Sunday, June 17, 2012

E3: Aftermath

         Well folks, sorry this is late, but it's been a busy week here at homebase. Obviously by now you've read countless articles on other sites concerning who won E3, who lost E3 and everything in between, but you obviously haven't read my reactions yet. 

Well you're in luck, because here I am with what truly impressed/intrigued/depressed me last week at E3 2012.


     Holy crap this game looks fantastic! Sony opened their show with a first look at this upcoming Playstation 3 exclusive from the makers of Heavy Rain. Developer Quantic Dream seems to just get better as time goes on, continuing to master the art of motion capture and performance. David Cage and Co seem to have outdone themselves with a graphics engine that seems to be on another level from anything else I've ever seen. 

With a premise based around what happens to you after death, you'll play as Jodie Holmes, played by Oscar Nominee Ellen Page, as she makes her way through this dark adventure. If you thought Heavy Rain looked great, just watch the trailer for this ridiculously cool looking game.


Sony was having a pretty decent conference and then they stopped it dead in its tracks with a demonstration of Wonderbook, their new Move enabled reading accessory that went on for ages. Instead of a simple trailer, they spent 18 MINUTES on this sure-fire flop that's supposed to make books more fun for kids. 

I'm sorry but that picture just shows how silly this thing really is. 

The first Wonderbook release will be Book of Spells which takes place in the Harry Potter universe and was developed with feedback from J.K. Rowling. She must be really confident in this endeavor since she apparently couldn't even film a video of herself endorsing this product. Great job, Sony, you gave me some much needed naptime during your conference.

Sony ended their conference just as they began it...with a bang! As I said last week, The Last of Us was my most anticipated game of E3 and Naughty Dog did not fail to deliver. The engine they're using on this seems like Uncharted on steroids with lush greenery and some truly stomach churning gore.

Joel and Ellie seem like characters that you'll get to know and care for throughout their journey through a post-apocalyptic America. It's been confirmed for an early 2013 release and I'm honestly very glad they didn't try to rush it out for the upcoming holiday season. Games like this need the polish that extra development time affords and I'm certain we won't be let down when we finally get to own this beauty.


So Sony ended up showing a lot of great games, the real story is what they didn't show. Sure, they revealed the title for Call Of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, but that's all they did...reveal the title. There was no Killzone Vita, inFamous Vita, nothing. 

So they had their ups and downs, highlights and disappointments, just like every other year. However, in a year when you've released a fantastically powerful handheld, you'd expect them to do a little bit more to bolster it's sales. The Assassin's Creed Edition White Vita won't arrive until October and that's not enough to  bolster sales now, when they really need it.

Overall, I enjoyed what I saw from Sony this year but they just didn't spend enough time on the Vita. If I were a public school teacher reviewing papers on a deadline, I'd give them a quick B-.


This was clearly Nintendo's conference to lose and they kind of did. I had super high expectations for the BigN this year and even though I'm still excited for the Wii U itself, they could have done way more to pump up the general public for it. 

What they did "announce" however was either games everyone already knew about (Pikmin, Mario) or releases that certainly aren't going to set the world on fire when the console launches this holiday season. The names Metroid, Star Fox, Donkey Kong and Zelda weren't even mentioned in passing, which was a huge letdown for me personally. 

Of the games we already knew about, Pikmin 3 looks like another super-fun installment in this 11 year old franchise. The introduction of four different playable characters and 2 new species of Pikmin will definitely get fans to pick this up when it's released later this year. 

The game is primarily controlled by the WiiMote/Nunchuck configuration, while the Wii U Gamepad is used as your mapscreen as you fight the monstrous creatures that inhabit The Planet Of The Pikmin. The Wii U's HD visuals truly impressed me with this title, with realistic water effects and some great rendering of the titular creatures. 

With the exception of Pikmin 3 the real highlight of Nintendo's conference, for me at least, was Ubisoft's upcoming survival challenge ZombiU. This looks to be a true survival horror game as there seems to be limited resources at your disposal and a fantastic one hit death gameplay mechanic in use. 

The Gamepad is used to traverse a decimated London, unlocking doors and scanning for the undead with the second screen. Once you die you start back at the beginning of the adventure as a different survivor which intrigues me to no end. 

The game's tagline "How Long Will You Survive?" leads me to think there will be some sort of leaderboard set up for this gruesome game.  ZombiU looks to be a thrilling experience that as of now is exclusive to Nintendo's new console. 


With no huge games we didn't know about (Zombi U excepted) Nintendo pretty much presented a "Director's Cut" of last years show. True, they had more concrete details on the Wii U this year and actually showed a few games for it but there weren't any real surprises. I'd have to give their conference a C+ and hope that Reggie and Co. announce some mindblowing games in the next few months leading up to launch.

So there you go, my much delayed post-E3 article. Hope you enjoyed it and I apologize for not covering everything that Sony and Nintendo had to offer. Let me know what you think in the comments below or on the Twitters @TheRealMattC

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