Where to begin… I’ve seen so much in the past 3 days. I guess I’ll just start by saying that I’ve never been to anything quite like E3 before. The whole atmosphere is just mesmerizing. I’ve had multiple celebrities walk right by me, and I’m pretty sure I was on national television at one point. It’s a shame that it’s not open to the public anymore, but I do understand why. Even though E3 only for the workers in the gaming industry, it’s already packed with people. When some people have to wait in line for 4 hours to see a 15 minute preview of a game, I can understand why companies wouldn’t want any more bodies at the even. That being said, I was extremely lucky to be able to attend.
My first day was basically a scouting day. I wanted to at least see where everything was, and take lots of pictures. That way, I didn’t have to worry about taking pictures/getting lost during the next 2 days. I walked around the whole event multiple times (and this is a LARGE event), and played some games as well. I played some of the smaller games with shorter lines because I didn’t want to waste my whole first day waiting in a line. I did, however, stand in line for Call of Duty: Black Ops II because at the time, the line was fairly short and I knew it was going to be much longer later in the day. I also checked out G4 while they were filming, because that was one thing that I definitely wanted to see while I was there. On my second day, I waited in the lines for the bigger games, like Assassins Creed III and Halo 4, which took a lot of the time out of my day (about 2 hours per line!). On the last day, I stood in a couple more long lines, including Gears of War: Judgement, and checked out some other smaller games again. I also tried to grab as much swag on the last day as I possibly could.
I think the best way to go about describing all of the games I saw is by putting them all as separate subheadings and putting a description after each one. That way, if your looking for a specific game that I saw, you can easily find it. Oh, and just to clarify, these games are in no particular order. I’m just typing them out as I think of them.
Halo 4- Halo 4 was one of my favorite parts of E3. Seeing an extended part of the campaign, as well as being able to play multiplayer, really helped me rediscover why I used to love Halo so much. The last couple Halo games lost me a bit, but Halo 4 is bringing it all back. It feels so solid, and everything sounds and looks amazing. I’ll definitely write up a full preview later about what I saw, because it deserves it.
Assassins Creed III- This was one of my other favorite games being displayed (Ok, so maybe there is a pattern to how I’m typing these out…). They played the demo shown during the Ubisoft press conference, as well as a whole other level set in Boston. They showed a couple more combat moves (like stabbing a rifle’s bayonet through an enemy and then firing the gun through him to kill another enemy), as well as some information about the development/environment of the game. They talked about how when you see something like the town of Boston within the game, it is actually extremely accurate as to how Boston would’ve looked like during that time period. They also talked about how they adapted an old-fashioned town into something that an assassin could easily navigate through. They changed a lot of the free-running mechanics because of the fact that the terrain is so different when compared to the others. Lastly, I was able to play a multiplayer level, which consisted of capturing and holding control points while the other team tried to take the points as well. It felt very similar to the other games, but with new perks/abilities.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD- If you played the original Tony Hawk game and liked it, then you will almost definitely like this one. It feels just like the original, but with MUCH better graphics, and a bit more solidity in the controls, as opposed to the very basic and rough design of the original. I was only able to play one level, but it still brought back memories. Even if you don’t play skateboarding games, I would recommend AT LEAST downloading the free trial off of the Xbox Live Marketplace. If you’re wondering, it will be released on the XBLA during the “Summer of Arcade” that happens every year.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II- As much as I was getting tired of the Call of Duty games, this game definitely looks good. Yes, it’s still COD, but the campaign actually had moments where I was genuinely surprised and hooked into the combat. They’ve also implemented a new RPG-like element into the campaign called “Strike Force missions,” where you must complete certain objectives, and if they are failed, the campaign will continue, but will take that failure into account and might create consequences later on that you’ll have to deal with. I also believe that with the futuristic-style gameplay that this game will have, we’re going to have a lot more weapon choices, and some interesting new modes in multiplayer.
Gears of War: Judgement- As much as I would’ve liked to see more about the campaign, I was only able to play a new multiplayer game mode called overrun, which is basically horde mode and beast mode put together. In the match that I played, the teams took turns being either human or locust, and the humans had to defend a generator while the locust tried to destroy it. Just like beast mode, players are able to select several different characters, including bloodmounts, tickers, and even serapedes (of course the regular locust characters are playable as well). I’ll be sure to type up a quick summary of my whole experience with the game in the coming days, but for those who are interested, I did thoroughly enjoy it.
Hitman: Absolution- The demo that they had available for people to play was quite rough. It had very little instructions on what to do and how to do them. That being said, the gameplay, although difficult to get through, seemed like it could definitely be good once they hone in on the control scheme and story development. That’s really all I can say because I wasn’t able to play much.
Lost Planet 3- Although I don’t remember anything about the story in Lost Planet, the demo available to play was pretty fun. There were several different combat sections, including a battle while you control a mech, a battle on foot, and a large boss battle. Sound like Lost Planet yet? Because that pretty much describes everything about the previous games. Although the mech in this game was controlled much differently, because it was from the view of the cockpit, it was still very fun. I was able to grab enemies with the left claw of the mech, and use the right handed drill to grind right through the enemies, Bioshock style. The graphics looked pretty good, but there were several textural details that still needed to be worked on.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive- I was able to play a match against some other people at E3, as well as a couple bots, and I have to say that I was quite pleased with how Counter-Strike was developed for the Xbox. It’s going to take some time getting used to, because it is definitely a different type of game than the typical Xbox FPS, but I do think that it’s going to be a big hit on XBLA once it comes out. ALthough it lacked a basic guide on what the controls were, I’m positive that’s something they’ll include in the final version. It just took me a while to figure out which buttons did what. I was also impressed with the graphics in the game, because they were exceptionally crisp for a game that’s still in development. This is definitely one that I would recommend to anyone to try out.
Defiance- The only reason I played this game is because nobody else was playing it, and because I had never heard of it before. I now know exactly why that was the case. The game was incredibly rough in terms of gameplay/graphics/everything else, and I’m hoping it was because it was still early in its development cycle. It also had the most generic story I had ever heard: “It takes place in the near future, where aliens have attacked earth and have created a barren wasteland where we must fight our way back to freedom…”said the guy standing next to the booth. “Oh, and it’s an MMO.” Wait, what? An MMO on Xbox? That’s why we’ve never heard of it! MMOs don’t survive on consoles! This could therefore mean two things: It could either fail like all of the rest (which unfortunately is what I’m predicting), or we could finally have a good MMO on a console! Fingers crossed everyone.
Aliens: Colonial Marines-This was actually the first game I played at E3 because there was practically no line. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it did need some improvement. I played multiplayer, where a group of teammates had to roam around a map and defend themselves against an onslaught of aliens. The problem? I’d practically die every time an alien was even near me, because they’d kill me in one hit. Although it was fun when they were farther away because they allowed me to try out the cool weapons, they would just kill me if I tried to move up closer to them. The only thing that could’ve made the game easier is if my teammates and I all worked together. Maybe if we did that we would’ve been more successful. With that being said, the game does have promise, so keep an eye on it as it gets closer to releasing.
Games that I was unable to play but wish I could have played- Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 6, and Dead Space 3 were all games that I wish I was able to play, but simply didn’t have enough time/patience to sit in 3 hour lines all day. I also wish I could’ve played the new Battlefield 3 maps, and Borderlands 2, but they were lower on my list because I didn’t play the original games. If you think I missed something, let me know!
Well this is the first in a series of posts that I’ll be making regarding E3, so stay tuned for more info. I want to make a post on the general layout of the event, in case anyone is interested, as well as some more detailed descriptions of certain games that I saw. I’ll also talk about some of the weird things I saw, because there was definitely some of that as well. Thanks for hang in in there while I wrote something up, and be sure to check back later! Follow me on Facebook and Twitter if you’d like to know right when I upload something, or see the rest of the pictures I took at E3. Thanks!