E3 2012: Final Impressions

I seriously considered making this a two word post: Total Crap. That would pretty much sum up my feelings about E3 this year. The three big companies are the major reason for this. As you can read in my individual breakdowns, neither Microsoft, Sony, nor Nintendo had a very good showing at E3 this year. While plenty of blame can be laid at the feet of these companies, the 24-hour game news cycle and the (totally understandble) decision by a lot of companies to announce their games before the show also didn’t help. The fact that we’re at the tail end of an unprecidenally long console cycle also plays into the lack of a true WOW factor at this year’s E3 (Nintendo not-withstanding, they’re releasing a new system, they should have done better). Saying that, there were still some cool games and announcements coming from this year’s show and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on them today. Please feel free to let me know in the comments if I missed something or if I didn’t talk about a game you saw that you think looked awesome.

Who Won E3?

Surprisingly the winner of E3 2012 was not one of the three major companies, it was Ubisoft. Those crazy French-Canadians made their presence felt in their own press conference and in the conferences of all the major publishers. Starting with Microfsoft’s show, one of the most impressive games I saw demoed was Splinter Cell: Blacklist. The graphics looked great and it looks like if you’re good at the game you get to really feel like a total badass. Their Kinect integration (something it seemed was required by any game pressenting at Microsoft’s conference) was actually decent. At Sony’s show, Assassin’s Creed 3 looked impressive as well. The sea battles seem to add a new level of gameplay and Sony is trying to become the lead SKU for the franchise. New PS3 and Vita Assassin’s Creed bundles were announced. At Nintendo’s show, ZombiU was the only game that truly showed off some of the cool ways the Gamepad can be used to enhance gameplay, from hacking doors to scanning your surroundings.

What Was the Game of the Show?

Staying with Ubisoft, the game that looked the most impressive was Watch Dogs, a Splinter Cell/Assassin’s Creed hybrid that has everyone talking. Set in Chicago, you are able to take control of any electrical devices in the surrounding area. As one of the few new IPs shown at E3 the game is definitely pushing the envelope in the graphical department. The demo was running on a high end PC, however, Ubisoft claims that the game will release for the 360 and PS3. A Wii U version was not rulled out but not confirmed. I suggest everyone take a look at the demo to see why everyone is talking about this game.

What Else Impressed at E3?

As I discussed most companies didn’t take a lot of chances at this year’s show but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited to play the games. Now that E3 is done, here is my top 10 list of games I’m excited to play that were shown at the show:

1. Beyond: Two Souls– From the creator’s of Heavy Rain, we might not be playing this one for a while but expect it to stay near the top of my list for a long time.

2. Pikmin 3– At this point this is THE reason I’m excited for Nintendo’s new system.

3. Watch Dogs– I’m not the biggest fan of Assassin’s Creed or Splinter Cell but this game looked so good that it shot up my most wanted list.

4. The Last of Us– This is the one of the few games on this list that I KNOW I’ll be playing this year.

5. Tomb Raider– The new demo they showed at E3 just made me more excited to play this game, unfortunately we have to wait until next year to do so.

6. New Super Mario Bros. Wii U– Overly familiar but the game still looks fun. Also, MARIO IN HD!!!

7. Far Cry 3– A surprise at this year’s show, I thought the four player co-op looked like a lot of fun.

8. ZombiU– As I’ve mentioned, this is the one game that is actually using Nintendo’s system’s potential.

9. Halo 4– It’s Halo, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited to play it.

10. Splinter Cell: Blacklist– I’m not sure if the demo fully sold me, but the fact that I’m even considering buying a Splinter Cell game is an accomplishment.


Let me know in the comments what your takeaways from this year’s show were, who you thought won E3, and most importantly what games you’re most excited about playing!

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