My second day at E3 continued with games from Ubisoft, City Interactive, and Sony.
Check out all of the games from EA, Microsoft, Square Enix and Disney in Part 1.
Far Cry 3
I’ve previously gone hands-on with Far Cry 3’s multiplayer, but now it’s time to experience the real deal: its crazy single-player. I say crazy, because I’m not entirely sure how Vaas, the psycho antagonist on the island, fits into everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be the alter-ego of protagonist Jason, but my producer companion was having none of discussing that possibility. >
I also had a chance to check out the recently unveiled 4-player co-op; although, some may infer that it was cheating to play alongside two of the developers. I was impressed with what I saw, but desperately want to know more about the mysterious story.
Stay tuned for a full preview.
Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III should be on your most wanted list this holiday season. I jumped at the opportunity to check it out on Wii U, where it runs just as smoothly as it does on PS3 and Xbox 360. The Wii U’s tablet doesn’t add much to the experience, but it certainly doesn’t subtract from it either.
The new protagonist with the a colon for a name, also known as Connor, against the backdrop of the American Revolution will revitalise the once innovative experience, which has since shaped the landscape of open world acrobatics. For the first time, we’ll be able to enter buildings to evade an army of determined pursuers and simultaneously stab one enemy and shoot another with the same gun. It doesn’t get much cooler than that.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Six months after the events of Splinter Cell: Conviction, Sam Fisher is heading up the recently formed 4th Echelon against a global terrorist organisation known as Black List. Infiltrating an enemy camp, Fisher proves that he is getting better with age with the new kill in motion mechanic, which allows him to target and eliminate enemies without breaking stride. Each mission allows a stealth or run and gun approach, but with his arsenal of gadgets and classic Splinter Cell suit, the former is usually preferred. In his brief foray into wall-scaling, Fisher displayed signs of training with Ezio from Assassin’s Creed, but otherwise looks to retain the elements that made Conviction a game of the year nominee, with a handful of additions veteran fans have been pleading for.
I’m going to be honest: I totally forgot about Rocksmith until I walked into the demo booth and immediately fell in-love. The game that teaches you how to play a real guitar was released in the US months ago, but won’t make it to Australia until September.
I was skeptical at first, but after a quick demonstration and the chance to pluck some strings as someone who hasn’t touched a guitar for 10 years (and was rubbish then), I’m sold on the concept. There’s no easy, medium or hardcore difficulty. The game constantly scales its difficulty, during the song, to match your skill level. When it notices you’re struggling, it’ll pulls back and slowly teaches you the troublesome notes after the song is finished.
I genuinely believe that anyone who commits to Rocksmith will be able to competently play a guitar.
Rayman Legends proves that the Wii U will have strong third party support at launch. Along with ZombiU, Ubisoft is putting their days of rushed ports to make launch deadlines behind them. The tablet touchscreen is used by the second player to open up the world for Rayman on the main screen. It’s one of the more innovative uses of the new control input and asymmetrical gameplay -- the buzzword of E3 2012.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
Sniper 2 was at E3 for the second year in a row with a rough build, which was a little concerning considering it’s coming out in two months; although, that’s far from abnormal. It ramps up the realism from the last game, with more detailed environments and accurate consequences. Your shaky aim will be all over the place if you hold your breath and concentration for too long, while alerting enemies with misplaced shots is as good as signing a death warrant for your two man team.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us was Sony’s trump card leading up to E3, and it didn’t disappoint. The extended demo in the Sony booth delved deeper into Joel and 14-year-old orphan Ellie’s survivalist relationship. Joel acts as a father figure, Naughty Dog explained in their demonstration, while Ellie is the inquisitive type who will lead you through some of the co-operative elements.
The level of detail is amazing, with gruesome violence and the remains of a vacant society overrun by nature. It’s distinctly a Naughty Dog game, but does enough to distinguish itself from Uncharted with limited resources and an intriguing environment where anything could be lurking around the next corner.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
PlayStation Super All-Stars Smash Battle Bros Royale did just what everyone thought it would. It plays similarly to Nintendo’s brawler, but feels different enough to require a whole new skillset. I’m dumbfounded to hear people say that as if it’s a bad thing -- the similarities are there, there’s no point pretending it isn’t following Nintendo’s lead, but that can only be a good thing for PlayStation gamers. It’s fun, and that’s all that matters.
Wonderbook: Book of Spells
I’m not sure what to make of Wonderbook since I misunderstood the demonstration. The technology was cool, and I’m all for getting kids to read (are you actually reading this, children?), but that isn’t really what it’s for. The 12 page J.K. Rowling Book of Spells is just a series of blue symbols interpreted by the AR technology into 3D images on the screen. That’s cool, but there doesn’t seem to be any actual reading. The story was progressed through a voice over.
I’m not the target market, and younger Harry Potter fans will love the interaction. It’s an interesting use of the technology, I’m just not sold on its educational qualities.
Beyond: Two Souls
Beyond can be summarised in two words: Heavy Rain. Quantic Dream’s second PlayStation 3 exclusive is being developed for fans of their first, which gave meaning to the phrase “isn’t for everyone”. A majority of the 15 minute demonstration was interactive cut-scenes. It’s a new way to “play” narrative centric video games, but only if you’re engrossed in the evolving storyline. Beyond will deliver a fantastic story, but we need to see more of the gameplay to pass judgement.
Watch Dogs wasn’t playable, and the showroom demonstration was no different to that seen during the Ubisoft press conference. The cyber-espionage thriller revolves around our always-connected lives in a near future where the protagonist can hack anything: phones, computers, traffic lights and security cameras to gain immediate access to the most sensitive of confidential information. Word around the floor is that it’s next gen.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was a nice break from the murder fatigue I was overrun by throughout the rest of the day. The vibrant visuals are reminiscent of the PS2 classics, as is the sneaky platforming gameplay. Thieves in Time is identical on the PS3 and Vita, making it the perfect on-the-go option for anyone looking for a solid platformer.
Stay tuned for the third and final part when you awake from your beauty sleep tomorrow.
By Ben Salter - Bio