E3 2012 came and went this past weekend in L.A., carrying in tow a plethora of new games and devices to suck our wallets dry and while away our precious spare hours. While there’s no way we’d be able to discuss all (or even most) games covered at E3 this year without taking over the entire front page of Tor.com, we have culled content for the sake of manageability, and touched base here with only those franchises and games that pique our specific interests, including Halo 4, Gears of War: Judgment, Watch Dogs, God of War: Ascension, Assassin’s Creed III, Sleeping Dogs, The Last of Us, and more.
Warning: Due to the mass amounts of content and new games announced this week, this post will be rather video-heavy so as to give our readers as complete a preview as possible. Be forewarned! And grab a drink.
- UbiSoft Montreal is working on an ambitious new game involving an entirely digitized world. Remember going the hacking route in Deus Ex? In Watch Dogs, the entire world is one big terminal, waiting to be hacked. And then shot up. And then hacked again. Watch the trailer detailing the concept of the game world above — but of more interest to us was the following (spectacular) gameplay demo.
- Microsoft’s E3 contribution was highlighted by the latest Halo 4 trailer, a 7 minute preview that includes both cinematics and in-game footage. The game looks gorgeous, as expected, and shows off several new weapons, as well as a new non-Covenant alien enemy.
- Another significant Xbox-exclusive franchise was also prominent throughout E3, as Epic Games announced Gears of War: Judgement, a prequel set in the Gears universe some time before the earlier games. Hard to complain about having to give even more Locusts a close shave with your chainsaw gun, though it’ll be interesting to see if the game offers anything fresh in terms of gameplay.
- Naughty Dog’s next game, a departure from the wildly successful and fun Uncharted franchise, is a post-apocalyptic survival tale entitled The Last of Us. E3 saw the launch of the first gameplay trailer, and at the risk of cheerleading, we have to say it looks bloody fantastic. The gameplay unfolds in a style similar to a grittier, more brutal Uncharted offering, and the animation and world-building looks amazing at this early stage.
- An open-world, hard-boiled Hong Kong crime thriller game set in the streets of Hong Kong? Ummm... yes please. Square Enix revealed in-game footage of Sleeping Dogs at E3 this year, and while the game engine is a bit rough around the edges, the gameplay looks fun as hell. Shack News has a hands-on preview.
- Sony took E3 as an opportunity to provide a firm release date for God of War: Ascension. Kratos will return to PlayStations everywhere on March 12, 2013. A new gameplay trailer showed off the game in action, which, unsurprisingly, looks very similar to previous iterations of the series. This is a good thing for fans, but might seem repetitive to the casual gamer. It should be noted that the action does appear to be more frenetic than ever. Also, now you can fight enraged elephants, so that’s new.
- If you’re an Assassin’s Creed fan, don’t worry - Ubisoft’s got your Assassin’s Creed III fix right here.
- Dead Space 3 was also formally announced at E3, as was the inclusion of co-op play (a poorly-kept secret for the last few months) in the game. EA plans to launch the game for all systems in February 2013.
- Nintendo announced the release of a new Super Mario Brothers game for the Wii U. Now with more multiplayer goodness.
- If you’re up for some profanity and aren’t easily offended, the South Park RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth, launches March 5, 2013. Check out the first trailer.
- Finally, we end with a couple of news tidbits unrelated to E3. If you own an Xbox, you can apply to beta test the new Skyrim DLC, Dawnguard, for free. Winners will be chosen sometime next week. Dawnguard is scheduled for release on June 26 for Xbox, and a month later for all other systems.
- ...and Max Payne 3 is now available for PC, as of last week.
And now we throw it to you, dear reader. What caught your eye at E3 this weekend? What games are you looking forward to, and what games disappointed? Let us know.