So, there are no more real surprises to talk about at E3. It’s been a pretty muted year all-round for E3, so in true nerdy fashion it is time for some Top Five lists – the five best games at E3, the five worst games at E3 and five games we expected, but somehow never showed up for whatever reason…
THE FIVE BEST GAMES AT E3 2012
Watch Dogs is a tantalising, promising new UbiSoft IP about modern hacking, superstates, spy vs spy and corporate espionage. It looked stunning from every single angle, had an interesting demonstration with a tight, subtle story and was as mad, violent and crazy as you’d ever hope a game to be. Hooray!
UbiSoft score the second place this year with Zombi-U, a name which is likely to see a change but the tight blend of Resident Evil action, Amnesia-style tense atmosphere and Dark Souls-style punishing difficulty and rewards system ensured that this was the saving grace of the Wii-U this year.
3. Final Fantasy XIV 2.0
Well, isn’t this a turn up for the books? Last year it seemed nothing could save this ailing MMO – and suddenly, the 2.0 update with engine upgrades, combat refinement and more emphasis on stories and quests suddenly looks like an absolutely fantastic thing to be a part of! Talk about surprise of the show!
4. Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is achingly pretty. It’s also, from surface impressions, insane – the game is all about insanity, the isolation and environment doing things to men and women they wouldn’t and shouldn’t take much pride in. It’s still looking like another FPS, but it’s a great concept they could do so much with.
5. Tomb Raider
Wrapping up the top five is Tomb Raider – we’ve missed Lara really, so it is a great thing that now she’s more personable, more real, more determined. The game may not be a huge leap forward but the graphics and detail that her new playground offers certainly are; and Lara is going to suffer greatly through it!
THE FIVE WORST GAMES AT E3 2012
1. Nintendo Land
Boys and girls, this is not how you end a show. What is Nintendo Land? A game which is set in a Nintendo-themed theme park. Is it an evolution of the Mario Party formula? A budget mini games collection for the masses to enjoy? An experimental demo of the Wii-U controls? Or a massive self-congratulatory stiffy? No-one knows. Or cares.
2. Wonderbook/Book of Spells
Sony stuck their foot in it. The trailer looked so good, but when it came to the live demo, the Wonderbook – and Book of Spells title by J.K. Rowling, just looked utterly dire and dreadful, slow and painful, frustrating and annoying. Plus a rumoured RRP of £100. You’d have to be a right Muggle to buy it at that price.
3. Avengers: Battle for Earth
Well, aside from the fact it’s a bit more than Avengers, it was hard to get excited over a plasticy-looking trailer with absolutely no gameplay features whatsoever. The trailer was the killer – it looked cheap, tacky and about as appealing as the last few Spiderman games. Who is in this game. For some reason. Don’t ask me, I have no idea…
4. Halo 4
Some may think this is unfair because Halo 4 does look good. However, it cemented itself on this list because, whilst it was demoed – Halo 4 stopped being tweeted, and the game that began to dominate the Twitscape was Metroid Prime, as everyone said, “Doesn’t it look a lot like…” Not exactly the best of starts for the fourth game in the series.
5. Wii Fit U
We get it Nintendo. Your lifestyle range is hugely successful. But guess what? Not all of us want it, or buy into it. E3 is a place to showcase new innovations and ideas as well as games, and Wii Fit U fits into none of those categories. It also doesn’t help to see people who clearly don’t play games demoing it. What a stupid thing to do.
THE FIVE GAMES MISSING FROM E3 2012
1. The Legend of Zelda U
Okay Nintendo, joke is over. That tech demo last year of Link fighting Queen Gohma was enough to make me nerdgasm all night long – and this year? Where was it? Zelda has always been a predominant element of Nintendo and their games strategy, so yeah, not seeing it save a Nintendo Land minigame really, truly hurt like hell.
2. Beyond Good and Evil 2
UbiSoft, come on. It’s been more than ten years since that cliffhanger ending and we’re now really running out of patience here. All we’ve got is the same teaser and the same early alpha footage that we had two years ago, and really, that’s simply not enough for us. We want Jade and Pey’j back – and sooner, rather than later.
3. The Last Guardian
Oh dear Team Ico. How long have we been waiting? We know you suffer, this is your last game, we know you are in pain and having real problems with this title. But we miss you. We want you. We ache deeply for you in ways words can’t describe. Please, please give us something soon. We love you. We need you. We must have you.
4. Final Fantasy XIII-Vs.
With XIII-3 seemingly facing the chop (thank heavens for that!), the game announced at the same time as XIII is still not here. With still no word on this side-companion to the series, it’s interesting that Final Fantasy XIV 2.0 seems to be doing so well now, whilst these games are seemingly dead and buried… perhaps for the best though.
5. Half Life 2: Episode 3
And finally – do I REALLY need to explain this one to you? We’ve even been taunted with Half Life 3, but come on, the final installment in the Half Life 2 episodic trilogy is now running so late to the party that most of the people at the party have aged from young adults to pensioners. It’s driving everyone batty. How about it Valve? Finish what you started!