E3 thrills gamers with new titles and innovations
Thu, 14 Jun 2012 10:47p.m.
By Daniel Rutledge
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) took place in Los Angeles last week with the world’s biggest videogame companies showcasing their latest products to media and consumers alike.
The expo floor was packed with promo girls, xenomorphs, performance cars, nerds, more promo girls, guns, muscle-bound men, cosplayers and still more promo girl.
This year Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo were all pushing a move from gaming on just your TV screen to networked entertainment across every screen in your life - an idea mocked by some of the celebrities at E3.
South Park co-creator Trey Parker spoke at the Microsoft media briefing, where he asked the crowd: “How many times have you been watching an episode of South Park and thought, 'I'd like to be able to watch this on my television, while hooked into my mobile device, which is being controlled by my tablet device, which is hooked into my oven, all while sitting in the refrigerator?'"
Parker made the joke shortly after Microsoft announced Xbox Smartglass, technology which will link television, console, mobile phone and tablet devices.
“As far as to have four or five different screens and be watching this and that at the same time, it's confusing. I've only got one brain and two eyes,” says Snoop Dogg, who was at the convention to promote Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Motion-controlled games were ever-present at E3, including Sony’s new Harry Potter title Wonderbook: Book of Spells, Dance Central 3, which was shown off with a performance by Usher, Nike+ Kinect Training, Wii Fit U and Just Dance 4.
But of course, the big blockbuster titles are what thousands of gamers queued for hours at E3 to get their hands on, and they weren’t disappointed. From Watch Dogs to Dishonored to Assassins Creed III to SimCity to Injustice: Gods Among Us to Dead Space 3 to Splinter Cell: Blacklist to Resident Evil 6, the line-up of big new games was impressive.
Sony had a number of exciting titles to show off, including the highly cinematic Beyond: Two Souls from Heavy Rain makers Quantic Dream which features Juno star Ellen Page.
“We are going to tell the story of this character through 15 years of her life,” says Quantic Dream founder David Cage.
“It's a very intense, very emotional journey, so we needed really the right person to embody this role. Ellen is a dream come true, she's been absolutely amazing."
From Naughty Dog, makers of the hit Unchartered series, new post-apocalyptic survival game The Last of Us was also shown off by Sony at E3.
Lead designer Jacob Minkoff described the game: “If everyone you knew died, and everyone you loved and cared about was gone, and you had to fight every day for your basic survival, could you still love someone? Could you still trust?”
As Sony was showing off this impressive pair of new intellectual properties, Microsoft focussed more on the return of highly anticipated fan favourites Halo 4 and the most popular game franchise in the world, Call of Duty.
“With Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 we're actually taking fans to a new theatre of war, for the first time since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” says Daniel Suarez, VP of Production at developers Treyarch.
“We're taking players to the near future setting of 2025.”
How confident is Suarez that Black Ops 2 is going to break the sales records that Call of Duty has broken the last four years running?
"We never really look at the records,” he says. “I know that sounds strange to say, but for us we really just want to make the best game possible. The team at Treyarch work really hard, day in and day out, trying to make the best Call of Duty game possible.
“We don’t sit there thinking we’re going to break [sales] records, we just want to make a great game and let the fans decide. If the fans think the game is great, more people are going to buy it.”
Call of Duty fans will indeed get to decide when Black Ops 2 is released this November.
E3 is over for another year and has given the industry and fans alike a whole lot to look forward to.
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