Every Spring developers get to show off their newest and greatest creations on the E3 stage to get gamerâ€™s everywhere salivating over future titles. As many years have proven though, the only guarantee is that a veritable crap load of new titles will be revealed. The unclear factor in this is how successful each one will be. Even more uncertain is how many announcements will actually be new original IPs as opposed to sequels and prequels to already established titles. Gamers everywhere love to see the next chapter in their favorite titles; this yearâ€™s E3 was practically ruled by games like Halo 4, Assassinâ€™s Creed 3, and Resident Evil 6. Thereâ€™s nothing quite like seeing a brand new idea come to life though, and it is these original IPs that help shape the future of the gaming industry year after year. Thankfully the amount of truly distinctive titles featured at this yearâ€™s show was quite generous indeed.
Watch Dogs: One of the prime and most welcomed surprises of the show hands down. Ubisoft already had a pretty solid show going between Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Rayman Legends and Assassinâ€™s Creed 3; they werenâ€™t satisfied with just that however. A completely new idea centered around surveillance on a mass level in an open-world action cyberpunk atmosphere graced the big screen and not a single eyeball in attendance or at home diverted their attention from beginning to end. The major appeal in Watch Dogs is using the concept of hacking and surveillance as integral game devices, so much so that we can see the most intimate secrets of anyone we come into contact with just by accessing records via cell phone or any other electronic device. Revealing points of information will show up above peopleâ€™s heads telling us that this person is perhaps a single parent, has a criminal record, or what sexual orientation they are. Gamers will be able to use this information in some cases to further an investigation or stay one step ahead of anyone and everyone who defies you. Such control over anything electronic also includes being able to shift traffic lights at will or jamming any kind of communication devices within an area. The privacy and functionality of the city is at your fingertips and letâ€™s face it, this speaks to the power hungry deviant in all of us. Excellent original game mechanics and a gritty criminal underground story put this baby at the top of the best in show list.
Dishonored: Itâ€™s hard to go wrong when you make a game that involves assassins. So itâ€™s near impossible to screw up making him a supernatural assassin with a superpower skillset. Dishonored wasnâ€™t featured during any of the major press conferences, but the show floor demos and developer interviews during the show garnered much attention. With the promise of player choice and creativity on a scale weâ€™ve not seen before in any other game, Arkane Studios seems supremely confident that the lack of a sandbox mechanic and game-breaking assortment of powers will be paramount in forging a unique experience for each individual. Regardless of your opinion on this set-up on paper, the smooth and attractive gameplay videos spoke for themselves and the sheer amount of ways to approach combat and stealth are far too tantalizing to ignore. Iâ€™m still holding on to the hope that I can tail-smack someone across the face after possessing a fish. That probably wonâ€™t be possible, but there has to be some amount of balance I suppose.
Beyond: Two Souls: I donâ€™t think there has ever been a better way to open an E3 press conference than dropping the premiere trailer for Beyond: Two Souls on us without warning. The time between hearing Quantic Dreamâ€™s name and the beginning of the trailer gave nowhere near enough time for our minds to fathom the possibility that we would have been treated to what we saw. The flawless character design and cinema like aura is what grasped our attention initially and as the unilateral exchange between Ellen Pageâ€™s character Jodie Holmes and Lieutenant Sherman progressed we felt chilled to the bone from the silent intensity. Beyond appears to be fiercely story-driven and contains an impressive amount of action sequences; like real action, explosions and all. When tackling the subject of the ethereal and ghostly entities, possibilities become practically endless because of how little we truly know as fact. Creative license can soar and what better way to bring this vision to life than casting everyoneâ€™s favorite cuddle bear of an actress, Ellen Page. Of course in the trailer she was more like a dark creepy possessed kind of bear, or something. Still, she was pretty awesome! Arguably the most unique of the games on this list, there is still so much we donâ€™t know about the story. What we do know is pretty damn awesome though.
The Last of Us: Naughty Dogâ€™s next big project coming off the success of the Uncharted series was announced late last year and even with the menial amount of details initially revealed, it captured the imaginations of gamers everywhere. Eventually it would become one of the most anticipated games of this yearâ€™s E3. With such a heavy focus on making the concept of survival truer to the nature of what survival entails in actuality, The Last of Us is already set to break new ground not only in the genre but the gaming industry as a whole. Real time dynamics allow for realistic interactions at just the right times; during the E3 demo we even witnessed Ellie react to Joelâ€™s running out of bullets by hurling a brick at their would be attacker, stunning him long enough for Joel to get into close range and take him down. Naughty Dog wants us to feel the tension of how every encounter with someone could very well be our last, like approaching someone wielding a gun in real life would feel if we had no other choice. Even after being shot in a completely player controlled scene, Ellie can be heard voicing her concern and saying â€śyou ok!?â€ť Killing is portrayed as a difficult struggle as opposed to the hot knife through butter feel many other games have, as showed by Joelâ€™s attack on the first person encountered. There was a brief tussle as Joel tried subdue his target from behind and the look in the eyes of both assailant and assailed told a story all its own. It was an ordeal on its own, more than just another press of a button on your way to taking out the next person. The realism is striking and the gameplay looks to be an improvement even over the Uncharted games. The Last of Us may already be the front runner for game of the year when it comes out.
It may not have been the best E3, and certain companies failed much worse than thought possible. When the smoke cleared though, the positives came in quality rather than quantity. New IPs are the most exciting part of these conventions, especially the ones we know next to nothing about until the premiere. Itâ€™s true that many end up falling very short of the hype they generate, but not unlike coming attractions shown before a movie they are fun as hell to watch and critique. The time has come once again to open your hearts gamers; letâ€™s keep these eggs warm and see the baby chicks to safety once they hatch.