E3, FeaturesJoel Szerlip

E3 2012: Game of Show

E3, FeaturesJoel Szerlip
E3 2012: Game of Show

Now that E3 2012 is over we here at Darkstation.com are taking a few days to look back at the biggest week in gaming to go over our biggest disappointments, biggest surprises, and of course our Game of Show for E3 2012. And on the last day of E3 2012 features we are picking our Game of Show for E3 2012. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Watch Dogs by Ashley Chittock

Coming out of nowhere and stealing the show at the end of the Ubisoft press conference Watch Dogs was the most surprising and entertaining moment of all of E3 for me. I had never seen a game that seemed so unique and that just ripped at my insides with a need to play it. I love open world games and it’s not even the ability to go anywhere and do anything that makes them so appealing but just seeing the world the developers have created is what interests me the most.

If you watch the demo closely for Watch Dogs you can see a level of AI interaction that seems unparalleled for an open world game. There are pedestrians helping each other out of cars during an accident, wind blowing garbage around the street and the gameplay looks phenomenal. We have seen a lot of open world third person shooters but Watch Dogs just seems like it will be something special.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted by Hiram Mojica

This was such a difficult choice for me that in the end, I had to make my girlfriend choose which one I liked the most for me (well, I asked her to help me decide). My other choices, Pikmin 3 and Project P-100, were mostly there because I wanted to highlight games that are actually using the WiiU GamePad smartly, and to highlight that with P-100 (amongst a few other games) Nintendo is showing a commitment to bringing in third-party developers to make interesting looking games for their systems.

But Need for Speed: Most Wanted... It’s basically the driving game I’d always wanted, but just never had. In my mind, Burnout Paradise is the perfect game. It’s a great city, wonderful sense of speed, and is always enticing you with some new reason to keep going- new events, a friend beat your road time, go destroy that car! Most Wanted looks better than that, though. It looks better than perfect. All it took was the addition of the Autolog to bring competition further to the front and cop chases to make me realize what I’d been missing. It looks fantastic, the sense of speed is amazing, and I’m shocked that I can forgive them for not including more Lieutenant Cross and Razor Callahan. Putting Criterion on the Need for Speed series was an inspired choice, and it’s clear they’re doing their best to leave an indelible mark on the franchise. I couldn’t be happier about this.

Forza Horizon by Alexander Cattell

Even though I really enjoyed what I saw of Watch Dogs, which is now my most anticipated game, I would say my overall game of E3 2012 is Forza Horizon. I have enjoyed the last few Forza games but the current formula is growing stale. I have been enjoying more and more arcade style racers as of late such as Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and the Dirt series. Forza Horizon looks to draw me back into the series with a huge open world, stunning Forza 4 visuals and more forgiving handling. Though driving and racing games may not be my most coveted genre, I still appreciate the speed and thrill of driving illegally fast and what better way to do this is there than in a world filled with the most powerful and beautiful cars in one of the most gorgeous settings.

Rayman Legends by Allen Kesingner

For me, it was Rayman Legends. Getting a chance to try the game made me recall just how fantastic an experience Origins was and the demo left me, to this day, hungry for more. Rayman Legends gained additional bonus points because it makes a case for the Wii U’s new hardware and control schemes. Even though I only got to try two levels, Rayman Legends looks like it will, once again, knock it out of the park. Hopefully, this won’t be destined to win Best Game No One Played again.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist by Scott Kieffer

E3 2012 might have disappointed some, but the great games kept coming. Most of the big games this year were previously announced, or at least leaked in the week leading up to E3. When choosing the “best game of E3,” I can’t help but include the element of surprise in the criteria. So while games like Resident Evil 6, Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed 3 will undoubtedly be awesome, they weren’t the stars of the stage this year. I also think that, to earn the top honors, we have to see more than a simple teaser. Forza Horizon might be my most anticipated new title, but we didn’t get much for actual gameplay. Gears of War: Judgment is another likely blockbuster without much shown.

With that criteria, I’d call Splinter Cell: Blacklist the game of E3. The teaser trailer looked intriguing, showing a perfect mix of the original Splinter Cell trilogy (as evidenced by the appearance of Sam Fisher) and of the recent Conviction (with many of its new gameplay elements). But the fairly long demo showed that Blacklist, possibly more than any other game at the show, looks as impressive in action as it looked in concept. A surprising new game with a bold direction, and a surefire blockbuster.

Metro: Last Light by Adam Condra

There was an awful lot of fooferaw this year about game violence and the industry not moving forward from angry, brutal shooters and action games, and from all that I saw I briefly considered joining that choir... and then I remembered that sometimes brutal action games can be pretty awesome, and that that isn’t a reason to disregard something on its face. Still, I like to take a bit of introspection with my headshots, and there were plenty of games that offered that as well. The Last of Us had an incredible demo, and seems poised to offer an antithetical take on the Uncharted experience that earns its spurs from the difficulty of taking a human life, but if there was one game that looked uncompromising in its violence and eminently engaging all at once that title was Metro: Last Light .

I wrote about this first-person survival-horror shooter once already for our “Most Anticipated Games of 2012” list, and while we won’t be seeing it in 2012 after all, Last Light is looking like something that would fit comfortably on top of a “Most Anticipated of 2013” list. This follow up to Metro 2033 takes place in the Moscow subway system, after nuclear winter has settled over Russia. Players will alternate between bartering for ammo and getting to know characters in the small, hard-scrabble communities that have formed in the relative safety of Moscow’s transit system, whilst trying to keep it defended from lupine monsters and disenfranchised bandits. While none of that sounds terribly original, what makes it great is the game’s focus on atmosphere and quirky mechanics- like wiping blood off of a helmet screen, or using the right trigger to keep a flashlight charged and ready -that drive the tension of surviving in a nuclear wasteland in more compelling ways than most games that use similar settings. Huge improvements in both the visuals and AI made for an E3 demo that looks like it will soar well above its original ambitions.

The Last of Us by Justin Hafner

Early on into my months-long tenure at Darkstation, I review a game called “I Am Alive”.  It a game I still occasionally receiving a fleeting thought about from time to time.  All those thoughts are fairly tinged in bitterness and disappointment.  The feat of creating an appropriately desperate feeling combat system to complement the equally appropriate despair of the...I don’t know...end of humanity is a very ambitious undertaking when one takes a gander how the apocalypse is usually treated in gaming; a digital playground of gun-blazing mayhem.  Still, Ubisoft Shanghai missed the ball in many many ways with I Am Alive. Everything felt mechanical, the game started to dish out too much ammunition towards the end and the story ended with a grotesque thump which felt more like a DLC bait than the risky interpretive ending many assumed it was.

The Last of Us seems poised to permanently knock I Am Alive out of my memory banks. Thanks Naughty Dog. I urge you to check out the E3 trailer post-haste.  Despite being a huge mainstage attraction for Sony, the trailer bravely highlights the game’s dedication to apocalyptic atmosphere, avoidance of conflict with other humans or the infected until all other options are exhausted, the tiring struggle with the aforementioned human bandits or infected persons and building an interpersonal relationship between the two protagonists that, thus far, feels really genuine. After the Blockbuster-in-Your-PS3 run Naughty Dog had with the Uncharted Series, I could absolutely not be more thrilled to have a change of pace, both mechanically and tonally.

Rayman Legends by Jonathan Miley

How do I decide between Rayman Legends, Assassins Creed III, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell Blacklist, The Last of Us and Halo 4? If we were declaring winner of E3 here it’d be Ubisoft hand freaking down. But we’re not rating publishers, so that means I have to decide on one game to carry the torch. Well, there’s AC3. Which, while looked amazing, will be more assassinating, just with tomahawks and boats. Watch Dogs was phenomenal looking… But you know what? It’s going to be a long time before that game comes out and the game we see then will look a lot different than the one we saw at E3. Splinter Cell and Halo are what seem to be the return to form of two of my favorite franchises. While that fills me with warm fuzzies, I also can’t shake the feeling that these series should be laid to rest.

So that leaves The Last of Us and Rayman Legends. The Last of US sure did look good but I don’t own a PS3 and even it has not yet convinced me to buy one. Rayman on the other hand… damn. I’m more excited about playing another Rayman this fall than I am any other game. Between its frantic pace, the graphics that somehow look even better than Origins, the genuinely novel use of the WiiU gamepad and the hope for another great soundtrack, Rayman won me over. I’m buying a WiiU just to play that game. No game has done that to me in years.

So there you have it: Rayman Legends, game of the show.

Far Cry 3 by Jake Stroth

It’s tough to judge what the best game of E3 is without actually playing any of them, but I can say the game that captured my imagination was Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3.  While the gameplay that was shown looked like the fairly standard first person shooter fair, it still seemed excellently designed.  The ability to let tigers out of cages seemed really neat and hopefully a sign of more interactive objects in the environment in the full retail game.  Still, the best moment of the Far Cry demo was the insane dream sequence.  I really like games that try to make you experience insanity yourself, and the bizarre messages, twisting paths, and shouting crazy dude of Far Cry seemed like a great realization of the concept.  The demo did have a rough patch in the form of a naked women writhing on top of the player character, but it was a relatively minor speed bump in what was by far the most interesting game that I saw at E3.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.