E3 2012 – Impressions from the Floor

Assassin’s Creed III
-We saw a gameplay demo behind closed doors at Ubisoft
-While town/city environments are still present, Connor’s ability to swing through trees will have you wanting to spend a lot of time in the woods. Amazingly fluent animations

Batman Arkham City Armored Edtion
-Our first Wii U game we tried out
-The gamepad is very comfortable to hold, and the raised analog sticks are excellent, HOWEVER, with the right hand stick raised I was constantly fumbling the controller trying to reach the X, Y, B, and A buttons
-Graphics and textures were a little lacking compared to the current gen consoles
-Utilization of the Wii U gamepad was very neat. I could equip my gear, systematically explode charges, and see enemy locations on the screen

Borderlands 2
-Played a behind closed doors co-op demo at the 2K booth
-New characters were playable
-Got to take home a code for a free gun of our choosing for completing the demo!

Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate
-Set in the “universe” of Lords of Shadow, place in time is unclear
-2.5D, perspective tilts every so often
-Environment in the demo was VERY barren. I tried whipping the lamps for hearts but they didn’t produce any
-Big emphasis on platforming. Double jumping and grappling were abundant in the demo
-The demo was fairly difficult with many players giving up on the boss at the end

Dead or Alive 5
-Four buttons is all you need!
-The best looking DoA game I’ve ever played, but I think this one belongs in the arcade

-Visually striking, environments are being torn apart, enemies took terrifying and demonic
-Simple combat system at first, but quickly becomes convoluted. Holding L2 in the midst of battle to access your Angelic move set, and R2 to access the demonic. Holding L2 and hitting square during platforming to dash is like twister for your fingers
-I’ve definitely warmed up to this game

Far Cry 3
-Co-op play brings the fun of Dead Island minus the zombies to the Far Cry franchise

Hitman Absolution
-Classic Hitman gameplay with several new features such as the ability to mark and track your target across the level map
-Sandbox, open-world level design remains intact and will please fans new and old
-With graphics and animations like this, Agent 47 never looked so good

Jet Set Radio (Vita)
-Camera during demo suffered from some issues but controls were simple and handled well
-Graphics are very sharp and look great on the Vita’s large display

Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance
-Another title for the fans. Own a 3DS and love KH? This is a definite buy for you

LittleBigPlanet Vita
-Great to see a game native to the Vita and not a port or re-release
-Utilizes the Vita’s touch and gyro abilities (IE You pull down springs with your finger to allow your sackboy to reach new heights)
-Stunning graphics, incredible lighting and atmosphere effects for a handheld title
-DLC from past titles will transfer over, levels however, will not

Lollipop Chainsaw
-Had a small showing at the WB booth, the game is released in NA on June 12th, 2012
-Quirky and immature, everything Suda 51 fans should be expecting at this point

Lost Planet 3
-Returns to a narrative driven story like the first LP
-Demo had us piloting a ice mining mech in first person as well as traveling around on foot

Madden NFL 13
-New physics engine makes runs and hits feel more realistic than ever
-Player models and movements look better than any previous entry in the series giving you the truest football experience yet

Metal Gear Solid HD (Vita)
-Controls for both games have been slightly reworked for the Vita system but still handles very well
-Graphics are bumped down and can’t quite match the PS2 versions but impressive to see on a handheld nonetheless

New Super Mario Bros. U
-Allows 4 players to play while a 5th player uses the Wii U gamepad to either help or hinder their progress by placing platforms and disrupting enemies
-You’re able to play as your Mii in Mario styled overalls (possibly more characters than just the Mario Bros. and Toads to be revealed)

NHL 13
-Physics have been completely overhauled so player movement and speed is much more realistic
-Hockey AI now forces computer opponents to analyze the entire surface of the ice instead of just the screen you’re playing on which leads to much more planning to set up plays
-Faces, jerseys and other textures have been updated to add even more realism to the game

Persona 4 Arena
-Played on an arcade stick with a 4 button layout consisting of two direct attacks and two “persona” attacks
-Looks and feels similar to a Guilty Gear or BlazBlue
-Incredibly fun and fast paced

Pikmin 3
-Pikmin in glorious HD!
-Demo had us collecting as many points as possible before a timer ran out and defeating an armoured worm boss
-The Wii U gamepad displays a map of your surroundings, we played with a Wiimote and Nunchuk while the Wii U pad was on a display in front of us

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
-All the fast, fun, Smash Bros-esque action you could hope for
-Fat Princess appears to be top tier, she ruled the demo

PSOne Classics on Vita
-Screen sizes were cropped, but we were informed that titles would be fullscreen when the service launches
-Games run at a comfortable FPS and look just the way you remember them

Retro City Rampage
-8 bit Grand Theft Auto style top-down sandbox game with a wonderful soundtrack and nods to many different pieces of classic gaming including Mega Man, Duck Hunt and more
-Controls are tight and feel very similar to the original GTA titles
-Handling of vehicles take some time to get used to

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine
-A free to play MMO based in the universe of the first two SMT games
-Plays similar to Final Fantasy XI with a SMT feel

Sleeping Dogs
-Free roaming from the True Crime games seems to be intact, demo we played was a linear chase and beat em up scene
-Interacting with the environment during fight scenes was fun (example: cramming an enemy into a trash bin, or destroying his face with an AC unit)

Sly Cooper Vita
-It could be that I was burnt out on games by the time I played this, but I had no direction or idea of what I supposed to do or where to go
-Very dark environments, was hard to see on the Vita screen on the show floor

Splinter Cell Blacklist
-Saw a trailer and gameplay demo behind closed doors at the Ubisoft booth
-Identical to the E3 press conference demo
-“Killing in motion” looks really neat
-Sam Fisher is no longer voiced by Michael Ironside, might be a deal breaker

XCOM Enemy Territory
-Saw a live demo played by a developer behind closed doors at the 2K booth

Signing off on E3 2012,
Lee Skwarek & Mike Haynes

“Hey dudes, thanks for rescuing me! Let’s go for a burger…Ha! Ha! Ha!” -The President