Who Won E3 2012

It’s been a full week since E3 2012 began and everyone here at HEET basically looked at each other and yawned. As a summary for an event we’re all left unsure what the hell happened. This was supposed to be an event right? Things were supposed to happen. Games were supposed to be unveiled. Each of us wrote a little bit of how we felt  and decided who won E3.

Bryan: If anyone won E3 it would be Ubisoft. They came and showed a bunch of games. Not demos, social networks or tech gimmicks but fucking games. Watch Dog is easily the game of the show. Which is kind of sad. Not trying to put down the game but I don’t like GTA style games regardless of how cool the scenario is within the game world. And if that’s the game that wins the entire show for me, that’s saying quite a lot about E3 in general. There were a lot of amazing games shown during the show, but seeing how we’re completely volunteer we don’t exactly make enough (or anything) to go to E3 and see the show floor. Like nearly everyone else in the world we have to watch the Media Briefings and I think they were probably the worst ever. E3 hasn’t been the same since 2006 when it went crazy, moved everything to Santa Monica and made it a small event for the industry. Even after coming back to LA and trying to be the E3 of past hasn’t been working and we need to either make it about games or kill it. We don’t need an industry event just for the sake of media unless it’s going to pump something out worthwhile.

Shaun: E3 held no real surprises for me. Going into it I called we’d have no announcements about the next gen systems, which ended up proving true. That said it looks like we’ve got another ~2 years minimum with the current systems. And that’s fine. As prices keep going up it only makes sense for Sony and Microsoft to get more mileage out of the 360/PS3. So I can’t really come down on any of the Big 3 in regards to new hardware. Nintendo is trying taking a different pace from their competitors by having a much earlier release of their “next gen” system, and that could end up being a great decision – or a horrible one. My interest in the Wii U is pretty low after owning a Wii for some time and only using it to play old NES games. The controller gimmick seems to be just that, another gimmick. Motion control has done nothing to improve my life as a gamer, but has certainly produced no shortage of shovelware. It seems grossly underpowered and the fact that it took Nintendo this long to understand that users want more inter-connectivity between their systems and the wider technological world is not something to be celebrated. Sony didn’t push as much Vita info as I had expected. The launch was decent but there’s been a dry spell of good games. A few titles definitely stood out, but my skepticism about Sony remains their reliance on exclusive titles and blu-ray functionality to justify their existence. The Vita/PS3 combo would’ve been genius…. if you didn’t need to own 2 copies of the game you wanted to play. Microsoft, despite having in my opinion the best system on the market, had the worst presentation. A real shortage of convincing titles, a lot of money dropped on stuff like appearances by Usher, etc. The SmartGlass idea, while intriguing, is far too young for me to make any judgments. Overall? My highlight of E3 was undoubtedly Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. The trailer produced many cries of “Oh it’s just Deus Ex mixed with Assassin’s Creed!” and well… I suppose we could boil down any game to it’s component parts and start making intellectually worthless comparisons. I don’t really care if it’s an action game set in the technological nightmare of a future with open-world gameplay. If it does it well – if it can tell a good story and let me enjoy it, I don’t need it to be mind-blowingly original. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel with each new game. Ubisoft, despite not a few PR-mishaps with DRM, is making a lot of very good games right now. They’re worth paying more attention to, and Watch Dogs looks like it will have a huge impact. Who won? Nobody. E3 still can’t figure out what it wants to be. It tries to cater to the gamer market but also focuses on broader entertainment. Until it can figure out what it wants to be, it’ll keep being awkward.

Brittany: This was my first year watching E3 and after I saw all the presentations, I was quite frankly disappointed. I found the presentations boring and mono-toned and hardly none of the games stood out to me. I have a feeling 2012 will not be a great year for video games. Microsoft dragged on and on with that game with the sniper guy who is killing terrorists or something. And then what the hell was up with Usher’s performance? I mean, he just gave up singing half way through – and I’m not sure if it was because he realized no one cared, or he was just out of breath because he hasn’t had to perform since I was in middle school, back when he was popular. And don’t even get me started on the SmartGlass – a hot pocket in a hot pocket.

I don’t even remember EA. However, I was entertained by Ubisoft’s failure. Whenever the host, Aisha Tyler made a horrible joke, the audience was completely silent and gave her a deadpan stare; this made me giggle a little. But I was slightly confused by Flo Rida’s presence and the girls with the terrible high waisted shorts and tube socks; what the hell was that? I ended up watching 3 minute mash ups of Sony and Nintendo’s conferences, and Nintendo’s was ok. I liked watching Shigeru Miyamoto smiling up on stage – that made me happy for no good reason. And Sony’s mash up was so boring, I’m glad I didn’t see the whole thing. So who won for me? I guess I’ll have to go with Ubisoft because while they sucked, just like the rest, at least I was captivated by how many times Aisha Tyler got ‘girl wood’ and I realized that “God Save the Queen” is the same tune as “America the Beautiful”. I then listened to “O Canada” in another tab and played all three songs together and they all sound the fucking same. I think I just discovered some sort of lazy conspiracy among the national anthems of the world. But yeah, I pick Ubisoft.

Jeff: I’m going to call this one a tie between Sony and Ubisoft. As Bryan mentioned before, Ubisoft’s presentation was the only one dedicated to why we get excited for E3 in the first place: Games. What can I really say that hasn’t been said already, Assassins Creed 3 looks amazing, and Watch Dogs has assloads of potential. Then the Sony side showed more Assassins Creed (Double dipping is A-OK when your game looks this good) and revealed Quantic Dream’s new IP Beyond: Two Souls, which looks to impress. Then there’s The Last of Us which is also shaping up nicely,  even though the gameplay was a bit too staged and scripted (even though dev Naughty Dog claims it’s not) it looks phenomenal and it’s gritty realism creates a very tense atmosphere, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I hope E3 2013’s press conferences ups the ante, even though Sony and Ubisoft unveiled a few neat looking games it doesn’t make up for the other shit I had to sit through this year (I’m looking at you Usher).

Half Empty E-Tank

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