E3 2011, or: How I learned to stop caring and just play my games.

I was so excited for this year's E3.  So many games I wanted to see demoed, new games were rumored, and others we new about but had yet to see.  Would Natal/Move finally break out?  Would Nintendo announce a new console, or at least prove the Wii could still be relevant?  And how would the NGP turn out?

No, yes, no, and ehhhh.

BTW I have some friends who went to E3, so I am going to use them (as well as other sources) to help shape my opinion on things I (obviously) couldn't experience first hand.

First, let's talk about hardware.  Surprisingly, the thing I was most impressed with was the Wii U.  The combination of touch controls with typical buttons and joysticks has potential, and despite the clutter, still looks sleek.  The little we were shown definitely seemed a step up from the Wii.  Zelda HD, even though just a concept demo, was really impressive.

On the other end was the NGP, or as we now know it is called, "Playstation Vita".  Yes it's an awful name, but this device seems pretty cool.  It's slick to look at, and the demos shown were very cool, particularly Uncharted: GA.  However, those who have tried out the Vita have described it as clunky and uncomfortable.  One of my friends, who has larger hands, seemed to like it, but the others tended to agree with the former statement.

Moving on to motion controls...

I tried to show some interest in Move and Natal during their respective conferences, but I was honestly falling asleep.  The only mildly interesting title (that was specifically for motion) was Medieval Moves (for Move), and anyone who saw it probably thought the same thing: "I'd rather play Zelda".


Alright, let's discuss the GAME ANNOUNCEMENTS:

I'm just going over the few that stood out:

Tomb Raider-Though I've never been a fan of the series, this game seems to take the typical TR experience and make it more raw and visceral.  Giving Laura a more realistic body shape helps too.

Hitman: Absolution-Didn't see any gameplay, but as a fan of the series, I'm glad to see them coming back to it.

Sly Cooper: TiT-Again, no gameplay, but grateful that a great series is being brought into the new gen.

Halo 4-FUCK YOU MICROSOFT.  Reach may not have been good enough to win GoTY, but that's only because it was released the same year as some seriously amazing games.  Bungie ended the series on the best note possible, and now you're going to run it into the ground.


Finally, lets finish this off with the best games that we actually got to see.

Rage-Going into E3, this was by far my most anticipated game.  Fallout 3 meets Doom with better graphics equals GoTY right?  Well it doesn't help that id showed off the EXACT SAME gameplay they did last year.  My friends played for a bit and said it was awesome, and I'm definitely excited to play it, but I wish id had shown off the multiplayer, or at least SOMETHING new.

Looks Like:  Buy  (These reflect MY PERSONAL opinions, not how everyone should react)

Batman: Arkham City-I got to see very little of this, and the little I saw didn't seem that different from AA.  Luckily, AA was amazing.  And I'm sure once I get to play, having an entire city to roam around in will be great.

Looks Like:  Rent/Buy

Modern Warfare 3-I can't lie, the demos I saw were fucking bad ass.  But I REFUSE to be drawn in by pretty explosions and massive set pieces.  Unless IW does something really fantastic with the multiplayer, I could care less.

Looks Like:  Rent

Uncharted 3-Uncharted 2 was a phenomenal game, and U3 looks like it aims to be even better.  However, though I did in fact really enjoy the MP (more than Gears actually), I ended up losing interest in it after a while.  Maybe this was due to MW2, who can say for sure.  But I will try out the U3 beta, and maybe it will change my opinion.

Looks Like:  Rent (For now)

Gears of War 3-The little they showed of the campaign did little to change my opinion.  After the Beta, I realize that even though I enjoy Gears of War, I'm not a fan of third-person MP games (again even Uncharted 2 got old for me).  That being said, my friend played the new horde mode and said it was the most fun he's ever had playing Gears, and he is a HUGE GoW fan.

Looks Like:  Rent (Could turn into a Buy if EPIC does some amazing things with the MP)

Resistance 3-This game looks amazing.  The ability to hold however many weapons as you want, an even darker story, and impressively redesigned chimera make this game one that certainly will end up high on PS3 watch lists.  Unfortunately, the multiplayer has never really grabbed me, so I don't see myself playing it for too long.

Looks Like:  Rent

Battlefield 3-BF multiplayer is my personal choice for how FPS MP should be; the perfect mix of tactics and explosions.  BF3 seems to be the culmination of all the games from BF1942 through BC2.  It may not be as balls-out crazy as MW3, but it fights back with realism and scale.

Looks Like:  Buy

Mass Effect 3-Gonna say, didn't care at all for the Kinect functions.  Even the tactical options seemed contrived; there for the sake of being there.  Other that, fucking blew me away, new melee combat looks slick.  My only gripe was that the Reapers look way smaller than they have been shown to be in previous games, making it seem like Bioware is scaling them down to make winning more believable.  Remember, in ME1 it took an entire fleet to take one of them down.

Looks Like:  BUY

Assassin's Creed: Revelations-Hats off to Ubisoft for managing to release three great AC games in three years.  Revelations looks better than the previous two (which were both awesome) and the return of Altair is exciting.

Looks Like:  Rent

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier-As a passive fan of this series, I was impressed, but need to see more before passing judgement.

Looks Like:  Undecided-probably Rent

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim-Holy shit.  Like, seriously.  RAGE was my most anticipated game coming in, this is bay far mine coming out.  I watched the same 10 min of gameplay over and over, just so I could take it all in.  The scale, the graphics, the character animation; THIRD PERSON LOOKS AS GOOD AS THE WITCHER 2!  And that Dragon Battle-it's all over the couch.

Looks Like:  Game of the Year

Zelda: Skyward Sword-Likely to be the Wii's last hurrah, and proof that when Nintendo's major players got to shine, the Wii WAS worth owning.

Looks Like:  Buy

Twisted Metal-Bitches ain't shit.  All you can say.  If this game doesn't get your testosterone boiling-you are a woman and don't have testosterone.

Looks Like:  Buy

I should point out there were 6 'threequels' up there (all in a row in fact), and AC:rev is the Third game to feature Ezio.  Noticing a pattern?


So there is my take on this year's E3.  Overall, I was very disappointed by the lack of quality announcements, and several games I was excited to see having little or no showing.  Even the new Sly Cooper and Hitman announcements did little to excite me.  Wii U looks cool, but too little was said about it, especially for a console reveal.  Vita's initial impressions were off-set by what people playing it had to say about it.  No single company stood out, and aside from the game demos, it seemed like a wasted opportunity.

XL_ARES_IX's picture

E3 this year was a complete failure if you're only interested in the PC/Xbox360 side. Neither the Wii nor any PS3 games interested me at all. I don't see how any one game or series can make a console worth owning - although I guess that's why I haven't turned on my Wii in over 2 years. At least I know RAGE, BF3 and Gears 3 will all be the games I'm looking forward to.

iWINuFAIL's picture

All fairness to the Wii, as I've said games involving their main mascots are always sweet.

Benjamin Weeks's picture

I just want Skyrim.

jreinKs's picture

Any reason Far Cry 3 wasn't mentioned here? It looks pretty damn good I think, definitely a few steps up from 2, and I would say worth a rent (from Gamefly since Far cry games are open world and  tend to be rather long)

Semblance's picture

"Giving Laura a more realistic body shape helps too."

What madness is this?

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