No killer 3DS ti­tle

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - E3 2012 -

and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, this year’s E3 seemed to re­in­force the worst stereo­types about the game in­dus­try. Also, it seemed like all ma­jor play­ers were just hang­ing on, wait­ing for the cur­rent con­sole gen­er­a­tion to run its course (and of course, milk it un­til its dy­ing breath) be­fore gear­ing up for the next round.

So this E3 was prob­a­bly no­table for all the stuff that wasn’t there. No new con­sole hard­ware an­nounce­ment from Mi­crosoft or Sony—the XBox 720 and the PS4 continue to be just ru­mours. No

Last Guardian. No killer Vita ti­tle. No killer 3DS ti­tle. Noth­ing about the WiiU that we didn’t al­ready know about. No an­nounce­ment on pric­ing or dates. No

Prince- themed disco game for the Kinect. Okay, the last one is prob­a­bly a good thing. So what was there to be ex­cited about? Mi­crosoft showed us the next Halo and Gears of War games. Both look great—but that’s pretty much par for the course for these two block­buster fran­chises. They also showed us the Smart Glass, a new tech­nol­ogy that could po­ten­tially turn any smart­phone or tablet into an XBox con­troller. Oh, yes, the XBox 360 is now get­ting In­ter­net Ex­plorer. Yes, you heard cor­rectly. Do you care? Nei­ther do we. And there were some dance games for the Kinect. What­ever.

Sony kept mum on The Last Guardian (and I will prob­a­bly never for­give them for that. I en­joyed its trailer more than I en­joyed many full games last year) but they did show a cou­ple of in­ter­est­ing ti­tles in Quan­tic Dreams’ Be­yond and Un­charted de­vel­oper Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. Both games fea­tured in­no­va­tive me­chan­ics, but it re­mains to be seen if they will ap­peal to main­stream au­di­ences, or continue to be crit­i­cally ac­claimed odd­i­ties like Heavy Rain. Still—mad props to Sony for be­ing the ma­jor pub­lisher that takes the most risks with main­stream big-bud­get ti­tles. There’s also a Sony ver­sion of Su­per Smash Bros com­ing along called

Kratos vs Sack­boy? Sign me up. Sony also showed some quirky AR-books thingy they’re call­ing ‘Won­der­books’. These use the PS Move con­troller and cam­era to bring books ‘to life’. What­ever that means. At least they’ve got a heavy­weight name like JK Rowl­ing on board to cre­ate the first ti­tle. It may be some­thing to look for­ward to. They also an­nounced a cou­ple of heavy­weight ti­tles for the Vita—an As­sas­sin’s Creed en­try among them—but noth­ing that re­ally makes Sony’s trou­bled hand­held a must-buy.

Nin­tendo was luke­warm. They de­moed a New Su­per Mario Bros that looks ex­actly like the old Su­per Mario Bros. They did a lot of hand-wav­ing around the WiiU with­out re­ally say­ing much. Their Zom­bie killing game (ev­ery­one’s mak­ing Zom­bie-based games now), Zom­bie-U, and the su­per­hero game Project P-100 look promis­ing, but not earth-shat­ter­ing. In­ter­est­ingly, the an­nounce­ment of

Bat­man:Arkham City and As­sas­sin’s Creed 3 for the Wii-U seemed to nudge the nee­dle to­wards mak­ing the Nin­tendo con­sole more ap­peal­ing to the hard­core lot, but it re­mains to be seen if this will work. On the 3DS front, there was lit­tle by way of gen­uine ex­cite­ment. An­other New

Su­per Mario Bros (sigh), a new Luigi’s Man­sion and a smat­ter­ing of other first party ti­tles.

Ubisoft showed off what was per­haps the weird­est demo of E3 for Far Cry 3, de­cid­ing to side­step the game’s un­doubt­edly im­pres­sive game­play fea­tures to fo­cus on “re­al­is­tic boobs” and such­like. Much WTF­ness en­sued at the con­fer­ence. But they did also show off the stun­ning look­ing

As­sas­sin’s Creed 3 to make up for it. There was also a new Tomb Raider with a rein­vented Lara Croft (iron­i­cally, with smaller boobs) and per­haps the most in­ter­est­ing game of E3 in Watch­dogs— the hacker- themed ac­tion ad­ven­ture that you play on your con­sole, tablet and phone in an in­te­grated, con­nected game­play ex­pe­ri­ence.

Bethesda’s Dishonored looks amaz­ing as well—stealth ac­tion game­play with a great steam­punk set­ting (I love steam­punk. But haven’t seen a truly bril­liant steam­punk world in a non-Ja­panese game since

Ar­canum). Two great strat­egy fran­chises are back as well: SimCity and X-Com. Torch­light 2 is around the cor­ner and just

may steal Di­ablo 3’ s thun­der. There’s a new Splin­ter Cell and a new Dead Space. So apart from a cou­ple of gen­uinely in­no­va­tive ti­tles and a few more mildly in­ter­est­ing ones, there was re­ally noth­ing to re­mem­ber this E3 by. Here’s hop­ing that next year’s edition will fea­ture more gen­uine in­no­va­tion, ex­cit­ing hard­ware an­nounce­ments, and, of course, The Last

Guardian. That would be sweet.

PlayS­ta­tion All-Stars. Nathan Drake vs E3 was prob­a­bly no­table for all the stuff that wasn’t

there.

Nin­tendo was luke­warm. They de­moed a New Su­per Mario Bros that looks ex­actly like the old Su­per

Mario Bros. Rein­vented Lara Croft

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