Posted on Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at 7:00 PM by Tim Bowers
Well, what an E3 that was! It had super highs and awkward lows. It had surprises, it had thrills, it had a couple of WTF moments and for the first time, it had the combined sight of all the writers at Zero1 firmly fixed on it.
Mike’s official wrap up of E3 can be found by clicking HERE but here at Z1G we are an opinionated bunch so I thought it would be a good idea to go round and ask them what they really thought of E3. What they liked, hated and what got them excited for the next 6/9 months! So without further a do, here they are!
Dan Willis: @danieljwillis
E3 2012 was definitely the best E3 so far, for me at least! I was dying for the EA conference since Maxis announced in February that they’d be reviving SimCity. We were promised a proper gameplay trailer, and when Lucy Bradshaw from Maxis introduced that trailer, my life was complete (at least for now).
I am really anticipating this release since it’s been 10 years since a proper SimCity from Maxis (SimCity Societies is another story). Apart from SimCity, three other titles which I am now looking forward to are Watch Dogs, from Ubisoft, which looked magnificent in the gameplay demo we were shown. Another game, from Ubisoft, titled ZombiU. I mean, who doesn’t want a zombie apocalypse game based in England?!
Finally, a new game from Sony titled Beyond: Two Souls. The graphics looked fantastic, especially for a console title, and the gameplay demo left me wanting to see more.
Now time for some ‘not so good’ bits of E3: I think one of the most disappointing things, and definitely most cringe worthy was Wonderbook from Sony. Especially because the tech demo kept having problems, it really didn’t help me when I keep saying to my friend “Oh, I prefer my PS3, it’s better at this” and then that happened during their conference.
Another low for me was Nintendo’s conference. They could have done so much more and shown off the Wii U, shown off some amazing games that push it’s boundaries – but that didn’t happen – and I was very disappointed after the conference.
I think from what I wrote at the start, I could hands-down say that my favourite conference was Electronic Arts, merely because SimCity made me so excited and I’m now always watching the trailer… I think I’m loosing my sanity personally, but hey, it’s SimCity so it’s worth it.
Gareth Edwards: @garethpedwards
The biggest highlight of E3 2012 for me had to be the announcement trailer for Beyond: Two Souls, which launched the Sony Press Conference. The reveal of actress Ellen Page as the lead, and also following on from the hype of the “Kara” tech demo (which I would still love to see made into a full game), the realism in the simple interrogation scene built on everything Quantic Dream managed to do with Heavy Rain, and have improved it in subtle, but extraordinary ways.
Other highlights for me were The Last Of Us live gameplay demo showing the interaction between the two characters and the fight and cover mechanics, and also the Tomb Raider demo, which expanded on footage that had already been released pre-E3 and showed in-game use of the Bow and arrow. A further nod should really go to the Halo demonstration, although I’m probably not as excited about that as I should be, although it looks pretty spectacular.
Sony’s Press Conference was, overall, superior to its rivals in Nintendo and Microsoft, who focused on unnecessary new hardware and an endless stream of sequels, respectively. Sony thanked the fans and gamers, and was very humble in its approach, which seemed to make it more endearing, and a much more natural show to watch and report on.
Mike Webber: @grethade
The announcement that stuck out to me the most this year was the in game mechanics of Assassin’s Creed 3. Ubisoft was been hard as work on their new engine for the game and it really shows. The interactive battle scenes between the British and American forces are breath taking. Not to mention there is one in game moment where battle is taking place on a ship. This is new of the franchise and it had me on the edge on my seat. What was over the top was, Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, which is a second title for the Playstation Vita and compliments the home console game. I think that Assassin’s Creed 3 has got what it takes to be the game of the year, and if a game is capable topping this title, it’s going to have to be quite an irresistible game.
Tim Bowers: @timbow1982
The one thing that stuck out for me this year, even more so than the new games, even more so than the new IP’s, more than the tech demos, more than the gameplay footage of some truly amazing games, none of that compares to HOW BADLY NINTENDO SUCKED AT E3!!!!!!!!
Those who read my writing will know that I am a loyal and committed Nintendo fan, they are as much a part of my life as breathing and eating, but not even I, a fan of nearly 20 years, could feel impressed with the disaster that was the Wii U unveiling. Nintendo were the only company with actual brand new hardware, the gaming world was poised to be blown away by the Wii U, this E3 was Nintendo’s to win. The release of the Wii U Tech video a few days before the conference suggested that Nintendo would be firmly focused on showing us the awesome games they had in store. What we got was a limp, badly scripted, weak IP filled presentation, oh and don’t forget the near 15 minute explanation of Nintendo’s version of Pacman!
Nintendo needed to grab the gaming world by force and shove the Wii U in their faces, all they did was skirt round any hint at release date, suck up to Ubisoft and get excited over the release of a game, which if Nintendo do release the Wii U in November, will already be a year old and have two editions out on the PS3 and Xbox. Well done Nintendo, Well Done!
Aside from Nintendo breaking my heart I really enjoyed this E3. I am a huge Heavy Rain fan so was so excited when the rumours started that we could expect to see Quantic Dreams new game at the Sony Conference, as well as more on The Last of Us. I watched Ubisoft’s conference with mild indifference until Watch Dogs turned up. That game looks brilliant! Other notable mentions must go to Travellers Tales for Lego City Undercover, Square Enix for the ‘Agni’s Philosophy’ tech demo and Giant Sparrows PSN Exclusive The Unfinished Swan.
Kirsty Fraser: @kirstysays
E3 this year was a bit of a roller-coaster ride to say the least and I’m going to be telling you my personal highs and lows of the Los Angeles based gaming convention.
The low of the convention was definitely, and I think most of the team will agree with me, Microsoft’s ‘let’s show them very little games’ conference. I’m glad I’ve purchased a Playstation 3 in recent weeks as I was genuinely not impressed at all with about 99% of that conference. Shoving Kinect onto any game that Microsoft could get their hands on, I really would have liked to have seen it being utilized better and more efficiently than Angry Birds ugly sister making its appearance on the 360 with the game Wreckateer or, the horrible voice commands to tell your Xbox that you wish to view a movie. Following on from that, EA’s didn’t do much for me either. Dead Space 3 looks like it’s moving away from the survival horror genre however a few games did catch my eye in that conference that I will go into briefly later on.
Moving onto the highs of the convention and I’ll be honest, there was only really one main reason I was watching E3 this year – Assassins Creed 3. Ubisoft did not disappoint this fan-girl with the extended trailer and gameplay that got shown to us. I was giddy as a five year old who had just eaten a bunch of sugar filled sweets and willing to give Ubi my money there and then after seeing Connor leaping through the trees like a complete natural, killing off the redcoats and the environments that were shown. I was genuinely shocked with the Wii-U after seeing Rayman Legends being demonstrated and how well it complimented the co-op gameplay that the Wii-U can offer. It looked really well done and even in the prototype stages; it could be something that I’ll be looking out for in the near future. The final surprise from Ubisoft was definitely Watch Dogs as I’m sure most of you will agree. Where the city is essentially your weapon, this is a take on something that no developer has really played with and I cannot wait to see how the final product plays. For me , the main point of E3 is to shock the fans with “Oh heres this game we’ve been sitting on for several months whilst we’ve distracted you with that bigger title” and Ubisoft done just that.
Sony didn’t disappoint either. With this being the first year I’ve really paid attention to the company after buying a Playstation 3, I didn’t know what to expect. Another crash and burn much like Microsoft or something that would blow me right out of the water? Well thankfully, it was the latter. After just recently completing Heavy Rain, I was really looking forward to what was coming out next from it’s makers and Beyond looks just sublime and a definite contender for LA Noire with the actress Ellen Page being used for face capturing and her acting being displayed through the game itself. With Sony’s conference, more Assassins Creed 3 was shown to us and I think I done more than exploded inside with those battles at sea however I have a definite urge to purchase a PS Vita with AC : Liberation being announced there as well. I assure you, I do play other games than Assassins Creed! Moving back to EA’s conference quickly, the likes of Forza Horizon and NFS: Hot Pursuit really made me think about racing games again. They’re not normally my first pick when it comes to gaming genre however after seeing these two games being showcased to us, I might have to change that and give them a try when they come out.
With that all being said, Ubisoft and Sony both stole the show for me personally and I’m really looking forward to not only just Assassins Creed 3 like I was before E3, but with games like Watch Dogs, Beyond, The Last Of Us and a few more to be gracing out consoles in the near future, E3 2012 might have been a bit of a train wreck in some places but there are definitely a few titles to be keeping an eye out for throughout the next 12 months.
Michael Dagleish: @dowgle
E3 is now over and having seen all of the conferences I will give my personal opinions of the highs and lows of the games and tech on show. Overall, I was very impressed by both EA and Ubisoft’s conferences and they really dragged my attention back after what was a painfully dull Microsoft one.
From a games perspective, I think the games that really stood out for me as games I want to play were Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Crysis 3 from EA’s conference, Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3 and the very surprising Watch_Dogs from Ubisoft and Tomb Raider from Microsoft’s conference. Overall I think the surprises of the show for me from a games standpoint were Tomb Raider and Watch Dogs. Tomb Raider looks to be taking a bold new step with its very mature design and direction and thankfully, the gameplay previewed appears to match it perfectly. Watch Dogs was the biggest gaming surprise of all as they had kept it under wraps very well. It had the element of all out surprise which worked in its favour plus the gameplay looked unique and entertaining, using a range of hacking skills to listen in on peoples phone calls, change traffic lights and so on.
From a tech standpoint, personally I was a little disappointed. I’ve never been a big Nintendo console lover so the WiiU did not really grab my attention. Other than that, Microsoft didn’t really show anything that hooked me in. Xbox Music sounds okay on paper, but will it beat iTunes this late in the day with latter already being an established leader in the market? I doubt it highly. Although I have never been particularly bothered by all this cross-device functionality jargon, I must admit Xbox Smartglass does look intriguing at the very least. If it works properly it could be a market changer, but from personal experience, cross-device platforms rarely work as they should. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on it to see how it progresses though.
My personal biggest shock of the conferences was the announcement that EA have signed with the UFC to produce all UFC video games from here on out. I think this is a great move for both parties from a marketing and business standpoint but the reason it is so surprising is no one saw it coming. In fact just last year Dana White, the president of the UFC who appeared on stage to give a brief talk, said that he hated the way EA do business and he would never partner with them. He is always an outspoken and polarising character who has gone back on his statements before, but this was a shock to everyone watching who follows the UFC.
Chris Sanderson: @lildopdotcom
Disappointment. This is the phrase for this year’s E3. I know a lot of people are saying we are expecting too much and have been spoiled in the past but I as a gamer want games, not live-stream TV. I’m not bothered about it and if you ask yourself deep down, neither are you. E3 to me is about surprises in the industry and releases. There was 1 game that was a surprise this year and that was Watch Dogs, which looked outstanding, graphically and the gameplay looked unique. I cannot wait for this title. I urge every single one of you to check out the gameplay trailers for this game, you will not be disappointed. Also Quantic Dream announced their new title Beyond: Two Souls, which looked very interesting. I think it’s going to be more of the same like Heavy Rain with a different script, which is fine by me because apart from NIER, Heavy Rain was an amazingly written story and some of the best writing this generation.
The rest of E3 I was left with a feeling of emptiness and disappointment. We knew there was Black Ops II, Assassins Creed III, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Just Dance 4, Dance Central 3, Splinter Cell, blah blah blah! I’m sick of sequels. I’m burnt out on them and developers are getting lazy by churning them out and when there is a new IP like Star Wars 1313, it looks boring and generic. Maybe we have been spoiled by games and I’m becoming bitter? I mean the Wii U, what was that? I’m not impressed like I thought I was going to be. I wasn’t expecting a new PlayStation console or a new hardware announcement from Microsoft but I was at least expecting some surprises from the big 3, instead I get one from Ubisoft.
Overall I was not impressed and no matter how you dress it up. It’s like all the companies are sticking the middle finger up at the core gamers and laughing at us for supporting them over the years. I hope something happens later in the year to change my thoughts with Tokyo Game Show and Eurogamer Expo events coming up. Let’s see shall we.
Niall Clarke: @irisheros
For me, E3 2012 will be remembered as a mixed bag of sorts. In one corner, we had epic previews of The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed III , and Far Cry 3. In the other, we had a HORRIFIC Microsoft conference…. and… eh, that’s about it!
What Microsoft seemed to forget about E3 is that its for gamers from around the world. Instead of focusing on this audience, they decided to throw two tiny clips of Halo 4 and Splinter Cell (Which I’ll admit, looked awesome) at us, but apart from that, it was pretty obvious that their conference was aimed at the more “casual” gamer. From the pointless rants about “How great Kinect is”, to the news of ESPN being shown on Xbox Live ( Which no one outside of North America can even benefit from!) to the “Meh” looking Nike add on for Kinect, Microsoft were showing little love to us gamers.
Sure, I’ll admit it, they want to sell stuff, no matter who the buyer is, but I don’t think Mr. Hardcore Jock, or the 10-year-old’s who only use their Xboxes to listen to The Wanted are the kinda people who go to E3, or view it from their homes!
On a more positive note, Sony’s conference was ace! They focused on the people E3 is all about! Joe Gamer!
Nintendo, as far as I noticed, were caught in the middle ground, showing us some great Wii- U games, but hitting an off note with “Nintendoland” cough.
But all things taken into account, I thought it was a pretty great conference over all!
So, that was what we all thought of E3 2012, but what did you think? Were you transfixed by Tomb Raider? Did Beyond leave you breathless? Did you think Watch Dogs was wonderful?? Let us know! Leave a comment below, sound off on facebook or send us a tweet!
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