E3 2012 Opening Day…

I really want to thank G4 TV for having a live stream of the press conferences. I was sitting in my cube at work, without a TV, and was able to watch/listen to the Microsoft event. I have some thoughts from them, EA, Ubisoft, and Sony.

Microsoft…

Halo 4 was a fitting open. The trailer was epic, exciting, and showed the upgraded graphics and game play from the last Halo release. The new story arch looks exciting, and I loved the new bad guys. This looks to be a winner.

After that, I saw more trailers for more upcoming games. Nothing else really excited me, but I was glad to see some of them. EA Sports is completely embracing Kinect, and it shows in Madden 13. Watching Joe Montana call plays was a great step forward for a franchise I felt needed a kick in the pants. This is a good start.

Dance Central 3 is another title that caught my eyes. It’s not my personal kind of game, but my wife loves them, and I’ve always felt it really shows off the Kinect’s ability to scan and follow a person’s movement. The on stage performance of Usher, though, I felt was a distraction to showing off the game. Still, it was a good moment for Microsoft, among a mediocre start.

Smart Glass came up, and I perked up. The idea of extending the Xbox to my iPhone or my iPad completely drew me in. The ability to pause HBO GO on my iPad, and pick it up on the Xbox is there now, but not nearly as smooth. I loved the seamless transition. Still, the biggest draw to me was seeing the Madden playbook on the tablet, and the game being playing on the TV. My first thought was “Take that, Wii U.” I second thought was “Wow, this could be huge.”

Imagine playing Skyrim and you have your character sheet, quest logs, and world maps up next to you on your tablet. You’re at your friend’s house playing Madden, and you can pull out your phone and call a play in secret. Imagine pulling up a puzzle game on your TV, and controlling it through your phone or tablet. Let’s take this a step further. Imagine a live action RPG that would send you out into the real-world with your phone or tablet to scan items, explore point, and then return to your console. The possibilities are endless.

After that they showed us that Internet Explorer is coming to the Xbox. It looked to be Kinect controlled, and not completely a traditional browser. This is a good edition, something wanted by the players, but it didn’t do much for me. I agreed with them when they said a keyboard doesn’t fit a living room scenario. I’d rather use my tablet or laptop for surfing.

Other games worth mentioning are Gears of War: Judgement, and Fable: The Journey. Both looked like great additions to the franchise, and should not disappoint. The same could also be said about Resident Evil 6, although I’ll admit, the whole Zombie movement is losing my attention. Black Ops 2 is also on the way, although admittedly, I didn’t play Black Ops.

One thing I keep hoping every year I’ll see is a portable unit. Perhaps that will be accomplished with a Windows 8 tablet, and the ability to play certain Xbox games on the tablet. How cool would it be if your wireless controller worked with the tablet.

EA…

This is one I didn’t get to see much of. They showed off their sports games, Fifa and Madden, they talked about the coming expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the next Sim City is coming. Hopefully with a Mac Client.

Ubisoft…

I know everyone liked the boobs shot. They seemed to think the guy host was hilarious. Personally, I thought the boobs, and both hosts were awful and dull, respectively. Still, Far Cry 3 did look like a quality title for the franchise.

Something else to note with Ubisoft is they’re developing a lot of titles for the Wii U. One I’ll talk about is Rayman. This looked pretty cool. They had it playing on the tablet-like controller, and the graphics were smooth and colorful. The gameplay looked fun. It’s a winner for the Wii U.

Sony…

I’m already declaring Sony the winner of E3. It started out with the President, Jack Tretton, handling himself amicably on stage. the interaction between the Vita and the PS3 was outstanding, and they seem committed to making more and more titles work together through both systems.

There are two games that I need to talk about in-depth.

Beyond – Developed by David Cage, this game hosts the acting of Ellen Paige, and looks to have a strong story behind it. The opening scene shows a girl in custody of the local police. The sheriff is trying to talk to her, but she’s sitting in silence. In comes the swat team after that, and the girl disappears. From there they show various scenes of her running. Inside her appears to be two souls as well. The graphics were some of the most amazing I’ve seen. At times, you could mistake the rendered models for real shots.

The Last Of Us – I thought I was watching some kind of new type of Uncharted game. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was a new game coming. You appear to be a father that is walking thru a postapocalyptic type setting with his daughter. There are some bad guys that you have to over come. The story was intriguing, the graphics were good, and it seemed to have a pleasant draw to it.

One last game highlight is Assassin’s Creed 3. There is also an AC3 game coming to Vita. Set at the time of the revolutionary war, Connor will fight with George Washington and others. The Templars are still the bad guys, but it seems to have a revolutionary war twist to it. It will be worth checking out on both the PS3 and Vita platforms.

That’s my take on opening day of E3. Tomorrow morning Nintendo will have their place in the spotlight. Bethesda looks to be readying some Elder Scrolls Online viewing on the various online outlets as well.

Written by Dan
I am a Magento Certified Developer Plus and Software Developer. In my spare time I like reading, doing things with my Church, and hanging out with my wife and daughter. I am a Christian and like sharing things I am studying and reading.