, and Sing? (Shiver)
Ron: (B-): More Wii U info, controller focus, way too much time spent on Nintendoland, third party titles only got a fly-by teaser, no launch details
-Good = strong focus on software; Nintendo Land looks like the perfect tech demo for the Wii U; stronger emphasis on third-party offerings than in previous conferences; Pikmin 3!
-Bad = where is Kirby and Smash Bros. and Donkey Kong and Star Fox? For being a few months away from launch, Nintendo is STILL silent on launch titles; Mass Effect 3 for Wii U? Really? Not a lot of love for the Nintendo 3DS
Paul: (B) A ton of casual titles but little for the hardcore gamer yet to play on the Wii U.
Nintendo needed to give people a reason to buy the Wii-U and they didn’t. Having 23 games during your press conference is one thing but many of those games hold little interest for Nintendo gamers and for people who play on other systems a new version of Batman: Arkham City or Mass Effect 3 are hardly an incentive to get one. They also spent far too long on Nintendo Land.
Jason: (B) The Wii U is one hell of a system, and everything shown for it looks very fun. However, where was Retro? Smash Bros Wii U/3DS? And why the hell was NintendoLand the end of the show? I set my expectation bar wayyy too high it seems, and Nintendo let me down.
Cassidee: (C) A brief look at the Wii U, no discussion of specs, no release date or price, the triumphant return of old franchises, and wayyy to much NintendoLand all made Nintendo’s presser incredibly mediocre. I felt like it was building up to one more big announcement that never delivered.
Blake: (B-) To me, Sony’s Conference boiled down to this: Wonderbook < Everything Else < Two Souls. Sure, I want to play The Last of Us and the new God of War, but I loved Heavy Rain, and I’m hoping that Quantic Dream can really knock it out of the park with this one. Far Cry looks better than I thought it would, but I was less than excited about the Vita announcements. Black Ops- Declassified and Assassin’s Creed: Liberation look like cool spin-offs, but overall the feeling I get for them is “Eh.” What about next-gen?
Ron: (B-): Vita is apparently not important, too much wonderbook, more about entertainment then games like Microsoft, bland presentation of games aside from Assassin’s Creed III and Farcry (two games we already saw before this press conference).
-Good = Beyond: Two Souls (though just a trailer) and The Last of Us look fantastic; PSOne classics finally coming to Vita!;
-Bad = way too much time spent on Wonderbook; barely any love shown to the Vita at all; what the hell is Sony planning with PlayStation Suite (now PlayStation Mobile)?
Paul: (C+) No Vita Exclusive game, but Last of Us looks awesome.
The best conference of platform holders they offered us some truly exciting exclusives. Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us cannot come soon enough and while Ascension doesn’t look groundbreaking God of War is always welcome as is exclusive AC III content. The conference showed far too much of Wonderbook and oddly very little of the Vita. The absence of The Last Guardian (apparently due to technical difficulties), Tokyo Jungle and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was also disappointing.
Jason: (B-) Beyond looks INCREDIBLE, as does The Last Of Us. Wonderbook, however, took up way too much time, and there was barely any Vita showings at all. The lack of Vita was especially strange considering the massive amount of Vita at the booth.
Cassidee: (B) Summed up in one word, Sony’s conference was a massive “meh”. They bookended it well by starting off with that amazing Beyond: Two Souls trailer, and ended with exclusive The Last of Us gameplay. God of War and All Stars were great, but not groundbreaking. The Vita did not get the attention it deserves, and I still have no idea what PlayStation Mobile is supposed to do. And don’t even get me started on that Wonderbook snooze fest. Like I said, Meh.
Blake: (B) I like that fact that Microsoft is really pushing Xbox Live, not only as a game service, but as a complete entertainment option, especially the newly expanded ESPN options. (NBA!) I’m less excited about SmartGlass, but whatever. For my part, I enjoyed the looks at Halo 4 and Gears, but I still feel Xbox needs a blow-out new IP, with a protagonist they can push. While the conference was solid, the lack of any surprise was a letdown. OMG, timed exclusive DLC for Black Ops 2? At least we’re finally getting a good browser. Just kidding, it’s Explorer. What about next-gen?
Ron: (C): Too much Kinect, Usher, a lot of games only had quick teasers and weren’t talked about.
Good = SmartGlass is revolutionary technology; good balance between pushing consumer software and entertainment content, and actual video games
Bad = No Kinect feature really stood out to me; That Usher performance was stupid; Almost all of the games showed off are almost available for all consoles; That short trailer for Gears of War: Judgment was extremely disappointing (shortened version of the original trailer; didn’t tell a whole lot about the game)
Paul: (B-) Halo 4 looks cool, but was barely discussed after the demo. Why no in-game demo of Forza Horizon?
Halo 4 and Tomb Raider look very impressive but there was a clear lack of non-Kinect based exclusives. Spent far too long talking about ‘entertainment’ and Smart Glass which should really have been CES announcements instead of E3 reveals. Overall Microsoft lacked killer exclusives.
Jason: (C+ ) Great demos of what they did show, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were awesome, but way too much time on SmartGlass. That is better suited for a CES debut. Oh, and Usher is better suited for a non-gamer audience.
Cassidee (B-) Too. Much. Kinect. Let that thing stay in a dusty box in my closet where it belongs. What did save this conference was the presentation of Tomb Raider, the Gears trailer, and Halo 4 gameplay. Also disappointing is the lack of new IPs.
Blake: (A) This is what I’m talking about. Assassin’s Creed III BAM! Rayman Legends SNAP! Watch Dogs LOOKS INTRIGUING! ShootMania AWKWARD! It was great. Seriously, I feel that Ubisoft won this conference. They have a history of creating both stellar new IPs and excelling on Nintendo hardware. When you combine in that, and the fact that they are making ZombieU, should have me hungry for that game, yet for some reason I’m not. Watch Dogs, however, looks very promising, and I can even possibly buy into Far Cry 3. Aisha Tyler should win an award for her performance.
Ron: (A): Won E3, great selection of games, showed off Wii U first, Watch Dogs, Farcry 3, great host (not the guy).
Good = Fantastic line-up of games; almost all the games shown got me pumped and excited to play them; Rayman Legends looks AWESOME; Watch Dogs is an interesting new IP; Assassin’s Creed III has me as excited as Assassin’s Creed II
Bad = I really don’t care for Just Dance, so how many can Ubisoft possibly make until they begin to beat a dead horse?; Toby Turner and Aisha Tyler interacting on stage was awkward to watch; don’t invite Flo Rida on stage ever again
Paul: (A) Watch Dogs, Far Cry 3, Assasin’s Creed 3 all look amazing. Can’t wait for Splinter Cell: Blacklist!
Overall the best conference though Ubisoft need to sort out their hosts for next year. Assassin’s Creed 3 looks truly amazing and Watch Dogs should definitely be one to look out for it was a very impressive demo and as a new IP it stands out from the sequels and spinoffs. Far Cry 3 is also looking to be nicely crazy.
Jason: (A+ ) Easily the best of the shows. They had a musician too, but it was at the beginning of the show to get us going, not next to the end. Watch_Dogs was an amazing surprise too.
Cassidee: (B+) Won the show. Impressive AC III footage and the new IPs in ZombiU and the out-of –nowhere Watch_Dogs gave Ubisoft the upper hand over everyone else at this year’s E3. Take note, EA.
Blake: (C+) EA pretty much did as expected, came out with a lot of pretty looking presentations that didn’t really tell anything. Games like SimCity, Madden, FIFA and the Old Republic are looking good, but will only really appeal to people who were already fans anyway. I don’t see them reaching out to a new audience. Crysis and Dead Space 3s both look promising, but I wonder if we’re not getting more of the same there. I can’t bring myself to care about anything Medal of Honor or Need for Speed, but at least they were there. And does anybody really care about Battlefield Elite, I mean, Premium?
Ron: (B): Only ten games, not a very impressible line-up, largely forgettable press event.
Good = Crysis 3 looks amazing; Need for Speed: Most Wanted is exactly what the Need for Speed franchise needed
Bad = The whole conference felt “meh”; Dead Space 3 felt more generic, with a lack of thrills and the horrific atmosphere we come to expect from Dead Space; everything felt safe, even Crysis 3
Paul: (B+): A good line-up of games but no real surprises on the horizon. Too much businsess as usual?
Warfighter doesn’t really look like enough of an innovation to match Battlefield 3 let alone Black Ops 2. Otherwise Crysis 3 also doesn’t look all that much different while EA seems to be reaching desperation point with SWTOR.
Jason: (C) Again, great demos, but other than the UFC deal, no real big surprises. Kinda wanted more.
Cassidee: (D) Sports games and sequels. Sure they look decent, but damn, give me something new.