E3 has come and gone. Sadly, I could not make it out to Los Angeles, stuck at home watching press conferences and game demos online. There were plenty of games announced and on display. Here are just a few I'm looking forward to.
In an E3 filled with sequels and familiar-looking games, Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs is a breath of fresh air for many. This graphically impressive, new IP reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto introduced us to a protagonist being able to hack into various devices. But in a cliffhanger at the press conference, another person showed up on stage to hack the main player, teasing possible online capabilities. There's a lot of hype and expectations for Watch_Dogs, so the pressure's on to live up to it.
Pikmin 3 wasn't that big of a shocker, but it was nice to see some gameplay at the Nintendo press conference. The follow-up to the lovable franchise will expand to the Wii U GamePad, as hordes of plant-like Pikmin await to be controlled. It's a launch window game, so hopefully we don't have to wait too long for it.
Assassin's Creed III will take us to the American Revolution where we'll meet historical figures like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson and more, all while sneaking around the countryside brutally eliminating enemies. A naval portion of the game will allow gamers to travel along the eastern seaboard, and battles with enemy ships are quite a spectacle from what I saw.
ZombieU is, yes, another zombie game. But this one does what many don't dare: One bite and you're dead. The Wii U GamePad can be used to pick up items and hack doors, but always keep an eye out for zombies on the big screen. In multiplayer, one person can fight off zombies while another uses the tablet controller to spawn them on the map to kill off his/her foe.
Nintendo is giving us a heavy dose of Mario, but can you really blame them? Mario games sell millions of copies. New Super Mario Bros. U will launch for the Wii U, which will very likely have the new system flying off the shelves this holiday season. Sure, the gameplay is familiar, but it's still fun to play. Graphics are much crisper and the backgrounds are much more detailed. Just check out that above screenshot going for the Vincent van Gogh "Starry Night" look. New Super Mario Bros 2 will launch for the 3DS on Aug. 19, and the long-awaited Paper Mario: Sticker Star will release this holiday for the handheld as well.
Sony's getting a lot of flak for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, coming to the PS3 and PS Vita. Yes, it is a rip-off of the popular Super Smash Bros. franchise by Nintendo. Big Daddy, from BioShock and not really a Sony exclusive character, will be in the game. But it still looks like fun in its own twisted way.
Yep, another Halo game, only this time developed by 343 Industries instead of Bungie. Master Chief is back for kicking some more Covenant butt, only this time a new alien enemy is in the mix. Halo 4 is intended to be the beginning of another trilogy, which shouldn't surprise anyone due to the success of the franchise.
More games to look out for include The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Resident Evil 6, Tomb Raider, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Gears of War: Judgement, Dead Space 3, Rayman Legends, God of War: Ascension and NintendoLand. My video game backlog is going to get a whole lot bigger.
Get even tinier random thoughts at www.twitter.com/JeffHoard921