Like a cloud in the wind, E3 2012 came and went as it does every year. This year as a whole was exceptionally disappointing to the majority, however, as it didn’t really do much surprise people and most of it was leaked before the show ever began. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a few surprises at the expo though and those few that were were quite surprising indeed. Here are my personal top seven titles show at E3 that I’m anticipating more than any other:
7. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
Can you believe it has been nearly ten years since Pikmin 2’s release on the GameCube? That seems far too long for another entry to this franchise but the wait is soon to be over. Pikmin 3 will release within the launch window of the Wii U this ‘Holiday Season’ and it’s looking better than ever. The hi-definition visuals really do the game a huge favor with its photo realistic approach which allows player to feel more immersed in the world than ever before. If ever there was a game to show what some first generation Wii U titles are capable of, then Pikmin 3 will be a sure fine example.
6. P-100 (Wii U)
While the game has yet to have an official name, P-100 is a very interesting concept that takes some of its gameplay ideas straight from Pikmin. Developed by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo, the game is an action strategy game that allows you to obtain and control up to one hundred civilians that can combine and conform themselves into different shapes such as airplanes, giant fists, etc. One of the more interesting things that I was impressed with was how it uses the WiiU GamePad. There will be times where you must, for example, go inside a garage to complete a specific task; at this point, the gameplay leaves the television and reverts to the GamePad alone until you finish what you need to finish inside and then reverts back to the television once you’re done. I think the game has a lot of potential and is definitely one to look forward to.
5. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
It’s Intelligent Systems. It’s Paper Mario. Enough Said. If you’ve played the other three entries in this franchise than you already know what to expect: a hilarious and quirky adventure through a world made of paper. This entry spices up the gameplay quite a bit and takes a very unique approach in comparison to its predecessors; gone are the days of gaining experience through battle and leveling up as that has now been done away with in favor of specifically using stickers you find in the environment to use in battle and to solve puzzles. In battle you now only gain coins which you can use to purchase more stickers as well and to gain HP (Hit Points) you must actually find them hidden in the world as well. Paper Mario: Sticker Star takes a much more direct approach on exploration and discovery, which I think will really draw in people both familiar with and new to this series when it releases this holiday.
4. Watch Dogs (Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
This one came right out of left field. It’s a brand new game coming next year from Ubisoft that may seem somewhat familiar to anyone who has played Assassin’s Creed, but is absolutely unique nonetheless in its concept and gameplay. In Watch Dogs, you play as different individuals who has control of the entire city in the palm of their hands. Its a world where everything is linked by technology and can be used at a whim by those who are in control of maintaining that technology. A good example shown in the demo was using your cell phone to switch traffic lights from red to green suddenly causing a major vehicular accident. You’ll be doing things such as this throughout the game to find the best approach to assassinate your target. It’s slated for release sometime next year for current gen consoles, but I honestly think it will be a launch title for the next Xbox and Playstation.
3. South Park: The Stick of Truth (Xbox 360)
“No Kyle. Jews can’t be saviors”. It’s an absolutely hilarious line from the new trailer showed off last week at Microsoft’s conference and it paves the way of what to expect from South Park: The Stick of Truth. The entire game is written and voiced by the series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone as well mapped out by them as well. That alone should be enough to sell the game. The plot of the game is for you, the player, to join the quest on a journey to become to cool whilst fighting many new and familiar faces from the South Park universe along the way. It’s gameplay is very similar to that of Paper Mario but of course with very mature humor and vulgarities throughout, so definitely not the type of game your child should be playing. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll be a fan of the game. Period. It’s due March 2013.
2. Zombi U (Wii U)
It’s hard to find a good survival horror game these days on a console. Resident Evil has all but gone the way of an action game and while Dead Space helped to fill in that void, it’s third iteration appears to be more action oriented as well. Then along comes Ubisoft with Zombi U. This exclusive lauch title for the Wii U takes survival horror to the next level and puts in charge of any number of survivors in the city of London. All it takes is one bite from a zombie and your character will instantly become a zombie as well and you’ll become another survivor trying to make your way to some area being broadcasted over the radio. The interesting part here is you can literally find your last zombified character and kill him or her and retrieve whatever items you had before from its dead body; however, as interesting as this may be, its the way the game utilizes the GamePad that makes it so immersive. The action takes place on the television, naturally, and the GamePad serves as your survival bag, sniper scope and so forth. It’s kind of odd that a third party developer would showcase what the Wii U is capable of more so than Nintendo themselves, but I’m certainly not complaining. This game deserves the attention its getting and I personally cannot wait to get my hands on it later this year.
1. The Last of Us (Playstation 3)
Of all the games that were shown at E3, this one surprised me the most. It was announced and shown off a bit earlier in the year, but the demo that was shown at Sony’s Pre-E3 Conference absolutely blew me away. The gameplay to me seemed so very realistic and immersive that I could believe that universe actually existing and happening in real life. It wasn’t too over-the-top and created such tension that I was literally on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was going to happen next. If the gamplay can keep this same momentum throughout the entire course of the game, then it may be the one title that will finally cause me to break down and purchase a Playstation 3. I think Sony and Naughty Dog has definitely got a system seller on their hands.