E3 2012: Xbox Entertainment Evolved Coverage
-Eric Lee Lewis
The Halo 4 presentation starts with a live-action trailer of SyFy channel quality. Pretty soon we are shown the beautiful new Halo 4. It looks as if 343 may blow all of Bungie’s previous work out of the water. It first we are shown Master Chief hunting down some Covenant. All of the sudden one of the enemies gets disintegrated. We are introduced to non-Covenant, AI-based enemies. Soon we are shown an on-screen live-action man talking to Master Chief about what he needs to do, ala Command and Conquer. I am actually Excited for a Halo game for the first time.
Next, we are shown men on screen with guns and a hostage. We are never told what they are actually saying as it is all in Arabic. After a few seconds we are shown some familiar symbols above the people’s heads. SAM FISHER IS BACK! Quickly, Sam is in action and slaughtering enemies in a quick pace. Executions are plenty and we are even introduced to action-based running kills. After Sam gets to an area away from his former battlefield, Sam uses his snake cam to see under a door. Old stuff, right? Wrong! Now Mr. Fisher can mark enemies for a quick kill before entering a room. Sam blasts open the door and quickly dispatches all enemies inside and then interrogates his target before the target kills himself. Splinter Cell: Blacklist looks exciting and looks like a massive step forward in the Splinter Cell series.
After we are shown these 2 blockbuster games, we are shown Madden 13 and FIFA 13. Quickly we see a swearing recognition gimmick used for kinect. If you swear, the referee catches onto it. Nothing interesting here. Stock footage that has been doctored forr the E3 event.
Fable: The Journey is up next. No live demo is shown. It basically looks like what we were shown last year, only with a man in the trailer pretending to play. Wave your hands around and kill Fable-y things.
We are then shown 2 very quick trailers for Gears of War: Judgement and Forza: Horizon. Forza is given a release date of October 23, 2012.
Microsoft then does what it looks as if they have been setting up for; a shift away from gaming. They no longer care about games as much as they do about having your 360 be an entertainment hub. We are shown all of the different sports that are coming to Xbox Live. Also, a partnership with Nickelodeon, Paramount Movies, Univision, and Machinima are announced.
Soon after this we are told about a Nike fitness app coming to Xbox. It’s simply called Nike+ Kinect Training.
Oh hey, I have an idea, let’s connect all of your devices together to interact with each other and show stats about certain things that most people probably do not care about. Well, Microsoft Smartglass does just that. I really couldn’t care enough to elaborate more upon this. Just expect to pay more for stuff you do not care about. Add into all of this that everything on the screen was fake and it was made obvious by the lack of choreography from the man showing off how this worked and you have a disaster.
YAY! Back to games. The reboot of Tomb Raider is shown in stunning live-action. Most gamers were already pretty excited about this. Well, it is safe to say that everyone should be even more excited now. Lara reacts as a human being should. What looks like it should hurt does. Also, Lara can dispatch enemies with her bow, kill with her melee weapon, jump and climb like Ezio, and use the environment to her advantage. This game looks magnificent.
A premiere trailer for Ascend: New Gods is shown. From what I can tell, this game is a mix of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and God of War. Not much is known at this point.
Now we are shown trailers for games called Lococycle and Matter. No information is given about either except for Matter will be a Kinect game.
Resident Evil 6 is shown being played live on stage. We are thrown right into the action as Leon S. Kennedy along with his AI-driven companion that can fend for herself. Bullets start raining down from a helicopter above and we are introduced to new movement mechanics. Leon can fall to the ground and roll around to avoid certain thing and put himself in better positions for shootouts. Of course, we are shown a lot of the QTEs. This looks interesting. If you are skeptical about RE6 after RE5, don’t let your guard down quite yet.
Wreckateer is shown directly after Resident Evil 6. Wreckateer is a Kinect game that is like a medieval Angry Birds and this game looks fun. Though, next year they may not want to have the same lady present a game as she was quite stunning.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker show up on stage to show off a trailer for the new South Park: The Stick of Truth. The trailer tells us about how we (our created character) need to be the fifth member of the core group and help to get the stick of truth and save South Park…and to become cool. The South Park creators make a quick jab about Microsoft not caring about games and connecting all devices to your stoves and refrigerators. Awesome moment.
After our South Park gods make fun of Microsoft for their lack of care for games, Dance Central 3 is shown. It is more of the same and we get a horrid performance from Usher….this was unwanted.
We end the press conference with some in-game action from Call of Duty: Black Ops II. I was pretty excited about this games’ new direction, but this was quickly stomped out by footage of the same old gameplay that we usually see from COD. On an interesting note; you have turrets that fly around you to protect you or flank wherever you want them too. This game series needs a serious overhaul.
Microsoft showed that they no longer want their GAME CONSOLE to be a game console at E3 2012. This is a sad thing for hardcore gamers but a good thing for those who just want an Xbox to fit in.