E3 2012 Highlights (So Far)
The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 to most, kicks off officially today in Los Angeles, California, but arguably the biggest day of the show was yesterday when Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft all held their respective press conferences.
Nintendo had their press conference today and the show floor opened to journalists and guests to get hands on with the newest upcoming games.
Read on for some of our highlights below.
Assassins Creed III
Ubisoft gave a lengthy walkthrough showing the new character ‘Connor’ hunting a deer which he then had to defend from a pack of wolves. Afterwards we see a small camp where you can accept and turn in quests (we say accept, one guy just shouts his quest in your face) and it’s here that Connor gets told about his next target – a British official being defended by Redcoats.
Words can’t describe the impressive and fluid combat enough, do yourself a favour and watch it in action.
Then begin your countdown timers to the games’ release on October 31st, 2012.
Critics of Xbox SmartGlass are calling it an imitation of Apple Airplay, or of the Wii U tablet controller.
SmartGlass is actually a strange mixture of them both, sprinkled with a Windows touch.
Rather than allowing you to simply send video from your laptop/tablet/phone to your Xbox, when you do – your device turns into an extension of what you’re watching.
A great example from Microsofts’ presser was sending Game of Thrones from a Windows 8 tablet to an Xbox console and rather than the tablet simply becoming useless, it displayed a map of the Game of Thrones’ world and information on the lore.
Likewise if you’re watching a movie, your SmartGlass enabled device will show you bios of the actors in the movie, trivia or similar movies.
Beyond connectivity with movies and tv shows, SmartGlass will also turn your device into the mouse and keyboard for the incoming Internet Explorer for Xbox, although Microsoft aren’t giving away too much on that note.
Xbox SmartGlass will be free and is set for a Fall 2012 release, around the same time that Windows 8 is expected to release, although Microsoft have said that it will work on all devices, not just Windows 8 or Windows Phone.
In what many are already calling the game of the show, Ubisoft surprised everyone by ending their press conference with a look at a brand new IP called Watch Dogs.
It looks set to be an interesting mash up of Deus Ex and GTA IV, with some Max Payne thrown in for good measure.
Set in a Blade Runner-esque world where anything can be hacked and anyone can be tracked, the demo shows some great acting and gameplay mechanics such as hacking traffic lights to cause a car crash (which allows for some conveniently placed cover) and hints quite strongly at online multiplayer – MMO, CO-OP or versus though Ubisoft are remaining tight-lipped about.
This could be one of the biggest hits of E3.
The gardening adventure game that we first came to know and love on the GameCube is finally returning on the Wii U with multiplayer at least confirmed more info to follow.
We’re very excited about this one.
The Wii U
Nintendo has a successor to the incredibly successful Wii which itself was launched at E3 four years ago, and the Wii U has a unique tablet like controller which caused a lot of controversy at E3 2011.
It will launch with Netflix, YouTube and Amazon as content partners, support up to two tablet controllers and comes with a ‘hardcore’ controller which is extremely similar to the current Xbox 360 controller.
The Wii U is set to launch this holiday season, complete with NintendoLand - a ‘free theme park’ based on all the Nintendo games you already know and love.
COO of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime described NintendoLand as the Wii Sports of the Wii U.
The Sim City series could arguably called the king of city sims, grabbing the attention of budding mayors long before FarmVille or CityVille existed.
It’s been a long nine year wait since Sim City 4 and the wait will extend a slight bit until February 2013, but the worth looks set to be worth it.
Online Multiplayer, believable living cities and EAs new GlassBox game engine make this one to watch.
The juggernaut that helped launch the Xbox and some would say, the reason for the 360 even existing.
Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a reach but the sheer power and fan base of Halo can’t be denied.
But with Bungie having moved on to a new IP with Activision, the newly formed 343 Studios have big boots to fill.
Fear not, have one look at this new footage and all your fears should fade away, 343 have clearly stuck close to their source material while giving it a new and unique feel to it.
A beefed up multiplayer mode will also be included of course, it wouldn’t be Halo without it.
Look for Halo 4 on November 6th, 2012.
The Last of Us
The new IP from Naughty Dog, the genius team behind the Uncharted franchise is The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic zombie action-adventure – we know, zombies, bear with us.
As you would expect, this game looks set to maintain if not improve on the amazing standards set by Uncharted 1 to 3, although a hell of a lot more gory.
Check out the first gameplay demo for a glimpse to the apocalypse. Remember, the zombies aren’t your only enemies…
E3 2012 has only got one day down with two more still to go, we’ll be bringing you more of our highlights throughout the week.