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Monday, June 4, 2012

From Dead Space 3 to Rayman Legends, EA and Ubisoft dish out the games at E3

Dead Space 3
After Microsoft's E3 press conference Monday, the attention turned toward EA and Ubisoft. Here's a brief summary of their conferences.

EA kicked things off showing gameplay of Dead Space 3, featuring explosions, big aliens and crazy action. Sadly, the survival horror aspect of the franchise seems gone, going toward the Gears of War route. I'll miss the creepiness.

Madden 13 made its appearance, along with special guest and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, talking about new additions like the constantly hyped Infinity engine. One interesting aspect to Madden 13 will be a "story mode" of sorts, with fake Twitter feeds talking about your player as you make your way to the Hall of Fame. It's interesting but I don't think the people that buy these games every year really care about that, and they probably weren't watching the conference to begin with.

Sim City Social will debut as a Facebook game soon, bringing addictive city-building fun to the social media world. Now you can annoy your friends on how big your city has become. Traditionalists, don't freak out too much - a proper Sim City game will debut in February 2013.

Taking a page out of the Call of Duty: Elite subscription book, Battlefield 3: Premium is a service that will cost $49.99 and include access to future expansion packs. It felt like an infomercial when they announced it, but I'm sure the hardcore fans will eat it up.

After discussing Star Wars: The Old Republic, another shooter was shown off: Medal of Honor: Warfighter. If you played Call of Duty or Battlefield before, you know what's coming. Also discussed were FIFA 13, Crysis 3 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

EA also announced a multi-year partnership with UFC, another devastating blow to the struggling THQ company. UFC President Dana White arrived on stage to talk about the game.

At Ubisoft's conference, they gave us a first look at some Wii U gameplay with Rayman Legends, utilizing the tablet controller's touchscreen. I enjoyed playing Rayman Origins last year and I can't wait to get my hands on Legends. Other Wii U games include Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth and ZombieU, an exclusive survival horror game set in England. Only the trailer was shown, which is very reminiscent of Dead Island's trailer.

After being treated to Usher earlier in the day, Flo Rida made an appearance to promote Just Dance 4. Afterward, we got a look at Far Cry 3, yes, another first-person shooter. Assassin's Creed III also shone in the spotlight.

Based on the very popular Trackmania game, Shootmania features two teams of three duking it out against each other. The twist is it's actually 1 vs. 3, where the lone gunman must defeat all three enemies or capture an area to get a point, or the team of 3 must kill the loner. It's a clever idea, but Ubisoft decided to make it a boys vs. girls affair filled with awful commentary, hurting any interest for it.

Ubisoft's conference ended on a very high note in what is a front-runner for the game of E3. Watch_Dogs is a new IP - a rarity for E3 this year - and a third-person game that looks like Grand Theft Auto with much better graphics. The live demo shows the protagonist hacking into various devices and causing mayhem, like one part where he shuts off traffic lights and causes a big crash. Gunplay is involved, and on a cliffhanger ending we're shown another gamer on stage hacking the main guy and taking control of the action. Crazy online co-op? Looks that way.

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