- Published on Monday, June 11 2012
- Written by Sarah Osman
E3, the infamous gamers paradise, recently ended yet another conference in Los Angeles. Although the event was slightly less remarkable than previous years, there were still plenty of games that should you put on your birthday wish lists! I have picked the best-looking games to come out of E3, based on their originality, ability to captivate, and the fact that they just look freaking awesome!
1. Beyond: Two Souls: The follow up to the incredibly cinematic hit, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls is even more emotional and haunting than its predecessor. Released by Quantic Dream, Beyond: Two Souls follows Jodie Holmes, a young woman who has been haunted by an invisible, powerful presence that she calls “Aiden”, who can interact with the physical world and is the second playable character beyond Jodie. Voiced by Ellen Page, Jodie closely resembles Page. To capture the actress, Quantic used performance capture technology to place Page in the game as a direct image of Jodie. The technology is fairly new for games and is quite impressive (I am hoping that more games will make use of it). From what the demo revealed, the story of Beyond: Two Souls covers 15 years of Jodie’s life and includes train-top rain battles, stealing motorcycles from cops, and exploding helicopters. One of the many creators, David Cage, commented that the game is about death, separation, and mourning -- all of which are rather unusual topics for video games. Regardless, I am a huge fan of Heavy Rain and I am eager to give this one a shot. Beyond: Two Souls will be available for PS3 in the near future.
2. Halo 4: Halo 4 actually kicked off Microsoft’s press conference to the applause of nearly the entire conference. The game will be the eighth installment in the Halo franchise and is intended to be the first of a new trilogy of games, entitled the Reclaimer Trilogy. Unlike previous Halo games, Halo 4 will be developed by 343 Industries and picks up shortly where Halo 3 left off. Master Chief will make his grand return, as will Cortana, as they find themselves near a Forerunner planet. Halo 4 will have less of an emphasis on the traditional first-person shooter game, and will rely more on mystery, a grand scope, and discovery. The current art director for Halo 4 has described the visual style of as being more ingrained, and that the forerunner technology will be heavily advanced. I will definitely be planning a Halo party when Halo 4 is released on November 6, 2012 -- I’m ready to try out some of those shiny new weapons! (Halo 4 will be available for the Xbox 360.)
3. Tomb Raider: We will finally get to find out the origin story of our favorite kick-ass heroine, Lara Croft, in Tomb Raider. The story follows Lara after her ship crashes, and she wakes up on a mysterious island in the Dragon’s Triangle. After battling her way out of a coastal cave, Lara has to find food, water, and rescue as many survivors as she can… all while preparing to take on a group of malevolent mercenaries. Developed by Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider has actually been in the works for nearly two years, and this is the second time it has been revealed at E3. Tomb Raider certainly looks much edgier and darker than previous titles in the series and has an almost “Lost”-like feel to it. (Sadly, Lara does not take down any smoke monsters.) Still, I have missed Lara -- and I am excited to see her take on an island when the game is released March 5, 2013, for PS3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows.
4. Star Wars 1313: The bounty hunters are back in this new Star Wars game, released by LucasArts. The third-person action game will follow a bounty hunter on the seedy underworld of planet Coruscant as he/she tracks down wanted individuals. The game is currently in such an extremely early stage that there has been talk that it might not even be released on current-generation consoles. Still, Star Wars 1313 has a very technological look to it and seems to expand on earlier universes. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for this one when it’s released -- the bounty hunters are some of the best characters in the Star Wars universe (although I am a little sad that there doesn’t seem to be signs of R2D2...).
5. Watch Dogs: Easily the show’s biggest surprise, Watch Dogs seemed to virtually come out of nowhere. Although the game was not playable during the Ubisoft conference (the developers of it), Watch Dogs grabbed the attention of gamers due to its innovative plot, impressive graphics, and its originality. Watch Dogs follows Aiden Pearce, a master hacker who has the ability to shut down your phone -- or invade it and discover your entire life story. Pearce himself has a slight hunch and moves with a shuffle and weirdly portrays the awkwardness that you would assume most hackers would possess. The game borrows from a variety of elements around it, but it seems to most closely resemble Grand Theft Auto. On the other hand, Watch Dogs appears to be more strategic than GTA; rather than being a slinky criminal, you are a highly-trained vigilante that can invade one’s privacy. The game does not yet have a release date, nor has it been announced which systems it will be released on (there is a slight possibility that it could be released for the iPad). I do find the plot of Watch Dogs to be interesting... and strangely fitting for our current society.
6. South Park: The Stick of Truth: The boys of "South Park" are back in this new role-playing game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by THQ. Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park: The Stick of Truth has you play the new kid in South Park as you help the guys battle evil. The game looks exactly like the world of "South Park", and the characters' costumes appear to be from the "South Park" episode “The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers”. In addition to writing the script for it, Parker and Stone also voiced the entire game. Frankly, South Park: The Stick of Truth looks as off-the-wall bonkers as the show, which, in my opinion, is a wonderful thing, and will therefore make this game brilliant. It's set to be released on March 5, 2013, for PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as for Windows operating system for PCs. An added bonus for those who play the Kinect version is the ability to use voice control, in which you could insult Cartman as much as you would like to.
7. The Last of Us: Get ready to take down more zombies with the latest post-Apocalyptic game, The Last of Us, developed by Naughty Dog. The Last of Us follows Joel and Ellie, a ruthless survivor and a 14-year-old-girl wise beyond her years, as they struggle to survive in post-Apocalyptic Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Unlike previous zombie games, Joel and Ellie will not only have to take down zombies, they will also have to take on other hostile survivors. The game also incorporates nature, Joel and Ellie fighting for their health, and very limited weapons/supplies for the heroes. The Last of Us was inspired by a number of sources, including BBC docu-series "Planet Earth", No Country for Old Men, "The Walking Dead", and Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel, I Am Legend. I personally love zombie games, and I am intrigued by the idea of not only taking down zombies but humans as well. I am also drawn to the idea that the Apocalypse will start off in Pittsburgh. There is not yet a set release date for The Last of Us, but it will be available for PS3.
8. Assassin’s Creed III: This fifth installment of Assassin’s Creed, developed by Ubisoft, looks like the best one. Assassin’s Creed III takes place during and after the American Revolution and features a new protagonist, Connor Kenway, who is half-British, half-Native American. Kenway joins forces with some of America’s greatest heroes as they take on naval battles and explore frontier lands. The new Anvil Engine featured in the game looks impressive, and the art direction appears to be the most detailed of the entire series. Assassin’s Creed III will be available for PS3, XBOX 360, Wii U, and Microsoft Windows on October 30, 2012.
9. Need for Speed: Most Wanted: Get ready to race with the latest edition of the Need for Speed series, Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts, Most Wanted lets players race, jump, and smash as they race to the finish. Like previous Most Wanted games, cops will be inserted into certain races to stop players and arrest them, and players will have the option to choose their own route to the finish line. Need for Speed: Most Wanted will have the largest selection of cars out of all the Most Wanted games, including a mix of muscle cars, real-world cars, and exotic street racers. Need for Speed: Most Wanted will be released for PS3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows on October 30, 2012.
10. Wii U: Although not technically a game, Wii U is a surprisingly fun addition to Nintendo’s Wii console. Wii U features a new controller, known as the GamePad, with an embedded touch screen that allows players to continue playing games by displaying the game on the GamePad, even when the television is off. There is also a second controller known as the Pro Controller, which is a traditional gamepad including two analog sticks. As of right now, there are a variety of games that will be available for the system, including Darksiders II, Assassin’s Creed 3, Mass Effect 3, and Batman: Arkham City. Nintendo will also be releasing games specifically for the system, including ZombiU, which is a first-person shooter game where players can take down zombies. Nintendo has also confirmed that a number of other games will be released for the Wii U, including New Super Mario Bros. U, NintendoLand, Wii Fit U, and Game & Wario. Wii U was originally designed to cater to hardcore gamers, after receiving criticism that the Wii catered to a more casual audience. Nintendo will find out how hardcore gamers will react to the Wii U when it is released this holiday season.
- Sarah Osman, YH Staff
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